Climate-driven phenological changes in the Russian Arctic derived from MODIS LAI time series 2000-2019

Arctic surface temperature has increased at approximately twice the global rate over the past few decades and is also projected to warm most in the 21st century. However, the mechanism of Arctic vegetation response to this warming remains largely uncertain. Here, we analyse variations in the seasonal profiles of MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Leaf Area Index (LAI) and ERA-interim cumulative near-Surface Air Temperature (SATΣ) over the northern Russia, north of 60◦ N for 2000-2019. We find that commonly used broad temporal interval (seasonal) trends cannot fully represent complex interannual variations of the LAI profile over the growing season. A sequence of narrow temporal interval (weekly) LAI trends form an inverted S-shape over the course of the growing season with enhanced green-up and senescence, but balanced during the growing season's peak. Spatial patterns of weekly LAI trends match with those of weekly SATΣ trends during the green-up, while the drivers of the browning trends during senescence remain unclear. Geographically the area with the statistically significant temperature-driven enhanced green-up is restricted by a large patch carrying significant positive SATΣ trends, which includes North Siberian Lowland, Taimyr, Yamal and adjacent territories. The strength, duration and timing of the changes depend on vegetation type: enhanced green-up is most pronounced in tundra, while enhanced senescence is pronounced in forests. Continued release of the climatic constraints will likely increase the capacity both of the environment (i.e. permafrost thawing) and vegetation (i.e. appearance of more productive woody species), and transform LAI seasonal shifts to change of LAI seasonal amplitude.


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Authors: Shabanov, N.V., Marshall, G.J. ORCIDORCID record for G.J. Marshall, Rees, W.G., Bartalev, S.A., Tutubalina, O.V., Golubeva, E.I.

On this site: Gareth Marshall
22 July, 2021
Environmental Research Letters / 16
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