Nate G Mcdowell

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Greenhouse gas emissions have significantly altered global climate, and will continue to do so in the future. Increases in the frequency, duration, and/or severity of drought and heat stress associated with climate change could fundamentally alter the composition, structure, and biogeography of forests in many regions. Of particular concern are potential(More)
Severe droughts have been associated with regional-scale forest mortality worldwide. Climate change is expected to exacerbate regional mortality events; however, prediction remains difficult because the physiological mechanisms underlying drought survival and mortality are poorly understood. We developed a hydraulically based theory considering carbon(More)
Events of regional-scale vegetation mortality appear to be increasing in a variety of biomes throughout the Earth and are frequently associated with increased temperatures, droughts, and often (but not always) with outbreaks of biotic agents such as insects and pathogens (for review, see Allen et al., 2010; Supplemental Information S1). The precise(More)
The leaf area to sapwood area ratio (A l:A s) of trees has been hypothesized to decrease as trees become older and taller. Theory suggests that A l:A s must decrease to maintain leaf-specific hydraulic sufficiency as path length, gravity, and tortuosity constrain whole-plant hydraulic conductance. We tested the hypothesis that A l:A s declines with tree(More)
Variation in the carbon isotopic composition of ecosystem respiration (δ13CR) was studied for 3  years along a precipitation gradient in western Oregon, USA, using the Keeling plot approach. Study sites included six coniferous forests, dominated by Picea sitchensis, Tsuga heterophylla, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Pinus ponderosa, and Juniperus occidentalis, and(More)
As the climate changes, drought may reduce tree productivity and survival across many forest ecosystems; however, the relative influence of specific climate parameters on forest decline is poorly understood. We derive a forest drought-stress index (FDSI) for the southwestern United States using a comprehensive tree-ring data set representing AD 1000–2007.(More)
The hydraulic limitation hypothesis (Ryan and Yoder 1997) proposes that leaf-specific hydraulic conductance (kl) and stomatal conductance (gs) decline as trees grow taller, resulting in decreased carbon assimilation. We tested the hydraulic limitation hypothesis by comparison of canopy-dominant Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii (Mirb.)(More)
Climate-driven vegetation mortality is occurring globally and is predicted to increase in the near future. The expected climate feedbacks of regional-scale mortality events have intensified the need to improve the simple mortality algorithms used for future predictions, but uncertainty regarding mortality processes precludes mechanistic modeling. By(More)
Leaf mesophyll conductance to CO(2) (g(m)) has been recognized to be finite and variable, rapidly adapting to environmental conditions. The physiological basis for fast changes in g(m) is poorly understood, but current reports suggest the involvement of protein-facilitated CO(2) diffusion across cell membranes. A good candidate for this could be the(More)
In tall old forests, limitations to water transport may limit maximum tree height and reduce photosynthesis and carbon sequestration. We evaluated the degree to which tall trees could potentially compensate for hydraulic limitations to water transport by increased use of water stored in xylem. Using sap flux measurements in three tree species of the Pacific(More)