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 July 31, 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 July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
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