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ITMN Seminar #16 with Anna Trugman
Integrating plant physiology and community ecology across scales through trait-based models to predict drought mortality

Abstract: Climate change has the potential to massively disrupt terrestrial ecosystem productivity, impacting biodiversity, and driving Earth’s forests to release carbon into the atmosphere, which would further exacerbate climate change. Plant functional traits, such as those that determine tree drought vulnerability, and the diversity in traits within a forest, modulate surface water, carbon, and energy fluxes. Yet, we do not know how species composition and their accompanying traits will change with climate change. In this talk, I leverage plant physiological observations, large observational databases, and trait-based ecosystem models to understanding the extent to which plant trait diversity can impact ecosystem resilience to drought events in the continental United States. I then discuss predictions and ecological uncertainties in a changing climate.
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