Diverse Responses of Global Vegetation to Climate Changes: Spatial Patterns and Time-lag Effects

Monday, 15 December 2014
Donghai Wu1, Xiang Zhao1, Tao Zhou2, Kaicheng Huang2 and Wenfang Xu2, (1)BNU Beijing Normal University, College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing, China, (2)BNU Beijing Normal University, State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing, China
Global climate changes have enormous influences on vegetation growth, meanwhile, response of vegetation to climate express space diversity and time-lag effects, which account for spatial-temporal disparities of climate change and spatial heterogeneity of ecosystem. Revelation of this phenomenon will help us further understanding the impact of climate change on vegetation. Assessment and forecast of global environmental change can be also improved under further climate change. Here we present space diversity and time-lag effects patterns of global vegetation respond to three climate factors (temperature, precipitation and solar radiation) based on quantitative analysis of satellite data (NDVI) and Climate data (Climate Research Unit). We assessed the time-lag effects of global vegetation to main climate factors based on the great correlation fitness between NDVI and the three climate factors respectively among 0-12 months’ temporal lags. On this basis, integrated response model of NDVI and the three climate factors was built to analyze contribution of different climate factors to vegetation growth with multiple regression model and partial correlation model. In the result, different vegetation types have distinct temporal lags to the three climate factors. For the precipitation, temporal lags of grasslands are the shortest while the evergreen broad-leaf forests are the longest, which means that grasslands are more sensitive to precipitation than evergreen broad-leaf forests. Analysis of different climate factors’ contribution to vegetation reveal that vegetation are dominated by temperature in the high northern latitudes; they are mainly restricted by precipitation in arid and semi-arid areas (Australia, Western America); in humid areas of low and intermediate latitudes (Amazon, Eastern America), vegetation are mainly influenced by solar radiation. Our results reveal the time-lag effects and major driving factors of global vegetation growth and explain the spatiotemporal variations of global vegetation in last 30 years. Significantly, it is as well as in forecasting and assessing the influences of future climate change on the vegetation dynamics.

This work was supported by the High Technology Research and Development Program of China (Grant NO.2013AA122801).