Tree-ring response of Larix chinensis on regional climate and sea-surface temperature variations in alpine timberline in the Qinling Mountains

  • Boqian Yan
  • Jian Yu
  • Qijing Liu
  • Lihua Wang
  • Lile Hu
Original Paper


Tree-ring width chronologies of Larix chinensis were developed from the northern and southern slopes of the Qinling Mountains in Shaanxi Province, and climatic factors affecting the tree-ring widths of L. chinensis were examined. Correlation analysis showed that similar correlations between tree-ring width chronologies and climatic factors demonstrated that radial growth responded to climate change on both slopes. The radial growth of L. chinensis was mainly limited by temperature, especially the growing season. In contrast, both chronologies were negatively correlated with precipitation in May of the previous year and April of the current year. Spatial climate-correlation analyses with gridded land-surface climate data revealed that our tree-ring width chronologies contained a strong regional temperature signal over much of north-central and eastern China. Spatial correlation with sea-surface temperature fields highlights the influence of the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, and North Atlantic Ocean. Wavelet coherence analysis indicated the existence of some decadal and interannual cycles in the two tree-ring width chronologies. This may suggest the influences of El Niño-Southern Oscillation and solar activity on tree growth in the Qinling Mountains. These findings will help us understand the growth response of L. chinensis to climate change in the Qinling region, and they provide critical information for future climate reconstructions based on this species in semi-humid regions.


Climate response Dendroclimatic Tree-ring width L. chinensis Qinling Mountains 



The authors express their thanks to Fei Wang, Henglu Yu, Jianming Guo, and You Du for their help with the sampling and measuring of tree cores. They also thank the reviewers for their diligence in providing useful comments that improved this work.


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Copyright information

© Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Boqian Yan
    • 1
  • Jian Yu
    • 2
  • Qijing Liu
    • 2
  • Lihua Wang
    • 3
  • Lile Hu
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Plant SciencesBeijing University of AgricultureBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Forestry CollegeBeijing Forestry UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Urban ConstructionBeijing City UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.China Environmental Resources Technology Co., Ltd.BeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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