What is phenology?
Phenology is the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate. Examples include the timing of leafing and flowering, agricultural crop stages, insect emergence, and animal migration. All of these events are sensitive and integrative measures of climatic variation and change, are relatively simple to record and understand, and are vital to both the scientific and public interest.
Why monitor phenology?
Phenology is an excellent global change indicator. Combining phenological information with climate forecasts yields insight into future conditions and enables human adaptation to ongoing and future climate change. In addition, phenological data are useful in agriculture, drought monitoring, and wildfire risk assessment, as well as management of invasive species, pests, and infectious diseases.
What is the USA-NPN?
The USA National Phenology Network (www.usanpn.org) is a collaboration among federal agencies, environmental networks and field stations, educational institutions, and individuals from the public, all making phenological observations. The USA-NPN was recently established to organize and support large-scale participation and offers standard protocols and data management capabilities for phenological observations. Please consider contributing to this valuable enterprise! You can enter data from your sunflower here.