The aim of this work was to analyse the response of dominant tree species to the changing climate in a subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in China. We investigated the main leaf phenology and herbivory parameters of four typical trees (i.e., Schima superba, Castanopsis fargesii, Castanopsis sclerophylla and Cyclobalanopsis sessilifolia) in spring from 2010 to 2014 in the Tiantong National Forest Research Station in eastern China. The results showed that the accumulated temperature was the principle factor which affected the leaf phenology and herbivory. All four trees got an earlier, shorter and more synchronised leaf expansion in years with higher accumulated temperature, and also they suffered more sever leaf damage in these years. However the trees responded differently to climate warming in leaf phenology and herbivory. The S. superba and Ca. sclerophylla were more sensitive to the varying accumulated temperature than the Ca. fargesii and Cy. sessilifolia both in leaf phenology and herbivory during leaf expansion. We suggest that the observed variations in leaf phenology and leaf traits to the changing accumulated temperature should be taken into consideration for pest management and community stability maintenance in forests adapting to the changing climate.
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Vol. 64 • No. 1