FNU’s STEAR Team Makes Significant Progress in Research on Impact of Diurnal Rainfall Variations on Forest Ecosystems


Global warming has been intensifying the hydrological cycle. Though the global long-term mean precipitation has shown little or no change with global warming, global changes in rainfall have been found in both temporal variation and spatial distribution. It is foreseeable that humans will confront more extreme heavy rainfall events this century. Therefore, a large number of studies on the impact of extreme rainfall on terrestrial ecosystems have been conducted.  Evapotranspiration (ET) and gross primary productivity (GPP) in terrestrial ecosystem, important components of the carbon and water cycle, have been widely discussed in such studies. Currently, increasing attention has been paid to the effect of the variability of rainfall, such as changes in intensity, frequency, seasonality and intra-annual/interannual variations, on ET and GPP. However, even in the same ecosystem, the diurnal variations in rainfall may vary greatly, and will induce changes in related meteorological conditions, and the extent of their effect on ET and GPP remains unknown.

To address the above-mentioned problems, the team for subtropical ecosystem and atmosphere research (STEAR) of the School of Geographical Sciences and the School of Carbon Neutrality Future Technology of FNU, based on the data at 14 forest sites from FLUXNET2015, found that the diurnal rainfall variation has a significant impact on the daily total amount of GPP and ET, and deserves as much attention as other precipitation variability. The findings of this study enable us to have a better understanding of the interaction processes between the atmosphere and the terrestrial ecosystem, and provide a theoretical basis for future research on the response of the terrestrial ecosystem to climate change. The research results, entitled Prominent Impact of Diurnal Rainfall Variations on Evapotranspiration and Gross Primary Productivity in Forests over Low Latitudes, were published in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, an internationally renowned journal in the field of agriculture, forestry and meteorology.

FNU is the first signature unit of the paper, with Associate Professor Yang Mengmiao of the School of Geographical Sciences and the School of Carbon Neutrality Future Technology of FNU as the first author, and Professor Liu Jingxian as the corresponding author. The work was conducted in collaboration with Associate Professor Wang Yong and his team from Department of Earth System Sciences of Tsinghua University, and supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China.


     (Translated by Chen Junfan/ Reviewed by Xie Xiujuan)