Satellite passive microwaves reveal recent climate-induced carbon losses in African drylands

Brandt M., Wigneron J.-P., Chave J., Tagesson T., Penuelas J., Ciais P., Rasmussen K., Tian F., Mbow C., Al-Yaari A., Rodriguez-Fernandez N., Schurgers G., Zhang W., Chang J., Kerr Y., Verger A., Tucker C., Mialon A., Rasmussen L.V., Fan L., Fensholt R. (2018) Satellite passive microwaves reveal recent climate-induced carbon losses in African drylands. Nature Ecology and Evolution. : 1-9.
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Doi: 10.1038/s41559-018-0530-6

Resumen:

The African continent is facing one of the driest periods in the past three decades as well as continued deforestation. These disturbances threaten vegetation carbon (C) stocks and highlight the need for improved capabilities of monitoring large-scale aboveground carbon stock dynamics. Here we use a satellite dataset based on vegetation optical depth derived from low-frequency passive microwaves (L-VOD) to quantify annual aboveground biomass-carbon changes in sub-Saharan Africa between 2010 and 2016. L-VOD is shown not to saturate over densely vegetated areas. The overall net change in drylands (53% of the land area) was −0.05 petagrams of C per year (Pg C yr−1) associated with drying trends, and a net change of −0.02 Pg C yr−1 was observed in humid areas. These trends reflect a high inter-annual variability with a very dry year in 2015 (net change, −0.69 Pg C) with about half of the gross losses occurring in drylands. This study demonstrates, first, the applicability of L-VOD to monitor the dynamics of carbon loss and gain due to weather variations, and second, the importance of the highly dynamic and vulnerable carbon pool of dryland savannahs for the global carbon balance, despite the relatively low carbon stock per unit area. © 2018 The Author(s)

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Satellite-Observed Major Greening and Biomass Increase in South China Karst During Recent Decade

Brandt M., Yue Y., Wigneron J.P., Tong X., Tian F., Jepsen M.R., Xiao X., Verger A., Mialon A., Al-Yaari A., Wang K., Fensholt R. (2018) Satellite-Observed Major Greening and Biomass Increase in South China Karst During Recent Decade. Earth's Future. 6: 1017-1028.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1029/2018EF000890

Resumen:

Above-ground vegetation biomass is one of the major carbon sinks and provides both provisioning (e.g., forestry products) and regulating ecosystem services (by sequestering carbon). Continuing deforestation and climate change threaten this natural resource but can effectively be countered by national conservation policies. Here we present time series (1999–2017) derived from complementary satellite systems to describe a phenomenon of global significance: the greening of South China Karst. We find a major increase in growing season vegetation cover from 69% in 1999 to 81% in 2017 occurring over ~1.4 million km2. Over 1999–2012, we report one of the globally largest increases in biomass to occur in the South China Karst region (on average +4% over 0.9 million km2), which accounts for ~5% of the global areas characterized with increases in biomass. These increases in southern China's vegetation have occurred despite a decline in rainfall (−8%) and soil moisture (−5%) between 1999 and 2012 and are derived from effects of forestry and conservation activities at an unprecedented spatial scale in human history (~20,000 km2 yr−1 since 2002). These findings have major implications for the provisioning of ecosystem services not only for the Chinese karst ecosystem (e.g., carbon storage, water filtration, and timber production) but also for the study of global carbon cycles. ©2018. The Authors.

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Characterisation of functional-trait dynamics at high spatial resolution in a mediterranean forest from sentinel-2 and ground-truth data

Schauman S., Verger A., Filella I., Peñuelas J. (2018) Characterisation of functional-trait dynamics at high spatial resolution in a mediterranean forest from sentinel-2 and ground-truth data. Remote Sensing. 10: 0-0.
Enlace
Doi: 10.3390/rs10121874

Resumen:

