Response of dryland vegetation under extreme wet events with satellite measures of greenness and fluorescence

Leng, Song, Huete, Alfredo, Cleverly, Jamie, Lu, Xiaoliang, Ma, Xuanlong, Gao, Sicong, and Yu, Qiang (2022) Response of dryland vegetation under extreme wet events with satellite measures of greenness and fluorescence. Science of the Total Environment, 842. 156860.

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Extreme wet events in central Australia triggered large vegetation responses that contributed greatly to large global land carbon sink anomalies. There remain significant uncertainties on the extent to which these events over dryland vegetation can be monitored and assessed with satellite data. In this study, we investigated the vegetation responses of the major Australian semiarid biomes to two extreme wet events utilizing multi-satellite observations of (1) solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF), as a proxy for photosynthetic activity and (2) the enhanced vegetation index (EVI), as a measure of canopy chlorophyll or greenness. We related these satellite observations with gross primary productivity (GPP) estimated from eddy covariance tower sites, as a performance benchmark.

The C3-dominated Mulga woodland was the most responsive biome to both wet pulses and exhibited the highest sensitivity to soil moisture. The C4-dominated Hummock grassland was more responsive to the 2011 “big wet” event, relative to the later 2016–2017 wet pulse. EVI swiftly responded to the extreme wet events and showed markedly amplified seasonal amplitude, however, there was a time lag as compared with SIF during the post-wet period, presumably due to the relatively slower chlorophyll degradation in contrast with declines in photosynthetic activity. Despite a robust linear SIF-GPP relationship (r2 ranging from 0.59 to 0.85), the spatially coarse SIF derived from the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment-2 (GOME-2) yielded high retrieval noise over the xeric biomes, hindering its capacity to capture thoroughly the dryland vegetation dynamics in central Australia. Our study highlights that synchronous satellite observations of greenness and fluorescence can potentially offer an improved understanding of dryland vegetation dynamics and can advance our ability to detect ecosystem alterations under future changing climates.

Item ID: 76389
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-1026
Keywords: EVI, Hummock grassland, Mulga woodland, SIF, Wet pulse
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2023 06:15
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4102 Ecological applications > 410203 Ecosystem function @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180601 Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems @ 100%
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