Phenology   Starfish _purple Crab

Phenology is the study of the timing of recuring natural phenomenon, such as migration or blossoming in relation to climate and changes in season (Edwards, M. and Richardson, A.J., 2004. Impact of climate change on marine pelagic phenology and trophic mismatch. Nature, 430: 881-884.)

 Phenological Timings Phenological shifts in the North Sea

The seasonal timing (or phenology) of some species in the North Sea is occuring earlier and this is related to regional climate warming and increases in sea surface temperature (SST).  The changes are most visible in the emergence of meroplankton species, with some having moved forward in their seasonal cycle by 4-5 weeks.

The changes are considered detrimental because of the potential mis- match of predator/ prey relationships within the food web.  Many species of fish and animals in other trophic levels time their mating, reproduction and the emergence of their own offspring to match the increasing abundance of meroplankton in the spring and summer.