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Articles on Phenology

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A volunteer looks for waterbirds at Point Reyes National Seashore in California during the National Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count. Kerry W/Flickr

Citizen scientists are filling research gaps created by the pandemic

COVID-19 kept many scientists from doing field research in 2020, which means that important records will have data gaps. But volunteers are helping to plug some of those holes.
A mast year can be a squirrel’s dream come true. Editor77/Shutterstock.com

Tons of acorns? It must be a mast year

Masting is what biologists call the pattern of trees for miles around synchronizing to all produce lots of seeds – or very few. Why and how do they get on schedule?
A grizzly bear eats ripe buffaloberry fruit in the Bow Valley of Alberta. Shifts in the timing of buffaloberry development in the Rocky Mountains will change the behaviour of grizzly bears, and could threaten reproductive rates in this vulnerable population. Alex P. Taylor

Alberta grizzly bears will feel the effects of climate change

As warming temperatures shift the availability of key food sources, Alberta's grizzly bears will be forced to adjust.
A brown bear snags a sockeye salmon in Alaska. In warm years, red elderberries ripen early and Kodiak bears leave streams full of salmon to eat them. Jonathan Armstrong

As a warming climate changes Kodiak bears’ diets, impacts could ripple through ecosystems

Climate change is making berries ripen early in Kodiak, Alaska, luring bears away from eating salmon. This shift may not hurt the bears, but could have far-reaching impacts on surrounding forests.
Mountain Pygmy Possum numbers are declining due to environmental changes, including earlier snow melt. AAP/Tim Arch/DSE

Early birds: how climate change is shifting time for animals and plants

Every Spring, the blanket of Australian alpine snow starts to melt, and the Mountain Pygmy Possum wakes up from its seven-month-long hibernation. Naturally after so long under the snow, its first thought…

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