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The Impacts of Climate Change on Phenology: A Synthesis and Path Forward for Adaptive Management in the Pacific Northwest

Phenology and Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest: Status and Resources for Management and Decision Making
Principal Investigator
Jherime Kellermann


Start Date
End Date
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Phenology, or the timing of the annual cycles of plants and animals, is extremely sensitive to changes in climate. We know that plants and animals may adjust the timing of certain phenological events, such as tree flowering or migration, based on changes in weather. However, it’s important that we also understand how the timing of phenological events is changing over longer time frames, as climate conditions change. While some species appear to be adjusting to the increase in unseasonal temperatures, drought, and extreme storms that have come with climate change, not all species are responding at the same speed or in the same ways. This can disrupt the manner in which species interact and the way that ecosystems function overall. [...]

Child Items (3)


Principal Investigator :
Jherime Kellermann
Funding Agency :
Northwest CSC
CMS Group :
Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASC) Program

Attached Files

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“Wildflower meadow, WA - Credit: Alan Cressler”
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Project Extension

typeTechnical Summary
valuePhenological research and monitoring has become a vital tool for understanding ecological responses to climate change at multiple scales and developing management strategies that reduce vulnerability of natural systems. This is creating significant demand for information on the current state of knowledge to make science-based decisions. However, resource managers often find the complexity, magnitude, breadth and uncertainty of information on climate change and phenology challenging to surmise and integrate into readily apparent ways to respond. The science related to climate impacts on phenology is broad and diverse with only limited and out of date syntheses available. These challenges create the need for synthesis documents at regional levels that succinctly and conveniently communicate the current state of knowledge in the scientific literature and availability of resources such as open access data sources and monitoring protocols for managers. I will conduct this State of the Science synthesis in three parts: 1) a scientific literature review and synthesis, 2) a review and synthesis of open access data sources and monitoring protocols, and 3) a suite of analyses and interpretation of data and trends in the PNW using the USA-NPN Nature’s Notebook database. The synthesis will have three primary components, a succinct summary of the current state of knowledge of primary research from the scientific literature including information gaps and adaptation options, a clear overview of the availability, content, and access of relevant open data resources and monitoring protocols, and a case study comprising analyses and interpretation of trends in phenological metrics in responses to climate change in the PNW utilizing data from the USA National Phenology Network, currently the most extensive ground-based phenology monitoring program in North America. Each of these components will be organized at three levels – ecosystem/biogeographic, taxonomic, and resource type. Additionally, there is need for a synthesis of the location, availability, scope, and application of open data sources and monitoring protocols for phenology. The broadest open-access database and off-the-shelf monitoring program is the USA-NPN. Therefor a summary of this database for the PNW and some exploratory analyses of phenological trends in the region will provide useful examples of its scope and application. The products I will provide include a State of the Science synthesis report with a primary audience of natural resource managers, professionals, scientists, and advanced students. Additionally, I will produce three fact sheets, one for each for each of the three main components of the synthesis report listed above. These products will be posted to websites of relevant agencies, partners, the USA-NPN, and Research Gate, ensuring that they are searchable on Google and Google Scholar through keywords.

Budget Extension

typeAward Type
valueCooperative Agreement
typeAward Number

Wildflower meadow, WA - Credit: Alan Cressler
Wildflower meadow, WA - Credit: Alan Cressler


Spatial Services

ScienceBase WMS


  • National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers
  • Northwest CASC




Additional Information


Type Scheme Key
RegistrationUUID NCCWSC d1a9ac3c-1581-451f-a865-ff69b2882db8
StampID NCCWSC NW17-KJ1254

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