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SWRC Bulletin (Winter 2009)
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The SWRC Bulletin

Sound Science for Water Decisions

Winter 2009

Latest Science Results (not yet published)

(click on title for more information)


Characteristics of Coarse Sediment Transported in Low-order Channels on the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed, Arizona


Crop Stress


Latitudinal patterns of interannual variability in net ecosystem exchange


An alternative constraint to the U.S.carbon sink based on MODIS and Ameriflux


Watershed Research Approach In Mexico: Results In Contrasting Watersheds


Soil Evaporation Response to Lehmann Lovegrass ( Eragrostis lehmanniana)

Invasion in a Semiarid Watershed

Highlight from Recently Published Research:

There are 81 USDA experimental watersheds, forests and ranges with data records of more than 20 years measuring important ecosystem dynamics, such as variations in vegetation, precipitation, climate, runoff, water quality and soil moisture.    More than 40 sites have coincident long-term measurements of basin-scale vegetation dynamics and temporally continuous measurements of meteorological conditions and precipitation events.    Three areas of investigation were identified to best exploit the unique spatial distribution and long-term data of USDA experimental sites: convergence, cumulative synthesis and autocorrelation.    From Moran et al., 2008, Ecohydrology (    SWRC Scientist Catlow Shipek compiled a mountain of information into this concise graphic.

Papers Published 2nd Half 2008:

Moran, M.S., Scott, R.L., Keefer, T.O., Emmerich, W.E., Hernandez, M., Nearing, G.S., Paige, G.B., Cosh, M.H., O'Neill, P.E. 2009. Partitioning evapotranspiration in semiarid grassland and shrubland ecosystems using time series of soil surface temperature. J. Ag. & Forest Meteorology. 149:59 72. (944 KB PDF)

Potts, D.L., Scott, R.L., Cable, J.M., Huxman, T.E., Williams, D.G. 2008. Sensitivity of mesquite shrubland CO2 to precipitation in contrasting physiographic settings. Ecology. 89(10):2900-2910. (264 KB PDF)

Rhoton, F., Emmerich, W., DiCarol, D., McChesney, D., Nearing, M., Ritchie, J. 2008. Identification of suspended sources using soil characteristics in a semiarid watershed. Soil Science Society of America. 72(4): 1102-1112. (1.01 MB PDF)

Xiao, J., Zhuang, Q., Baldocchi, D., Law, B., Richardson, A., Chen, J., Oren, R., Starr, G., Noormets, A., Ma, S., Verma, S., Wharton, S., Wofsy, S., Bolstad, P., Burns, S., Cook. D., Curtis, P., Drake, B., Falk, M., Fischer, M., Foster, D., Gu, L., Hadley, J., Hollinger, C., Katul, G., Litvak, M., Martin, T., Matamala, R., McNulty, S., Meyers, T., Monson, R,, Munger, J., Oechel, W., Paw U, K., Schmid, H., Scott, R., Sun, G., Suyker, A., Torn, M. 2008. Estimation of Net Ecosystem Carbon Exchange for the Conterminous United States by Combining MODIS and AmeriFlux Data. Ag. & Forest Meteorology. 148:1827-1847. (4 MB PDF)

Verhoest, N.E.C., Lievens, H., Wagner, W., ?lvarez-Mozos J., Moran, M.S., Mattia F. 2008. On the soil roughness parameterization problem in soil moisture retrieval of bare surfaces from Synthetic Aperture Radar. Sensors. 2008, 8:4213-4248; DOI: 10.3390/s8074213. (254 KB PDF)

Sanchez-Cohen, I., Moreno, J.M.M., Spring, U.O., Heilman, P., Gonzalez Barrios, J.L., Padilla, G.D., Velasquez Valle, M. 2008. Integrated water management research in Mexico: Opportunity for North American collaboration. J. of Soil and Water Conservation. 63(6): 212A-231A. (349 KB PDF)

Moran, M.S., Peters, D.C., McClaren, M.P., Nichols, M.H., Adams, M.B. 2008. Long-term data collection at USDA experimental sites for studies of ecohydrology. Ecohydrology. 1:377-393. (432 KB PDF)

Zreda, M., Desilets, D., Ferre, T.P.A., Scott, R.L. 2008. Measuring soil moisture content non-invasively at intermediate spatial scale using cosmic-ray neutrons. Geophysical Research Letters. 35:L21402. (227 KB PDF)

Our full publication list is available at:

Future Science Events:

Click here for information about upcoming conferences and workshops, including the 6th Annual RISE Symposium at University of Arizona.

Rainfall Report:

WGEW and SRER data can be downloaded from the web site at
Geographic locations of the three precipitation records can be found at /ARSUserFiles/20221000/images/sw_az3.jpg



SWRC Scientists won big national awards in 2008, including the ARS Award for Excellence in Information to Jason Wong, the ARS Technology Transfer Award to the Team AGWA, and election of Susan Moran for AAAS Fellow. Click here for more information.

Staff News:

Click here for staff news, including Bill Emmerich's and Waite Osterkamp's retirements, new hires Zach Sugg, Leonard Cratic III and James Gregory, fellowship reports from Dave Goodrich and Mark Nearing, and SWRC Scientists Mary Nichols and John Smith in the news.

SWRC Bulletin:

Contact the SWRC Research Leader, Dr. Mark Nearing at 520-670-6381 x152 or  Mailing address is USDA ARS SWRC, 2000 E. Allen Rd., Tucson, AZ 85719 and web address is  The SWRC Bulletin is online at /News/News.htm?modecode=53-42-45-00.

SWRC Mission:

To develop knowledge and technology to conserve water and soil in semi-arid lands.