Responses of LAI to rainfall explain contrasting sensitivities to carbon uptake between forest and non-forest ecosystems in Australia

Longhui Li, Ying Ping Wang, Jason Beringer, Hao Shi, James Cleverly, Lei Cheng, Derek Eamus, Alfredo Huete, Lindsay Hutley, Xingjie Lu, Shilong Piao, Lu Zhang, Yongqiang Zhang, Qiang Yu

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    Abstract

    Non-forest ecosystems (predominant in semi-arid and arid regions) contribute significantly to the increasing trend and interannual variation of land carbon uptake over the last three decades, yet the mechanisms are poorly understood. By analysing the flux measurements from 23 ecosystems in Australia, we found the the correlation between gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Re) was significant for non-forest ecosystems, but was not for forests. In non-forest ecosystems, both GPP and Re increased with rainfall, and, consequently net ecosystem production (NEP) increased with rainfall. In forest ecosystems, GPP and Re were insensitive to rainfall. Furthermore sensitivity of GPP to rainfall was dominated by the rainfall-driven variation of LAI rather GPP per unit LAI in non-forest ecosystems, which was not correctly reproduced by current land models, indicating that the mechanisms underlying the response of LAI to rainfall should be targeted for future model development.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number11720
    JournalScientific Reports
    Volume7
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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    Li, L., Wang, Y. P., Beringer, J., Shi, H., Cleverly, J., Cheng, L., Eamus, D., Huete, A., Hutley, L., Lu, X., Piao, S., Zhang, L., Zhang, Y., & Yu, Q. (2017). Responses of LAI to rainfall explain contrasting sensitivities to carbon uptake between forest and non-forest ecosystems in Australia. Scientific Reports, 7(1), [11720]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-11063-w