The phenological approach in Mediterranean landscape analysis
Various phenological methods are applied to a Mediterranean landscape in W Crete. Examples are presented for three spatial levels, viz. macro-climatic (zonal) level, meso-climatic (topographic) level, local (stand) level. The flowering activity spectrum of the predominant thermo-mediterranean vegetation type reflects perfect adaptation to macro-climatic conditions. The short flowering maximum is adjusted between the relatively unfavourable winter and summer months. The altitude-related phenological patterns are studied at species as well as community level. Altitudinal modification of macroclimate is well reflected by spring-flowering taxa but less so by closely related communities. A map of phenecological stages for W Crete is presented which shows both altitude and aspect-related climatic variation. There is significant north-south asymmetry of phenecological stages. Merits and shortcomings of phenecological maps as well as specific problems to be encountered in Mediterranean regions are highlighted. At the local level, a phenological shift can be observed within species which is related to the treatment and dynamics of the stands involved, and caused by differences in water supply.