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|The photosynthetic composition (C3 or C4) of vegetation on the land surface is essential for accurate simulations of biosphere-atmosphere exchanges of carbon, water, and energy. C3 and C4 plants have different responses to light, temperature, CO2, and nitrogen; they also differ in physiological functions like stomatal conductance and isotope fractionation. A fine-scale distribution of these plant types is essential for earth science modeling. The C4 percentage is determined from data sets that describe the continuous distribution of plant growth forms (i.e., the percent of a grid cell covered by herbaceous or woody vegetation), climate classifications, the fraction of a grid cell covered in croplands, and national crop type harvest area statistics. The staff from the International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Project (ISLSCP) Initiative II have made the original data set consistent with the ISLSCP-2 land/water mask. This data set contains a single file in ArcInfo ASCIIGRID format. This data set is one of the products of the International Satellite Land-Surface Climatology Project, Initiative II (ISLSCP II) data collection which contains 50 global time series data sets for the ten-year period 1986 to 1995. Selected data sets span even longer periods. ISLSCP II is a consistent collection of data sets that were compiled from existing data sources and algorithms, and were designed to satisfy the needs of modelers and investigators of the global carbon, water and energy cycle. The data were acquired from a number of U.S. and international agencies, universities, and institutions. The global data sets were mapped at consistent spatial (1, 0.5 and 0.25 degrees) and temporal (monthly, with meteorological data at finer (e.g., 3-hour)) resolutions and reformatted into a common ASCII format. The data and documentation have undergone two peer reviews. ISLSCP is one of several projects of Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) [http://www.gewex.org/] and has the lead role in addressing land-atmosphere interactions -- process modeling, data retrieval algorithms, field experiment design and execution, and the development of global data sets.
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