Forest Drought Mortality

Using repeated stem-map data from a long-term experimental forest treatment and Structural Equation Analysis, we are assessing how stand density, species composition and tree health drives drought mortality or persistence. A two-decade manipulative experiemnt in the The Teakettle Forest has provided us with this unique opportunity to test the impact of the historic 2012-2016 drought in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. Findings from this study are informing forest management practices and preview how forest ecosystem may change dramatically under increasingly severe droughts in a warming region.