Phenological characterization of desert sky island vegetation communities with remotely sensed and climate time series data

Willem J.D. van Leeuwen, Jennifer E. Davison, Grant M. Casady, Stuart E. Marsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Climate change and variability are expected to impact the synchronicity and interactions between the Sonoran Desert and the forested sky islands which represent steep biological and environmental gradients. The main objectives were to examine how well satellite greenness time series data and derived phenological metrics (e.g., season start, peak greenness) can characterize specific vegetation communities across an elevation gradient, and to examine the interactions between climate and phenological metrics for each vegetation community. We found that representative vegetation types (11), varying between desert scrub, mesquite, grassland, mixed oak, juniper and pine, often had unique seasonal and interannual phenological trajectories and spatial patterns. Satellite derived land surface phenometrics (11) for each of the vegetation communities along the cline showed numerous distinct significant relationships in response to temperature (4) and precipitation (7) metrics. Satellite-derived sky island vegetation phenology can help assess and monitor vegetation dynamics and provide unique indicators of climate variability and patterns of change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-415
Number of pages28
JournalRemote Sensing
Volume2
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010

Keywords

  • Arizona
  • MODIS
  • NDVI
  • Phenology
  • Remote sensing
  • Time series
  • Vegetation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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