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Nat Commun. 2014 Oct 16;5:5018. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6018.

Evidence for a weakening relationship between interannual temperature variability and northern vegetation activity.

Author information

1
1] Key Laboratory of Alpine Ecology and Biodiversity, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China [2] Sino-French Institute for Earth System Science, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China [3] CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences,Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China.
2
Sino-French Institute for Earth System Science, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.
3
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Benson Lane, Wallingford OX10 8BB, UK.
4
Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, CEA CNRS UVSQ, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France.
5
College of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QF, UK.
6
College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4RJ, UK.
7
1] Sino-French Institute for Earth System Science, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China [2] Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, CEA CNRS UVSQ, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France.
8
Department of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, Lund University, Sölvegatan 12, SE-223 62 Lund, Sweden.
9
Global Carbon Project, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Ocean and Atmospheric Flagship, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601, Australia.
10
Key Laboratory of Alpine Ecology and Biodiversity, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China.
11
National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorada 80301, USA.
12
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0QB, UK.
13
State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China.
14
Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK.
15
Climate Change Science Institute and Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, USA.
16
Department of Geography and Environment, Boston University, 675 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.
17
1] Key Laboratory of Alpine Ecology and Biodiversity, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China [2] Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, CEA CNRS UVSQ, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France.
18
Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, P.O. Box 10 01 64, 07701 Jena, Germany.
19
Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20740, USA.
20
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA.

Abstract

Satellite-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), a proxy of vegetation productivity, is known to be correlated with temperature in northern ecosystems. This relationship, however, may change over time following alternations in other environmental factors. Here we show that above 30°N, the strength of the relationship between the interannual variability of growing season NDVI and temperature (partial correlation coefficient RNDVI-GT) declined substantially between 1982 and 2011. This decrease in RNDVI-GT is mainly observed in temperate and arctic ecosystems, and is also partly reproduced by process-based ecosystem model results. In the temperate ecosystem, the decrease in RNDVI-GT coincides with an increase in drought. In the arctic ecosystem, it may be related to a nonlinear response of photosynthesis to temperature, increase of hot extreme days and shrub expansion over grass-dominated tundra. Our results caution the use of results from interannual time scales to constrain the decadal response of plants to ongoing warming.

PMID:
25318638
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms6018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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