Coordinating Phenology Monitoring and Research Across the LTER Network
Phenology is a critical aspect of nearly all ecological phenomena and processes. We propose a brain storming workgroup to take the next step in coordinating phenology monitoring and research across the LTER Network. The inspiration for this working group proposal has its roots in the 2006 ASM working group, the 2007 Sevilleta Workshop and the 2007 AGU Fall Meeting (see working group material). The paper by Henebry et al. 2007, "A White Paper on Phenology across LTER", provides overview, background, and potential starting points for this session.
We suggest that the workgroup identify a few pressing phenology-related questions that LTER sites are in a unique and strong position to address; for example, regional variation in the seasonal onset of primary productivity and its relationship to ecosystem water dynamics. The group will then outline the next steps needed to implement a coordinated research program to answer the research questions. Elements of an LTER phenology program can capitalize on USA National Phenology Network services such as species lists, standardized observation and reporting protocols, and data archive. Other elements to consider are coordination with NEON plans, and the role and extent of USA-NPN facilitation.
Suggested products of this session are a working document for the LNO to be used as a guide for the establishment and implementation of a unified LTER-wide phenology program, and a time line for the developing and implementing this program.