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.
This new publication highlights the importance of evaluating the combined effects of biomass-reduction on transpiration of the remaining vegetation along with streamflow, as the hydrologic responses of both are intricately linked. By accounting for changes in vegetation, the vegetation-change water balance developed in this study provided an improved assessment of watershed-scale forest health benefits associated with forest biomass reductions.
In this new publication “How climate change and fire exclusion drive wildfire regimes at actionable scales” , the authors modeled the drivers that dominate fire regimes at management-relevant scales, finding that spatial estimates of soil aridity can provide a relatively simple, first-order indicator of where in a watershed fire regime is climate vs. fuel-limited and where fire regimes are most vulnerable to change.
Hanan, E.J., Ren, J., Tague, C.L., Kolden, C.A., Abatzoglou, J.T, Bart, R.R., Kennedy, M.C., Liu, M., Adam, J.C. (2020) How climate change and fire exclusion drive wildfire regimes at actionable scales, Environmental Research Letters doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/abd78e
Congratulations to TagueTeamLab collaborator and friend Dr. Maureen Kennedy – Assistant Professor, University of Washington Tacoma, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Division of Sciences and Mathematics – on her newly granted tenure last month! Dr. Kennedy incorporated fire spread modeling into the RHESSys model = RHESSys-Fire.
In this new publication, the authors examine urban energy flux variability across landcover and climate gradients of urbanized Los Angeles County by using high resolution remote sensing combined with spatially distributed simulations with an urban energy balance model, covering the complete diurnal cycle of the remote sensing flights.
In this new publication “Visualization and ecohydrologic models: Opening the box“, authors Naomi Tague and James Frew outline a framework for increasing the usefulness of ecohydrologic models through better visualization. Paper published as early view in Hydrological Processes special issue “WOMEN ADVANCING RESEARCH IN HYDROLOGICAL PROCESSES”.
Tague, C., Frew, J. (2020) Visualization and ecohydrologic models: Opening the box, Hydrological Processes 1– 13. doi.org/10.1002/hyp.13991
Remote Sensing of Urban Vegetation during Drought in Southern California
UCSB Geography PhD student and Tague Team Lab member David Miller’s Final Defense will be on Friday, December 4, 2020 at 12:00 PM (PST) via Zoom (contact us for connection information)
Advisor: Joe McFadden
Committee Members: Dar Roberts and Naomi Tague
Abstract: During 2012-2016, California experienced one of the most severe droughts in its modern history, with limited precipitation and exceptionally high temperatures over an extended time period. Urban vegetation, such as trees and turfgrass lawns, provides many benefits, or ecosystem services, for people living in cities. For example, urban plants can cool their surroundings through shading and latent heat loss from evapotranspiration. These benefits may be difficult to maintain through extreme drought, especially in water-limited cities, and different types of vegetation may have different responses to drought. In this dissertation, I used remote sensing time series to quantify how urban vegetation responded to drought in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, California.
In Chapter 1, I examined drought response in turfgrass and across nineteen urban tree species in the city of Santa Barbara using data from repeat flights of the Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) and AVIRIS-Next Generation (AVIRIS-NG). I compared many spectral indicators that may be expected to change within plant canopies during drought.
In Chapter 2, I evaluated how drought manifests seasonally and interannually during 2010-2019 across dominant types of trees and grass in the Santa Barbara area using Landsat and AVIRIS imagery. I compared the condition of dominant types of trees and grasses as they changed throughout the year using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), difference in vegetation land surface temperature from impervious surfaces (∆LST), and equivalent water thickness (EWT). I also assessed the correlations of NDVI and ∆LST with the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) to test to the effects of drought length and severity on vegetation.
In Chapter 3, I assessed annual changes in fractional cover of trees, turfgrass, non-photosynthetic vegetation (NPV; e.g., senesced grass, plant litter), and non-vegetated urban surfaces across the Los Angeles metropolitan area during 2013-2018 using AVIRIS imagery. I also compared vegetation changes based on median household income and estimates of outdoor water use.