Monitoring vegetation phenology using MODIS

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Journal Article
Remote Sensing of Environment, 2003, 84 (3), pp. 471 - 475
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Accurate measurements of regional to global scale vegetation dynamics (phenology) are required to improve models and understanding of inter-annual variability in terrestrial ecosystem carbon exchange and climate-biosphere interactions. Since the mid-1980s, satellite data have been used to study these processes. In this paper, a new methodology to monitor global vegetation phenology from time series of satellite data is presented. The method uses series of piecewise logistic functions, which are fit to remotely sensed vegetation index (VI) data, to represent intra-annual vegetation dynamics. Using this approach, transition dates for vegetation activity within annual time series of VI data can be determined from satellite data. The method allows vegetation dynamics to be monitored at large scales in a fashion that it is ecologically meaningful and does not require pre-smoothing of data or the use of user-defined thresholds. Preliminary results based on an annual time series of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data for the northeastern United States demonstrate that the method is able to monitor vegetation phenology with good success. © 2002 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.
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