Beyond leaf color: Comparing camera-based phenological metrics with leaf biochemical, biophysical, and spectral properties throughout the growing season of a temperate deciduous forest Journal Article


Authors: Yang, Xi; Tang, Jianwu; Mustard, John F.
Article Title: Beyond leaf color: Comparing camera-based phenological metrics with leaf biochemical, biophysical, and spectral properties throughout the growing season of a temperate deciduous forest
Abstract: Plant phenology, a sensitive indicator of climate change, influences vegetation-atmosphere interactions by changing the carbon and water cycles from local to global scales. Camera-based phenological observations of the color changes of the vegetation canopy throughout the growing season have become popular in recent years. However, the linkages between camera phenological metrics and leaf biochemical, biophysical, and spectral properties are elusive. We measured key leaf properties including chlorophyll concentration and leaf reflectance on a weekly basis from June to November 2011 in a white oak forest on the island of Martha#39;s Vineyard, Massachusetts, USA. Concurrently, we used a digital camera to automatically acquire daily pictures of the tree canopies. We found that there was a mismatch between the camera-based phenological metric for the canopy greenness (green chromatic coordinate, g(cc)) and the total chlorophyll and carotenoids concentration and leaf mass per area during late spring/early summer. The seasonal peak of g(cc) is approximately 20 days earlier than the peak of the total chlorophyll concentration. During the fall, both canopy and leaf redness were significantly correlated with the vegetation index for anthocyanin concentration, opening a new window to quantify vegetation senescence remotely. Satellite- and camera-based vegetation indices agreed well, suggesting that camera-based observations can be used as the ground validation for satellites. Using the high-temporal resolution dataset of leaf biochemical, biophysical, and spectral properties, our results show the strengths and potential uncertainties to use canopy color as the proxy of ecosystem functioning. Key Points Compare camera phenological metrics to weekly leaf properties along whole season Observed mismatch between canopy greenness and leaf chlorophyll in the spring Vegetation senescence can be quantified from camera redness in the fall.
Keywords: CARBON; SENESCENCE; CLIMATE-CHANGE; REFLECTANCE; TIME-SERIES; phenology; TROPICAL FORESTS; AREA; SATELLITE; CHLOROPHYLL; PHOTOSYNTHETIC CAPACITY; NEAR-SURFACE; green-up; leaf physiology; vegetation spectroscopy
Journal Title: Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences
Volume: 119
Issue: 3
ISSN: 2169-8953
Publisher: American Geophysical Union  
Publication Place: WASHINGTON; 2000 FLORIDA AVE NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20009 USA
Date Published: 2014
Start Page: 181
End Page: 191
DOI/URL:
Notes: PT: J; TC: 0; UT: WOS:000334534500001