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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Animal phenology

Animal phenology

Note: new version is available!
Topics: ,

Update planned for November 2012

Contents
 

Assessment versions

Published (reviewed and quality assured)

Justification for indicator selection

Climate warming affects the life cycles of many animal species, particularly those such as butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies that are sensitive to temperature. Milder springs are allowing earlier onset of breeding and extra generations to emerge during the year. Furthermore, populations may explode if the young are not exposed to normal predation pressures.  Conversely, populations may crash if the emergence of vulnerable young is not in synchrony with their food source or if shorter hibernation times lead to declines in body condition -- as evidenced in the lower survival rates of some amphibians (Reading, 2007).
Insect pests are likely to become more abundant as temperatures increase (Cannon, 1998). As the impacts of climate change on ecosystems favour generalists, and as warmer temperatures increase insect survival and reproduction rates, more frequent, severe and unpredictable pest outbreaks may occur (McKinney and Lockwood, 1999). In temperate regions, milder winters are allowing increased rates of winter survival (Bale et al., 2002) and it has been estimated that, with a 2 °C temperature increase, some insects could undergo up to five additional life cycles per season (Yamamura and Kiritani, 1998).

Scientific references:

  • References Bale, J. S. Masters; G. J., Hodkinson, I. D. et al., 2002. Herbivory in global climate change research: direct effects of rising temperatures on insect herbivores. Global Change Biology 8: 1-16. Both, C. and Marvelde, L., 2007. Climate change and timing of avian breeding and migration throughout Europe. Climate Research 35: 93-105. Both, C., Bouwhuis, S., Lessells, C. M., and Visser, M. E., 2006. Climate change and population declines in a long-distance migratory bird. Nature 441: 81-83. Cannon, R. J. C., 1998. The implications of predicted climate change for insect pests in the UK, with  emphasis on non-indigenous species. Global Change Biology 4: 785-796. CEH, Morton Frederiksen, 2005. Cited in 'A warm unwelcome', by Audrey Schulman. http://www.grist.org/news/maindish/2005/01/25/schulman-seabirds/ . Crick, H. Q. P. and Sparks T. H., 1999. Climate change related to egg-laying trends. Nature 399: 423-424. McKinney, M. L. and Lockwood, J. L., 1999. Biotic homogenization: a few winners replacing many losers in the next mass extinction. Trends in Ecology and Evoloution 14: 450-453. Yamamura, K. and Kiritani, K., 1998. A simple method to estimate the potential increase in the number of generations under global warming in temperate zones. Applied Entomology and Zoology 33: 289-298.

Indicator definition

  • Changes in egg-laying dates (1980-2004) of the pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca)

Units

http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/eea_report_2008_4/pp111-148CC2008_ch5-7to9_Terrestrial_ecosystems_soil_and_agriculture.pdf

Policy context and targets

Context description

In April 2009 the European Commission presented a White Paper on the framework for adaptation policies and measures to reduce the European Union's vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. The aim is to increase the resilience to climate change of health, property and the productive functions of land, inter alia by improving the management of water resources and ecosystems. More knowledge is needed on climate impact and vulnerability but a considerable amount of information and research already exists which can be shared better through a proposed Clearing House Mechanism. The White Paper stresses the need to mainstream adaptation into existing and new EU policies. A number of Member States have already taken action and several have prepared national adaptation plans. The EU is also developing actions to enhance and finance adaptation in developing countries as part of a new post-2012 global climate agreement expected in Copenhagen (Dec. 2009). For more information see: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/adaptation/index_en.htm

Targets

No targets have been specified

Related policy documents

No related policy documents have been specified

Key policy question

..

Data specifications

EEA data references

  • No datasets have been specified here.

External data references

Data sources in latest figures

Uncertainties

Methodology uncertainty

http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/eea_report_2008_4/pp193-207CC2008_ch8_Data_gaps.pdf

Data sets uncertainty

http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/eea_report_2008_4/pp193-207CC2008_ch8_Data_gaps.pdf

Rationale uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Further work

Short term work

Work specified here requires to be completed within 1 year from now.

Long term work

Work specified here will require more than 1 year (from now) to be completed.

General metadata

Responsibility and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Hans-Martin Füssel

Ownership

Joint Research Centre (JRC)
European Environment Agency (EEA)

Identification

Indicator code
CLIM 025
Specification
Version id: 1
Primary theme: Climate change Climate change

Permalinks

Permalink to this version
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Permalink to latest version
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Classification

DPSIR: Impact
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)

Geographical coverage

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