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Royal Meteorological Society: Phenological Studies

Nature volume 141, pages 10471048 (11 June 1938) | Download Citation



THE Royal Meteorological Society has circulated its 500 odd phenological observers in the British Isles a description of a new organization for phenological-ecological research, so that the observations will have an increased specialized value for the various subjects undertaken. The organization consists of the Royal Meteorological Society, Royal Entomological Society, British Ecological Society, South-Eastern Union of Scientific Societies, the Natural History Museum, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Bureau of Animal Population, Rothamsted Experimental Station, Society for British Entomology, British Ornithologists' Union and the British Trust for Ornithology. An executive committee will have power to co-opt additional specialists and set up panels to deal with separate branches of observational work, as migration, etc. It is hoped to explore locally as well as nationally the possibility of further collaboration of botanist, ornithologist and entomolegist for the more accurate observation of the different subjects under identical climatic conditions. H. Fairfield Smith, of the Galton Laboratory, University College, London, also makes his report of the preliminary statistical investigation of the flowering dates of plant records in the Phonological Reports of the Royal Meteorological Society (Quart. J. Roy. Met. Soc., Jan. 1938) showing the standard deviations in restricted localities appear to be about 5–7 days for late spring and summer plants, rising to 13 days for early spring and autumn flowering plants. The country-wise standard deviation of locality means for hazel and hawthorn in 1933 was about 4–5 days, and regression of flowering date on altitude about 1 ·3 days per 100 feet. Temperature appears to be the dominating meteorological factor determining flower dates, which vary within a locality as a function of climatic as well as of individual plant and environmental factors.

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