Xylem hydraulic safety and construction costs determine tropical tree growth

B. Eller, C., de V. Barros, F., R.L. Bittencourt, P., Rowland, L., Mencuccini, M., S. Oliveira, R. (2018) Xylem hydraulic safety and construction costs determine tropical tree growth. Plant Cell and Environment. 41: 548-562.
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Doi: 10.1111/pce.13106

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Tree size and climatic water deficit control root to shoot ratio in individual trees globally

Ledo, A., Paul, K.I., Burslem, D.F.R.P., Ewel, J.J., Barton, C., Battaglia, M., Brooksbank, K., Carter, J., Eid, T.H., England, J.R., Fitzgerald, A., Jonson, J., Mencuccini, M., Montagu, K.D., Montero, G., Mugasha, W.A., Pinkard, E., Roxburgh, S., Ryan, C.M., Ruiz-Peinado, R., Sochacki, S., Specht, A., Wildy, D., Wirth, C., Zerihun, A., Chave, J. (2018) Tree size and climatic water deficit control root to shoot ratio in individual trees globally. New Phytologist. 217: 8-11.
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Doi: 10.1111/nph.14863

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Preliminary growth functions for Eucalyptus gunnii in the UK

Leslie, A.D., Mencuccini, M., Perks, M.P. (2018) Preliminary growth functions for Eucalyptus gunnii in the UK. Biomass and Bioenergy. 108: 464-469.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.biombioe.2017.10.037

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Changes in tree resistance, recovery and resilience across three successive extreme droughts in the northeast Iberian Peninsula

Serra-Maluquer X., Mencuccini M., Martínez-Vilalta J. (2018) Changes in tree resistance, recovery and resilience across three successive extreme droughts in the northeast Iberian Peninsula. Oecologia. : 1-12.
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Doi: 10.1007/s00442-018-4118-2

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Understanding which variables affect forest resilience to extreme drought is key to predict future dynamics under ongoing climate change. In this study, we analyzed how tree resistance, recovery and resilience to drought have changed along three consecutive droughts and how they were affected by species, tree size, plot basal area (as a proxy for competition) and climate. We focused on the three most abundant pine species in the northeast Iberian Peninsula: Pinus halepensis, P. nigra and P. sylvestris during the three most extreme droughts recorded in the period 1951–2010 (occurred in 1986, 1994, and 2005–2006). We cored trees from permanent sample plots and used dendrochronological techniques to estimate resistance (ability to maintain growth level during drought), recovery (growth increase after drought) and resilience (capacity to recover pre-drought growth levels) in terms of tree stem basal area increment. Mixed-effects models were used to determine which tree- and plot-level variables were the main determinants of resistance, recovery and resilience, and to test for differences among the studied droughts. Larger trees were significantly less resistant and resilient. Plot basal area effects were only observed for resilience, with a negative impact only during the last drought. Resistance, recovery and resilience differed across the studied drought events, so that the studied populations became less resistant, less resilient and recovered worse during the last two droughts. This pattern suggests an increased vulnerability to drought after successive drought episodes. © 2018 Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature

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A multi-species synthesis of physiological mechanisms in drought-induced tree mortality

Adams, H.D., Zeppel, M.J.B., Anderegg, W.R.L., Hartmann, H., Landhäusser, S.M., Tissue, D.T., Huxman, T.E., Hudson, P.J., Franz, T.E., Allen, C.D., Anderegg, L.D.L., Barron-Gafford, G.A., Beerling, D.J., Breshears, D.D., Brodribb, T.J., Bugmann, H., Cobb, R.C., Collins, A.D., Dickman, L.T., Duan, H., Ewers, B.E., Galiano, L., Galvez, D.A., Garcia-Forner, N., Gaylord, M.L., Germino, M.J., Gessler, A., Hacke, U.G., Hakamada, R., Hector, A., Jenkins, M.W., Kane, J.M., Kolb, T.E., Law, D.J., Lewis, J.D., Limousin, J.-M., Love, D.M., Macalady, A.K., Martínez-Vilalta, J., Mencuccini, M., Mitchell, P.J., Muss, J.D., O'Brien, M.J., O'Grady, A.P., Pangle, R.E., Pinkard, E.A., Piper, F.I., Plaut, J.A., Pockman, W.T., Quirk, J., Reinhardt, K., Ripullone, F., Ryan, M.G., Sala, A., Sevanto, S., Sperry, J.S., Vargas, R., Vennetier, M., Way, D.A., Xu, C., Yepez, E.A., McDowell, N.G. (2017) A multi-species synthesis of physiological mechanisms in drought-induced tree mortality. Nature Ecology and Evolution. 1: 1285-1291.
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Doi: 10.1038/s41559-017-0248-x

