Net primary production, carbon storage and climate change in Chinese biomes


  • Jian Ni

    1. Laboratory of Quantitative Vegetation Ecology, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiangshan Nanxincun 20, 100093 Beijing, China
    2. Climate Impacts Group, Department of Ecology, Lund Universiw, Sölvegatan 37, 9223 62 Lund, Sweden
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    • 3

      Global Ecology Group, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Carl-Zeiss-Promenade 10. Posrfach 10 01 64, 0–07701 Jena, Germany. E-mail:


Net primary production (NPP) and leaf area index (LAI) of Chinese biomes were simulated by BIOME3 under the present climate, and their responses to climate change and doubled CO2 under a future climatic scenario using output from Hadley Center coupled ocean-atmosphere general circulation model with CO2 modelled at 340 and 500 ppmv. The model estimated annual mean NPP of the biomes in China to be between 0 and 1270.7 gC m-2 yr-1 at present. The highest productivity was found in tropical seasonal and rain forests while temperate forests had an intermediate NPP, which is higher than a lower NPP of temperate savannas, grasslands and steppes. The lowest NPP occurred in desert, alpine tundra and ice/polar desert in cold or arid regions, especially on the Tibetan Plateau. The lowest monthly NPP of each biome occurred generally in February and the highest monthly NPP occurred during the summer (June to August). The annual mean NPP and LAI of most of biomes at changed climate with CO2 at 340 and 500 ppmv (direct effects on physiology) would be greater than present. The direct effects of carbon dioxide on plant physiology result in significant increase of LAI and NPP. The carbon storage of Chinese biomes at present and changed climates was calculated by the carbon density and vegetation area method. The present estimates of carbon storage are totally 175.83 × 1012 gC (57.57 × 1012 gC in vegetation and 118.28 × 1012 gC in soils). Changed climate without and with the CO2 direct physiological effects will result in an increase of carbon storage of 5.1 and 16.33 × 1012, gC compared to present, respectively. The interaction between elevated CO2 and climate change plays an important role in the overall responses of NPP and carbon to climate change.