Climate-driven interannual variability in net ecosystem exchange in the Northern Great Plains grasslands

Rangeland Ecology and Management
By: , and 

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Abstract

The Northern Great Plains grasslands respond differently under various climatic conditions; however, there have been no detailed studies investigating the interannual variability in carbon exchange across the entire Northern Great Plains grassland ecosystem. We developed a piecewise regression model to integrate flux tower data with remotely sensed data and mapped the 8-d and 500-m net ecosystem exchange (NEE) for the years from 2000 to 2006. We studied the interannual variability of NEE, characterized the interannual NEE difference in climatically different years, and identified the drought impact on NEE. The results showed that NEE was highly variable in space and time across the 7 yr. Specifically, NEE was consistently low (−35 to 322 g C·m−2·yr−1) with an average annual NEE of −2 ± 242 g C·m−2·yr−1 and a cumulative flux of −152 g C·m−2. The Northern Great Plains grassland was a weak source for carbon during 2000–2006 because of frequent droughts, which strongly affected the carbon balance, especially in the Western High Plains and Northwestern Great Plains. Comparison of the NEE map with a drought monitor map confirmed a substantial correlation between drought and carbon dynamics. If drought severity or frequency increases in the future, the Northern Great Plains grasslands may become an even greater carbon source.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Climate-driven interannual variability in net ecosystem exchange in the Northern Great Plains grasslands
Series title Rangeland Ecology and Management
DOI 10.2111/08-232.1
Volume 63
Issue 1
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 11 p.
First page 40
Last page 50
Country United States
Other Geospatial Northern Great Plains grasslands