Burns Bog Plant Monitoring Program
Community members can now help in this citizen science program!
A student developed program aimed to increase awareness surrounding the bog flora! By monitoring the life cycle of plant species within the bog, volunteers can help track the changes in the bog due to climate change.
What is the Plant Monitoring Program?
This plant monitoring program is designed to help identify ecological changes that may be affecting our environment. It allows citizens to get involved by recording flowering and decaying times for selected plant species within Burns Bog, and submitting these observations to our online database. By monitoring the life cycles of plants, citizens can help to reveal the potential impacts of climate change, assess the overall health of the bog and track invasive species. Our goal is to encourage the public to get involved in helping discover how our environment is changing in the face of climate change, and to raise overall awareness of the importance of Burns Bog.
Why monitor plants?
Bogs represent unique ecosystems that are susceptible to climatic changes. Temperature increases in North America are expected to continue and be greater than the global average. However the impact this will have on the moisture balance of bogs and overall bog health is unknown. Certain plant species bloom every spring as a response to rising temperatures. With the warming climate and earlier spring arrival, some species are showing trends to earlier blooming. There are significant ecosystem wide implications of earlier spring arrival, including changes in plant species composition, changes in timing and distribution of pests and disease, as well as potentially disrupted ecological interactions.
By reporting to the Plant Monitoring Program the species found within Burns Bog, you can help researchers determine how bog species are responding to climate change in your community. Understanding the changes that are occurring in the bog are essential to understanding the well being of the bog and will help protect the bog in the future.
Start watching your plant community closely in the spring, checking for new flower buds, and take notes on the observation sheet. Click here to see what plants have been selected for Burns Bog. Submit your observations by clicking the “SUBMIT” button, and view the updated results by clicking the “VIEW” button.
If you need help, please consult The Beginner’s Guide to Burns Bog Flora (Sterndale-Bennett, 2013) or contact the Burns Bog Conservation Society. Please do not collect wildflowers or walk off the Burns Bog boardwalk.