Whole-Tree Dehydration–Rehydration Dynamics of Six Co-Occurring Tree Species


Jeffrey D. Wood1* ([email protected]), Lianhong Gu2, Paul J. Hanson2


1University of Missouri, Columbia, MO; 2Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN



Drought, a pervasive threat to plant productivity across the globe, is projected to intensify under climate change. Accurate representations of plant and ecosystem drought responses are needed for carbon cycle and climate projections to support decision-making for adaptation and risk management. Trees possess a range of traits that interact with climate to mediate water use. Yet, there are considerable knowledge gaps concerning seasonal interannual and whole-tree water status dynamics (dehydration and rehydration) of co-occurring species with different traits that comprise a plant community. This research leverages nearly two decades of weekly to bi-weekly predawn leaf water potential measurements to characterize dehydration–rehydration dynamics of 6 tree species that have a range of drought adaptations (Quercus alba, Q. velutina, Carya ovata, Acer saccharum, Juniperus virginiana, Fraxinus americana) in relation to climate. Data were collected at the Missouri Ozark AmeriFlux (MOFLUX) site, which is situated in a drought-prone Quercus-Carya (oak-hickory) forest in the transitional zone between the Eastern Deciduous Forest and the Great Plains. This site experiences frequent seasonal physiological drought, and a broad range of conditions ranging from years with no water stress to exceptional drought. This poster reports preliminary analyses and highlights the next steps for linking water status dynamics with plant traits.