||Research in our group focuses on
the roles of plants and microorganisms in ecosystem processes, especially
carbon, water, and nutrient cycling. A major thrust of our research examines
biogeochemical responses to global changes, such as rising atmospheric CO2,
climate change, N deposition, and altered land use. For example, we are
currently studying how elevated CO2 alters the hydrology of scrub woodlands,
and how increased temperature influences the nitrogen cycle in grasslands.
In addition to understanding ecosystem responses to such perturbations,
we are also interested in how ecosystem responses can feed back to alter
the pace and even direction of future global changes. A second major thrust
of our research addresses how single species can affect ecosystem processes,
for example, how infestation with the piñon-needle scale alters the
water budget of piñon-juniper woodlands, or how mycorrhizae influence
decomposition of fine roots.