David D. Breshears
Professor, School of Natural Resources and the Environment
(520) 621-7259
PhD, Colorado State University, 1993

David D. Breshears is a Professor of Natural Resources in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona; he also has a joint affiliation with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.  His research focuses on the ecohydrology of dryland ecosystems, vegetation gradients spanning grassland to forest, wind- and water-driven sediment transport and erosion, and particularly on drought-induced tree mortality and climate change. Breshears was a lead author for the Forests chapter of the most recent US National Climate Assessment. He has published more than 100 journal articles, and his work has been covered by the New York Times, NPR All Things Considered, and USA Today, among many others. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Ecological Society of America, the American Geophysical Union, the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program and the Kavli US Frontiers in Science.

Selected Citations: 

Breshears, D.D., H.D. Adams, D. Eamus, N. McDowell, D.J. Law, R.E. Will, A.P. Williams & C.B. Zou. The critical amplifying role of increasing atmospheric moisture demand on tree mortality and associated tree die-off. 2013. Frontiers in Plant Science 4 (266):1-4.

Breshears, D.D., L. López-Hoffman, L.J. Graumlich. 2011. When ecosystem services crash: Preparing for big, fast, patchy climate change. Ambio 40:1-8.

Allen, C.D., A.K. Macalady, H. Chenchouni, D. Bachelet, N. McDowell, M. Vennetier, T. Kitzberger, A. Rigling, D.D. Breshears, E.H. Hogg, P. Gonzalez, R. Fensham, Z. Zhang, J. Castro, N. Demidova, J.-H. Lim, G. Allard, S. W. Running, A. Semerci & N. Cobb. 2010. A global overview of drought and heat-induced tree mortality reveals emerging climate change risks for forests. Forest Ecology and Management 250: 660-684.

Adams H.D., M. Gauardiola-Claramonte, G.A. Barron-Gafford, J.C. Villegas, D.D. Breshears, C.B. Zou, P.A. Troch & T.E. Huxman. 2009. Temperature sensitivity of drought-induced tree mortality portends increased regional die-off under global-change-type drought. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106: 7063-7066.

Breshears, D.D., O.B. Myers, C.W. Meyer, F.J. Barnes, C.B. Zou, C.D. Allen, N.G. McDowell & W.T. Pockman. 2009. Tree die-off in response to global-change-type drought: mortality insights from a decade of plant water potential measurements. Frontiers in Ecology & the Environ. 7: 185-189.

McDowell, N., W.T. Pockman, C. Allen, D.D. Breshears, N. Cobb, T. Kolb, J. Sperry, A. West, D. Williams & E.A.Yepez. 2008. Mechanisms of plant survival and mortality during drought: Why do some plants survive while others succumb to drought? New Phytologist 178: 719-739.

Breshears, D.D., N.S. Cobb, P.M. Rich, K.P. Price, C.D. Allen, R.G. Balice, W.H. Romme, J.H. Kastens, M.L. Floyd, J. Belnap, J.J. Anderson, O.B. Myers & C.W. Meyer. 2005. Regional vegetation die-off in response to global-change type drought. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 102: 15144-15148.

Breshears, D.D. & C.D. Allen. 2002. The importance of rapid, disturbance‐induced losses in carbon management and sequestration. Global Ecology and Biogeography 11: 1-5.

Allen, C.D. & D.D. Breshears. 1998. Drought-induced shift of a forest-woodland ecotone: rapid landscape response to climate variation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 95:14839-14842.

Research Themes: 
Climate and Adaptation
Air quality
Arid lands
Ecosystem management
Extreme events
Global warming
Range management
Science communication
Water resources
Natural Environment and Biodiversity
Arid lands
Biogeochemical processes
Carbon cycling
Conservation biology
Ecosystem disturbances
Ecosystem ecology
Ecosystem restoration
Ecosystem services
Erosion and sedimentation
Grasslands and savannas
Landscape restoration
Natural resource management
Nutrient cycling
Plant ecology
Terrestrial ecology
Public Health
Air quality
Soil contaminants
Arid lands
Biogeochemical processes
Climate change impacts
Watershed hydrology
Watershed management

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