Utilization of ground-based digital photography for the evaluation of seasonal changes in the aboveground green biomass and foliage phenology in a grassland ecosystem

Tomoharu Inoue, Shin Nagai, Hideki Kobayashi, Hiroshi Koizumi

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    27 Citations (Scopus)


    We investigated the usefulness of a ground-based digital photography to evaluate seasonal changes in the aboveground green biomass and foliage phenology in a short-grass grassland in Japan. For ground-truthing purposes, the ecological variables of aboveground green biomass and spectral reflectance of aboveground plant parts were also measured monthly. Seasonal change in a camera-based index (rG: ratio of green channel) reflected the characteristic events of the foliage phenology such as the leaf-flush and leaf senescence. In addition, the seasonal pattern of the rG was similar to that of the aboveground green biomass throughout the year. Moreover, there was a positive linear relationship between rG and aboveground green biomass (R2=0.81, p<0.05), as was the case with spectra-based vegetation indices. On the basis of these results, we conclude that continuous observation using digital cameras is a useful tool that is less labor intensive than conventional methods for estimating aboveground green biomass and monitoring foliage phenology in short-grass grasslands in Japan.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalEcological Informatics
    Publication statusPublished - 2015



    • Biomass estimation
    • Digital camera
    • Digital repeat photography
    • Phenological observations
    • RGB

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • Ecology
    • Computer Science Applications
    • Computational Theory and Mathematics
    • Applied Mathematics
    • Modelling and Simulation
    • Ecological Modelling

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