Ecohydrology: Vegetation Management and Water Resources Grant uri icon

abstract

  • As the human population grows, we place an increasing demand on our limited water resources, not only through direct consumption by agriculture, industry, and municipalities, but also, indirectly, by altering natural ecosystems. Land managers' actions (e.g., grazing, fire suppression, forest harvest, brush management) and inactions (e.g., old field succession, species invasions) alter the distribution of vegetation across the landscape. As a consequence, humans indirectly affect their water supply and the water needed to sustain natural ecosystems. Whether altered natural systems will result in altered water resources depends on the degree of change, the climate, and other biotic and abiotic factors. As an ecohydrologist, both abioticand biotic controls will be considered at scales relevant to streamflow, groundwater recharge, and regional climate. The knowledge gained will help guide land managers, because decisions that impact water quantity are essential components of sustainable land stewardship. During the next three years, this research program will address three major questions: A) How does drought impact East Texas forests, B) How do bottomland hardwood forests in East Texas respond to climate extremes? and C) How does conversion from forest to agricultural use affect water and carbon cycling in East Texas bottomlands and floodplains of the Brazos River watershed?

date/time interval

  • 2017 - 2022