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We study the many aspects of how water moves through ecosystems, from rainfall to wetlands, rivers, and groundwater; and how water interacts with terrestrial ecosystems. As such, we are an interdisciplinary lab with interests in several fields including plant physiology, ecosystem ecology, soil science, and hydrogeology. Our two primary questions are: 1) how does ecosystem structure and function affect ecosystem water yield, and 2) how does water availability affect ecosystem structure and function?  We use a variety of tools ranging from direct measurement of plant abundance and function to watershed-level modeling to answer these broad questions. We also partner with a variety of experts from academia, government agencies, and private organizations. Internal collaborators include aquatic biologists and forest ecologists, while external collaborators include plant physiologists, engineers, and geologists. Lastly, our outreach efforts focus on both small and large forest landowners, natural resource managers, and other stakeholders interested in the benefits of longleaf pine for ecosystem services.


The lab is excited to partner with Frances O’Donnell and Matt Waters at Auburn University and the Aquatic Biology lab on a new USDA AFRI grant to study the role of isolated wetlands in mitigating non-point source pollution. A detailed project description can be found here.

Check out our recent outreach article on Longleaf Pine Restoration for Water Resources in Summer 2020 issue of The Longleaf Leader.

Tune-in to our presentations at the virtual Ecological Society Annual meeting:

          • What has the greatest effect on sap-flow: a prescribed fire, a hurricane, or a solar eclipse? Presented by Steven Brantley. 
          • When fire is suppressed, pine woodlands lose water. Presented by Stribling Stuber.
          • Grass-stage seedling physiology: water use under droughty conditions differ across soil types. Presented by Monica Harmon.
          • Understanding the structure and function of longleaf pine savanna affected by Hurricane Michael. Presented by Gavin Kenney.
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