Tree Ring-width Response of Picea schrenkiana to Climate Change

  • 1. School of Geographic Sciences and Remote Sensing, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China;
    2. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3. Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, CAS, Beijing 100085, China

Received date: 2004-05-14

  Revised date: 2004-09-26

  Online published: 2004-11-25

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.90102005; No.90211018; No. 49971079; Knowledge Innovation Project of CAS, No. KZCX3-SW-321; No.KZCX1-10-02


The Yili Valley of west Tianshan is located in semi-arid area of Northwest China. Tree ring increment cores were sampled for Picea schrenkiana from the upper and lower treelines of three sites, which present warm-dry, warm-moist and cool-moist climate patterns respectively. Six standardized chronologies were developed using a 60-year spline function, the correlation between tree ring-width and climate was analyzed. Comparison of chronology statistics among chronologies indicated that ring-width at the lower treeline showed stronger high- and low-frequency signals than those at the upper line. Correlation analysis showed that the growth of Picea schrenkiana was significantly sensitive to climate variations. However, there were different relationships between the tree growth and climate at different aspects of slope and altitude of the valley: tree growth at lower treeline on the south-facing slope was positively correlated (p<0.05) with precipitation in July and August during the current growing season, while at the lower line of the north-facing slope, tree growth showed a significant (p<0.05) positive correlation with monthly minimum temperature from November to January prior to the growing season, whereas there was no significant correlation between tree ring-width and climate variations at the upper line of both north- and south-facing slopes. These results suggested that different climate signals revealed in tree-ring width of Picea schrenkiana may be caused by the influence of topography: the variation of precipitation between the upper- and lower-treeline and the difference of temperature between the two aspects of the slope. In conclusion, there is not only precipitation signal but also temperature information in the tree ring-width of Picea schrenkiana. This dendroclimatological potential provides a possibility for past climatic reconstruction of both precipitation and temperature in this area.

Cite this article

ZHU Haifeng, WANG Lili, SHAO Xuemei, FANG Xiuqi . Tree Ring-width Response of Picea schrenkiana to Climate Change[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2004 , 59(6) : 863 -870 . DOI: 10.11821/xb200406008


[1] Shao X M. Advancements in dendrochronology. Quaternary Sciences, 1997, (3): 265-271.
[邵雪梅. 树轮年代学的若干进展. 第四纪研究, 1997, (3): 265-271.]

[2] Briffa K R, Jones P D, Vogel R B et al. Europe tree ring sand climate in the 16th century. Climate Change, 1999, 43: 151-168.

[3] Mann M E, Bradley R S, Hughes M K. Global-scale temperature patterns and climate forcing over the past centuries. Nature, 1998, 392(23): 779-787.

[4] Esper J, Cook E R, Schweingruber F H. Low-frequency signals in long tree-ring chronologies for reconstructing past temperature variability. Science, 2002, 295: 2250-2253.

[5] Shao X M, Huang L, Liu H B et al. Reconstruction of precipitation variation from tree ring in recent millennial years in Delingha, Qinghai. Science in China (D), 2004, 34(2): 145-153.
[邵雪梅, 黄磊, 刘洪滨 等. 树轮记录的青海德令哈地区千年降水变化. 中国科学(D), 2004, 34(2): 145-153.]

[6] Liu Y, Ma L M. Reconstruction of 376a seasonal precipitation of Huhehaote from tree ring-width. Chinese Science Bulletin, 1999, 44(18): 1986-1992.
[刘禹, 马利民. 树轮宽度对近376年呼和浩特季节降水的重建. 科学通报. 44(18): 1986-1992.]

[7] Liu Y, Cai Q F, Ma L M et al. Tree ring precipitation records from Baotou and the east Asia summer monsoon variations for the last 254 years. Earth Science Frontiers, 2001, 8(1): 91-97.
[刘禹, 蔡秋芳, 马利民 等. 树轮降水记录及东亚夏季风强弱变化. 地学前缘, 2001, 8(1): 91-97.]

[8] Kang X C, Zhang Q H, Graumilich L J. Reconstruction of a 1835 a past climate for Dulan, Qinghai Province, using tree-ring. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology, 2000, 22(1): 65-72.
[康兴成, 张其花, Graumilich L J. 利用树轮资料重建青海都兰地区过去1835年的气候变化. 冰川冻土, 2000, 22(1): 65-72.]

[9] Liang E Y, Shao X M, Hu Y X et al. Dendroclimatic evaluation of climate-growth relationships of Meyer spruce (Picea meyeri) on a sandy substrate in semi-arid grassland, north China. Trees, 2001, 15: 230-235.

