Data for: Plants with lengthened phenophases increase their dominance under warming in an alpine plant community

Published: 29 April 2020| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/6fcwpr4kc7.1
Ji Chen


Predicting how warming-induced shifts in plant phenology affect species dominance remains challenging, because species phenology and dominance have been largely investigated independently. Moreover, most phenological research has primarily focused on phenological firsts (leaf-out and first flower dates), leading to a lack of representation of phenological lasts (leaf senescence and last flower) and full phenological periods (growing season length and flower duration). Here, we investigated the effects of experimental warming on species’ phenological firsts, phenological lasts, full phenological periods and species’ dominance, as well as the relationship between them, in an alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau. Warming significantly advanced phenological firsts for most species but had variable effects on phenological lasts and full phenological periods. Experimental warming reduced community evenness and differentially impacted species dominance. Warming-induced shifts in phenological lasts and full phenological periods, rather than the single phenological firsts, were associated with changes in species dominance. Species with lengthened 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.