/ Modified aug 22, 2018 3:01 p.m.

Episode 144: Drought-Induced Tree Die-Offs and Climate Change

The dangerous cycle of large-scale tree die-offs contributes to climate change.

AZSCI 144 Tree Death The frequency of large-scale tree die-offs inhibits their fight against climate change. (PHOTO: High Contrast, CC 3.0)

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University of Arizona researcher David Breshears has been investigating the frequency of large-scale tree die-offs. He says when forests fall victim to drought, they take longer to recover. When trees take longer to recover, they are slower to perform their function of storing carbon, inhibiting the fight against climate change. Hotter conditions induce more drought, causing new tree die-offs and the cycle begins again.

Prof. Breshears teaches in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment. He was interviewed for Arizona Science by Leslie Tolbert, Ph.D, Regents' Professor Emerita in Neuroscience at the University of Arizona.

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