Vulnerability and resilience to droughts in South-West USA: carbon allocation and impact on wood and evaporative anatomy

Monday, 14 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Marceau F Guerin1, Georg von Arx2, Nathan G McDowell3, William Pockman4, Laia Andreu-Hayles5 and Pierre Gentine5, (1)Columbia University, New York, NY, United States, (2)WSL Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Landscape dynamics, Birmensdorf, Switzerland, (3)Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, United States, (4)University of New Mexico Main Campus, Albuquerque, NM, United States, (5)Columbia University of New York, Palisades, NY, United States
Survival and distribution of conifers across the globe will depend on their adaptive potential to the new climatic conditions (warmer, more droughts, heat waves). Recent studies predicting forest evolution have mainly focused on understanding tree mortality processes (hydraulic failure, carbon starvation, biotic stresses). These explicit causes of mortality are also the result of unsuccessful adaptation on a longer period. Using a 7 years drought-irrigation experiment in New Mexico, USA, we investigated the response to water availability on structure-function interactions at the tree level. Bridging dendrology and physiology on multiple individuals of local Pinion pine, we observe a structural dynamics in i) wood anatomy ii) evaporative anatomy and a resulting functional dynamics in i) leaf water potential and ii) water use efficiency on multiple time scales (daily to interannual). These results emphasize the tight coupling between carbon allocation and the surface hydrologic cycle on longer time scales and its impact on resilience and mortality, which is not included in current generation land-surface models.

figure: Wood anatomy obtained from a 5.2mm core of a Pinion Edulis from the experimental site - illustrating the variability of the water transport capacities accross years