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Article

Forest Phenology Dynamics to Climate Change and Topography in a Geographic and Climate Transition Zone: The Qinling Mountains in Central China

1
College of Environment and Planning, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Geospatial Technology for Middle and Lower Yellow River Regions, Henan Collaborative Innovation Center of Urban-Rural Coordinated Development, Henan University, Kaifeng 475004, China
2
United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Genetics and Sustainable Agriculture Research Unit, Highway, MS 39762, USA
3
Department of Geogsciences, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS 39762, USA
4
United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Brooklyn, MS 39762, USA
5
College of Science, Engineering and Health, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University, 124 LaTrobe Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 September 2019 / Revised: 27 October 2019 / Accepted: 8 November 2019 / Published: 11 November 2019
Forest ecosystems in an ecotone and their dynamics to climate change are growing ecological and environmental concerns. Phenology is one of the most critical biological indicators of climate change impacts on forest dynamics. In this study, we estimated and visualized the spatiotemporal patterns of forest phenology from 2001 to 2017 in the Qinling Mountains (QMs) based on the enhanced vegetation index (EVI) from MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). We further analyzed this data to reveal the impacts of climate change and topography on the start of the growing season (SOS), end of the growing season (EOS), and the length of growing season (LOS). Our results showed that forest phenology metrics were very sensitive to changes in elevation, with a 2.4 days delayed SOS, 1.4 days advanced EOS, and 3.8 days shortened LOS for every 100 m increase in altitude. During the study period, on average, SOS advanced by 0.13 days year−1, EOS was delayed by 0.22 days year−1, and LOS increased by 0.35 day year−1. The phenological advanced and delayed speed across different elevation is not consistent. The speed of elevation-induced advanced SOS increased slightly with elevation, and the speed of elevation-induced delayed EOS shift reached a maximum value of 1500 m from 2001 to 2017. The sensitivity of SOS and EOS to preseason temperature displays that an increase of 1 °C in the regionally averaged preseason temperature would advance the average SOS by 1.23 days and delay the average EOS by 0.72 days, respectively. This study improved our understanding of the recent variability of forest phenology in mountain ecotones and explored the correlation between forest phenology and climate variables in the context of the ongoing climate warming. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; forest phenology; geographic transition zone; topographic effects climate change; forest phenology; geographic transition zone; topographic effects
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MDPI and ACS Style

Xia, H.; Qin, Y.; Feng, G.; Meng, Q.; Cui, Y.; Song, H.; Ouyang, Y.; Liu, G. Forest Phenology Dynamics to Climate Change and Topography in a Geographic and Climate Transition Zone: The Qinling Mountains in Central China. Forests 2019, 10, 1007. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f10111007

AMA Style

Xia H, Qin Y, Feng G, Meng Q, Cui Y, Song H, Ouyang Y, Liu G. Forest Phenology Dynamics to Climate Change and Topography in a Geographic and Climate Transition Zone: The Qinling Mountains in Central China. Forests. 2019; 10(11):1007. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f10111007

Chicago/Turabian Style

Xia, Haoming, Yaochen Qin, Gary Feng, Qingmin Meng, Yaoping Cui, Hongquan Song, Ying Ouyang, and Gangjun Liu. 2019. "Forest Phenology Dynamics to Climate Change and Topography in a Geographic and Climate Transition Zone: The Qinling Mountains in Central China" Forests 10, no. 11: 1007. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f10111007

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