Plant phenology research and monitoring pilot project at Milner Gardens & Woodland
Pyett, Jessica R.
Klassen, Heather A.
Thelin, Larissa C.
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Global climate is changing and its impacts can be seen throughout Vancouver Island. This research studies the relationships between climate and coastal plant phenological development in order to build our understanding of how individual species and ecosystems on Vancouver Island are currently responding to climate. In 2016, a pilot project was initiated at Milner Gardens & Woodland in the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region to establish field data collection and management protocols contributing to plant phenology research and monitoring on southeastern Vancouver Island. Data collection methods included both in-person and field camera observations of phenophases throughout the growing season. Data management tasks included the development of a photo observation database and contribution to an international online phenology observation network. Over time, we expect that the data collected will illustrate shifts in the timing of both the growing season and plant development phases on southeastern Vancouver Island, as well as shifts in climatic trends in the study area. Increased understanding of species and ecosystem shifts will contribute to land management and ecosystem conservation in the future.