Challenges in complementing data from ground-based sensors with satellite-derived products to measure ecological changes in relation to climate?lessons from temperate wetland-upland landscapes

Authors: A L Gallant; W J Sadinski; J Brown; G B Senay; M R Roth
Contribution Number: 671


Assessing climate-related ecological changes across spatiotemporal scales meaningful to resource managers is challenging because no one method reliably produces essential data at both fine and broad scales. We recently confronted such challenges while integrating data from ground- and satellite-based sensors for an assessment of four wetland-rich study areas in the U.S. Midwest. We examined relations between temperature and precipitation and a set of variables measured on the ground at individual wetlands and another set measured via satellite sensors within surrounding 4 km2 landscape blocks. At the block scale, we used evapotranspiration and vegetation greenness as remotely sensed proxies for water availability and to estimate seasonal photosynthetic activity. We used sensors on the ground to coincidentally measure surface-water availability and amphibian calling activity at individual wetlands within blocks. Responses of landscape blocks generally paralleled changes in conditions measured on the ground, but the latter were more dynamic, and changes in ecological conditions on the ground that were critical for biota were not always apparent in measurements of related parameters in blocks. Here, we evaluate the effectiveness of decisions and assumptions we made in applying the remotely sensed data for the assessment and the value of integrating observations across scales, sensors, and disciplines.

Publication details
Published Date: 2018-03-16
Outlet/Publisher: Sensors 18(3)880
Media Format: URL

ARMI Organizational Units:
Midwest - Biology
Climate Change; Stressors
Place Names:
Minnesota; Wisconsin
climate; evapotranspiration; habitat; hydroperiod; land cover/land use; methods; MODIS; multidisciplinary; NDVI; snow presence; stressors; wetlands
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