Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Droughts And Floods: Extent Of Damage To Vegetation Depends On Sequence Of Events

Date:
January 10, 2009
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
When extremes of drought and flood come in rapid succession, the extent of damage to vegetation may depend in part on the sequence of those events, according to a new study.

When extremes of drought and flood come in rapid succession, the extent of damage to vegetation may depend in part on the sequence of those events, according to a new study published in The American Naturalist.

The study, which focused on tree species common to the Everglades in Florida, found that seedlings maintained higher growth rates and were less likely to die when subjected to drought first then flood, rather than vice versa. The findings could have significant implications for predicting how vegetation responds to climate extremes—especially amid forecasts of increasingly severe droughts and floods associated with climate change, say authors ShiLi Miao (South Florida Water Management), Chris B. Zou and David D. Breshears (both University of Arizona).

According to Dr. Miao, most previous studies on how vegetation responds to hydrological events have been based largely on responses to a single hydrological condition. Few studies have investigated multiple events in succession.

"Our research suggests that you can't really predict how the plants will respond to combinations of drought and flood by studies that look just at a single drought or a single flood," Dr. Miao said. "We found that plants respond very differently depending on the sequence of flood and drought."

In a greenhouse, Dr. Miao's team subjected seedlings to sequences of conditions that simulated drought and flood, with each phase lasting four months.

The three species chosen for the experiments have varying tolerances to hydrological events. The pond-apple tree (annona glabra) tends to be flood tolerant. The gumbo-limbo (bursera simaruba, also known as West Indian birch) tends to be drought tolerant. The red maple (acer rabrum, also known as swamp maple) has intermediate tolerances to drought and flood.

Each species tested showed higher mortality and lower growth rate when flood was first in the sequence, compared to when drought came first.

The study has implications for the restoration and management of the Everglades and other aquatic systems, Dr. Miao says. The results suggest that "the challenge ahead includes evaluating different sequences of extreme events."

Dr. Miao and her team plan to conduct additional research on various wetland plants related to their nutrient removal function under extreme hydrological conditions.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Droughts And Floods: Extent Of Damage To Vegetation Depends On Sequence Of Events." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090108095425.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2009, January 10). Droughts And Floods: Extent Of Damage To Vegetation Depends On Sequence Of Events. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090108095425.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Droughts And Floods: Extent Of Damage To Vegetation Depends On Sequence Of Events." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090108095425.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) A Harvard University study suggests monkeys can use symbols to perform basic math calculations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur on Monday when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Drake University hosts 35th annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) One Florida fisherman caught a 805-pound shark off the coast of Florida earlier this month. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins