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The Responses of Species to Climate Over Two Centuries: An Analysis of the Marsham Phenological Record, 1736-1947

T. H. Sparks and P. D. Carey
Journal of Ecology
Vol. 83, No. 2 (Apr., 1995), pp. 321-329
DOI: 10.2307/2261570
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2261570
Page Count: 9
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The Responses of Species to Climate Over Two Centuries: An Analysis of the Marsham Phenological Record, 1736-1947
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Abstract

1 The Marsham phenological data have been `rediscovered' several times. This unique data set, spanning two centuries, consists of first dates of observation, or `indications of spring', for 27 phenological events which relate to over 20 species of plants and animals. 2 This paper extends the 1926 appraisal of the data from 1736 to 1925 by adding the 22 years up to 1947, when publication of the record ceased. 3 The Marsham data are examined in relation to Manley's central England monthly temperature data and Craddock's annual rainfall data and are further examined for unexplained trends over time. 4 Most of the phenological variables were significantly related to climatic variables or changed through time. 5 An appraisal of the historical response of flora and fauna to climate was made and allowed us to predict changes in species performance due to climate change in the future. If commonly used climate scenarios are accurate we predict that most or all of the indications of spring noted in the Marsham record will occur earlier in the calendar year.

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