Radiation, Air Temperature, and Soil Water Availability Drive Tree Water Deficit Across Temporal Scales in Canada's Western Boreal Forest

Nia Perron, Jennifer L. Baltzer, Matteo Detto, Magali Nehemy, Christopher Spence, Gabriel Hould-Gosselin, Haley Alcock, Bram Hadiwijaya, Colin P. Laroque, Oliver Sonnentag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Changes are projected for the boreal biome with complex and variable effects on forest vegetation including drought-induced tree mortality and forest loss. With soil and atmospheric conditions governing drought intensity, specific drivers of trees water stress can be difficult to disentangle across temporal scales. We used wavelet analysis and causality detection to identify potential environmental controls (evapotranspiration, soil moisture, rainfall, vapor pressure deficit, air temperature and photosynthetically active radiation) on daily tree water deficit and on longer periods of tree dehydration in black spruce and tamarack. Daily tree water deficit was controlled by photosynthetically active radiation, vapor pressure deficit, and air temperature, causing greater stand evapotranspiration. Prolonged periods of tree water deficit (multi-day) were regulated by photosynthetically active radiation and soil moisture. We provide empirical evidence that continued warming and drying will cause short-term increases in black spruce and tamarack transpiration, but greater drought stress with reduced soil water availability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2023GL107477
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume51
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 28 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences

Keywords

  • boreal forest
  • environmental controls
  • evapotranspiration
  • Granger causality
  • soil moisture
  • tree water deficit
  • wavelet analysis

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