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Title: Reductions in tree performance during hotter droughts are mitigated by shifts in nitrogen cycling

Abstract

Climate warming should result in hotter droughts of unprecedented severity in this century. Such droughts have been linked with massive tree mortality and data suggest warming interacts with drought to aggravate plant performance. Yet, how forests will respond to hotter droughts remains unclear, as does the suite of mechanisms trees use to deal with hot droughts. For this study, we used an ecosystem-scale manipulation of precipitation and temperature on piñon pine (Pinus edulis) and juniper (Juniperus monosperma) trees to investigate nitrogen (N) cycling-induced mitigation processes related to hotter droughts. We found that while negative impacts on plant carbon and water balance are manifest after prolonged drought, performance reductions were not amplified by warmer temperatures. Rather, increased temperatures for five years stimulated soil N cycling under piñon trees and modified tree N allocation for both species, resulting in mitigation of hotter drought impacts on tree water and carbon functions. These findings suggest that adjustments in N cycling are likely after multi-year warming conditions and that such changes may buffer reductions in tree performance during hotter droughts. Furthermore, the results highlight our incomplete understanding of trees’ ability to acclimate to climate change, raising fundamental questions about the resistance potential of forests tomore » long-term, compound climatic stresses.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3];  [3]; ORCiD logo [4]; ORCiD logo [4]; ORCiD logo [4];  [2]; ORCiD logo [4];  [5];  [6]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Swiss Federal Inst. for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Birmensdorf (Switzerland)
  2. Swiss Federal Inst. for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Birmensdorf (Switzerland)
  3. U.S. Geological Survey, Moab, UT (United States). Southwest Biological Science Center (SBSC)
  4. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  5. Univ. of Alicante-Joint Research Unit (JRU) (Spain). Center for Environmental Studies of the Mediterranean (CEAM)
  6. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Earth Systems Science Division
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER); USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program; US Geological Survey (USGS). Ecosystems Mission Area; Generalitat Valenciana (Spain); Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) (Spain); European Regional Development Fund (ERDF); Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF)
OSTI Identifier:
1460658
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1464839
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-18-24941
Journal ID: ISSN 0140-7791
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396; BEST/2016/289; CGL2015-69773-C2-2-P MINECO/FEDER; SC0008168; 31003A_159866; CGL2015-69773-C2-2-P
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Plant, Cell and Environment
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 41; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 0140-7791
Publisher:
Wiley
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Biological Science; Earth Sciences; acclimation; climate change; Juniperus monosperma; forest ecosystems; 15N; nitrogen allocation; Pinus edulis; warming

Citation Formats

Grossiord, Charlotte, Gessler, Arthur, Reed, Sasha C., Borrego, Isaac, Collins, Adam D., Dickman, Lee T., Ryan, Max, Schonbeck, Leonie, Sevanto, Sanna, Vilagrosa, Alberto, and McDowell, Nate G. Reductions in tree performance during hotter droughts are mitigated by shifts in nitrogen cycling. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1111/pce.13389.
Grossiord, Charlotte, Gessler, Arthur, Reed, Sasha C., Borrego, Isaac, Collins, Adam D., Dickman, Lee T., Ryan, Max, Schonbeck, Leonie, Sevanto, Sanna, Vilagrosa, Alberto, & McDowell, Nate G. Reductions in tree performance during hotter droughts are mitigated by shifts in nitrogen cycling. United States. doi:10.1111/pce.13389.
Grossiord, Charlotte, Gessler, Arthur, Reed, Sasha C., Borrego, Isaac, Collins, Adam D., Dickman, Lee T., Ryan, Max, Schonbeck, Leonie, Sevanto, Sanna, Vilagrosa, Alberto, and McDowell, Nate G. Thu . "Reductions in tree performance during hotter droughts are mitigated by shifts in nitrogen cycling". United States. doi:10.1111/pce.13389. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1460658.
@article{osti_1460658,
title = {Reductions in tree performance during hotter droughts are mitigated by shifts in nitrogen cycling},
author = {Grossiord, Charlotte and Gessler, Arthur and Reed, Sasha C. and Borrego, Isaac and Collins, Adam D. and Dickman, Lee T. and Ryan, Max and Schonbeck, Leonie and Sevanto, Sanna and Vilagrosa, Alberto and McDowell, Nate G.},
abstractNote = {Climate warming should result in hotter droughts of unprecedented severity in this century. Such droughts have been linked with massive tree mortality and data suggest warming interacts with drought to aggravate plant performance. Yet, how forests will respond to hotter droughts remains unclear, as does the suite of mechanisms trees use to deal with hot droughts. For this study, we used an ecosystem-scale manipulation of precipitation and temperature on piñon pine (Pinus edulis) and juniper (Juniperus monosperma) trees to investigate nitrogen (N) cycling-induced mitigation processes related to hotter droughts. We found that while negative impacts on plant carbon and water balance are manifest after prolonged drought, performance reductions were not amplified by warmer temperatures. Rather, increased temperatures for five years stimulated soil N cycling under piñon trees and modified tree N allocation for both species, resulting in mitigation of hotter drought impacts on tree water and carbon functions. These findings suggest that adjustments in N cycling are likely after multi-year warming conditions and that such changes may buffer reductions in tree performance during hotter droughts. Furthermore, the results highlight our incomplete understanding of trees’ ability to acclimate to climate change, raising fundamental questions about the resistance potential of forests to long-term, compound climatic stresses.},
doi = {10.1111/pce.13389},
journal = {Plant, Cell and Environment},
number = 11,
volume = 41,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {7}
}

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