Treeline dynamics in response to climate change in the Min Mountains, southwestern China

Zhi Jiang Zhao, Guo Zhen Shen, Liu Yi Tan, Dong Wei Kang, Meng Jun Wang, Wen Kang, Wen Xia Guo, Melanie J B Zeppel, Qiang Yu, Jun Qing Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Abies faxoniana is the dominant plant species of the forest ecosystem on the eastern edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, where the treeline is strongly defined by climate. The tree-ring chronologies and age structure of Abies faxoniana were developed in the treeline ecotones on the northwestern and southeastern aspects of the Min Mountains in the Wanglang Nature Reserve to examine the treeline dynamics of recent decades in response to climate change. Results: On the northwestern aspect, correlation analysis showed that the radial growth was significantly and positively correlated with precipitation in current January and monthly mean temperature in current April, but significantly and negatively correlated with monthly mean temperature in previous August. On the southeastern aspect, the radial growth was significantly negatively correlated with monthly mean temperature in previous July and August. Conclusions: The different responses of radial growth to climatic variability on both the aspects might be mainly due to the micro-environmental conditions. The recruitment benefited from the warm temperature in current April, July and September on the northwestern aspect. The responses of radial growth and recruitment to climatic variability were similar on the northwestern slope. Recruitment was greatly restricted by competition with dense bamboos on the southeastern aspect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalBotanical Studies
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright the authors 2013; licensee Springer. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Abies faxoniana
  • Age structure
  • Climatic variability
  • Radial growth
  • Tree-ring chronology
  • Treeline


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