Product Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Williams, A.P., C.D. Allen, C.I. Millar, T.W. Swetnam, J. Michaelsen, C.J. Still, and S.W. Leavitt
Williams, A.P., C.D. Allen, C.I. Millar, T.W. Swetnam, J. Michaelsen, C.J. Still, and S.W. Leavitt. 2010. Forest responses to increasing aridity and warmth in the southwestern United States. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107(50): 21289-94.
This publication is available from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America .
In recent decades, intense droughts, insect outbreaks, and wildfires have led to decreasing tree growth and increasing mortality in many temperate forests. We compared annual tree-ring width data from 1,097 populations in the coterminous United States to climate data and evaluated site-specific tree responses to climate variations throughout the 20th century. For each population, we developed a climate-driven growth equation by using climate records to predict annual ring widths. Forests within the southwestern United States appear particularly sensitive to drought and warmth. We input 21st century climate projections to the equations to predict growth responses. Our results suggest that if temperature and aridity rise as they are projected to, southwestern trees will experience substantially reduced growth during this century. As tree growth declines, mortality rates may increase at many sites... [doi: 10.1073/pnas.0914211107]