Enhanced peak growth of global vegetation and its key mechanisms

Kun Huang, Jianyang Xia, Yingping Wang, Anders Ahlström, Jiquan Chen, Robert B. Cook, Erqian Cui, Yuanyuan Fang, Joshua B. Fisher, Deborah N Huntzinger, Zhao Li, Anna M. Michalak, Yang Qiao, Kevin Schaefer, Christopher R Schwalm, Jing Wang, Yaxing Wei, Xiaoni Xu, Liming Yan, Chenyu BianYiqi Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The annual peak growth of vegetation is critical in characterizing the capacity of terrestrial ecosystem productivity and shaping the seasonality of atmospheric CO2 concentrations. The recent greening of global lands suggests an increasing trend of terrestrial vegetation growth, but whether or not the peak growth has been globally enhanced still remains unclear. Here, we use two global datasets of gross primary productivity (GPP) and a satellite-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to characterize recent changes in annual peak vegetation growth (that is, GPPmax and NDVImax). We demonstrate that the peak in the growth of global vegetation has been linearly increasing during the past three decades. About 65% of the NDVImax variation is evenly explained by expanding croplands (21%), rising CO2 (22%) and intensifying nitrogen deposition (22%). The contribution of expanding croplands to the peak growth trend is substantiated by measurements from eddy-flux towers, sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence and a global database of plant traits, all of which demonstrate that croplands have a higher photosynthetic capacity than other vegetation types. The large contribution of CO2 is also supported by a meta-analysis of 466 manipulative experiments and 15 terrestrial biosphere models. Furthermore, we show that the contribution of GPPmax to the change in annual GPP is less in the tropics than in other regions. These multiple lines of evidence reveal an increasing trend in the peak growth of global vegetation. The findings highlight the important roles of agricultural intensification and atmospheric changes in reshaping the seasonality of global vegetation growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1897-1905
Number of pages9
JournalNature Ecology and Evolution
Volume2
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

Fingerprint

vegetation
primary productivity
productivity
seasonality
eddy covariance
meta-analysis
vegetation types
agricultural intensification
tropics
terrestrial ecosystem
NDVI
fluorescence
vegetation type
biosphere
chlorophyll
eddy
nitrogen
cropland
trend
experiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

Cite this

Huang, K., Xia, J., Wang, Y., Ahlström, A., Chen, J., Cook, R. B., ... Luo, Y. (2018). Enhanced peak growth of global vegetation and its key mechanisms. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 2(12), 1897-1905. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0714-0

Enhanced peak growth of global vegetation and its key mechanisms. / Huang, Kun; Xia, Jianyang; Wang, Yingping; Ahlström, Anders; Chen, Jiquan; Cook, Robert B.; Cui, Erqian; Fang, Yuanyuan; Fisher, Joshua B.; Huntzinger, Deborah N; Li, Zhao; Michalak, Anna M.; Qiao, Yang; Schaefer, Kevin; Schwalm, Christopher R; Wang, Jing; Wei, Yaxing; Xu, Xiaoni; Yan, Liming; Bian, Chenyu; Luo, Yiqi.

In: Nature Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 2, No. 12, 01.12.2018, p. 1897-1905.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Huang, K, Xia, J, Wang, Y, Ahlström, A, Chen, J, Cook, RB, Cui, E, Fang, Y, Fisher, JB, Huntzinger, DN, Li, Z, Michalak, AM, Qiao, Y, Schaefer, K, Schwalm, CR, Wang, J, Wei, Y, Xu, X, Yan, L, Bian, C & Luo, Y 2018, 'Enhanced peak growth of global vegetation and its key mechanisms', Nature Ecology and Evolution, vol. 2, no. 12, pp. 1897-1905. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0714-0
Huang K, Xia J, Wang Y, Ahlström A, Chen J, Cook RB et al. Enhanced peak growth of global vegetation and its key mechanisms. Nature Ecology and Evolution. 2018 Dec 1;2(12):1897-1905. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0714-0
Huang, Kun ; Xia, Jianyang ; Wang, Yingping ; Ahlström, Anders ; Chen, Jiquan ; Cook, Robert B. ; Cui, Erqian ; Fang, Yuanyuan ; Fisher, Joshua B. ; Huntzinger, Deborah N ; Li, Zhao ; Michalak, Anna M. ; Qiao, Yang ; Schaefer, Kevin ; Schwalm, Christopher R ; Wang, Jing ; Wei, Yaxing ; Xu, Xiaoni ; Yan, Liming ; Bian, Chenyu ; Luo, Yiqi. / Enhanced peak growth of global vegetation and its key mechanisms. In: Nature Ecology and Evolution. 2018 ; Vol. 2, No. 12. pp. 1897-1905.
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