The plant phenology monitoring design for the National Ecological Observatory Network

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Phenology is an integrative science that comprises the study of recurring biological activities or events. In an era of rapidly changing climate, the relationship between the timing of those events and environmental cues such as temperature, snowmelt, water availability or day length are of particular interest. This article provides an overview of the plant phenology sampling which will be conducted by the U.S. National Ecological Observatory Network NEON, the resulting data, and the rationale behind the design. Trained technicians will conduct regular in situ observations of plant phenology at all terrestrial NEON sites for the 30-year life of the observatory. Standardized and coordinated data across the network of sites can be used to quantify the direction and magnitude of the relationships between phenology and environmental forcings, as well as the degree to which these relationships vary among sites, among species, among phenophases, and through time. Vegetation at NEON sites will also be monitored with tower-based cameras, satellite remote sensing and annual high-resolution airborne remote sensing. Ground-based measurements can be used to calibrate and improve satellite-derived phenometrics. NEON’s phenology monitoring design is complementary to existing phenology research efforts and citizen science initiatives throughout the world and will produce interoperable data. By collocating plant phenology observations with a suite of additional meteorological, biophysical and ecological measurements (e.g., climate, carbon flux, plant productivity, population dynamics of consumers) at 47 terrestrial sites, the NEON design will enable continentalscale inference about the status, trends, causes and ecological consequences of phenological change.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The plant phenology monitoring design for the National Ecological Observatory Network
Series title Ecosphere
DOI 10.1002/ecs2.1303
Volume 7
Issue 4
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Contributing office(s) National Phenology Network
Description e01303: 16 p.
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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