Subproject 5


Impact of climate change on plant phenology and hoofed game - The role of temporal synchronization and cross-scale landscape variability

Climate change affects our ecosystems, indicated for example by temporal shifts in phenological events in flora and fauna. Such changes can severely affect fitness, species dispersal and productivity of ecosystems, especially if the previous timing of life-history patterns is lost. The onset of phenological events and their rates of change, however, will vary within individuals, populations, between provenances and species, and in the landscape. We therefore hypothesize that this inherent diversity in timing can buffer negative impacts of climate change, such as extreme events or phenological mismatch (mis-synchronization). This buffer can be purposefully promoted through targeted management and landscape planning.


While changes on the individual tree level have been described relatively well, there is a lack of integration at the landscape level to assess the resulting climate impact on wildlife, such as changes in the timing of mutualistic relationships or changes in seasonal food supply. Accordingly, our study aims to 1) track phenological changes across landscapes and scales using a variety of image capturing methods, 2) assess the variability of onset dates, and 3) examine the effects of change on synchrony-driven ecosystem processes and services, such as late spring frost hazards. 

Furthermore, the population dynamics and status of roe deer and wild boar are recorded and driving factors, such as weather or climate change, warming-related phenological change and land use, are identified in order to derive concrete measures for practical wildlife management.


For the first time, research on the adaptation to climate change is systematically mapping phenological changes to derive consequences on flora and fauna from small (individual) to large (landscape) scales.

Principal investigator: 

Prof. Dr. Annette Menzel

Professorship for Ecoclimatology

Technical University of Munich

Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2

85354 Freising

Tel: +49 8161 714740


Cooperation partner:

Dr. Wibke Peters

Abteilung Biodiversität, Naturschutz, Jagd

Bayerische Landesanstalt für Wald und Forstwirtschaft

+49 8161 714899