Increased hydralic risk in assemblages of woody plant species predicts spatial patterns of drought-induced mortality

Pablo Sanchez-Martinez, Maurizio Mencuccini, Raúl García-Valdé, William M. Hammond, Josep M. Serra-Diaz, Wen-Yong Guo, Ricardo A. Segovia, Kyle Dexter, Jens-Christian Svenning, Craig Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Predicting drought-induced mortality (DIM) of woody plants remains a key research challenge under climate change. Here, we integrate information on the edaphoclimatic niches, phylogeny and hydraulic traits of species to model the hydraulic risk of woody plants globally. We combine these models with species distribution records to estimate the hydraulic risk faced by local woody plant species assemblages. Thus, we produce global maps of hydraulic risk and test for its relationship with observed DIM. Our results show that local assemblages modelled as having higher hydraulic risk present a higher probability of DIM. Metrics characterizing this hydraulic risk improve DIM predictions globally, relative to models accounting only for edaphoclimatic predictors or broad functional groupings. The methodology we present here allows mapping of functional trait distributions and elucidation of global macro-evolutionary and biogeographical patterns, improving our ability to predict potential global change impacts on vegetation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1620–1632
JournalNature Ecology & Evolution
Volume7
Early online date28 Aug 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Phenotype
  • Climate Change
  • Droughts
  • Plants

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