Impacts of increased variability in precipitation and air temperature on net primary productivity of the Tibetan Plateau: A modeling analysis

Published

Journal Article

We analyzed interannual variability (IAV) of precipitation and air temperature over a 40-year period (1969-2008) for 11 sites along a precipitation gradient on the Tibetan Plateau. The observed IAV for both precipitation and air temperature decreases with increasing mean annual precipitation. Using Biome-BGC, a process-based ecosystem model, we simulated net primary production (NPP) along this gradient and find that the IAV of NPP is positively correlated to the IAV of precipitation and temperature. Following projected climate change scenarios for the Tibetan Plateau, our simulations suggest that with increasing IAV of precipitation and temperature, the IAV of NPP will also increase and that climate thresholds exist that, if surpassed, lead to ecosystem die-off. The impacts of these changes on ecosystem processes and climate-vegetation feedbacks on the rapidly warming Tibetan Plateau are potentially quite significant. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ye, JS; Reynolds, JF; Sun, GJ; Li, FM

Published Date

  • July 1, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 119 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 321 - 332

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0165-0009

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10584-013-0719-2

Citation Source

  • Scopus