Skip to main content

Age-dependent tree-ring growth responses to climate in Qilian juniper (Sabina przewalskii Kom.)

Abstract

Qilian juniper (Sabina przewalskii kom.) is one of the dominant tree species on Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and has been used in dendroclimatological studies. Here we designed a test to examine whether or not the climate–growth responses in tree rings of Qilian Juniper vary with the change in tree's age. A total number of 135 increment cores were sampled from Qilian Juniper trees at five sites, in which 112 cores were selected and grouped into five 100-year age classes for analysis of age-dependent climate–growth relationships. Chronology statistics, response functions and ANOVA F-test were used to test the consistency of five age-class mean chronologies (AGCs). The results showed that mean sensitivity (MS) and standard deviation (SD) did not change significantly with age. Response function analysis indicated that (a) climate accounts for a high amount of variance in tree-ring widths; (b) tree-ring growth has significant positive correlation with mean monthly air temperature of previous October and November, and with total monthly precipitation of current January and June, while has significant negative correlation with mean monthly air temperature of current May; and (c) AGC-2, AGC-3 and AGC-4 have stronger response to climate change than AGC-1 and AGC-5. The ANOVA F-test showed that generally there are significant differences between the first age class and other four age classes, but among the four classes in which trees are older than 200 years, the differences are usually insignificant. Overall the long-lived Qilian Juniper is still an ideal tree species for dendroclimatic reconstruction.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

References

  • Blasing MN, Solomon AM, Duvick DN (1984) Response functions revisited. Tree-Ring Bull 44:252–256

    Google Scholar 

  • Bond BJ (2000) Age-related changes in photosynthesis of woody plants. Trends Plant Sci 5:349–353

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bradley RS, Jones PD (1992) Climate since A.D. 1500. Routledge, London

  • Briffa K, Cook ER (1990) Methods of response function analysis. In: Cook ER, Kairiukstis LA (eds) Methods of dendrochronology applications in the environmental sciences. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp 240–247

    Google Scholar 

  • Carrer M, Urbinati C (2004) Age-dependent tree-ring growth responses to climate in Larix declidua and Pinus cembra. Ecology 85:730–740

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chhin S, Wang G, Geoff, Tardif J (2004) Dendroclimatic analysis of white spruce at its southern limit of distribution in the spruce woods provincial park. Manitoba, Canada. Tree-Ring Res 60:31–43

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Clack SL, Hallgren SW (2004) Age estimation of Quercus marilandica and Quercus stellata: applications for interpreting stand dynamics. Can J Forest Res 34: 1353–1358

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Colenutt ME, Luckman BH (1995) The dendrochronological characteristics of alpine larch. Can J Forest Res 25:77–789

    Google Scholar 

  • Cook ER (1985) A time series approach to tree-ring standardization. Dissertation, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

    Google Scholar 

  • D’Arrigo RD, Jacoby GC, Free RM (1992) Tree-ring width and maximum latewood density at the Northern American tree line: parameters of climatic change. Can J Forest Res 22:1290–1296

    Google Scholar 

  • Day ME, Greenwood MS, Diaz-Sala C (2002) Age-and size-related trends in woody plant shoot development; regulatory pathways and evidence for genetic control. Tree Physiol 22:507–513

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • England JR, Attiwill PM (2006) Changes in leaf morphology and anatomy with tree age and height in the broadleaved evergreen species, Eucalyptus regnans F. Muell. Trees 20:79–90

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ettl GJ, Peterson DL (1995) Extreme climate and variation in tree growth: individualistic response in subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa). Global Change Biol 1:231–241

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fritts HC (1976) Tree rings and climate. Academic Press, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Fritts HC (1996) Quick help for PRECON now called preconk version 5.11

  • Graumlich LJ (1991) Subalpine tree growth, climate, and increasing CO2: an assessment of recent growth trends. Ecology 72:1–11

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Holmes RL (1983) Computer-assisted quality control in tree-ring dating and measurement. Tree-Ring Bull 43:69–75

    Google Scholar 

  • Holmes RL (1992) Dendrochronology program library user’s manual. Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

    Google Scholar 

  • Huang JG, Zhang QB (2007) Tree rings and climate for the last 680 years in Wulan area of northeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Climatic Change 80:369–377

