Geographic variations in spring and autumn phenology of white ash in a common garden

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12 Scopus citations


Geographic variations in plant phenology are known to be affected by climatic differences over space, but the role of adaptation variability of plant populations is less well understood. In this study, I examined the geographic variations in spring and autumn phenology of white ash (Fraxinus americana L.) in a common garden and related observations over a 2-year period (2013 and 2014) to climatic and geographic factors of their provenances. Spring leaf-out of trees with northern provenances occurred later in 2013, but slightly earlier in 2014, than those with southern provenances. This difference was potentially caused by the counterbalancing effect of chilling and forcing in response to interannual temperature fluctuations. In both years, leaf senescence of white ash occurred significantly earlier for trees with northern than southern provenances, reflecting strong adaptation to a photoperiod gradient. The growing season length for white ash, therefore, is constrained by spring and fall phenology through different environmental cues. Spring phenology exerted a greater influence on the interannual variability of growing season length. Identifying these detailed adaptive patterns facilitates a better understanding of phenological change over space and allows development of genotype-sensitive phenological models to predict the ecological impact of climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-509
Number of pages21
JournalPhysical Geography
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor and Francis.


  • Fraxinus americana
  • climate change
  • climatic adaptation
  • genotypic variation
  • geographic gradient
  • seasonality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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