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  1. Abstract

    Indirect climate effects on tree fecundity that come through variation in size and growth (climate-condition interactions) are not currently part of models used to predict future forests. Trends in species abundances predicted from meta-analyses and species distribution models will be misleading if they depend on the conditions of individuals. Here we find from a synthesis of tree species in North America that climate-condition interactions dominate responses through two pathways, i) effects of growth that depend on climate, and ii) effects of climate that depend on tree size. Because tree fecundity first increases and then declines with size, climate changemore »that stimulates growth promotes a shift of small trees to more fecund sizes, but the opposite can be true for large sizes. Change the depresses growth also affects fecundity. We find a biogeographic divide, with these interactions reducing fecundity in the West and increasing it in the East. Continental-scale responses of these forests are thus driven largely by indirect effects, recommending management for climate change that considers multiple demographic rates.

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  2. Whitehead, David (Ed.)
    Abstract Hydraulic stress in plants occurs under conditions of low water availability (soil moisture; θ) and/or high atmospheric demand for water (vapor pressure deficit; D). Different species are adapted to respond to hydraulic stress by functioning along a continuum where, on one hand, they close stomata to maintain a constant leaf water potential (ΨL) (isohydric species), and on the other hand, they allow ΨL to decline (anisohydric species). Differences in water-use along this continuum are most notable during hydrologic stress, often characterized by low θ and high D; however, θ and D are often, but not necessarily, coupled at timemore »scales of weeks or longer, and uncertainty remains about the sensitivity of different water-use strategies to these variables. We quantified the effects of both θ and D on canopy conductance (Gc) among widely distributed canopy-dominant species along the isohydric–anisohydric spectrum growing along a hydroclimatological gradient. Tree-level Gc was estimated using hourly sap flow observations from three sites in the eastern United States: a mesic forest in western North Carolina and two xeric forests in southern Indiana and Missouri. Each site experienced at least 1 year of substantial drought conditions. Our results suggest that sensitivity of Gc to θ varies across sites and species, with Gc sensitivity being greater in dry than in wet sites, and greater for isohydric compared with anisohydric species. However, once θ limitations are accounted for, sensitivity of Gc to D remains relatively constant across sites and species. While D limitations to Gc were similar across sites and species, ranging from 16 to 34% reductions, θ limitations to Gc ranged from 0 to 40%. The similarity in species sensitivity to D is encouraging from a modeling perspective, though it implies that substantial reduction to Gc will be experienced by all species in a future characterized by higher D.« less