Response of regional tree-line forests to climate change: evidence from the northeastern Tibetan Plateau
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- Fang, K., Gou, X., Chen, F. et al. Trees (2009) 23: 1321. doi:10.1007/s00468-009-0373-5
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Tree-ring width and age structure of Juniperus przewalskii (Qilian juniper) forests were analyzed for four tree-line sites in Qilian and Anyemaqen Mountains, northeastern Tibetan Plateau, to investigate their relationships to climate change. Tree-line growth on Qilian Mountain was mainly limited by temperature at the low-frequency band. However, tree-line growth in the Anyemaqen Mountain was highly correlated with the current growing season temperature at the high-frequency band, and with the previous growing season precipitation at the low-frequency band. A temperature-stressed growth pattern at colder western sites and a moisture-stressed growth pattern at the warm, drier eastern tree-line sites were detected. The number of surviving trees in the tree-line ecotone was not clearly correlated with temperature before the 1900s. An unprecedented rise in the number of trees coincided well with the rapid global warming after the 1900s.