In this paper, we estimate the trends and variability in Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)-derived terrestrial net primary productivity (NPP) over India for the period 1982-2006. We find an increasing trend of 3.9% per decade (r = 0.78, R-2 = 0.61) during the analysis period. A multivariate linear regression of NPP with temperature, precipitation, atmospheric CO2 concentration, soil water and surface solar radiation (r = 0.80, R-2 = 0.65) indicates that the increasing trend is partly driven by increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration and the consequent CO2 fertilization of the ecosystems. However, human interventions may have also played a key role in the NPP increase: non-forest NPP growth is largely driven by increases in irrigated area and fertilizer use, while forest NPP is influenced by plantation and forest conservation programs. A similar multivariate regression of interannual NPP anomalies with temperature, precipitation, soil water, solar radiation and CO2 anomalies suggests that the interannual variability in NPP is primarily driven by precipitation and temperature variability. Mean seasonal NPP is largest during post-monsoon and lowest during the pre-monsoon period, thereby indicating the importance of soil moisture for vegetation productivity
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