The USA National Phenology Network's Buffelgrass Green-up Forecast map products

Katharine L. Gerst, Theresa M. Crimmins, Erin Posthumus, R. Lee Marsh, Jeff Switzer, Cynthia Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris syn. Pennisetum ciliare) was introduced to Sonoran Desert in the early 20th century and has become widespread at low elevations. This perennial bunchgrass accumulates abundant biomass that can carry fires through ecosystems not adapted to fire, resulting in devastating impacts for native cacti and other plant and animal life. Buffelgrass is most effectively managed through the application of herbicide when the grass is at least 50% green. Because the grass rapidly greens up following summer monsoon rainfall, it is possible to forecast green-up using daily rainfall measurements. In 2019, the USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN) released daily Buffelgrass Green-up Forecast maps for the state of Arizona based on the PRISM 4 km daily total precipitation product. The daily digital Buffelgrass Green-up Forecast maps are a freely available data product and meet the FAIR principles of findability, accessibility, interoperability and reusability. They are permanently archived and publicly accessible as raster and image layers from the USA-NPN website. These map layers support planning the timing of management activities to maximize buffelgrass treatment efficacy and researchers seeking to incorporate daily estimates of buffelgrass greenness in their analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12109
JournalEcological Solutions and Evidence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021


  • Cenchrus ciliaris
  • Pennisetum ciliare
  • buffelgrass
  • forecast
  • phenology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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