The characterisation of functional-trait dynamics of vegetation from remotely sensed data complements the structural characterisation of ecosystems. In this study we characterised for the first time the spatial heterogeneity of the intra-annual dynamics of the fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (FAPAR) as a functional trait of the vegetation in Prades Mediterranean forest in Catalonia, Spain. FAPAR was derived from the Multispectral Instrument (MSI) on the Sentinel-2 satellite and validated by comparison with the ground measurements acquired in June 2017 at the annual peak of vegetation activity. The validation results showed that most of points were distributed along the 1:1 line, with no bias nor scattering: R2 = 0.93, p < 0.05; with a root mean square error of 0.03 FAPAR (4.3%). We classified the study area into nine vegetation groups with different dynamics of FAPAR using a methodology that is objective and repeatable over time. This functional classification based on the annual magnitude (FAPAR-M) and the seasonality (FAPAR-CV) from the data on one year (2016-2017) complements structural classifications. The internal heterogeneity of the FAPAR dynamics in each land-cover type is attributed to the environmental and to the specific species composition variability. A spatial autoregressive (SAR) model for the main type of land cover, evergreen holm oak forest (Quercus ilex), indicated that topographic aspect, slope, height, and the topographic aspect x slope interaction accounted for most of the spatial heterogeneity of the functional trait FAPAR-M, thus improving our understanding of the explanatory factors of the annual absorption of photosynthetically active radiation by the vegetation canopy for this ecosystem. © 2018 by the authors.

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Land surface phenology from Copernicus Global Land time series

Bornez, K., Verger, A., Filella, I., Penuelas, J. (2017) Land surface phenology from Copernicus Global Land time series. 2017 9th International Workshop on the Analysis of Multitemporal Remote Sensing Images, MultiTemp 2017. : 0-0.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1109/Multi-Temp.2017.8035262

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Human population growth offsets climate-driven increase in woody vegetation in sub-Saharan Africa

Brandt, M., Rasmussen, K., Peñuelas, J., Tian, F., Schurgers, G., Verger, A., Mertz, O., Palmer, J.R.B., Fensholt, R. (2017) Human population growth offsets climate-driven increase in woody vegetation in sub-Saharan Africa. Nature Ecology and Evolution. 1: 0-0.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1038/s41559-017-0081

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Atmospheric deposition, CO2, and change in the land carbon sink

Fernández-Martínez M., Vicca S., Janssens I.A., Ciais P., Obersteiner M., Bartrons M., Sardans J., Verger A., Canadell J.G., Chevallier F., Wang X., Bernhofer C., Curtis P.S., Gianelle D., Grünwald T., Heinesch B., Ibrom A., Knohl A., Laurila T., Law B.E., Limousin J.M., Longdoz B., Loustau D., Mammarella I., Matteucci G., Monson R.K., Montagnani L., Moors E.J., Munger J.W., Papale D., Piao S.L., Peñuelas J. (2017) Atmospheric deposition, CO2, and change in the land carbon sink. Scientific Reports. 7: 0-0.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-08755-8

Resumen:

Concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) have continued to increase whereas atmospheric deposition of sulphur and nitrogen has declined in Europe and the USA during recent decades. Using time series of flux observations from 23 forests distributed throughout Europe and the USA, and generalised mixed models, we found that forest-level net ecosystem production and gross primary production have increased by 1% annually from 1995 to 2011. Statistical models indicated that increasing atmospheric CO2 was the most important factor driving the increasing strength of carbon sinks in these forests. We also found that the reduction of sulphur deposition in Europe and the USA lead to higher recovery in ecosystem respiration than in gross primary production, thus limiting the increase of carbon sequestration. By contrast, trends in climate and nitrogen deposition did not significantly contribute to changing carbon fluxes during the studied period. Our findings support the hypothesis of a general CO2-fertilization effect on vegetation growth and suggest that, so far unknown, sulphur deposition plays a significant role in the carbon balance of forests in industrialized regions. Our results show the need to include the effects of changing atmospheric composition, beyond CO2, to assess future dynamics of carbon-climate feedbacks not currently considered in earth system/climate modelling. © 2017 The Author(s).

