alexa Simulating changes in the leaf unfolding time of 20 plant species in China over the twenty-first century.
Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences

Hydrology: Current Research

Author(s): Ge Q, Wang H, Dai J

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Abstract Recent shifts in phenology reflect the biological response to current climate change. Aiming to enhance our understanding of phenological responses to climate change, we developed, calibrated and validated spatio-temporal models of first leaf date (FLD) for 20 broadleaved deciduous plants in China. Using daily meteorological data from the Chinese Meteorological Administration and the Community Climate System Model, version 3 (CCSM3) created using three IPCC scenarios (A2, A1B and B1), we described the FLD time series of each species over the past 50 years, extrapolating from these results to simulate estimated FLD changes for each species during the twenty-first century. Model validation suggests that our spatio-temporal models can simulate FLD accurately with R² (explained variance) >0.60. Model simulations show that, from 1952 to 2007, the FLD in China advanced at a rate of -1.14 days decade⁻¹) on average. Furthermore, changes in FLD showed noticeable variation between regions, with clearer advances observed in the north than in the south of the country. The model indicates that the advances in FLD observed from 1952-2007 in China will continue over the twenty-first century, although significant differences among species and different climate scenarios are expected. The average trend of FLD advance in China during the twenty-first century is modeled as being -1.92 days decade⁻¹ under the A2 scenario, -1.10 days decade⁻¹ under the A1B scenario and -0.74 days decade⁻¹ under the B2 scenario. The spatial pattern of FLD change for the period 2011-2099 is modeled as being similar but showing some difference from patterns in the 1952-2007 period. At the interspecific level, early-leafing species were found to show a greater advance in FLD, while species with larger distributions tended to show a weaker advance in FLD. These simulated changes in phenology may have significant implications for plant distribution as well as ecosystem structure and function. This article was published in Int J Biometeorol and referenced in Hydrology: Current Research

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