Irwin Lab - Bee and Flower Phenology Project

A brief introduction

Phenology, the timing of biological events, is critically important to the survival, growth, and reproduction of plants and animals. A hallmark of climate change is the advancement of phenological events. In temperate, arctic, and alpine environments all over the world, plants are flowering earlier, migrating birds are arriving earlier, and insects and animals are emerging earlier. However, not all species are shifting their phenologies at the same rate and with equal magnitude. Instead, climate change is resulting in the reshaping of ecological communities, with new assemblages of species co-occurring in space and time. This reshaping of ecological communities has the potential to alter species interactions, reproduction and persistence, and ecosystem services. The goal of this on-going research is to understand how climate change is and will affect bee pollinators, flowering plants, and their interactions.