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Relationship between woody plants phenology and climate factors in Xi’an, China

Author(s): BAI Jie | GE Quan-Sheng | DAI Jun-Hu | WANG Ying

Journal: Chinese Journal of Plant Ecology
ISSN 1752-9921

Volume: 34;
Issue: 11;
Start page: 1274;
Date: 2010;

Keywords: climate change | plant phenology | woody plants | Xi’an

Aims Few studies have investigated phenological response to climate change in Western China to understand ecological responses to climate change and evaluate phenological differences on a regional scale. We analyzed spring phenological data from 34 woody plants for the past 45 years in Xi’an. Our objectives were to determine the relationships between plant phenology and air temperature change and to explore the response of spring phenophases to abrupt climate change in Xi’an.Methods The Mann-Kendall test was used to describe the trend of temperature change and the specific point of climate change. The trends of spring phenophases were described by simple linear regression. The significance of correlation coefficients between phenophases and both temperature and precipitation were examined by t-tests.Important findings Four spring phenophases generally showed advancement, and the characters of phenological change were consistent with climate change, even abrupt climate change. Statistically significant correlation was found between the changes of spring phenophases and the temperatures of one or several months before the phenophase onset. The mean monthly temperature of the onset month or the prior month was the key factor impacting the spring phenophase. Moreover, there was a strong correlation between leaf phenophase and monthly precipitation of one month before the phenophase onset, while the correlation between flower phenophase andprecipitation is not obvious.
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