|Goal||Help track the health of redwood forests|
|Task||Volunteer to monitor ferns in our forests|
|Where||Global, anywhere on the planet California|
Help Track the Health of Redwood Forests
In 2008, League scientist Emily Burns discovered that the height of the most common plant in the coast redwood forest is affected by how much rain and fog fall in the woods. Western sword fern (Polystichum munitum) has tall fronds in wet redwood forests and much shorter fronds in dry forests. For this reason, sword fern is an important indicator of climate change and we are studying these ferns to detect drought in the redwood forest.
Just by monitoring the ferns on the forest floor, you can help League scientists learn how changes in climate may be affecting redwood forest habitats. You can help us track changes in these ferns in your local forest by photographing and taking measurements of ferns through our Fern Watch Project on the free iNaturalist App
|How to Join||
How to Get Involved
Locate Western sword fern on the forest floor throughout the coast redwood ecosystem and other Californian forests. Its fronds reach lengths of more than 1 meter and typically live for approximately 30 months. Fiddleheads emerge in spring.
Add pictures and frond measurements of your fern observations through iNaturalist. Download the iNaturalist app on your iPhone or Android. Create an iNaturalist account and join the Fern Watch project.
What Did You See?
Fiddleheads—Do you see any new leaves emerging as curled fiddleheads? If you see at least one fiddlehead record YES.
|Ideal Age Group||Elementary school (6 - 10 years), Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families|
|Ideal Frequency||Per month|
|Average Time||Less than an hour|
|Spend the Time||outdoors|
|Type of Activity||On a walk, run, On a hike|
|Tags||climate, drought, fern, fog, redwoods, sword ferns|
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