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Phenology of vegetation in Southern England from Envisat MERIS terrestrial chlorophyll index (MTCI) data

Boyd, D. S., Almond, S. F., Dash, J. , Curran, P. J. & Hill, R. A. (2011). Phenology of vegetation in Southern England from Envisat MERIS terrestrial chlorophyll index (MTCI) data. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 32(23), pp. 8421-8447. doi: 10.1080/01431161.2010.542194


Given the close association between climate change and vegetation response, there is a pressing requirement to monitor the phenology of vegetation and understand further how its metrics vary over space and time. This article explores the use of the Envisat MERIS terrestrial chlorophyll index (MTCI) data set for monitoring vegetation phenology, via its estimates of chlorophyll content. The MTCI was used to construct the phenological profile of and extract key phenological event dates from woodland and grass/heath land in Southern England as these represented a range of chlorophyll contents and different phenological cycles. The period 2003–2008 was selected as this was known to be a period with temperature and phenological anomalies. Comparisons of the MTCI-derived phenology data were made with ground indicators and climatic proxy of phenology and with other vegetation indices: MERIS global vegetation index (MGVI), MODIS normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and MODIS enhanced vegetation index (EVI). Close correspondence between MTCI and canopy phenology as indicated by ground observations and climatic proxy was evident. Also observed was a difference between MTCI-derived phenological profile curves and key event dates (e.g. green-up, season length) and those derived from MERIS MGVI, MODIS NDVI and MODIS EVI. The research presented in this article supports the use of the Envisat MTCI for monitoring vegetation phenology, principally due to its sensitivity to canopy chlorophyll content, a vegetation property that is a useful proxy for the canopy physical and chemical alterations associated with phenological change.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Physical Geography And Environmental Geoscience, Geomatic Engineering
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Departments: Presidents's Portfolio
SWORD Depositor:
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