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  1. Forests are expected to become more vulnerable to drought-induced tree mortality owing to rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns that amplify drought lethality. There is a crucial knowledge gap regarding drought–pathogen interactions and their effects on tree mortality. The objectives of this research were to examine whether stand dynamics and 'background' mortality rates were affected by a severe drought in 2012; and to evaluate the importance of drought–pathogen interactions within the context of a mortality event that killed 10.0% and 26.5% of white (Quercus alba L.) and black (Q. velutina Lam.) oak stems, respectively, in a single year. We synthesizedmore » (i) forest inventory data (24 years), (ii) 11 years of ecosystem flux data with supporting biological data including predawn leaf water potential and annual forest inventories, (iii) tree-ring analyses of individual white oaks that were alive and ones that died in 2013, and (iv) documentation of a pathogen infection. This forest displayed stand dynamics consistent with expected patterns of decreasing tree density and increasing basal area. Continued basal area growth outpaced mortality implying a net accumulation of live biomass, which was supported by eddy covariance ecosystem carbon flux observations. Individual white and black oaks that died in 2013 displayed historically lower growth with the majority of dead trees exhibiting Biscogniauxia cankers. Our observations point to the importance of event-based oak mortality and that drought–Biscogniauxia interactions are important in shaping oak stand dynamics in this region. Although forest function has not been significantly impaired, these drought–pathogen interactions could amplify mortality under future climate conditions and thus warrant further investigation.« less
  2. Quantifying gross primary production (GPP) remains a major challenge in global carbon cycle research. Spaceborne monitoring of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF), an integrative photosynthetic signal of molecular origin, can assist in terrestrial GPP monitoring. However, the extent to which SIF tracks spatiotemporal variations in GPP remains unresolved. Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2)’s SIF data acquisition and fine spatial resolution permit direct validation against ground and airborne observations. Empirical orthogonal function analysis shows consistent spatiotemporal correspondence between OCO-2 SIF and GPP globally. A linear SIF-GPP relationship is also obtained at eddy-flux sites covering diverse biomes, setting the stage for future investigations ofmore » the robustness of such a relationship across more biomes. In conclusion, our findings support the central importance of high-quality satellite SIF for studying terrestrial carbon cycle dynamics.« less
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