Land surface vegetation phenology is an efficient bio-indicator for monitoring ecosystem variation in response to changes in climatic factors. The primary objective of the current article is to examine the utility of the daily MODIS 500 m reflectance anisotropy direct broadcast (DB) product for monitoring the evolution of vegetation phenological trends over selected crop, orchard, and forest regions. Although numerous model-fitted satellite data have been widely used to assess the spatio-temporal distribution of land surface phenological patterns to understand phenological process and phenomena, current efforts to investigate the details of phenological trends, especially for natural phenological variations that occur on short time scales, are less well served by remote sensing challenges and lack of anisotropy correction in satellite data sources. The daily MODIS 500 m reflectance anisotropy product is employed to retrieve daily vegetation indices (VI) of a 1 year period for an almond orchard in California and for a winter wheat field in northeast China, as well as a 2 year period for a deciduous forest region in New Hampshire, USA. Compared with the ground records from these regions, the VI trajectories derived from the cloud-free and atmospherically corrected MODIS Nadir BRDF (bidirectional reflectance distribution function) adjusted reflectance (NBAR) capture not only the detailed footprint and principal attributes of the phenological events (such as flowering and blooming) but also the substantial inter-annual variability. This study demonstrates the utility of the daily 500 m MODIS reflectance anisotropy DB product to provide daily VI for monitoring and detecting changes of the natural vegetation phenology as exemplified by study regions comprising winter wheat, almond trees, and deciduous forest.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/xiaoyang-zhang/22/