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Investigating the footprint of climate change on phenology and ecological interactions in north-central North America

The ecological questions in this exercise are:
1) Have long-term temperatures changed throughout Ohio? 2) How will these temperature changes impact plant and animal phenology, ecological interactions, and, as a result, species diversity?

This exercise is designed to give students experience working with large datasets and to allow them to use real ecological data to evaluate long-term temperature change and its impacts on flowering phenology, pollinator emergence and arrival phenology, and emergent trophic mismatches. The students use several data sets for this activity; long-term temperature records from the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN, Menne et al. 2010), flowering phenology data from Calinger et al. (2013), and pollinator arrival and emergence time data from Ledneva et al. (2004).
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Primary or BEN resource type
Secondary resource type
General Biology Core Concepts
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords TIEE, Climate change, phenology, pollinators, trophic mismatch, species diversity, arrival time, mutualism
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Description Students will be able to:

- Produce and analyze graphs of temperature change using large, long-term data sets (Synthesis, Analysis)
- Develop methods for calculating species-specific shifts in flowering time with temperature increase (Synthesis)
- Use these methods to calculate flowering shifts in six plant species (Application)
- Describe the ecological consequences of shifting plant and animal phenology (Comprehension)
- Understand how interactions between species as well as with their abiotic environment affect community structure and species diversity (Knowledge, Comprehension)
- Evaluate data “cherry-picking” as a climate change skeptic tactic (Evaluation)
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation The Ohio State University
Primary Author email
Submitter Name Teresa Mourad
Submitter Email
Rights Copyright is held by Kellen M. Calinger
Date Of Record Submission 2014-05-27

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