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Assessing the Impact of Drought and Climatic Factors on Vegetation Dynamics in Different Climatic Zones of China
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  • Lianqing Xue,
  • Saihua Liu,
  • Yuanhong Liu,
  • Mingjie Yang,
  • Qiang Han
Lianqing Xue
Hohai University College of Hydrology and Water Resources

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Saihua Liu
Hohai University College of Hydrology and Water Resources
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Yuanhong Liu
Hohai University College of Hydrology and Water Resources
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Mingjie Yang
Hohai University College of Hydrology and Water Resources
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Qiang Han
Hohai University College of Hydrology and Water Resources
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Abstract

Understanding the impact of drought and climate factors on vegetation dynamics in China and elucidating the response of vegetation’s gross total primary productivity (GPP) to drought events in different climatic zones has been of paramount importance for predicting future climate-carbon cycle feedbacks. However, the response of vegetation dynamics to climate factors and droughts in different climatic zones, as well as their intrinsic mechanisms remains uncertain. Therefore, in this study, based on precipitation, temperature, standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI), and GPP data, we conducted a deep analysis of the response of GPP to climate factors and drought in different climate zones. The cumulative effects of drought in different climatic zones and vegetation types were explored. The results indicated significant variations in GPP across geographic distribution in China, with the highest values observed in Climate Zone VII and the lowest values in Climate Zone I. Linear regression analysis showed that the annual changes in temperature and precipitation showed a continuous upward trend. While SPEI displayed a declining trend, indicating an overall tendency towards aridification. Temperature showed a significant positive correlation with GPP in climatic zones I, IV, V, and VI, while precipitation exhibited a significant positive correlation with GPP in climatic zones I, II, and IV. About 45.10% of the vegetation showed a cumulative response to drought, with an average cumulative duration of 5.3 months. Forests had the longest cumulative duration (6 months), followed by grasslands (5.4 months), croplands (3.9 months), and shrublands (3.8 months). The cumulative response time of GPP to drought was the longest in Climate Zones I and II, while in Climate Zone VII, the cumulative response time of GPP to drought increased linearly with rising SPEI. In conclusion, the water balance gradient and vegetation characteristics were the key factors influencing the cumulative response of GPP to drought.