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Plants & Pollinators

The influences of changing phenology can have detrimental effects on food supplies and ecosystem sustainability.  Plants that flower earlier than their pollinators can suffer from reduced or no pollination, which results in low or no seed or fruit production.  Increased temperatures can lead to plant ranges slowly drifting northward or to higher elevations over time.  Reporting when and what you see in plants throughout the seasons is a very important step to helping both humans and animals adapt to a rapidly changing landscape.

Project BudBurst runs spring through autumn to monitor plants as the seasons change.  NatureWatchers collect ecological data based on the timing of leafing, flowering, and fruiting of plants (plant phenophases) targeting 97 native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses.  This data gives scientists insights into prevailing climatic characteristics in a region over time.  The site also houses some great online plant identification guides!

The Great Sunflower Project gathers information about urban, suburban and rural bees and other pollinators visiting sunflowers in your yard and garden.

The North American Butterfly Association (NABA) Butterfly Counts gather data to help monitor butterfly populations, give butterfly enthusiasts the opportunity to meet one another and network, and raise awareness through butterfly-themed events.

The Monarch Larva Monitoring Project (MLMP) is a citizen science project involving volunteers from across the United States and Canada who collect data on larval monarch populations and milkweed habitat, with a focus on monarch distribution and abundance during the breeding season in North America.