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Forests 2015, 6(6), 2082-2091; doi:10.3390/f6062082

Early Differential Responses of Co-dominant Canopy Species to Sudden and Severe Drought in a Mediterranean-climate Type Forest

1
Centre of Excellence for Climate Change, Woodland and Forest Health, Murdoch University, Murdoch 6150, Australia
2
The Nature Conservancy, Georgia Chapter, Chattahoochee Fall Line Conservation Office, Fort Benning, GA 31905, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Steven Jansen
Received: 7 April 2015 / Revised: 28 May 2015 / Accepted: 3 June 2015 / Published: 9 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responses of Forest Trees to Drought)
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Abstract

Globally, drought and heat-induced forest disturbance is garnering increasing concern. Species from Mediterranean forests have resistance and resilience mechanisms to cope with drought and differences in these ecological strategies will profoundly influence vegetation composition in response to drought. Our aim was to contrast the early response of two co-occurring forest species, Eucalyptus marginata and Corymbia calophylla, in the Northern Jarrah Forest of southwestern Australia, following a sudden and severe drought event. Forest plots were monitored for health and response, three and 16 months following the drought. Eucalyptus marginata was more susceptible to partial and complete crown dieback compared to C. calophylla, three months after the drought. However, resprouting among trees exhibiting complete crown dieback was similar between species. Overall, E. marginata trees were more likely to die from the impacts of drought, assessed at 16 months. These short-term differential responses to drought may lead to compositional shifts with increases in frequency of drought events in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest die-off; forest mortality; climate change; epicormic response; Eucalyptus marginata; Corymbia calophylla forest die-off; forest mortality; climate change; epicormic response; Eucalyptus marginata; Corymbia calophylla
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ruthrof, K.X.; Matusick, G.; Hardy, G.E.S.J. Early Differential Responses of Co-dominant Canopy Species to Sudden and Severe Drought in a Mediterranean-climate Type Forest. Forests 2015, 6, 2082-2091.

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