A global synthesis of multi-year drought effects on terrestrial ecosystems

Science Center Objects

Drought impacts on terrestrial ecosystems have increased globally in the 21st century, and droughts are expected to become more frequent, extreme, and spatially extensive in the future. Historical site-based observations are inadequate to predict how future extreme water deficits will affect the global terrestrial surface, because future droughts and their impacts may be more extreme than they ...

Drought impacts on terrestrial ecosystems have increased globally in the 21st century, and droughts are expected to become more frequent, extreme, and spatially extensive in the future. Historical site-based observations are inadequate to predict how future extreme water deficits will affect the global terrestrial surface, because future droughts and their impacts may be more extreme than they have been historically and reach well beyond a single ecosystem.

This USGS Powell Center working group will conduct the first comprehensive synthesis of ecosystem impacts across a coordinated, globally distributed drought experiment network of over 100 sites that have imposed an extreme multi-year drought. Knowledge about how sensitivity to drought changes across ecosystems and over time can reveal the mechanisms underlying drought impacts, improve forecasting, and assist land managers and policy-makers with short-term decision-making and long-term planning.  



Principal Investigators:

Melinda D. Smith (Colorado State University)

Scott L. Collins (University of New Mexico)

Seth M. Munson (USGS - Southwest Biological Science Center)



Fellow:

Kate Wilkins (Colorado State University)



The photo show an example of the networked drought experiment referenced in the above summary, this one shows Austin Rueda, our reliable tech/graduate student on the project, hard at work.

A networked drought experiment and Austin Rueda, hard at work.