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Growth decline of Pinus Massoniana in response to warming induced drought and increasing intrinsic water use efficiency in humid subtropical China

Journal article
Authors Y. J. Li
Z. P. Dong
Deliang Chen
S. Y. Zhao
F. F. Zhou
X. G. Cao
Keyan Fang
Published in Dendrochronologia
Volume 57
Issue October
ISSN 1125-7865
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Language en
Keywords Pinus massoniana, Tree ring, Delta C-13, iWUE, carbon-isotope discrimination, stimulate tree growth, asian summer, monsoon, southeastern china, atmospheric co2, radial growth, coastal, area, forests, 20th-century, temperature, Forestry, Physical Geography
Subject categories Climate Research


Pinus Massoniana is the most widely distributed coniferous species in southern China and one of the most distributed species for plantation in China. It is not uncertain about the responses of tree growth to the combined effects of regional drying and the increase in the intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE) due to increased atmospheric CO2. This study addressed this issue by comparing the tree growth patterns as represented by three tree-ring width chronologies with climate variables and three iWUE series derived from three tree-ring stable carbon isotope discrimination chronologies (Delta C-13) from Pinus Massoniana in Daiyun Mountain, central Fujian province of China. Among these chronologies, we reported the first tree-ring carbon isotope discrimination chronologies (Delta C-13) from Fuzhou area spanning last 210 years. It was found that tree radial growth is mainly limited by dry condition from May to October. Growth limitation by cold condition was only found in one high altitude site (780m) in early spring and late autumn. The tree-ring carbon discrimination was enhanced under conditions with low relative humidity and sufficient sunshine in late summer and autumn. In general, the iWUE showed a significantly increasing trend since the 1850s for all the sites in response to the increase in atmospheric CO2. However, the growth promotion of the increased iWUE on tree growth could not compensate the growth limitation caused by drought. Especially since the 1960s, a growth decline was found at two drought stressed sites at low altitudes. On the other hand, the increase in temperature of spring and autumn and iWUE has most likely enhanced tree growth at the high altitude site.

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