Drought

Australia’s Wildfires in a California Context

January 08, 2020
Forest ecologist Malcolm North, with USDA and UC Davis Plant Sciences, helps put Australia’s wildfires into a California context, and what can be learned.

Small Grain Growers Have Seasonal Harvest Options (Mark Lundy Research)

December 19, 2019
Flexible harvest options may allow growers to plant small grains in the winter, rather than fallow ground, out of concern that there will not be adequate water or strong markets to justify the crop. Research by Plant Sciences faculty member Mark Lundy.

Plant Diversity a Casualty of High-Severity Wildfires

October 03, 2019
Sierra Nevada forests are losing plant diversity due to high-severity fires, according to a study from the University of California, Davis. These fires are turning patches of forest into shrub fields — indefinitely, in some cases.

Arabidopsis Uses Defense Metabolites to Mediate Drought Tolerance

September 06, 2019
Brassica plants, such as broccoli, produce metabolites that benefit humans (flavor, anti-cancer defenses), benefit the plant (attacking insects) and, in new research, defend against drought. Dan Kliebenstein’s lab examines drought tolerance in Arabidopsis.

The Genetics of Drought Tolerance in Bioenergy Poplar Trees

August 22, 2019
Bioenergy crops are central to climate mitigation strategies. Bioenergy is a developing renewable resource, but it can impact land for food, and ecosystem services. Gail Taylor, Plant Sciences, received $2.52 million from the Department of Energy to develop bioenergy poplar trees for low-quality, marginal land.

The California Tree Mortality Data Collection Network — Enhanced communication and collaboration among scientists and stakeholders

July 09, 2019
An article in California Agriculture addresses how critical research is underway to understand the consequences of the massive wave of tree mortality in the Sierra Nevada. Urgent dialogue has started among UC scientists, forest managers, and public agencies to manage the consequences of the unprecedented tree die-off and increase the resiliency of forests to future droughts.

Breeding Plants for the Farm of the Future

June 28, 2019
Breeding crops has been practiced for millennia — new technology has greatly enhanced the ability of plant breeders to feed the world’s growing population, while spearheading a new era of agriculture in harmony with nature and people. Sustainability, Disease resistance, and Labor efficiency are pressing issues in plant breeding.

Thinning Forests, Prescribed Fire Before Drought Reduced Tree Loss

June 05, 2019
Thinning forests and conducting prescribed burns may help preserve trees in future droughts and bark beetle epidemics expected under climate change. Thinning and prescribed fires reduced the number of trees that died during the bark beetle epidemic and drought that killed more than 129 million trees across the Sierra Nevada between 2012–2016.