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Forests 2017, 8(10), 377; doi:10.3390/f8100377

Variations of Climate-Growth Response of Major Conifers at Upper Distributional Limits in Shika Snow Mountain, Northwestern Yunnan Plateau, China

National Plateau Wetlands Research Center, Southwest Forestry University, Kunming 650224, China
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Received: 11 July 2017 / Revised: 26 September 2017 / Accepted: 27 September 2017 / Published: 4 October 2017
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Abstract

Improved understanding of climate-growth relationships of multiple species is fundamental to understanding and predicting the response of forest growth to future climate change. Forests are mainly composed of conifers in Northwestern Yunnan Plateau, but variations of growth response to climate conditions among the species are not well understood. To detect the growth response of multiple species to climate change, we developed residual chronologies of four major conifers, i.e., George’s fir (Abies georgei Orr), Likiang spruce (Picea likiangensis (Franch.) E.Pritz.), Gaoshan pine (Pinus densata Mast.) and Chinese larch (Larix potaninii Batalin) at the upper distributional limits in Shika Snow Mountain. Using the dendroclimatology method, we analyzed correlations between the residual chronologies and climate variables. The results showed that conifer radial growth was influenced by both temperature and precipitation in Shika Snow Mountain. Previous November temperature, previous July temperature, and current May precipitation were the common climatic factors that had consistent influences on radial growth of the four species. Temperature in the previous post-growing season (September–October) and moisture conditions in the current growing season (June–August) were the common climatic factors that had divergent impacts on the radial growth of the four species. Based on the predictions of climate models and our understanding of the growth response of four species to climate variables, we may understand the growth response to climate change at the species level. It is difficult to predict future forest growth in the study area, since future climate change might cause both increases and decreases for the four species and indirect effects of climate change on forests should be considered. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hengduan Mountains; dendrochronology; climatic response; redundancy analysis Hengduan Mountains; dendrochronology; climatic response; redundancy analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, Y.; Yin, D.; Sun, M.; Wang, H.; Tian, K.; Xiao, D.; Zhang, W. Variations of Climate-Growth Response of Major Conifers at Upper Distributional Limits in Shika Snow Mountain, Northwestern Yunnan Plateau, China. Forests 2017, 8, 377.

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