Product Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Breshears, D.D., N.S. Cobb, P.M. Rich, K.P. Price, C.D. Allen, R.G. Balice, W.H. Romme, J.H. Kastens, M.L. Floyd, J. Belnap, J.J. Anderson, O.B. Myers, and C.W. Meyer
Breshears, D.D., N.S. Cobb, P.M. Rich, K.P. Price, C.D. Allen, R.G. Balice, W.H. Romme, J.H. Kastens, M.L. Floyd, J. Belnap, J.J. Anderson, O.B. Myers, and C.W. Meyer. 2005. Regional vegetation die-off in response to global-change-type drought. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA (PNAS) 102(42): 15144-48.
This publication is available from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America .
Future drought is projected to occur under warmer temperature conditions as climate change progresses, referred to here as global-change-type drought, yet quantitative assessments of the triggers and potential extent of drought-induced vegetation die-off remain pivotal uncertainties in assessing climate-change impacts. Of particular concern is regional-scale mortality of overstory trees, which rapidly alters ecosystem type, associated ecosystem properties, and land surface conditions for decades. Here, we quantify regional-scale vegetation die-off across southwestern North American woodlands in 2002-2003 in response to drought and associated bark beetle infestations. At an intensively studied site within the region, we quantified that after 15 months of depleted soil water content, >90% of the dominant, overstory tree species (Pinus edulis, a piņon) died...