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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.

AGU 2019 Representation

At the Dec. 9-13, 2019 AGU conference – Tague Team Lab members along with extended lab friends/collaborators/colleagues, as well as the RHESSys user community were well represented through numerous presentations and posters (listed below).

Naomi Tague – Ecohydrology and Eco-Informatics Linking theory and data to advance learning and discovery (Invited talk, Centennial – SWIRL, Lightning Talks II: Future Water)

Naomi Tague – Forest density reduction impacts on productivity, water use and drought resilience

William Burke – Multiscale Routing – Integrating the Tree-scale Effects of Disturbance into a Watershed Ecohydrologic Model

Janet Choate – Future Mountain: An interactive visualization of people, fire, water and climate in forested landscapes

Louis Graup – Spatial and temporal patterns of summer vegetative water stress resulting from snow drought

Rachel Torres – Estimating urban tree recovery after drought using an eco-hydrologic model parameterized by remote sensing data

Christopher Heckman – The role of sub-surface storage capacities in drought morality patterns along a hillslope in the Sierra Nevada, California

Ryan R Bart – Fuel treatment effects on forest mortality resistance and water yield during drought

Erin J Hanan – Don’t get too comfy: The postburn return of severe fire risk under climate change

Aubrey L Dugger – Assessing the Value of Integrating Remote-Sensing-Based Snow Products into the NOAA National Water Model for Seasonal Water Supply Prediction in the Western U.S.

Ryan Niemeyer – Restoration, Streamflow, and Stakeholder Engagement: Integrating Forest Owner & Manager Input with Hydro-Ecological Simulations

Clare Stephens – Model robustness to climate change: an experiment with the ecohydrologic model RHESSys

Jianning Ren – What Are the Relative Roles of Future Climate Change and Fire Suppression in Changing Wildfire Regime in Central Idaho?

Gabrielle F.S. Boisrame – Restoring a Natural Fire Regime Alters Streamflow, Snowpack, and Storage in a Sierra Nevada Catchment

Rebecca Gustine – Is forest management a safeguard against a climate change-altered wildfire regime in the City of Seattle’s largest source watershed?

Laurence Lin – Evaluating instream restoration effectiveness in reducing nitrogen export from an urban catchment with a coupled data-modeling approach

Taehee Hwang – Nonstationary Hydrologic Behavior in Forested Watersheds Is Mediated by Climate-Induced Changes in Growing Season Length and Subsequent Vegetation Growth

Mohammad Safeeq – Assessment of hydrologic impacts of climate change in the Sierra Nevada: comparisons between radiative change and CO2 fertilization

Ty Brandt – Assessing WRF’s Seasonal Quantitative Precipitation Estimates (QPE) in California’s Sierra Nevada Using the Airborne Snow Observatory

Charles Scaife – Evolution of Stormflow Thresholds in Long-Term Instrumented Catchments

Elizabeth M. B. Doran – Understanding Individual Action in Addressing Harmful Algal Blooms using a Social Ecological Integrated Assessment Model at the Watershed Scale

Jared David Smith – Bayesian Calibration of an Ecohydrological Model to inform Spatial Water Quality Risk Assessment and Green Infrastructure Siting

Chen Xu – Evaluation of ENSO Impact on Hydroclimatic Variability

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

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