Fact Sheet 2010–3083
Phenology is the study of seasonally-recurring biological events (such as leaf-out, fruit production, and animal reproduction and migration) and how these events are influenced by environmental change. Phenological changes are some of the most sensitive biological indicators of climate change, and also affect nearly all aspects of ecosystem function. Spatially extensive patterns of phenological observations have been closely linked with climate variability. Phenology and hydrology are closely linked and affect one another across a variety of scales, from leaf intercellular spaces to the troposphere, and over periods of seconds to centuries. Ecosystem life cycles and diversity are also influenced by hydrologic processes such as floods and droughts. Therefore, understanding the relationships between hydrology and phenology is increasingly important in understanding how climate change affects biological and physical systems.
First posted September 10, 2010
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Kish, G.R., 2010, Hydrology, phenology and the USA National Phenology Network: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2010–3083, 2 p.