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Open AccessArticle

The Radial Growth of Schrenk Spruce (Picea schrenkiana Fisch. et Mey.) Records the Hydroclimatic Changes in the Chu River Basin over the Past 175 Years

1
Institute of Desert Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Key Laboratory of Tree-ring Physical and Chemical Research of China Meteorological Administration, Key Laboratory of Tree-ring Ecology of Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous Region, Urumqi 830002, China
2
Climate Change Research Center, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
3
Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters/Joint International Research Laboratory of Climate and Environment Change/Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster, Ministry of Education, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
4
Tien-Shan Scientific Center, Institute of Water Problem and Hydropower of National Academy of Sciences of Kyrgyz Republic, Bishkek 720033, Kyrgyzstan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(3), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10030223
Received: 5 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 26 February 2019 / Published: 2 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Hydrology and Watershed)
The Chu River is one of the most important rivers in arid Central Asia. Its discharge is affected by climate change. Here, we establish a tree-ring chronology for the upper Chu River Basin and analyze the relationships between radial growth, climate, and discharge. The results show that the radial growth of Schrenk spruce (Picea schrenkiana Fisch. et Mey.) is controlled by moisture. We also reconstruct a 175-year standardized precipitation-evapotranspiration index (SPEI) for the Chu River Basin. A comparison of the reconstructed and observed indices reveal that 39.5% of the variance occurred during the calibration period of 1952–2014. The SPEI reconstruction and discharge variability of the Chu River show consistent long-term change. They also show that the Chu River Basin became increasingly dry between the 1840s and the 1960s, with a significant drought during the 1970s. A long and rapid wetting period occurred between the 1970s and the 2000s, and was followed by increasing drought since 2004. The change in the SPEI in the Chu River Basin is consistent with records of long-term precipitation, SPEI and Palmer Drought Severity Indices (PDSI) in other proximate regions of the western Tianshan Mountains. The hydroclimatic change of the Chu River Basin may be associated with westerly wind. This study is helpful for disaster prevention and water resource management in arid central Asia. View Full-Text
Keywords: tree rings; Schrenk spruce (Picea schrenkiana Fisch. et Mey.); hydroclimatology; Chu River; Tianshan Mountains; climate change; Central Asia tree rings; Schrenk spruce (Picea schrenkiana Fisch. et Mey.); hydroclimatology; Chu River; Tianshan Mountains; climate change; Central Asia
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Zhang, R.; Ermenbaev, B.; Zhang, T.; Ali, M.; Qin, L.; Satylkanov, R. The Radial Growth of Schrenk Spruce (Picea schrenkiana Fisch. et Mey.) Records the Hydroclimatic Changes in the Chu River Basin over the Past 175 Years. Forests 2019, 10, 223.

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