What is it about?

Precipitation sensitivity is an important indicator to quantify the impact of terrestrial ecosystems by changes in precipitation. Our study is the first to obtain a spatial pattern of precipitation sensitivity at the global scale, and finds that the overall global precipitation sensitivity has shown a decreasing trend over the past 2 decades.

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Why is it important?

The sensitivity of vegetation productivity to precipitation is the key for assessing the impact of precipitation change on vegetation productivity, as well as ecosystem carbon budget. We are still lacking an comprehensive understanding of how precipitation sensitivity vary among biomes and climate zones at global scale. In addition, it is not clear how this metric is changing over the past few decades in the background of global change. The findings of our study imply that, 1) the adverse effect of increase in precipitation variability owing to climate change on vegetation productivity would be largely alleviated owing to the weakening sensitivity, 2) grassland needs to pay a special attention for adaptation due to its high precipitation sensitivity, as well as the trend of increase in the sensitivity.

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This page is a summary of: The global decline in the sensitivity of vegetation productivity to precipitation from 2001 to 2018, Global Change Biology, September 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/gcb.16403.
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