Ecological Research

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 211–223

Review: Development of an in situ observation network for terrestrial ecological remote sensing: the Phenological Eyes Network (PEN)

Special Feature Long-term and interdisciplinary research on forest ecosystem functions: Challenges at Takayama site since 1993

DOI: 10.1007/s11284-014-1239-x

Cite this article as:
Nasahara, K.N. & Nagai, S. Ecol Res (2015) 30: 211. doi:10.1007/s11284-014-1239-x


The Phenological Eyes Network (PEN), which was established in 2003, is a network of long-term ground observation sites. The aim of the PEN is to validate terrestrial ecological remote sensing, with a particular focus on seasonal changes (phenology) in vegetation. There are three types of core sensors at PEN sites: an Automatic Digital Fish-eye Camera, a HemiSpherical SpectroRadiometer, and a Sun Photometer. As of 2014, there are approximately 30 PEN sites, among which many are also FluxNet and/or International Long Term Ecological Research sites. The PEN is now part of a biodiversity observation framework. Collaborations between remote sensing scientists and ecologists working on PEN data have produced various outcomes about remote sensing and long-term in situ monitoring of ecosystem features, such as phenology, gross primary production, and leaf area index. This article reviews the design concept and the outcomes of the PEN, and discusses its future strategy.


Remote sensing Phenology Ground truth Biodiversity Vegetation index 

Copyright information

© The Ecological Society of Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Geochemical Cycle ResearchJapan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)YokohamaJapan