Let’s talk about fruits! Where do they grow? When do they ripen? When is the blossom of apricots in the Wachau in Lower Austria? Are plants influenced by climate change?

fruits, trees, climate change

The project overview

Area of Science: Natural Sciences
Location: Austria
Used Devices: with PC/Mobile
Equipment of citizen scientists: Smartphone or tablet, NaturVerrückt app
Activities of citizen scientists: observing, measuring, photographing
Suitable for: Youngsters and adults
Project duration: 01.04.2014 - 30.09.2016
Time to join in: 01.04.2016 - 30.09.2016

Project objective

In "ObstVerrückt" (literally fruit crazy) citizen scientists observed the development of fruit plants over the vegetation period 2016.

During the last 100 years the mean yearly temperature has risen by about 1.8° C in the Alps, which is twice as much as the global average. The impact of this temperature rise on the seasonal cycle of plants and animals can be observed. First flowering and leaf unfolding occur 7 to 10 days earlier now than 30 years ago and in some regions the entry dates of autumn colouring has been shifted forward by a number of days. Altogether both shifts in time result in an extension of the vegetation period. In addition to the data of meteorological stations the ZAMG needs oberservations of fruit plant throughout Austria in order to explore these developments.

How did citizen scientists participate?

All people in Austria were asked to support the work of these researchers by monitoring plants in their neighbourhood and by downloading the free smartphone app NaturVerrückt. Without smartphone, it was possible to join the project by using a camera and a computer. Citizen scientists created news spots for plants or updated spots they already started to observe. Citizen scientists documented new phases in the development of the plants.

What happened to the contributions of citizen scientists?

Incoming observations were collected and graphically displayed on the website. A map of Austria showed the locations of all observed plants. The observations supported the work of the scientists at the ZAMG. They are now stored in the international phenological data base of the ZAMG and thereby are made accessible to scientists all over the world.

Prizes and winners

Here are the prizes which were raffled among the most active users: First of all citizens had the opportunity to donate 1,000 Euro to support science. Besides they won goodie bags of the ZAMG. School classes won 1,000 Euro to support their own scientific work.

Participating and supporting institutions


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