climate change; precipitation; Tibetan Plateau; phenology; community composition; water
As the "water tower" of Asia, the Tibetan Plateau provides basic water resources for the regional ecosystems. Among the variety of water resources, natural precipitation is most relevant to ecosystems, and temperature also affects soil moisture availability by regulating evapotranspiration, thus affecting ecosystem process. From the aspects of community composition and structure, vegetation phenology, coverage and productivity, and water conservation function by ecosystems, this paper reviewed the series of impacts caused by changed water resources on the Tibetan Plateau ecosystems in recent years, and the underlying mechanism was further revealed. The shifted water conditions led to changes in community coverage, species diversity, and relative importance of each species, thereby driving community succession. The strengthened preseason precipitation advanced spring phenology, and postponed autumn phenology. The preseason precipitation also adjusted the responses of vegetation phenology to temperature. Under global changes, the vegetation coverage increased and ecosystem productivity strengthened on the Tibetan Plateau, but with high spatial heterogeneities. The incongruous changes of temperature and precipitation complicated their effects on vegetation, as exhibited by their distinct relative determination effects in different areas. Water conservation by ecosystems stems from interactions among soil-vegetation-atmosphere, which is influenced by climate, vegetation, soil, human activities, etc. The future studies need to pay mounting attentions to the coupling effects of climates and vegetation cover on water conservation of ecosystems, and also attribute the separate contribution from each factor.
Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences
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"Effects of Changed Asian Water Tower on Tibetan Plateau Ecosystem: A Review,"
Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Chinese Version): Vol. 34
, Article 13.
Available at: https://bulletinofcas.researchcommons.org/journal/vol34/iss11/13