Can EVI-derived land-surface phenology be used as a surrogate for phenology of canopy photosynthesis?

TitleCan EVI-derived land-surface phenology be used as a surrogate for phenology of canopy photosynthesis?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsShen M, Tang Y, Desai AR, Gough C, Chen J
JournalInternational Journal of Remote Sensing
Volume35
Issue3
Pagination1162 - 1174
Date Published02/2014
KeywordsREMOTE SENSING
Abstract

Canopy phenology plays a prominent role in determining the timing and magnitude of carbon uptake by many ecosystems. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Global Land Cover Dynamics product developed from the enhanced vegetation index (EVI) provides broad spatial and temporal coverage of land-surface phenology (LSP), and may serve as a useful proxy for the phenology of canopy photosynthesis. Here, we compare the MODIS growing season start and end dates (SOS and EOS) with the seasonal phenology of canopy photosynthesis estimated using the eddy covariance approach. Using 153 site-years obtained from the Ameriflux database, we calculated the SOS and EOS of gross primary production (GPP) and canopy photosynthesis capacity (CPC) for seven different boreal and temperate vegetation types. CPC is GPP at maximum radiation, estimated by fitting half-hourly GPP and radiation to a rectangular hyperbolic function. We found large mean absolute differences of up to 53 days, depending on vegetation type, between the phenology of canopy development and photosynthesis, indicating that remotely sensed LSP is not a robust surrogate of seasonal changes in GPP, particularly for evergreen needleleaf forests. This limited correspondence of ecosystem carbon uptake with the MODIS LSP product points to the need for improved remotely sensed proxies of GPP phenology.

DOI10.1080/01431161.2013.875636