Water availability predicts forest canopy height at the global scale.

Details

Serval ID
serval:BIB_5F6FDEB30CDC
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Water availability predicts forest canopy height at the global scale.
Journal
Ecology Letters
Author(s)
Klein T., Randin C., Körner C.
ISSN
1461-0248 (Electronic)
ISSN-L
1461-023X
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2015
Volume
18
Number
12
Pages
1311-1320
Language
english
Abstract
The tendency of trees to grow taller with increasing water availability is common knowledge. Yet a robust, universal relationship between the spatial distribution of water availability and forest canopy height (H) is lacking. Here, we created a global water availability map by calculating an annual budget as the difference between precipitation (P) and potential evapotranspiration (PET) at a 1-km spatial resolution, and in turn correlated it with a global H map of the same resolution. Across forested areas over the globe, Hmean increased with P-PET, roughly: Hmean (m) = 19.3 + 0.077*(P-PET). Maximum forest canopy height also increased gradually from ~ 5 to ~ 50 m, saturating at ~ 45 m for P-PET > 500 mm. Forests were far from their maximum height potential in cold, boreal regions and in disturbed areas. The strong association between forest height and P-PET provides a useful tool when studying future forest dynamics under climate change, and in quantifying anthropogenic forest disturbance.
Keywords
Forests, Models, Biological, Temperature, Trees/growth & development, Water Cycle
Pubmed
Web of science
Create date
07/12/2015 10:47
Last modification date
20/08/2019 15:17
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