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CR 53:157-167 (2012)  -  DOI:

Growth response of Pinus tabulaeformis to climate along an elevation gradient in the eastern Qinling Mountains, central China

Jiangfeng Shi1,2,*, Jinbao Li3, Edward R. Cook4, Xiaoye Zhang5, Huayu Lu1

1School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Institute for Climate and Global Change Research, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, PR China
2Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, PR China
3International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815, USA
4Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, New York 10964, USA
5Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100081, PR China

ABSTRACT: Tree growth response to climate is not well understood in the eastern Qinling Mountains of central China, an East Asian monsoon dominated region. In this study, we developed 4 robust tree-ring width chronologies using Chinese pine Pinus tabulaeformis along an elevation gradient. The 4 chronologies were significantly correlated with each other. Through standard correlation function analysis, we found that each of the 4 chronologies correlated negatively with temperature, especially with maximum temperature in May and June, and positively with precipitation from prior December to current May. Principal component analysis and composite analysis of years when extremely narrow rings were common to all 4 chronologies confirmed this relationship. However, precipitation in the current September and October was positively correlated to tree growth  at lower sites and negatively at higher ones, and temperature stress effects increased with elevation. The findings  will help understand the growth response of this tree species to climate change in the southern part of its range, and provide critical information for future climate reconstructions using this tree species in humid or semi-humid regions.

KEY WORDS: Tree ring · Growth response · Pinus tabulaeformis · Qinling Mountains · Central China

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Cite this article as: Shi J, Li J, Cook ER, Zhang X, Lu H (2012) Growth response of Pinus tabulaeformis to climate along an elevation gradient in the eastern Qinling Mountains, central China. Clim Res 53:157-167.

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