Spring Temperature Accumulation Is a Primary Driver of Forest Disease and Pest Occurrence in China in the Context of Climate ChangeJunhao Zhao, Jiahao Wang, Jixia Huang, Le Zhang, Jianzhi Tang
Climatic factors have a strong influence on the occurrence of forest diseases and pests, but few studies have systematically analyzed the influence of spring climatic factors on the occurrence of forest diseases and pests in China. We collected inventory data of forest resources, forest diseases, and pest occurrences and then analyzed the spatial and temporal characteristics of China’s forest diseases and pests from 1992–2019. Next, we took spring temperature accumulations ≥ 10 °C, spring average precipitation, and spring average radiation as the spring climatic factors and analyzed their influence on China’s forest diseases and pests with partial correlation and piecewise trend methods. The results showed that the incidence rate of forest diseases and pests in China had a nonlinear decreasing trend that occurred simultaneously with the growth of forested areas and the increase in forest pest and disease areas. Ultimately, the increase in forest pest and disease areas stabilized at low levels of 1% and 4%, respectively. This change generated a spatial shift from an east–west to a north–south pattern in China. Additionally, the average turning points of forest disease and pest incidence trends in China occurred in 2000 and 2005, where 56.7% and 63.3% of provinces, respectively, experienced significant shifts in forest disease and pest incidence. Finally, spring meteorological elements had a significant role in driving the mechanisms of forest disease and pest incidence in China. Among these, spring temperature accumulation was a major contributor in disease and pest variability in China. However, spring radiation and spring precipitation were important local drivers in Southwest China, though these two factors had two opposing shifts in forest diseases and pests reflected over time. This study systematically analyzed the impact of climate change on the development of forest diseases and pests in China, helping clarify the future control of forest diseases and pests in China.