Biophysical modeling of plant-environment interaction (Riha Research Group)

Program or topic

Biophysical modeling of plant-environment interaction (Riha Research Group)

Department(s) or unit(s)

  • Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Department of Crop and Soil Sciences

Contact information

Susan Riha
Director, NYS Water Resources Institute
Charles L. Pack Research Professor of Forest Soils
Dept. of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Program goals

To better understand the dynamic interactions of plants with their physical environment. This broad subject includes such topics as the effects of deforestation on the Amazon hydrological cycle, climate change and water competition in competitive zones of agriculture, the effects of climate change on agricultural practices such as herbicide use, and carbon dioxide out gassing in the Amazon.

Brief description

With current climate predictions calling for an increased frequency of drought and flooding events due to changes in the annual distribution of rainfall, water resource managers and researchers are faced with an ever increasing array of challenges. Dr. Riha and her research group are addressing these issues of change in New York State and throughout the world with cutting-edge research that uses biophysical models to analyze experimental data and address applied ecological problems. This research has greatly contributed to our understanding of the effect of flooding on plant-water relations, the impact of soil drying on plant growth and water use, and the importance of different surfaces to vapor transport under various crop, forestry, and agroforestry systems.

For more information


Key Publications:

  • Johnson, M.S., M. Weiler, E.G. Couto, S. Riha and J. Lehmann. 2007. Storm pulses of dissolved CO2 in a forested headwater Amazonian stream explored using hydrograph separation. Water Resources Research. (In press).
  • Feldpausch, T.R., C. Prates-Clark, E.C.M. Fernandes and S.J. Riha. 2007. Secondary forest growth deviation from chronosequence predictions in central Amazonia. Global Change Biology. 13, 967-979.

Category: Agricultural, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Ecosystems, Freshwater, Land use, Natural resources, Research, Terrestrial, Water/flooding

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