Prof. Yuan Wenping and Dong Wenjie Published Article in Nature Communications to Disclose the Overestimation of Vegetation Productivity at Cold Temperature Zone

The forest at cold temperature zone in the higher latitude of North hemisphere plays a key role in global carbon cycling, which is long considered as a key carbon sink in the world. Associate Prof. Yuan Wenping, Prof. Dong Wenjie from ESPRE and Prof. Liu Shuguang from USGS worked with several scientists from home and abroad to use the observation data from several carbon throughput stations. They verified three widely-used remote-sensing vegetation productivity models. The result shows that the past models significantly overestimated the productivity of vegetation at higher latitude zone; especially on the low stand age, overestimation is prominent. The reason is that forest at cold temperature zone is interfered and moss takes up eco system. In future succession, herb, bush and tree begin to catch up with their advantages. Comparatively speaking, the photosynthesis of moss is only 1/4 of that for herb and tree, but its contribution to remote sensing is almost the same. The existing models overlook this feature of moss and overestimate the vegetation productivity of the ecosystem after interference, thus the accuracy of carbon sink calculation will be greatly compromised. The study further divides the vegetation productivity of ecosystem into vascular bundle plant (herb, bush and tree) and moss, and introduces new parameter for remote-sensing contribution rate of moss. Thus the past models are improved for simulating accuracy in the region, providing a new method for accurately estimating the vegetation productivity.

The research was published in Nature Communications in June 2014. It is co-authored by Prof. Liang Shunlin, Dr. Li Xianglan and Xu Wenfang from BNU, Prof. Zhao Shuqing from Peking University, Prof. Chen Jingming from Nanking University, and Prof. Yan Wende from Central South University of Forestry of Technology. The research work was supported by global change national key research program of MOST and NSFC.

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