skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Response of vegetation phenology to urbanization in the conterminous United States

Abstract

The influence of urbanization on vegetation phenology is gaining considerable attention due to its implications for human health, cycling of carbon and other nutrients in Earth system. In this study, we examined the relationship between change in vegetation phenology and urban size, an indicator of urbanization, for the conterminous United States. We studied more than 4500 urban clusters of varying size to determine the impact of urbanization on plant phenology, with the aids of remotely sensed observations since 2003–2012. We found that phenology cycle (changes in vegetation greenness) in rural areas starts earlier (start of season, SOS) and ends later (end of season, EOS), resulting in a longer growing season length (GSL), when compared to the respective surrounding urban areas. The average difference of GSL between urban and rural areas over all vegetation types, considered in this study, is about 9 days. Also, the extended GSL in urban area is consistent among different climate zones in the United States, whereas their magnitudes are varying across regions. We found that a tenfold increase in urban size could result in an earlier SOS of about 1.3 days and a later EOS of around 2.4 days. As a result, the GSL could bemore » extended by approximately 3.6 days with a range of 1.6–6.5 days for 25th ~ 75th quantiles, with a median value of about 2.1 days. For different vegetation types, the phenology response to urbanization, as defined by GSL, ranges from 1 to 4 days. The quantitative relationship between phenology and urbanization is of great use for developing improved models of vegetation phenology dynamics under future urbanization, and for developing change indicators to assess the impacts of urbanization on vegetation phenology.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [1];  [4]
  1. Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011 USA
  2. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Joint Global Change Research Institute, College Park MD 20740 USA
  3. Climate Change Science Institute, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge TN 37831 USA
  4. Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Center for Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 China
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1361973
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-125468
Journal ID: ISSN 1354-1013; 453040196
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Global Change Biology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 23; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 1354-1013
Publisher:
Wiley
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Li, Xuecao, Zhou, Yuyu, Asrar, Ghassem R., Mao, Jiafu, Li, Xiaoma, and Li, Wenyu. Response of vegetation phenology to urbanization in the conterminous United States. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1111/gcb.13562.
Li, Xuecao, Zhou, Yuyu, Asrar, Ghassem R., Mao, Jiafu, Li, Xiaoma, & Li, Wenyu. Response of vegetation phenology to urbanization in the conterminous United States. United States. doi:10.1111/gcb.13562.
Li, Xuecao, Zhou, Yuyu, Asrar, Ghassem R., Mao, Jiafu, Li, Xiaoma, and Li, Wenyu. Sun . "Response of vegetation phenology to urbanization in the conterminous United States". United States. doi:10.1111/gcb.13562.
@article{osti_1361973,
title = {Response of vegetation phenology to urbanization in the conterminous United States},
author = {Li, Xuecao and Zhou, Yuyu and Asrar, Ghassem R. and Mao, Jiafu and Li, Xiaoma and Li, Wenyu},
abstractNote = {The influence of urbanization on vegetation phenology is gaining considerable attention due to its implications for human health, cycling of carbon and other nutrients in Earth system. In this study, we examined the relationship between change in vegetation phenology and urban size, an indicator of urbanization, for the conterminous United States. We studied more than 4500 urban clusters of varying size to determine the impact of urbanization on plant phenology, with the aids of remotely sensed observations since 2003–2012. We found that phenology cycle (changes in vegetation greenness) in rural areas starts earlier (start of season, SOS) and ends later (end of season, EOS), resulting in a longer growing season length (GSL), when compared to the respective surrounding urban areas. The average difference of GSL between urban and rural areas over all vegetation types, considered in this study, is about 9 days. Also, the extended GSL in urban area is consistent among different climate zones in the United States, whereas their magnitudes are varying across regions. We found that a tenfold increase in urban size could result in an earlier SOS of about 1.3 days and a later EOS of around 2.4 days. As a result, the GSL could be extended by approximately 3.6 days with a range of 1.6–6.5 days for 25th ~ 75th quantiles, with a median value of about 2.1 days. For different vegetation types, the phenology response to urbanization, as defined by GSL, ranges from 1 to 4 days. The quantitative relationship between phenology and urbanization is of great use for developing improved models of vegetation phenology dynamics under future urbanization, and for developing change indicators to assess the impacts of urbanization on vegetation phenology.},
doi = {10.1111/gcb.13562},
journal = {Global Change Biology},
issn = {1354-1013},
number = 7,
volume = 23,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {12}
}

Works referenced in this record:

Self-similarity of higher-order moving averages
journal, October 2011


Impact of urbanization on US surface climate
journal, August 2015


The response of African land surface phenology to large scale climate oscillations
journal, October 2010

  • Brown, Molly E.; de Beurs, Kirsten; Vrieling, Anton
  • Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 114, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2010.05.005

