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Optimizing a remote sensing production efficiency model for macro-scale GPP and yield estimation in agroecosystems

Earth observation data are increasingly used to provide consistent eco-physiological information over large areas through time. Production efficiency models (PEMs) estimate Gross Primary Production (GPP) as a function of the fraction of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by the canopy, which is derived from Earth observation. GPP can be summed over the growing season and adjusted by a cr

Exploring relationships of spring green-up to moisture and temperature across Wyoming, U.S.A

Vegetation green-up signals the timing of available nutritious plants and shrubs providing high-quality forage for ungulates. In this study, we characterized spatial and temporal patterns of spring phenology and explored how they were related to preceding temperature and moisture conditions. We tested correlations between late winter weather and indicators of the onset and the length of the spring

Multi-year data from satellite- and ground-based sensors show details and scale matter in assessing climate’s effects on wetland surface water, amphibians, and landscape conditions

Long-term, interdisciplinary studies of relations between climate and ecological conditions on wetland-upland landscapes have been lacking, especially studies integrated across scales meaningful for adaptive resource management. We collected data in situ at individual wetlands, and via satellite for surrounding 4-km2 landscape blocks, to assess relations between annual weather dynamics, snow durat

Challenges in complementing data from ground-based sensors with satellite-derived products to measure ecological changes in relation to climate – lessons from temperate wetland-upland landscapes

Assessing climate-related ecological changes across spatiotemporal scales meaningful to resource managers is challenging because no one method reliably produces essential data at both fine and broad scales. We recently confronted such challenges while integrating data from ground- and satellite-based sensors for an assessment of four wetland-rich study areas in the U.S. Midwest. We examined relati

Effect of NOAA satellite orbital drift on AVHRR-derived phenological metrics

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center routinely produces and distributes a remote sensing phenology (RSP) dataset derived from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) 1-km data compiled from a series of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites (NOAA-11, −14, −16, −17, −18, and −19). Each NOAA satellite experien

Application-ready expedited MODIS data for operational land surface monitoring of vegetation condition

Monitoring systems benefit from high temporal frequency image data collected from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) system. Because of near-daily global coverage, MODIS data are beneficial to applications that require timely information about vegetation condition related to drought, flooding, or fire danger. Rapid satellite data streams in operational applications have clea

Exploring drought controls on spring phenology

The timing of spring phenology can be influenced by several drivers. Many studies have shown the effect of temperature on spring vegetation growth, but the role of moisture is complex and not as well researched. We explored drivers for aspen spring phenology in the mountains of the western U.S. While temperature exerted control over the timing of aspen green-up in the spring, snow moisture as meas

The integration of geophysical and enhanced Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Normalized Difference Vegetation Index data into a rule-based, piecewise regression-tree model to estimate cheatgrass beginning of spring growth

Cheatgrass exhibits spatial and temporal phenological variability across the Great Basin as described by ecological models formed using remote sensing and other spatial data-sets. We developed a rule-based, piecewise regression-tree model trained on 99 points that used three data-sets – latitude, elevation, and start of season time based on remote sensing input data – to estimate cheatgrass beginn

Phenology and climate relationships in aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) forest and woodland communities of southwestern Colorado

Trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) occurs over wide geographical, latitudinal, elevational, and environmental gradients, making it a favorable candidate for a study of phenology and climate relationships. Aspen forests and woodlands provide numerous ecosystem services, such as high primary productivity and biodiversity, retention and storage of environmental variables (precipitation, tem

Remote sensing of land surface phenology

Remote sensing of land-surface phenology is an important method for studying the patterns of plant and animal growth cycles. Phenological events are sensitive to climate variation; therefore phenology data provide important baseline information documenting trends in ecology and detecting the impacts of climate change on multiple scales. The USGS Remote sensing of land surface phenology program pro

Variability and trends in irrigated and non-irrigated croplands in the central U.S

Over 23 million hectares (233 thousand km2) of U.S. croplands are irrigated and there was an overall net expansion of 522 thousand hectares nationally from 2002 to 2007. Most of this expansion occurred across the High Plains Aquifer (HPA) in the central Great Plains. Until recently, there has been a lack of geospatially-detailed irrigation data that are consistent, timely, geographically extensive

Phenological classification of the United States: A geographic framework for extending multi-sensor time-series data

This study introduces a new geographic framework, phenological classification, for the conterminous United States based on Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) time-series data and a digital elevation model. The resulting pheno-class map is comprised of 40 pheno-classes, each having unique phenological and topographic characteristics.