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Monday, June 3 • 1:00pm - 1:25pm
Climate Change and the Fate of Southeast Texas Plant Communities FILLING

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Efforts have been made to regionalize climate models to predict future precipitation and temperature patterns under various greenhouse gas emission scenarios.  Precipitation changes are the most uncertain, but additional indices such as tree rings have been used to determine what intensity and duration of drought may be reasonable in the face of rising temperatures due to global warming.  Recent sand grain florescence studies have related episodes of intense aeolian deposition to mid-Holocene and other periods of likely higher drought intensity.  There has also been discussion of how plant biogeography in the SE U.S. may reflect drier periods within the Holocene.
The 2011 drought in central and eastern Texas was one of the most intense since record-keeping began.  Obvious changes occurred to dominant forest cover due to wildfire and water stress mortality.  These changes reflect those seen in plant communities during recent periods of natural climate change (less than 2,000ybp) as derived from pollen records, and also the changes in existing species distributions as related to climate and soil water availability.  Other changes in SE Texas plant communities due to rising temperatures are noted.
These patterns of change have been, and should more widely be used to assist in savanna and grassland management and restoration planning.


Andy Sipocz

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Monday June 3, 2019 1:00pm - 1:25pm CDT
Room 1313