Fruiting Phenology

by Carl Strang

Through the spring I have been introducing wildflowers as they have bloomed at Mayslake Forest Preserve. I record first flowering dates so as to make future comparisons between years. Flower timing is tied to climate. Plants, especially early in the season, are influenced strongly by soil temperature. Phenology, the study of when events occur, is by no means limited to flowers, or even to plants. I record arrival dates for birds, and also fruiting dates of plants whose fruits are consumed by vertebrates. This year the first of these at Mayslake has been a non-native species, the Tartarian honeysuckle.

Tartarian honeysuckle fruit b

The berries are consumed by birds, which disperse the seeds widely, enabling it to become a problem plant in restoration projects. I’ll share other fruits in future installments.

1 Comment

  1. June 17, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    […] I have been sharing my phenology observations at Mayslake Forest Preserve for first flowers, first fruits, and spring arrivals of migrant birds. Today I would like to look at results comparing 2009 and […]

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