Tree growth in a dryer and warmer world – what do we know and what are the still existing gaps of knowledge


Convener: Gidon Winters, Dead Sea and Arava Science Center

Drought-induced tree mortality has been increasing in recent decades and is expected to increase further due to global warming and desertification, especially in already dry ecosystems. In deserts, trees such as Acacia Tamarix, Populus, and Prosopis are often the only woody species, and as such, they are considered keystone species. Successful desert trees are essential locally for their associated ecosystems and functions. Globally desert trees are also important for their unique eco-and molecular physiology. Tree species that already survive under arid conditions could provide vital information on successful drought resistance. Resolving tree drought resistance strategies, specifically in semi-arid and soon to be arid environments, is a major interest of scientists and stakeholders alike, with many social, ecological and economic implications.

Bringing together scientist working on trees that grow in dry environments, this session will include talks on physiology, phenology, strategies of water use and the increasing use of eco genomics in understanding how trees might cope in a drying world, while emphasising what more needs to be studied in this field for securing the future of trees in a changing world.