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U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

PI-Submitted Research Highlights for
Terrestrial Ecosystem Science Program

Belowground Perspective on the Drought Sensitivity of Forests: Towards Improved Model Predictions and Management Prescriptions

Nate McDowell

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7 April 2017

Moving toward improved model predictions and management prescriptions.

The Science
This paper summarizes the current state of knowledge on belowground responses of forests to drought and how this knowledge may be employed to improve model predictions of forest drought sensitivity, as well as forest management to avoid drought-induced growth declines and mortality.

The Impact
This review paper provides many testable hypotheses for scientists ranging from modelers to empiricists to land managers.

Summary
This paper summarizes current knowledge of abiotic and biotic factors below ground that influence plant responses to drought. It sets forth hypotheses that are testable, and thus should be well cited. It also identifies what is known with good confidence regarding the belowground system and provides suggestions to modelers and land managers.

Contacts
BER Program Managers
Daniel Stover
U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research
Climate and Environmental Sciences Division (SC-23.1)
Terrestrial Ecosystem Science
daniel.stover@science.doe.gov

Dorothy Koch
U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research
Climate and Environmental Sciences Division (SC-23.1)
Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling
dorothy.koch@science.doe.gov

Principal Investigator
Nate McDowell
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
nate.mcdowell@pnnl.gov

Funding
Funding was provided by the Terrestrial Ecosystem Science program through the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE)–Tropics and Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Changing Environments (SPRUCE) projects or the Office of Biological and Environmental Research, within the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, and by the National Science Foundation.

Publications
Phillips, R.P., I. Ibáñez, P.J. Hanson, M.G. Ryan, and N.G. McDowell. “A belowground perspective on the drought sensitivity of forests: Toward improved model predictions and management prescriptions.” Forest Ecology and Management 380, 309–320. [DOI:10.1016/j.foreco.2016.08.043]

NGEE-Tropics

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