Navigation Links
Drought and rising temperatures weaken southwest forests
Date:12/13/2010

ALBANY, Calif.Forests in the southwestern United States are changing and will face reduced growth if temperatures continue to rise and precipitation declines during this century, according to a study conducted by a team of scientists from the U.S. Forest Service; University of California, Santa Barbara; U.S. Geological Survey; and University of Arizona. Their findings were released today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) special issue on climate change.

Using tree-ring data and climate models, the team determined that rising temperatures and declining precipitation has led to an overall lower fitness of forests in the Southwest. This weakening of forest health has led to the trees' inability to survive wildfires and stave off bark beetle attacks. Fire and bark beetles caused high levels of mortality in 14-18 percent of forest areas in the Southwest, according to the scientists, who examined the tree rings of pion pine, ponderosa pine and Douglas fir.

"These results have been observed previously on a case-by-case basis, but our demonstration of the pervasive effects of warming and drought should better enable water and land managers to prepare for climate adaptation in coming decades," says Connie Millar, a research climate ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station, who co-authored the study.

Scientists analyzed annual tree-ring width data from 853 tree populations located throughout the continental United States. Of those, 235 samples represented trees located in Arizona and New Mexico. These samples were compared to each other in order to identify trends on how certain climatic conditions affect tree growth.

The projected continuing decline of these forests could mean significant ecosystem changes if the Southwestern forests continue to be impacted by wildfires and insect attacks. Drier and hotter climate conditions will continue to favor shrublands, chaparral and other invasive species.

These findings may be useful in helping forest managers make key decisions about how to adapt to climate change. The study highlighted the most vulnerable areas and suggested fuels treatment, focused fire-suppression efforts, intensive use of insect-aggregating hormones, and early detection-rapid response for invasives elimination as ways to protect high-priority areas.

The protection and preservation of forests in the Southwest is particularly important because they help maintain the area's watershed which feeds into the Colorado River. An altered hydrologic regime could cause a cascade of effects on everythingand everyonedependent on the river's water supply.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sherri Eng
sleng@fs.fed.us
510-559-6327
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UMD to lead $5 million NSF-funded research partnership to develop drought-tolerant canola crops
2. Ocean conditions likely to reduce Colorado River flows during this winters drought
3. New VARI findings next step to growing drought-resistant plants
4. Winter drought stress can delay flowering, prevent fruit loss in orange crops
5. Growing drought-tolerant crops inching forward
6. Plant scientists move closer to making any crop drought-tolerant
7. Drought drives decade-long decline in plant growth
8. Common PGR helps creeping bentgrass weather drought
9. Plant hormone increases cotton yields in drought conditions
10. UC Riverside to host 3-day international meeting on drought
11. Genes for drought-tolerance, aflatoxin may mingle to boost corn production
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017 KEY FINDINGS The global ... a CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast period of ... factor for the growth of the stem cell market. ... MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell market is ... geography. The stem cell market of the product is ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 The research ... system for three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D ... a new realm of speed and accuracy for use in identification, ... an affordable cost. ... ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) has been ... (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 on the ... In addition, CHS previously earned a place in ... electronic medical record (EMR). "HIMSS Analytics ... EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  This recognition ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... its endogenous context, enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression ... guides is transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. ... Cancer Research, London (ICR) and University ... SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma ... MUK nine . The University of Leeds ... partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... company advancing targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, today confirmed licensing rights that ... Polymerized Liposomal Nanoparticle), a technology developed in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Los ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... innovation and business process optimization firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, ... conference in San Francisco. , The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for Agile ...
Breaking Biology Technology: