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Integrating plant physiology and community ecology across scales through trait-based models to predict drought mortality

06/10/2022 @ 17:00 - 18:00

Forests are a critical carbon sink and widespread tree mortality resulting from climate-induced drought stress has the potential to alter forests from a carbon sink to a source, causing a positive feedback on climate change. Process-based vegetation models aim to represent the current understanding of the underlying mechanisms governing plant physiological and ecological responses to climate. Yet model accuracy varies across scales, and regional-scale model predictive skill is frequently poor when compared with observations of drought-driven mortality. Anna proposes a framework that leverages differences in model predictive skill across spatial scales, mismatches between model predictions and observations, and differences in the mechanisms included and absent across models to advance the understanding of the physiological and ecological processes driving observed patterns drought-driven mortality.

Anna T. Trugman is an ecologist with a multidisciplinary background in the Earth sciences. Her research interests are centred around understanding the Earth system consequences of plant physiological processes and ecological interactions, particularly in water limited systems and novel climate conditions expected with anthropogenic climate change. Her research spans spatial scales from plant organs to the globe, and utilizes techniques including ecological modelling, field measurements, and environmental data science. Anna received her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University (Stanford, CA, USA) in Geological and Environmental Sciences, her PhD from Princeton University (Princeton, NJ, USA) in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, and spent two years at the University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT, USA) in the Biology Department where she was awarded an independent United States Department of Agriculture Postdoctoral Fellowship for studying forest drought vulnerability with climate change. She has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara (CA, USA) since 2019.


17:00 - 18:00
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New Phytologist Foundation
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