Application of a new model using productivity coupled with hydrothermal factors (PCH) for evaluating net primary productivity of grassland in southern China
Abstract. Grassland ecosystems play important roles in the global carbon cycle. The net primary productivity (NPP) of grassland ecosystems has become the hot spot of terrestrial ecosystems. To simulate grassland NPP in southern China, a new model using productivity coupled with hydrothermal factors (PCH) was built and validated based on data recorded from 2003 to 2014. The results show a logarithmic correlation between grassland NPP and mean annual temperature and a linear positive correlation between grassland NPP and mean annual precipitation in southern China, both highly significant relationships. There was a highly significant correlation between simulated and measured NPP (R2 = 0. 8027). Both RMSE and relative root mean square error (RRMSE) were relatively low, showing that the simulation results of the model were reliable. The NPP values in the study area had a decreasing trend from east to west and south to north. Mean NPP was 471.62 g C m−2 from 2003 to 2014. Additionally, the mean annual NPP of southern grassland presented a rising trend, increasing 3.49 g C m−2 yr−1 during the past 12 years. These results document performance and use of a new method to estimate the grassland NPP in southern China.