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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2024
  2. Coulson, Tim (Ed.)
  3. Abstract. Monitoring leaf phenology tracks the progression ofclimate change and seasonal variations in a variety of organismal andecosystem processes. Networks of finite-scale remote sensing, such as thePhenoCam network, provide valuable information on phenological state at hightemporal resolution, but they have limited coverage. Satellite-based data withlower temporal resolution have primarily been used to more broadly measurephenology (e.g., 16 d MODIS normalizeddifference vegetation index (NDVI) product). Recent versions of the GeostationaryOperational Environmental Satellites (GOES-16 and GOES-17) can monitor NDVI attemporal scales comparable to that of PhenoCam throughout most of thewestern hemisphere. Here we begin to examine the current capacity of thesenew data to measure the phenology of deciduous broadleaf forests for thefirst 2 full calendar years of data (2018 and 2019) by fittingdouble-logistic Bayesian models and comparing the transition dates of the start, middle, and end of theseason to those obtained from PhenoCam and MODIS 16 dNDVI and enhanced vegetation index (EVI) products. Compared to these MODIS products, GOES was morecorrelated with PhenoCam at the start and middle of spring but had a largerbias (3.35 ± 0.03 d later than PhenoCam) at the end of spring.Satellite-based autumn transition dates were mostly uncorrelated with thoseof PhenoCam. PhenoCam data produced significantly more certain (allp values ≤0.013) estimates of all transitionmore »dates than any of thesatellite sources did. GOES transition date uncertainties were significantlysmaller than those of MODIS EVI for all transition dates (all p values ≤0.026), but they were only smaller (based on p value <0.05) than thosefrom MODIS NDVI for the estimates of the beginning and middle of spring. GOES willimprove the monitoring of phenology at large spatial coverages and providesreal-time indicators of phenological change even when the entire springtransition period occurs within the 16 d resolution of these MODISproducts.« less
  4. Abstract. Canopy radiative transfer is the primary mechanism by which models relate vegetation composition and state to the surface energy balance, which is important to light- and temperature-sensitive plant processes as well as understanding land–atmosphere feedbacks.In addition, certain parameters (e.g., specific leaf area, SLA) that have an outsized influence on vegetation model behavior can be constrained by observations of shortwave reflectance, thus reducing model predictive uncertainty.Importantly, calibrating against radiative transfer outputs allows models to directly use remote sensing reflectance products without relying on highly derived products (such as MODIS leaf area index) whose assumptions may be incompatible with the target vegetation model and whose uncertainties are usually not well quantified.Here, we created the EDR model by coupling the two-stream representation of canopy radiative transfer in the Ecosystem Demography model version 2 (ED2) with a leaf radiative transfer model (PROSPECT-5) and a simple soil reflectance model to predict full-range, high-spectral-resolution surface reflectance that is dependent on the underlying ED2 model state.We then calibrated this model against estimates of hemispherical reflectance (corrected for directional effects) from the NASA Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) and survey data from 54 temperate forest plots in the northeastern United States.The calibration significantly reduced uncertainty in modelmore »parameters related to leaf biochemistry and morphology and canopy structure for five plant functional types.Using a single common set of parameters across all sites, the calibrated model was able to accurately reproduce surface reflectance for sites with highly varied forest composition and structure.However, the calibrated model's predictions of leaf area index (LAI) were less robust, capturing only 46 % of the variability in the observations.Comparing the ED2 radiative transfer model with another two-stream soil–leaf–canopy radiative transfer model commonly used in remote sensing studies (PRO4SAIL) illustrated structural errors in the ED2 representation of direct radiation backscatter that resulted in systematic underestimation of reflectance.In addition, we also highlight that, to directly compare with a two-stream radiative transfer model like EDR, we had to perform an additional processing step to convert the directional reflectance estimates of AVIRIS to hemispherical reflectance (also known as “albedo”).In future work, we recommend that vegetation models add the capability to predict directional reflectance, to allow them to more directly assimilate a wide range of airborne and satellite reflectance products.We ultimately conclude that despite these challenges, using dynamic vegetation models to predict surface reflectance is a promising avenue for model calibration and validation using remote sensing data.« less
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  7. The newest version of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite series (GOES-16 and GOES-17) includes a near infrared band that allows for the calculation of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) at a 1 km at nadir spatial resolution every five minutes throughout the continental United States and every ten minutes for much of the western hemisphere. The usefulness of individual NDVI observations is limited due to the noise that remains even after cloud masks and data quality flags are applied, as much of this noise is negatively biased due to scattering within the atmosphere. Fortunately, high temporal resolution NDVI allows for the identification of consistent diurnal patterns. Here, we present a novel statistical model that utilizes this pattern, by fitting double exponential curves to the diurnal NDVI data, to provide a daily estimate of NDVI over forests that is less sensitive to noise by accounting for both random observation errors and atmospheric scattering biases. We fit this statistical model to 350 days of observations for fifteen deciduous broadleaf sites in the United States and compared the method to several simpler potential methods. Of the days 60% had more than ten observations and were able to be modeled via our methodology. Ofmore »the modeled days 72% produced daily NDVI estimates with <0.1 wide 95% confidence intervals. Of the modeled days 13% were able to provide a confident NDVI value even if there were less than five observations between 10:00–14:00. This methodology provides estimates for daily midday NDVI values with robust uncertainty estimates, even in the face of biased errors and missing midday observations.« less
  8. Mycorrhizal fungi are critical members of the plant microbiome, forming a symbiosis with the roots of most plants on Earth. Most plant species partner with either arbuscular or ectomycorrhizal fungi, and these symbioses are thought to represent plant adaptations to fast and slow soil nutrient cycling rates. This generates a second hypothesis, that arbuscular and ectomycorrhizal plant species traits complement and reinforce these fungal strategies, resulting in nutrient acquisitive vs. conservative plant trait profiles. Here we analyzed 17,764 species level trait observations from 2,940 woody plant species to show that mycorrhizal plants differ systematically in nitrogen and phosphorus economic traits. Differences were clearest in temperate latitudes, where ectomycorrhizal plant species are more nitrogen use- and phosphorus use-conservative than arbuscular mycorrhizal species. This difference is reflected in both aboveground and belowground plant traits and is robust to controlling for evolutionary history, nitrogen fixation ability, deciduousness, latitude, and species climate niche. Furthermore, mycorrhizal effects are large and frequently similar to or greater in magnitude than the influence of plant nitrogen fixation ability or deciduous vs. evergreen leaf habit. Ectomycorrhizal plants are also more nitrogen conservative than arbuscular plants in boreal and tropical ecosystems, although differences in phosphorus use are less apparent outsidemore »temperate latitudes. Our findings bolster current theories of ecosystems rooted in mycorrhizal ecology and support the hypothesis that plant mycorrhizal association is linked to the evolution of plant nutrient economic strategies.« less