Yang Xi

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Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
  • Preprint
    Seasonal variability of multiple leaf traits captured by leaf spectroscopy at two temperate deciduous forests
    ( 2015-08) Yang, Xi ; Tang, Jianwu ; Mustard, John F. ; Wu, Jin ; Zhao, Kaiguang ; Serbin, Shawn ; Lee, Jung-Eun
    Understanding the temporal patterns of leaf traits is critical in determining the seasonality and magnitude of terrestrial carbon and water fluxes. However, robust and efficient ways to monitor the temporal dynamics of leaf traits are lacking. Here we assessed the potential of using leaf spectroscopy to predict leaf traits across their entire life cycle, forest sites, and light environments (sunlit vs. shaded) using a weekly sampled dataset across the entire growing season at two temperate deciduous forests. The dataset includes field measured leaf-level directional-hemispherical reflectance/transmittance together with seven important leaf traits [total chlorophyll (chlorophyll a and b), carotenoids, mass-based nitrogen concentration (Nmass), mass-based carbon concentration (Cmass), and leaf mass per area (LMA)]. All leaf properties, including leaf traits and spectra, varied significantly throughout the growing season, and displayed trait-specific temporal patterns. We used a Partial Least Square Regression (PLSR) analysis to estimate leaf traits from spectra, and found a significant capability of PLSR to capture the variability across time, sites, and light environment of all leaf traits investigated (R2=0.6~0.8 for temporal variability; R2=0.3~0.7 for cross-site variability; R2=0.4~0.8 for variability from light environments). We also tested alternative field sampling designs and found that for most leaf traits, biweekly leaf sampling throughout the growing season enabled accurate characterization of the leaf trait seasonal patterns. Increasing the sampling frequency improved in the estimation of Nmass, Cmass and LMA comparing with foliar pigments. Our results, based on the comprehensive analysis of spectra-trait relationships across time, sites and light environments, highlight the capacity and potential limitations to use leaf spectra to estimate leaf traits with strong seasonal variability, as an alternative to time-consuming traditional wet lab approaches.
  • Article
    Regional-scale phenology modeling based on meteorological records and remote sensing observations
    (American Geophysical Union, 2012-09-14) Yang, Xi ; Mustard, John F. ; Tang, Jianwu ; Hong, Xu
    Changes of vegetation phenology in response to climate change in the temperate forests have been well documented recently and have important implications on the regional and global carbon and water cycles. Predicting the impact of changing phenology on terrestrial ecosystems requires an accurate phenology model. Although species-level phenology models have been tested using a small number of vegetation species, they are rarely examined at the regional level. In this study, we used remotely sensed phenology and meteorological data to parameterize the species-level phenology models. We used a remotely sensed vegetation index (Two-band Enhanced Vegetation Index, EVI2) derived from the Moderate Resolution Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 8-day reflectance product from 2000 to 2010 of New England, United States to calculate remotely sensed vegetation phenology (start/end of season, or SOS/EOS). The SOS/EOS and the daily mean air temperature data from weather stations were used to parameterize three budburst models and one senescence model. We compared the relative strengths of the models to predict vegetation phenology and selected the best model to reconstruct the “landscape phenology” in New England from year 1960 to 2010. Of the three budburst models tested, the spring warming model showed the best performance with an averaged Root Mean Square Deviation (RMSD) of 4.59 days. The Akaike Information Criterion supported the spring warming model in all the weather stations. For senescence modeling, the Delpierre model was better than a null model (the averaged phenology of each weather station, averaged model efficiency = 0.33) and has a RMSD of 8.05 days. A retrospective analysis using the spring warming model suggests a statistically significant advance of SOS in New England from 1960 to 2010 averaged as 0.143 days per year (p = 0.015). EOS calculated using the Delpierre model and growing season length showed no statistically significant advance or delay between 1960 and 2010 in this region. These results suggest the applicability of species-level phenology models at the regional level (and potentially terrestrial biosphere models) and the feasibility of using these models in reconstructing and predicting vegetation phenology.
  • Article
    Relationship between leaf physiologic traits and canopy color indices during the leaf expansion period in an oak forest
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2015-12-11) Liu, Zhunqiao ; Hu, Haibo ; Yu, Hua ; Yang, Xi ; Yang, Hualei ; Ruan, Cunxin ; Wang, Yan ; Tang, Jianwu
    Plant phenology has a significant impact on the forest ecosystem carbon balance. Detecting plant phenology by capturing the time-series canopy images through digital camera has become popular in recent years. However, the relationship between color indices derived from camera images and plant physiological characters are elusive during the growing season in temperate ecosystems. We collected continuous images of forest canopy, leaf size, leaf area index (LAI) and leaf chlorophyll measured by a soil plant analysis development (SPAD) analyzer in a northern subtropical oak forest in China. Our results show that (1) the spring peak of color indices, Gcc (Green Chromatic Coordinates) and ExG (Excess Green), was 18 days earlier than the 90% maximum SPAD value; (2) the 90% maximum SPAD value coincided with the change point of Gcc and ExG immediately after their spring peak; and (3) the spring curves of Gcc and ExG before their peaks were highly synchronous with the expansion of leaf size and the development of LAI value. We suggest it needs to be adjusted if camera-derived Gcc or ExG is used as a proxy of chlorophyll or gross primary productivity, and images observation should be complemented with field phenological and physiological information to interpret the physiological meaning of leaf seasonality.
