Dominant tree species are at risk from exaggerated drought under climate change

Fensham, Roderick J., Fraser, Josie, Macdermott, Harry J. and Firn, Jenifer (2015) Dominant tree species are at risk from exaggerated drought under climate change. Global Change Biology, 21 10: 3777-3785. doi:10.1111/gcb.12981

Author Fensham, Roderick J.
Fraser, Josie
Macdermott, Harry J.
Firn, Jenifer
Title Dominant tree species are at risk from exaggerated drought under climate change
Journal name Global Change Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1365-2486
Publication date 2015-07-04
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/gcb.12981
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 21
Issue 10
Start page 3777
End page 3785
Total pages 9
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Predicting the consequences of climate change on forest systems is difficult because trees may display species-specific responses to exaggerated droughts that may not be reflected by the climatic envelope of their geographic range. Furthermore, few studies have examined the postdrought recovery potential of drought-susceptible tree species. This study develops a robust ranking of the drought susceptibility of 21 tree species based on their mortality after two droughts (1990s and 2000s) in the savanna of north-eastern Australia. Drought-induced mortality was positively related to species dominance, negatively related to the ratio of postdrought seedlings to adults and had no relationship to the magnitude of extreme drought within the species current geographic ranges. These results suggest that predicting the consequences of exaggerated drought on species’ geographic ranges is difficult, but that dominant species like Eucalyptus with relatively slow rates of population recovery and dispersal are the most susceptible. The implications for savanna ecosystems are lower tree densities and basal area.
Keyword Climate change
Climate envelopes
Drought-induced tree mortality
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Early view of article. Published online 4 July, 2015.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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