OOS 2-7
Remote sensing of tundra plant functional types

Monday, August 5, 2013: 3:40 PM
101B, Minneapolis Convention Center
Santonu Goswami, Environmental Science Division and Climate Change Science Institute, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN
Karl F. Huemmrich, Biospheric Science Branch, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
John A. Gamon, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Craig E. Tweedie, Biological Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX

Shifts in the composition and abundance of plant communities in the Arctic landscapes due to climate change have potential effects on ecosystem processes such as net primary production and nutrient cycling. Vegetation is anticipated to be responsive to arctic warming, although there is some uncertainty as to how the interplay between geomorphic, hydrologic, climatic and other biotic will manifest over a range of spatial scales. Remote sensing provides critical tools for monitoring plant cover types or optically distinguishable plant functional types, as optical signals provide a way to scale from plot measurements to regional estimates of biophysical properties, for which spatial-temporal patterns may be analyzed.


This talk presents results from field studies in Barrow Environmental Observatory in Barrow, AK where hyperspectral measurements were taken using a transect-based tram system covering range of geomorphological units, polygon types and moisture regimes. Our results suggest that hyperspectral remote sensing can distinguish functionally distinct vegetation types and can be used to develop regional estimates of photosynthetic LUE in tundra landscapes. This work has potential implications for long term vegetation change detection in Arctic landscapes and simulating vegetation-climate feedback in Earth Systems Models.