D. Scott Mackay, Professor, Department of Geography, and graduate program in Ecology, Evolution & Behavior
The hydrological and ecological consequences of rapid changes in climate and the global hydrological cycle are staggering. Widepsread and severe drought, massive mortaility of forests, and declining water available for growing food and producing fibre are just some of the consequences. We seek mechanistic understanding of these dynamics by looking through the lens of plant hydraulics, which describes water flow from the soil to the atmosphere through plant xylem, and in turn is a vital pathway for nutrient, carbon, and energy exchanges. We have recently turned to genomics to help refine our mechanistic understanding of plant responses to environmental change. We examine these mechanisms by combining empiricism, mathematical models, and data analytics. To faciliate our research we have developed the Terrestrial Regional Ecosystem Exchange Simulator (TREES), a coupled model of plant hydraulics, carbon & nitrogen dynamics, and hydrology.
Mackay, D.S., D.E. Roberts, B.E. Ewers, J.S. Sperry, N.G. McDowell, and W.T. Pockman. 2015. Interdependence of chronic hydraulic dysfunction and canopy processes can improve integrated models of tree response to drought. Water Resources Research, 51(8), 6156-6176, doi:10.1002/2015WR017244.
McDowell, N.G., R.A. Fisher, C. Xu, J.C. Domec, T. Holtta, D.S. Mackay, J.S. Sperry, A. Boutz, L. Dickman, N. Gehres, J.M. Limousin, A. Macalady, J. Martinez-Vilalta, M. Mencuccini, J.A. Plaut, J. Ogee, R.E. Pangle, D.P. Rasse, M.G. Ryan, S. Sevanto, R.H. Waring, A.P. Williams, E.A. Yepez, and W.T. Pockman. 2013. Tansley Review: Evaluating theories of drought-induced vegetation mortality using a multi-model-experiment framework. New Phytologist, 200, 304-321.
Mackay, D.S., B.E. Ewers, M.M. Loranty, E.L. Kruger, and S. Samanta. 2012. Bayesian analysis of canopy transpiration models: A test of posterior parameter means against measurements. Journal of Hydrology, 432-433, 75-83, doi: 10.1016/j.hydrol.2012.02.019.
Mackay, D.S., B.E. Ewers, M.M. Loranty, and E.L. Kruger. 2010. On the representativeness of plot size and location for scaling transpiration from trees to a stand. Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences, 115, G02016, doi:1029/2009JG001092.
Ewers, B.E., D.S. Mackay, and S. Samanta. 2007. Interannual consistency in canopy stomatal conductance control of leaf water potential across seven tree species. Tree Physiology, 27, 11-24.
> Integrating plant hydraulics with climate and hydrology to understand and predict responses to climate change
> A systems analysis of plant growth promotion by the rhizosphere microbiome
> Predicting genotypic variation in growth and yield under abiotic stress through biophysical process modeling
> Improving hydrologic representation in earth systems modeling
(see Hydrologic Process Team)
Relevant education and research:
Graduate Program in Evolution, Ecology, & Behavior
Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA)
Ecosystem Restoration through Interdisciplinary Exchange (ERIE)
Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science (CUAHSI)
Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (ChEAS)
Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory (SSHCZO)
American Carbon Program (NACP)
Web of Science ID
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