Digital herbarium archives as a spatially extensive, taxonomically discriminate phenological record; a comparison to MODIS satellite imagery


This study demonstrates that phenological information included in digital herbarium archives can produce annual phenological estimates correlated to satellite-derived green wave phenology at a regional scale (R = 0.183, P = 0.03). Thus, such records may be utilized in a fashion similar to other annual phenological records and, due to their longer duration and ability to discriminate among the various components of the plant community, hold significant potential for use in future research to supplement the deficiencies of other data sources as well as address a wide array of important issues in ecology and bioclimatology that cannot be addressed easily using more traditional methods.

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I would like to acknowledge the contributions of Dixie Damrel of the Clemson University herbarium, John Nelson of the A.C. Moore Herbarium at the University of South Carolina, and Chris Oakley of the Robert K. Godfrey herbarium at Florida State University for access to their records, as well as Herrick Brown for assistance with herbarium database software, and Mark D. Schwartz, Dr. David Inouye, and an anonymous reviewer for advice that improved this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Isaac W. Park.

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Park, I.W. Digital herbarium archives as a spatially extensive, taxonomically discriminate phenological record; a comparison to MODIS satellite imagery. Int J Biometeorol 56, 1179–1182 (2012).

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  • Phenology
  • Plant ecology
  • Herbarium records
  • Remote sensing
  • Landscape ecology