Cryptic phenology in plants: Case studies, implications, and recommendations

Loren P. Albert, Natalia Restrepo-Coupe, Marielle N. Smith, Jin Wu, Cecilia Chavana-Bryant, Neill Prohaska, Tyeen C. Taylor, Giordane A. Martins, Philippe Ciais, Jiafu Mao, M. Altaf Arain, Wei Li, Xiaoying Shi, Daniel M. Ricciuto, Travis E. Huxman, Sean M. McMahon, Scott Saleska

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Plant phenology—the timing of cyclic or recurrent biological events in plants—offers insight into the ecology, evolution, and seasonality of plant-mediated ecosystem processes. Traditionally studied phenologies are readily apparent, such as flowering events, germination timing, and season-initiating budbreak. However, a broad range of phenologies that are fundamental to the ecology and evolution of plants, and to global biogeochemical cycles and climate change predictions, have been neglected because they are “cryptic”—that is, hidden from view (e.g., root production) or difficult to distinguish and interpret based on common measurements at typical scales of examination (e.g., leaf turnover in evergreen forests). We illustrate how capturing cryptic phenology can advance scientific understanding with two case studies: wood phenology in a deciduous forest of the northeastern USA and leaf phenology in tropical evergreen forests of Amazonia. Drawing on these case studies and other literature, we argue that conceptualizing and characterizing cryptic plant phenology is needed for understanding and accurate prediction at many scales from organisms to ecosystems. We recommend avenues of empirical and modeling research to accelerate discovery of cryptic phenological patterns, to understand their causes and consequences, and to represent these processes in terrestrial biosphere models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGlobal change biology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Ecology
Ecosystems
phenology
evergreen forest
Climate change
Wood
ecology
ecosystem
biogeochemical cycle
prediction
deciduous forest
biosphere
tropical forest
flowering
seasonality
germination
turnover
climate change
recommendation
modeling

Keywords

  • climate change
  • dynamic global vegetation models
  • plant ecology
  • plant physiology
  • seasonality
  • terrestrial biosphere models
  • whole plant biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Albert, L. P., Restrepo-Coupe, N., Smith, M. N., Wu, J., Chavana-Bryant, C., Prohaska, N., ... Saleska, S. (Accepted/In press). Cryptic phenology in plants: Case studies, implications, and recommendations. Global change biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14759

Cryptic phenology in plants : Case studies, implications, and recommendations. / Albert, Loren P.; Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia; Smith, Marielle N.; Wu, Jin; Chavana-Bryant, Cecilia; Prohaska, Neill; Taylor, Tyeen C.; Martins, Giordane A.; Ciais, Philippe; Mao, Jiafu; Arain, M. Altaf; Li, Wei; Shi, Xiaoying; Ricciuto, Daniel M.; Huxman, Travis E.; McMahon, Sean M.; Saleska, Scott.

In: Global change biology, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Albert, LP, Restrepo-Coupe, N, Smith, MN, Wu, J, Chavana-Bryant, C, Prohaska, N, Taylor, TC, Martins, GA, Ciais, P, Mao, J, Arain, MA, Li, W, Shi, X, Ricciuto, DM, Huxman, TE, McMahon, SM & Saleska, S 2019, 'Cryptic phenology in plants: Case studies, implications, and recommendations', Global change biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14759
Albert LP, Restrepo-Coupe N, Smith MN, Wu J, Chavana-Bryant C, Prohaska N et al. Cryptic phenology in plants: Case studies, implications, and recommendations. Global change biology. 2019 Jan 1. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14759
Albert, Loren P. ; Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia ; Smith, Marielle N. ; Wu, Jin ; Chavana-Bryant, Cecilia ; Prohaska, Neill ; Taylor, Tyeen C. ; Martins, Giordane A. ; Ciais, Philippe ; Mao, Jiafu ; Arain, M. Altaf ; Li, Wei ; Shi, Xiaoying ; Ricciuto, Daniel M. ; Huxman, Travis E. ; McMahon, Sean M. ; Saleska, Scott. / Cryptic phenology in plants : Case studies, implications, and recommendations. In: Global change biology. 2019.
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