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Fifteen-year phenological plant species and meteorological trends in central Italy

Abstract

The present study was carried out in a phenological garden in central Italy that contains vegetative clones of shrubs and trees common to several international phenological gardens, such as Cornus sanguinea L.; Corylus avellana L.; Ligustrum vulgare L.; Robinia pseudoacacia L.; Salix acutifolia Willd. and Sambucus nigra L. Vegetative plant growth monitoring was carried out weekly using common international keys: BBCH07, bud break and leaf unfolding; BBCH19, young unfolded leaf; BBCH91, adult leaves; BBCH93, beginning of leaf colouring. The phenological dates thus obtained provide a model of the development for these different species in relation to the 15-year period of observation (1997–2011). From a meteorological point of view, temperature and precipitation trends were studied, with the highest anomalies during the study period recorded during the first 2 months of the year (January, February). There was relative invariance in the manifestation of the open bud phase and the contemporary advance of the young open leaves phase, particularly from 2006. This was accompanied by shortening of the leaf opening period, which appeared due to more rapid spring temperature increases over the last few years. The advance tendency of the BBCH91 phase showed adult leaves from the first summer weeks with fully green foliage monitored for a long time. Generally, the autumn leaf colouring phase tended to remain constant, with the exception of Salix acutifolia and Sambucus nigra, for which, on the other hand, the first leaf development phases appeared to be most likely influenced by the photoperiod.

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Correspondence to F. Orlandi.

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Orlandi, F., Ruga, L., Bonofiglio, T. et al. Fifteen-year phenological plant species and meteorological trends in central Italy. Int J Biometeorol 58, 661–667 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-013-0646-y

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Keywords

  • Phenological garden
  • Vegetative–reproductive development