Drought and Extreme Heat: Plant Responses and Landscape Maintenance Practices
Drought and heat conditions are becoming more common in the southwestern United States with below average annual rainfall, highly variable local and regional rainfall patterns, and warmer than normal temperatures. Drought conditions are characterized by a prolonged period of less than normal rainfall in the environment, or lack of surface or ground water. In arid climates, drought is common as the amount of annual evapotranspiration, the combined loss of water through the soil evaporation and through plant transpiration, is greater than the amount of rainfall. Although many plants are adapted to dry conditions, prolonged drought and varying degrees of severity may cause irreversible damage or mortality to plants, including our native vegetation.