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Remote Sens. 2014, 6(4), 3143-3169; doi:10.3390/rs6043143

On the Response of European Vegetation Phenology to Hydroclimatic Anomalies

1
Institute for Environment and Sustainability, DG Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Ispra 21027, Italy
2
Biogeochemical Integration Department, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena 07745, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 January 2014 / Revised: 21 March 2014 / Accepted: 31 March 2014 / Published: 9 April 2014
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Abstract

Climate change is expected to alter vegetation and carbon cycle processes, with implications for ecosystems. Notably, understanding the sensitivity of vegetation to the anomalies of precipitation and temperature over different land cover classes and the corresponding temporal response is essential for improved climate prediction. In this paper, we analyze vegetation response to hydroclimatic forcings using the Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FAPAR) derived from SeaWiFS (Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor) (1998–2002) and (Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer) (2003–2011) satellite sensors at ∼1-km resolution. Based on land cover and pixel-wise analysis, we quantify the extent of the dependence of the FAPAR and, ultimately, the phenology on the anomalies of precipitation and temperature over Europe. Statistical tests are performed to establish where this correlation may be regarded as statistically significant. Furthermore, we assess a statistical link between the climate variables and a set of phenological metrics defined from FAPAR measurement. Variation in the phenological response to the unusual values of precipitation and temperature can be interpreted as the result of the balanced opposite effects of water and temperature on vegetation processes. Results suggest very different responses for different land cover classes and seasons. Correlation analysis also indicates that European phenology may be quite sensitive to perturbations in precipitation and temperature regimes, such as those induced by climate change. View Full-Text
Keywords: FAPAR; SeaWiFS; MERIS; CORINE Land Cover; Europe; phenology; temperature; SPI FAPAR; SeaWiFS; MERIS; CORINE Land Cover; Europe; phenology; temperature; SPI
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ceccherini, G.; Gobron, N.; Migliavacca, M. On the Response of European Vegetation Phenology to Hydroclimatic Anomalies. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 3143-3169.

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