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Apparent climatically induced increase of tree mortality rates in a temperate forest

Ecology Letters

By:
and
DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2007.01080.x

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Abstract

We provide a first detailed analysis of long-term, annual-resolution demographic trends in a temperate forest. After tracking the fates of 21 338 trees in a network of old-growth forest plots in the Sierra Nevada of California, we found that mortality rate, but not the recruitment rate, increased significantly over the 22 years of measurement (1983-2004). Mortality rates increased in both of two dominant taxonomic groups (Abies and Pinus) and in different forest types (different elevational zones). The increase in overall mortality rate resulted from an increase in tree deaths attributed to stress and biotic causes, and coincided with a temperature-driven increase in an index of drought. Our findings suggest that these forests (and by implication, other water-limited forests) may be sensitive to temperature-driven drought stress, and may be poised for die-back if future climates continue to feature rising temperatures without compensating increases in precipitation. ?? 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Apparent climatically induced increase of tree mortality rates in a temperate forest
Series title:
Ecology Letters
DOI:
10.1111/j.1461-0248.2007.01080.x
Volume
10
Issue:
10
Year Published:
2007
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Ecology Letters
First page:
909
Last page:
916
Number of Pages:
8