DOI: 10.3390/f14091790 ISSN:

Relationships between Climate Variability and Radial Growth of Larix potaninii at the Upper Altitudinal Limit in Central Hengduan Mountain, Southwestern China

Haitao Yue, Jianing Li, Siyu Xie, Hai Chen, Kun Tian, Mei Sun, Dacai Zhang, Yun Zhang
  • Forestry

Improved understanding of the responses of stem radial growth to climates is necessary for modeling and predicting the response of forest ecosystems to future climate change. We used dendrochronological methods to study climate effects on the radial growth of a subalpine deciduous conifer, Larix potaninii. Tree-ring residual chronologies were developed for five sites at the upper distributional limits in the Central Hengduan Mountains, Southwestern China. Redundancy analysis and response function were used to compare inter-annual variability in growth sensitivity among the chronologies and to identity key climatic factors controlling tree radial growth. The results showed that both precipitation and temperature influenced tree growth, and response patterns were consistent for five chronologies. During the current year’s early growing season (Tmean in May and Tmax in June), temperature positively affected the radial growth of L. potaninii, while September Tmin and October precipitation in the previous year and May and June precipitation in the current year all had negative impacts on its radial growth. L. potaninii growth appeared to be mainly limited by photothermal conditions in May and June. In the context of increasing CO2 concentrations accompanied with warmer temperatures, future climate change would likely stimulate the radial growth of L. potaninii in Central Hengduan Mountain.

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