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ExtremeImpact - Assessing the impact of extreme climate events at cell-based resolution on climate-relevant wood properties

 

Extreme climate events such as severe drought affect the structure of the xylem, with important legacy on wood functional properties. Understanding how climate extremes impact these properties has relevance not only for the performance of the tree but also for the role trees and forests play in regulating the water and carbon exchanges with the atmosphere, and eventually also in mitigating the impact of climate change. ExtremeImpact build up on high-resolution observations of conifer tree growth in the Lötschental to quantify at cell-based resolution the impact of the extreme summer drought 2015 on tree-ring biomass, sapwood conductivity, and water use efficiency. The results of this first demonstrative study will provide a first quantification of the impact of weather extremes on tree growth at unprecedented spatio-temporal scales, providing the basis for a better parametrization of models simulating climate-vegetation effects in a changing climate.