Ten best practices for effective phenological research

International Journal of Biometeorology
By: , and 



The number and diversity of phenological studies has increased rapidly in recent years. Innovative experiments, field studies, citizen science projects, and analyses of newly available historical data are contributing insights that advance our understanding of ecological and evolutionary responses to the environment, particularly climate change. However, many phenological data sets have peculiarities that are not immediately obvious and can lead to mistakes in analyses and interpretation of results. This paper aims to help researchers, especially those new to the field of phenology, understand challenges and practices that are crucial for effective studies. For example, researchers may fail to account for sampling biases in phenological data, struggle to choose or design a volunteer data collection strategy that adequately fits their project’s needs, or combine data sets in inappropriate ways. We describe ten best practices for designing studies of plant and animal phenology, evaluating data quality, and analyzing data. Practices include accounting for common biases in data, using effective citizen or community science methods, and employing appropriate data when investigating phenological mismatches. We present these best practices to help researchers entering the field take full advantage of the wealth of available data and approaches to advance our understanding of phenology and its implications for ecology.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Ten best practices for effective phenological research
Series title International Journal of Biometeorology
DOI 10.1007/s00484-023-02502-7
Volume 67
Year Published 2023
Language English
Publisher Springer Link
Contributing office(s) Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center
Description 14 p.
First page 1509
Last page 1522
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