Enhanced spring temperature sensitivity of carbon emission links to earlier phenology

Fandong Meng, Lirong Zhang, Zhenhua Zhang, Lili Jiang, Yanfen Wang, Jichuang Duan, Qi Wang, Bowen Li, Peipei Liu, Huan Hong, Wangwang Lv, Wangmu Renzeng, Zhezhen Wang, Caiyun Luo, Tsechoe Dorji, Huakun Zhou, Mingyuan Du, Yiqi Luo, Shiping Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Phenology has a great effect on the carbon cycle. Significant relationships have been well demonstrated between phenology and photosynthesis. However, few studies have been undertaken to characterize relationships between phenology and ecosystem respiration (Re). We conducted a reciprocal transplant experiment among three elevations for two-years to measure Re over six phenological sequences throughout the growing seasons. Our results showed that changes in phenological duration were mainly determined by the onset of phenology, as one day advance of phenological onset could lengthen 0.13 days of phenological duration. Advances in early spring phenophases (i.e., first leaf-out, first bud/boot-set and first flowering) under warming strengthened the temperature sensitivity of Re. However, the late phenophases (i.e., first seeding-set, first post-fruiting vegetation and first leaf-coloring) had non-significant relationships with Re. In total, after pooling all the data, one day advance of phenophases would increase Re by 2.23% under warming. In particular, Re would increase by 29.12% with an advance of phenophases by 8.46 days of under a 1.5 °C warming scenario. Our analysis of the coupling between temperature/moisture–phenology–Re may further supplement evidence that warmer spring temperature increases carbon emission by advancing early phenophases. This points to a faster and easier way to investigate how aboveground functional traits (phenology) affect unseen functional traits (Re) on the Tibetan Plateau.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number140999
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Nov 25 2020


  • Carbon source
  • Climate warming
  • Phenological sequences
  • Reciprocal transplant
  • Temperature sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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