Articles | Volume 20, issue 22
Research article
17 Nov 2023
Research article |  | 17 Nov 2023

Coordination of rooting, xylem, and stomatal strategies explains the response of conifer forest stands to multi-year drought in the southern Sierra Nevada of California

Junyan Ding, Polly Buotte, Roger Bales, Bradley Christoffersen, Rosie A. Fisher, Michael Goulden, Ryan Knox, Lara Kueppers, Jacquelyn Shuman, Chonggang Xu, and Charles D. Koven

Data sets

The Functionally Assembled Terrestrial Ecosystem Simulator (FATES) (fates-clm-v0.2-Junyan) FATES Development Team}

Measurement of Energy, Carbon and Water Exchange Along California Climate Gradients Department of Earth System Science UCI

Short summary
We used a vegetation model to investigate how the different combinations of plant rooting depths and the sensitivity of leaves and stems to drying lead to differential responses of a pine forest to drought conditions in California, USA. We found that rooting depths are the strongest control in that ecosystem. Deep roots allow trees to fully utilize the soil water during a normal year but result in prolonged depletion of soil moisture during a severe drought and hence a high tree mortality risk.
Final-revised paper