Plant Production Responses to Precipitation Differ Along an Elevation Gradient and Are Enhanced Under Extremes

Munson, S.M., Bunting, E.L., Bradford, J.B. et al. Ecosystems (2018).
Year Published

"The sensitivity of plant production to precipitation underlies the functioning of ecosystems. Studies that relate long-term mean annual precipitation and production across multiple sites (spatial relationship) or examine interannual linkages within a site (temporal relationship) can reveal biophysical controls over ecosystem function but have limited ability to infer responses to extreme changes in precipitation that may become more common under climate change. To overcome limitations of using a single approach, we integrated satellite- and ground-based estimates of production with a standardized, multi-site precipitation manipulation experiment across a grassland elevation gradient in the southwestern USA. The responsiveness of production to changes in precipitation followed the order: temporal (0.06–0.13 g m−2 mm−1)