Semiarid forests in the southwestern USA are generally restricted to mountain regions where complex terrain adds to the challenge of characterizing stand productivity. Among the heterogeneous features of these ecosystems, topography represents an important control on system-level processes including snow accumulation and melt. This basic relationship between geology and hydrology affects radiation and water balances… More

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At the seasonal time scale, daily photochemical reflectance index (PRI) measurements track changes in photoprotective pigment pools as plants respond to seasonally variable environmental conditions. As such, remotely sensed PRI products present opportunities to study seasonal processes in evergreen conifer forests, where complex vegetation dynamics are difficult to capture due to small annual changes in… More

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High-elevation montane forests are disproportionately important to carbon sequestration in semiarid climates where low elevations are dry and characterized by low carbon density ecosystems. However, these ecosystems are increasingly threatened by climate change with seasonal implications for photosynthesis and forest growth. As a result, we leveraged eddy covariance data from six evergreen conifer forest sites… More

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This study coupled long‐term hydrometric and stable water isotope data to identify links between subsurface water storage and vegetation in a subhumid mountain catchment in Arizona, USA. Specific observations included catchment‐scale hydrologic fluxes and soil water storage and stable water isotopes from stream water, soil water, groundwater, and sap water from Arizona pine (Pinus arizonica)… More

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Predicting fluid biogeochemistry in the vadose zone is difficult because of time‐dependent variation in multiple controlling factors, such as temperature, moisture, and biological activity. Furthermore, soils are multicomponent, heterogeneous porous media where manifold reactions may be affecting solution chemistry. We postulated that ecosystem‐scale processes, such as carbon fixation and ecohydrologic partitioning, control subsurface biogeochemical reactions,… More

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Most land surface models (LSMs) used in Earth System Models produce a lower ratio of transpiration (T) to evapotranspiration (ET) than field observations, degrading the credibility of Earth System Model-projected ecosystem responses and feedbacks to climate change. To interpret this model deficiency, we conducted a pair of model experiments using a three-dimensional, process-based ecohydrological model… More

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“Sky islands” are characteristic of sequential mountain-valley terrain where mountains form an island archipelago rising from surrounding valleys of desert “sea”. At high elevations in the Madrean sky islands of the southwestern United States (USA) and Mexico, mixed evergreen conifer forests occur near the latitudinal extent of their distribution. This setting provides a unique opportunity… More

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