Combining new technologies to monitor Phenology from leaves to ecosystems

The e-phenology is a multidisciplinary project that explores innovative solutions for plant monitoring in the tropics, combining research in Computer Science, Phenology, and Ecology. On-the-ground phenological observations preclude large areas of study and are laborious and time consuming. Near-surface remote phenology with digital cameras is still area-limited but reduces considerably manpower. Furthermore, it has proven to be an important tool for monitoring several species and accurately accessing leaf changes. In this project, we aim to apply new technologies to enhance the capabilities of near-surface remote phenological observation to detect changes on various scales, from leaves to ecosystems. Our goal is to address theoretical and practical problems involving the combination of two remote phenology monitoring systems: digital and hyperspectral cameras at three scales: on-the-ground, phenology tower, and near-space using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). It is geared towards four innovative objectives: (a) to develop a protocol for extracting spectral data from the RGB color channels, improving the information that can be derived from low-cost digital monitoring systems; (b) to apply those technologies to extract plant ecophysiological data advancing our knowledge of plant seasonal responses to environmental drivers in the tropics to climate change; (c) to develop near-surface monitoring system for reproductive phenophases i.e., flowering and fruiting, based on digital and hyperspectral images truth-grounded by species-specific spectral data; and (d) to advance and to apply novel database, image processing, machine learning, and visualization models, methods, and algorithms to support acquisition, management, integration, and analysis of phenology data systems from various scales. The research team is composed of Computer Scientists and researchers in Plant Ecology and Phenology.

Integrantes: Jefersson Alex dos Santos – Integrante / Torres, R.da S. – Integrante / ALMEIDA, JURANDY – Integrante / MORELLATO, LEONOR PATRICIA C. – Coordenador.