Article published in Water Resources Research

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Storm at Mpala An article authored by Kelly, Todd Scanlon at the University of Virginia, and Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe (Princeton University) has just been published in Water Resources Research.

The article synthesizes a line of research about the optimization of plant structural patterns in dryland ecosystems and the way that those patterns arise from both competition for water and survival of drought conditions. Drawing examples from a range of different drylands (Kenya, Botswana, New Mexico), we propose a single metric for understanding vegetation structure that considers both resource use (maximizing plant water uptake) and avoidance of resource scarcity (minimizing plant water stress).