Phenology is a branch of science that studies the relationships between periodic biological events-usually the life cycles of plants and animals-and environmental changes.
Phenology can be very useful as part of an integrated pest management (IPM) program because it helps to properly time controls to target the most susceptible life stage of the pest. Insects are particularly well suited to predictions based on phenology because, as cold-blooded animals, their growth and development is directly correlated with weather conditions, particularly temperature. Indicator plants, common plants that are typically not associated with the pest insect whose life stage they predict, can be used to determine when pest outbreaks are likely to occur.
Development of tree and shrub pests, which are phonological events, can be estimated using a Modified base 50 F degree-day calculation.
This map represents the accumulation of degree days for any given location in Wisconsin. A degree-day is a unit of heat for each degree above the base temperature in a 24 hour period. This map uses a base temperature of 50 degrees F and begins calculating degree days from January 1st of the current year. Find your location on the map and see what color corresponds with that location. Then, find that color in the color bar below the map to determine how many degree days have accumulated for your location since January 1st.
If you have any input about the site or would like something added, please email us.