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National Phenology Network

Phenology: the Pulse of Our Planet.

"Phenology is the study of periodic plant and animal life cycleevents and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannualvariations in climate. Examples include the timing of leafing andflowering, agricultural crop stages, insect emergence, and animalmigration. All of these events are sensitive measures of climaticvariation and change, are relatively simple to record and understand,and are vital to both the scientific and public interest.

"Phenologycan be used as a predictor for a variety of processes and variables ofimportance at local to global scales. Phenology modulates the abundanceand diversity of organisms, their inter-specific interactions, theirecological functions, and their effects on fluxes in water, energy, andchemical elements at various scales. Phenological data and models areuseful in agriculture, drought monitoring, and wildfire riskassessment, as well as management of invasive species, pests, andinfectious diseases. Integration of spatially-extensivephenological data and models with both short and long-term climaticforecasts offer a powerful agent for human adaptation to ongoing andfuture climate change. To fully utilize the value in phenological data, however, a new data resource is required –a large-scale network of integrated phenological observations, linkedwith other relevant data sources, and the tools to analyze these dataat multiple scales.

"A USA National PhenologyNetwork (USA-NPN) is currently being designed and organized to engagefederal agencies, environmental networks and field stations,educational institutions, and mass participation by citizen scientists.The initial phase in Spring 2007 will establish a continental-scalenetwork focused on phenological observations of a few regionallyappropriate native plant species and nationally-cultivated indicatorplants (e.g., lilacs)." [from website]

National Phenology Network

Sub-Topics
Biology (tree), Phenology
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National
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