Phenology of Vegetation Photosynthesis

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In this chapter, we expanded the traditional research area of plant phenology by characterizing plant community growth activities from vegetation photosynthesis. We introduced a systematic approach to objectively determine the various stages in the seasonal march of vegetation photosynthesis. We derived a suite of phenological indices that can be used to describe seasonal vegetation photosynthetic activities for a variety of vegetation types. These indices make it possible to quantify the differences and similarities between different vegetation types in their responses to changes in climatic conditions. Our study indicates that vegetation functional types may be considered as basic units in phenological studies. We found that the pace of photosynthesis development in the spring is related to the pace of photosynthesis recession in the fall, and development is in general faster than recession.