Review: advances in in situ and satellite phenological observations in Japan

Shin Nagai, Kenlo Nishida Nasahara, Tomoharu Inoue, Taku M. Saitoh, Rikie Suzuki
2015 International journal of biometeorology  
To accurately evaluate the responses of spatial and temporal variation of ecosystem functioning (evapotranspiration and photosynthesis) and services (regulating and cultural services) to the rapid changes caused by global warming, we depend on long-term, continuous, near-surface, and satellite remote sensing of phenology over wide areas. Here, we review such phenological studies in Japan and discuss our current knowledge, problems, and future developments. In contrast with North America and
more » ... pe, Japan has been able to evaluate plant phenology along vertical and horizontal gradients within a narrow area because of the country's high topographic relief. Phenological observation networks that support scientific studies and outreach activities have used nearsurface tools such as digital cameras and spectral radiometers. Differences in phenology among ecosystems and tree species have been detected by analyzing the seasonal variation of red, green, and blue digital numbers (RGB values) extracted from phenological images, as well as spectral reflectance and vegetation indices. The relationships between seasonal variations in RGB-derived indices or spectral characteristics and the ecological and CO 2 flux measurement data have been well validated. In contrast, insufficient satellite remote-sensing observations have been conducted because of the coarse spatial resolution of previous datasets, which could not detect the heterogeneous plant phenology that results from Japan's complex topography and vegetation. To improve Japanese phenological observations, multidisciplinary analysis and evaluation will be needed to link traditional phenological observations with Bindex trees,^near-surface and satellite remote-sensing observations, Bcitizen science^(observations by citizens), and results published on the Internet.
doi:10.1007/s00484-015-1053-3 pmid:26307639 pmcid:PMC4821867 fatcat:t4lzwur4hfccfb45n6nnaw4cgu