I my last post I explained how I decided to chart the data I’ve been collecting for the TrackaTree phenology project, so see if it has any interesting stories to tell. I wanted to look at the variation within the same species between the years, and also to see there was any variation in the relative timing of the different species between years. Whereas Christine, who runs the TrackaTree project, used sophisticated statistics for her analysis, I was only going to use charts.
Of the three species, arguably the most interesting is the Wood anemone, because it has varied the most, as shown in the chart below.
In 2014, the red line, flowering started early – before I started fieldwork. So by the date of my first visit, on March 21, the flowers were already fully out. However in 2015 flowering was at least three weeks later, while in 2016 it was later still. In all three years the duration of flowering was similar, although the speed with which flowers came out did vary. In 2016 it took noticeably longer for all the flowers to come out than in the other years. 2017 already looks like an exceptional year – flowering started early (but not as early as in 2014), but the speed with which all the flowers have appeared has been relatively quick. Also, in 2017 there are over 100 flowers visible within the two metre radius of the Silver Birch, when the previous highest number of Wood anemones around this tree was under 50. So Wood anemones appear to be quite sensitive to variations in the weather during the previous winter.
In my next post I’ll show the data for Lesser celandine, and look at how the flowering of the two species has varied relative to each other.