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PhenoChange: towards a dry tropics global phenological monitoring network

Grant number: 22/02323-0
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: August 01, 2022 - July 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Ecosystems Ecology
Convênio/Acordo: NERC, UKRI
Principal Investigator:Leonor Patricia Cerdeira Morellato
Grantee:Leonor Patricia Cerdeira Morellato
Principal researcher abroad: Kyle Graham Dexter
Institution abroad: University of Edinburgh, Scotland
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Albert Phillimore ; Bruna de Costa Alberton ; Casey M. Ryan ; Italo Antonio Cotta Coutinho ; Magna Soelma Beserra de Moura ; Mário Marcos do Espírito Santo
Associated research grant:19/11835-2 - Phenology of deciduous dry forests: a comparison at multiple spatial scales using phenocams and drones, AP.R


PhenoChange will launch a trans-continental network to monitor plant phenology across the dry tropics. Currently, controls on the timing of leaf display and the associated fluxes of energy and matter are a major uncertainty in earth system modelling, particularly for the dry tropics, limiting projections of vegetation responses to climate change. Tropical dry biomes, which cover 18% of global landmass, are critical to climate-vegetation feedbacks but are still understudied. The recently launched IPCC Report 6 - WGII highlights the relevance of phenology and the persistent lack of information from tropical regions. Likewise, the UNEP Frontiers 2022 report includes phenology mismatches as a frontline research topic. A critical barrier to progress has been the lack of coordinated and geographically representative phenology data. New technologies, specifically near-surface phenology - the use of repeated images from digital cameras, or PhenoCams, present us with an opportunity to overcome this barrier. PhenoChange will provide the first cross-continent, standardised observations of the phenological behaviour of tropical dry vegetation, and lay the foundation for a broad, fundable network. (AU)

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