From: University of California – DAVIS via via EurekAlert!
Published August 8, 2016 04:14 PM

Drought conditions slow the growth of Douglas fir trees across the West

Whether growing along the rim of the Grand Canyon or living in the mist with California's coastal redwoods, Douglas fir trees are consistently sensitive to drought conditions that occur throughout the species' range in the United States, according to a study led by a researcher at the University of California, Davis.

The study, published Aug. 8 in the journalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provides direct evidence of the negative impact of water stress on forest ecosystems. It also pinpointed which conditions are causing low growth among Douglas fir trees.

"Warm, dry conditions can push these trees beyond their threshold of tolerance," said lead author Christina Restaino, a postdoctoral researcher in the UC Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy.

Changes in the growth rates of trees also effect carbon sequestration, biodiversity and ecosystem resilience.

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Douglas fir in Olympic National Park, Washington via National Park Service

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