Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2020, Vol. 44 ›› Issue (7): 742-751.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2019.0308

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Predicting phenology shifts of herbaceous plants on the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau under climate warming with the space-for-time method

LI Xue-Ying, ZHU Wen-Quan*(), LI Pei-Xian, XIE Zhi-Ying, ZHAO Cen-Liang   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China; and Beijing Engineering Research Center for Global Land Remote Sensing Products, Institute of Remote Sensing Science and Engineering, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2019-11-14 Accepted:2020-03-23 Online:2020-07-20 Published:2020-06-08
  • Contact: ZHU Wen-Quan,
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41771047);Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research Program (STEP)(2019QZKK0606)


Aims To analyse the feasibility of space-for-time method in predicting phenology shifts of Plantago asiatica and Taraxacum mongolicum on the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, as well as revealing the phenological changes of the two herbaceous plants under climate warming.
Methods The observed phenological data for Plantago asiatica and Taraxacum mongolicum from 10 sites on the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau during 2002-2011, as well as the meteorological data (i.e., daily mean air temperature) were collected. First, multiple linear regression models were bulit between geographic factors (longitude, latitude and altitude) and phenological events/annual mean temperature at different altitude gradients. Then, the longitude and latitude were kept to be unchanged, and the unary linear regression models between phenological events/annual mean temperature and altitude were built. Finally, the altitude was used as the “bridge” to indicate the relationship between the change of phenological events and the change of annual mean temperature.
Important findings The temperature decreased with the increasing altitude (R2 > 0.89, p < 0.05), illustrating that changes of altitude gradients can be used to substitute for changes of annual mean temperature. The change in the simulated phenological events of the two herbaceous plants all showed a strong dependence on the change of altitude (R2 > 0.70, p < 0.05), which contributed the most among the geographic factors. Strong dependences were observed between the simulated phenological events and the simulated annual mean temperature (R2 > 0.93, p < 0.05), showing that phenological events could be predicted by the annual mean temperature with the space-for- time method. For Plantago asiatica, the first leaf date (FLD) and the first flowering date (FFD) occurred earlier with increasing annual mean temperature as 5.1 and 5.4 days per ℃, respectively, while the common leaf coloring date (LCD) occurred later as 4.8 days per ℃. The FLD and FFD of Taraxacum mongolicum advanced by 6.5 days and 7.8 days per ℃ of increase in the mean annual temperature while the LCD delayed by 6.7 days per ℃.

Key words: Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, climate warming, Plantago asiatica, Taraxacum mongolicum, space-for-time method, phenology