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Shifting relative importance of climatic constraints on land surface phenology


Garonna, Irene; de Jong, Rogier; Stöckli, Reto; Schmid, Bernhard; Schenkel, David; Schimel, David S; Schaepman, Michael E (2018). Shifting relative importance of climatic constraints on land surface phenology. Environmental Research Letters, 13(2):024025.

Abstract

Land surface phenology (LSP), the study of seasonal dynamics of vegetated land surfaces from remote sensing, is a key indicator of global change, that both responds to and influences weather and climate. The effects of climatic changes on LSP depend on the relative importance of climatic constraints in specific regions—which are not well understood at global scale. Understanding the climatic constraints that underlie LSP is crucial for explaining climate change effects on global vegetation phenology.
We used a combination of modelled and remotely-sensed vegetation activity records to quantify the interplay of three climatic constraints on land surface phenology (namely minimum temperature, moisture availability, and photoperiod), as well as the dynamic nature of these constraints. Our study examined trends and the relative importance of the three constrains at the start and the end of the growing season over eight global environmental zones, for the past three decades.
Our analysis revealed widespread shifts in the relative importance of climatic constraints in the temperate and boreal biomes during the 1982–2011 period. These changes in the relative importance of the three climatic constraints, which ranged up to 8% since 1982 levels, varied with latitude and between start and end of the growing season. We found a reduced influence of minimum temperature on start and end of season in all environmental zones considered, with a biome-dependent effect on moisture and photoperiod constraints. For the end of season, we report that the influence of moisture has on average increased for both the temperate and boreal biomes over 8.99 million km2. A shifting relative importance of climatic constraints on LSP has implications both for understanding changes and for improving how they may be modelled at large scales.

Abstract

Land surface phenology (LSP), the study of seasonal dynamics of vegetated land surfaces from remote sensing, is a key indicator of global change, that both responds to and influences weather and climate. The effects of climatic changes on LSP depend on the relative importance of climatic constraints in specific regions—which are not well understood at global scale. Understanding the climatic constraints that underlie LSP is crucial for explaining climate change effects on global vegetation phenology.
We used a combination of modelled and remotely-sensed vegetation activity records to quantify the interplay of three climatic constraints on land surface phenology (namely minimum temperature, moisture availability, and photoperiod), as well as the dynamic nature of these constraints. Our study examined trends and the relative importance of the three constrains at the start and the end of the growing season over eight global environmental zones, for the past three decades.
Our analysis revealed widespread shifts in the relative importance of climatic constraints in the temperate and boreal biomes during the 1982–2011 period. These changes in the relative importance of the three climatic constraints, which ranged up to 8% since 1982 levels, varied with latitude and between start and end of the growing season. We found a reduced influence of minimum temperature on start and end of season in all environmental zones considered, with a biome-dependent effect on moisture and photoperiod constraints. For the end of season, we report that the influence of moisture has on average increased for both the temperate and boreal biomes over 8.99 million km2. A shifting relative importance of climatic constraints on LSP has implications both for understanding changes and for improving how they may be modelled at large scales.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:16 Mar 2018 15:05
Last Modified:24 Apr 2018 13:36
Publisher:IOP Publishing
ISSN:1748-9326
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aaa17b

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