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Flowering of allergenically important plant species in relation to the North Atlantic Oscillation system and thermal time in the Czech Republic

Hájková, Lenka, Hubálek, Zdeněk, Kožnarová, Věra, Bartošová, Lenka, Možný, Martin
Aerobiologia 2018 v.34 no.2 pp. 157-169
Alnus, Alopecurus pratensis, Anemone (plant), Betula pendula, Larix decidua, North Atlantic Oscillation, Quercus robur, Salix caprea, allergens, altitude, flowering, heat sums, soil temperature, spring, trees, winter, Central European region, Czech Republic
This paper analyses long-term (1960–2015) onset of flowering in 16 native terrestrial plants (11 of them produce important allergens) recorded in different parts of the Czech Republic (southern, central and northern part) in relation to the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index of the preceding winter and thermal data—growing degree-days (GDD) and soil temperature. Flowering occurred significantly earlier following positive winter NAO phases (causing spring to be warmer than normal in Central Europe) in nearly all early-flowering (February, March, April) species; high Pearson correlation values were recorded in, e.g. wood anemone, common snowdrop, goat willow, common hazel and common alder. There was found a difference between the southern and northern part of the country, e.g. in silver birch and pedunculate oak. Out of the later-flowering (May–July) plant species, black elder and meadow foxtail also significantly correlated with the winter NAO index, lime tree correlated less markedly. The best results of a threshold for calculation of GDD to onset of beginning of flowering were found in lime tree—it was 5 °C at all three stations. Results of other taxa were more variable (e.g. 4–7 °C in goat willow; 6–10 °C in silver birch). Pearson correlation coefficients between NAO index and GDD were negative in lime tree at all thresholds (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 °C), while goat willow and silver birch were not so uniform (both positive and negative values). Correlation coefficients between phenophase onset and soil temperature (10 cm depth) had the highest values in silver birch, European larch and wood anemone. Stations situated at higher elevation showed negative correlation coefficient with soil temperature in common snowdrop, pedunculate oak, meadow foxtail and lime tree; other values were positive.