John Silander seminar: Modeling spatio-temporal variation in phenology across northeastern North American forests: from individual trees to landscapes and regions.

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Dr. Silander is a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. His research interests include plant ecology and evolution, with focus on plant biogeography and spatial processes, landscape ecology, and conservation biology. Abstract: Phenology, the study of the timing of recurring, seasonal biological processes in response to weather and climate variation, has become an iconic bio-indicator of climate change. Spring bud-burst and leaf out are now occurring earlier in most temperate regions, while leaf drop in autumn is generally later but also more variable. Correlative studies have pointed to global warming in recent decades as the main driving force. Indeed, hundreds of correlative studies of temperature effects have been conducted on spring phenology, while autumn phenology, or indeed phenology across the entire growing season, has remained neglected and poorly understood. In addition, most phenological studies are focused at one spatial scale: typically ground-based observations, or remotely-sensed, satellite imagery; seldom have these perspectives been linked. I will present a more integrated, mechanistically-based protocol for predictive modeling of the phenology of Northeastern forest trees over the course of the growing season in response to past and future weather/climate variation, and other environmental factors. I will examine spatio-temporal variation in individual tree responses over time as well as landscape-level responses, contrasting differences between spring and autumn phenologies. Using time-lapse camera imagery of forest stands as input to predictive models of phenology, I will also show how to link the typical visual scoring of pheno-phases on the ground.