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Increased water deficit decreases Douglas fir growth throughout western US forests

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

By:
, , and
DOI:10.1073/pnas.1602384113

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Abstract

Changes in tree growth rates can affect tree mortality and forest feedbacks to the global carbon cycle. As air temperature increases, evaporative demand also increases, increasing effective drought in forest ecosystems. Using a spatially comprehensive network of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) chronologies from 122 locations that experience distinctly different climate in the western United States, we show that increased temperature decreases growth via vapor pressure deficit (VPD) across all latitudes. Under an ensemble of global circulation models, we project an increase in both the mean VPD associated with the lowest growth extremes and the probability of exceeding these VPD values. As temperature continues to increase in future decades, we can expect deficit-related stress to increase and consequently Douglas-fir growth to decrease throughout its US range.

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Increased water deficit decreases Douglas fir growth throughout western US forests
Series title:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1602384113
Volume:
113
Issue:
34
Year Published:
2016
Language:
English
Publisher:
National Academy of Sciences of the United States
Contributing office(s):
Alaska Climate Science Center
Description:
6 p.
First page:
9557
Last page:
9562
Country:
United States
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N