Understanding the seasonal behaviour of a subtropical forest and its inter-annual variation is crucial to understanding and monitoring its ecosystem function in the context of global warming. Based on the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Enhanced Vegetation Index dataset, a wavelet transform method was used to investigate the inter-annual variations of vegetation phenology in a subtropical mountain and hill region in Fujian, China, during 2001-2010. The results show a distinct inter-annual variation of vegetation phenology related to climate variability even if most areas presented non-significant trends. The start dates significantly advanced and end dates delayed in 2003 and 2008, due to anomalously warm conditions. There was generally a gradient of increasing start dates, and earlier end dates of vegetation growing season, due to colder temperatures at higher altitudes. However, the altitudinal phenology relationship also depends on its corresponding rainfall conditions. Earlier start dates were observed at higher altitudes during rainfall deficit years such as 2008, which coincides with relatively abundant rainfall at higher altitudes. This paper reveals that vegetation phenology was coupled with altitudinal gradient, with distinct responses at different combinations of alternate temperature and precipitation conditions variability.
- Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI)
- altitude gradient
- climate change
- subtropical mountain and hill region
- vegetation phenology
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