Tree mortality response to drought-density interactions suggests opportunities to enhance drought resistance

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Our results imply that a 50% reduction in forest basal area could reduce drought-driven tree mortality by 20%–80%. The largest impacts of density reduction are seen in areas with high current basal area and places that experience high temperatures and/or severe multiyear droughts. These interactions between competition and drought are critical to understand past and future patterns of tree mortality in the context of climate change, and provide information for resource managers seeking to enhance dry forest drought resistance.

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