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Phenological trends 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. (2010). Phenological trends of vegetation in Southern England From Envisat MERIS Terrestrial Chlorophyll Index (MTCI) data. In: ESA Living Planet Symposium. ESA Living Planet Symposium 2010, 28-06-2010 - 02-07-2010, Bergen, Norway.


Given the close association between climate change and vegetation response there is a pressing requirement to monitor the phenology of vegetation and understand how its metrics vary over space and time. This paper explores the viability of the Envisat MTCI dataset for monitoring vegetation phenology via its estimates of chlorophyll content. The MTCI was used to construct the phenological profile of and to extract key phenological dates from mixed woodland in Southern England. Woodland phenological cycles for the time period 2003 to 2007, a period with known temperature anomalies forcing variability in the phenology of the vegetation, were derived from MERIS MTCI data. Comparisons were made with ground indicators of phenology, and furthermore, crosscomparisons with other vegetation indices, namely the NDVI and EVI derived from MODIS data were conducted. Close correspondence between MTCI and canopy phenology as indicated by ground observations was evident. Also observed was a difference between MTCI-derived phenological transition curves and key transition dates and those derived from the NDVI and EVI. Overall the research presented in this paper 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: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
Departments: Presidents's Portfolio
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