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Title: Asymmetric responses of primary productivity to precipitation extremes: A synthesis of grassland precipitation manipulation experiments

Abstract

Climatic changes are altering Earth's hydrological cycle, resulting in altered precipitation amounts, increased interannual variability of precipitation, and more frequent extreme precipitation events. These trends will likely continue into the future, having substantial impacts on net primary productivity (NPP) and associated ecosystem services such as food production and carbon sequestration. Frequently, experimental manipulations of precipitation have linked altered precipitation regimes to changes in NPP. Yet, findings have been diverse and substantial uncertainty still surrounds generalities describing patterns of ecosystem sensitivity to altered precipitation. Additionally, we do not know whether previously observed correlations between NPP and precipitation remain accurate when precipitation changes become extreme. We synthesized results from 83 case studies of experimental precipitation manipulations in grasslands worldwide. Here, we used meta-analytical techniques to search for generalities and asymmetries of aboveground NPP (ANPP) and belowground NPP (BNPP) responses to both the direction and magnitude of precipitation change. Sensitivity (i.e., productivity response standardized by the amount of precipitation change) of BNPP was similar under precipitation additions and reductions, but ANPP was more sensitive to precipitation additions than reductions; this was especially evident in drier ecosystems. Additionally, overall relationships between the magnitude of productivity responses and the magnitude of precipitation change were saturatingmore » in form. The saturating form of this relationship was likely driven by ANPP responses to very extreme precipitation increases, although there were limited studies imposing extreme precipitation change, and there was considerable variation among experiments. Finally, this highlights the importance of incorporating gradients of manipulations, ranging from extreme drought to extreme precipitation increases into future climate change experiments. Additionally, policy and land management decisions related to global change scenarios should consider how ANPP and BNPP responses may differ, and that ecosystem responses to extreme events might not be predicted from relationships found under moderate environmental changes.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [8];  [9];  [10];  [11];  [12]; ORCiD logo [1];  [3];  [5];  [1];  [13];  [14];  [9] more »;  [3];  [15];  [16];  [17]; ORCiD logo [18];  [1] « less
  1. Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States). Dept. of Microbiology and Plant Biology
  2. Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States). School of Life Sciences
  3. Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States). Dept. of Biology & Graduate Degree Program in Ecology
  4. Univ. of South Florida, Tampa, FL (United States). Dept. of Integrative Biology
  5. US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)., Fort Collins, CO (United States). Agriculture Research Service (ARS)
  6. Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton, AB (Canada). Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science
  7. Humboldt State Univ., Arcata, CA (United States). Dept. of Environmental Science and Management
  8. Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Biological Sciences
  9. Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States). Dept. of Biology
  10. Michigan State Univ., Hickory Corners, MI (United States). Dept. of Integrative Biology, Dept. of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and Kellogg Biological Station
  11. Federal Inst. of Technology, Zurich (Switzerland). Dept. of Environmental Systems Science
  12. Czech Academy of Sciences, Brno (Czech Republic). Global Change Research Inst.
  13. Univ. Rey Juan Carlos, Mostoles (Spain). Area of Biodiversity and Conservation, Dept. of Biology, Geology, Physics and Inorganic Chemistry, Higher School of Experimental Sciences and Technology
  14. Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC), Catalonia (Spain). Global Ecology Unit; Centre for Research on Ecology and Forestry Applications (CREAF), Catalonia (Spain)
  15. Northwest A&F Univ., Yangling (China). College of Forestry
  16. Government of Alberta, Edmonton, AB (Canada). Environment and Parks
  17. Univ. de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires (Argentina). Faculty of Agronomy, Inst. for Physiological and Ecological Research Associated with Agriculture (IFEVA), National Research Council Scientific and Technical
  18. Rice Univ., Houston, TX (United States). Dept. of BioSciences; Univ. of Texas, Arlington, TX (United States). Dept. of Biology
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1394445
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725; 1137293; 1027319; 1456597; AFRI 2016-67012-25169; SyG-2013-610028 IMBALANCE-P
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Global Change Biology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 23; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 1354-1013
Publisher:
Wiley
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; aboveground net primary productivity; belowground net primary productivity; biomass allocation; climate change; grasslands; meta-analysis; root biomass

