Response of chestnut phenology in China to climate variation and change
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Guo L, Dai J, Ranjitkar S, Xu J, Luedeling E. 2013. Response of chestnut phenology in China to climate variation and change. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 180:164-172.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52084
Climate change has affected the phenology of plants and animals throughout the world, but few studies have evaluated climate responses of fruit trees in East Asia. In particular, the response of tree phenology to warming during different parts of the year has not been explored. We evaluated long-term records (1963–2008) of chestnut (Castanea mollissima Blume) first flowering, leaf coloring and length of the growing season from Beijing, China. Phenological dates were related with daily temperatures (subjected to an 11-day running mean) for the 12 months leading up to the respective events, using Partial Least Squares (PLS) regression. For each phenological indicator, regression results identified two relevant phases, during which temperatures were correlated with event timing or growing season length. First flowering dates in Beijing advanced by 1.6 days per decade over the length of the record, whereas leaf coloring showed no significant trend. The growing season expanded by 4.3 days per decade. First flowering was advanced by high temperatures between January and June, but delayed by warm conditions during the chill accumulation phase (late October through early January). Leaf coloring was advanced by warm conditions during most of the growing season, but delayed by high temperatures in fall. Variation in the length of the growing season was strongly correlated to variation in spring phenology. All phenological indicators of chestnut appeared to respond to high temperatures during certain parts of the growing season in a way that ran counter to currently dominant effects. For instance, warming during the period of chill accumulation delayed rather than advanced spring phenology. These secondary temperature responses may explain responses of certain plants and ecosystems that are not in line with general trends of advanced spring and delayed fall phases. It seems possible that the importance of these effects may increase as warming continues.