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Title: Mechanisms of a coniferous woodland persistence under drought and heat

Abstract

Predictions of warmer droughts causing increasing forest mortality are becoming abundant, yet fewer 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.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [8];  [8];  [8];  [9];  [8];  [10];  [11];  [12];  [13];  [8]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Swiss Federal Research Inst., Birmensdorf (Switzerland)
  3. Oklahoma State Univ., Stillwater, OK (United States)
  4. Univ. de Panamá (Panama)
  5. Univ. at Buffalo, NY (United States)
  6. Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)
  7. U.S. Geological Survey, Los Alamos, NM (United States) Fort Collins Science Center
  8. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  9. Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States); U. S. Forest Service, Flagstaff, AZ (United States)
  10. Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  11. Joint Research Unit Univ. of Alicante (Spain)
  12. Univ. of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN (United States)
  13. Canadian Forest Service, Edmonton, AB (Canada)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1530607
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-142059
Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Environmental Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 14; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

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, McBranch, Natalie, Pockman, William T., Vilagrosa, Alberto, Aukema, Brian, Goodsman, Devin, and Xu, Chonggang. Mechanisms of a coniferous woodland persistence under drought and heat. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi: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, McBranch, Natalie, Pockman, William T., Vilagrosa, Alberto, Aukema, Brian, Goodsman, Devin, & Xu, Chonggang. Mechanisms of a coniferous woodland persistence under drought and heat. United States. doi: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, McBranch, Natalie, Pockman, William T., Vilagrosa, Alberto, Aukema, Brian, Goodsman, Devin, and Xu, Chonggang. Tue . "Mechanisms of a coniferous woodland persistence under drought and heat". United States. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ab0921. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1530607.
@article{osti_1530607,
title = {Mechanisms of a coniferous woodland persistence under drought and heat},
author = {McDowell, Nate G. and Grossiord, Charlotte and Adams, Henry D. and Pinzón-Navarro, Sara and Mackay, D. Scott and Breshears, David D. and Allen, Craig D. and Borrego, Isaac and Dickman, L. Turin and Collins, Adam and Gaylord, Monica and McBranch, Natalie and Pockman, William T. and Vilagrosa, Alberto and Aukema, Brian and Goodsman, Devin and Xu, Chonggang},
abstractNote = {Predictions of warmer droughts causing increasing forest mortality are becoming abundant, yet fewer 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.},
doi = {10.1088/1748-9326/ab0921},
journal = {Environmental Research Letters},
number = 4,
volume = 14,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {4}
}

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