Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2010, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (5): 517-525.DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2010.05.005

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Influences of slope aspect on the growth of Sabina przewalskii along an elevation gradient in China’s Qinghai Province

PENG Jian-Feng1, GOU Xiao-Hua2,*(), CHEN Fa-Hu2, FANG Ke-Yan2, ZHANG Fen2   

  1. 1Institute of Resource and Environment, Henan University, Kaifeng, Henan 475004, China
    2Center for Arid Environment and Paleoclimate Research (CAEP), and Key Laboratory of Western China’s Environment Systems of the Ministry of Education, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2009-09-08 Accepted:2009-12-03 Online:2010-09-08 Published:2010-05-01
  • Contact: GOU Xiao-Hua


Aims Our objective was to collect tree-ring data of Sabina przewalskii and analyze the effects of elevation and aspect on tree growth.

Methods We collected tree ring samples from four sample sites that differed by elevation and slope aspect on a continuous mountain slope of Hebei Forest Farm in southern Tongde County, eastern Anymaqen Mountains, Qinghai Province. We analyzed relationships among the four tree ring-width chronologies using correlation and Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and made simple correlation function analysis between tree-ring width index and climate factors by Dendro2002 software.

Important findings Tree-ring chronological eigenvalues indicated the upper three sites had similar variation, but differed from the low-elevation chronology. Correlations among chronologies and results of PCA showed there was change along the altitude gradient. Correlations between tree-ring index and mean temperature in current June-August trended to increase, and the upper treeline was mainly determined by mean temperature of current July and August. There were significantly negative correlations between tree-ring index of the low sampling sites and temperature of prior November and current June and significant positive correlations between tree-ring index of the low sampling sites and precipitations of prior August and current May. Compared to the usual situation of tree-growth at lower elevation limits being constrained by precipitation results indicated an enhanced role of temperature and a reduced role of precipitation. Slope aspect played an important role in the growth of S. przewalskii along the elevation gradient.

Key words: elevation gradient, response to climate, Sabina przewalskii, slope aspect, tree-ring index