  • Article
    Emerging opportunities and challenges in phenology : a review
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2016-08-18) Tang, Jianwu ; Körner, Christian ; muraoka, hiroyuki ; Piao, Shilong ; Shen, Miaogen ; Thackeray, Stephen ; Yang, Xi
    Plant phenology research has gained increasing attention because of the sensitivity of phenology to climate change and its consequences for ecosystem function. Recent technological development has made it possible to gather invaluable data at a variety of spatial and ecological scales. Despite our ability to observe phenological change at multiple scales, the mechanistic basis of phenology is still not well understood. Integration of multiple disciplines, including ecology, evolutionary biology, climate science, and remote sensing, with long-term monitoring data across multiple spatial scales is needed to advance understanding of phenology. We review the mechanisms and major drivers of plant phenology, including temperature, photoperiod, and winter chilling, as well as other factors such as competition, resource limitation, and genetics. Shifts in plant phenology have significant consequences on ecosystem productivity, carbon cycling, competition, food webs, and other ecosystem functions and services. We summarize recent advances in observation techniques across multiple spatial scales, including digital repeat photography, other complementary optical measurements, and solar-induced fluorescence, to assess our capability to address the importance of these scale-dependent drivers. Then, we review phenology models as an important component of earth system modeling. We find that the lack of species-level knowledge and observation data leads to difficulties in the development of vegetation phenology models at ecosystem or community scales. Finally, we recommend further research to advance understanding of the mechanisms governing phenology and the standardization of phenology observation methods across networks. With the opportunity for “big data” collection for plant phenology, we envision a breakthrough in process-based phenology modeling.
  • Preprint
    Chlorophyll fluorescence tracks seasonal variations of photosynthesis from leaf to canopy in a temperate forest
    ( 2016-11) Yang, Hualei ; Yang, Xi ; Zhang, Yongguang ; Heskel, Mary ; Lu, Xiaoliang ; Munger, J. William ; Sun, Shucun ; Tang, Jianwu
    Accurate estimation of terrestrial gross primary productivity (GPP) remains a challenge despite its importance in the global carbon cycle. Chlorophyll fluorescence (ChlF) has been recently adopted to understand photosynthesis and its response to the environment, particularly with remote sensing data. However, it remains unclear how ChlF and photosynthesis are linked at different spatial scales across the growing season. We examined seasonal relationships between ChlF and photosynthesis at the leaf, canopy, and ecosystem scales, and explored how leaf-level ChlF was linked with canopy-scale solar induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) in a temperate deciduous forest at Harvard Forest, Massachusetts, USA. Our results show that ChlF captured the seasonal variations of photosynthesis with significant linear relationships between ChlF and photosynthesis across the growing season over different spatial scales (R2=0.73, 0.77 and 0.86 at leaf, canopy and satellite scales, respectively; p<0.0001). We developed a model to estimate GPP from the tower-based measurement of SIF and leaf-level ChlF parameters. The estimation of GPP from this model agreed well with flux tower observations of GPP (R2=0.68; p<0.0001), demonstrating the potential of SIF for modeling GPP. At the leaf scale, we found that leaf Fq’/Fm’, the fraction of absorbed photons that are used for photochemistry for a light adapted measurement from a pulse amplitude modulation fluorometer, was the best leaf fluorescence parameter to correlate with canopy-SIF yield (SIF/APAR, R2=0.79; p<0.0001). We also found that canopy-SIF and SIF-derived GPP (GPPSIF) were strongly correlated to leaf-level biochemistry and canopy structure, including chlorophyll content (R2=0.65 for canopy-GPPSIF and chlorophyll content; p<0.0001), leaf area index (LAI) (R2=0.35 for canopy-GPPSIF and LAI; p<0.0001), and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) (R2=0.36 for canopy-GPPSIF and NDVI; p<0.0001). Our results suggest that ChlF can be a powerful tool to track photosynthetic rates at leaf, canopy, and ecosystem scales.
  • Article
    Evaluating remotely sensed phenological metrics in a dynamic ecosystem model
    (MDPI AG, 2014-05-26) Xu, Hong ; Twine, Tracy E. ; Yang, Xi
    Vegetation phenology plays an important role in regulating processes of terrestrial ecosystems. Dynamic ecosystem models (DEMs) require representation of phenology to simulate the exchange of matter and energy between the land and atmosphere. Location-specific parameterization with phenological observations can potentially improve the performance of phenological models embedded in DEMs. As ground-based phenological observations are limited, phenology derived from remote sensing can be used as an alternative to parameterize phenological models. It is important to evaluate to what extent remotely sensed phenological metrics are capturing the phenology observed on the ground. We evaluated six methods based on two vegetation indices (VIs) (i.e., Normalized Difference Vegetation Index and Enhanced Vegetation Index) for retrieving the phenology of temperate forest in the Agro-IBIS model. First, we compared the remotely sensed phenological metrics with observations at Harvard Forest and found that most of the methods have large biases regardless of the VI used. Only two methods for the leaf onset and one method for the leaf offset showed a moderate performance. When remotely sensed phenological metrics were used to parameterize phenological models, the bias is maintained, and errors propagate to predictions of gross primary productivity and net ecosystem production. Our results show that Agro-IBIS has different sensitivities to leaf onset and offset in terms of carbon assimilation, suggesting it might be better to examine the respective impact of leaf onset and offset rather than the overall impact of the growing season length.