[10] Liang E Y, Shao X M, Hu Y X et al. A dendroclimatic study of relict Picea meyeri in Inner Mongolian steppe. Acta Phytoecologica Sinica, 2001, 43: 288-294.
[梁尔源, 邵雪梅, 胡玉熹 等. 内蒙古草原沙地白扦年轮生长指数的变异. 植物生态学报, 2001, 43: 289-294.]

[11] Yuan Y J, Li J F. Preliminary study on the features of tree-ring chronology in Yili area of Xinjiang province. Arid Land Geography, 1993, 16(3): 45-61.
[袁玉江, 李江风. 新疆伊犁地区树轮年表特征初探. 干旱区地理, 1993, 16(3): 45-61.]

[12] Yuan Y J, Li J F. The relationships between tree-ring climate growth of spruce forest and climate in the west part of Tianshan Mountains. Journal of Xinjiang University, 1994, 11(4): 93-98.
[袁玉江, 李江风. 天山西部云杉林年轮气候生长量与气候的关系. 新疆大学学报(自然科学版), 1994, 11(4): 93-98.]

[13] Yuan Y J, Li J F. The transfer functions of tree-ring chronologies in western Tianshan Mountains. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology, 1995, 17(2): 170-177.
[袁玉江, 李江风. 天山西部树轮年表的响应函数. 冰川冻土, 1995, 17(2): 170-177.]

[14] Yuan Y J, Ye W, Dong G R. Reconstruction and discussion of 314a precipitation in Yili prefecture, western Tianshan Mountains. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology, 2000, 22(2): 121-127.
[袁玉江, 叶玮, 董光荣. 天山西部伊犁地区314a降水的重建与分析. 冰川冻土, 2000, 22(2): 121-127.]

[15] Yuan Y J, Li J F, Hu R J et al. Reconstruction of precipitation in the recent 350a from tree-rings in the middle Tianshan Mountains. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology, 2001, 23(1): 34-40.
[袁玉江, 李江风, 胡汝骥 等. 用树木年轮重建天山中部近350a来的降水量. 冰川冻土, 2001, 23(1): 34-40.]

[16] Zhang Z H, Wu X D, Li J. Utilizing tree ring chronologies to reconstruct 300-year drought days in eastern Tianshan Mountains. Quarterly Journal of Applied Meteorology, 1996, 7(1): 53-60.
[张志华, 吴祥定, 李骥. 利用树木年轮资料重建新疆东天山300多年来干旱日数的变化. 应用气象学报, 1996, 7(1): 53-60.]

[17] Zhu K Z et al. Chinese Physical Geography Pandect. Beijing: Science Press, 1985. 385-389.
[竺可桢 等. 中国自然地理总论. 北京: 科学出版社, 1985. 385-389.]

[18] Lu P, Yan G X. Forest of Xinjiang. Xinjiang: The People's Press, Beijing: China Forestry Publishing House, 1989. 121-149.
[陆平, 严赓雪. 新疆森林. 新疆: 人民出版社, 北京: 中国林业出版社, 1989. 121-149.]

[19] Stokes M A, Smiley T L. An Introduction to Tree-Ring Dating. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1968, 10-15.

[20] Holmes R L. Computer-assisted quality control in tree-ring dating and measurement. Tree-Ring Bulletin, 1983, 43: 69-78.

[21] Cook E R. Program Arstan Tree-ring Chronology Assembly and Analysis. 1985.

[22] Fritts H C. Tree Rings and Climate. New York: Academic Press. 1976. 207-304.

[23] Yuan Y J, Li J F. Reconstruction and analysis of 450 years' winter temperature series in the Urumqi River sources of Tianshan Mountains. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology, 1999, 20(1): 64-70.
[袁玉江, 李江风. 天山乌鲁木齐河源450a冬季温度序列的重建与分析. 冰川冻土, 1999, 20(1): 64-70.]

[24] LaMarche J V. Paleoclimatic inferences from long tree-ring records. Science, 1974, 183: 1043-1048.

[25] Ye B S, Lai Z M, Shi Y F. Some characteristics of precipitation and air temperature in the Yili river basin. Arid Land Geography, 1997, 20(1): 46-52.
[叶佰生, 赖祖铭, 施雅风. 伊犁河流域降水和气温的若干特征. 干旱区地理, 1997, 20(1): 46-52.

[26] Pan R C. Plant Physiology. Beijing: Higher Education Press, 2000. 283-288.
[潘瑞炽. 植物生理学. 北京: 高等教育出版社, 2000. 283-288.]

[27] Lu W D, Zhu Y L, Sha J et al. SPSS for Windows. Beijing: Publishing House of Electronics Industry, 1997. 206-213.
[卢纹岱, 朱一力, 沙捷 等. SPSS从入门到精通. 北京: 电子工业出版社, 1997. 206-213.]