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PopClock is a partnership between Appalachian Lab (AL) and volunteers to study climate change impacts on poplar trees. With funding from the National Science Foundation, AL scientists are examining how forest trees are responding to rapidly changing climatic conditions.

We completed the first part of this project in which we worked with US and Canadian volunteers, or “citizen scientists,” to collect ground-based observations of spring leaf emergence and fall color change of two poplar species—balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera) and quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides). These observations helped inform maps of “green-up” and “green-down,” which we will combine with genetic information to identify areas where trees are most and least adapted to climate change. The results will be an important tool for forest management. We partnered with the National Phenology Network (NPN), Project Budburst, and Plant Watch to recruit volunteers and manage the on-the-ground data. We also for

We continue to work with a small subset of volunteers to help our science team examine the use of tiny remote sensors to measure forest tree phenology. Determining the efficacy of these sensors will assist with our research on forest responses to rapidly changing climatic conditions.

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