The USGS research project on Phenology-Carbon-Climate Relations (PCCR) addresses USGS science goals to improve understanding and prediction of landscape change and its effects on the Earth's climate system, and the biological and ecological processes that control them. Achieving these goals requires investigations of the complex, dynamic interactions between the variable and changing patterns of seasonal vegetation growth (landscape phenology) and the biotic processes that link vegetation, soils, and the atmosphere (such as photosynthesis and respiration). Landsat and other space-based Earth-observing systems provide essential information to investigate these problems over broad spatial scales; however, linking this information to local conditions observed by conventional field methods can be challenging and subject to large uncertainties. Reducing these uncertainties to achieve USGS goals in climate and land change science is the overarching objective of the PCCR project.
The PCCR project pursues this objective through development and application of innovative, ground-based remote sensing instruments, often in conjunction with ecosystem process modeling. Ground-based sensors can be effective tools for investigating linkages between local-scale conditions and the broader, landscape-scale observations acquired by Landsat and other satellite sensors. As such, tower-based remote sensing instrument development is an important complement to the USGS Landsat program for global-scale, space-based Earth observations. Innovative instruments developed by the PCCR project include the High Dynamic Range All-Sky Imaging System (HDR-ASIS) and the HDR-Land Vegetation Imaging System.
The High Dynamic Range Land Vegetation Imaging System (HDR-LVIS) was developed by USGS scientists to provide improved data and information about the seasonal growth patterns of land vegetation (landscape phenology) and their response to a changing climate.