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Our mission is to develop new ways of measuring, understanding, and predicting the coupling of ecological and hydrological processes and associated non-linear and threshold responses in water-limited ecosystems along the grassland-forest continuum.

We seek to enable improved decision making and management for issues of land use, pollution, and global change.

Dr. Jason Field receives an award from University of Arizona President Robert Shelton

Research Topics

Woody-herbaceous plant interactions and dynamics  
Gradients of  woody vegetation: grassland/shrubland/woodland/forest  
Scaling from vegetation patches to ecosystems  
Ecohydrology: Ecological-hydrological relationships
Precipitation, soil water, and plant-available water  
Redistribution of water and nutrients via runoff and erosion  
Drought impacts on vegetation and erosion  
Fire impacts on vegetation and erosion  
Wind vs. water erosion  
Soil carbon patterns and dynamics  
Soil carbon measurement-Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS)  
Quantifying and modeling spatial heterogeneity in environmental properties  
Threshold changes in ecosystem properties  
Biophysical scaling relationships  
Global change impacts  
Land use and management    
Contaminant transport and containment / radioecology
Dryland ecosystems

Lab Personnel

Dr. David D. Breshears Professor and UA Theme Leader for Ecosystem Sciences
Dr. Darin J. Law
Senior Research Specialist

Dr. Jason P. Field 
Post Doctoral Fellow

Henry Adams  Ph.D. Candidate and USDA Ecohydrology Fellow 
Lab Alumni
Dr. Juan C. Villegas  
Dr. Chris B. Zou
Dr. Haiyan Wei 
Jennifer Davison 
Patrick Royer 
Luis Merino Martin Visiting Ph.D. Student from the Universidad de Alcalá Spain  
Anna Urgeghe Visiting Ph.D. Student from the Universidad de Alicante, Spain
Past Lab REU Students and Technicians

Job Resources

ESA Physiological Ecology Job Listing | USDA ARS Job  SSSA Job Announcement | Canada Forestry Job | New Zealand | Australia CSIRO | University of Arizona School of Natural Resources

Professional Tools

 UA PowerPoint Template | ISPE Poster Guidance

Affiliations & Collaborations

NEON | COREO | DIREnet | SAHRA | CSIRO Atherton | LANL| Colorado State University | Wiley Award      

Current & Previous Sponsors

TRIF Arizona

Dr. Jason Field, Dr. Dave Breshears, and Dr. Ted Zobeck

Recent Live Interviews Regarding Dr. Field's Research:

ABC15 Phoenix

New Publication:

The Ecology of Dust, Dr. Jason P. Field et. al.

Field J. P., D. D. Breshears, J. C. Neff, G. S. Okin, J. J. Whicker, T. H. Painter, S. Ravi, M. C. Reheis, R. L. Reynolds. 2009. The Ecology of Dust. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.


Press on Dr. Field's Publication:more than 25 major newspapers from around the United States featured Dr. Field's publication, please read the article by following this link:Scientists take a new look at impact of dust

University of Arizona News

Austin, Texas

Phoenix, Arizona

Wichita, Kansas

Anchorage, Alaska

Boise, Idaho

Modesto Bee, Modesto, California

Miami, Florida

Kansas City, Kansas

Bellingham, Washington

Fort Worth, Texas

Fresno, California

Blogs on Dr. Field's Publication:

Condensation Nuclei

Dr. Jason P. Field's Related Papers on Soils and Erosion:

Field, J. P.., D. D. Breshears, and J. J. Whicker. 2009. Toward a more holistic perspective of soil erosion: Why aeolian research needs to explicitly consider fluvial processes and interactions. Aeolian Research 1: 9-17.

Breshears, D. D., J. J. Whicker, C. B. Zou, J. P. Field, and C. D. Allen. 2009. A conceptual framework for dryland aeolian sediment transport along the grassland-forest continuum: Effects of woody plant canopy cover and disturbance. Geomorphology 105: 28-38.

Field, J.P., K.W. Farrish, B.P. Oswald, M.T. Romig, and E.A.Carter. 2005. Forest site preparation effect on soil and nutrient losses in east Texas. American Society of Agricultural Engineers 48(2) :861-869

Field, J.P., K.W.Farrish, and E.A.Carter. 2003. Soil and nutrient losses following site preparation burning in a harvested loblolly pine site. American Society of Agricultural Engineers 46(6): 861-869

Additional Papers of Jason's Currently in Review:

Field, J. P., D. D. Breshears, J. J. Whicker, and C. B. Zou. In Review. Dust amplification and capture among vegetation patch types: Support for underlying desertification assumptions.

Field, J. P., D. D. Breshears, J. J. Whicker, C. B. Zou. In Review. How grazing and burning differentially alter wind and water erosion: Implications for Rangelands.

Field, J. P., D. D. Breshears, J. J. Whicker, and C. B. Zou. In Review. A dustier future under global -change-type erosion?

