(Huang et al 2015 Environ. Res. Lett. 10 024011) present a method for predicting mortality of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and pinyon pine (Pinus edulis) in the Southwestern US during severe drought based on the relationship between the standardized precipitation-evapotranspiration index (SPEI) and annual tree ring growth. Ring growth was zero when SPEI for September to July was -1.64. The threshold SPEI of -1.64 was successful in distinguishing areas with high tree mortality during recent severe drought from areas with low mortality, and is proposed to be a tipping point of drought severity leading to tree mortality. Below, I discuss this work in more detail.
- climate change
- tree mortality
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health