Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Phillip J. van Mantgem; Nathan L. Stephenson; John C. Byrne; Lori D. Daniels; Jerry F. Franklin; Peter Z. Fule; Mark E. Harmon; Andrew J. Larson; Jeremy M. Smith; Alan H. Taylor; Thomas T. Veblen
    Date: 2009
    Source: Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1165000
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: View PDF  (1.72 MB)

    Description

    Persistent changes in tree mortality rates can alter forest structure, composition, and ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration. Our analyses of longitudinal data from unmanaged old forests in the Western United States showed that background (noncatastrophic) mortality rates have increased rapidly in recent decades, with doubling periods ranging from 17 to 29 years among regions. Increases were also pervasive across elevations, tree sizes, dominant genera, and past fire histories. Forest density and basal area declined slightly, which suggests that increasing mortality was not caused by endogenous increases in competition. Because mortality increased in small trees, the overall increase in mortality rates cannot be attributed solely to aging of large trees. Regional warming and consequent increases in water deficits are likely contributors to the increases in tree mortality rates.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to pnw_pnwpubs@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    van Mantgem, Phillip J.; Stephenson, Nathan L.; Byrne, John C.; Daniels, Lori D.; Franklin, Jerry F; Fule, Peter Z; Harmon, Mark E.; Larson, Andrew J.; Smith, Jeremy M.; Taylor, Alan H.; Veblen, Thomas T. 2009. Widespread increase of tree mortality rates in the Western United States. Science. 323:521-524.

    Keywords

    climate change, mortality, permanent plots

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page