May 20, 2016

Urban heat island impacts on plant phenology: intra-urban variability and response to land cover

Samuel C Zipper, Jason Schatz, Aditya Singh, Christopher J Kucharik, Philip A Townsend, Steven P Loheide II
Environmental Research Letters
  • Shows that buds burst earlier in dense urban areas than in their suburban and rural surroundings
  • Investigates the impacts of the urban heat island on plant phenology in the city of Madison WI (USA) for the 2012–2014 growing seasons
  • Finds that while the growing season lasted up to a week longer in the city's densest areas, its parks subdued the warming effect and thus helped to normalize the growing season length
  • Estimates median urban growing season length (GSL) from temperature sensors is ~5 d longer than surrounding rural areas, and UHI impacts on GSL are relatively consistent from year-to-year