Wild apple growth and climate Change in southeast Kazakhstan

Irina P. Panyushkina, Nurjan S. Mukhamadiev, Ann M. Lynch, Nursagim A. Ashikbaev, Alexis H. Arizpe, Christopher D. O'Connor, Danyar Abjanbaev, Gulnaz Z. Mengdbayeva, Abay O. Sagitov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Wild populations of Malus sieversii [Ldb.] M. Roem are valued genetic and watershed resources in Inner Eurasia. These populations are located in a region that has experienced rapid and on-going climatic change over the past several decades. We assess relationships between climate variables and wild apple radial growth with dendroclimatological techniques to understand the potential of a changing climate to influence apple radial growth. Ring-width chronologies spanning 48 to 129 years were developed from 12 plots in the Trans-Ili Alatau and Jungar Alatau ranges of Tian Shan Mountains, southeastern Kazakhstan. Cluster analysis of the plot-level chronologies suggests different temporal patterns of growth variability over the last century in the two mountain ranges studied. Changes in the periodicity of annual ring-width variability occurred ca. 1970 at both mountain ranges, with decadal-scale variability supplanted by quasi-biennial variation. Seascorr correlation analysis of primary and secondary weather variables identified negative growth associations with spring precipitation and positive associations with cooler fall-winter temperatures, but the relative importance of these relationships varied spatially and temporally, with a shift in the relative importance of spring precipitation ca. 1970 at Trans-Ili Alatau. Altered apple tree radial growth patterns correspond to altered climatology in the Lake Balkhash Basin driven by unprecedented intensified Arctic Oscillations after the late 1970s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number406
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 26 2017


  • Central Asia
  • Climate change
  • Dendrochronology
  • Malus sieversii
  • Wild fruit wood forest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry


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