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Deciphering forest response to drought and air pollution in the southern Sierra Nevada
Presented by Stella COUSINS on 16 May 2013 from 15:40 to 16:00
Type: Oral Presentation
Track: Recent growth changes and tree mortality
In California’s southern Sierra Nevada, air pollution in the form of ozone is a major ecosystem stressor. Additionally, climatic shifts are expected to exacerbate drought in the region, including in forests throughout Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks. In order to describe response to these compound stressors, our study asks: is the growth signature of drought in pine forests detectable, consistent, and quantifiable? Do the responses of otherwise comparable trees vary in ways related to pollutant exposure? To address these questions we couple intervention analysis of drought response with long term monitoring in a network of polluted and unpolluted sites. More than twenty years of climate, ozone, and foliar injury data will be combined with ring series to develop a model of growth in the presence of these potentially interacting stressors. Understanding of these patterns will improve capacity to describe ecosystem processes and anticipate environmental and management challenges.