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Hydrological Response of Alpine Wetlands to Climate Warming in the Eastern Tibetan Plateau
Open AccessArticle

Variability and Changes in Climate, Phenology, and Gross Primary Production of an Alpine Wetland Ecosystem

Beijing Key Laboratory of Wetland Services and Restoration, Institute of Wetland Research, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
Sichuan Zoige Wetland Ecosystem Research Station, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Aba 624500, China
College of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China
Beijing Gardens Green Bureau, Beijing 100013, China
Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Science, Xining 810008, China
Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå 90183, Sweden
Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology, Center for Spatial Analysis, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA
Institute of Biodiversity Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Javier Bustamante, Alfredo R. Huete, Patricia Kandus, Ricardo Díaz-Delgado, Magaly Koch and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(5), 391;
Received: 10 December 2015 / Revised: 24 March 2016 / Accepted: 29 April 2016 / Published: 6 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What can Remote Sensing Do for the Conservation of Wetlands?)
Quantifying the variability and changes in phenology and gross primary production (GPP) of alpine wetlands in the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau under climate change is essential for assessing carbon (C) balance dynamics at regional and global scales. In this study, in situ eddy covariance (EC) flux tower observations and remote sensing data were integrated with a modified, satellite-based vegetation photosynthesis model (VPM) to investigate the variability in climate change, phenology, and GPP of an alpine wetland ecosystem, located in Zoige, southwestern China. Two-year EC data and remote sensing vegetation indices showed that warmer temperatures corresponded to an earlier start date of the growing season, increased GPP, and ecosystem respiration, and hence increased the C sink strength of the alpine wetlands. Twelve-year long-term simulations (2000–2011) showed that: (1) there were significantly increasing trends for the mean annual enhanced vegetation index (EVI), land surface water index (LSWI), and growing season GPP (R2 ≥ 0.59, p < 0.01) at rates of 0.002, 0.11 year−1 and 16.32 g·C·m−2·year−1, respectively, which was in line with the observed warming trend (R2 = 0.54, p = 0.006); (2) the start and end of the vegetation growing season (SOS and EOS) experienced a continuous advancing trend at a rate of 1.61 days·year−1 and a delaying trend at a rate of 1.57 days·year−1 from 2000 to 2011 (p ≤ 0.04), respectively; and (3) with increasing temperature, the advanced SOS and delayed EOS prolonged the wetland’s phenological and photosynthetically active period and, thereby, increased wetland productivity by about 3.7–4.2 g·C·m−2·year−1 per day. Furthermore, our results indicated that warming and the extension of the growing season had positive effects on carbon uptake in this alpine wetland ecosystem. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; phenology; VPM; gross primary production; Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau; alpine wetland climate change; phenology; VPM; gross primary production; Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau; alpine wetland
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kang, X.; Hao, Y.; Cui, X.; Chen, H.; Huang, S.; Du, Y.; Li, W.; Kardol, P.; Xiao, X.; Cui, L. Variability and Changes in Climate, Phenology, and Gross Primary Production of an Alpine Wetland Ecosystem. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 391.

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