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Welcome to the Princeton Ecohydrology Lab Website!

We've recently moved into a new site, so please let us know if you have any comments or - more likely - find any missing or dead links.

  • Dryland Ecohydrology

    Life in dryland savanna ecosystems is reliant on the spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall. In order to understand the impacts of changes in rainfall on woody vegetation patterns, our group has developed a set of modeling approaches that combine existing stochastic soil water balance models with a resource trade-off hypothesis pertaining to the organization of dryland vegetation communities. This framework has provided a mathematically tractable optimization problem which we have applied to southern African savannas, the Rio Salado basin in the US southwest, and a central Kenyan ecosystem.

  • Isotope Hydrology

    Understanding the coupled interactions between hydrology and ecology requires new measurements of environmental process at the landscape level. To this end we are beginning to use stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen as a tool for partitioning land surface water vapor fluxes into evaporation and transpiration components. We have recently constructed a new eddy flux tower in Likipia, Kenya which will be outfitted with a laser-based isotope analyzer from Los Gatos Research. This instrument allows continuous δ18O and δ2H measurements (1 Hz) in water vapor. It has great potential to answer both theoretical (e.g., kinetic fractionations in soil evaporation) and practical questions (e.g., the effect of vegetation structure on evaporation/transpiration partition).

Interview in Scientific American

Kelly Caylor with Mt. Kenya in the background (Laikipia, Kenya). (Photo: Adam Wolf)
Kelly Caylor with Mt. Kenya in the background (Laikipia, Kenya). (Photo: Adam Wolf)

Kelly Caylor recently got interviewed by Kerry Klein for Scientific American. The complete conversion can be find on the USCS Science Communication Program’s website. An abbreviated version of this conversation appeared online at Scientific American.

Together, Kelly and Kerry discussed ecohydrology, farmers in sub-saharian Africa and the role of PulsePod in all that. Click below to see the interview!

Read more

New paper in Nature Climate Change

Lyndon Estes is the co-lead author on a paper that was recently published in Nature Climate Change and is currently highlighted on the front page of the journal. The article analyzes the climate costs of different lands relative to their potential food benefits and finds that converting Africa’s wet savannas into farmland would come at a high environmental cost and fail to meet some existing standards for renewable fuels. You can read a detailed description of the article, including comments from Lyndon and some of the other authors, HERE.

New paper in Nature Geoscience

Kaiyu Guan, Kelly Caylor and Adam Wolf recently published an article in Nature Geoscience and the article is currently on the front page of the journal’s website. The article investigates the decline in forest productivity associated with drought. The authors conclude that water availability exerts a first-order control on vegetation seasonality in tropical forests globally and that their proposed framework can help identify where tropical forests may be vulnerable or resilient to future hydroclimatic changes.