Dr. Breshears' Lab Papers on Drought, Evapotranspiration, and Ecohydrology Themes:


McDowell, N. G., D. J. Beerling, D. D. Breshears, R. A. Fisher, K. F. Raffa, and M. Stitt.  2011. The interdependence of mechanisms underlying climate-driven vegetation mortality. Trends in Ecology and Evolution doi:10.1016/j.tree.2011.06.003.


Adams, H. D., A. K. Macalady, D. D. Breshears, C. D. Allen, N. L. Stephenson, S. R. Saleska, T. E. Huxman, and N. G. McDowell.  2010.  Climate-Induced tree mortality:  Earth system consequences.  EOS 91(17):  153-154.

Allen, C. D., A. I. Macalady, H. Chenchouni, D. Bachelet, N. McDowell, M. Vennetier, T. Kitzberger, A. Rigling, D. D. Breshears, E. H. Hogg, P. Gonzalez, R. Fensham, Z. Zhang, J. Castro, N. Demidova, J-H Lim, G. Allard, S. W. Running, A. Semerci, and N. Cobb.  2010.  A global overview of drought and heat-induced tree mortality reveals emrging climate change risks for forests.  Forest Ecology and Management 259(4): 660-684.

D. D. Breshears, and J. A. Ludwig.  2010. Near-ground solar radiation along the grassland-forest continuum: Tall-tree canopy architecture imposes only muted trends and heterogeneity.  Austral Ecology 35(1):  31-40.

Koepke, D. F., T. E. Kolb, and H. D. Adams.  2010.  Variation in woody plant mortality and dieback from severe drought among soils, plant groups, and species within a northern Arizona ecotone.  Oecologia 163: 1079-1090.

Law D. J., and D. M. Finch. 2010. Hydrologic, abiotic and biotic interactions: Plant density, windspeed, leaf size and groundwater all affect oak water use efficiency. Ecohydrology DOI: 10.1002/eco.172.

Ravi, S., D. D. Breshears, T. E. Huxman, and P. D'Odorico.  2010. Land degradation in drylands: Interactions among hydrologic-aeolian erosion and vegetation dynamics.  Geomorphology 116(3-4): 236-245.

Reiley, D. K., D. D. Breshears, P. H. Zedler, M. H. Ebinger, and C. W. Meyer.  2010.  Soil carbon heterogeneity in piñon-juniper woodland patches:  Effect of woody plant variation on neighboring intercanopies is not detectable.  Journal of Arid Environments 74: 239-246.

Royer, P. D., D. D. Breshears, C. B. Zou, N. S. Cobb, and S. A. Kurc.  2010. Ecohydrological energy inputs in semiarid coniferous gradients: Resonses to management- and drought-induced tree reductions.  Forest Ecology and Management 260: 1646-1655.

Urgeghe, A. M., D. D. Breshears, S. N. Martens, and P. C. Beeson.  2010. On the ecohydrological optimality of herbaceous capture of run-on.  Rangeland Ecology and Management 63(5): 497-504.

Villegas, J. C., D. D. Breshears, C. B. Zou, and D. J. Law.  2010. Ecohydrological controls of soil evaporation in deciduous drylands: How the hierarchical effects of litter, patch and vegetation mosaic cover interact with phenology and season.  Journal of Arid Environments 74(5): 595-602.

Wang L. X, K. K. Caylor, J. C. Villegas, G. A. Barron-Gafford, D. D. Breshears, and T. E. Huxman. 2010. Partitioning evapotranspiration across gradients of woody plant cover: Assessment of a stable isotope technique. Geophysical Research Letters 37: L09401.

Zou, C. B., P. D. Royer, and D. D. Breshears. 2010. PDensity-dependent shading patterns by Sonoran saguaros. Journal of Arid Environments 74(1): 156-158.

Related Reports:

Climate Change:  Agencies Should Develop Guidance for Addressing the Effects on Federal Land and Water Resources. Complete Report ( GAO-07-863) | Highlights

Selecet Awards:

  • Henry Adams 2008 American Geophysical Union, Hydrology Section Outstanding Student Paper Award
  • Dr. David Breshears is one of 20 scients from across North American awarded a Leopold Leadership Fellowship to participtae in a leadership program at Standford University's Wood's Institute for the Environment
  • Jennifer Davison 2007 ISPEFest Poster Award 2nd Place
  • Chris B. Zou 2007 Outstanding Staff in research award for College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Juan Villegas 2007 International Development Research Centre, Canada. Financial assistance to attend the Fourth International Conference on Fog, Fog Collection and Dew
  • Juan Villegas 2007 Water Sustainability Program. Student fellowship Award ($18,000)
  • Jason P. Field 2006
  • David D. Breshears 2006 School of Natural Resources Scholarly Achievement Award (video clip)
  • Chris B. Zou 2006 Kel Fox Presentation Award 2006
  • Jason Field 2006 Kel Fox Award 2006
  • Jason Field 2006 ISPE Travel Awards 2006

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Latest Update (12 September 2011)

Terrestrial Ecology Lab

228 Biological Science Building East

University of Arizona, 1311 E 4th Street, Tucson, AZ 85721

Ph: 520-621-7259

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