iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Predicting phenology of European beech in forest habitats

Urša Vilhar (1)   , Maarten De Groot (1), Ana Zust (2), Mitja Skudnik (1), Primož Simončič (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 11, Issue 1, Pages 41-47 (2018)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1820-010
Published: Jan 09, 2018 - Copyright © 2018 SISEF

Research Articles

Reliable phenological observations are important for studying the response of trees to climate and climate change. National phenological networks were not specifically established to monitor tree phenology within forests, yet they are often used to generalise tree phenological phases at national or regional scales. Our objective was to investigate whether a phenological monitoring network using trees in open areas can accurately predict phenology of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) located within forests by using two models: one with correlates of environmental variables and one with interpolated monthly air temperature and sun hours. The first leaf unfolding, general leaf colouring and leaf fall dates from 2004 through 2010 were modelled using data from 47 Slovene National Phenology Network (NPN) stations in open areas and tested on phenological observations within forests using data from the UNECE CRLTAP ICP Forests network. Good agreement was found between predicted and observed first leaf unfolding in the forest, while slightly lower agreement was detected for general leaf colouring and leaf fall. Suggestions for the improvement of national phenological network are discussed in order to better predict beech phenology in forest habitats.


Leaf Unfolding, Leaf Colouring, Leaf Fall, Modelling, Fagus sylvatica, Slovene National Phenology Network, ICP Forests

Authors’ address

Urša Vilhar
Maarten De Groot
Mitja Skudnik
Primož Simončič
Slovenian Forestry Institute, Večna pot 2, 1000 Ljubljana (Slovenia)
Ana Zust
Slovenian Environment Agency, Vojkova 1b, 1000 Ljubljana (Slovenia)

Corresponding author

Urša Vilhar


Vilhar U, De Groot M, Zust A, Skudnik M, Simončič P (2018). Predicting phenology of European beech in forest habitats. iForest 11: 41-47. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1820-010

Academic Editor

Giorgio Matteucci

Paper history

Received: Aug 20, 2015
Accepted: Nov 08, 2017

First online: Jan 09, 2018
Publication Date: Feb 28, 2018
Publication Time: 2.07 months

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