Citation Formats

Wilcox, Kevin R., Shi, Zheng, Gherardi, Laureano A., Lemoine, Nathan P., Koerner, Sally E., Hoover, David L., Bork, Edward, Byrne, Kerry M., Cahill, James, Collins, Scott L., Evans, Sarah, Gilgen, Anna K., Holub, Petr, Jiang, Lifen, Knapp, Alan K., LeCain, Daniel, Liang, Junyi, Garcia-Palacios, Pablo, Peñuelas, Josep, Pockman, William T., Smith, Melinda D., Sun, Shanghua, White, Shannon R., Yahdjian, Laura, Zhu, Kai, and Luo, Yiqi. Asymmetric responses of primary productivity to precipitation extremes: A synthesis of grassland precipitation manipulation experiments. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1111/gcb.13706.
Wilcox, Kevin R., Shi, Zheng, Gherardi, Laureano A., Lemoine, Nathan P., Koerner, Sally E., Hoover, David L., Bork, Edward, Byrne, Kerry M., Cahill, James, Collins, Scott L., Evans, Sarah, Gilgen, Anna K., Holub, Petr, Jiang, Lifen, Knapp, Alan K., LeCain, Daniel, Liang, Junyi, Garcia-Palacios, Pablo, Peñuelas, Josep, Pockman, William T., Smith, Melinda D., Sun, Shanghua, White, Shannon R., Yahdjian, Laura, Zhu, Kai, & Luo, Yiqi. Asymmetric responses of primary productivity to precipitation extremes: A synthesis of grassland precipitation manipulation experiments. United States. doi:10.1111/gcb.13706.
Wilcox, Kevin R., Shi, Zheng, Gherardi, Laureano A., Lemoine, Nathan P., Koerner, Sally E., Hoover, David L., Bork, Edward, Byrne, Kerry M., Cahill, James, Collins, Scott L., Evans, Sarah, Gilgen, Anna K., Holub, Petr, Jiang, Lifen, Knapp, Alan K., LeCain, Daniel, Liang, Junyi, Garcia-Palacios, Pablo, Peñuelas, Josep, Pockman, William T., Smith, Melinda D., Sun, Shanghua, White, Shannon R., Yahdjian, Laura, Zhu, Kai, and Luo, Yiqi. Sun . "Asymmetric responses of primary productivity to precipitation extremes: A synthesis of grassland precipitation manipulation experiments". United States. doi:10.1111/gcb.13706. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1394445.
@article{osti_1394445,
title = {Asymmetric responses of primary productivity to precipitation extremes: A synthesis of grassland precipitation manipulation experiments},
author = {Wilcox, Kevin R. and Shi, Zheng and Gherardi, Laureano A. and Lemoine, Nathan P. and Koerner, Sally E. and Hoover, David L. and Bork, Edward and Byrne, Kerry M. and Cahill, James and Collins, Scott L. and Evans, Sarah and Gilgen, Anna K. and Holub, Petr and Jiang, Lifen and Knapp, Alan K. and LeCain, Daniel and Liang, Junyi and Garcia-Palacios, Pablo and Peñuelas, Josep and Pockman, William T. and Smith, Melinda D. and Sun, Shanghua and White, Shannon R. and Yahdjian, Laura and Zhu, Kai and Luo, Yiqi},
abstractNote = {Climatic changes are altering Earth's hydrological cycle, resulting in altered precipitation amounts, increased interannual variability of precipitation, and more frequent extreme precipitation events. These trends will likely continue into the future, having substantial impacts on net primary productivity (NPP) and associated ecosystem services such as food production and carbon sequestration. Frequently, experimental manipulations of precipitation have linked altered precipitation regimes to changes in NPP. Yet, findings have been diverse and substantial uncertainty still surrounds generalities describing patterns of ecosystem sensitivity to altered precipitation. Additionally, we do not know whether previously observed correlations between NPP and precipitation remain accurate when precipitation changes become extreme. We synthesized results from 83 case studies of experimental precipitation manipulations in grasslands worldwide. Here, we used meta-analytical techniques to search for generalities and asymmetries of aboveground NPP (ANPP) and belowground NPP (BNPP) responses to both the direction and magnitude of precipitation change. Sensitivity (i.e., productivity response standardized by the amount of precipitation change) of BNPP was similar under precipitation additions and reductions, but ANPP was more sensitive to precipitation additions than reductions; this was especially evident in drier ecosystems. Additionally, overall relationships between the magnitude of productivity responses and the magnitude of precipitation change were saturating in form. The saturating form of this relationship was likely driven by ANPP responses to very extreme precipitation increases, although there were limited studies imposing extreme precipitation change, and there was considerable variation among experiments. Finally, this highlights the importance of incorporating gradients of manipulations, ranging from extreme drought to extreme precipitation increases into future climate change experiments. Additionally, policy and land management decisions related to global change scenarios should consider how ANPP and BNPP responses may differ, and that ecosystem responses to extreme events might not be predicted from relationships found under moderate environmental changes.},
doi = {10.1111/gcb.13706},
journal = {Global Change Biology},
number = 10,
volume = 23,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {4}
}

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Cited by: 25 works
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Figures / Tables:

TABLE 1 TABLE 1: Summary information for experimental precipitation addition (+PPT) and reduction ( PPT) treatments included in the metaanalysis

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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Differential responses of ecosystem carbon flux components to experimental precipitation gradient in an alpine meadow
    journal, February 2019


      Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.