Workflows to Support Integrated Predictive Science Capacity: Forecasting Invasive Species for Natural Resource Planning and Risk Assessment

Science Center Objects

Insect pests cost billions of dollars per year globally, negatively impacting food crops and infrastructure and contributing to the spread of disease. Timely information regarding developmental stages of pests can facilitate early detection and control, increasing efficiency and effectiveness. To address this need, the USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN) created a suite of “Pheno Forecast”...

Insect pests cost billions of dollars per year globally, negatively impacting food crops and infrastructure and contributing to the spread of disease. Timely information regarding developmental stages of pests can facilitate early detection and control, increasing efficiency and effectiveness. To address this need, the USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN) created a suite of “Pheno Forecast” map products relevant to science and management. Pheno Forecasts indicate, for a specified day, the status of the insect’s target life cycle stage in real time across the contiguous United States. These risk maps enhance decision-making and short-term planning by both natural resource managers and members of the public.  The approach for stakeholder engagement and the technical workflows developed to generate the Pheno Forecast maps are replicable and readily transferrable within USGS. The USA-NPN staff sought input and critique of the maps and delivery from end users over the course of product and tool development and used this input to shape the products.



Related links and outputs.—

  • Regional workshops with stakeholders and end-users:
    • Southern Arizona Resource Managers Pilot Meeting; April, 2018; Tucson, AZ
    • Northeast Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change Phenology Workshop; July, 2018; Amherst, MA
    • Southwest Society for Ecological Restoration Chapter Meeting; September, 2018; Flagstaff, AZ
    • Southwest Vegetation Management Association Meeting; October, 2018; Tucson, AZ
    • Buffelgrass Pheno Forecast Working Group; March, 2019; Tucson, AZ
  • Map products:  Pheno Forecast maps (real-time and six-day forecasts) for 12 species of insect pests.  Pheno Forecast maps indicate, for a specified day, the status of the insect’s target life cycle stage in real-time across the contiguous United States. Maps are available via the USA-NPN visualization tool (www.usanpn.org/data/visualizations) and the USA-NPN website (www.usanpn.org/data/forecasts). These maps are based on accumulated temperature thresholds associated with critical life cycle stages of these species and the USA-NPN Accumulated Growing Degree Day raster map products (Crimmins et al. 2017).
  • Extended geospatial APIs:  These include the endpoints and code that serves the Pheno Forecast maps on the USA-NPN visualization tool. Relevant code posted to GitHub: https://github.com/usa-npn/npn-geo-services
  • Publicly available workflow:  Workflow to generate the raster Pheno Forecast maps was augmented with to generate, cache, and manage the pest maps. Code posted to GitHub: https://github.com/usa-npn/gridded_models 
  • Email-based notification service:  Users that sign up to receive species-specific notifications are sent two emails: one when the species is anticipated to transition into the life stage of interest within a two-week period at their location, and then again when the transition is anticipated within six days. Code leverages Constant Contact to notify observers about pests active in their area posted to GitHub: https://github.com/usa-npn/springcasting/tree/pest-notification
  • Pest Patrol campaign developed and launched:  A field data collection campaign for model parameterization and validation.  Pest Patrol (www.usanpn.org/nn/PestPatrol) is supported through Nature’s Notebook (www.naturesnotebook.org), the USA-NPN ground-based plant and animal phenology observing program.
  • Outreach and communication:
  • Stakeholder/User input:  We continue to actively seek feedback on map products, and on notification format and utility, forecast accuracy, and the need to extend maps to additional species via a Feedback Form on the Pheno Forecast webpage: www.usanpn.org/data/forecasts
  • Interpretive material for forecast maps: Additional interpretive material is available at www.usanpn.org/data/forecasts
  • Peer-reviewed manuscript:  Article describing the USA-NPN’s Pheno Forecast products and our process for generating these maps, including how we obtained stakeholder input to shape the products, the technical approaches taken to make the maps, and our approach for delivering the maps and soliciting feedback. 
    • Crimmins, TM, K.L. Gerst, D.G. Huerta, R.L. Marsh, E.E. Posthumus, A.H. Rosemartin, J. Switzer, J.F. Weltzin, L. Coop, N. Dietschler, D.A. Herms, S. Limbu, R.T. Trotter III, and M. Whitmore. 2020. Short-term forecasts of insect phenology inform pest management. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. saz026. DOI: 10.1093/aesa/saz026.
  • Extension to invasive grasses:  Extend capacity to make predictions for buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare) using PRISM daily precipitation data; maps scheduled to go live May, 2019.