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Terrestrial net primary productivity in India during 1901–2010: contributions from multiple environmental changes

Abstract

India is very important but relatively unexplored region in terms of carbon studies, where significant environmental changes have occurred in the 20th century that can alter terrestrial net primary productivity (NPP). Here, we used a process-based, Dynamic Land Ecosystem Model (DLEM), driven by land cover and land use change (LCLUC), climate change, elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration, atmospheric nitrogen deposition (NDEP), and tropospheric ozone (O3) pollution to estimate terrestrial NPP in India during 1901–2010. Over the country, terrestrial NPP showed significant inter-annual variations ranging 1.2 Pg C year−1 to 1.7 Pg C year−1 during the 1901–2010. Overall, multiple environmental changes have increased terrestrial NPP by 0.23 Pg C year−1. Elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration has increased NPP by 0.29 Pg C; however climate change has offset a portion of terrestrial NPP (0.11 Pg C) during this study period. On an average, terrestrial NPP reduced by 0.12 Pg C year−1 in drought years; when precipitation was 100 mm year−1 lower than long term average, suggesting that terrestrial carbon cycle in India is strongly linked to climate change. LCLUC, including land conversions and cropland management practices, increased terrestrial NPP by 0.043 Pg C year−1 over the country. Tropospheric O3 pollution reduced terrestrial NPP by 0.06 Pg C year−1 and the decrease was comparatively higher in croplands than other biomes after the 1980s. Our results have shown that climate change and tropospheric O3 pollution may partially offset terrestrial NPP increase caused by elevated CO2 concentration, LCLUC, and NDEP over India.

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Acknowledgments

This study has been supported by NASA Land Cover and Land Use Change Program (NNX08AL73G) and US National Science Foundation Grants (AGS-1243232, CNS-1059376).

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Correspondence to Hanqin Tian.

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Banger, K., Tian, H., Tao, B. et al. Terrestrial net primary productivity in India during 1901–2010: contributions from multiple environmental changes. Climatic Change 132, 575–588 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-015-1448-5

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Keywords

  • Gross Primary Production
  • Advance Very High Resolution Radiometer
  • Advance Very High Resolution Radiometer
  • Nitrogen Fertilizer Application
  • Field Scale Study