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The response of autumn leaf senescence date to water stress in high latitude lands

Authors: Jian Wang*, The Ohio State University, Desheng Liu, The Ohio State University
Topics: Remote Sensing, Global Change, Polar Regions
Keywords: climate change, leaf senescence date (LSD), water stress, precipitation distribution, high latitude lands
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Plant phenology plays an important role in the global carbon cycle, and has been considered as one of the most sensitive indicators to climate change. Previous studies have focused on the response of spring phenology of leaf unfolding to temperature increase. However, understanding how climate change impacts autumn phenology of leaf senescence date (LSD) in high latitude lands is more challenging. Intensive and frequent water stresses have been reported over the past a few decades, yet its impact on LSD remain largely unknown. Using multiple time series of in situ observations and flux records, as well as long-term remote sensing data, we investigate the response of LSD to water stresses for 1982-2015 in the high latitude lands. We therefore develop an improved LSD algorithm by incorporating drought indexes. Our study reveals an overlooked role of precipitation distribution impacting LSD over the past three decades, and future water stress would impose a vital effect on LSD that might contribute to a significant feedback to climate.

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