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Differences and variations in the elevation-dependent climatic growing season of the northern and southern slopes of the Qinling Mountains of China from 1985 to 2015
- Deng, Chenhui, Bai, Hongying, Gao, Shan, Zhao, Ting, Ma, Xinping
- Theoretical and applied climatology 2019 v.137 no.1-2 pp. 1159-1169
- alpine meadows, altitude, growing season, mountains, temperature, topographic slope, China
- Based on daily mean temperature data from 32 meteorological stations in the study area, this paper discusses the relationship between the changes in the climatic growing season and altitude and the differences in the northern (NSQM) and southern (SSQM) slopes of the Qinling Mountains (QMs) from 1985 to 2015. Our analyses generated three primary results. First, the spatial distribution patterns of the growing season start (GSS), growing season end (GSE), and growing season length (GSL) exhibited an altitudinal gradient and differences between the NSQM and SSQM. The occurrence time of the GSS, GSE, and the GSL of the NSQM was approximately 15 days later, 10 days earlier, and 25 days shorter respectively than that of the SSQM. Second, the three factors exhibited regular changes with an increasing elevation gradient: the GSS, GSE, and GSL were gradually delayed, advanced, and shortened, respectively. In the area below 1800 m above sea level, the GSS, GSE, and GSL of the NSQM was later, earlier, and shorter, respectively, than that of the SSQM; while the changing trends in the three were opposite in the areas above 2700 m; and the three in the areas between 1800 and 2700 m varied little in the NSQM and SSQM. The sensitivities of the GSS, GSE, and GSL of the NSQM and SSQM to elevation also reflected in the trends of inter-annual variability. Third, among the different altitudinal vegetation belts from low-altitude to high-altitude areas, the occurrence time of the GSS and GSE and the duration of the GSL in the alpine meadow areas were all exchanged in the NSQM and SSQM. The GSS, GSE, and GSL of the NSQM were earlier, later, and longer respectively than that of the SSQM.