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Remote Sens. 2013, 5(10), 5193-5208; doi:10.3390/rs5105193

Analysis of the Phenology in the Mongolian Plateau by Inter-Comparison of Global Vegetation Datasets

1 State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing Normal University, 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, Beijing 100875, China 2 Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100875, China 3 Center for Monsoon System Research and Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100029, China These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 August 2013 / Revised: 8 October 2013 / Accepted: 14 October 2013 / Published: 18 October 2013
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This study evaluates the performances of three global satellite datasets (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Satellite pour l’ observation de la Terre (SPOT) of the Mongolian Plateau, where in situ observation is insufficient to assess vegetation dynamics on terrestrial systems. We give a comprehensive assessment of the historical changes in vegetation dynamics by using comparative and correlation methods on the three archives using two indices: the growing season’s Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and the Start of the Season Index (SOS). The main findings are: (1) MODIS and SPOT have generally better comparability and consistency in the spatial-temporal trends of NDVI and SOS than AVHRR in this area; (2) all the three archives exhibit better consistency in Inner Mongolia than in Mongolia; (3) integration data analysis of AVHRR (1982–1997) and SPOT (1998–2012) shows that the dynamics of vegetation growth has three distinct phases: enhanced before 1994; a flatter/slightly decreasing trend before 2001; and, then, a rapid recovery between 2001 and 2012 with remarkable spatial heterogeneity, with Inner Mongolia experiencing a significant greening in vegetation NDVI compared with no obvious changes in Mongolia; (4) the temporal average SOS showed no significant “earlier spring” onset during the past 31 years, on the middle and northern Mongolian Plateau.
Keywords: phenology; global NDVI product; climate factors; Mongolian Plateau phenology; global NDVI product; climate factors; Mongolian Plateau
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Miao, L.; Luan, Y.; Luo, X.; Liu, Q.; Moore, J.C.; Nath, R.; He, B.; Zhu, F.; Cui, X. Analysis of the Phenology in the Mongolian Plateau by Inter-Comparison of Global Vegetation Datasets. Remote Sens. 2013, 5, 5193-5208.

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