Land surface phenology

By: , and 



Certain vegetation types (e.g., deciduous shrubs, deciduous trees, grasslands) have distinct life cycles marked by the growth and senescence of leaves and periods of enhanced photosynthetic activity. Where these types exist, recurring changes in foliage alter the reflectance of electromagnetic radiation from the land surface, which can be measured using remote sensors. The timing of these recurring changes in reflectance is called land surface phenology (LSP). During recent decades, a variety of methods have been used to derive LSP metrics from time series of reflectance measurements acquired by satellite-borne sensors. In contrast to conventional phenology observations, LSP metrics represent the timing of reflectance changes that are driven by the aggregate activity of vegetation within the areal unit measured by the satellite sensor and do not directly provide information about the phenology of individual plants, species, or their phenophases. Despite the generalized nature of satellite sensor-derived measurements, they have proven useful for studying changes in LSP associated with various phenomena. This chapter provides a detailed overview of the use of satellite remote sensing to monitor LSP. First, the theoretical basis for the application of satellite remote sensing to the study of vegetation phenology is presented. After establishing a theoretical foundation for LSP, methods of deriving and validating LSP metrics are discussed. This chapter concludes with a discussion of major research findings and current and future research directions.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Land surface phenology
DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-25047-7_4
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Contributing office(s) North Central Climate Science Center
Description 27 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Title Biophysical Applications of Satellite Remote Sensing
First page 99
Last page 125