Widespread increase of tree mortality rates in the Western United States

Phillip J. Van Mantgem, Nathan L. Stephenson, John C. Byrne, Lori D. Daniels, Jerry F. Franklin, Peter Z Fule, Mark E. Harmon, Andrew J. Larson, Jeremy M. Smith, Alan H. Taylor, Thomas T. Veblen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

958 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Persistent changes in tree mortality rates can alter forest structure, composition, and ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration. Our analyses of longitudinal data from unmanaged old forests in the western United States showed that background (noncatastrophic) mortality rates have increased rapidly in recent decades, with doubling periods ranging from 17 to 29 years among regions. Increases were also pervasive across elevations, tree sizes, dominant genera, and past fire histories. Forest density and basal area declined slightly, which suggests that increasing mortality was not caused by endogenous increases in competition. Because mortality increased in small trees, the overall increase in mortality rates cannot be attributed solely to aging of large trees. Regional warming and consequent increases in water deficits are likely contributors to the increases in tree mortality rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-524
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume323
Issue number5913
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 23 2009

Fingerprint

Mortality
Carbon Sequestration
Ecosystem
Water
Forests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Van Mantgem, P. J., Stephenson, N. L., Byrne, J. C., Daniels, L. D., Franklin, J. F., Fule, P. Z., ... Veblen, T. T. (2009). Widespread increase of tree mortality rates in the Western United States. Science, 323(5913), 521-524. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1165000

Widespread increase of tree mortality rates in the Western United States. / Van Mantgem, Phillip J.; Stephenson, Nathan L.; Byrne, John C.; Daniels, Lori D.; Franklin, Jerry F.; Fule, Peter Z; Harmon, Mark E.; Larson, Andrew J.; Smith, Jeremy M.; Taylor, Alan H.; Veblen, Thomas T.

In: Science, Vol. 323, No. 5913, 23.01.2009, p. 521-524.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Van Mantgem, PJ, Stephenson, NL, Byrne, JC, Daniels, LD, Franklin, JF, Fule, PZ, Harmon, ME, Larson, AJ, Smith, JM, Taylor, AH & Veblen, TT 2009, 'Widespread increase of tree mortality rates in the Western United States', Science, vol. 323, no. 5913, pp. 521-524. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1165000
Van Mantgem PJ, Stephenson NL, Byrne JC, Daniels LD, Franklin JF, Fule PZ et al. Widespread increase of tree mortality rates in the Western United States. Science. 2009 Jan 23;323(5913):521-524. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1165000
Van Mantgem, Phillip J. ; Stephenson, Nathan L. ; Byrne, John C. ; Daniels, Lori D. ; Franklin, Jerry F. ; Fule, Peter Z ; Harmon, Mark E. ; Larson, Andrew J. ; Smith, Jeremy M. ; Taylor, Alan H. ; Veblen, Thomas T. / Widespread increase of tree mortality rates in the Western United States. In: Science. 2009 ; Vol. 323, No. 5913. pp. 521-524.
@article{826436837e1e4de7b143f40bec013014,
title = "Widespread increase of tree mortality rates in the Western United States",
abstract = "Persistent changes in tree mortality rates can alter forest structure, composition, and ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration. Our analyses of longitudinal data from unmanaged old forests in the western United States showed that background (noncatastrophic) mortality rates have increased rapidly in recent decades, with doubling periods ranging from 17 to 29 years among regions. Increases were also pervasive across elevations, tree sizes, dominant genera, and past fire histories. Forest density and basal area declined slightly, which suggests that increasing mortality was not caused by endogenous increases in competition. Because mortality increased in small trees, the overall increase in mortality rates cannot be attributed solely to aging of large trees. Regional warming and consequent increases in water deficits are likely contributors to the increases in tree mortality rates.",
author = "{Van Mantgem}, {Phillip J.} and Stephenson, {Nathan L.} and Byrne, {John C.} and Daniels, {Lori D.} and Franklin, {Jerry F.} and Fule, {Peter Z} and Harmon, {Mark E.} and Larson, {Andrew J.} and Smith, {Jeremy M.} and Taylor, {Alan H.} and Veblen, {Thomas T.}",
year = "2009",
month = "1",
day = "23",
doi = "10.1126/science.1165000",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "323",
pages = "521--524",
journal = "Science",
issn = "0036-8075",
publisher = "American Association for the Advancement of Science",
number = "5913",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Widespread increase of tree mortality rates in the Western United States

AU - Van Mantgem, Phillip J.

AU - Stephenson, Nathan L.

AU - Byrne, John C.

AU - Daniels, Lori D.

AU - Franklin, Jerry F.

AU - Fule, Peter Z

AU - Harmon, Mark E.

AU - Larson, Andrew J.

AU - Smith, Jeremy M.

AU - Taylor, Alan H.

AU - Veblen, Thomas T.

PY - 2009/1/23

Y1 - 2009/1/23

N2 - Persistent changes in tree mortality rates can alter forest structure, composition, and ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration. Our analyses of longitudinal data from unmanaged old forests in the western United States showed that background (noncatastrophic) mortality rates have increased rapidly in recent decades, with doubling periods ranging from 17 to 29 years among regions. Increases were also pervasive across elevations, tree sizes, dominant genera, and past fire histories. Forest density and basal area declined slightly, which suggests that increasing mortality was not caused by endogenous increases in competition. Because mortality increased in small trees, the overall increase in mortality rates cannot be attributed solely to aging of large trees. Regional warming and consequent increases in water deficits are likely contributors to the increases in tree mortality rates.

AB - Persistent changes in tree mortality rates can alter forest structure, composition, and ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration. Our analyses of longitudinal data from unmanaged old forests in the western United States showed that background (noncatastrophic) mortality rates have increased rapidly in recent decades, with doubling periods ranging from 17 to 29 years among regions. Increases were also pervasive across elevations, tree sizes, dominant genera, and past fire histories. Forest density and basal area declined slightly, which suggests that increasing mortality was not caused by endogenous increases in competition. Because mortality increased in small trees, the overall increase in mortality rates cannot be attributed solely to aging of large trees. Regional warming and consequent increases in water deficits are likely contributors to the increases in tree mortality rates.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=58849122697&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=58849122697&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1126/science.1165000

DO - 10.1126/science.1165000

M3 - Article

VL - 323

SP - 521

EP - 524

JO - Science

JF - Science

SN - 0036-8075

IS - 5913

ER -