Lack of water is key stressor for urban treesMarch 13, 2018
A study out March 13 finds that urban trees can survive increased heat and insect pests fairly well - unless they are thirsty. Insufficient water not only harms trees, but allows other problems to have an outsized effect on trees in urban environments.
"We would see some vibrant urban trees covered in scale insects, but we'd also see other clearly stressed and struggling urban trees covered in scale insects," says Emily Meineke, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard and first author of a paper on the study. "We wanted to know what allowed some trees to deal with these pests so much more successfully."
"This is important because trees need to grow in order to perform valuable ecosystem services, such as removing pollutants from the air and storing carbon," says Steve Frank, an associate professor of entomology at North Carolina State University and co-author of the paper.
It's extremely difficult to design a field study that addresses these questions about the role of various environmental variables, given all of the uncontrolled factors in an urban environment. So the researchers used both field data and controlled laboratory experiments.
The researchers collected detailed data on 40 urban willow oaks (Quercus phellos) over the course of two years. The data included temperature, how water-stressed the trees were, and the density of scale insects. Scale insects (Parthenolecanium species) are well-known tree pests.
But the researchers also conducted laboratory experiments using willow oak saplings. In these experiments, the researchers manipulated three variables while growing the willow oaks: temperature, water and the presence of scale insects.
The researchers found that higher temperatures could actually have a positive effect on tree growth, as long as the trees had adequate water. And scale insects had little or no adverse effect on the trees if the trees were not water stressed.
The researchers also found that water stress limited tree growth all by itself. But the presence of increased heat and/or scale insects, when combined with water stress, had a multiplier effect - curtailing growth far more than water stress or scale insects alone.
"This tells us that management strategies aimed at increasing tree hydration in cities may reduce the adverse effects of all three of these key stressors," says Meineke, a former Ph.D. student in Frank's lab. "And that is likely to become increasingly important as water availability, temperature and pest abundance are affected by further urbanization and climate change."
"For example, urban planners could design urban landscapes that retain stormwater in vegetation; invest in hydration strategies, such as appropriate soil quality and soil volume; and plant drought-tolerant tree species and genotypes in the hottest parts of their cities," Frank says.
"Moving forward, we're very curious about the prevalence of water stress in urban trees globally - and whether this leads to similar problems regarding the impact of tree pests," Meineke says. "If so, improved tree hydration could become a higher priority for urban forestry management."
North Carolina State University
Related Water Articles:
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering have found that the unusual properties of graphane -- a two-dimensional polymer of carbon and hydrogen -- could form a type of anhydrous 'bucket brigade' that transports protons without the need for water, potentially leading to the development of more efficient hydrogen fuel cells for vehicles and other energy systems.
When water comes in for a landing on the common catalyst titanium oxide, it splits into hydroxyls just under half the time.
Through a five-year, $500,000 CAREEER Award from the National Science Foundation, a civil and environmental engineering research group at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering will be developing new DNA sequencing methods to directly measure viral loads in water and better indicate potential threats to human health.
When escaping from attacking predators, different water strider species adjust their jump performance to their mass and morphology in order to jump off the water as fast and soon as possible without breaking of the water surface.
There are two types of liquid water, according to research carried out by an international scientific collaboration.
Stomach MRI images combined with functional fMRI of the brain activity have provided scientists new insight into how the brain listens to the stomach during eating.
A new study led by scientists at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science found that shallow-reef corals are more closely related to their shallow-water counterparts over a thousand miles away than they are to deep-water corals on the same reef.
Researchers found that very low water pressure was an acceptable, low-cost alternative for washing out open fractures, and that the reoperation rate was higher in the group that used soap.
A University of Texas at Arlington environmental engineer is creating an integrated decision support tool for optimal operation of water supply systems that will allow water providers to make better decisions about when to turn on pumps to transfer water from one reservoir system to another and when to release water downstream from the reservoirs.
Scientists at UCL have identified a new and potentially faster way of moving molecules across the surfaces of certain materials.
