Tree hydraulics and water relations: why trees die as a result of drought

Forest from above sm

If trees die during a period of drought, they die of thirst. Researchers from the University of Basel have demonstrated in a field study that a rapid collapse in the hydraulic system is responsible for tree death. And they found out that the trees possibly die more rapidly than previously thought.

The research was carried out by SPWS member Prof. Dr. Ansgar Kahmen and Dr. Matthias Arend with their team at the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Basel.

Reference publication
Matthias Arend, Roman M. Link, Rachel Patthey, Günter Hoch, Bernhard Schuldt, and Ansgar Kahmen
Rapid hydraulic collapse as cause of drought-induced mortality in conifers
PNAS (2021), doi: 10.1073/pnas.2025251118

University of Basel News 13/04/2021