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hubbard RM, Bond BJ, Ryan MG (1999) Evidence that hydraulic conductance limits photosynthesis in old Pinus ponderosa trees. Tree Physiol 19:165–172

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Jacoby GC, Cook ER (1981) Past temperature variations inferred from a 400-year tree-ring chronology from Yukon Territory. Canada, Arct Antarct Alp Res 13:409–418

    Google Scholar 

  • Kolb TE, Stone JE (2000) Differences in leaf gas exchange and water relations among species and tree sizes in an Arizona pine–oak forest. Tree Physiol 20:1–12

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Liu XH, Qin DH, Shao XM, Chen T, Ren JW (2005) Temperature variations recovered from tree-rings in the middle Qilian Mountain over the last millennium. Sci China Ser D 48:521–529

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nash TH, Fritts HC, Stokes MA (1975) A technique for examing non-climatic variation in widths of annual tree rings with special reference to air pollution. Tree-Ring Bull 35:15–24

    Google Scholar 

  • Rolland C (1993) Tree-ring and climate relationships for Abies alba in the internal Alps. Tree-Ring Bull 53:1–11

    Google Scholar 

  • Ryan MG, Binkley D, Fownes JH (1997) Age related decline in forest productivity: pattern and process. Adv Ecol Res 27:213–262

    Google Scholar 

  • Ryan MG, Yoder BJ (1997) Hydraulic limits to tree height and tree growth. BioScience 47:235–242

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shao XM, Huang L, Liu HB, Liang EY, Fang XQ, Wang LL (2005) Reconstruction of precipitation variation from tree rings in recent 1000 years in Delingha, Qinghai. Sci China Ser D 48:939–949

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stokes MA, Smiley TL (1968) An introduction to tree-ring dating. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago

    Google Scholar 

  • Szeicz JM, MacDonald GM (1994) Age-dependent tree-ring growth responses of subarctic white spruce to climate. Can J Forest Res 23:120–132

    Google Scholar 

  • Szeicz JM, MacDonald GM (1995) Dendroclimatic reconstruction of summer temperatures in northwestern Canada since A.D. 1638 based on age-dependent modeling. Quaternary Res 44:257–266

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Travis DJ, Meentemeyer V, Belanger RP (1990) Stressed trees produce a better climatic signal than healthy trees. Tree-Ring Bull 50:29–32

    Google Scholar 

  • Wu XD (1990) Tree-ring and climate change. Meteorology Press, Beijing (in Chinese)

    Google Scholar 

  • Yoder BJ, Ryan MG, Waring RH, Schoettle AW, Kaufmann MR (1994) Evidence of reduced photosynthetic rates in old trees. Forest Sci 40:513–527

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhang QB, Cheng GD, Yao TD, Kang XC, Huang JG (2003) A 2326-year tree-ring record of climate variability on the northeastern Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. Geophys Res Lett 30:1739–1742

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhang QB, Qiu HY (2007) A millennium-long tree-ring chronology of Sabina przewalskii on northeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Dendrochronologia 24:91–95

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhang QB, Shao XM (2007) Tree Rings and Ecology: The 7th International Conference on Dendrochronology. J Integr Plant Biol 49:129–130

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhang ZH, Wu XD (1997) Reconstruction of past 700 years climate change of the Qilian Mountains region from the tree ring data. Chin Sci Bull 42: 849–851

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

This study was jointly funded by the Chinese Academy of Sciences project KZCX1-10 and the National Natural Science Foundation of China project 40631002 and 90102009. We are grateful to Dr. Qi-Bin Zhang for his help in the research, to Dr. Deliang Zhang for many valuable suggestions on the early version of the manuscript. We also appreciate the constructive comments of two anonymous referees.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Keping Ma.

Additional information

Communicated by J. Carlson.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Yu, G., Liu, Y., Wang, X. et al. Age-dependent tree-ring growth responses to climate in Qilian juniper (Sabina przewalskii Kom.). Trees 22, 197–204 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00468-007-0170-y

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00468-007-0170-y

Keywords

  • Tree ring
  • Tree age
  • Response function
  • ANOVA F-test