Schwinning Lab

Plant Ecology

Yang Tse

Texas Ecolab

Roadcut
A road cut exposes the complex below-ground environment tree roots must navigate.

The Plant Ecology Lab is participating in the Texas Ecolab Program, a partnership between land owners and the university to provide access to ecologically valuable, privately owned land for the purpose of conducting research. We are grateful to all our individual sponsors who have welcomed us over the years.

Our research has focused on examining landscape variability in water resources for tree growth and survival during drought. We are making our findings available to the landowners and the general public through our short Ecolab Reports. You are invited to peruse our first report below and we appreciate any feedback you may have.

Ecolab Report I: Patterns of tree mortality in the aftermath of the 2011 Texas Drought.

Ecolab Report II: The water sources of common trees in the Texas Hill Country.

 

 

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Lab News

Recent student presentations

Nathan Custer presented on his research at the Ecological Society of America Meeting in Portland. The title of his presentation was "Effect of transplant size on early survivorship". The paper was presented in a session on "Multiple Common Garden Experiments for Meeting Restoration Challenges: Difficulties and Potential Pitfalls" organized by Susanne Schwinning and Lesley DeFalco.

Highlighted publications

Schwinning, S., Meckel, H., Reichmann, L.G., Polley, H.W., Fay, P.A. 2017. Accelerated development in Johnsongrass seedlings (Sorghum halepense) suppresses the growth of native grasses through size-asymmetric competition. PLOS ONE 12, 20176042 pdf

Dammeyer, H.C., Schwinning, S., Schwartz, B., Moore, G. 2016. Effects of juniper removal and rainfall variation on tree transpiration in a semi-arid karst: Evidence of complex water storage dynamics. Hydrological Processes 30: 4568-4581. pdf

Other lab news

The lab welcomes two new graduate students:

Kayla Sustaita will examine the effects of adaptive rotational grazing on soil characteristics.

Logan Maxwell will investigate best restoration practices for abandoned oil and gas exploration fields in Utah.

The lab was awarded two federal grants in 2015:

NSF proposal : DEB-1557176: "Collaborative Research: Hydrological tipping points and desertification of semi-arid woodlands".

The DOD Legacy Award HQ0034-16-2-0006: "Characterizing Mojave Desert shrub ecotypes to establish seed transfer zones for military range restoration".

In the media

In August 2016, Susan was interviewed by Salwa Khan for the Wimberley Valley Radio show "Mothering Earth" Listen to the podcast here.

In September 2013, Susan was interviewed by Alan Knapp on a paper published in Functional Ecology. Listen to the podcast here.

Contact information
Susan Schwinning
601 University Drive
312 Supple Science Bldg
Texas State University
San Marcos, TX 78666, USA
Phone: (512) 245-3753
Fax: (512) 245-8713
Email: schwinn@txstate.edu

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Biology Department
Texas State University

Friend websites:

LanCES
TISI

Comments on the contents of this site should be directed to Susan Schwinning