  • Article
    Seasonal variations of leaf and canopy properties tracked by ground-based NDVI imagery in a temperate forest
    (Nature Publishing Group, 2017-04-28) Yang, Hualei ; Yang, Xi ; Heskel, Mary ; Sun, Shucun ; Tang, Jianwu
    Changes in plant phenology affect the carbon flux of terrestrial forest ecosystems due to the link between the growing season length and vegetation productivity. Digital camera imagery, which can be acquired frequently, has been used to monitor seasonal and annual changes in forest canopy phenology and track critical phenological events. However, quantitative assessment of the structural and biochemical controls of the phenological patterns in camera images has rarely been done. In this study, we used an NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) camera to monitor daily variations of vegetation reflectance at visible and near-infrared (NIR) bands with high spatial and temporal resolutions, and found that the infrared camera based NDVI (camera-NDVI) agreed well with the leaf expansion process that was measured by independent manual observations at Harvard Forest, Massachusetts, USA. We also measured the seasonality of canopy structural (leaf area index, LAI) and biochemical properties (leaf chlorophyll and nitrogen content). We found significant linear relationships between camera-NDVI and leaf chlorophyll concentration, and between camera-NDVI and leaf nitrogen content, though weaker relationships between camera-NDVI and LAI. Therefore, we recommend ground-based camera-NDVI as a powerful tool for long-term, near surface observations to monitor canopy development and to estimate leaf chlorophyll, nitrogen status, and LAI.
  • Article
    Application of DMSP/OLS nighttime light images : a meta-analysis and a systematic literature review
    (MDPI AG, 2014-07-25) Huang, Qingxu ; Yang, Xi ; Gao, Bin ; Yang, Yang ; Zhao, Yuanyuan
    Since the release of the digital archives of Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Operational Line Scanner (DMSP/OLS) nighttime light data in 1992, a variety of datasets based on this database have been produced and applied to monitor and analyze human activities and natural phenomena. However, differences among these datasets and how they have been applied may potentially confuse researchers working with these data. In this paper, we review the ways in which data from DMSP/OLS nighttime light images have been applied over the past two decades, focusing on differences in data processing, research trends, and the methods used among the different application areas. Five main datasets extracted from this database have led to many studies in various research areas over the last 20 years, and each dataset has its own strengths and limitations. The number of publications based on this database and the diversity of authors and institutions involved have shown promising growth. In addition, researchers have accumulated vast experience retrieving data on the spatial and temporal dynamics of settlement, demographics, and socioeconomic parameters, which are “hotspot” applications in this field. Researchers continue to develop novel ways to extract more information from the DMSP/OLS database and apply the data to interdisciplinary research topics. We believe that DMSP/OLS nighttime light data will play an important role in monitoring and analyzing human activities and natural phenomena from space in the future, particularly over the long term. A transparent platform that encourages data sharing, communication, and discussion of extraction methods and synthesis activities will benefit researchers as well as public and political stakeholders.
  • Article
    Beyond leaf color : comparing camera-based phenological metrics with leaf biochemical, biophysical, and spectral properties throughout the growing season of a temperate deciduous forest
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-03-31) Yang, Xi ; Tang, Jianwu ; Mustard, John F.
    Plant phenology, a sensitive indicator of climate change, influences vegetation-atmosphere interactions by changing the carbon and water cycles from local to global scales. Camera-based phenological observations of the color changes of the vegetation canopy throughout the growing season have become popular in recent years. However, the linkages between camera phenological metrics and leaf biochemical, biophysical, and spectral properties are elusive. We measured key leaf properties including chlorophyll concentration and leaf reflectance on a weekly basis from June to November 2011 in a white oak forest on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, USA. Concurrently, we used a digital camera to automatically acquire daily pictures of the tree canopies. We found that there was a mismatch between the camera-based phenological metric for the canopy greenness (green chromatic coordinate, gcc) and the total chlorophyll and carotenoids concentration and leaf mass per area during late spring/early summer. The seasonal peak of gcc is approximately 20 days earlier than the peak of the total chlorophyll concentration. During the fall, both canopy and leaf redness were significantly correlated with the vegetation index for anthocyanin concentration, opening a new window to quantify vegetation senescence remotely. Satellite- and camera-based vegetation indices agreed well, suggesting that camera-based observations can be used as the ground validation for satellites. Using the high-temporal resolution dataset of leaf biochemical, biophysical, and spectral properties, our results show the strengths and potential uncertainties to use canopy color as the proxy of ecosystem functioning.