Phenology, ontogeny and the effects of climate change on the timing of species interactions


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Climate change is altering the phenology of many species and the timing of their interactions with other species, but the impacts of these phenological shifts on species interactions remain unclear. Classical approaches to the study of phenology have typically documented changes in the timing of single life-history events, while phenological shifts affect many interactions over entire life histories. In this study, we suggest an approach that integrates the phenology and ontogeny of species interactions with a fitness landscape to provide a common mechanistic framework for investigating phenological shifts. We suggest that this ontogeny–phenology landscape provides a flexible method to document changes in the relative phenologies of interacting species, examine the causes of these phenological shifts, and estimate their consequences for interacting species.

Ecology Letters (2010) 13: 1–10