Can This Forest Survive? Predicting Forest Death or Recovery After Drought


How long can trees tolerate drought before the forest dies?

How long can trees tolerate drought before the forest dies?

Researchers from UC Davis can now predict which forests could survive despite future drought. Their new method links precipitation to tree growth, and it can help people decide where to put their resources as climate change affects patterns of snow and rainfall that impact the health of forests.

“If a forest is doing OK, but in the future we know it’s likely to get only half the average rainfall it used to get, we can calculate the likelihood it will die,” said Jessie Au, a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Plant Sciences. She works with Troy Magney, an associate professor in the department.

The tool that Au and team developed will help anyone managing forests or using forests to store climate-warming air-borne carbon. That is of growing interest because companies are increasingly investing in forest lands to offset their greenhouse gas emissions. Forests breathe in carbon dioxide from the air and turn the carbon into food, storing it in their trunks, roots and leaves.

Read more at University of California - Davis

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