UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The Impact of Microclimate on the Reproductive Phenology of Female Populus tomentosa in a Micro-Scale Urban Green Space in Beijing Xing, Xiaoyi; Dong, Li; Bosch, Cecil C. Konijnendijk van den; Hao, Peiyao; Fan, Shuxin; Niu, Wei


The spatial variation of poplars’ reproductive phenology in Beijing’s urban area has aggravated the threat of poplar fluff (cotton-like flying seeds) to public health. This research explored the impact of microclimate conditions on the reproductive phenology of female Populus tomentosa in Taoranting Park, a micro-scale green space in Beijing (range <1 km). The observed phenophases covered flowering, fruiting, and seed dispersal, and ENVI-MET was applied to simulate the effect of the microclimate on SGS (start day of the growing season). The results showed that a significant spatial variation in poplar reproductive phenology existed at the research site. The variation was significantly affected by the microclimate factors DMT (daily mean temperature) and DMH (daily mean heat transfer coefficient), with air temperature playing a primary role. Specifically, the phenology of flowering and fruiting phenophases (BBB, BF, FF, FS) was negatively correlated with DMT (−0.983 ≤ r ≤ −0.908, p <0.01) and positively correlated with DMH (0.769 ≤ r ≤ 0.864, p < 0.05). In contrast, DSD (duration of seed dispersal) showed a positive correlation with DMT (r = 0.946, p < 0.01) and a negative correlation with DMH (r = −0.922, p < 0.01). Based on the findings, the increase in air convection with lower air temperature and decrease in microclimate variation in green space can be an effective way to shorten the seed-flying duration to tackle poplar fluff pollution in Beijing’s early spring.

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