Main Article Content
Response of terrestrial ecosystems to changing climate has become an issue of central importance for land managers and policymakers. Climate extremes and trends have a strong control on productivity of semi-arid mountain ecosystems. Located in a transition zone from continental type climate to relatively mild Black Sea type climate in Turkey, the Ilgaz Mountains with their rich biodiversity, provide a unique opportunity to evaluate vulnerability of a typical semi-arid mountain ecosystem to climate change. Therefore, we evaluated spatio-temporal variation of annual net primary productivity (NPP) of Ilgaz Mountains predicted by Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), as affected by topography and climate between 2000 and 2010. The annual MODIS NPP ranged from 500 to 912 g.m-2.y-1. Elevation, slope aspect, and vegetation type were significantly correlated with MODIS NPP The MODIS NPP was highly sensitive to droughts, and the mean MODIS NPP generally decreased across the study pixels in the study period. The response of MODIS NPP to climate was highly site- and time-specific. Multiple interactions among climate, plant composition, and topography were the principal determinants of the temporal pattern as well as drought sensitivity of MODIS NPP to climate between 2000 and 2010. Quality control charts showed that MODIS NPP decreased sharply in 2003 and 2007 droughts. The results obtained in this study contributed to our understanding of the interactions among climate, topography, and vegetation composition in a typical mountain ecosystem.