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Liang, L, Schwartz, M (2009). Landscape phenology: an integrative approach to seasonal vegetation dynamics. LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY, 24(4), 465-472.

This brief report addresses the theory and methodology of landscape phenology (LP), along with synopsis of a case study conducted in the northern Wisconsin temperate mixed forest. LP engages questions related to ecosystem phenology, landscape genetics, and vegetation change science across multiple scales, which have rarely been addressed by existing studies. Intensive in situ observations, remote sensing data, and spatiotemporal analysis are employed for understanding patterns and processes within the complexity of seasonal landscape dynamics. A hierarchical upscaling approach is also introduced. Results from the case study suggest that plot-scale phenology lacks spatial autocorrelation and varies individualistically, with genetic heterogeneity overriding small microenvironmental gradients. However, at the landscape level, forest phenology responds coherently to weather fluctuations. The resultant LP index confirms the relative reliability of moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS)-based land surface phenology (LSP). Due to technological advancement in spatial data acquisition and analysis, LP has the ability to connect conventional plant phenology studies back to their intricate ecological context, and provides a new approach to validating coarse-scale monitoring and modeling of LSP and other seasonal ecosystem processes.



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