Many species of fungi produce ephemeral autumnal fruiting bodies to spread and multiply. Despite their attraction for mushroom pickers and their economic importance, little is known about the phenology of fruiting bodies. Using approximately 34,500 dated herbarium records we analyzed changes in the autumnal fruiting date of mushrooms in Norway over the period 1940-2006. We show that the time of fruiting has changed considerably over this time period, with an average delay in fruiting since 1980 of 12.9 days. The changes differ strongly between species and groups of species. Early-fruiting species have experienced a stronger delay than late fruiters, resulting in a more compressed fruiting season. There is also a geographic trend of earlier fruiting in the northern and more continental parts of Norway than in more southern and oceanic parts. Incorporating monthly precipitation and temperature variables into the analyses provides indications that increasing temperatures during autumn and winter months bring about significant delay of fruiting both in the same year and in the subsequent year. The recent changes in autumnal mushroom phenology coincide with the extension of the growing season caused by global climate change and are likely to continue under the current climate change scenario.
For >1,000 years, Chinese officials have recorded the annual abundance of the oriental migratory locust Locusta migratoria manilensis, with the ultimate aim of predicting locust outbreaks. Linking these records with temperature and precipitation reconstructions for the period 957-1956, we show that decadal mean locust abundance is highest during cold and wet periods. These periods coincide with above-average frequencies of both floods and droughts in the lower Yangtze River, phenomena that are associated with locust outbreaks. Our results imply differential ecological responses to interdecadal and interannual climatic variability. Such frequency-dependent effects deserve increased attention in global warming studies.
Comment In: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Oct 9;104(41):15972-317916623