Product Type: Journal Article
Author(s): McDowell, N., C.D. Allen, and L. Marshall
McDowell, N., C.D. Allen, and L. Marshall. 2010. Growth, carbon-isotope discrimination, and drought-associated mortality across a Pinus ponderosa elevational transect. Global Change Biology 16(1): 399-415.
This publication is available from the Global Change Biology .
Drought- and insect-associated tree mortality at low-elevation ecotones is a widespread phenomenon but the underlying mechanisms are uncertain. Enhanced growth sensitivity to climate is widely observed among trees that die, indicating that a predisposing physiological mechanism(s) underlies tree mortality. We tested three, linked hypotheses regarding mortality using a ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) elevation transect that experienced low-elevation mortality following prolonged drought. The hypotheses were: (1) mortality was associated with greater growth sensitivity to climate, (2) mortality was associated with greater sensitivity of gas exchange to climate, and (3) growth and gas exchange were correlated. Support for all three hypotheses would indicate that mortality results at least in part from gas exchange constraints…