The variability of tree stem phenology plays a critical role in determining the productivity of forest ecosystems. Therefore, we aim to identify the relationships between the timings of cambium phenology, and forest growth in terms of tree-ring width over a long-term scale. A meta-analysis was performed that combined the timings of xylem formation, which were calculated by a tree-ring formation model of the VS (Vaganov-Shashkin)-oscilloscope during the period 1960–2014, and a tree-ring width series at 20 composite sites on the Tibetan Plateau. Both the start and length of the growing season significantly affected the formation of wood at 70% of the 20 composite sites within the study region. A wider tree ring probably resulted from an earlier start and a longer duration of the growing season. The influence of ending dates on tree-ring width was less evident, and more site-dependent. Weak relationships were identified between the start and end of the growing season at 85% of the composite sites. Compared to the monitoring results, which could only detect the relationships between cambium phenology and xylem cell production from a limited number of trees and years, our long-term relationships deepened such connections, and therefore should be used to improve mechanism models for the accurate evaluating and predicting of wood production and carbon sequestration in forest ecosystems under current and future climate change.
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