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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(12), 1340;

Analyzing the Long-Term Phenological Trends of Salt Marsh Ecosystem across Coastal LOUISIANA

Centre for Geospatial Research, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 October 2017 / Revised: 2 December 2017 / Accepted: 2 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
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In this study, we examined the phenology of the salt marsh ecosystem across coastal Louisiana (LA) for a 16-year time period (2000–2015) using NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer’s (MODIS) eight-day average surface reflectance images (500 m). We compared the performances of least squares fitted asymmetric Gaussian (AG) and double logistic (DL) smoothing functions in terms of increasing the signal-to-noise ratio from the raw phenology derived from the time-series composites. We performed derivative analysis to determine the appropriate start of season (SOS) and end of season (EOS) thresholds. After that, we extracted the seasonality parameters in TIMESAT, and studied the effect of environmental disturbances/anomalies on the seasonality parameters. Finally, we performed trend analysis using the derived seasonality parameters such as base green biomass (GBM) value, maximum GBM value, seasonal amplitude, and small seasonal integral. Based on root mean square error (RMSE) values and residual plots, we selected the best thresholds for SOS (5% of amplitude) and EOS (20% of amplitude), along with the best smoothing function. The selected SOS and EOS thresholds were able to capture the environmental disturbances that have affected the salt marsh ecosystem during the 16-year time period. Our trend analysis results indicate positive trends in the base GBM values in the salt marshes of LA. However, we did not notice as much of a positive trend in the maximum GBM levels. Hence, we observed mostly negative changes in the GBM amplitude and small seasonal integral values. These negative changes indicated the overall progressive decline in the rates of photosynthesis and biomass allocation in the LA salt marsh ecosystem, which is most likely due to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and sea level rise. The results illustrate both the relative efficiency of MODIS-based biophysical models for analyzing salt marsh phenology, and performances of the smoothing techniques in terms of improving the signal-to-noise ratio of the MODIS-derived phenology. View Full-Text
Keywords: MODIS; TIMESAT; aboveground green biomass; biophysical characteristics; salt marsh MODIS; TIMESAT; aboveground green biomass; biophysical characteristics; salt marsh

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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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Ghosh, S.; Mishra, D.R. Analyzing the Long-Term Phenological Trends of Salt Marsh Ecosystem across Coastal LOUISIANA. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 1340.

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