Mechanism of dynamic strain aging (DSA) and its effect on the high-temperature low-cycle fatigue resistance in type 316L stainless steel were investigated by carrying out low-cycle fatigue tests in a wide temperature range from 20 to 650 degrees C with strain rates of 3.2 X 10(-5)-1 X 10(-2)/s. The regime of DSA was evaluated using the anomalous features of material behavior associated with DSA. The activation energies for each type of serration were about 0.57-0.74 times those for lattice diffusion indicating that a mechanism other than lattice diffusion is involved. It is reasonably concluded that the pipe diffusion of solute atoms along the dislocation core is responsible for DSA. Dynamic strain aging reduced the fatigue resistance by ways of multiple crack initiation, which comes from the DSA-induced inhomogeneity of deformation, and rapid crack propagation due to the DSA-induced hardening. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.