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Journal of Arid Land  2016, Vol. 8 Issue (1): 36-46    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-015-0136-7
Research Articles     
Responses of gross primary productivity to different sizes of precipitation events in a temperate grassland ecosystem in Inner Mongolia, China
GUO Qun1, LI Shenggong1, HU Zhongmin1*, ZHAO Wei1, 2, YU Guirui1, SUN Xiaomin1, LI Linghao3, LIANG Naishen4, BAI Wenming3
1 Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;
2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
3 State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China;
4 Global Carbon Cycle Research Section Center for Global Environmental Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba 305-8506, Japan
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Abstract  Changes in the sizes of precipitation events in the context of global climate change may have profound impacts on ecosystem productivity in arid and semiarid grasslands. However, we still have little knowledge about to what extent grassland productivity will respond to an individual precipitation event. In this study, we quantified the duration, the maximum, and the time-integrated amount of the response of daily gross primary productivity (GPP) to an individual precipitation event and their variations with different sizes of precipitation events in a typical temperate steppe in Inner Mongolia, China. Results showed that the duration of GPP-response (τR) and the maximum absolute GPP-response (GPPmax) increased linearly with the sizes of precipitation events (Pes), driving a corresponding increase in time-integrated amount of the GPP-response (GPPtotal) because variations of GPPtotal were largely explained by τR and GPPmax. The relative contributions of these two parameters to GPPtotal were strongly Pes-dependent. The GPPmax contributed more to the variations of GPPtotal when Pes was relatively small (<20 mm), whereas τR was the main driver to the variations of GPPtotal when Pes was relatively large. In addition, a threshold size of at least 5 mm of precipitation was required to induce a GPP-response for the temperate steppe in this study. Our work has important implications for the modeling community to obtain an advanced understanding of productivity-response of grassland ecosystems to altered precipitation regimes.

Key wordsparallel computing      hydrologic model      SWAT      parameter optimization      calibration     
Received: 25 March 2015      Published: 10 February 2016

This study was jointly supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31400425, 31570437, 41301043, 31420103917), the National Key Project of Scientific and Technical Supporting Program (2013BAC03B03), the Funding for Talented Young Scientists of IGSNRR (2013RC203), and the Social Foundation of Beijing Academy of Social Sciences (154005).

Cite this article:

GUO Qun, LI Shenggong, HU Zhongmin, ZHAO Wei, YU Guirui, SUN Xiaomin, LI Linghao, LIANG Naishen, BAI Wenming. Responses of gross primary productivity to different sizes of precipitation events in a temperate grassland ecosystem in Inner Mongolia, China. Journal of Arid Land, 2016, 8(1): 36-46.

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