Complex aspen forest carbon and root dynamics during drought

Anderegg, William
April 2012
Climatic Change;Apr2012, Vol. 111 Issue 3/4, p983
Academic Journal
Drought-induced vegetation mortality has been documented on every vegetated continent in recent decades and constitutes a major uncertainty in climate change impacts on terrestrial ecosystems and carbon cycle feedbacks. While recent research has focused on specific failure mechanisms during drought-induced forest die-off, a broader understanding of the physiology of trees under drought, especially changes in growth and carbon allocation, is needed for determining the sensitivity of forests to drought and interacting mechanisms during forest mortality. I present here multi-tissue and high-resolution temporal dynamics of tree carbon resources during moderate experimental and natural drought in trembling aspen ( Populus tremuloides) forests, a major forest type in western North America that recently experienced widespread drought-induced die-off. Drought led to substantial declines in inferred carbon uptake. Tree carbohydrate concentrations, however, largely increased in concert with substantial decreases in growth and severe declines in root biomass. These findings highlight that growth declines, especially in fine roots which are important to water uptake, and increased carbon allocation to root non-structural carbohydrates are key responses to drought in aspen and could play an important role in widespread die-off. They suggest multi-year consequences of drought and carbon-hydraulic interconnections. They underscore the need for a more integrated multi-tissue, multi-process, and multi-year perspective of climate-induced forest mortality.


Related Articles

  • Investigating the impact of climate change on crop phenological events in Europe with a phenology model. Ma, Shaoxiu; Churkina, Galina; Trusilova, Kristina // International Journal of Biometeorology;Jul2012, Vol. 56 Issue 4, p749 

    Predicting regional and global carbon and water dynamics requires a realistic representation of vegetation phenology. Vegetation models including cropland models exist (e.g. LPJmL, Daycent, SIBcrop, ORCHIDEE-STICS, PIXGRO) but they have various limitations in predicting cropland phenological...

  • Modeling Regional Vegetation NPP Variations and Their Relationships with Climatic Parameters in Wuhan, China. Lunche Wang; Wei Gong; Yingying Ma; Miao Zhang // Earth Interactions;2013, Vol. 17 Issue 4, p1 

    Net primary productivity (NPP) is an important component of the carbon cycle and a key indicator of ecosystem performance. The aim of this study is to construct a more accurate regional vegetation NPP estimation model and explore the relationship between NPP and climatic factors (air...

  • Simulated changes in vegetation distribution, land carbon storage, and atmospheric CO2 in response to a collapse of the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation. Köhler, Peter; Joos, Fortunat; Gerber, Stefan; Knutti, Reto // Climate Dynamics;Dec2005, Vol. 25 Issue 7/8, p689 

    It is investigated how abrupt changes in the North Atlantic (NA) thermohaline circulation (THC) affect the terrestrial carbon cycle. The Lund–Potsdam–Jena Dynamic Global Vegetation Model is forced with climate perturbations from glacial freshwater experiments with the ECBILT-CLIO...

  • Climate extremes and the carbon cycle. Reichstein, Markus; Bahn, Michael; Ciais, Philippe; Frank, Dorothea; Mahecha, Miguel D.; Seneviratne, Sonia I.; Zscheischler, Jakob; Beer, Christian; Buchmann, Nina; Frank, David C.; Papale, Dario; Rammig, Anja; Smith, Pete; Thonicke, Kirsten; van der Velde, Marijn; Vicca, Sara; Walz, Ariane; Wattenbach, Martin // Nature;8/15/2013, Vol. 500 Issue 7462, p287 

    The terrestrial biosphere is a key component of the global carbon cycle and its carbon balance is strongly influenced by climate. Continuing environmental changes are thought to increase global terrestrial carbon uptake. But evidence is mounting that climate extremes such as droughts or storms...

  • The Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES), model description - Part 2: Carbon fluxes and vegetation dynamics. Clark, D. B.; Mercado, L. M.; Sitch, S.; Jones, C. D.; Gedney, N.; Best, M. J.; Pryor, M.; Rooney, G. G.; Essery, R. L. H.; Blyth, E.; Boucher, O.; Harding, R. J.; Huntingford, C. // Geoscientific Model Development;Jul2011, Vol. 4 Issue 3, p701 

    The article presents a study which describes the modelling of carbon fluxes and vegetation dynamics in version 2.2 of the Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES). Several features of the JULES are highlighted which include a coupled scheme of leaf photosynthesis, a canopy scheme for light...

  • Natural and anthropogenic climate change: incorporating historical land cover change, vegetation dynamics and the global carbon cycle. Matthews, H. D.; Weaver, A. J.; Meissner, K. J.; Gillett, N. P.; Eby, M. // Climate Dynamics;May2004, Vol. 22 Issue 5, p461 

    This study explores natural and anthropogenic influences on the climate system, with an emphasis on the biogeophysical and biogeochemical effects of historical land cover change. The biogeophysical effect of land cover change is first subjected to a detailed sensitivity analysis in the context...

  • Plant functional type mapping for earth system models. Poulter, B.; Ciais, P.; Hodson, E.; Lischke, H.; Maignan, F.; Plummer, S.; Zimmermann, N. E. // Geoscientific Model Development;Oct2011, Vol. 4 Issue 4, p993 

    The article discusses the functional mapping of earth system model on the climate variability of the global carbon and water cycling related to the distribution of vegetation and land cover. It explores the interaction between biogeochemistry and climate in the vegetation distribution using the...

  • Recent Climate-Driven Increases in Vegetation Productivity for the Western Arctic: Evidence of an Acceleration of the Northern Terrestrial Carbon Cycle. Kimball, J. S.; Zhao, M.; McGuire, A. D.; Heinsch, F. A.; J. Clein; M. Calef; W. M. Jolly; S. Kang; S. E. Euskirchen; K. C. McDonald; S. W. Running // Earth Interactions;2007, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p1 

    Northern ecosystems contain much of the global reservoir of terrestrial carbon that is potentially reactive in the context of near-term climate change. Annual variability and recent trends in vegetation productivity across Alaska and northwest Canada were assessed using a satellite remote...

  • Vegetation feedback under future global warming. Jiang, Dabang; Zhang, Ying; Lang, Xianmei // Theoretical & Applied Climatology;Nov2011, Vol. 106 Issue 1/2, p211 

    It has been well documented that vegetation plays an important role in the climate system. However, vegetation is typically kept constant when climate models are used to project anthropogenic climate change under a range of emission scenarios in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics