Phenology is the study of animal and plant cycles and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate and other environmental and biological factors. Recently, phenology has gained importance as the simplest and most reliable indicator of the effects of climate change on plants and animals. The evidence for changes in timing of first flowering and leafing and bird migration caused by recent global warming has come from long term phenological series from North Hemisphere, were historical data sets have been collected for decades.
The scarcity of information and monitoring systems in tropical regions, in particular, South America, hampers our ability to monitor and understand the effect of climate change on these ecosystems.
e-Phenology was created to address this gap by combining research in computing and phenology, with the purpose of solving practical and theoretical problems involved in the use of new technologies to remote observation of phenology. e-Phenology has the following objectives: (1) foster the use of the new technologies for environmental monitoring based on remote monitoring systems of phenology, (2) the creation of a protocol for long-term phenological monitoring in Brazil, (3) provide models, methods and algorithms to support the management, integration and analyses of data from remote phenology systems, and (4) advancing the current knowledge of seasonal responses in the tropics to climate changes.
The project is jointly funded by Microsoft Research and FAPESP and the research team is composed by computer scientists from Laboratory RECOD (UNICAMP) and researchers Phenology from Laboratory of Phenology (UNESP).