Spatiotemporal variations of leaf senescence velocity on the Tibetan Plateau grasslands

Yusong Tang, Rui Chen, Jiangliu Xie, Dujuan Ma, Changjing Wang, Cong Wang, Qiaoyun Xie, Gaofei Yin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Leaf senescence plays a pivotal role in the regulation of carbon and nutrient cycles within terrestrial ecosystems. However, our understanding of leaf senescence velocity (LSV) remains comparatively limited when compared to the end of the growing season (EOS). In this study, we extracted the LSV in Tibet Plateau (TP) over the period 2001–2018 based on the satellite-derived normalized difference greenness index (NDGI), then we evaluated the influences of climate drivers on the spatio-temporal variations of LSV. Lastly, we explored the implications of LSV on vegetation growth by analyzing the correlation between LSV and the start of growing season (SOS) and the annual net primary production (NPP). Our findings revealed that the multi-year averaged LSV ranged from 30 to 70% mon-1 and displayed a discernible spatial gradient, declining from west to east, and the spatial pattern of LSV was mainly controlled by radiation. Trend tests and partial correlation analyses unveiled a temporal decrease in LSV within the central TP region, attributed to rising temperatures, while an increase was observed in the southwestern TP due to water deficits. We also found that LSV had a strong impact on current-year net NPP and following-year SOS. This suggests that LSV may play a significant role in regulating carbon exchange during the current year and influencing the onset of spring green-up in the subsequent year. By emphasizing the continuous nature of leaf senescence, our study provides fresh insights into the intricate interactions between vegetation growth and climate change, contributing to the existing body of knowledge in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111094
JournalEcological Indicators
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023

Cite this