Volunteers with the Phenology Monitoring Project record observations of plant phenology and wildlife activity for at designated salt marsh monitoring trails.
About the Phenology Monitoring Project
Phenology is the study of the timing of seasonal plant and animal life-cycle events, including the flowering of plants, ripening of fruit, the emergence of insects, and migration of birds. Life-cycle events influence the abundance and distribution of organisms, which affects food webs, ecosystem services, and global cycles of water and carbon. The timing, duration and intensity of these events are sensitive to seasonal and long-term changes in temperature and precipitation. Monitoring phenological events can aid in the assessment of the vulnerability of species, populations, and ecological communities to ongoing climate change. Volunteers with the Phenology Monitoring Project will record observations of plant phenology and wildlife activity for selected species at designated salt marsh monitoring trails. Volunteers will visit designated monitoring sites along the trails on a weekly basis. Following a written protocol, the phenological stages (e.g. leaf break, flower buds) will be recorded for marked plants within the site. Volunteers will also listen and watch for selected bird species and conduct a visual inspection for insect species. Over time this will provide information for research on how species are adjusting to shifts in season and sea level rise occurring as the climate changes.