Evaluating the effects of future climate change and elevated CO2 on the water use efficiency in terrestrial ecosystems of China

Ecological Modelling
By: , and 

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Abstract

Water use efficiency (WUE) is an important variable used in climate change and hydrological studies in relation to how it links ecosystem carbon cycles and hydrological cycles together. However, obtaining reliable WUE results based on site-level flux data remains a great challenge when scaling up to larger regional zones. Biophysical, process-based ecosystem models are powerful tools to study WUE at large spatial and temporal scales. The Integrated BIosphere Simulator (IBIS) was used to evaluate the effects of climate change and elevated CO2 concentrations on ecosystem-level WUE (defined as the ratio of gross primary production (GPP) to evapotranspiration (ET)) in relation to terrestrial ecosystems in China for 2009–2099. Climate scenario data (IPCC SRES A2 and SRES B1) generated from the Third Generation Coupled Global Climate Model (CGCM3) was used in the simulations. Seven simulations were implemented according to the assemblage of different elevated CO2 concentrations scenarios and different climate change scenarios. Analysis suggests that (1) further elevated CO2concentrations will significantly enhance the WUE over China by the end of the twenty-first century, especially in forest areas; (2) effects of climate change on WUE will vary for different geographical regions in China with negative effects occurring primarily in southern regions and positive effects occurring primarily in high latitude and altitude regions (Tibetan Plateau); (3) WUE will maintain the current levels for 2009–2099 under the constant climate scenario (i.e. using mean climate condition of 1951–2006 and CO2concentrations of the 2008 level); and (4) WUE will decrease with the increase of water resource restriction (expressed as evaporation ratio) among different ecosystems.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Evaluating the effects of future climate change and elevated CO2 on the water use efficiency in terrestrial ecosystems of China
Series title Ecological Modelling
DOI 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2010.09.035
Volume 222
Issue 14
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 16 p.
First page 2414
Last page 2429