On the Response of European Vegetation Phenology to Hydroclimatic Anomalies

Guido Ceccherini, Nadine Gobron, Mirco Migliavacca
2014 Remote Sensing  
Climate change is expected to alter vegetation and carbon cycle processes, with implications for ecosystems. Notably, understanding the sensitivity of vegetation to the anomalies of precipitation and temperature over different land cover classes and the corresponding temporal response is essential for improved climate prediction. In this paper, we analyze vegetation response to hydroclimatic forcings using the Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FAPAR) derived from SeaWiFS
more » ... (Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor) (1998)(1999)(2000)(2001)(2002) and (Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer) (2003)(2004)(2005)(2006)(2007)(2008)(2009)(2010)(2011) satellite sensors at ∼1-km resolution. Based on land cover and pixel-wise analysis, we quantify the extent of the dependence of the FAPAR and, ultimately, the phenology on the anomalies of precipitation and temperature over Europe. Statistical tests are performed to establish where this correlation may be regarded as statistically significant. Furthermore, we assess a statistical link between the climate variables and a set of phenological metrics defined from FAPAR measurement. Variation in the phenological response to the unusual values of precipitation and temperature can be interpreted as the result of the balanced opposite effects of water and temperature on vegetation processes. Results suggest very different responses for different land cover classes and seasons. Correlation analysis also indicates that European phenology may be quite sensitive to perturbations in precipitation and temperature regimes, such as those induced by climate change. Remote Sens. 2014, 6 3144
doi:10.3390/rs6043143 fatcat:ds2b3323mnfgngltarxe3y3zxe