Summary: Journal of
© 2005 British
Blackwell Publishing, Ltd.
Differential tree mortality in response to severe drought:
evidence for long-term vegetation shifts
REBECCA C. MUELLER, CRESCENT M. SCUDDER, MARIANNE E.
PORTER*, R. TALBOT TROTTER III, CATHERINE A. GEHRING and
THOMAS G. WHITHAM
Department of Biological Sciences and Merriam Powell Center for Environmental Research, Northern Arizona
University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5640, USA, and *Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of California
at Irvine, Irvine, CA 92676-2525, USA
1 Although drought frequency and severity are predicted to increase across numerous
continental interiors, the consequences of these changes for dominant plants are largely
unknown. Over the last decade, the south-western US has experienced six drought years,
including the extreme droughts of 1996 and 2002, which led to widespread tree mortality
across northern Arizona.