J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2008, Vol. 50 ›› Issue (8): 982-990.

• Molecular Physiology •

### Difference in Tree Growth Responses to Climate at the Upper Treeline: Qilian Juniper in the Anyemaqen Mountains

Jianfeng Peng, Xiaohua Gou, Fahu Chen, Jinbao Li, Puxing Liu, Yong Zhang, Keyan Fang

• Received:2007-08-07 Accepted:2008-01-13

Abstract: Three ring-width chronologies were developed from Qilian Juniper (Sabina przewalskii Kom.) at the upper treeline along a west-east gradient in the Anyemaqen Mountains. Most chronological statistics, except for mean sensitivity (MS), decreased from west to east. The first principal component (PC1) loadings indicated that stands in a similar climate condition were most important to the variability of radial growth. PC2 loadings decreased from west to east, suggesting the difference of tree-growth between eastern and western Anyemaqen Mountains. Correlations between standard chronologies and climatic factors revealed different climatic influences on radial growth along a west-east gradient in the study area. Temperature of warm season (July–August) was important to the radial growth at the upper treeline in the whole study area. Precipitation of current May was an important limiting factor of tree growth only in the western (drier) upper treeline, whereas precipitation of current September limited tree growth in the eastern (wetter) upper treeline. Response function analysis results showed that there were regional differences between tree growth and climatic factors in various sampling sites of the whole study area. Temperature and precipitation were the important factors influencing tree growth in western (drier) upper treeline. However, tree growth was greatly limited by temperature at the upper treeline in the middle area, and was more limited by precipitation than temperature in the eastern (wetter) upper treeline.

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