Ahl, DE, Gower, ST, Burrows, SN, Shabanov, NV, Myneni, RB, Knyazikhin, Y (2006). Monitoring spring canopy phenology of a deciduous broadleaf forest using MODIS. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 104(1), 88-95.

Climate change is predicted to alter the canopy phenology of temperate and boreal forests, which will affect carbon, water, and energy budgets. Therefore, there is a great need to evaluate remotely sensed products for their potential to accurately capture canopy dynamics. The objective of this study was to compare several products derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) to field measurements of fraction photosynthetically active radiation (FPAR) and plant area index (PAI) for a deciduous broadleaf forest in northern Wisconsin in 2002. MODIS products captured the general phenological development of the canopy although MODIS products overestimated the leaf area during the overstory leaf out period. Field data suggest that the period from budburst to canopy maturity, or maximum PAI, occurred in 10 to 12 days while MODIS products predicted onset of greenness and maturity from 1 to 21 days and 0 to 19 days earlier than that from field observations, respectively. Temporal compositing of MODI S data and understory development are likely key factors explaining differences with field data. Maximum PAI estimates differed only by 7% between field derived and MODIS-based estimates of LAI. Implications for ecosystem modeling of carbon and water exchange and future research needs are discussed. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.