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Forests 2016, 7(7), 151; doi:10.3390/f7070151

Spatial Heterogeneity of Climate Change Effects on Dominant Height of Larch Plantations in Northern and Northeastern China

1
Institute of Forest Resources Information Techniques, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
2
School of Natural Resources, West Virginia University, Morgantown, MD 26505, USA
3
Academy of Forest Inventory and Planning, State Forestry Administration, Beijing 100714, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Chris A. Maier and Eric J. Jokela
Received: 27 January 2016 / Revised: 26 June 2016 / Accepted: 30 June 2016 / Published: 22 July 2016
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Abstract

Determining the response of dominant height growth to climate change is important for understanding adaption strategies. Based on 550 permanent plots from a national forest inventory and climate data across seven provinces and three climate zones, we developed a climate-sensitive dominant height growth model under a mixed-effects model framework. The mean temperature of the wettest quarter and precipitation of the wettest month were found to be statistically significant explanatory variables that markedly improved model performance. Generally, future climate change had a positive effect on stand dominant height in northern and northeastern China, but the effect showed high spatial variability linked to local climatic conditions. The range in dominant height difference between the current climate and three future BC-RCP scenarios would change from −0.61 m to 1.75 m (−6.9% to 13.5%) during the period 2041–2060 and from −1.17 m to 3.28 m (−9.1% to 41.0%) during the period 2061–2080 across provinces. The impacts of climate change on stand dominant height decreased as stand age increased. Forests in cold and warm temperate zones had a smaller decrease in dominant height, owing to climate change, compared with those in the mid temperate zone. Overall, future climate change could impact dominant height growth in northern and northeastern China. As spatial heterogeneity of climate change affects dominant height growth, locally specific mitigation measures should be considered in forest management. View Full-Text
Keywords: stand dominant height; mean temperature of wettest quarter; precipitation of wettest month; mixed-effects model stand dominant height; mean temperature of wettest quarter; precipitation of wettest month; mixed-effects model
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Zang, H.; Lei, X.; Ma, W.; Zeng, W. Spatial Heterogeneity of Climate Change Effects on Dominant Height of Larch Plantations in Northern and Northeastern China. Forests 2016, 7, 151.

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