The temperature-driven length of growing season significantly influences management and productivity of grassland. In the past decades a trend of an earlier start of growing has been observed in many European regions, especially in the temperate zones. Climate experts expect an increase of this trend in the future due to global warming. A GIS model has been developed to determine start and end of growing season by using daily temperature surfaces in high spatial resolution. The data set for generating the temperature maps can be both observations in the past and climate scenarios. Several temperature threshold variations, according to state-of-the-art definitions of the climatological growing season, are processed and result in maps of information about start, end and length of the growing season. With long-term analysis of yearly results, spatial and temporal shifts can be identified and spatially visualized. It provides a data base to support an understanding of climate impact on local scaled changes of environmental conditions. Therefore, adaptation strategies do not have to be based purely on changing signals of temperature but also on grassland-relevant interpretation of climate data in growing season parameters.
Schaumberger, A.; Pötsch, E.M. und Formayer, H. (2012): GIS-based analysis of spatio-temporal variation of climatological growing season for Austria. 24th EGF General Meeting "Grassland - a European Resource", Lublin, Poland, Grassland Science in Europe, 17, June 3-7, 2012, 634-636.