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Variation of Oriental Oak (Quercus variabilis) Leaf δ13C across Temperate and Subtropical China: Spatial Patterns and Sensitivity to Precipitation

1
School of Agriculture and Biology and Research Centre for Low-Carbon Agriculture, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
2
Key Laboratory of Urban Agriculture (South), Ministry of Agriculture, People's Republic of China, Shanghai 200240, China
3
Shanghai Urban Forest Research Station, State Forestry Bureau, Shanghai 200000, China
4
School of Energy, Environment and Agrifood, Cranfield University, Cranfield MK43 0AL, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Steven Jansen
Forests 2015, 6(7), 2296-2306; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6072296
Received: 24 March 2015 / Revised: 23 June 2015 / Accepted: 25 June 2015 / Published: 30 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responses of Forest Trees to Drought)
The concentration of the carbon-13 isotope (leaf δ13C) in leaves is negatively correlated with the mean annual precipitation (MAP) atlarge geographical scales. In this paper, we explain the spatial pattern of leaf δ13C variation for deciduous oriental oak (Quercus variabilis Bl.) across temperate and subtropical biomes and its sensitivity to climate factors such as MAP. There was a 6‰ variation in the leaf δ13C values of oak with a significant positive correlation with latitude and negative correlations with the mean annual temperature (MAT) and MAP. There was no correlation between leaf δ13C and altitude or longitude. Stepwise multiple regression analyses showed that leaf δ13C decreased 0.3‰ per 100 mm increase in MAP. MAP alone could account for 68% of the observed variation in leaf δ13C. These results can be used to improve predictions for plant responses to climate change and particularly lower rainfall. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon isotope; oak; precipitation; latitude; Quercus variabilis carbon isotope; oak; precipitation; latitude; Quercus variabilis
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Du, B.; Kang, H.; Zhu, Y.; Zhou, X.; Yin, S.; Burgess, P.J.; Liu, C. Variation of Oriental Oak (Quercus variabilis) Leaf δ13C across Temperate and Subtropical China: Spatial Patterns and Sensitivity to Precipitation. Forests 2015, 6, 2296-2306.

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