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Open AccessArticle

Evaluating the Adaptation of Chinese Torreya Plantations to Climate Change

by Xiongwen Chen 1,2,* and Jianzhi Niu 3
1
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Alabama A & M University, Normal, AL 35762, USA
2
Jiyang College of Zhejiang A & F University, Zhuji 311800, China
3
School of Soil and Water Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(2), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11020176
Received: 17 December 2019 / Revised: 18 January 2020 / Accepted: 6 February 2020 / Published: 8 February 2020
Studying the capacity of some plant species to adapt to climate change is essential for ecological research and agricultural policy development. Chinese Torreya (Torreya grandis ‘Merrillii’) has been an important crop tree in subtropical China for over a thousand years. It is necessary to characterize its adaptation to climate change. In this study, the average monthly temperature and precipitation from 1901 to 2017 in the six regions with Chinese Torreya plantations at different provinces were analyzed. The results indicated that the average annual air temperature across these regions had increased by about 2.0 °C, but no general trend in the annual precipitation and incidence of drought was found. The annual air temperature that Chinese Torreya plantations had experienced was 12.96–18.23 °C; the highest and the lowest average monthly air temperatures were 30.1 °C and −0.8 °C, respectively. The lowest and the highest annual precipitation were 874.56 mm and 2501.88 mm, respectively. Chinese Torreya trees endured a severe drought period in the 1920s. The monthly air temperature at Zhuji, which is the central production region, showed a significant correlation with the air temperature in the other five regions. The monthly precipitation in Hunan and Guizhou had no significant correlation with that of Zhuji. Chinese Torreya plantations have been grown in the regions with a similar climate distance index of air temperatures but different precipitation. This tree has a high capacity to adapt to climate change based on the climate dynamics across its range. This approach may provide a way to evaluate climate adaptation in other tree species. These results may provide helpful information for the development of Chinese Torreya plantations. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate distance index; drought; monthly air temperature; monthly precipitation; standardized precipitation index climate distance index; drought; monthly air temperature; monthly precipitation; standardized precipitation index
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Chen, X.; Niu, J. Evaluating the Adaptation of Chinese Torreya Plantations to Climate Change. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 176.

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