CR 67:209-220 (2016)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01376

A tree-ring chronology spanning 210 years in the coastal area of southeastern China, and its relationship with climate change

Yingjun Li1,2, Keyan Fang1,3,*, Chunfu Cao1, Dawen Li1, Feifei Zhou1, Zhipeng Dong1, Yu Zhang1, Zhanfeng Gan1

1Institute of Geography, Key Laboratory of Humid Subtropical Eco-geographical Process (Ministry of Education), College of Geographical Sciences, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
2Research Center for Scientific Development in the Fenhe River Valley, Taiyuan Normal University, Jinzhong 030619, China
3Key Laboratory of Cenozoic Geology and Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: A 210 yr tree-ring chronology (1804-2013) was developed from Pinus massoniana trees at Gu Mountain of Fujian Province in southeastern China, which is the nearest chronology to the coastal area of the East China Sea. The highest correlations with monthly climate variables were observed for precipitation in the current (i.e. the same year as the tree-ring growth) July and September, and the highest correlation with seasonal climate variables was found with precipitation from the current period June to September. We found a shift between the climate-growth correlations before and after 1977. From 1953-1977, tree growth was mainly limited by precipitation in the current June and September. In addition, the highest correlation with seasonal precipitation was from the current June to September. However, from 1978-2013, tree growth was negatively correlated with temperature in the current June and July and positively correlated with January temperature and July precipitation, with the highest negative correlation occurring with seasonal temperature from June to August of the current year. A sharp increase in temperature and decline in light precipitation with more frequent heavy rain and storm-associated rain enhanced the summer drought from 1978-2013. In addition, more cold snaps in January played a role in limiting tree growth from 1978-2013. This chronology shows significant positive correlations with those of the El NiƱo-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), and East Asia Summer Monsoon (EASM) indexes, especially in their decadal variations. At an annual time scale, a warm ENSO may cause a weak EASM in the positive PDO phase, and a weak EASM may decrease precipitation, raise temperature, and further limit tree growth. At a decadal time scale, the weakening EASM has promoted tree growth by the center-southward-moving monsoon rain since 1977.


KEY WORDS: Tree-ring · Precipitation · Southeastern China · ENSO


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Cite this article as: Li Y, Fang K, Cao C, Li D and others (2016) A tree-ring chronology spanning 210 years in the coastal area of southeastern China, and its relationship with climate change. Clim Res 67:209-220. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01376

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