Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2021, Vol. 45 ›› Issue (8): 834-843.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2021.0100

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial variability of phenological phenotype of Picea crassifolia in Qilian Mountains and its internal mechanism

DU Jun1, WANG Wen1,2, HE Zhi-Bin1,*(), CHEN Long-Fei1, LIN Peng-Fei1, ZHU Xi1, TIAN Quan-Yan1   

  1. 1Linze Inland River Basin Research Station, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
    2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2021-03-19 Revised:2021-06-04 Online:2021-08-20 Published:2021-06-25
  • Contact: HE Zhi-Bin
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41601051);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41522102)


Aims The aim of this study is to address how the spatial variability of phenological phenotype is characterized in natural populations, and what drives such spatial variability (genetic variation or phenotype plasticity).
Methods The phenological process of 156 sample trees in 20 plots of five altitudes in Pailugou watershed was monitored for two consecutive years, and the saplings selected at different altitudes were transplanted in common garden. The investigation data were analyzed using ridge regression and lasso regression.
Important findings All phenological stages of Picea crassifolia were delayed with altitude (0.57-1.36 d per 100 m). This spatial variability reflected a certain degree of provenance effect (i.e. genetic variation), with an average contribution rate of 20.8% that maintained at a relatively stable level between years. An interesting finding is that the spring phenology timing of high-altitude populations in the common garden was significantly earlier than low-altitude populations, which may be related to the lower threshold of pre-season heat accumulation required for bud differentiation of high-altitude populations. In addition, we found that pre-season heat accumulation, altitude, pre-season precipitation and freezing injury frequency played key roles in explaining phenological dynamics at the population level.

Key words: phenology, spatial variability, genetic variation, phenotype plasticity, Picea crassifolia