Yu, LX; Yan, ZR; Zhang, SW (2020). Forest Phenology Shifts in Response to Climate Change over China-Mongolia-Russia International Economic Corridor. FORESTS, 11(7), 757.

Vegetation phenology is a sensitive indicator of climate change. With the intensification of global warming, the changes in growing seasons of various vegetation types have been widely documented across the world. However, as one of the most vulnerable regions in response to the global climate change, the phenological responses and associated mechanisms in mid-high latitude forests are still not fully understood. In this study, long-term changes in forest phenology and the associated relationship with the temperature and snow water equivalent in the China-Mongolia-Russia International Economic Corridor were examined by analyzing the satellite-measured normalized difference vegetation index and the meteorological observation data during 1982 to 2015. The average start date of the growing season (SOS) of the forest ecosystem in our study area advanced at a rate of 2.5 days/decade, while the end date of the growing season (EOS) was delayed at a rate of 2.3 days/decade, contributing to a growing season that was approximately 15 days longer in the 2010s compared to that in 1980s. A higher April temperature is beneficial to the advance in the SOS, and a higher summer temperature has the potential to extend the EOS in the forest ecosystem. However, our results also suggest that a single temperature cannot fully explain the advance of the SOS, as well as the delay in the EOS. The preseason Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) is also an essential factor in influencing the growing season. A higher SWE in February and March and lower SWE in April tend to advance the SOS, while higher SWE in pre-year December and lower SWE in current year October are beneficial to the extension of the EOS.