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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2016-631
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
20 Jan 2017
Review status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.
Empirical and model-based estimates of spatial and temporal variations in net primary productivity in semi-arid grasslands of Northern China
Shengwei Zhang1,2, Rui Zhang1, Tingxi Liu1, Xin Song2, and Mark A. Adams2 1College of Water Conservancy and Civil Engineering, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, Hohhot, 010018, China
2Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, University of Sydney, Sydney, 2570, Australia
Abstract. Spatiotemporal variations in net primary productivity (NPP) of vegetation offer insights to surface water and carbon dynamics, and are closely related to temperature and precipitation. We employed the Carnegie-Ames-Stanford Approach ecosystem model to estimate NPP of semiarid grassland in northern China between 2001 and 2013. Model estimates were strongly linearly correlated with observed values (R2 = 0.67, RMSE = 35 g C m−2 year−1). We also quantified inter-annual changes in NPP over the 13-year study period. NPP varied between 141 and 313 g C m−2 year−1, with a mean of 240 g C m−2 year−1. NPP increased from west to east each year, and mean precipitation in each county was significantly positively correlated with NPP in annually, summer and autumn. Mean precipitation was also positively correlated with NPP in spring, but the correlation was not significant. Annual and summer temperatures were mostly negatively correlated with NPP, but temperature was positively correlated with spring and autumn NPP. Spatial correlation and partial correlation analyses at the pixel scale confirmed precipitation as a major driver of NPP. Temperature was negatively correlated with NPP in 99 % of the regions at the annual scale, but after removing the effect of precipitation, temperature was positively correlated with the NPP in 77 % of the regions.

Citation: Zhang, S., Zhang, R., Liu, T., Song, X., and Adams, M. A.: Empirical and model-based estimates of spatial and temporal variations in net primary productivity in semi-arid grasslands of Northern China, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2016-631, 2017.
Shengwei Zhang et al.
Shengwei Zhang et al.

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Short summary
Our Ms provides a rigorous analysis of long-term (13 years) primary production for the extensive grasslands of northern China. We used a model calibrated against empirical data from long-term growth plots, to assess how key drivers of plant growth – temperature and precipitation – influenced production across the region, at several scales. The results show that, perhaps as might be expected, temperature effects on production depend heavily on recent precipitation.
Our Ms provides a rigorous analysis of long-term (13 years) primary production for the extensive...
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