Our plant phenology program, begun in 2007, monitors the timing of certain developmental stages within the plant community commonly found in moist acidic tussock and dry heath tundra. It is an examination of the development and timing of commonly occurring plant species and how they are affected by a changing climate. Download data from 2007-2011 with the links on the right.
The protocol is based on the ITEX (www.geog.ubc.ca/itex) protocol for the Toolik Snowfence Experiment.
Phenological events of interest are 1) Date snowfree, 2) First leaf evident, 3) First flower bud visible, 4) First flower open, 5) First petal drop, 6) Last petal drop, 7) First seed dispersal, 8) First color change, and 9) Last color change. Observations begin in late May with two observations per week until mid-June. The snowfree date is recorded for the plot in general, after which the field researcher examines the species of interest by scanning the entire plot for the next event. After mid-June, observations are made one time per week until signs of senescence begin, at which time observations resume twice per week. For all other phenological events, the first date on which the event occurs for each species is recorded.
If you use data from this page, please cite the data according to the following format:
Environmental Data Center Team. Year of data retrieval. Plant phenological monitoring program at Toolik, Alaska. Toolik Field Station, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775. http://toolik.alaska.edu/edc/biotic_monitoring/plant_phenology.php
The EDC plant phenology dataset is available for download. Click the button below to read and agree to the conditions of use before downloading the data.
Species of Interest
Andromeda polifolia (Bog Rosemary)
Arctostaphylos alpina (Alpine Bearberry)
Betula nana (Dwarf Birch)
Carex bigelowii (Bigelow's Sedge)
Cassiope tetragona (Mountain Heather)
Diapensia lapponica (Pincushion)
Empetrum nigrum (Crowberry)
Eriophorum vaginatum (Tussock Cottongrass)
Ledum palustre (Labrador Tea)
Loiseleuria procumbens (Alpine Azalea)
Polygonum bistorta (Alpine Bistort)
Rubus chamaemorus (Cloudberry)
Salix pulchra (Diamond-leaf Willow)
Vaccinium uliginosum (Bog Blueberry)
Vaccinium vitis-idaea (Bog Cranberry)