skip to main content


Title: Tree water dynamics in a drying and warming world

Disentangling the relative impacts of precipitation reduction and vapour pressure deficit ( VPD) on plant water dynamics and determining whether acclimation may influence these patterns in the future is an important challenge. Here, we report sap flux density ( FD), stomatal conductance ( Gs), hydraulic conductivity ( KL) and xylem anatomy in piñon pine ( Pinus edulis) and juniper ( Juniperus monosperma) trees subjected to five years of precipitation reduction, atmospheric warming (elevated VPD) and their combined effects. No acclimation occurred under precipitation reduction: lower Gs and FD were found for both species compared to ambient conditions. Warming reduced the sensibility of stomata to VPD for both species but resulted in the maintenance of Gs and FD to ambient levels only for piñon. For juniper, reduced soil moisture under warming negated benefits of stomatal adjustments and resulted in reduced FD, Gs and KL. Although reduced stomatal sensitivity to VPD also occurred under combined stresses, reductions in Gs, FD and KL took place to similar levels as under single stresses for both species. Here our results show that stomatal conductance adjustments to high VPD could minimize but not entirely prevent additive effects of warming and drying on water use and carbonmore » acquisition of trees in semi-arid regions.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  3. Univ. Alicante, Alicante (Spain)
  4. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0140-7791
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Plant, Cell and Environment
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 40; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 0140-7791
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC). Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; acclimation, hydraulics, Juniperus monosperma, megadrought, Pinus edulis, sap flux, transpiration, stomatal conductance, vapor pressure deficit, xylem anatomy
OSTI Identifier: