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Intra-annual stem radial increment patterns of Chinese pine, Helan Mountains, Northern Central China

  • Jiani GaoEmail author
  • Bao Yang
  • Minhui He
  • Vladimir Shishov
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Tree Rings
  2. Tree Rings


Key message

We investigate the intra-annual growth patterns of Chinese pine in Helan Mountains, confirming that regional water status plays a dominated role in stem radial increment.


The associations between environmental conditions and stem radial increment (SRI) are useful for assessing a species’ growth response to climate change. Intra-annual SRI dynamics of Chinese pine (Pinus tabulaeformis) were monitored half-hourly by automatic point dendrometer during the growing season (May–September) in 2016 and 2017 at two altitudes in the Helan Mountains, northern central China. Here, we compared the seasonal growth patterns between two altitudes and 2 years. Trees at low altitude are characterized by earlier cessation, shorter growing season, and lower growth rate, resulting in less annual growth, which may reflect the greater drought intensified by rising temperature at low altitude. June precipitation significantly affected tree growth rate. The xylem growth was active when daily mean air temperature was 9.9 °C at our study region for P. tabulaeformis in an arid environment. During the growing season, daily stem radial increment showed a significantly positive correlation with precipitation and a negative correlation with daily air temperature at all altitudes. Climatic variables associated with tree water status, namely precipitation, vapor pressure deficit, and relative humidity, played important roles in daily stem radial increment as the same result as a linear mixed model. These factors drive the complex physiological processes of stem radial increment by influencing the moisture available to the tree.


Stem radial increment Dendrometer V–S model Pinus tabulaeformis Seasonal patterns Helan Mountains 



This study is supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (Grants: 41520104005, 41325008), and the Belmont Forum and JPI-Climate Collaborative Research Action ‘INTEGRATE’ (Grant: 41661144008). VS was supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation (Project # 5.3508.2017/4.6, software development).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Desert and Desertification, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and ResourcesChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Institute of GeographyUniversity of Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenGermany
  4. 4.Mathematical Methods and Information Technology DepartmentSiberian Federal UniversityKrasnoyarskRussia
  5. 5.Laboratory of Tree-Ring StructureV.N. Sukachev Institute of Forest, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of SciencesKrasnoyarskRussia

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