Regional response of grassland productivity to changing environment conditions influenced by limiting factors

Qiuyue Li, Jihua Hou, Pu Yan, Li Xu, Zhi Chen, Hao Yang, Nianpeng He, Dafeng Hui
2020 PLoS ONE  
Regional differences and regulatory mechanisms of vegetation productivity response to changing environmental conditions constitute a core issue in macroecological researches. To verify the main limiting factors of different macrosystems [temperature-limited Tibetan Plateau (TP), precipitation-limited Mongolian Plateau (MP), and nutrient-limited Loess Plateau (LP)], we conducted a comparative survey of the east-west grassland transects on the three plateaus and explored the factors limiting
more » ... ctors limiting regional productivity and their underlying mechanisms. The results showed that aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) of LP (109.10 ± 16.76 g m-2 yr-1) was significantly higher than that of MP (66.71 ± 11.11 g m-2 yr-1) and TP (57.02 ± 10.59 g m-2 yr-1). The response rate of ANPP with environmental changes was different among different plateaus, being closely related to the main limiting factors. On MP, this was precipitation, on LP it was temperature and nutrients, and on TP, it was non-specific, reflecting restriction by the extremely low temperature. After autocorrelation screening of environmental factors, different regions exhibited different productivity response mechanisms. MP was mainly influenced by temperature and precipitation, LP was influenced by temperature and nutrient, and TP was influenced by nutrient, reflecting the modifying effect of the main limiting factors. The effect of each regional environment on ANPP was 72.56% on average and only 27.18% after simple regional integration. The regional model could optimize the simulation error of the integrated model, and the relative deviations in MP, LP, and TP were reduced by 31.76%, 17.22%, and 2.23%, respectively. These findings indicate that the grasslands on the three plateaus may have different or even the opposite mechanisms to control productivity.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0240238 pmid:33064720 fatcat:nc2rmav6hfed5fvabjytsznn4u