Abstract

Tracking phenological change in a regionally explicit context is a key to understanding ecosystem status and change. The current study investigated long-term trends of satellite-observed land surface phenology (LSP) in the 17 National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) domains across the conterminous United States (CONUS). Characterization of LSP trends was based on a high temporal resolution (3-d) time series of the two-band enhanced vegetation index (EVI2) derived from a long-term data record (LTDR) of the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). We identified significant trend patterns in LSP and their seasonal climate and land use/land cover drivers for each NEON domain. Key findings include (1) the start of season (SOS) predominantly shifted later in 13 out of 17 domains (24.3% of CONUS by area) due potentially to both a lack of spring warming in the eastern United States and changes in agronomic practices over agricultural lands; (2) the end of season (EOS) became predominantly later in nine domains dominated by natural vegetation (14.1% of CONUS by area) in response to widespread warming in autumn; (3) the EOS predominantly shifted earlier in three domains (10.6% of CONUS by area) over primarily agricultural lands as potentially affected by changes in crop growth cycles; and (4) earlier shift in the SOS was mostly found in the Northwest (3.6% of CONUS by area) and was predominant only in the moist Pacific Northwest (27.7% of the domain by area) in response to more pronounced spring warming in the region. The overall patterns of SOS and EOS trends across CONUS appeared constrained by continental-scale temperature trends as characterized by a west-east dipole and the distribution of the nation's agricultural lands. In addition, seasonal trend analysis revealed that most NEON domains (15/17) became predominantly greener in part of or throughout the growing season, potentially contributed by both climate change-induced growth increase and improved agricultural productivity. The domain-wide LSP trends with their underlying drivers identified here provide important contextual information for NEON science as well as for investigations within CONUS using other distributed observatories (e.g., LTER, LTAR, FLUXNET, USA-NPN, etc.).

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-2021

Notes/Citation Information

Published in Ecological Applications, v. 31, issue 5, e02323.

© 2021 by the Ecological Society of America

The copyright holder has granted the permission for posting the article here.

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Liang, L., Henebry, G. M., Liu, L., Zhang, X., & Hsu, L. (2021). Trends in land surface phenology across the conterminous United States (1982‐2016) analyzed by NEON domains. Ecological Applications, 31(5), which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/eap.2323.

This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1002/eap.2323

Funding Information

This work was partially 636 supported by grant NNX14AJ32G to GMH, and grant 80NSSC18K0626 to XYZ.

Related Content

Liang Liang, Geoffrey M. Henebry, Lingling Liu, Xiaoyang Zhang, Li-Chih Hsu. (2020). Supplemental online materials of trends in land surface phenology across the conterminous United States (1982-2016) analyzed by NEON domains. UKnowledge Geography Research Data. https://doi.org/10.13023/kjn2-p817

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