Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2016, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (1): 24-35.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2015.0216

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Response of radial growth to climate change for Larix olgensis along an altitudinal gradient on the eastern slope of Changbai Mountain, Northeast China

YU Jian1,2, XU Qian-Qian3, LIU Wen-Hui4, LUO Chun-Wang1, YANG Jun-Long5, LI Jun-Qing1, LIU Qi-Jing1,*   

  1. 1College of Forestry, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
    2Jiangsu Polytechnic College of Agriculture and Forestry, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu 212400, China
    3Zhengzhou Fruit Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Zhengzhou 450009, China
    4Biodiversity Research Center, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Science, Beijing 100012, China
    5School of Agriculture, Ningxia University, Yinchuan 750021, China
  • Online:2016-01-31 Published:2016-01-28
  • Contact: Qi-Jing LIU
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    # Co-first authors

Abstract: AimsTo further understand the sensitivity of tree growth to climate change and its variation with altitude, particularly the growth-climate relationship near the timberline, the radial growth of Larix olgensis in an oldgrowth forest along an altitudinal gradient on the eastern slope of Changbai Mountain was investigated. MethodsThe relationships between climate factors and tree-ring index were determined using bootstrapped response functions analysis with the software DENDROCLIM2002. Redundancy analysis, a multivariate “direct” gradient analysis, and its ordination axes were constrained to represent linear combinations with meteorological elements. The analysis was used to clarify the relationship between tree-ring width indexes at different elevations and climate factors during the period 1959-2009.Important findings indicated: (1) Tree ring chronologies from high altitudes were more superior than other samples in terms of growth-climate relationship, revealing that trees at high altitudes are more sensitive to climate variation than at low sites, (2) Tree growth was mainly affected by temperatures of from before and through growing season in previous year, especially in June and August. In comparison, tree growth in the low elevation was regulated by the combination of precipitation of August and Palmer drought severity index (PDSI) of September in current year, (3) Trees growing below timberline appeared to be more sensitive to climate warming; small extents of habitat heterogeneity or disturbance events beyond timberline may have masked the response, hence the optimal sites for examining growth trends as a function of climate variation are considered to be just below timberline, and (4) Redundancy analysis between the three chronologies and climate factors showed the same results as that of the correlation analysis and response function analysis, and this is in support of previous conclusion that redundancy analysis is also effective in quantifying the relationship between tree-ring indexes and climate factors.

Key words: altitudinal gradient, timberline, Larix olgensis, redundancy analysis, tree ring