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Climate change impacts on tree phenology

Annelies Pletsers

Annelies Pletsers


Supervisor: Dr. Alison Donnelly

Increasing temperatures have been shown to advance certain key phenophases of trees, such as budburst. This advancement  might expose trees to a higher risk of damage by late frosts and affect forest productivity. By combining a series of field observations with experimental data, such as the response of dormancy induction and bud burst to different photoperiod and temperature conditions in Birch, we will quantify the effects of climate change on tree phenology. A mechanistic model of budburst will be calibrated and tested, which will enable us to make future phenological predictions under climate scenarios for Ireland. Furthermore, we will investigate the ability of trees to adapt to new climates by comparing local adaptation with phenotypic plasticity in Poplar.


Geeraerts A., Raeymaekers J.A.M., Vinckier S., Pletsers A., Smets E. and S. Huysmans (in press) Systematic palynology in Ebenaceae with focus on Ebenoideae: morphological diversity and character evolution. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology;

Jansen S., Pletsers A., Rabaey D. and F. Lens (in press) Vestured pits: a diagnostic character in the secondary xylem of Myrtales. Journal of TropicalForest Science.

Jansen S., Pletsers A. and Y. Sano (2008) The effect of preparation techniques on SEM-imaging of pit membranes. International Association of Wood Anatomists Journal 29, 161-178.

Pletsers A. and S. Jansen (2007) Pits with aspiration: the structure of intervessel pits and their function in the vessel network. In: Systematics – The Sixth Biennial Conference of the Systematics Association, 28-31 August 2007. Celebrating the tercentenary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus: 70. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. 80 pp.

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Last updated 14 December 2009