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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(1), 360-377; doi:10.3390/rs70100360

Diverse Responses of Remotely Sensed Grassland Phenology to Interannual Climate Variability over Frozen Ground Regions in Mongolia

1
Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
2
Center for Regional Environmental Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba 305-8506, Japan
3
Institute of Geography, Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Ulaanbaatar 14192, Mongolia
4
Research and Development Initiative, Chuo University, Tokyo 192-0393, Japan
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alfredo R. Huete and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 2 November 2014 / Accepted: 25 December 2014 / Published: 31 December 2014
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1974 KB, uploaded 31 December 2014]   |  

Abstract

Frozen ground may regulate the phenological shifts of dry and cold grasslands at the southern edge of the Eurasian cryosphere. In this study, an investigation based on the MODIS Collection 5 phenology product and climatic data collected from 2001 to 2009 reveals the diverse responses of grassland phenology to interannual climate variability over various frozen ground regions in Mongolia. Compared with middle and southern typical steppe and desert steppe, the spring (start of season; SOS) and autumn (end of season; EOS) phenological events of northern forest steppe with lower air temperature tend to be earlier and later, respectively. Both the SOS and EOS are less sensitive to climate variability in permafrost regions than in other regions, whereas the SOS of typical steppe is more sensitive to both air temperature and precipitation over sporadic permafrost and seasonal frozen ground regions. Over various frozen ground regions in Mongolia; the SOS is mainly dominated by the prior autumn precipitation, and frozen ground plays a vital role in storing the precipitation of the previous autumn for the subsequent grass green-up. The EOS is mainly dominated by autumn air temperature. These findings could help to improve phenological models of grasslands in extremely dry and cold regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: air temperature; precipitation; spring phenology; autumn phenology; grassland; frozen ground; permafrost air temperature; precipitation; spring phenology; autumn phenology; grassland; frozen ground; permafrost
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sun, Z.; Wang, Q.; Xiao, Q.; Batkhishig, O.; Watanabe, M. Diverse Responses of Remotely Sensed Grassland Phenology to Interannual Climate Variability over Frozen Ground Regions in Mongolia. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 360-377.

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