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Variations in Vegetation Net Primary Production in the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, China, from 1982 to 1999

Abstract

Vegetation net primary production (NPP) derived from a carbon model (Carnegie–Ames–Stanford Approach, CASA) and its interannual change in the Qinghai-Xizang (Tibetan) Plateau were investigated in this study using 1982–1999 time series data sets of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and paired ground-based information on vegetation, climate, soil, and solar radiation. The 18-year averaged annual NPP over the plateau was 125 g C m−2 yr−1, decreasing from the southeast to the northwest, consistent with precipitation and temperature patterns. Total annual NPP was estimated between 0.183 and 0.244 Pg C over the 18 years, with an average of 0.212 Pg C (1 Pg = 1015 g). Two distinct periods (1982–1990 and 1991–1999) of NPP variation were observed, separated by a sharp reduction during 1990–1991. From 1982 to 1990, annual NPP did not show a significant trend, while from 1991 to 1999 a marked increase of 0.007 Pg C yr−2 was observed. NPP trends for most vegetation types resembled that of the whole plateau. The largest annual NPP increase during 1991–1999 appeared in alpine meadows, accounting for 32.3% of the increment of the whole region. Changes in solar radiation and temperature significantly influenced NPP variation, suggesting that solar radiation may be one of the major factors associated with changes in NPP.

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Correspondence to Jingyun Fang.

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Piao, S., Fang, J. & He, J. Variations in Vegetation Net Primary Production in the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, China, from 1982 to 1999. Climatic Change 74, 253–267 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-005-6339-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-005-6339-8

Keywords

  • Normalize Difference Vegetation Index
  • Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer
  • Alpine Meadow
  • Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer
  • Global Change Biol