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On the ‘Divergence Problem’ in the Alatau Mountains, Central Asia: A Study of the Responses of Schrenk Spruce Tree-Ring Width to Climate under the Recent Warming and Wetting Trend

1
Institute of Desert Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Urumqi 830002, China
2
Key Laboratory of Tree-Ring Physical and Chemical Research of China Meteorological Administration, Urumqi 830002, China
3
Key Laboratory of Tree-ring Ecology of Uigur Autonomous Region, Urumqi 830002, China
4
Almaty Branch of Kazakh Scientific Research Institute of Forestry, Ministries of Agriculture, Almaty 050010, Kazakhstan
5
Kazakh National Agrarian University (KazNAU), Ministry of Education and Science, Almaty 050010, Kazakhstan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(8), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10080473
Received: 29 July 2019 / Revised: 14 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 17 August 2019
The divergence problem, which manifests as an unstable response relationship between tree-ring growth and climatic factors under the background of global warming, poses a challenge to both the traditional theory of dendroclimatology and the reliability of climatic reconstructions based on tree-ring data. Although Schrenk spruce, as the dominant tree species in the Tianshan Mountains, is frequently applied in the dendrochronological studies, the understanding of the divergence problem of this tree species is still limited. This study conducted correlation analysis between climatic factors and tree-ring width chronologies from 51 living and healthy specimens of Schrenk spruce at sites of high and low elevation in the Alatau Mountains to determine the stability of the response. The results revealed that the tree-ring width of the spruce specimens was correlated positively with precipitation and correlated negatively with temperature. Although the variations of the two tree-ring chronologies were similar, the radial growth of the spruce at the low elevation was found more sensitive to climatic factors. Furthermore, the sensitivity of tree growth to climate demonstrated an obvious increase after an abrupt change of climate under the background of the recent warming and wetting trend. Increased drought stress, calculated based on climatic data, was regarded as the main reason for this phenomenon. The results supply the gap of the stability of climatic response of tree growth in Central Asia to some extent. View Full-Text
Keywords: Alatau Mountains; Picea schrenkiana; radial growth; dendroclimatology; divergence problem Alatau Mountains; Picea schrenkiana; radial growth; dendroclimatology; divergence problem
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, T.; Zhang, R.; Jiang, S.; Bagila, M.; Ainur, U.; Yu, S. On the ‘Divergence Problem’ in the Alatau Mountains, Central Asia: A Study of the Responses of Schrenk Spruce Tree-Ring Width to Climate under the Recent Warming and Wetting Trend. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 473. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10080473

AMA Style

Zhang T, Zhang R, Jiang S, Bagila M, Ainur U, Yu S. On the ‘Divergence Problem’ in the Alatau Mountains, Central Asia: A Study of the Responses of Schrenk Spruce Tree-Ring Width to Climate under the Recent Warming and Wetting Trend. Atmosphere. 2019; 10(8):473. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10080473

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhang, Tongwen, Ruibo Zhang, Shengxia Jiang, Maisupova Bagila, Utebekova Ainur, and Shulong Yu. 2019. "On the ‘Divergence Problem’ in the Alatau Mountains, Central Asia: A Study of the Responses of Schrenk Spruce Tree-Ring Width to Climate under the Recent Warming and Wetting Trend" Atmosphere 10, no. 8: 473. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10080473

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