Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2019, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (12): 2122-2138.doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1708-9

• Research Articles • Previous Articles    

Spatiotemporal changes in the bud-burst date of herbaceous plants in Inner Mongolia grassland

TAO Zexing1, DAI Junhu1(), WANG Huanjiong1, HUANG Wenjie1,2,3, GE Quansheng1   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. College of Life Sciences, Chifeng University, Chifeng 024000, Inner Mongolia, China
  • Received:2019-04-28 Accepted:2019-09-17 Online:2019-12-25 Published:2019-12-06
  • Contact: DAI Junhu
  • About author:Tao Zexing, PhD, specialized in climate change and phenology. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Key R&D Program of China, No(2018YFA0606102);National Natural Science Foundation of China, No(41771056);National Natural Science Foundation of China, No(41901014)


Phenological modeling is not only important for the projection of future changes of certain phenophases but also crucial for systematically studying the spatiotemporal patterns of plant phenology. Based on ground phenological observations, we used two existing temperature-based models and 12 modified models with consideration of precipitation or soil moisture to simulate the bud-burst date (BBD) of four common herbaceous plants—Xanthium sibiricum, Plantago asiatica, Iris lactea and Taraxacum mongolicum—in temperate grasslands in Inner Mongolia. The results showed that (1) increase in temperature promoted the BBD of all species. However, effects of precipitation and soil moisture on BBD varied among species. (2) The modified models predicted the BBD of herbaceous plants with R 2 ranging from 0.17 to 0.41 and RMSE ranging from 9.03 to 11.97 days, better than classical thermal models. (3) The spatiotemporal pattern of BBD during 1980-2015 showed that species with later BBD, e.g. X. sibiricum (mean: day of year 135.30) exhibited an evidently larger spatial difference in BBD (standard deviation: 13.88 days) than the other species. Our findings suggest that influences of temperature and water conditions need to be considered simultaneously in predicting the phenological response of herbaceous plants to climate change.

Key words: phenological model, herbaceous plants, soil moisture, precipitation, spatiotemporal pattern, Inner Mongolia