Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2005, Vol. 15 ›› Issue (2): 239-246.doi: 10.1360/gs050212

• Climate and Environmental Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Forest phenological patterns of Northeast China inferred from MODIS data

YU Xinfang1,2, ZHUANG Dafang1, HOU Xiyong1,2, CHEN Hua1,2   

  1. 1. Inst. of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;

    2. Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China
  • Received:2004-11-05 Revised:2005-01-26 Online:2005-06-25 Published:2005-06-25
  • Supported by:

    Major State Basic Research Development Program of China, No.2002CB412507; Knowledge Innovation Project of CAS, No.KZCX-2-308


The role of remote sensing in phenological studies is increasingly regarded as a key to understand large area seasonal phenomena. This paper describes the application of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) time series data for forest phenological patterns. The forest phenological phase of Northeast China (NE China) and its spatial characteristics were inferred using 1-km 10-day MODIS normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) datasets of 2002. The threshold-based method was used to estimate three key forest phenological variables, which are the start of growing season (SOS), the end of growing season (EOS) and growing season length (GSL). Then the spatial patterns of forest phenological variables of NE China were mapped and analyzed. The derived phenological variables were validated by the field observed data from published papers in the same study area. Results indicate that forest phenological phase from MODIS data is comparable with the observed data. As the derived forest phenological pattern is related to forest type distribution, it is helpful to discriminate between forest types.

Key words: forest phenology, spatial pattern, MODIS, Northeast China