A gentle introduction to quantile regression for ecologists
journal, October 2003


MODIS detected surface urban heat islands and sinks: Global locations and controls
journal, July 2013


Spring vegetation green-up date in China inferred from SPOT NDVI data: A multiple model analysis
journal, November 2012


Changes in satellite-derived spring vegetation green-up date and its linkage to climate in China from 1982 to 2010: a multimethod analysis
journal, December 2012

  • Cong, Nan; Wang, Tao; Nan, Huijuan
  • Global Change Biology, Vol. 19, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12077

The value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital
journal, May 1997

  • Costanza, Robert; d'Arge, Ralph; de Groot, Rudolf
  • Nature, Vol. 387, Issue 6630
  • DOI: 10.1038/387253a0

Light pollution alters the phenology of dawn and dusk singing in common European songbirds
journal, May 2015

  • Da Silva, Arnaud; Valcu, Mihai; Kempenaers, Bart
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 370, Issue 1667
  • DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0126

The extent of shifts in vegetation phenology between rural and urban areas within a human-dominated region
journal, February 2016

  • Dallimer, Martin; Tang, Zhiyao; Gaston, Kevin J.
  • Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 6, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1990

Land surface phenology, climatic variation, and institutional change: Analyzing agricultural land cover change in Kazakhstan
journal, February 2004


Trends in fall phenology across the deciduous forests of the Eastern USA
journal, May 2012


Measuring the carbon emissions of megacities
journal, July 2012

  • Duren, Riley M.; Miller, Charles E.
  • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 2, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1629

MODIS Collection 5 global land cover: Algorithm refinements and characterization of new datasets
journal, January 2010

  • Friedl, Mark A.; Sulla-Menashe, Damien; Tan, Bin
  • Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 114, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2009.08.016

Land surface phenology from MODIS: Characterization of the Collection 5 global land cover dynamics product
journal, August 2010

  • Ganguly, Sangram; Friedl, Mark A.; Tan, Bin
  • Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 114, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2010.04.005

Strong contribution of autumn phenology to changes in satellite-derived growing season length estimates across Europe (1982-2011)
journal, June 2014

  • Garonna, Irene; de Jong, Rogier; de Wit, Allard J. W.
  • Global Change Biology, Vol. 20, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12625

Overview of the radiometric and biophysical performance of the MODIS vegetation indices
journal, November 2002


Terrestrial carbon stocks across a gradient of urbanization: a study of the Seattle, WA region: URBAN TERRESTRIAL CARBON STOCKS
journal, January 2011


Remote sensing of the urban heat island effect across biomes in the continental USA
journal, March 2010

  • Imhoff, Marc L.; Zhang, Ping; Wolfe, Robert E.
  • Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 114, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2009.10.008

Urban phenological studies – Past, present, future
journal, August 2015


The influence of altitude and urbanisation on trends and mean dates in phenology (1980–2009)
journal, May 2011

  • Jochner, Susanne C.; Sparks, Tim H.; Estrella, Nicole
  • International Journal of Biometeorology, Vol. 56, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1007/s00484-011-0444-3

Can spatial data substitute temporal data in phenological modelling? A survey using birch flowering
journal, October 2013


Urban growth models: progress and perspective
journal, November 2016


A systematic sensitivity analysis of constrained cellular automata model for urban growth simulation based on different transition rules
journal, March 2014

  • Li, Xuecao; Liu, Xiaoping; Yu, Le
  • International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Vol. 28, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2014.883079

A 30-year (1984–2013) record of annual urban dynamics of Beijing City derived from Landsat data
journal, September 2015


A cellular automata downscaling based 1 km global land use datasets (2010–2100)
journal, November 2016


Simulating urban growth by integrating landscape expansion index (LEI) and cellular automata
journal, September 2013

  • Liu, Xiaoping; Ma, Lei; Li, Xia
  • International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Vol. 28, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2013.831097

Advance of tree-flowering dates in response to urban climate change
journal, August 2006


Phenological responses of plants to climate change in an urban environment
journal, September 2006


Multiscale modeling of spring phenology across Deciduous Forests in the Eastern United States
journal, January 2016

  • Melaas, Eli K.; Friedl, Mark A.; Richardson, Andrew D.
  • Global Change Biology, Vol. 22, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13122

Effects of urbanization on plant flowering phenology: A review
journal, July 2006


A new methodology to map irrigated areas using multi-temporal MODIS and ancillary data: An application example in the continental US
journal, September 2008


Surface Urban Heat Island Across 419 Global Big Cities
journal, December 2011

  • Peng, Shushi; Piao, Shilong; Ciais, Philippe
  • Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 46, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1021/es2030438

Net carbon dioxide losses of northern ecosystems in response to autumn warming
journal, January 2008

  • Piao, Shilong; Ciais, Philippe; Friedlingstein, Pierre
  • Nature, Vol. 451, Issue 7174
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature06444

