Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2019, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (4): 320-330.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2019.0014

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Divergent responses of radial growth of Larix sibirica to climate change in Altay Mountains of Xinjiang, China

JIAO Liang1,2,*(),WANG Ling-Ling1,LI Li1,CHEN Xiao-Xia1,YAN Xiang-Xiang1   

  1. 1 College of Geography and Environmental Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
    2 Key Laboratory of Tree-ring Physical and Chemical Research of China Meteorological Administration, Institute of Desert Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, ürümqi, ürümqi 830002, China;
  • Received:2019-01-15 Revised:2019-03-29 Online:2019-04-20 Published:2019-08-29
  • Contact: JIAO Liang
  • Supported by:
    Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(41861006);the Scientific Research Program of Higher Education Institutions of Gansu Province(2018C-02)


AimsThe objective of this study was to determine the temporal stability of relationships between radial growth of Larix sibirica and climatic factors in Altay Mountains.
MethodsTree-ring samples were collected at high altitude (2 069 m) in Altay Mountains of Xinjiang, China. Residual chronologies (RES) were established by using the tree-ring width data. Growth-climate relationships were investigated by calculating the Pearson correlation coefficients between tree-ring width chronology and climatic factors. Moreover, the variations in radial growth in response to climatic factors were calculated by a moving correlation function with a 30-year time window using the DendroClim 2002 program.
Important findings Temperature in the early and middle growing seasons exerted the greatest control on the radial growth in Larix sibirica of the study region, with a significant negative correlation between the radial growth of trees and the air temperatures in the current April (mean minimum air temperature: r = -0.308, p < 0.05; mean air temperature: r = -0.324, p < 0.05; mean maximum air temperature: r = -0.330, p < 0.05), and a significant positive correlation between the radial growth and temperatures from June to July (mean minimum air temperature: r = 0.499, p < 0.01; mean air temperature: r = 0.456, p < 0.01; mean maximum air temperature: r = 0.431, p < 0.01). The radial growth in Larix sibirica exhibited divergent responses to temperature in April and from June to July. Specifically, with the changes in climate, the radial growth response sensitivity of trees showed a gradually increasing trend to drought caused by high temperature in current April, while the sensitivity to the temperature decreased initially and then increased from the current June to July. Our results show that the radial growth of Larix sibirica in Altay Mountains was sensitive to climatic factors, making it suitable to study the relationships between tree growth and climate change. Under climate change, our findings on divergent response of radial growth in Larix sibirica to climatic factors would provide a scientific basis for accurately reconstructing historical climate and predicting forest ecosystem dynamics based on tree-ring data.

Key words: divergent response, climate change, Larix sibirica, dendroclimatology, Altay Mountains