Phenology and climate relationships in aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) forest and woodland communities of southwestern Colorado

Ecological Indicators
By: , and 

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Abstract

Trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) occurs over wide geographical, latitudinal, elevational, and environmental gradients, making it a favorable candidate for a study of phenology and climate relationships. Aspen forests and woodlands provide numerous ecosystem services, such as high primary productivity and biodiversity, retention and storage of environmental variables (precipitation, temperature, snow–water equivalent) that affect the spring and fall phenology of the aspen woodland communities of southwestern Colorado. We assessed the land surface phenology of aspen woodlands using two phenology indices, start of season time (SOST) and end of season time (EOST), from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) database of conterminous U.S. phenological indicators over an 11-year time period (2001–2011). These indicators were developed with 250 m resolution remotely sensed data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer processed to highlight vegetation response. We compiled data on SOST, EOST, elevation, precipitation, air temperature, and snow water equivalent (SWE) for selected sites having more than 80% cover by aspen woodland communities. In the 11-year time frame of our study, EOST had significant positive correlation with minimum fall temperature and significant negative correlation with fall precipitation. SOST had a significant positive correlation with spring SWE and spring maximum temperature.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Phenology and climate relationships in aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) forest and woodland communities of southwestern Colorado
Series title Ecological Indicators
DOI 10.1016/j.ecolind.2014.05.033
Volume 48
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 9 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Ecological Indicators
First page 189
Last page 197
Country United States
State Colorado
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N