Presenter: Dr. Shishir Basant, Texas A&M University
Over the past two centuries, grasslands and savannas have been greatly altered by woody plant encroachment (WPE), i.e., increasing dominance of woody plants in savannas over time. Woody plant encroachment can have a significant impact on the water budget which has been well documented in some parts of the world – such as the Southwest and the Great Plains in the United States. However, relative to the extensive knowledge about WPE ‘s impact on hydrology, much less is known and documented about grassland hydrology.
In this talk, Dr. Basant will present findings from a subhumid woody encroached savanna ecosystem, used as a model landscape to understand how hydrological connectivity changes in the context of overgrazing, woody encroachment, and grassland recovery. The resulting hypothesized progression of this landscape suggests a very different hydrological state for this landscape, but also leaves the question – what did the pre-settlement grasslands look like (hydrologically)?
This webinar is part of the Oak Woodlands and Forests Fire Consortium's 2023 Fall-Winter Webinar Series.