Mustard John F.
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PreprintSeasonal 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-EunUnderstanding 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.
ArticleRegional-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, XuChanges 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.
ArticleBeyond 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.