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Plants with lengthened phenophases increase their dominance under warming in an alpine plant community
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  • Ji Chen,
  • Yiqi Luo,
  • Yuxin Chen,
  • Andrew J. Felton ,
  • Kelly Hopping,
  • Rui-Wu Wang,
  • Shuli Niu,
  • Xiaoli Cheng,
  • Yuefang Zhang,
  • Junji Cao,
  • Jørgen Olesen,
  • Mathias Neumann Andersen,
  • Uffe Jørgensen
Ji Chen
Aarhus Universitet
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Yiqi Luo
Northern Arizona University
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Yuxin Chen
Sun Yat-sen University
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Andrew J. Felton
Utah State University
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Kelly Hopping
Boise State University
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Rui-Wu Wang
Center for Ecological and Environmental Sciences
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Shuli Niu
Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Xiaoli Cheng
Yunnan University
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Yuefang Zhang
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs
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Junji Cao
Institute of Earth Environment Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Jørgen Olesen
Aarhus Universitet
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Mathias Neumann Andersen
Aarhus Universitet
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Uffe Jørgensen
Aarhus Universitet
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Abstract

Predicting how warming-induced shifts in plant species-specific phenology affect species dominance remains challenging. Here, we investigated the effects of experimental warming on plant species-specific phenology and dominance as well as their relations in an alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau. Warming significantly advanced phenological firsts (leaf out and first flower dates) for most species, while having variable effects on phenological lasts (leaf senescence and last flower) and full phenological periods (growing season and flower duration). Experimental warming reduced community evenness and differentially impacted the species-specific dominance. Specifically, warming-induced shifts in phenological lasts and full phenological periods, rather than the single phenological firsts, are associated with changes in species dominance. Species with lengthened full phenological periods under warming increased their dominance. Our results advance our understanding of how altered species-specific phenophases can be related to changes in community structure in response to climate change.