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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(12), 1275; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9121275

Chlorophyll Fluorescence Data Reveals Climate-Related Photosynthesis Seasonality in Amazonian Forests

1
Remote Sensing Division, National Institute for Space Research–INPE, São José dos Campos 12227-010, SP, Brazil
2
National Center for Natural Disasters Monitoring–CEMADEN, São José dos Campos 12247-016, SP, Brazil
3
Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, OX1 3QY Oxford, UK
4
College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, EX4 4RJ Exeter, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 October 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 6 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Land-Atmosphere Interactions)
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Abstract

Amazonia is the world largest tropical forest, playing a key role in the global carbon cycle. Thus, understanding climate controls of photosynthetic activity in this region is critical. The establishment of the relationship between photosynthetic activity and climate has been controversial when based on conventional remote sensing-derived indices. Here, we use nine years of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (ChlF) data from the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME-2) sensor, as a direct proxy for photosynthesis, to assess the seasonal response of photosynthetic activity to solar radiation and precipitation in Amazonia. Our results suggest that 76% of photosynthesis seasonality in Amazonia is explained by seasonal variations of solar radiation. However, 13% of these forests are limited by precipitation. The combination of both radiation and precipitation drives photosynthesis in the remaining 11% of the area. Photosynthesis tends to rise only after radiation increases in 61% of the forests. Furthermore, photosynthesis peaks in the wet season in about 58% of the Amazon forest. We found that a threshold of ≈1943 mm per year can be defined as a limit for precipitation phenological dependence. With the potential increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme droughts, forests that have the photosynthetic process currently associated with radiation seasonality may shift towards a more water-limited system. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate seasonality; photosynthesis; ChlF; GOME-2; GLDAS climate seasonality; photosynthesis; ChlF; GOME-2; GLDAS
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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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Bertani, G.; Wagner, F.H.; Anderson, L.O.; Aragão, L.E.O.C. Chlorophyll Fluorescence Data Reveals Climate-Related Photosynthesis Seasonality in Amazonian Forests. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 1275.

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