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Publishing date:August 13, 2018
In dry tropical forests, vegetation takes up water at the end of the wet season and stores it during the driest season of the year. This large amount of stored water enables trees to flush new leaves about one month before the next rainy season. This surprising phenomenon has been revealed for the first time using satellite observations, mainly in the African region of Miombo (around four times the surface area of France), in a study coordinated by the University of Copenhagen and INRA in collaboration with the CEA, CNRS, CNES and Bordeaux Science Agro . These findings, published on 13 August 2018 in Nature Ecology and Evolution, will help researchers improve current Earth system models (which do not fully account for plant hydraulic mechanisms) and future climate change and water cycle projections in these regions of the world.