Satellite-observed photosynthetic trends across boreal North America associated with climate and fire disturbance

Scott J. Goetz, Andrew G. Bunn, Gregory J. Fiske, R. A. Houghton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

507 Scopus citations

Abstract

We analyzed trends in a time series of photosynthetic activity across boreal North America over 22 years (1981 through 2003). Nearly 15% of the region displayed significant trends, of which just over half involved temperature-related increases in growing season length and photosynthetic intensity, mostly in tundra. In contrast, forest areas unaffected by fire during the study period declined in photosynthetic activity and showed no systematic change in growing season length. Stochastic changes across the time series were predominantly associated with a frequent and increasing fire disturbance regime. These trends have implications for the direction of feedbacks to the climate system and emphasize the importance of longer term synoptic observations of arctic and boreal biomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13521-13525
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume102
Issue number38
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 20 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Environmental change
  • Remote sensing
  • Trend analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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