The contributions of rate and duration of stem radial increment to annual increments of Picea meyeri in a sub-alpine habitat, North-Central China
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The increment duration and rate were equally important in controlling annual stem radial increments of Picea meyeri at its upper limit of distribution.
Stem radial increment rate and duration are the most important parameters in determining the width of annual tree rings. To identify the contributions of rate and duration to annual radial increments and their relationships with environmental factors, we analyzed intra-annual stem increments of five Picea meyeri trees in a sub-alpine habitat of North-Central China over 7 years (2008–2015, except for the year 2012) with point dendrometers in this study. The results showed the following. (1) We estimated that approximately 53% of the variability in the annual radial increments is attributable to the rate of radial increment and approximately 47% to its duration. (2) The contribution of cessation time to the annual increments was more than three times that of the initiation time. (3) The initiation of radial increment was primarily controlled by soil temperature and warmer soil temperature could advance the initiation time. The cessation and rate of radial increment were mainly influenced by thermal and light-related environmental factors. During growing seasons, low temperatures and insufficient light caused by many rainy and cloudy days at the high altitudes of the Luya Mountains may result in earlier cessations and lower rates of radial increment. Overall, our results may have further applications in modeling the responses of tree stem growth to climate change in a sub-alpine habitat of North-Central China.
KeywordsDendrometer Intra-annual growth Semi-humid region Tree line ecotone Environmental factors Threshold temperatures
We are grateful to Liang Jiao, Haochun Yang, Yan’gang Yang, Yan Wen, Zijian Zhou and Yuanyuan Guo for their help in the fieldwork. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41630750 and 41771051). Special thanks to the anonymous referees for their valuable comments and suggestions.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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