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MetINFO - Phenological Observations

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Knowledge About the Annual Cycle of Events in Forest Ecosystems

Phyto-phenological monitoring in Finland


Phenological research is of long standing in Finland. The earliest observations date back to about the middle of the 18th century. The recording of the observations concerning natural phenomena was begun at the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) in 1951 and the systematic collecting of observations using an observation network was begun in 1997.

Observation network functions thanks to co-operation

Metla has established an observation network covering the whole country and focusing on the phenology of forest trees and other forest plant species. The various points in this observation network are located at Metla's field research stations and research areas and at field stations of other research institutions and universities.

Partners in Co-operation

Biological phenomena to be monitored

Monitoring focuses on the following phenomena:
  • flowering and flushing of trees, yellowing and shedding of leaves
  • height growth and flowering of conifers
  • flowering of cowberry and bilberry and the ripening of berries

The monitoring covers eight tree species (downy birch, silver birch, pine, spruce, aspen, juniper, bird-cherry, rowan). The observations are made repeatedly of the same tree individuals and the phenomena monitored vary by tree species.

The observation season usually begins at the beginning of May and continues until the shedding of leaves. Observations are made at least twice per week. The observers have been trained to make the observations in a standardised manner.

Results available without delay

The observation material is processed into maps and animations. The phenological service's information provided over the Internet is updated once a day. These results are also published in bulletins and other publications.

: Updated: 17.04.2012 /KBym |  Photo: Erkki Oksanen, Metla, unless otherwise stated  |  Copyright Metla  |  Feedback