Radial Growth of Qilian Juniper on the Northeast Tibetan Plateau and Potential Climate Associations

Qin, Chun, Yang, Bao, Melvin, Thomas M., Fan, Zexin, Zhao, Yan and Briffa, Keith R. (2013) Radial Growth of Qilian Juniper on the Northeast Tibetan Plateau and Potential Climate Associations. PLoS One, 8 (11). ISSN 1932-6203

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    Abstract

    There is controversy regarding the limiting climatic factor for tree radial growth at the alpine treeline on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau. In this study, we collected 594 increment cores from 331 trees, grouped within four altitude belts spanning the range 3550 to 4020 m.a.s.l. on a single hillside. We have developed four equivalent ring-width chronologies and shown that there are no significant differences in their growth-climate responses during 1956 to 2011 or in their longer-term growth patterns during the period AD 1110–2011. The main climate influence on radial growth is shown to be precipitation variability. Missing ring analysis shows that tree radial growth at the uppermost treeline location is more sensitive to climate variation than that at other elevations, and poor tree radial growth is particularly linked to the occurrence of serious drought events. Hence water limitation, rather than temperature stress, plays the pivotal role in controlling the radial growth of Sabina przewalskii Kom. at the treeline in this region. This finding contradicts any generalisation that tree-ring chronologies from high-elevation treeline environments are mostly indicators of temperature changes.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: © 2013 Qin et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
    Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
    Depositing User: Pure Connector
    Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2013 14:26
    Last Modified: 09 Apr 2019 10:59
    URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/44892
    DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079362

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