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Hanging by a thread? Forests and drought


Brodribb, TJ and Powers, J and Herve, C and Choat, B, Hanging by a thread? Forests and drought, Science, 368, (6488) pp. 261-266. ISSN 0036-8075 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1126/science.aat7631


Trees are the living foundations on which most terrestrial biodiversity is built. Central to the success of trees are their woody bodies, which connect their elevated photosynthetic canopies with the essential belowground activities of water and nutrient acquisition. The slow construction of these carbon-dense, woody skeletons leads to a slow generation time, leaving trees and forests highly susceptible to rapid changes in climate. Other long-lived, sessile organisms such as corals appear to be poorly equipped to survive rapid changes, which raises questions about the vulnerability of contemporary forests to future climate change. The emerging view that, similar to corals, tree species have rather inflexible damage thresholds, particularly in terms of water stress, is especially concerning. This Review examines recent progress in our understanding of how the future looks for forests growing in a hotter and drier atmosphere.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Ecological physiology
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on Australia (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Brodribb, TJ (Professor Tim Brodribb)
ID Code:151187
Year Published:2020
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP190101552)
Web of Science® Times Cited:251
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2022-07-25
Last Modified:2022-07-25

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