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    Author(s): Michael G. Ryan
    Date: 2015
    Source: Nature Plants. 1: Article 15150.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (278.0 KB)

    Description

    Large trees provide many ecological services in forests. They provide seeds for reproduction and food, habitat for plants and animals, and shade for understory vegetation. Older trees and forests store large quantities of carbon, tend to release more water to streams than their more rapidly growing younger counterparts, and provide wood for human use. Mature trees of many species also record past climate in their rings, providing clues about how plants have endured enormous climate variability over the ages. Finally, large trees inspire and comfort many, helping to connect us with the natural world. Writing in Nature Plants, Bennett and colleagues synthesize studies of drought effects on tree growth and mortality from around the globe, and show that tree size matters: drought susceptibility - decreased growth and increased mortality - increases with tree diameter.

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Ryan, Michael G. 2015. Large trees losing out to drought. Nature Plants. 1: Article 15150.

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    Keywords

    large trees, drought, decreased growth, mortality, tree diameter

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