Analyzing patterns and drivers of seasonal leaf phenology and global vegetation trends

A broad theme of my research is centered on understanding patterns of seasonal vegetation dynamics and inter-annual trends at global scale. This includes a diverse range of topics such as detecting changes in global trends in vegetation greenness from satellite data and assessing simulated trends in vegetation productivity and water use efficiency in Africa.

This work showed that long-term trends in vegetation dynamics and carbon uptake were not well-captured by the ORCHIDEE model in semi-arid regions (e.g. the Sahel).  Furthermore, my data assimilation study constraining the vegetation dynamics using satellite-derived NDVI data was not able to improve the model–data discrepancy in the seasonal cycle and trend in vegetation productivity in dry tropical and semi-arid regions, further suggesting that the phenology or plant hydraulic processes in the model are inadequate. This work led to my recent research on understanding coupled carbon-water-vegetation dynamics in semi-arid regions.

  • MacBean et al. (2015), Using satellite data to improve the leaf phenology of a global terrestrial biosphere model, Biogeosciences, 12, 7185-7208.

This work was funded by:

  • CARBONES: European Union 7th Framework project aiming to provide a 30-year long re-analysis of carbon fluxes and pools over Europe and the globe, in form of a user-friendly on-line interface.