Yu, M; Gao, Q (2020). Increasing Summer Rainfall and Asymmetrical Diurnal and Seasonal Warming Enhanced Vegetation Greenness in Temperate Deciduous Forests and Grasslands of Northern China. REMOTE SENSING, 12(16), 2569.

Temperate forests and grasslands carry key ecosystem functions and provide essential services. Remote-sensing derived greenness has been widely used to assess the response of ecosystem function to climate and land-cover changes. Although reforestation and grassland restoration have been proposed to enhance the regional greenness in Northern China, the independent contribution of climate without the interference of land-cover change at meso and large scales has rarely been explored. To separate the impacts of climate change on vegetation greenness from those of land-cover/use change, we identified large patches of forests and grasslands in Northern China without land-cover/use changes in 2001-2015 and derived their greenness using MODIS enhanced vegetation index (EVI). We found that most deciduous-broadleaved forest patches showed greening, and the significant slope of the annual mean and maximum EVI are 3.97 +/- 0.062 x 10(-3)and 4.8 +/- 0.116 x 10(-3)yr(-1), respectively. On the contrary, grassland patches showed great spatial heterogeneity and only those in the east showed greening. The partial correlation analysis between EVI and climate showed that the greening of grassland patches is primarily supported by the increased growing-season precipitation with mean significant coefficient of 0.72 +/- 0.01. While wet-year (0.57 +/- 0.01) and nongrowing-season precipitation (0.68 +/- 0.01) significantly benefit greening of deciduous-broadleaved forests, the altered temperature seasonality modulates their greening spatial-heterogeneously. The increased growing-season minimum temperature might lengthen the growing season and contribute to the greening for the temperature-limited north as shown by positive partial correlation coefficient of 0.66 +/- 0.01, but might elevate respiration and reduce greening of the forests in the south as shown by negative coefficient of -0.70 +/- 0.01. Daytime warming in growing season is found to favor the drought-tolerant oak dominated forest in the south due to enhanced photosynthesis, but may not favor the forests dominated by less-drought-tolerant birch in the north due to potential water stress. Therefore, grassland greening was essentially promoted by the growing-season precipitation, however, in addition to being driven by precipitation, greening of deciduous forests was regulated spatial-heterogeneously by asymmetrical diurnal and seasonal warming which could be attributed to species composition.