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Comparing the impact of cloudiness on carbon dioxide exchange in a grassland and a maize cropland in northwestern China


Authors


Abstract

Light quantity and quality strongly influence plant growth. However, different ecosystems have different capabilities to assimilate solar radiation. In this study, the effects of cloudiness intensity on the net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide (NEE) were compared between an alpine grassland (with lower leaf area index) at A’Rou and an oasis maize cropland (with higher leaf area index) at Yingke, using flux data obtained during the middle of the growing season (July–August) in 2008 and 2009. The results showed that the response of NEE to photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) was more negative (carbon uptake) under cloudy than under clear skies at both sites. The maximum NEE occurred when the clearness index (CI) ranged from 0.4 to 0.7 under cloudy skies. The maximum enhancements were 11.9% for solar elevation angles of 60–65° in the grassland, and 34.9% for solar elevation angles of 60–65° and 10.3% for angles of 35–40° in the maize cropland before the irrigation period. The response of NEE to CI changed slightly with solar elevation angle in the grassland compared to the maize cropland. The results indicate that enhanced NEE under cloudy skies can be attributed to increasingly diffuse PAR and interactions with environmental factors (air temperature and vapor pressure deficit).


Keywords

  • Behavioural Sciences
  • Clearness index
  • Diffuse radiation
  • Ecology
  • evolutionary biology
  • forestry
  • NEE
  • Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR)
  • Plant Sciences
  • Zoology

Citation

Bai YF, Wang J, Zhang BC, Zhang ZH, Liang J. Comparing the impact of cloudiness on carbon dioxide exchange in a grassland and a maize cropland in northwestern China. Ecological Research, 2012, 27(3): 615-623, DOI 10.1007/s11284-012-0930-z.

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