Plants and Drought in a Changing Climate

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40641-018-0097-y.

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Authors

Abigail Swann 

Abstract

Purpose of review: Climate is changing in response to rising concentrations of atmospheric CO2 and it is commonly asserted that this will cause droughts to become more frequent and severe. However, different metrics of drought give diverging estimates of future impacts. I present a summary of the significant yet underappreciated influence that plant stomatal and growth responses to CO2 have on drought, and highlight new insights into the impacts of drought on plants in a warmer world.
Recent findings: Plants influence the water availability on land, and thus reduce the duration and intensity of droughts under higher CO2 conditions. Plants are concurrently more vulnerable to mortality when droughts occur under hotter conditions.
Summary: The frequency and severity of drought in the future depends on the response of plants to a changing climate—ignoring plant responses leads to over-prediction of drought. Nonetheless, the impact of current frequencies of drought on plants could lead to higher mortality rates in the future as plants must withstand drought stress simultaneously with hotter temperatures.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31223/osf.io/p37bf

Subjects

Earth Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Earth Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Keywords

drought, global warming, climate change, Forest Mortality, Hydrological Impact, Water Use Efficiency

Dates

Published: 2018-04-24 02:22

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License

Academic Free License (AFL) 3.0

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