Journal of Forestry Research

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 727–733 | Cite as

A meta-analysis of experimental warming effects on woody plant growth and photosynthesis in forests

  • Yongge YuanEmail author
  • Litao Ge
  • Haishui Yang
  • Weizheng Ren
Original Paper


Increasing field experiments have been conducted in forests to better understand the response of plant growth and photosynthesis to climatic warming. However, it is still unknown whether there is a general pattern in relation to how and to what extent warming impacts woody plants in forests. In this study, a meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the warming effects. When temperatures increased between 0.3 and 10 °C, specific leaf area (SLA) was significantly increased by 5.9%, plant height by 7.8%, biomass by 21.9%, foliar calcium (Ca) and manganese (Mn) concentrations by 20.7% and 39.6% and net photosynthetic rate (Pn) by 9.9%. Enhanced growth and Pn may have a relationship with changing SLA, efficiency of PSII (photosystem II), photosynthetic pigment concentrations and foliar nutrients. The results will be useful to understand the underlying mechanisms of forests responding to global warming.


Forest Global warming Meta-analysis Photosynthesis Plant growth 

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1283 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 21 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 23 kb)


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Copyright information

© Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yongge Yuan
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Litao Ge
    • 2
  • Haishui Yang
    • 3
  • Weizheng Ren
    • 4
  1. 1.Natural History Research Center, Shanghai Natural History Museum, Branch of Shanghai Science and Technology MuseumShanghaiChina
  2. 2.National Audit Office of the People’s Republic of ChinaBeijingChina
  3. 3.College of AgricultureNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina
  4. 4.College of Life SciencesZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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