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Data for: Positive legacies of severe droughts in the Inner Mongolia grassland

Citation

Sun, Jiamei et al. (2022), Data for: Positive legacies of severe droughts in the Inner Mongolia grassland, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.x0k6djhp6

Abstract

Global change-induced extreme droughts are increasing in grasslands worldwideand drought legacies may greatly affect the responses of grassland ecosystems to these changes. However, it remains poorly understood whether and how severe droughts have a positive legacy effect on grassland productivity. By combining a 4-year precipitation manipulation experiment with a 40-year observational study in a semiarid grassland, we showed that extreme droughts could create strong positive legacies on community productivity, and that such legacies could last for multiple years. The mechanism behind this was the coupled effect of the drought-induced increase in annuals and the favorable precipitation pattern that facilitated the flourishing of annuals in subsequent years. This study provides experimental and observational evidence for novel positive drought legacies and reveals their underlying mechanisms. Our findings suggest that positive drought legacies should be incorporated into Earth system models to better predict the impact of extreme droughts on grassland ecosystems.

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31870517

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 32230069

Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Award: XDA26020101