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Manipulative experiments demonstrate how long-term soil moisture changes alter controls of plant water use

Grossiord, C., Sevanto, S., Limousin, J.-M., Meir, P., Mencuccini, M., Pangle, R.E., Pockman, W.T., Salmon, Y., Zweifel, R., McDowell, N.G. (2017) Manipulative experiments demonstrate how long-term soil moisture changes alter controls of plant water use. Environmental and Experimental Botany. : 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.envexpbot.2017.12.010

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An empirical method that separates irreversible stem radial growth from bark water content changes in trees: theory and case studies

Mencuccini, M., Salmon, Y., Mitchell, P., Hölttä, T., Choat, B., Meir, P., O'Grady, A., Tissue, D., Zweifel, R., Sevanto, S., Pfautsch, S. (2017) An empirical method that separates irreversible stem radial growth from bark water content changes in trees: theory and case studies. Plant Cell and Environment. 40: 290-303.
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Doi: 10.1111/pce.12863

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Assimilation of repeated woody biomass observations constrains decadal ecosystem carbon cycle uncertainty in aggrading forests

Smallman, T.L., Exbrayat, J.-F., Mencuccini, M., Bloom, A.A., Williams, M. (2017) Assimilation of repeated woody biomass observations constrains decadal ecosystem carbon cycle uncertainty in aggrading forests. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences. 122: 528-545.
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Doi: 10.1002/2016JG003520

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Predicting stomatal responses to the environment from the optimization of photosynthetic gain and hydraulic cost

Sperry J.S., Venturas M.D., Anderegg W.R.L., Mencuccini M., Mackay D.S., Wang Y., Love D.M. (2017) Predicting stomatal responses to the environment from the optimization of photosynthetic gain and hydraulic cost. Plant Cell and Environment. 40: 816-830.
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Doi: 10.1111/pce.12852

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Stomatal regulation presumably evolved to optimize CO2 for H2O exchange in response to changing conditions. If the optimization criterion can be readily measured or calculated, then stomatal responses can be efficiently modelled without recourse to empirical models or underlying mechanism. Previous efforts have been challenged by the lack of a transparent index for the cost of losing water. Yet it is accepted that stomata control water loss to avoid excessive loss of hydraulic conductance from cavitation and soil drying. Proximity to hydraulic failure and desiccation can represent the cost of water loss. If at any given instant, the stomatal aperture adjusts to maximize the instantaneous difference between photosynthetic gain and hydraulic cost, then a model can predict the trajectory of stomatal responses to changes in environment across time. Results of this optimization model are consistent with the widely used Ball–Berry–Leuning empirical model (r2 > 0.99) across a wide range of vapour pressure deficits and ambient CO2 concentrations for wet soil. The advantage of the optimization approach is the absence of empirical coefficients, applicability to dry as well as wet soil and prediction of plant hydraulic status along with gas exchange. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

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Stand dynamics modulate water cycling and mortality risk in droughted tropical forest

da Costa A.C.L., Rowland L., Oliveira R.S., Oliveira A.A.R., Binks O.J., Salmon Y., Vasconcelos S.S., Junior J.A.S., Ferreira L.V., Poyatos R., Mencuccini M., Meir P. (2017) Stand dynamics modulate water cycling and mortality risk in droughted tropical forest. Global Change Biology. : 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1111/gcb.13851

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Transpiration from the Amazon rainforest generates an essential water source at a global and local scale. However, changes in rainforest function with climate change can disrupt this process, causing significant reductions in precipitation across Amazonia, and potentially at a global scale. We report the only study of forest transpiration following a long-term (>10 year) experimental drought treatment in Amazonian forest. After 15 years of receiving half the normal rainfall, drought-related tree mortality caused total forest transpiration to decrease by 30%. However, the surviving droughted trees maintained or increased transpiration because of reduced competition for water and increased light availability, which is consistent with increased growth rates. Consequently, the amount of water supplied as rainfall reaching the soil and directly recycled as transpiration increased to 100%. This value was 25% greater than for adjacent nondroughted forest. If these drought conditions were accompanied by a modest increase in temperature (e.g., 1.5°C), water demand would exceed supply, making the forest more prone to increased tree mortality. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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