Bannister 110

Linking science and policy: building bridges between research and decision making

In the face of current societal, public health, and environmental challenges, the use of science in public policy is more critical than ever. Understanding the process and practicalities of how environmental systems work is critical for predicting and managing systems in an ever-changing climate. Similarly, understanding the process and practicalities of local, state, and federal policy allows scientists and science-policy professionals to effectively engage in the policy process.

Synchronism, causality and determinism in wood formation: a question of time

Trees synchronize the cycles of growth and dormancy with the seasonal variations in weather, an essential aspect in ecosystems characterized by wide differences between seasons favorable and unfavorable to the physiological activities. Wood formation, or xylogenesis, is a complex and fascinating example of an intermittent growth process sensitive to temperature that can be studied at several time scales. The period of wood formation is the time window during which the xylem is under differentiation.

Assessing the climate feedbacks of U.S. Southwestern dryland forests and woodlands.

Like other dryland regions around the world, the U.S. Southwest is on a steep trajectory towards a hotter and drier climate. Among the most conspicuous effects of this drying are large-scale vegetation transitions towards sparser systems and lower growth forms. Such structural transformations will have far-reaching consequences for ecosystem functioning and for the climate feedbacks of dryland vegetation. These feedbacks remain undervalued and understudied in a climate mitigation context, because drylands sequester less carbon per area compared to more mesic systems.

Tropical explorations: what tree rings can contribute to studying global change effects in the tropics

Tropical forests and woodlands are key components of the global carbon cycle, as illustrated by the strong contribution of tropical vegetation to the inter-annual variation in the global carbon sink. These strong fluctuations in the carbon land sink are associated with precipitation and temperature anomalies, suggesting a strong component of vegetation productivity. Yet, the extent to which such associations also exist for carbon storage in tree stems is poorly understood.

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