It’s pretty plain that sooner or later, a tree without water will die.
What’s not so clear is exactly what happens inside a thirsty tree while it’s still alive. In particular, what happens within the xylem — the dense, complex system of tiny interconnected conduits that convey water and nutrients from the roots to the farthest leaf tips.
As drought related to climate change increasingly confronts the world’s forests, scientists feel a great urgency to better understand how this life-sustaining system fares during dry times.
Thanks to a grant of nearly $165,000 from the National Science Foundation, a member of the Bates biology faculty is poised to do just that on American ash, red oak, red maple as well as sweet birch.–by Doug Hubley on the Bates blog.
NewTerrain February 14, 2016.