seeks to understand the connections between vegetation and water
flow/quantity on the landscape. How much water is there in the soil,
whether the soil gets flooded and for how long, whether there is a flow
of water for part of the year, all these can determine which plants
grow at a certain area.
At the same time, vegetation can
have feedbacks upon the water cycle in various ways.
amounts of water are taken up from the soil by plants and passed on to
the atmosphere via transpiration, where they may condense and return to
the same area as rain. In river deltas and wetlands, emergent plants
can create resistance to flow of water, thereby causing greater rates
The sheer variety of ecosystems on Earth and the abiotic factors that
affect the water cycle (climate, soil, topography) results in diverse
ways in which these interactions occur. An understanding of the
factors operating at a site is required for effective watershed
management that has to achieve divergent goals of water supply, flood
protection and ecosystem preservation.
So within this general framework of ecohydrology, I am focussing on
understanding how different water sources and nutrient availability
affects plant community and species diversity. How different
plants position themselves in niches along a spatial and temporal
gradient of nutrient availability and soil moisture. And how vegetation
can change their local environment to create favorable conditions
conduicive to their survival. My study sites are in the Everglades
of south Florida, USA and the cerrado ecosystem in the Distrito
Federal, central Brazil.
A) Biocomplexity of hydrologically controlled ecosystems
Within the broad realm of the above NSF funded project, a
collaboration between researchers in Miami, Brazil and Argentina, I am
undertaking the following projects:
1. Water source and nutrient utilization in upland ecosystems in the Everglades National Park, Florida, USA
2. Does hydraulic lift aid nutrient aquisition in the nutrient poor cerrado ecosystem of central Brazil ?
B) Current Collaborations
Apart from these projects, I am also involved in other projects
connected with plant ecophysiology, soil respiration and tree island
1. Physiological measurements (sapflow, water potential) in trees near
and far from ant nests in southern amazon-cerrado transition forests,
Mato Grosso, Brazil
2. Carbonshed isotope characterization in Colorado rockies
3. Tree island modeling
Some images from my CURRENT field sites.
Amazon - Cerrado transition, Mato Grosso, Brazil
Exotic grass in the cerrado ecosystem, Brazil
A treeisland, sawgrass and slough, Everglades, USA
Thick fissured bark in fireprone cerrado, Brazil
Woodlands in the cerrado savanna, Brazil
Canopy of a Pine rockland, Everglades, USA