Welcome to the Tague Team Lab at UCSB!

The Tague EcoHydrology lab focuses on watershed research, addressing the feedbacks among terrestrial vegetation, surface hydrological processes, and atmospheric conditions. We use a variety of techniques to examine the impact of changes in climate and land use on ecosystem health and water resources.
Please scroll through our blog below to see what we’ve been up to!

All are welcome to attend our weekly lab meetings and take part in presentations and scientific discussions. See our Lab meeting schedule & events page for information on each week’s topic or presenter. Meetings are held in the Bren hall lab wing, room 1005.

New publication characterises spatial variation in shallow soil moisture

The goal of this study was to characterise spatial variation in shallow soil moisture at the plot scale by relating the mean of measurements collected in a plot to the standard deviation, as spatial variation of soil moisture over very small areas (<100 m2) can have nonlinear impacts on cycling and flux rates.

Scaife, C.I., Duncan, J.M., Lin, L., Tague, C., Bell, C.D., Band, L. (2021) Are spatial patterns of soil moisture at plot scales generalisable across catchments, climates, and other characteristics? A synthesis of synoptic soil moisture across the Mid-Atlantic, Hydrological Processes 35( 9): e14313. doi.org/10.1002/hyp.14313

Which mechanisms control the change in water yield following a beetle outbreak?

In this new publication, RHESSys is used to explore the mechanisms that control the change in water yield following a beetle outbreak. Results indicate that the response to beetle-caused tree mortality is nonlinear – the direction of water yield change was location specific & driven by inter-annual climate variability, .

Ren, J., Adam, J.C., Hicke, J.A., Hanan, E.J., Tague, C.L., Liu, M., Kolden, C.A., Abatzoglou, J.T. (2021) How does water yield respond to mountain pine beetle infestation in a semiarid forest? Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 25: 4681–4699. doi.org/10.5194/hess-25-4681-2021

Niche-partitioning of soil water resources & higher forest productivity

In this new publication, research revealed fundamental differences in water-use patterns and niche-partitioning of soil water resources among the phylogenetic groups of trees co-occurring in widespread forests around the Mediterranean. RHESSys model simulations show that this partitioning has an important role in the higher productivity of the mixed forest compared to monoculture forests.

Rog, I., Tague, C., Jakoby, G., Megidish, S., Yaakobi, A., Wagner, Y., & Klein, T. (2021) Interspecific soil water partitioning as a driver of increased productivity in a diverse mixed Mediterranean forest, Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 126: e2021JG006382. https://doi.org/10.1029/2021JG006382

Taking Notice!

The recent paper in Ecosphere, “Does hot and dry equal more wildfire? Contrasting short- and long-term climate effects on fire in the Sierra Nevada“, has been getting some attention!

Lead author Maureen Kennedy was interviewed for the science section in UW News, along with co-author Naomi Tague: “Possible future for Western wildfires: Decade-long burst, followed by gradual decline“.

Maureen Kennedy was interviewed for the Policy: Equilibrium/Sustainability section in The Hill: “Researchers paint bleak picture of forest fires beyond 2030“.

Maureen Kennedy was interviewed on KUOW Public Radio: “Western forests face devastating consequences of climate change, wildfires“. Listen to or read the transcribed interview.

Does hot and dry equal more wildfire?

In this new Ecosphere publication, fire spread and fire effects are integrated with ecohydrology in the new RHESSys-WMFire model and used to explore contrasting short- and long-term climate effects on fire in the Sierra Nevada.

Kennedy, M.C., Bart, R.R., Tague, C.L., Choate, J.S. (2021) Does hot and dry equal more wildfire? Contrasting short- and long-term climate effects on fire in the Sierra Nevada, CA., Ecosphere 12( 7):e03657. doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.3657

E-Book Publication

Naomi Tague edited a new Frontiers in Forests and Global Change E-Book, featuring articles on the research topic ‘Forest Management Alters Forest Water Use and Drought Vulnerability’, including Tague Team Lab member Burke et al.’s paper “Understanding How Fuel Treatments Interact With Climate and Biophysical Setting to Affect Fire, Water, and Forest Health: A Process-Based Modeling Approach“, and Tague et al.’s editorial article on the topic. The E-Book and all the individual articles are available for download.

Tague, C., Hurteau, M.D., Parolari, A. (2021) Editorial: Forest Management Alters Forest Water Use and Drought Vulnerability, Frontiers in Forests and Global Change 4: 671437. doi.org/10.3389/ffgc.2021.671437

Modeling effects of long term management practices on water supplies after cropland abandonment

In this publication, RHESSys was used to analyze long‐term changes and annual and seasonal trends in streamflow & transpiration following management strategies of abandoned cropland areas in the Mediterranean basin.

Khorchani, M., Nadal‐Romero, E., Lasanta, T., Tague, C. (2021) Natural revegetation and afforestation in abandoned cropland areas: Hydrological trends and changes in Mediterranean mountains, Hydrological Processes, e14191. doi.org/10.1002/hyp.14191

What happens to ecosystem services after cropland abandonment?

The study in this new publication used the RHESSys model to explore different treatment options after cropland abandonment – illustrating the need to take plant succession and hydrological dynamics into account when designing land management strategies to preserve water resources in Mediterranean mountain areas.

Khorchani, M., Nadal-Romero, E., Lasanta, T., Tague, C. (2021) Effects of vegetation succession and shrub clearing after land abandonment on the hydrological dynamics in the Central Spanish Pyrenees, Catena 204: 105374. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2021.105374