National Park Service

Sonoran Desert I&M Network (SODN)

Monitoring Protocols and Vital Signs

Sampling biological soil crusts
Sampling biological soil crusts.

Monitoring protocols describe what will be measured where, how, and how often. They are detailed study plans designed to ensure that changes detected by monitoring are actually occurring—that is, that they are the result of actual changes happening in a park, rather than the result of differences in how the data were collected.

Each monitoring protocol has two main parts: (1) a protocol narrative that explains why a particular vital sign was chosen for monitoring and establishes a framework for how it will be monitored and how the monitoring project will be managed, and (2) a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) that explain, in a step-by-step manner, how each procedure will be accomplished.

Most protocols address multiple vital signs. The table below shows the relationship between SODN monitoring protocols and vital signs.

Active Protocols Vital Signs Status
Air Quality Ozone
Visibility and particulate matter
Wet and dry deposition
Published
Climate Broad-scale climate
Mid-scale climate
Under development
Invasive Exotic Plants Invasive exotic plants Under development
Groundwater Groundwater quality Published
Landbirds Landbird community dynamics Published
Seeps, Springs, and Tinajas Core water quality parameters
Exotic plant species: Early detection
Exotic plant species: Status and trends
Microorganisms
Surface water quantity
Vegetation community dynamics
Under development
Streams Aquatic macroinvertebrates
Channel morphology
Core water quality parameters
Exotic plant species: Early detection
Exotic plant species: Status and trends
Fish community dynamics
Microorganisms
Nutrient dynamics/Basic ions
Pollutant metals
Surface water quantity
Vegetation community dynamics
Under development
Terrestrial Wildlife Large mammals
Nocturnal rodents
Sonoran pronghorn
Terrestrial lizards
Under development
Vegetation & Soils Biological soil crusts
Exotic plant species: Early detection
Exotic plant species: Status and trends
Soil aggregate stability
Soil cover
Vegetation lifeform abundance
Vegetation community dynamics
Published

⇑ To Top of Page

Last Updated: December 30, 2016 Contact Webmaster