National Park Service

Sonoran Desert I&M Network (SODN)


Vegetation monitoring, Tumacácori NHP
Marking a transect, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

The intent of park vital signs monitoring is to track a subset of physical, chemical, and biological elements and processes of park ecosystems that are selected to represent the overall health or condition of park resources, known or hypothesized effects of stressors, or elements that have important human values.

The elements and processes that are monitored are a subset of the total suite of natural resources that park managers are directed to preserve "unimpaired for future generations," including water, air, geological resources, plants and animals, and the various ecological, biological, and physical processes that act on those resources.

In situations where natural areas have been so highly altered that physical and biological processes no longer operate (e.g., control of fires and floods in developed areas), information obtained through monitoring can help managers understand how to develop the most effective approach to restoration or, in cases where restoration is impossible, ecologically sound management.

Sonoran Desert Network vital signs and sampling protocols

Sonoran Desert Network monitoring webpages are primarily organized by sampling protocol because:

  • Many protocols address multiple vital signs.
  • Monitoring data, results, and reports are almost always linked to an individual protocol.

⇑ To Top of Page

Last Updated: December 30, 2016 Contact Webmaster