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Trees Use Water More Efficiently Due To CO2 Rise


In the study, researchers including Dave Hollinger from the US Forest Service’s Northern Research Station (NRS) and Trevor Keenan of Harvard University analyzed direct, long-term measurements of whole-ecosystem carbon and water exchange.

According to Hollinger, his team’s analysis “suggests that rising atmospheric carbon dioxide is having a direct and unexpectedly strong influence on ecosystem processes and biosphere-atmosphere interactions in temperate and boreal forests.” He and Keenan were joined on the study by colleagues from The Ohio State University, Indiana University and the Institute of Meteorology and Climate in Germany.

They found a substantial increase in water-use efficiency in both temperate and boreal forests of the Northern Hemisphere over the past two decades. Water-use efficiency is the ratio of water loss to carbon gain and it is a key characteristic of ecosystem function central to the global water, energy and carbon cycles.

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