On 4th May 2019, the RitmeNatura project participated in BioBlitzBcn 2019, held at the Parc dels Tres Turons in Barcelona, to learn about the urban biodiversity of this unexplored corner of the city. The ‘base camp’ of the event was the Aula Ambiental Bosc Turull (district of Gràcia), from where all the activities started. In this framework, RitmeNatura organized a workshop to spread the phenology and the impact that climate change has on it and to show how easy it is to participate in this citizen science project to study the rhythm of the nature.

The workshop had a theoretical part and a field trip. In the first place, Pau Guzmán, communication technician at the CREAF research center, focused on phenology, that is, all those seasonal changes in plants and animals that are closely connected to the climate, such as blooming or the migration of the birds. “Given this close relationship, changes in the climate alter all these rhythms of nature,” said the technician. Some examples of these alterations were illustrated, such as the arrival of the swallows 30 days before of its traditional time. Finally, it was explained how easy is for citizens to collaborate in the study of phenology by joining RitmeNatura. To do this, they just have to create a user in Natusfera and upload observations in the project that RitmeNatura has in this biodiversity tracking platform.

Below that, Montserrat Busto, technician at the Meteorological Service of Catalonia (SMC), explained the Xarxa Fenològica de Catalunya (FENOCAT), a project that collaborates with RitmeNatura and also seeks to have systematic phenological observations by volunteers. “To obtain valid data in order to study the impact of climate change on living beings, observations taken continuously and repeatedly in time and well distributed throughout the territory are needed,” she emphasized.

After this theoretical part, the 15 attendees to the workshop went to the Parc dels Tres Turons to take a route led by Joan Pino, director of the CREAF, and accompanied by Ester Prat, a technician from the same research center, as well as Elizabeth Gil-Roldán, of the company Starlab. In this outing, numerous examples of species of plants easily recognizable were found on the ground, which are very useful for studying phenology, as their rhythms and manifestations (such as flowering) are closely linked to seasonal climatic periods. This is the case of the poppy (Papaver rhoeas) or the Spanish broom (Spartium junceum), which are very abundant in the area. This fact allowed the attendees to practice thoroughly how to provide useful observations for scientists and which details they have to look for.

You can check the global results of BioBlitzBcn 2019 in this summary published on its website.

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