Satellite Data-Based Phenological Evaluation of the Nationwide Reforestation of South Korea
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- Satellite Data-Based Phenological Evaluation of the Nationwide Reforestation of South Korea
- Jeong, Su-Jong; Ho, Chang-Hoi; Choi, Sung-Deuk; Kim, Jinwon; Lee, Eun-Ju; Gim, Hyeon-Ju
- Issue Date
- PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
- PLOS ONE, v.8, no.3, pp.1 - 9
- Through the past 60 years, forests, now of various age classes, have been established in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula through nationwide efforts to reestablish forests since the Korean War (1950-53), during which more than 65% of the nation's forest was destroyed. Careful evaluation of long-term changes in vegetation growth after reforestation is one of the essential steps to ensuring sustainable forest management. This study investigated nationwide variations in vegetation phenology using satellite-based growing season estimates for 1982-2008. The start of the growing season calculated from the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) agrees reasonably with the ground-observed first flowering date both temporally (correlation coefficient, r = 0.54) and spatially (r = 0.64) at the 95% confidence level. Over the entire 27-year period, South Korea, on average, experienced a lengthening of the growing season of 4.5 days decade(-1), perhaps due to recent global warming. The lengthening of the growing season is attributed mostly to delays in the end of the growing season. The retrieved nationwide growing season data were used to compare the spatial variations in forest biomass carbon density with the time-averaged growing season length for 61 forests. Relatively higher forest biomass carbon density was observed over the regions having a longer growing season, especially for the regions dominated by young (<30 year) forests. These results imply that a lengthening of the growing season related to the ongoing global warming may have positive impacts on carbon sequestration, an important aspect of large-scale forest management for sustainable development.
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