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Advances in Geosciences An open-access journal for refereed proceedings and special publications
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Volume 6
Adv. Geosci., 6, 273–277, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/adgeo-6-273-2006
© Author(s) 2006. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
Adv. Geosci., 6, 273–277, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/adgeo-6-273-2006
© Author(s) 2006. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

  03 Mar 2006

03 Mar 2006

ENSO effects on primary productivity in Southern Atacama desert

F. A. Squeo3,2,1, Y. Tracol2, D. López2, J. R. Gutiérrez3,2,1, A. M. Cordova2, and J. R. Ehleringer4 F. A. Squeo et al.
  • 1Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de La Serena, Casilla 599, La Serena, Chile
  • 2Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Zonas Áridas (CEAZA), Casilla 599, La Serena, Chile
  • 3Instituto de Ecología y Biodiversidad (IEB), Universidad de Chile, Casilla 653, Santiago, Chile
  • 4Department of Biology, University of Utah, USA

Abstract. In the winter-rain southern Atacama Desert of the Coquimbo Region of Chile, El Niño - Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events modulate primary productivity. In this region, there are important changes in water availability between La Niña (dry) and El Niño (rainy) years. Using inter-annual comparisons of LANDSAT images from 30° to 31° S latitude, we observed changes in primary productivity between dry and rainy years at the regional level. There were also significant, negative correlations between productivity and elevation, with changes occurring first at low elevation during rainy years. The limiting factors to dryland vegetation primary productivity is different in regard to elevation. Rain during an El Niño year is the main factor that explains the increase in primary productivity at low elevation, while lower temperatures reduce and delay the net primary productivity at mid elevation.

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