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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(9), 11914-11932; doi:10.3390/rs70911914

Variability and climate change trend in vegetation phenology of recent decades in the Greater Khingan Mountain area, Northeastern China

1
National Hulunber Grassland Ecosystem Observation and Research Station, Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
2
Geological Survey, Reston, VA 20192, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Raul Zurita-Milla, Clement Atzberger and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 25 June 2015 / Revised: 25 August 2015 / Accepted: 2 September 2015 / Published: 16 September 2015
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Abstract

Vegetation phenology has been used in studies as an indicator of an ecosystem’s responses to climate change. Satellite remote sensing techniques can capture changes in vegetation greenness, which can be used to estimate vegetation phenology. In this study, a long-term vegetation phenology study of the Greater Khingan Mountain area in Northeastern China was performed by using the Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS) normalized difference vegetation index version 3 (NDVI3g) dataset from the years 1982–2012. After reconstructing the NDVI time series, the start date of the growing season (SOS), the end date of the growing season (EOS) and the length of the growing season (LOS) were extracted using a dynamic threshold method. The response of the variation in phenology with climatic factors was also analyzed. The results showed that the phenology in the study area changed significantly in the three decades between 1982 and 2012, including a 12.1-day increase in the entire region’s average LOS, a 3.3-day advance in the SOS and an 8.8-day delay in the EOS. However, differences existed between the steppe, forest and agricultural regions, with the LOSs of the steppe region, forest region and agricultural region increasing by 4.40 days, 10.42 days and 1.71 days, respectively, and a later EOS seemed to more strongly affect the extension of the growing season. Additionally, temperature and precipitation were closely correlated with the phenology variations. This study provides a useful understanding of the recent change in phenology and its variability in this high-latitude study area, and this study also details the responses of several ecosystems to climate change. View Full-Text
Keywords: vegetation phenology; climate change; GIMMS NDVI3g time series; remote sensing; Greater Khingan Mountain area vegetation phenology; climate change; GIMMS NDVI3g time series; remote sensing; Greater Khingan Mountain area
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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

Tang, H.; Li, Z.; Zhu, Z.; Chen, B.; Zhang, B.; Xin, X. Variability and climate change trend in vegetation phenology of recent decades in the Greater Khingan Mountain area, Northeastern China. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 11914-11932.

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