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Harvard Forest Symposium Abstract 2008

  • Title: Phenological monitoring across the Northern forest region using a network of digital webcams
  • Primary Author: Andrew Richardson (Northern Arizona University)
  • Additional Authors: Bobby Braswell (University of New Hampshire - Main Campus); David Hollinger (USDA Forest Service)
  • Abstract:

    A collaborative research network to provide automated “near” remote sensing of canopy phenology across the northeastern US and adjacent Canada is being initiated. We will install commercial-grade digital webcams at a dozen established research sites within this area, from Ontario and New York across to Maine, with most sites concentrated within a few degrees of 45°N. A pilot study at the Bartlett Experimental Forest has already demonstrated the viability of tracking both spring green-up and autumn senescence based on relative changes in red, green, and blue (RGB) color channel brightness values extracted from camera images. At five of the research sites (Bartlett, Howland, Harvard Forest, Groundhog River and Chibougamau), ongoing measurements of carbon and water fluxes are being made with the eddy covariance method, which will enable us to directly link phenology to ecosystem processes.

    Half hourly images will be uploaded to a project web page which will make use of recently developed tools for data visualization and delivery. The latest images from each site will be displayed, as well as thumbnails showing diurnal and seasonal cycles. Real-time image analysis will be automatically conducted, and graphs showing seasonal trends derived from RGB channel indices will be displayed.

    Project objectives include (1) obtaining a regional perspective on spatial and temporal patterns of phenological variation; (2) using "near" remote sensing as a link between on-the-ground phenological observations and satellite remote sensing; (3) understanding relationships between phenology and fluxes of CO2 and water; (4) contributing to the USA National Phenology Network, Northeast Regional Phenology Network, and efforts to develop improved MODIS phenology products.

  • Research Category: Physiological Ecology, Population Dynamics, and Species Interactions

  • Figures:
  • PhenMap.jpg