Trend analysis of relationship between primary productivity, precipitation and temperature in Inner Mongolia

Document Type


Publication Date



Geography and Geology

Publication Title

ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information


This study mainly examined the relationships among primary productivity, precipitation and temperature by identifying trends of change embedded in time-series data. The paper also explores spatial variations of the relationship over four types of vegetation and across two precipitation zones in Inner Mongolia, China. Traditional analysis of vegetation response to climate change uses minimum, maximum, average or cumulative measurements; focuses on a whole region instead of fine-scale regional or ecological variations; or adopts generic analysis techniques. We innovatively integrate Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD) and Redundancy Analysis (RDA) to overcome the weakness of traditional approaches. The EMD filtered trend surfaces reveal clear patterns of Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), precipitation, and temperature changes in both time and space. The filtered data decrease noises and cyclic fluctuations in the original data and are more suitable for examining linear relationship than the original data. RDA is further applied to reveal partial effect of precipitation and temperature, and their joint effect on primary productivity. The main findings are as follows: (1) We need to examine relationships between the trends of change of the variables of interest when investigating long-term relationships among them. (2) Long-term trend of change of precipitation or temperature can become a critical factor influencing primary productivity depending on local environments. (3) Synchronization (joint effect) of precipitation and temperature in growing season is critically important to primary productivity in the study area. (4) Partial and joint effects of precipitation and temperature on primary productivity vary over different precipitation zones and different types of vegetation. The method developed in this paper is applicable to ecosystem research in other regions.

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