The AMC expanded our Mountain Watch plant monitoring project in the Northeast to include the entire Appalachian Mountain region. This community science project is tracking how plant annual fruiting and flowering time (phenology) is responding to climate change. Shifts in plants flower and fruiting cycles can be used as climate change bioindicators. By seeing how the lifecycle of plants are changing throughout the entire AT region, we can determine the resilience of the Appalachian Mountains region and its capacity to be a climate refugia.
This research and data collection is performed by hikers and outdoor enthusiasts like you! To get involved download the free iNaturalist app, make an account, and under projects search and join the “Flowers and Fauna along the Appalachian Trail Corridor” project. Once a part of the project, go for a hike on or by the Appalachian Trail and snap photos of the plants and animals you see. Make sure your location settings are on, so the location of your observation is recorded. Once uploaded AMC researchers will review your submitted photo and confirm or assign phenophases (flowering or fruiting stage) to the images of our target species. Photos are needed every year from spring (flowering) through summer and fall (fruiting) to continue building our dataset on the relationship between plant phenology and climate change. Join us today!