Impact of persistent droughts on forests in Mediterranean Chile

Category: Time:
Friday, June 30, 2023 - 12:00 to 13:00
Room: Speaker:
Alejandro Venegas-González
Institute of Food, Animal and Environmental Sciences (ICA3) at Universidad de O’Higgins, Chile
Steve Leavitt

Global warming is concurrently associated with a rise in occurrences of drought episodes in numerous regions worldwide, with central Chile a sad example. This region is the only Mediterranean bioregion of South America, which is considered a biodiversity hotspot due to high endemism levels and high anthropic pressure. These ecosystems since 2010 have been impacted by a period of below-average rainfall, a so-called Mega Drought (MD), so their contribution to the regional carbon sink is at risk. Here, I will talk about different studies on the impact of MD on different forests across Mediterranean Chile (30-35°S) using a network of tree-ring chronologies built by different Chilean laboratories. In addition, I will show preliminary results of complementary studies using remote sensing, ecophysiology, and wood anatomy that allow an understanding of the forest response to persistent droughts at different scales. Finally, I hope to discuss with the LTRR scientists possible future applications and methods to improve my knowledge about dendrochronology and forest ecology.