Related Water Reading:
The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother
by James McBride (Author)
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Good Lord Bird, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction, Five-Carat Soul, and Kill 'Em and Leave, a James Brown biography.
The incredible modern classic that Oprah.com calls one of the best memoirs of a generation and launched James McBride’s literary career.
Over two years on The New York Times bestseller list
Who is Ruth McBride Jordan? A self-declared "light-skinned" woman evasive about her ethnicity, yet steadfast in her love for her twelve black... View Details
Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements)
by John Palmer (Author), Colin Kaminski (Author)
Water is arguably the most critical and least understood of the foundation elements in brewing beer. Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers, third in Brewers Publications’ Brewing Elements series, takes the mystery out of water’s role in the brewing process. The book leads brewers through the chemistry and treatment of brewing water, from an overview of water sources, to adjusting water for different beer styles, and different brewery processes, to wastewater treatment. The discussions include how to read water reports, understanding flavor contributions, residual alkalinity, malt... View Details
Into the Water: A Novel
by Paula Hawkins (Author)
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
GOODREADS CHOICE AWARD WINNER FOR MYSTERY/THRILLER
An addictive new novel of psychological suspense from the author of #1 New York Times bestseller and global phenomenon The Girl on the Train.
“Hawkins is at the forefront of a group of female authors—think Gillian Flynn and Megan Abbott—who have reinvigorated the literary suspense novel by tapping a rich vein of psychological menace and social unease… there’s a certain solace to a dark escape, in the promise of submerged truths coming... View Details
The Hidden Messages in Water
by Masaru Emoto (Author)
In this New York Times bestseller, internationally renowned Japanese scientist Masaru Emoto shows how the influence of our thoughts, words and feelings on molecules of water can positively impact the earth and our personal health.
This book has the potential to profoundly transform your world view. Using high-speed photography, Dr. Masaru Emoto discovered that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward them. He found that water from clear springs and water that has been exposed to loving words shows... View Details
Water: For Health, for Healing, for Life: You're Not Sick, You're Thirsty!
by F. Batmanghelidj (Author)
Asthma, allergies, arthritis, hypertension, depression, headaches, diabetes, obesity, and MS. These are just some of the conditions and diseases that are caused by persistent dehydration. But there is a miracle solution that is readily available, all natural, and free: water. View Details
A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story
by Linda Sue Park (Author)
The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and... View Details
Something in the Water: A Novel
by Catherine Steadman (Author)
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A shocking discovery on a honeymoon in paradise changes the lives of a picture-perfect couple in this taut psychological thriller debut—for readers of Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Shari Lapena.
“A psychological thriller that captivated me from page one. What unfolds makes for a wild, page-turning ride! It’s the perfect beach read!”—Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine book pick)
If you could make one simple choice that would change your life forever, would you?
Erin is a... View Details
by Frank Asch (Author)
Water is beautiful and useful and, in its many forms, vital to life. In this lyrical companion to The Earth and I, Frank Asch encourages young readers to appreciate anew one of our most precious resources.
Chop Wood Carry Water: How to Fall in Love with the Process of Becoming Great
by Joshua Medcalf (Author)
Guided by "Akira-sensei," John comes to realize the greatest adversity on his journey will be the challenge of defeating the man in the mirror. This powerful story of one boy's journey to achieve his life long goal of becoming a samurai warrior, brings the Train to be Clutch curriculum to life in a powerful and memorable way. View Details
The Shape of Water
by Guillermo del Toro (Author), Daniel Kraus (Author)
The Academy Award's Best Picture of the year is now the New York Times-bestselling, must-read novel of 2018.
"[A] phenomenally enrapturing and reverberating work of art in its own right...[that] vividly illuminates the minds of the characters, greatly enhancing our understanding of their temperaments and predicaments and providing more expansive and involving story lines." ―Booklist
Visionary storyteller Guillermo del Toro and celebrated author Daniel Kraus combine their estimable talent in this haunting, heartbreaking love story.
It is 1962, and Elisa... View Details