Tierney, G., B. Mitchell;, A. Miller-Rushing, J. Katz, E. Denny, C. Brauer, T. Donovan, A. D. Richardson, M. Toomey, A. Kozlowski, J. Weltzin, K. Gerst, E. Sharron, O. Sonnentag, and F. Dieffenbach. 2013. Phenology monitoring protocol: Northeast Temperate Network. Natural Resource Report. NPS/NETN/NRR—2013/681. National Park Service. Fort Collins, Colorado. Published Report-2197242.
Phenology is critical to many aspects of human life and nearly all ecological relationships and processes. As global climate continues to warm and change, widespread shifts in phenological patterns are occurring across the globe, and more change is inevitable. This protocol has been developed to provide standardized methods for monitoring phenology within the National Park Service (NPS) Northeast Temperate Network (NETN), as part of the NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program (I&M). NETN encompasses the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (APPA), Acadia National Park (ACAD), the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area (BOHA), and 10 national historical parks and national historic sites in the Northeastern United States. This protocol was developed in collaboration with and relies upon the procedures and infrastructure of the USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN), including Nature’s Notebook, USA-NPN’s online plant and animal phenology observation program (www.nn.usanpn.org). Organized in 2007, USA-NPN is a nation-wide partnership among federal agencies, schools and universities, citizen volunteers, and others to monitor and understand the influence of seasonal cycles on the nation’s biological resources. The overall goal of NETN’s phenology monitoring program is to determine trends in the phenology of key species in order to assist park managers with the detection and mitigation of the effects of climate change on park resources. An additional programmatic goal is to interest and educate park visitors and staff, as well as a cadre of volunteer monitors.