The carbon balance of terrestrial ecosystems in China
journal, April 2009

  • Piao, Shilong; Fang, Jingyun; Ciais, Philippe
  • Nature, Vol. 458, Issue 7241
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature07944

Censored Regression Quantiles
journal, December 2003


CLIMATE CHANGE: Ecosystem Disturbance, Carbon, and Climate
journal, August 2008


A new map of global urban extent from MODIS satellite data
journal, October 2009


Green-wave phenology
journal, August 1998

  • Schwartz, Mark D.
  • Nature, Vol. 394, Issue 6696
  • DOI: 10.1038/29670

Influences of temperature and precipitation before the growing season on spring phenology in grasslands of the central and eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau
journal, December 2011


Emerging opportunities and challenges in phenology: a review
journal, August 2016

  • Tang, Jianwu; Körner, Christian; Muraoka, Hiroyuki
  • Ecosphere, Vol. 7, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.1436

Evaluation of Landsat and MODIS data fusion products for analysis of dryland forest phenology
journal, February 2012


Land surface phenology along urban to rural gradients in the U.S. Great Plains
journal, August 2015


The impact of growing-season length variability on carbon assimilation and evapotranspiration over 88 years in the eastern US deciduous forest
journal, February 1999

  • White, M. A.; Running, S. W.; Thornton, P. E.
  • International Journal of Biometeorology, Vol. 42, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1007/s004840050097

Satellite Evidence of Phenological Differences Between Urbanized and Rural Areas of the Eastern United States Deciduous Broadleaf Forest
journal, April 2002


A data mining approach for understanding topographic control on climate-induced inter-annual vegetation variability over the United States
journal, September 2005

  • White, Amanda B.; Kumar, Praveen; Tcheng, David
  • Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 98, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2005.05.017

Intercomparison, interpretation, and assessment of spring phenology in North America estimated from remote sensing for 1982-2006
journal, October 2009


Urban ecology and sustainability: The state-of-the-science and future directions
journal, May 2014


Joint control of terrestrial gross primary productivity by plant phenology and physiology
journal, February 2015

  • Xia, Jianyang; Niu, Shuli; Ciais, Philippe
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 112, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1413090112

Multi-scale evaluation of light use efficiency in MODIS gross primary productivity for croplands in the Midwestern United States
journal, February 2015


Monitoring vegetation phenology using MODIS
journal, March 2003


Climate controls on vegetation phenological patterns in northern mid- and high latitudes inferred from MODIS data
journal, July 2004


The footprint of urban climates on vegetation phenology: FOOTPRINT OF URBAN CLIMATES ON VEGETATION
journal, June 2004

  • Zhang, Xiaoyang; Friedl, Mark A.; Schaaf, Crystal B.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 31, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.1029/2004GL020137

Global vegetation phenology from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS): Evaluation of global patterns and comparison with in situ measurements: GLOBAL PHENOLOGY FROM MODIS
journal, December 2006

  • Zhang, Xiaoyang; Friedl, Mark A.; Schaaf, Crystal B.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Vol. 111, Issue G4
  • DOI: 10.1029/2006JG000217

Drought-Induced Reduction in Global Terrestrial Net Primary Production from 2000 Through 2009
journal, August 2010


Prevalent vegetation growth enhancement in urban environment
journal, May 2016

  • Zhao, Shuqing; Liu, Shuguang; Zhou, Decheng
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 113, Issue 22
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1602312113

Evidence for a significant urbanization effect on climate in China
journal, June 2004

  • Zhou, L.; Dickinson, R. E.; Tian, Y.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 101, Issue 26
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0400357101

On the statistics of urban heat island intensity: STATISTICS OF URBAN HEAT ISLAND
journal, October 2013

  • Zhou, B.; Rybski, D.; Kropp, J. P.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 40, Issue 20
  • DOI: 10.1002/2013GL057320

A cluster-based method to map urban area from DMSP/OLS nightlights
journal, May 2014

  • Zhou, Yuyu; Smith, Steven J.; Elvidge, Christopher D.
  • Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 147
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2014.03.004

A global map of urban extent from nightlights
journal, May 2015


Remotely sensed assessment of urbanization effects on vegetation phenology in China's 32 major cities
journal, April 2016


    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Impact of urbanization on abundance and phenology of caterpillars and consequences for breeding in an insectivorous bird
    journal, June 2018

    • Seress, Gábor; Hammer, Tamás; Bókony, Veronika
    • Ecological Applications, Vol. 28, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1002/eap.1730

    Using archived television video footage to quantify phenology responses to climate change
    journal, July 2018

    • De Frenne, Pieter; Van Langenhove, Lisa; Van Driessche, Alain
    • Methods in Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 9, Issue 8
    • DOI: 10.1111/2041-210x.13024