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Phenology of plant and animal species


  • The timing of seasonal events has changed across Europe. A general trend towards earlier spring phenological stages (spring advancement) has been shown in many plant and animal species, mainly due to changes in climate conditions.
  • As a consequence of climate-induced changes in plant phenology, the pollen season starts on average 10 days earlier than it did and is longer than it was in the 1960s.
  • The life cycles of many animal groups have advanced in recent decades, with events occurring earlier in the year, including frogs spawning, birds nesting and the arrival of migrant birds and butterflies. This advancement is attributed primarily to a warming climate.
  • The breeding season of many thermophilic insects (such as butterflies, dragonflies and bark beetles) has been lengthening, allowing, in principle, more generations to be produced per year.
  • The observed trends are expected to continue into the future. However, simple extrapolations of current phenological trends may be misleading because the observed relationship between temperature and phenological events may change in the future.

Reference information



CLIM023, flowering, leafing, pollen, temperature

Climate impacts

Extreme Temperatures


Observations and Scenarios



Geographic characterization


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