The tundra phenology database: More than two decades of tundra phenology responses to climate change

Janet Prevéy, Sarah Elmendorf, Anne Bjorkman, Juha Alatalo, Isabel Ashton, Jakob Assmann, Robert G. Björk, Mats P. Björkman, Nicoletta Cannone, Michele Carbognani, Chelsea Chisholm, Karin Clark, Courtney Collins, Elisabeth J Cooper, Bo Elberling, Esther Frei, Greg H.R. Henry, Robert D. Hollister, Toke Høye, Ingibjörg Svala JónsdóttirJeff Kerby, Kari Klanderud, Christopher Kopp, Esther Lévesque, Marguerite Mauritz, Ulf Molau, Isla Myers-Smith, Susan Natali, Steve Oberbauer, Zoe Panchen, Alessandro Petraglia, Eric Post, Christian Rixen, Heidi Rodenhizer, Sabine Rumpf, Niels Martin Schmidt, Edward Schuur, Philipp Semenchuk, Jane Smith, Katherine Suding, Orjan Toteland, Tiffany Troxler, Henrik Wahren, Jeffery Welker, Sonja Wipf, Yue Yang

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Observations of changes in phenology have provided some of the strongest signals of the effects of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems. The International Tundra Experiment (ITEX), initiated in the early 1990s, established a common protocol to measure plant phenology in tundra study areas across the globe. Today, this valuable collection of phenology measurements depicts the responses of plants at the colder extremes of our planet to experimental and ambient changes in temperature over the past decades. The database contains 150,434 phenology observations of 278 plant species taken at 28 study areas for periods of 1 to 26 years. Here we describe the full dataset to increase the visibility and use of these data in global analyses, and to invite phenology data contributions from underrepresented tundra locations. Portions of this tundra phenology database have been used in three recent syntheses, some datasets are expanded, others are from entirely new study areas, and the entirety of these data are now available at the Polar Data Catalogue (
Original languageEnglish
JournalArctic Science
Pages (from-to)1026–1039
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Arctic
  • International Tundra Experiment (ITEX)
  • alpine
  • climate change
  • experimental warming
  • flowering
  • plant
  • vegetation change

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