Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2022, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (2): 125-135.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2021.0188

Special Issue: 遥感生态学

• Research Articles •     Next Articles

Temperature sensitivity of vegetation phenology in spring in mid- to high-latitude regions of Northern Hemisphere during the recent three decades

CONG Nan1,*(), ZHANG Yang-Jian1,2,*(), ZHU Jun-Tao1   

  1. 1Lhasa Plateau Ecosystem Research Station, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2021-05-17 Accepted:2021-07-14 Online:2022-02-20 Published:2021-08-06
  • Contact: CONG Nan,ZHANG Yang-Jian
  • Supported by:
    Outstanding Youth Scientist Program of NSFC(41725003);National Key R&D Program of China(2018YFA0606101);National Key R&D Program of China(2019YFA0607302);National Natural Science Foundation of China(42071133)


Aims Under the current global warming, there are abundant evidence that the phenological events of vegetation in spring have advanced. Advancement of the phenological events in Northern Hemisphere under a gradual warming is considered a process of acclimation rather than an instantaneous feedback. Moreover, the occurrence of spring phenological advancement also varies across ecoregions. Following up on our previous studies, here we aim to determine the temproal scale that temperature has the most influential effect on changes in spring phenology. We further explore how the local spring temperature affects the temperature sensitivity of the spring phenology and the underlying mechanism.

Methods We extracted the dates for spring phenological events by five different methods derived from the GIMMS3g normalized difference vegetation index dataset during 1982-2009. We also employed gridded climatic datasets to calculate the temperature sensitivity of the spring phenology of vegetation, and analyzed the relationship between the temperature sensitivity of phenological events of natural vegetation and environmental variables.

Important findings The spring phenological events of vegetation were mainly regulated by the early spring temperature over the mid- to high-latitude regions in the Northern Hemisphere. Specifically, we found that the maximum temperature in the month of the green-up onset or in the preceding month played the dominant role in affecting the shifts in spring phenology over 54% of the pixels for the study regions; over 91.3% of the pixels displayed phenological shifts by early spring temperature. Interestingly, across the study regions, the standard deviation in interannual temperature, accumulative precipitation and short-wave radiation contrasted in their effects, and differentially or synergistically regulated the temperature sensitivity of spring vegetation phenology.

Key words: temperature sensitivity, vegetation spring phenology, remote sensing, climate change