Relative importance of climate changes at different time scales on net primary productivity—a case study of the Karst area of northwest Guangxi, China

  • Huiyu Liu
  • Mingyang Zhang
  • Zhenshan Lin


Climate changes are considered to significantly impact net primary productivity (NPP). However, there are few studies on how climate changes at multiple time scales impact NPP. With MODIS NPP product and station-based observations of sunshine duration, annual average temperature and annual precipitation, impacts of climate changes at different time scales on annual NPP, have been studied with EEMD (ensemble empirical mode decomposition) method in the Karst area of northwest Guangxi, China, during 2000–2013. Moreover, with partial least squares regression (PLSR) model, the relative importance of climatic variables for annual NPP has been explored. The results show that (1) only at quasi 3-year time scale do sunshine duration and temperature have significantly positive relations with NPP. (2) Annual precipitation has no significant relation to NPP by direct comparison, but significantly positive relation at 5-year time scale, which is because 5-year time scale is not the dominant scale of precipitation; (3) the changes of NPP may be dominated by inter-annual variabilities. (4) Multiple time scales analysis will greatly improve the performance of PLSR model for estimating NPP. The variable importance in projection (VIP) scores of sunshine duration and temperature at quasi 3-year time scale, and precipitation at quasi 5-year time scale are greater than 0.8, indicating important for NPP during 2000–2013. However, sunshine duration and temperature at quasi 3-year time scale are much more important. Our results underscore the importance of multiple time scales analysis for revealing the relations of NPP to changing climate.


Multiple time scales Climate changes Net primary productivity Ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) model Partial least squares regression (PLSR) model 



This research has been supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31470519, 31370484), Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20131399) and funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Geography ScienceNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory Cultivation Base of Geographical Environment Evolution (Jiangsu Province)NanjingChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic EnvironmentNanjing Normal University, Ministry of EducationNanjingChina
  4. 4.Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and ApplicationNanjingChina
  5. 5.Key Laboratory of Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical RegionInstitute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of SciencesChangshaChina

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