USA NPN National Phenology Network

Taking the Pulse of Our Planet

You are here

Phenology supports decision making in natural resources management

buffelgrass in Sonoran desert

Phenology data can inform invasive species management by identifying periods of reproduction and green-up that are critical for mechanical removal or herbicide application. Buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare), an aggressive non-native species, is spreading rapidly and introducing fire to the sensitive Sonoran Desert. Fires fueled by buffelgrass can be devastating to native desert plants as well as adjacent homes and structures. Herbicide is a preferred treatment option due to rugged and inaccessible terrain. Treatments should be scheduled to maximize buffelgrass greenness while minimizing damage to native species.

Data collected through Nature’s Notebook on seed production showed that there are brief windows of opportunity for mechanical control to minimize seed spread. Data on canopy foliar greenness can help managers identify appropriate times to apply herbicide to minimize impact to other species. 

Learn more about the Tucson Buffelgrass Montoring Network.

Share this content.