We used long-term observations of grassland aboveground net plant production (ANPP, 1939-2016), growing seasonal advanced very-high-resolution radiometer remote sensing normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data (1982-2016), and simulations of actual evapotranspiration (1912-2016) to evaluate the impact of Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and El Ni~no-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies on a semiarid grassland in northeastern Colorado. Because ANPP was well correlated (R2 = 0.58) to cumulative April to July actual evapotranspiration (iAET) and cumulative growing season NDVI (iNDVI) was well correlated to iAET and ANPP (R2 = 0.62 [quadratic model] and 0.59, respectively), we were able to quantify interactions between the long-duration (15-30 yr) PDO temperature cycles and annual-duration ENSO SST phases on ANPP. We found that during cold-phase PDOs, mean ANPP and iNDVI were lower, and the frequency of low ANPP years (drought years) was much higher, compared to warm-phase PDO years. In addition, ANPP, iNDVI, and iAET were highly variable during the cold-phase PDOs. When NINO-3 (ENSO index) values were negative, there was a higher frequency of droughts and lower frequency of wet years regardless of the PDO phase. PDO and NINO-3 anomalies reinforced each other resulting in a high frequency of above-normal iAET (52%) and low frequency of drought (20%) when both PDO and NINO-3 values were positive and the opposite pattern when both PDO and NINO-3 values were negative (24% frequency of above normal and 48% frequency of drought). Precipitation variability and subsequent ANPP dynamics in this grassland were dampened when PDO and NINO-3 SSTs had opposing signs. Thus, primary signatures of these SSTs in this semiarid grassland are (1) increased interannual variability in ANPP during cold-phase PDOs, (2) drought with low ANPP occurring in almost half of those years with negative values of PDO and NINO-3, and (3) high precipitation and ANPP common in years with positive PDO and NINO-3 values.
- Aboveground net plant production (ANPP)
- Actual evapotranspiration (AET)
- Advanced very-highresolution radiometer
- Central Plains Experimental Range (CPER)
- El Ni~no-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)
- Growing Season
- Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI)
- Northeastern Colorado
- Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)
- Semiarid grassland.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics