Drought controls tree carbohydrates across the southwestern US

SICCS researchers recently published a study of drought responses across the Southwest. The team sampled three tree species (piñon, juniper, and aspen) at a network of sites across the southwestern US to understand how non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) concentrations respond to moisture stress (as PDWP, δ13C, and tree ring widths). Responses differed broadly across species and seasons in ways that sometimes reflected hydraulic strategy (e.g. isohydry). Dynamics in all three species suggested sink limitation was common, but respiratory depletion, and osmoregulation were important responses too! NSCs serve so many different physiological functions, in ways that differ across organs, and this is perhaps what makes NSC dynamics so difficult to study.