Nature’s Calendar records provide scientists with crucial evidence about the effects of climate change on wildlife.
Changes to the timings of natural events can threaten our wildlife, leading to mismatches in food webs and throwing nature out of step in the future. Find out how researchers are using Nature's Calendar data.
If you'd like to use Nature's Calendar data for research, please get in touch. The Nature's Calendar available data document details all the species and events we have records for and an indication of location and timescales also, including historical records.
Ongoing research projects using the Nature's Calendar data
Find out about ongoing projects that are currently using Nature's Calendar data.
A comparison of Nature's Calendar with Gilbert White's phenologyTim Sparks, Judith Garforth, Lorienne Whittle. British Wildlife, April 2020, 11/05/2020
A comparison of past and present phenological data is a useful tool to determine changes in the timing of various nature events, such as the first flowering Wood Anemone or the return of Redwings.
The environmental predictors of spatio-temporal variation in the breeding phenology of a passerine birdShutt et al. 2019. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 15/08/2019
Warmer springs have seen many of our birds breeding earlier, but scientists still don’t know how they actually decide when to start building nests and laying eggs. Do they respond directly to temperature or do they respond to other aspects of their environment that change in spring like days getting longer, trees coming into leaf or more food becoming available?
This paper uses Nature's Calendar data to investigate this question, focusing on blue tits.Read more
Don’t let the grass grow under your feet.Sparks, Boalch and Garforth, 2019. British Wildlife, 06/06/2019
The Nature’s Calendar team published a paper in the British Wildlife journal discussing the relationship between first and last lawn cutting dates and growing season.
Temperate airborne grass pollen defined by spatio-temporal shifts in community composition.Brennan et al. 2019 Nature Ecology and Evolution, 09/04/2019
Analysing the flowering time of grass species recorded by Nature's Calendar, scientists were able to track the exposure to their pollen. Grass pollen is associated with both asthma and allergic rhinitis (hay fever), so this important research increases our understanding of these ailments.
Tritrophic phenological match-mismatch in space and timeBurgess et al. 2018, 21/06/2018
Scientists have been studying the effect of earlier springs on feeding relationships in deciduous forests. Concerned about the impact of rising temperatures linked to climate change, they studied the links between oak first leaf, caterpillar activity and bird nesting. The findings have been published in the respected scientific journal, Nature Ecology and Evolution, entitled Tritrophic phenological match-mismatch in space and time.Read more
Estimating the ability of plants to plastically track temperature-mediated shifts in the spring phenological optimumTansey et al. 2017
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh used more than 200,000 Nature’s Calendar records to explore whether plants will continue to leaf or flower at the best time for growth (also known as the optimum phenology), as temperatures rise in the future.Read more
Can bird abundance declines be detected by citizen science programmes? A case study using Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorusSparks et al. 2017
Using data from Nature's Calendar and another citizen science project, BirdTrack, investigated whether or not declines in a particular species could be detected.Read more
Phenological sensitivity to climate across taxa and trophic levelsThackeray et al. 2016
For climate changes predicted for the 2050s, the changes in seasonal timing of phenological events are likely to be greatest for primary consumers. This threatens the synchronisation of interactions between trophic levels.Read more
Light pollution is associated with earlier tree budburst across the United KingdomFfrench-Constant et al. 2016
Scientists at the University of Exeter used Nature’s Calendar records to examine the relationship between artificial night-time light and the date of budburst in sycamore, beech, oak and ashRead more