Scientific Research

Drought & Tree Mortality Symposium Fact Sheet

In July 2017, the U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region (Region 5) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) California Climate Hub co-hosted a two-day symposium on drought and tree mortality. The symposium supported objectives of the Interagency National Drought Resilience Partnership and the State of California drought response effort. This symposium highlighted the nexus between drought conditions and the extensive tree mortality occurring in the Sierra Nevada. This fact sheet provides a synopsis of presentations and break-out sessions from the symposium.

Drought, Tree Mortality, and Wildfire in Forests Adapted to Frequent Fire

Massive tree mortality has occurred rapidly in frequent-fire-adapted forests of the Sierra Nevada, California. This mortality is a product of acute drought compounded by the long-established removal of a key ecosystem process: frequent, low- to moderate-intensity fire. The recent tree mortality has many implications for the future of these forests and the ecological goods and services they provide to society.

Pacific Southwest Research Station on Tree Mortality in California

The U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW) has been working with the Pacific Southwest Region (Region 5) to address the tree mortality issue by using existing science and identifying future research opportunities.

Trees are dying sections