Troy S. Magney


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Evaluating photosynthetic activity across Arctic-Boreal land cover types using solar-induced fluorescence
Rui Cheng, Troy S. Magney, Erica L Orcutt, Zoe Pierrat, Philipp Köhler, David R. Bowling, M. Syndonia Bret‐Harte, Eugénie Euskirchen, Martin Jung, Hideki Kobayashi, A. V. Rocha, Oliver Sonnentag, J. Stutz, Sophia Walther, Donatella Zona, Christian Frankenberg
Environmental Research Letters, Volume 17, Issue 11

Abstract Photosynthesis of terrestrial ecosystems in the Arctic-Boreal region is a critical part of the global carbon cycle. Solar-induced chlorophyll Fluorescence (SIF), a promising proxy for photosynthesis with physiological insight, has been used to track gross primary production (GPP) at regional scales. Recent studies have constructed empirical relationships between SIF and eddy covariance-derived GPP as a first step to predicting global GPP. However, high latitudes pose two specific challenges: (a) Unique plant species and land cover types in the Arctic–Boreal region are not included in the generalized SIF-GPP relationship from lower latitudes, and (b) the complex terrain and sub-pixel land cover further complicate the interpretation of the SIF-GPP relationship. In this study, we focused on the Arctic-Boreal vulnerability experiment (ABoVE) domain and evaluated the empirical relationships between SIF for high latitudes from the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) and a state-of-the-art machine learning GPP product (FluxCom). For the first time, we report the regression slope, linear correlation coefficient, and the goodness of the fit of SIF-GPP relationships for Arctic-Boreal land cover types with extensive spatial coverage. We found several potential issues specific to the Arctic-Boreal region that should be considered: (a) unrealistically high FluxCom GPP due to the presence of snow and water at the subpixel scale; (b) changing biomass distribution and SIF-GPP relationship along elevational gradients, and (c) limited perspective and misrepresentation of heterogeneous land cover across spatial resolutions. Taken together, our results will help improve the estimation of GPP using SIF in terrestrial biosphere models and cope with model-data uncertainties in the Arctic-Boreal region.


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Tower‐Based Remote Sensing Reveals Mechanisms Behind a Two‐phased Spring Transition in a Mixed‐Species Boreal Forest
Zoe Pierrat, Magali F. Nehemy, Alexandre Roy, Troy S. Magney, Nicholas C. Parazoo, Colin P. Laroque, Christoforos Pappas, Oliver Sonnentag, Katja Großmann, David R. Bowling, Ulli Seibt, Alexandra Ramirez, Bruce Johnson, Warren Helgason, Alan Barr, J. Stutz
Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Volume 126, Issue 5

The boreal forest is a major contributor to the global climate system, therefore, reducing uncertainties in how the forest will respond to a changing climate is critical. One source of uncertainty is the timing and drivers of the spring transition. Remote sensing can provide important information on this transition, but persistent foliage greenness, seasonal snow cover, and a high prevalence of mixed forest stands (both deciduous and evergreen species) complicate interpretation of these signals. We collected tower-based remotely sensed data (reflectance-based vegetation indices and Solar-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence [SIF]), stem radius measurements, gross primary productivity, and environmental conditions in a boreal mixed forest stand. Evaluation of this data set shows a two-phased spring transition. The first phase is the reactivation of photosynthesis and transpiration in evergreens, marked by an increase in relative SIF, and is triggered by thawed stems, warm air temperatures, and increased available soil moisture. The second phase is a reduction in bulk photoprotective pigments in evergreens, marked by an increase in the Chlorophyll-Carotenoid Index. Deciduous leaf-out occurs during this phase, marked by an increase in all remotely sensed metrics. The second phase is controlled by soil thaw. Our results demonstrate that remote sensing metrics can be used to detect specific physiological changes in boreal tree species during the spring transition. The two-phased transition explains inconsistencies in remote sensing estimates of the timing and drivers of spring recovery. Our results imply that satellite-based observations will improve by using a combination of vegetation indices and SIF, along with species distribution information.


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Seasonal variation in the canopy color of temperate evergreen conifer forests
Bijan Seyednasrollah, David R. Bowling, Rui Cheng, Barry A. Logan, Troy S. Magney, Christian Frankenberg, Julia C. Yang, Adam M. Young, Koen Hufkens, M. Altaf Arain, T. Andrew Black, Peter D. Blanken, Rosvel Bracho, Rachhpal S. Jassal, David Y. Hollinger, Beverly E. Law, Zoran Nesic, Andrew D. Richardson
New Phytologist, Volume 229, Issue 5

Evergreen conifer forests are the most prevalent land cover type in North America. Seasonal changes in the color of evergreen forest canopies have been documented with near-surface remote sensing, but the physiological mechanisms underlying these changes, and the implications for photosynthetic uptake, have not been fully elucidated. Here, we integrate on-the-ground phenological observations, leaf-level physiological measurements, near surface hyperspectral remote sensing and digital camera imagery, tower-based CO2 flux measurements, and a predictive model to simulate seasonal canopy color dynamics. We show that seasonal changes in canopy color occur independently of new leaf production, but track changes in chlorophyll fluorescence, the photochemical reflectance index, and leaf pigmentation. We demonstrate that at winter-dormant sites, seasonal changes in canopy color can be used to predict the onset of canopy-level photosynthesis in spring, and its cessation in autumn. Finally, we parameterize a simple temperature-based model to predict the seasonal cycle of canopy greenness, and we show that the model successfully simulates interannual variation in the timing of changes in canopy color. These results provide mechanistic insight into the factors driving seasonal changes in evergreen canopy color and provide opportunities to monitor and model seasonal variation in photosynthetic activity using color-based vegetation indices.


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Proximal remote sensing of tree physiology at northern treeline: Do late-season changes in the photochemical reflectance index (PRI) respond to climate or photoperiod?
Jan U. H. Eitel, Andrew J. Maguire, Natalie T. Boelman, Lee A. Vierling, Kevin L. Griffin, Johanna Jensen, Troy S. Magney, Peter J. Mahoney, Arjan J. H. Meddens, Carlos Alberto Silva, Oliver Sonnentag
Remote Sensing of Environment, Volume 221

Abstract Relatively little is known of how the world's largest vegetation transition zone – the Forest Tundra Ecotone (FTE) – is responding to climate change. Newly available, satellite-derived time-series of the photochemical reflectance index (PRI) across North America and Europe could provide new insights into the physiological response of evergreen trees to climate change by tracking changes in foliar pigment pools that have been linked to photosynthetic phenology. However, before implementing these data for such purpose at these evergreen dominated systems, it is important to increase our understanding of the fine scale mechanisms driving the connection between PRI and environmental conditions. The goal of this study is thus to gain a more mechanistic understanding of which environmental factors drive changes in PRI during late-season phenological transitions at the FTE – including factors that are susceptible to climate change (i.e., air- and soil-temperatures), and those that are not (photoperiod). We hypothesized that late-season phenological changes in foliar pigment pools captured by PRI are largely driven by photoperiod as opposed to less predictable drivers such as air temperature, complicating the utility of PRI time-series for understanding climate change effects on the FTE. Ground-based, time-series of PRI were acquired from individual trees in combination with meteorological variables and photoperiod information at six FTE sites in Alaska. A linear mixed-effects modeling approach was used to determine the significance (α = 0.001) and effect size (i.e., standardized slope b*) of environmental factors on late-seasonal changes in the PRI signal. Our results indicate that photoperiod had the strongest, significant effect on late-season changes in PRI (b* = 0.08, p