An earlier start of the thermal growing season enhances tree growth in cold humid areas but not in dry areas
AffiliationSchool of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona
Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona
MetadataShow full item record
CitationGao, S., Liang, E., Liu, R., Babst, F., Camarero, J. J., Fu, Y. H., Piao, S., Rossi, S., Shen, M., Wang, T., & Peñuelas, J. (2022). An earlier start of the thermal growing season enhances tree growth in cold humid areas but not in dry areas. Nature Ecology and Evolution.
JournalNature Ecology and Evolution
Rights© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2022.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractClimatic warming alters the onset, duration and cessation of the vegetative season. While previous studies have shown a tight link between thermal conditions and leaf phenology, less is known about the impacts of phenological changes on tree growth. Here, we assessed the relationships between the start of the thermal growing season and tree growth across the extratropical Northern Hemisphere using 3,451 tree-ring chronologies and daily climatic data for 1948–2014. An earlier start of the thermal growing season promoted growth in regions with high ratios of precipitation to temperature but limited growth in cold–dry regions. Path analyses indicated that an earlier start of the thermal growing season enhanced growth primarily by alleviating thermal limitations on wood formation in boreal forests and by lengthening the period of growth in temperate and Mediterranean forests. Semi-arid and dry subalpine forests, however, did not benefit from an earlier onset of growth and a longer growing season, presumably due to associated water loss and/or more frequent early spring frosts. These emergent patterns of how climatic impacts on wood phenology affect tree growth at regional to hemispheric scales hint at how future phenological changes may affect the carbon sequestration capacity of extratropical forest ecosystems.
Note6 month embargo; published: 28 February 2022
VersionFinal accepted manuscript