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Published on Sep 10, 2012
What are the exact physiological mechanisms that lead to tree death during prolonged drought and rising temperatures? These are the questions that scientists are trying to answer at a Los Alamos National Laboratory research project called SUMO. SUMO stands for SUrvival/MOrtality study; it's a plot of land on the Lab's southern border that features 18 climate controlled tree study chambers and a large drought structure that limits rain and snowfall.
Scientists are taking a wide variety of measurements over a long period of time to determine what happens during drought and warming, and what the connections and feedback loops might be between tree death and climate change.