|Forest Drought and Mortality|
Improving predictions of drought-induced mortality and its consequences for Net Primary Production in Australian forests
On this page you will find:
Rising atmospheric CO2 is driving changes in climate already being observed across Australia. Across southern Australia rainfall is declining, temperatures have increased (mean increase ~ 0.9ºC since 1910) and the frequency of heat waves has increased in each decade since the 1950’s. These all affect ecosystem function and the capacity to store carbon in terrestrial ecosystems.
Products and outcomes
A key component of the drought mortality working group is to explore and define patterns in mortality across Australia to improve understanding of ecosystem and species vulnerabilities to drought. To meet this objective we are developing a living database of observed mortality sites that will incorporate data contributed from published papers and other literature, forest management databases and unpublished work. This could form part of a multi-layered, map-based data portal that provides an integrated picture of current/future shifts in climatic zones, drought history and ecosystem response across Australia.
This map is a collection of observed tree mortality sites from across Australia. The sites are based on documented drought-related mortality events from published reports and journal articles.
Mitchell P., O’Grady, A.P., Pinkard, E.A., Brodribb, T.J., Arndt, S.K., Blackman, C.J., Duursma, R.A., Fensham, R.J., Hilbert, D.W., Nitschke C.R., Norris, J., Roxburgh, S., Ruthrof, K.X. & Tissue, D. T. (in press) An eco-climatic framework for evaluating the resilience of vegetation to water deficit. Global Change Biology. doi: 10.1111/gcb.13177
To see the paper click here
O'Grady A.P., Mitchell P.J.M., Pinkard E.A., Tissue D.T. (2013) Thirsty roots and hungry leaves: unravelling the roles of carbon and water dynamics in tree mortality. New Phytologist 200(2): 294-297. doi: 10.1111/nph.12451
Download their final report [1.3 MB]
Workshop 1 Report (5 - 9 November 2012)
Workshop 2 Report (22 - 26 April 2013)
The second meeting of the “dead wooders” - the drought and Australian terrestrial carbons stores working group - was held at the Point Lookout Surf Club on North Stradbroke Island between the 22nd and 26th of April 2013. The composition of the group varied slightly from the first meeting with incoming members being Chris Blackman (Macquarie University), Remko Duursma (University of Western Sydney) and Stephen Roxburgh (CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences). Unfortunately a couple of members Rod Fensham and Jaymie Norris were unable to make the meeting.
The second meeting picked up where the first meeting left off. In the interim there was considerable work done on building a database of water relations traits for Australian species. Currently the database contains relevant traits for over 300 species and water relations traits including those derived from pressure volume curves for over 180 species. Analysis of this data set is ongoing. In addition to these, a draft manuscript on defining ecologically relevant drought was table at the meeting. This work was being lead by Pat Mitchell, and there was considerable progress made during the meeting on progressing this manuscript. Importantly the paper explores how drought and its impacts on Australian ecosystems might be considered in an ecologically relevant way. The manuscript is close to being finalised and is expected to be submitted for publication by the end of the year.
A second theme explored during the meeting was that of defining the limits of plant function. This theme aims to explore our existing knowledge of plant traits and their relationships with climates and to explore the interplay between the adaptive significance of these traits to climate. This works build on the analysis of Choat et al. (2005) work examining global convergence in plant hydraulic traits to incorporate new and existing knowledge of plant water elations and leaf hydraulics in an Australian context. We are currently analysing these data sets with the aim of identifying the climatic tolerance of for many keystone Australian species. A manuscript will be prepared for submission to an international journal.
Two data sets will be available through the ACEAS and TERN data portal. The observations of Australian Mortality events and the database of plant water relations for Australian species. In general the meeting was extremely enjoyable and the venue brilliant. Collaboration within the group continues through the preparation of research proposals and manuscripts.
Choat B, Ball MC, Luly JG (2005) Hydraulic architecture of deciduous and evergreen dry rainforest tree species from north-eastern Australia. Trees 19:305-311
Back row left to right: Tony O'Grady (CSIRO), Katinka Ruthrof (University of Western Australia), Dave Tissue (University of Western Sydney), Remko Duursma (University of Western Sydney), Libby Pinkard (CSIRO), Tim Brodribb (University of Tasmania), Chris Blackman (Macquarie University).
|Last Updated on Friday, 19 February 2016 18:15|