News & Publications

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Climate change means snowshoe hares stand out like lightbulbs against a snowless background

Wed, Mar 16, 2016

Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Montana found weekly survival decreases of up to 7% for hares that had coat color that was mismatched with their surroundings, making them stand out like lightbulbs on a dark background. The researchers used models to predict how the population of hares is likely to change given the survival rates they observed. Under future climate change scenarios, they project that hare populations could decrease by up to 23% by the end of the century.

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Herbarium records provide insight to flowering phenology in the Southeast U.S.

Thu, Feb 18, 2016

Flowering in sub-tropical regions is thought to be more sensitive to temperature than precipitation, though this has not been widely studied. The authors of this study looked at herbarium records of over 1700 native herbaceous flowering plant species from South Carolina from 1951 to 2009. They found plants with early spring, late spring, and summer flowering were all responsive to increasing February and March temperatures.

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Warblers shift breeding time to maximize food resources

Tue, Jan 19, 2016

Animals may be adversely affected if they are not able to match shifts in timing of their food or other resources. The authors of a new study found black-throated blue warblers have a varied diet and ability to shift the timing of their nesting, which allows them to be less susceptible to trophic mismatch after arrival at their breeding grounds.

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Future springs may arrive three weeks earlier across the US

Mon, Dec 07, 2015

The earlier springs seen in recent decades may become a permanent change. Researchers at UW - Madison predict that by the end of this century, spring will appear approximately three weeks earlier across the continental U.S. False springs are also likely to increase in the Great Plains and portions of the Midwest.

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Do migrating geese surf the Green wave?

Mon, Nov 16, 2015

An international team of scientists found that Barnacle Geese overtake the green wave, first arriving at the southernmost stopover sites along their migration pathway to fatten up on the peak plant biomass, then arriving at their northern breeding grounds at the local start of spring. This allows growing goslings the highest amount of nutrients and thus the best chance at survival.

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Increasing winter temperatures and rainfall cause shifts in phenology in four California species

Thu, Sep 17, 2015

Researchers from the California Phenology Project compared observations of leaf budburst, flowering, fruiting and leaf drop with climate variables such as temperature and rainfall. The authors found that in all four species, at least one phenophase responded to higher winter low temperatures with delayed onset. Generally, precipitation strongly influenced leaf phenology, while both precipitation and temperature were important for flower and fruit phenology.