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Assessment of Three Methods for Near Real-Time Estimation of Leaf Area Index from AVHRR Data

Kandasamy S., Verger A., Baret F. (2017) Assessment of Three Methods for Near Real-Time Estimation of Leaf Area Index from AVHRR Data. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing. 55: 1489-1497.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2016.2626307

Resumen:

Near real-time (NRT) estimation of leaf area index (LAI) is essential for monitoring rapid surface process changes within operational systems. This paper assesses the performances of three methods for the NRT estimation of LAI: 1) Whittaker (Whit); 2) Gaussian process model (GPM); and 3) the climatological temporal smoothing and gap filling (CTSGF). The methods were evaluated using Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer time series over a selection of BELMANIP2 sites representative of seasonal patterns of global biome vegetated areas and under varying level of noise and missing observations (gaps). A simulation experiment was designed to evaluate the predictive capabilities of the three methods with an emphasis on the global and local structure of missing observations in the time series. The results show that the three methods achieve similar performances (RMSE

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Impacts of global change on Mediterranean forests and their services

Peñuelas, J., Sardans, J., Filella, I., Estiarte, M., Llusià, J., Ogaya, R., Carnicer, J., Bartrons, M., Rivas-Ubach, A., Grau, O., Peguero, G., Margalef, O., Pla-Rabés, S., Stefanescu, C., Asensio, D., Preece, C., Liu, L., Verger, A., Barbeta, A., Achotegui-Castells, A., Gargallo-Garriga, A., Sperlich, D., Farré-Armengol, G., Fernández-Martínez, M., Liu, D., Zhang, C., Urbina, I., Camino-Serrano, M., Vives-Ingla, M., Stocker, B.D., Balzarolo, M., Guerrieri, R., Peaucelle, M., Marañón-Jiménez, S., Bórnez-Mejías, K., Mu, Z., Descals, A., Castellanos, A., Terradas, J. (2017) Impacts of global change on Mediterranean forests and their services. Forests. 8: 0-0.
Enlace
Doi: 10.3390/f8120463

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Spatiotemporally representative and cost-efficient sampling design for validation activities in wanglang experimental site

Yin, G., Li, A., Verger, A. (2017) Spatiotemporally representative and cost-efficient sampling design for validation activities in wanglang experimental site. Remote Sensing. 9: 0-0.
Enlace
Doi: 10.3390/rs9121217

Resumen:

Woody plant cover estimation in drylands from Earth Observation based seasonal metrics

Brandt M., Hiernaux P., Tagesson T., Verger A., Rasmussen K., Diouf A.A., Mbow C., Mougin E., Fensholt R. (2016) Woody plant cover estimation in drylands from Earth Observation based seasonal metrics. Remote Sensing of Environment. 172: 28-38.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2015.10.036

Resumen:

From in situ measured woody cover we develop a phenology driven model to estimate the canopy cover of woody species in the Sahelian drylands at 1km scale. The model estimates the total canopy cover of all woody phanerophytes and the concept is based on the significant difference in phenophases of dryland trees, shrubs and bushes as compared to that of the herbaceous plants. Whereas annual herbaceous plants are only green during the rainy season and senescence occurs shortly after flowering towards the last rains, most woody plants remain photosynthetically active over large parts of the year. We use Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Satellite pour l'Observation de la Terre (SPOT) - VEGETATION (VGT) Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FAPAR) time series and test 10 metrics representing the annual FAPAR dynamics for their ability to reproduce in situ woody cover at 43 sites (163 observations between 1993 and 2013) in the Sahel. Both multi-year field data and satellite metrics are averaged to produce a steady map. Multiple regression models using the integral of FAPAR from the onset of the dry season to the onset of the rainy season, the start date of the growing season and the rate of decrease of the FAPAR curve achieve a cross validated r2/RMSE (in % woody cover) of 0.73/3.0 (MODIS) and 0.70/3.2 (VGT). The extrapolation to Sahel scale shows agreement between VGT and MODIS at an almost nine times higher woody cover than in the global tree cover product MOD44B which only captures trees of a certain minimum size. The derived woody cover map of the Sahel is made publicly available and represents an improvement of existing products and a contribution for future studies of drylands quantifying carbon stocks, climate change assessment, as well as parametrization of vegetation dynamic models. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

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