Navigation Links
Drought drives decade-long decline in plant growth
Date:8/20/2010

Global plant productivity that once was on the rise with warming temperatures and a lengthened growing season is now on the decline because of regional drought according to a new study of NASA satellite data.

Plant productivity is a measure of the rate of the photosynthesis process that green plants use to convert solar energy, carbon dioxide and water to sugar, oxygen and eventually plant tissue. Compared with a 6 percent increase in plant productivity during the 1980s and 1990s, the decline observed over the last decade is only 1 percent. The shift, however, could impact food security, biofuels and the global carbon cycle.

Researchers Maosheng Zhao and Steven Running of the University of Montana in Missoula discovered the global shift from an analysis of NASA satellite data. The discovery comes from an analysis of plant productivity data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA's Terra satellite, combined with other growing season climate data, including temperature, solar radiation and water.

"We see this as a bit of a surprise, and potentially significant on a policy level because previous interpretations suggested global warming might actually help plant growth around the world," Running said.

Previous research found land plant productivity was on the rise. A 2003 paper in the journal Science led by scientist Ramakrishna Nemani, now a researcher at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., showed the 6 percent increase in global terrestrial plant productivity between 1982 and 1999. The increase was traced to nearly two decades of temperature, solar radiation and water availability conditions, influenced by climate change, that were favorable for plant growth.

Setting out to update that analysis, Zhao and Running expected to see similar results as global average temperatures continued to climb. Instead, they found the negative impact of regional drought overwhelmed the positive influence of a longer growing season, driving down global plant productivity between 2000 and 2009. The team published its findings Thursday in Science.

"This is a pretty serious warning that warmer temperatures are not going to endlessly improve plant growth," Running said.

Zhao and Running's analysis showed that since 2000, high-latitude Northern Hemisphere ecosystems have continued to benefit from warmer temperatures and a longer growing season. But that effect was offset by warming-associated drought that limited growth in the Southern Hemisphere, resulting in a net global loss of land productivity.

"This past decade's net decline in terrestrial productivity illustrates that a complex interplay between temperature, rainfall, cloudiness, and carbon dioxide, probably in combination with other factors such as nutrients and land management, will determine future patterns and trends in productivity," said Diane Wickland, program manager of the Terrestrial Ecology research program at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

Researchers want to continue monitoring these trends in the future because plant productivity is linked to shifting levels of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and stresses on plant growth that could challenge food production.

"Even if the declining trend of the past decade does not continue, managing forests and crop lands for multiple benefits to include food production, biofuel harvest, and carbon storage may become exceedingly challenging in light of the possible impacts of such decadal-scale changes," Wickland said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Steve Cole
stephen.e.cole@nasa.gov
202-358-0918
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Common PGR helps creeping bentgrass weather drought
2. Plant hormone increases cotton yields in drought conditions
3. UC Riverside to host 3-day international meeting on drought
4. Genes for drought-tolerance, aflatoxin may mingle to boost corn production
5. VAI researchers find long awaited key to creating drought resistant crops
6. UCR plant scientists research spawns new discoveries showing how crops survive drought
7. National report shines light on lupus 50-year treatment drought
8. National Science Foundation funds systems biology study of crop drought responses
9. MU researchers create drought conditions to unearth solutions
10. Australias climate: Drought and flooding in annual rings of tropical trees
11. Synthetic chemical offers solution for crops facing drought
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Drought drives decade-long decline in plant growth
(Date:3/29/2016)... LegacyXChange, Inc. (OTC: LEGX ... Protect are pleased to announce our successful effort to ... of writing instruments, ensuring athletes signatures against counterfeiting and ... athletes on LegacyXChange will be assured of ongoing proof ... Bill Bollander , CEO states, "By inserting ...
(Date:3/18/2016)... LONDON , March 18, 2016 ... Established Suppliers of Biometrics, ICT, Manned & Unmanned Vehicles, Physical ... & security companies in the border security market and ... and Europe has led ... your companies improved success. --> defence & ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... HANOVER , Allemagne, March 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... http://www.apimages.com ) - --> - ... ) - --> ... les solutions biométriques, fournit de nouveaux lecteurs d,empreintes ... lecteur LF10 de DERMALOG sera utilisé pour produire ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... , ... According to world renowned prostate cancer surgeon, Dr. David B. ... two main treatment options: surgery or radiation. Based on a patient’s goals, disease state, ... enabled doctors to administer higher doses of radiation to prostate cancer patients ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... StarNet Communications Corp, ( http://www.starnet.com/ ) a leading ... Secure Remote Desktop modules to its flagship X-Win32 PC X server. The new ... to the user’s PC over encrypted SSH. , Traditionally, users of PC X servers ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 29, 2016 , ... Amendia, Inc., a leading designer, developer, ... the completion of a significant transaction and partnership that positions Amendia for accelerated ... Kohlberg & Company, L.L.C. (“Kohlberg”), a leading private equity firm specializing in ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... ... Intelligent Implant Systems announced today that the two-level components for the Revolution™ ... States. These components expand the capabilities of the system and allow Revolution™ to ... of 2015, the company has seen significant sales growth in 1Q 2016, and the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: