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Changes in satellite-derived spring vegetation green-up date and its linkage to climate in China from 1982 to 2010: a multimethod analysis

Publication Year


  • Cong, Nan
  • Wang, Tao
  • Nan, Huijuan
  • Ma, Yuecun
  • Wang, Xuhui
  • Myneni, Ranga B.
  • Piao, Shilong
GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY Volume: 19 Issue: 3 Pages: 881-891 Published: 2013

The change in spring phenology is recognized to exert a major influence on carbon balance dynamics in temperate ecosystems. Over the past several decades, several studies focused on shifts in spring phenology; however, large uncertainties still exist, and one understudied source could be the method implemented in retrieving satellite-derived spring phenology. To account for this potential uncertainty, we conducted a multimethod investigation to quantify changes in vegetation green-up date from 1982 to 2010 over temperate China, and to characterize climatic controls on spring phenology. Over temperate China, the five methods estimated that the vegetation green-up onset date advanced, on average, at a rate of 1.3 similar to +/-similar to 0.6 similar to days per decade (ranging from 0.4 to 1.9 similar to days per decade) over the last 29 similar to years. Moreover, the sign of the trends in vegetation green-up date derived from the five methods were broadly consistent spatially and for different vegetation types, but with large differences in the magnitude of the trend. The large intermethod variance was notably observed in arid and semiarid vegetation types. Our results also showed that change in vegetation green-up date is more closely correlated with temperature than with precipitation. However, the temperature sensitivity of spring vegetation green-up date became higher as precipitation increased, implying that precipitation is an important regulator of the response of vegetation spring phenology to change in temperature. This intricate linkage between spring phenology and precipitation must be taken into account in current phenological models which are mostly driven by temperature.

Author Keyword(s)
  • china
  • climate change
  • phenology
  • spring vegetation green-up date
  • temperature sensitivity of spring phenology
KeyWord(s) Plus
ESI Discipline(s)
  • Environment/Ecology
Web of Science Category(ies)
  • Biodiversity Conservation
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Sciences

[Cong, Nan; Nan, Huijuan; Ma, Yuecun; Wang, Xuhui; Piao, Shilong] Peking Univ, Coll Urban & Environm Sci, Sinofrench Inst Earth Syst Sci, Key Lab Earth Surface Proc,Minist Educ, Beijing 100871, Peoples R China; [Wang, Tao] CEA CNRS UVSQ, Lab Sci Climat & Environm, F-91191 Gif Sur Yvette, France; [Myneni, Ranga B.] Boston Univ, Dept Geog & Environm, Boston, MA 02215 USA; [Piao, Shilong] Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Tibetan Plateau Res, Beijing 100085, Peoples R China

Reprint Adress

Piao, SL (reprint author), Peking Univ, Coll Urban & Environm Sci, Sinofrench Inst Earth Syst Sci, Key Lab Earth Surface Proc,Minist Educ, Beijing 100871, Peoples R China.

  • France
  • People's Republic of China
  • United States
CNRS - Adress(es)
  • Laboratoire des sciences du climat et de l'environnement (LSCE), UMR8212
Accession Number
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