Aspen Bibliography

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Global Ecology and Conservation




Elsevier BV

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The stability and balance of forest ecosystems have been seriously affected by climate change. Herein, we use dendrochronological methods to investigate the radial growth and climate response of pioneer tree species in the southern margin of cold temperate coniferous forest based on Populus davidiana growing on the Greater Hinggan Mountains in northeastern China. Correlations of P. davidiana growth with temperature and precipitation in a year (October–September) were rhythmically opposed: while temperatures in previous October–June (winter and spring) and in May–September (growing season) respectively inhibited and promoted radial growth on P. davidiana (p < 0.01), precipitation in the same periods respectively promoted and inhibited of growth (p < 0.01). High temperature or less rain/snow in winter and early spring, and low temperature or excess rainfall in summer, are inconducive to P. davidiana growth and vice versa (p < 0.01). In addition, in March–April, when air temperature was above 0 °C and ground temperature below 0 °C, physiological drought caused significant growth inhibition in P. davidiana (p < 0.05). In general, temperatures play a driving and controlling role in the synergistic effect of temperature and precipitation on P. davidiana growth. Under current conditions of available water supply, changes of temperature, especially warming, are beneficial to the growth of P. davidiana in the study area. The current climate conditions promote the growth of P. davidiana, the pioneer species, compared with the growth inhibition of Larix gmelinii, the dominant species. Thus, the structure and function of boreal forest might be changed under global warming by irreversible alterations in the growth and composition of coniferous and broadleaf tree species in the forest.