Phenology can be described as the study of the timing of recurring biological events, the causes of their timing, and the relationship among phases of the same or different species. Phenological events include flowering, leaf out, migrations, hibernation, and other similar seasonal biological events. The progression of seasonality is a crucial element of human life, e.g., agriculture, gardening, health, cultural events, and recreation; and ecological relationships and processes, e.g., plant-pollinator and predator-prey relationships, competition, and carbon and water cycling.
The overall goal of the Northeast Temperate Network’s phenology monitoring program is to support phenological observation over time of key species in order to assist park management. An additional programmatic goal is that phenology monitoring is a great tool to involve and educate park visitors and staff, as well as a cadre of volunteer monitors. In support of these goals, the Northeast Temperate Network’s phenology protocol focuses network-wide efforts on a short list of selected species in order to provide sufficient data to determine trends. Fifteen plant and 12 animal species occurring within two core habitats (Northern hardwood forest and Vernal pools) and five optional park habitats have been selected for phenology monitoring.
This program was developed in collaboration with the USA National Phenological Network (USA-NPN; www.usanpn.org). The USA-NPN promotes broad understanding of plant and animal phenology and makes phenology data and related information freely available to scientists, resource managers and the public to aid in decision-making and adaptation to changing environmental conditions. Since our phenology protocol is no longer being supported, we encourage interested individuals and groups to take advantage of the tools maintained by USA-NPN.
The Northeast Temperate Network provides technical assistance to parks that elect to implement this turnkey protocol.
Northeast Temperate Network Phenology MaterialsClick on the links below to view protocols, reports, briefs, and other materials
Last updated: December 5, 2019