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Phenology Validation

Last modified by Mariela Soto-Berelov on 2015/04/17 13:46

Satellite Phenology Validation

N Restrepo-Coupe *1, A Huete1, K Davies1

1  Plant Functional Biology and Climate Change Cluster, University of Technology Sydney



Phenology is the study of the timing of recurring climate or weather-driven biological events, the causes of their periodicity, their relationship with biotic (e.g. fruit availability) and abiotic (e.g. rain) drivers and the interrelations between the seasonal cycle of the same or different species.  Regional and continental scale phenology are often characterised with the use of different Remote Sensing (RS) products (e.g. vegetation indices) obtained from coarse resolution, high-temporal frequency satellites such as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). The Australian phenology product (derived from the MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index, EVI) depicts the vegetation status of a complex array of ecosystems ranging from arid and semi-arid savannas and grasslands to sclerophyll and tropical forests. These ecosystems respond differently to climate drivers presenting technical challenges when interpreting and deriving satellite and in-situ phenology.  Here we present a literature review of the different methods used to study in-situ phenology: eddy covariance flux tower measurements (EC), digital repeat photography (phenocams), Leaf Area Index, and citizen science, to name a few. We document our approach to data processing of EC and optical indices, with an emphasis (instrument set-up and data collection) on the use of phenocams and the challenges imposed by Australian ecosystems. We demonstrate how in-situ measurements can be used for the validation and the interpretation of satellite-derived phenology, and how they contribute to the understanding of water and carbon flux seasonal cycles.

Key Points

• Explanation of common phenology metrics with a focus on those most appropriate for Australian ecosystems.

• Review of the various methods used for validating satellite derived phenology products, particularly those applicable in Australia.

• Multi-scale integration of satellite data with in-situ observations of eddy covariance fluxes, pheno-camera derived greenness indices, and other field observations of vegetation phenology.

• Advantages and challenges in using time-lapse camera (phenocams) and data analysis strategies.

Link to the rest of the chapter

Created by Mariela Soto-Berelov on 2013/03/26 13:14

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