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Renner, Susanne S.; Wesche, Markus; Zohner, Constantin M. (2021): Climate data and flowering times for 450 species from 1844 deepen the record of phenological change in southern Germany. In: American Journal of Botany, Vol. 108, No. 4: pp. 711-717
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PREMISE State-sponsored weather stations became ubiquitous by the 1880s, yet many old climate data and phenological observations still need to be digitized and made accessible. METHODS We here make available flowering times for 450 species of herbs and shrubs gathered in 1844 by Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius (1794–1868), director of the Munich Botanical Garden. The data formed part of the world’s third-oldest phenological monitoring network as we explain in a brief overview of the history of such networks. Using data from one of the world’s oldest continuously functioning weather stations, Hohenpeißenberg, we relate temperature to flowering in three species with short flowering times and herbarium collections made since 1844 within the city’s perimeter, namely, Anemone patens, A. pulsatilla, and Arum maculatum. RESULTS Mean advances in flowering dates were 1.3–2.1 days/decade or 3.2–4.2 days/1°C warming. These advances are in keeping with similar advances in other European herbs during more recent periods. CONCLUSIONS Future studies might use the 1844 flowering data made available here as a source of information on the availability of particular flowers for specialized pollinators including insects looking for oviposition sites, such as the Psychoda flies that become trapped in Arum inflorescences. Another use of Martius’s 1844 data would be their incorporation into larger-scale analyses of flowering in southern-central Europe.