PAMF Frequently Asked Questions

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What do we mean by “Framework” in the Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework?

The “Framework” in Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework (PAMF) refers to the three structural pieces that allow for adaptive management to happen. These three pieces, the monitoring protocol, predictive models, and central database, provide the structure for adaptive management to occur. In short, the three components of this Framework allow for the results of every single Phragmites treatment (how effective it was) to shape all future treatments. The monitoring protocol makes sure that participants collect the right information on how each treatment worked for their land, the predictive models provide an unbiased, quantitative way to choose a particular treatment for each participant and each Phragmites patch, and the central database provides an online location for participants to sign up for PAMF, enter their monitoring data, and receive treatment guidance that is site-specific and up-to-date. These key pieces are necessary to ensure the long-term process of learning by doing that is at the core of adaptive management.

What is the monitoring protocol?

This monitoring protocol is being developed in coordination with expert partners and is a primary building block of PAMF. Using it and uploading data into the information portal will allow consistent measurement of treatment results over time and across sites, and will help contribute to the improvement of the computer model used to develop site-specific management recommendations. It is scalable for use on different sized management areas and flexible, such that it can be used at different sized sites and given different management objectives.

How is this different from other monitoring programs or BMP guides?

We know that most land managers are already monitoring their work on Phragmites and many groups have already published best management practices. This initiative is not intended to duplicate those efforts, but to centralize them so that all land managers in the Great Lakes basin can have the best known information on how to manage Phragmites based on the successes and failures of others in the region. Essentially, PAMF will continually produce an updated, crowd-sourced BMP guide!

What is the model?

This question is one of the toughest to explain without using too much technical language, but bear with us! Ecosystems have a lot of interconnected parts – too many to consider at once – so we simplify the way we learn about ecosystems through the use of models. A model is just a simplified way of looking at an ecosystem, and we use models to answer specific questions about how an ecosystem works.

 Once we know what questions we want to ask, we can select the parts of the ecosystem most important to answering these questions and describe their relationship through the use of mathematical equations. These mathematical equations are the model, and we can input data into the model and receive output that helps us answer our questions.

In the case of PAMF, we are building a special type of model called a predictive model to help us understand how Phragmites responds to different management actions. Annual monitoring data collected from PAMF participants is input into the model and then we can compare the output with our original predictions. As we collect more real-world data, our models get better and make more accurate predictions, and we also learn which management actions produce the best results!

What’s involved if I join PAMF?

If you join us as a partner, you will need to use the PAMF monitoring protocol in your field surveys before and after Phragmites treatment. You will need to be registered for our online portal, and will need to submit monitoring data through this portal. We will provide you with assistance and training on how to use the PAMF standardized monitoring protocol and how to use the online portal to register and enter your monitoring data.

How do I join PAMF?

We’d love to hear from you! Contact Karen Alexander for more information.

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