Evidence for a weakening relationship between interannual temperature variability and northern vegetation activity.
Nature Publishing Group
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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.
Strategic Priority Research Program (B) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
National Basic Research Program of China
Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection
National Natural Science Foundation of China
US Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
Vol. 5, pp. 5018 -
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