The University of Arizona

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Dave Breshears leads new cross-continent grant looking if North American tree die-off could affect the Amazon

Friday, May 2, 2014

Professor Dave Breshears is the PI on a new NSF award from Macrosystems Biology, along with Scott Saleska in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at University of Arizona and Abby Swann at University of Washington and Scott Stark at MIchigan State University.  The project will evaluate the potential for "teleconnections", where changes in climate in one area can influence climate in another region.  Specifically they'll be looking at whether tree die-off in North America could cause drying and increased tree water stress in the Amazon, and if tree loss in the Amazon due to deforestation and potential tree die-off could cause drying in North America, further affecting North American tree water stress and mortality.  The project will take the research team to field sites from Arizona north to Alaska and south to into the Amazon.  University of Arizona alumnus Juan Camilo Villegas, a faculty member at Universidad de Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia, has joined the project to help.