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Remote Sens. 2010, 2(2), 388-415; doi:10.3390/rs2020388

Phenological Characterization of Desert Sky Island Vegetation Communities with Remotely Sensed and Climate Time Series Data

1
School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ, 85721, USA
2
School of Geography and Development, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ, 85721, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 December 2009 / Revised: 15 January 2010 / Accepted: 21 January 2010 / Published: 27 January 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Status and Change by Remote Sensing)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: phenology; remote sensing; time series; vegetation; Arizona; NDVI; MODIS phenology; remote sensing; time series; vegetation; Arizona; NDVI; MODIS
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Van Leeuwen, W.J.; Davison, J.E.; Casady, G.M.; Marsh, S.E. Phenological Characterization of Desert Sky Island Vegetation Communities with Remotely Sensed and Climate Time Series Data. Remote Sens. 2010, 2, 388-415.

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