The Ecohydrology of Woody Plant Encroachment: How the Conversion of Grasslands to Woodlands is Altering the Water Cycle

Water Events

2020 Distinguished Lecture Series


Bradford P. Wilcox is the Sid Kyle Professor of Semiarid Ecohydrology at Texas A&M University in the Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology. He has been a faculty member at Texas A&M since 2000. Prior to that was the Chief Scientific Officer at the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (1996-2000) and a research hydrologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory (1991-1996). His research focus is on understanding the linkage between vegetation cover and the water cycle—in particular how changes in vegetation cover may alter streamflow, groundwater recharge, and soil water dynamics. Although he has worked in many vegetation types including forests, high elevation grasslands and wetlands, the preponderance of his research has been in woodlands, shrublands and savannas. An overarching question is how is woody plant encroachment altering the ecohydrology of these landscapes. The answer is surprisingly complex and depends on many factors including climate, underlying soils, depth to groundwater and geology. In the last decade, he has increasingly focused on developing and leading large interdisciplinary projects aimed at understanding woody plant encroachment as a coupled human-natural system phenomena. He is currently leading a $10M project funded by the US Department of Agriculture aimed at developing innovative management strategies for managing woody plants on rangelands across the Great Plains Region of the United States.

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Discussion Paper (click to read)

When savannas recover from overgrazing, ecohydrological connectivity collapses

Event Details

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM CST