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    Description

    With global climate change, drought may become more common in the future (IPCC 2007). Several factors will promote more frequent droughts: earlier snowmelt, higher temperatures and higher variability in precipitation. For ecosystems where the water cycle is dominated by snowmelt, warmer temperatures bring earlier melt (Stewart et al. 2005) and longer, drier snow-free periods (Westerling et al. 2006). Higher temperatures will also increase vapor pressure deficit if evapotranspiration does not also increase. Greater variability in precipitation has two implications for plant water balance: longer periods without water, and less captured in the soil in the more intense storms.

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    Citation

    Ryan, Michael G. 2011. Tree responses to drought. Tree Physiology 31: 237-239.

    Keywords

    drought, climate change, plant water balance

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