autumn, phenology, leaf colouring
The project overview
Annual mean temperature has risen during the last 100 years in the Alps by about 1.8°C, which is double the speed of the global average. The impact of this temperature increase on the seasonal cycle of plants and animals can be observed. In Europe, the first flowering or leaf unfolding occurs today about 7 to 10 days earlier than 30 years ago. Autumn leaf colouring and leaf fall has also shifted in some regions by a few days towards later entry dates. Thus, vegetation season has lengthened by up to two weeks. Apart from temperature and day length precipitation is also assumed to influence autumn phases. In order to correctly describe the relationship between the atmosphere and plants many observations of shrubs and trees – from the Neusiedlersee to the mountain tops of Vorarlberg – are needed.
How did citizen scientists participate?
By the end of November 2015 all autumn phases had occurred. A further participation in FarbVerrückt is not possible anymore. The participation was arranged via a smartphone app (Android and IOS), which could be downloaded from the play store. Explanations were included in the app and could also be read on the FarbVerrückt homepage. Alternatively, interested persons can still participate anytime in the PhenoWatch program of the ZAMG, which is not restricted to autumn phases.
What happened to the contributions of citizen scientists?
The observations support scientists in the quest for the causes of the shifts of autumn leaf colouring and leaf fall. The collected data of FarbVerrückt will be entered into the international phenological data base for general use. Even after the end of the project all observations are still presented on the app and the FarbVerrückt homepage. Individual observations can be viewed on a map filtered according to species and phases.
Participating and supporting institutions
- ZAMG, Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik, KS Klima Ost, Wien (project leader)
- LACON - Landschaftsplanung & Consulting, Wien (project partner)
- University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Institute of Zoology (project partner)
- Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (project funding)
Dr. Helfried Scheifinger
Project website: http://www.naturverrueckt.at/farbverrueckt