Responses of ecosystem productivity to Critical Climate Periods; understanding the role of fine-scale temporal climate patterns on ecosystem productivity
Goals and Hypotheses
Based on this conceptual framework and the ability of CCP analyses to improve our understanding of ecosystem processes over annual climate characteristics at KNZ we propose to expand this CCP analysis to all terrestrial LTER sites. In addition to the site-level understanding of plant production with CCPs, a broader understanding of ecosystem processes and their sensitivity to climate can be gained from this approach. Based on our current understanding of CCPs and the conceptual model of plant productivity (Figure 1) we hypothesize that:
H1) Compared to annual and seasonal climate drivers, CCP analyses will provide better correlations between climate and productivity at all terrestrial LTER sites.
H2) Temperature CCPs will be a significant predictor of productivity at all sites. This would provide a novel analysis that includes both temperature and precipitation in understanding productivity patterns across a large spatial scale.
H3) The DOY of CCPT will correlate positively with mean annual temperature, suggesting the importance of spring temperature in cold climates and growing season heat stress in warmer climates.
H4) CCPs will correlate with the time of year with the highest variability in climate drivers.