PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2013, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (12): 1760-1770.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.12.005

• Climate and Ecological Environment • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Global research progresses in dendroclimatology of Larix Miller

SUN Yu1,2, WANG Lili1   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2013-07-01 Revised:2013-11-01 Online:2013-12-25 Published:2013-12-25

Abstract: As a regional climate proxy, tree-ring data has the advantages such as high resolution, widespread distribution, long time series, precise dating and so on. Nowadays, reconstruction of historical climate change is becoming a more and more important part in global climate change research. Therefore, Tree-ring data plays a huge role in climate change research. Belonging to the Gymnospermae phylum, pine family, and growing in the temperate, cold temperate, and frigid zones of the Northern Hemisphere, Larix Miller, with regular growth rhythm every year, has a significant position in the research on historical global climate change. Especially in China, there are ten larch species and one variety, all hardy, photophilous, and dominant timber classes, located along the margin of the East Asian Monsoon zone. In this paper, the author has made a comprehensive analysis on recent achievements of main larches in Europe, North America and Asia, combined the development routes, and drawn the conclusions as follows: (1) Among all researches on Larix Miller, tree-ring width dominated, about 72%, followed by maximum latewood density, approximately 16%. In recent years, the research focus began to lean to density from width. (2) Both width and density responded to air temperature better. Thus, they played a more significant role in the temperature research of Northern Hemisphere. (3) Larix decidua Mill. and Larix sibirica Ledeb. contributed to the most achievements, perhaps, because more of them spreaded in the regions of high elevations or latitudes, contrary to Larix himalaica (Cheng et L. K. Fu.) Therefore, the potential of a special species' application to dendroclimatology may be determined by its number and distribution. Among all regions, European received the most fruitful results, 61% or so, tending to large spatial scale and multispecies. Especially after 2000, the discussion on response divergence and stability took the lead. The Alps became the hot area. In North America, density sensitivity has been talked about since 1990s. However, the achievement was rare after 2000, since the researches were mainly related to special physiognomy and ecological events, such as Pristiphora erichsonii invasion, possibly as a result of geographic location and climatic features of North America. In Asia, the climatic reconstruction sprout up in 1990s based on the representative Larix sibirica Ledeb. However, the research became less creative after 2000. Not until recent years, the reconstruction based on maximum latewood density appeared, made by Chinese researchers in the Altai Mountains. As a result, the work in Asia started fast, but developed slowly. In China, the variety of species and climate types made the research quite rich, with Larix olgensis Henry dominating in last century but Larix sibirica Ledeb dominating in the 21st century. Exactly in recent years, some kinds of larches on Tibetan Plateau and Larix principis-rupprechtii Mayr. made a breakthrough and density research appeared, too. On the whole, Chinese researchers did not bring their superiority into full play and the development fell behind other areas relatively. With regard to the development direction of dendroclimatology, it is suggested that the future research in China should focus on spatial "field" and multispecies.

Key words: Larix Miller, Asia, China, dendroclimatology, Europe, North America