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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 publications on modeling the effects of fire on vegetation

In this new publication in Ecological Modelling, the authors address the relationship between ecohydrology and wildfire and the representation of fire effects on vegetation carbon in ecohydrologic models, which requires a fully coupled modeling approach where wildfire and its effects co-evolve with ecohydrologic processes. Here they present the integration of a fire-effects model that is coupled to the distributed ecohydrologic model RHESSys and the fire-spread model WMFire. 

Bart, R.R., Kennedy, M.C., Tague, C.L., McKenzie, D. (2019) Integrating fire effects on vegetation carbon cycling within an ecohydrologic model, Ecological Modelling 416(2020): 108880. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2019.108880

Coupling fire spread with ecohydrology to simulate future fire regimes

Last week, Tague Team Lab friend and collaborator Maureen Kennedy (Assistant Professor, University of Washington, Tacoma) presented “Projecting future fire regimes and watershed dynamics requires coupling fire spread with ecohydrology” at the 8th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress in Tuscon, Arizona. Preliminary results were presented from the coupled WMFire fire spread/RHESSys Hydro-Ecological model used to evaluate which watershed ecosystem services and fire regime characteristics are most sensitive to dimensions of climate change.

Kennedy, M.C., Bart, R., Tague, C.L., McKenzie, D. (2019) Projecting future fire regimes and watershed dynamics requires coupling fire spread with ecohydrology, Association for Fire Ecology: 8th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress, Nov. 18-22, 2019, Tuscon, Arizona.

New Publication: does forest thinning enhance the activity & growth of remaining trees?

In this new publication, the authors conducted a large-scale thinning experiment in a semi-arid pine afforestation in the Yatir forest, located at the northern edge of the Negev desert, Israel. RHESSys was also used to upscale tree-scale measurements.

Tsamir, M., Gottlieb, S., Preisler, Y., Rotenberg, E., Tatarinov, F., Yakir, D., Tague, C., Klein, T., Stand density effects on carbon and water fluxes in a semi-arid forest, from leaf to stand-scale, Forest Ecology and Management 453: 117573. doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2019.117573

New WRR Publication

In this new publication, authors Gabrielle Boisrame, Sally Thompson, Naomi Tague, and Scott Stephens use RHESSys to look at the hydrologic response of a restored fire regime in a basin within Yosemite National Park, California.

Boisrame, G.F.S, Thompson, S.E., Tague C., Stephens, S.L. (2019) Restoring a Natural Fire Regime Alters the Water Balance of a Sierra Nevada Catchment, WRR https://doi.org/10.1029/2018WR024098

New Publication -investigating forest thinning and the influence of subsurface features on water use and regeneration

In this new publication in Frontiers, authors Naomi (Christina) Tague and Max Moritz highlight the importance of accounting for site-specific variation, such as soil water storage capacity, in assessing how fuel treatments may interact with ecosystem water use and drought vulnerability, and ultimately downslope impacts on streamflow.

Tague, C.L., Moritz, M.A. (2019) Plant Accessible Water Storage Capacity and Tree-Scale Root Interactions Determine How Forest Density Reductions Alter Forest Water Use and Productivity, Frontiers in Forests and Global Change 2:36. doi.org/10.3389/ffgc.2019.00036

Congratulations Burke

Congratulations to Tague Team PhD student William Burke on successfully defending his PhD thesis proposal “The Ecohydrology of Fuels Treatments”.

William is developing and will integrate a new multi-scale routing method into the RHESSys model –  addressing limitations with current approaches – in order to better characterize and assess the effects of thinning methods on forests. Using this new method, he will assess how different thinning treatments and landscape characteristics interact and result in varying effects on forests, water, and fire.

Eco‐hydrologic impacts of forest density reduction in seasonally dry regions

In their new publication ” The changing water cycle: The eco‐hydrologic impacts of forest density reduction in Mediterranean (seasonally dry) regions“, authors Tague, Moritz, and Hanan, offer an eco‐hydrologic perspective that considers both how much water trees use (hydrology) but also how water availability affects forest ecophysiology and health (ecology). This eco‐hydrologic perspective helps to build a conceptual model of the mechanisms through which changes in forest structure and composition can influence water availability, forest productivity, and mortality patterns, particularly in Mediterranean‐climate regions, both during and after droughts.

Tague, C.L., Moritz, M., Hanan, E. (2019) The changing water cycle: The eco‐hydrologic impacts of forest density reduction in Mediterranean (seasonally dry) regions, WIREs 6(4). https://doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1350

Congratulations Heckman

Congratulations to Tague Team PhD student Chris Heckman on successfully defending his PhD thesis proposal “Forest resiliency through a sub-surface lens”.
Using the RHESSys model, Chris’s research explores how the vast variability in soil water storage across the Sierra Nevada will affect vegetation’s response to climate change.

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