April 19, 2013

Real-time Monitoring of Forest Phenology at CTFS-SIGEO Sites Initiated

Webcams or ‘Phenocams’ have recently been installed in several CTFS-SIGEO sites to provide real-time monitoring of the dynamics of leaves, flowers and fruits in the forest. Both Barro Colorado Island and Wind River have volunteered to be part of an phenology web camera network, called ‘The PhenoCam Network’. The network provides automated, near-surface remote sensing of canopy phenology captured by a mounted camera.

BCI’s phenocam was installed March 25th and the timing of the installation was excellent. Within days the Tabebuia guayacan trees began to flower. The camera is mounted on a tower in the center of the island, and is pointed down at the canopy. Wind River has two cameras, one is in the understorey and the other is focused on the canopy. Every second, images are updated and available online. A link on the CTFS-SIGEO homepage (http://www.ctfs.si.edu) connects directly to the Phenocams.

This is a pilot project. It is hoped that similar cameras will be installed on additional CTFS-SIGEO sites in the future.

Barro Colorado Island canopy

Wind River understorey

Wind River canopy