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Forests 2017, 8(10), 359; doi:10.3390/f8100359

Climate-Induced Tree Growth Variations under the RCP 2.6 Scenario: A Case Study on the Southeastern Tibetan Plateau

Tree-ring Laboratory, College of Forestry, Shenyang Agricultural University, 120 Dongling Road, Shenyang 110866, China
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Received: 7 July 2017 / Revised: 15 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 23 September 2017
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Abstract

The relationship between climate and radial tree growth is traditionally used to reconstruct past climate conditions based on interannual tree-ring variations. However, few studies have used these climate-growth relationships to model the radial tree growth based on future climate projections. To detect the future forest dynamics, the climate-induced tree growth from 2006 to 2100 was projected using temperature changes under representative concentration pathway (RCP) 2.6 for the southeastern Tibetan Plateau. Radial tree growth was mainly controlled by annual mean temperature in this region. Based on the relationship between regional annual mean temperature and radial tree growth, a regression model was built that explained 62.5% of variance in the observed temperature record over the period 1911–2005. A period of unprecedented radial tree growth was found after 1998 when compared with the tree growth in the past 700 years. We found that radial tree growth would increase in the period 2006–2045 and decline after that period due to the projected temperature decrease. As forest productivity and biomass are expected to increase with the increased tree growth, these results suggest that temperature-limited systems could see future increases in productivity as growth limitations are lessened. The results of this research could be used to predict regional forest dynamics in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: tree-ring variations; RCP; future scenarios; multi-model ensemble tree-ring variations; RCP; future scenarios; multi-model ensemble
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Zhang, X.; Zou, F.; Chen, Z. Climate-Induced Tree Growth Variations under the RCP 2.6 Scenario: A Case Study on the Southeastern Tibetan Plateau. Forests 2017, 8, 359.

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