- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Dryness stress can limit vegetation growth and is often characterized by low soil moisture (SM) and high atmospheric water demand (vapor pressure deficit, VPD). However, the relative role of SM and VPD in limiting ecosystem production remains debated and is difficult to disentangle, as SM and VPD are coupled through land-atmosphere interactions, hindering the ability to predict ecosystem responses to dryness. Here, we combine satellite observations of solar-induced fluorescence with estimates of SM and VPD and show that SM is the dominant driver of dryness stress on ecosystem production across more than 70% of vegetated land areas with valid data. Moreover, after accounting for SM-VPD coupling, VPD effects on ecosystem production are much smaller across large areas. We also find that SM stress is strongest in semi-arid ecosystems. Our results clarify a longstanding question and open new avenues for improving models to allow a better management of drought risk. Show more
Journal / seriesNature Communications
Pages / Article No.
PublisherNature Publishing Group
Organisational unit03778 - Seneviratne, Sonia / Seneviratne, Sonia
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