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May 01 , 2009

Phenology of Ecosystem Processes

Applications in Global Change Research


Terrestrial carbon balance is uncertain at the regional and global scale. A significant source of variability in mid-latitude ecosystems is related to the timing and duration of phenological phases. Spring phenology, in particular, has disproportionate effects on the annual carbon balance. However, the traditional phenological indices that are based on leaf-out and flowering times of select indicator species are not universally amenable for predicting the temporal dynamics of ecosystem carbon and water exchange.

Phenology of Ecosystem Processes evaluates current applications of traditional phenology in carbon and H2O cycle research, as well as the potential to identify phenological signals in ecosystem processes themselves. The book summarizes recent progress in the understanding of the seasonal dynamics of ecosystem carbon and H2O fluxes, the novel use of various methods (stable isotopes, time-series, forward and inverse modeling), and the implications for remote sensing and global carbon cycle modeling.

Each chapter includes a literature review, in order to present the state-of-the-science in the field and enhance the book’s usability as an educational aid, as well as a case study to exemplify the use and applicability of various methods. Chapters that apply a specific methodology summarize the successes and challenges of particular methods for quantifying the seasonal changes in ecosystem carbon, water and energy fluxes. The book will benefit global change researchers, modelers, and advanced students.

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