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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 3943-3953; doi:10.3390/ijerph9113943

Forest Dynamics and Their Phenological Response to Climate Warming in the Khingan Mountains, Northeastern China

1
State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information Systems, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
2
Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun, Jilin Province 130012, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 August 2012 / Revised: 15 October 2012 / Accepted: 26 October 2012 / Published: 31 October 2012
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Abstract

The Khingan Mountain region, the most important and typical natural foci of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) in China, is the largest and northernmost forest area and the one more sensitive to climate change. Taking this region as the study area, we investigated the spatio-temporal dynamics of deciduous broadleaf forest (DBF) and its phenology changes in relation to climate change and elevation. Based on MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) time series over the period of 2001 to 2009, the start-of-season (SOS), length-of-season (LOS) and another two vegetation variables (seasonal amplitude (SA) and integrated EVI (SI)) were derived. Over the past decade, the DBF in Khingan Mountains has generally degraded and over 65% of DBF has experienced negative SA and SI trends. Earlier trends in SOS and longer trends in LOS for DBF were observed, and these trends were mainly caused by climate warming. In addition, results from our analysis also indicated that the effects of temperature on DBF phenology were elevation dependent. The magnitude of advancement in SOS and extension in LOS with temperature increase significantly increased along a raising elevation gradient.
Keywords: climate change; phenology; deciduous forest; elevation; Khingan Mountains climate change; phenology; deciduous forest; elevation; Khingan Mountains
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Cai, H.; Zhang, S.; Yang, X. Forest Dynamics and Their Phenological Response to Climate Warming in the Khingan Mountains, Northeastern China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 3943-3953.

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