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Article

Spring Moisture Availability is the Major Limitation for Pine Forest Productivity in Southwest China

by 1,2,3, 4, 1,2,3, 5 and 1,2,3,*
1
Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China
2
Key Laboratory of Economic Plants and Biotechnology, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China
3
Southeast Asia Biodiversity Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, Mengla 666303, China
4
Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation (INRES)—Horticultural Sciences/Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, 53121 Bonn, Germany
5
Kunming Institute of Survey and Design, State Forestry and Grassland Administration, Kunming 650216, Yunnan, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(4), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11040446
Received: 24 February 2020 / Revised: 8 April 2020 / Accepted: 9 April 2020 / Published: 15 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Forests in low-latitude (0° N–30° N) regions are important for greenhouse gas sequestration. They harbor around 25% of vegetation carbon stocks. The productivity of these forests is expected to change as the global climate changes. They may absorb less greenhouse gasses, with negative effects on the global climate. However, little is known about how exactly these forests will respond to climate change. Here, we focus on the largest pine forests in low-latitude forests areas in southwest China. These forests have experienced rapid climate warming over the past 60 years. We collected tree-ring cores from two naturally occurring key afforestation pine tree species: Pinus yunnanensis Franch. and Pinus armandii Franch. in Baoshan and Lijiang of Yunnan. We used basal area increment (BAI) to examine the productivity trends of these two species over long-time scales, and Partial Least Squares regression analysis together with Pearson correlation analysis to identify the critical climate periods for the growth of these two species. We found that: (1) regional pine tree productivity began to decline at the beginning of this century. (2) The radial growth of both species had the strongest positive correlation with the spring Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) and precipitation and the strongest negative correlation with spring temperatures. (3) Climate responses differ by species with higher positive correlations between tree-ring width, PDSI, and precipitation in P. armandii than in P. yunnanensis at similar locations. (4) Climate responses differ by location with higher positive correlations between tree-ring width and PDSI in Lijiang than in Baoshan for P. yunnanensis. Our results suggest that spring moisture availability is the main limiting factor for pine tree growth, especially for P. yunnanensis in Lijiang and P. armandii in Baoshan. Future regional warming and warm-induced drought conditions may have negative effects on the growth of pine trees. These results provide reference data for the sustainable management of pine forests in low-latitude regions of southwest China and may be useful in assessing the sustainable carbon sink ability of pine forests in this region under climate change. View Full-Text
Keywords: tree-ring; pine tree; southwest China; climate change tree-ring; pine tree; southwest China; climate change
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bi, Y.; Whitney, C.; Li, J.; Yang, J.; Yang, X. Spring Moisture Availability is the Major Limitation for Pine Forest Productivity in Southwest China. Forests 2020, 11, 446. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11040446

AMA Style

Bi Y, Whitney C, Li J, Yang J, Yang X. Spring Moisture Availability is the Major Limitation for Pine Forest Productivity in Southwest China. Forests. 2020; 11(4):446. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11040446

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bi, Yingfeng, Cory Whitney, Jianwen Li, Jingchao Yang, and Xuefei Yang. 2020. "Spring Moisture Availability is the Major Limitation for Pine Forest Productivity in Southwest China" Forests 11, no. 4: 446. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11040446

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