Responses of LAI to rainfall explain contrasting sensitivities to carbon uptake between forest and non-forest ecosystems in Australia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Scientific Reports, 2017, 7 (1)
Issue Date:
2017-12-01
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© 2017 The Author(s). Non-forest ecosystems (predominant in semi-arid and arid regions) contribute significantly to the increasing trend and interannual variation of land carbon uptake over the last three decades, yet the mechanisms are poorly understood. By analysing the flux measurements from 23 ecosystems in Australia, we found the the correlation between gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Re) was significant for non-forest ecosystems, but was not for forests. In non-forest ecosystems, both GPP and Reincreased with rainfall, and, consequently net ecosystem production (NEP) increased with rainfall. In forest ecosystems, GPP and Rewere insensitive to rainfall. Furthermore sensitivity of GPP to rainfall was dominated by the rainfall-driven variation of LAI rather GPP per unit LAI in non-forest ecosystems, which was not correctly reproduced by current land models, indicating that the mechanisms underlying the response of LAI to rainfall should be targeted for future model development.
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