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Below-surface water mediates the response of African forests to reduced rainfall

Madani, Nima ; Kimball, John S. ; Parazoo, Nicholas C. ; Ballantyne, Ashley P. ; Tagesson, Torbern LU ; Jones, Lucas A. ; Reichle, Rolf H. ; Palmer, Paul I. ; Velicogna, Isabella and Bloom, A. Anthony , et al. (2020) In Environmental Research Letters 15(3).
Abstract

Terrestrial ecosystem gross primary productivity (GPP) is the largest land-atmosphere carbon flux and the primary mechanism of photosynthetic fixation of atmospheric CO2 into plant biomass. Anomalous rainfall events have been shown to have a great impact on the global carbon cycle. However, less is known about the impact of these events on GPP, especially in Africa, where in situ observations are sparse. Here, we use a suite of satellite and other geospatial data to examine the responses of major ecosystems in Africa to anomalous rainfall events from 2003 to 2017. Our results reveal that higher-than-average groundwater storage in tropical ecosystems offsets the rainfall deficit during the dry years. While the inter-annual... (More)

Terrestrial ecosystem gross primary productivity (GPP) is the largest land-atmosphere carbon flux and the primary mechanism of photosynthetic fixation of atmospheric CO2 into plant biomass. Anomalous rainfall events have been shown to have a great impact on the global carbon cycle. However, less is known about the impact of these events on GPP, especially in Africa, where in situ observations are sparse. Here, we use a suite of satellite and other geospatial data to examine the responses of major ecosystems in Africa to anomalous rainfall events from 2003 to 2017. Our results reveal that higher-than-average groundwater storage in tropical ecosystems offsets the rainfall deficit during the dry years. While the inter-annual variations in GPP in semi-arid ecosystems are controlled by near surface soil water, deeper soil moisture and groundwater control the inter-annual variability of the GPP in dense tropical forests. Our study highlights the critical role of groundwater in buffering rainfall shortages and continued availability of near-surface water to plants through dry spells.

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organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
GPP, groundwater, SIF, soil moisture
in
Environmental Research Letters
volume
15
issue
3
article number
034063
publisher
IOP Publishing
external identifiers
  • scopus:85082761991
ISSN
1748-9318
DOI
10.1088/1748-9326/ab724a
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
86ae47a9-ed24-49ca-b61f-719422c313ce
date added to LUP
2020-04-28 15:14:21
date last changed
2020-04-29 04:23:42
@article{86ae47a9-ed24-49ca-b61f-719422c313ce,
  abstract     = {<p>Terrestrial ecosystem gross primary productivity (GPP) is the largest land-atmosphere carbon flux and the primary mechanism of photosynthetic fixation of atmospheric CO<sub>2</sub> into plant biomass. Anomalous rainfall events have been shown to have a great impact on the global carbon cycle. However, less is known about the impact of these events on GPP, especially in Africa, where in situ observations are sparse. Here, we use a suite of satellite and other geospatial data to examine the responses of major ecosystems in Africa to anomalous rainfall events from 2003 to 2017. Our results reveal that higher-than-average groundwater storage in tropical ecosystems offsets the rainfall deficit during the dry years. While the inter-annual variations in GPP in semi-arid ecosystems are controlled by near surface soil water, deeper soil moisture and groundwater control the inter-annual variability of the GPP in dense tropical forests. Our study highlights the critical role of groundwater in buffering rainfall shortages and continued availability of near-surface water to plants through dry spells.</p>},
  author       = {Madani, Nima and Kimball, John S. and Parazoo, Nicholas C. and Ballantyne, Ashley P. and Tagesson, Torbern and Jones, Lucas A. and Reichle, Rolf H. and Palmer, Paul I. and Velicogna, Isabella and Bloom, A. Anthony and Saatchi, Sassan and Liu, Zhihua and Geruo, A.},
  issn         = {1748-9318},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {03},
  number       = {3},
  publisher    = {IOP Publishing},
  series       = {Environmental Research Letters},
  title        = {Below-surface water mediates the response of African forests to reduced rainfall},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab724a},
  doi          = {10.1088/1748-9326/ab724a},
  volume       = {15},
  year         = {2020},
}