Mechanisms of a coniferous woodland persistence under drought and heat

Nate G. McDowell, Charlotte Grossiord, Henry D. Adams, Sara Pinzón-Navarro, D. Scott Mackay, David D. Breshears, Craig D. Allen, Isaac Borrego, L. Turin Dickman, Adam Collins, Monica L Gaylord, Natalie McBranch, William T. Pockman, Alberto Vilagrosa, Brian Aukema, Devin Goodsman, Chonggang Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Predictions of warmer droughts causing increasing forest mortality are becoming abundant, yet few studies have investigated the mechanisms of forest persistence. To examine the resistance of forests to warmer droughts, we used a five-year precipitation reduction (∼45% removal), heat (+4 °C above ambient) and combined drought and heat experiment in an isolated stand of mature Pinus edulis-Juniperus monosperma. Despite severe experimental drought and heating, no trees died, and we observed only minor evidence of hydraulic failure or carbon starvation. Two mechanisms promoting survival were supported. First, access to bedrock water, or 'hydraulic refugia' aided trees in their resistance to the experimental conditions. Second, the isolation of this stand amongst a landscape of dead trees precluded ingress by Ips confusus, frequently the ultimate biotic mortality agent of piñon. These combined abiotic and biotic landscape-scale processes can moderate the impacts of future droughts on tree mortality by enabling tree avoidance of hydraulic failure, carbon starvation, and exposure to attacking abiotic agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number045014
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 16 2019

Fingerprint

Drought
Droughts
woodland
persistence
Hot Temperature
drought
Hydraulics
Starvation
hydraulics
starvation
mortality
Mortality
Carbon
Mesons
Juniperus
Pinus
Precipitation (meteorology)
carbon
refugium
Heating

Keywords

  • die-off
  • drought
  • precipitation
  • refugia
  • warming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

McDowell, N. G., Grossiord, C., Adams, H. D., Pinzón-Navarro, S., Mackay, D. S., Breshears, D. D., ... Xu, C. (2019). Mechanisms of a coniferous woodland persistence under drought and heat. Environmental Research Letters, 14(4), [045014]. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab0921

Mechanisms of a coniferous woodland persistence under drought and heat. / McDowell, Nate G.; Grossiord, Charlotte; Adams, Henry D.; Pinzón-Navarro, Sara; Mackay, D. Scott; Breshears, David D.; Allen, Craig D.; Borrego, Isaac; Dickman, L. Turin; Collins, Adam; Gaylord, Monica L; McBranch, Natalie; Pockman, William T.; Vilagrosa, Alberto; Aukema, Brian; Goodsman, Devin; Xu, Chonggang.

In: Environmental Research Letters, Vol. 14, No. 4, 045014, 16.04.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

McDowell, NG, Grossiord, C, Adams, HD, Pinzón-Navarro, S, Mackay, DS, Breshears, DD, Allen, CD, Borrego, I, Dickman, LT, Collins, A, Gaylord, ML, McBranch, N, Pockman, WT, Vilagrosa, A, Aukema, B, Goodsman, D & Xu, C 2019, 'Mechanisms of a coniferous woodland persistence under drought and heat', Environmental Research Letters, vol. 14, no. 4, 045014. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab0921
McDowell NG, Grossiord C, Adams HD, Pinzón-Navarro S, Mackay DS, Breshears DD et al. Mechanisms of a coniferous woodland persistence under drought and heat. Environmental Research Letters. 2019 Apr 16;14(4). 045014. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab0921
McDowell, Nate G. ; Grossiord, Charlotte ; Adams, Henry D. ; Pinzón-Navarro, Sara ; Mackay, D. Scott ; Breshears, David D. ; Allen, Craig D. ; Borrego, Isaac ; Dickman, L. Turin ; Collins, Adam ; Gaylord, Monica L ; McBranch, Natalie ; Pockman, William T. ; Vilagrosa, Alberto ; Aukema, Brian ; Goodsman, Devin ; Xu, Chonggang. / Mechanisms of a coniferous woodland persistence under drought and heat. In: Environmental Research Letters. 2019 ; Vol. 14, No. 4.
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