Changes in foliage biomass of the genera Larix and Pinus along gradients of temperature and precipitation in Eurasia
Vladimir Andreyevich Usoltsev, Abdul Shakoor, Gul Zaib, Stefan Trogisch, Xiaozhe Ma and Ivan Stepanovich Tsepordey
Forest ecosystems are an essential part of the global carbon cycle and constitute a large fraction of the storage of terrestrial carbon. However, climate change may induce shifts in temperature and precipitation. These changes in temperature and precipitation have pronounced consequences for forest growth and carbon sequestration potential. This study addressed the comparative analysis of foliage biomass in the deciduous genus Larix spp. and the evergreen subgenus Pinus spp. in gradients of annual precipitation and winter temperature. The database for modeling involved 400 and 2,110 sample plots for Larch and Pine, respectively. Pine had reduced foliage biomass in dry conditions; however, an increase in foliage biomass was observed in moist conditions. On the contrary, regardless of conditions, Larix accumulated more foliage biomass. Interestingly, precipitation (100mm) increased Pine tree foliage biomass in warm regions. This positive trend of precipitation was observed for Larch in warm regions. We argue that these responses are related to the differences in physiology. In winter, Larch carries out only respiration. We discuss that these responses are due to the different status of tree needles in these two species. Understanding tree genera responses to rising temperature and shifts in precipitation regimes will enable us to improve predictions of the carbon storage potential in Eurasian forests.
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