Citizen science in mountain environments
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Protocol

Phenoclim scientific protocol: the flora

Pay a visit to your plants once a week in spring and autumn. When a stage to monitor is reached, note the date.

In the event of non observation of a stage, distinguish if:
- the event did not take place this year (“missing stage”)
- you were not able to make the observation (“stage not observed”: vacation, oversight…)

- the tree no longer exists (“individual dead or disappeared”).

If one of your trees can no longer be monitored as a result of a disturbance (storm, cutting,…) or due to senescence (dead tree), indicate “individual subject dead or disappeared”. Then look for a new individual to replace it (to be recorded on the Phénoclim website).

It happens that in certain years a phenological event has not taken place. For example, ash trees do not blossom every year.

In spring

Begin the observations upon the first signs of awakening of the vegetation and make use of the indicative calendar.

Budburst

Species involved: spruce, larch, silver birch, downy birch, ash, mountain ash, hazel, lilac.

At the end of the winter, locate the buds on the tree branches. The bud break corresponds to the opening of the plant buds (that provide the leaves).

Note the date of opening of the first buds: approximately 10% of the tree’s buds must be in the process of opening. The new leaves are visible through the bud’s scales.

Foliation

Species involved: spruce, larch, silver birch, downy birch, ash, mountain ash, hazel, lilac.

Note the date of unfurling of the first leaves: approximately 10% of the tree’s leaves. The leaf is completely open, the petiole visible, the shape recognisable even if the leaf has not reached its adult size.

For conifers, the young needles are stuck to the base of the bud, but separated at the top.

Flowering

Species involved: all species.

Note the date of opening of the first flowers: approximately 10% of the plant’s flowers. The petals are open enough to allow you to see the inside of the flower.

For the lilac, the rowan and the ash, note the opening of the first flower of the inflorescence (cluster).

For the birch, the hazel, the spruce and the larch, note the release of pollen by the male organs (catkins, cones).

In autumn

Begin the observations when the first leaves change colour and make us of the indicative calendar.

Change in leaves colour

Species involved: larch, silver birch, downy birch, mountain ash.

At the beginning: Note the date on which the tree’s first leaves, or approximately 10% of the foliage, has changed colour.

At the halfway mark: Note the date on which half of the tree’s leaves, or approximately 50% of the foliage, has changed colour.

Attention: in both cases, the leaves that have already fallen to the ground count in the observed percentage. The combined foliage is taken into account.

In winter

Measuring the snow cover is optional, but very useful if you have a bit of time to devote to it.

Snow depth measurement

In a clear and flat spot in your study zone, plant a stake of graduated wood in the ground every 5 cm.
Until it snows, note each morning at approximately the same time, or as frequently as possible, the depth of the snow cover. If the depth of the snow falls between two graduations, round off to the highest graduation.

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