iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Contribution of environmental variability and ecosystem functional changes to interannual variability of carbon and water fluxes in a subtropical coniferous plantation

Yakun Tang (1-2), Xuefa Wen (2)   , Xiaomin Sun (2), Yunming Chen (1), Huimin Wang (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 9, Issue 3, Pages 452-460 (2016)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1691-008
Published: Jan 25, 2016 - Copyright © 2016 SISEF

Research Articles

Accurate quantification of the contribution of environmental variability and functional changes to the interannual variability of net ecosystem production (NEP) and evapotranspiration (ET) in coniferous forests is needed to understand global carbon and water cycling. This study quantified these contributions to the interannual variability of NEP and ET for a subtropical coniferous plantation in southeastern China, and the effect of drought stress on these contributions was also investigated. NEP and ET were derived from eddy covariance measurements carried out over the period 2003-2012. A homogeneity-of-slopes model was adopted to quantify the contribution to the interannual variability of these fluxes. Environmental variability accounted for 71% and 85.7% of the interannual variability of NEP and ET, respectively; however, functional changes accounted for only 11.3% and 5.9%, respectively. Furthermore, functional changes explained more of the interannual variability of NEP in dry years (16.3%) than in wet years (3.8%), but there was no obvious change in the contribution of functional changes to the interannual variability of ET in dry (4.7%) or wet (5.5%) years. Thus, environmental variability rather than ecosystem functional changes dominated the interannual variability of both ET and NEP. However, different environmental variables controlled the interannual variability of NEP and ET. The results also indicated that, compared with NEP, ET was more resistant to drought stress through the self-regulating mechanisms of this plantation.


Environmental Variability, Functional Changes, Net Ecosystem Production (NEP), Evapotranspiration (ET), Subtropical Plantation

Authors’ address

Yakun Tang
Yunming Chen
State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, 712100 (China)
Yakun Tang
Xuefa Wen
Xiaomin Sun
Huimin Wang
Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101 (China)

Corresponding author

Xuefa Wen


Tang Y, Wen X, Sun X, Chen Y, Wang H (2016). Contribution of environmental variability and ecosystem functional changes to interannual variability of carbon and water fluxes in a subtropical coniferous plantation. iForest 9: 452-460. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1691-008

Academic Editor

Ana Rey

Paper history

Received: Apr 27, 2015
Accepted: Oct 24, 2015

First online: Jan 25, 2016
Publication Date: Jun 01, 2016
Publication Time: 3.10 months

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