October 2018
stylized graphic of grove of trees
Vector art from www.vecteezy.com 

One of these things is not like the other, 
and that’s good

Have a reforestation project in your area? Then you’re probably thinking about ways biodiversity will benefit wildlife and support disease resistance. It turns out there is another reason that biodiversity will benefit your tree plantings in the long run: drought resilience.

A team of researchers led by William Anderegg, University of Utah biologist, analyzed climate data, atmospheric measurements, multiple site factors and other data for 40 temperate zone forests. Their major finding?  Hydraulic diversity (variations in the ways different trees and shrubs transported water) helped forests better withstand certain droughts. 

Implications of the research for drought planning and climate modeling are also discussed in a summary of the research published last month. 

overhead view of nearly drained reservoir
                                                       Lake Oroville photo courtesy of Public Policy Institute of California


Managing Drought in a Changing Climate:
Four Essential Reforms

After the 2012 to 2016 California drought, researchers with the Public Policy Institute of California reviewed literature about historical droughts, and determined the likelihood of future droughts that might be equal to or worse in intensity than what the state had just experienced. With the resulting scenarios as a framework, they identified the climate pressures the state would face in coming decades, and made recommendations for reforms the state could make in four broad catagories.

In addition to the guidelines offered in the report for drought preparation, the report offers a list of links (page 23)  to other PPIC reports on drought and water management for specific industry sectors and for issues that cut across sectors. 

neon blue fiber network on black background
Photo credit: Z. Palisades
Pssst. Listen up! Your watershed is talking

Researchers eavesdropped on “conversations” between the soil and atmosphere in locations in Idaho and California, and discovered that rate of the flow of information exchanged within ecosystems, each system's connectivity, changed related to rainfall or drought.


"The results show the ways in which watersheds respond to precipitation disturbances, in this case rainfall and drought," said Richard Yuretich, National Science Foundation Critical Zone Observatory program director in a NSF news release.  "The information is important to predicting how ecosystems will respond to future extreme events."

More about how the team measured ecohydrologic fluxes at NSF sites in Idaho and California is revealed in the September 12 issue of Science Daily.   

Dry Horizons is on the move

In more ways than one  Dry Horizons, is in the midst of changes.

Beginning with this issue, we’ve changed our distribution date to the second Wednesday of each month. In November we will begin distributing DryHorizons through a new email distribution service, MailChimp. Beginning November 15, please check your email filter system for your issue of Dry Horizons

If you have questions or would like further information, please write to us at ndmccomm@unl.edu.

The Drought Risk Management Resource Center conducts and applies research to improve drought resilience across the United States. It is a partnership between the National Integrated Drought Information System and the National Drought Mitigation Center, based at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. NIDIS supports the DRMRC through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sectoral Applications Research Program.
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