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Renner, Susanne S.; Chmielewski, Frank-M (2022): The International Phenological Garden network (1959 to 2021): its 131 gardens, cloned study species, data archiving, and future. In: International journal of biometeorology, Vol. 66, No. 1: pp. 35-43
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Collaborative networks that involve the compilation of observations from diverse sources can provide important data, but are difficult to maintain over long periods. The International Phenological Garden (IPG) network, begun in 1959 and still functioning 60~years later, has been no exception. Here we document its history, its monitored 23 species (initially all propagated by cloning), and the locations and years of data contribution of its 131 gardens, of which 63 from 19 countries contributed data in 2021. The decision to use clones, rather than multiple, locally adapted individuals, was based on the idea that this would \textquotedblcontrol\textquotedbl for genetic effects, and it~affects the applicability of the data and duration of the network. We also describe the overlap among the IPG network, the Pan-European Phenology network (PEP725), and the phenological data offered by the German Weather Service. Sustainable data storage and accessibility, as well as the continued monitoring of all 23 species/clones, are under discussion at the moment, as is the fate of other phenological networks, despite a politically mandatory plant-based climate-change monitoring.