Michael E Loik

Michael E Loik
University of California, Santa Cruz | UCSC · Department of Environmental Studies

Ph.D.

About

116
Publications
23,254
Reads
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6,616
Citations
Introduction
Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation & Mitigation; Ecology of Arid & Semi-Arid Ecosystems; Climate-Smart Agriculture & Forestry; Distributed Electricity Generation, Agrivoltaics
Additional affiliations
June 2016 - present
University of California, Santa Cruz
Position
  • Professor (Full)
July 2007 - June 2016
University of California, Santa Cruz
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 1998 - present
University of California, Santa Cruz
Education
September 1986 - June 1992
University of California, Los Angeles
Field of study
  • Plant Physiological Ecology
September 1984 - August 1986
University of Toronto
Field of study
  • Plant physiology

Publications

Publications (116)
Article
Full-text available
Effective utilization of water is the cornerstone of maintaining plant biomass. Water use efficiency (WUE), defined as plant carbon assimilated as biomass per unit of water input, is significantly affected by global change, particularly by nitrogen (N) deposition. Generally, N availability promotes WUE by stimulating photosynthetic. However, the de...
Article
Full-text available
Drought and competition affect how morphological and physiological traits are expressed in plants. California plants were previously found to respond less negatively to resource limitation compared to invasive counterparts. In a glasshouse in Santa Cruz, CA, USA, we exposed five native California C3 grassland species to episodic drought and competi...
Article
Full-text available
California is predicted to experience warmer temperatures and more frequent droughts in future years, which will increase local and regional climatic water deficit. Understanding how commonly used restoration species will respond to drought may help with approaches to mediate the negative impacts of changing climates on restoration. Associated plan...
Article
Climate change will increase uncertainty in restoration outcomes due to greater water stress and other abiotic filters that limit plant survival. Drought related plant functional traits can help species withstand filters in a semi‐arid environment. Our objective was to provide guidance for selecting species to improve restoration success in a chang...
Article
Full-text available
In coastal California, the peak growing season of economically important crops is concurrent with fog events, which buffer drought stress during the dry season. Coastal fog patterns are changing, so we quantified its effects on the energy, water, and carbon fluxes of a strawberry farm located in the fog‐belt of the Salinas Valley, California. We us...
Article
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Tropicalization is a term used to describe the transformation of temperate ecosystems by poleward‐moving tropical organisms in response to warming temperatures. In North America, decreases in the frequency and intensity of extreme winter cold events are expected to allow the poleward range expansion of many cold‐sensitive tropical organisms, someti...
Article
Soil microorganisms are essential participants in ecosystem processes, yet their composition, diversity, and function are affected by altered precipitation. The patterns and key processes driving the effects of changes in precipitation on soil bacterial and fungal communities remain unclear. To better understand how changes in precipitation may aff...
Article
Increased climatic variability can impact tree physiological processes beyond what is predicted from changes in mean conditions. We assessed the sensitivity of conifer saplings to spatial and temporal variability in meteorological conditions, taking advantage of the end of California’s historic drought and the exceedingly wet winter of 2017. We sou...
Article
Full-text available
Glasshouse films with adjustable light transmittance and energy‐efficient designs have the potential to reduce (up to 80%) the high energy cost for greenhouse horticulture operations. Whether these films compromise the quantity and quality of light transmission for photosynthesis and crop yield remains unclear. A “Smart Glass” film ULR‐80 (SG) was...
Article
Full-text available
Global change factors, such as variation in precipitation regimes and nitrogen (N) deposition, are likely to occur simultaneously and may have profound impacts on the relative abundance of grasses differing in functional traits, such as C3 and C4 species. We conducted an extreme drought and re-watering experiment to understand differences in the re...
Article
The effects of grazing and nitrogen addition on the spatial variability of soil respiration (SR) at fine spatial scales are poorly understood, which can lead to substantial uncertainty in estimations of soil CO 2 flux. Our objectives were to examine how changes in grassland structure and ecosystem properties in response to grazing and nitrogen addi...
Article
Anthropogenic climate change will alter regional hydrologic cycles around the world, in part by increasing the frequency or duration of droughts in some areas. The International Drought Experiment (IDE) is investigating the impact of severe drought on terrestrial vegetation by experimentally reducing precipitation at dozens of sites. Here we implem...
Article
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Climate change is already resulting in changes in cold desert ecosystems, lending urgency to the need to understand climate change effects and develop effective adaptation strategies. In this review, we synthesize information on changes in climate and hydrologic processes during the past century for the Great Basin and Columbia Plateau and discuss...
Article
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Nocturnal transpiration constitutes a significant yet poorly understood component of the global water cycle. Modeling nocturnal transpiration has been complicated by recent findings showing that stomata respond differently to environmental drivers over day- vs. night-time periods. Here, we propose that nocturnal stomatal conductance depends on ante...
Article
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Intraspecific variation in biomass production responses to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (eCO 2) could influence tree spe-cies' ecological and evolutionary responses to climate change. However, the physiological mechanisms underlying genotypic variation in responsiveness to eCO 2 remain poorly understood. In this study, we grew 17 Eucalyptus...
Article
The future resilience of coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) is now of critical concern due to the detection of a 33% decline in California coastal fog over the 20th century. However, ecosystem-scale measurements of photosynthesis and stomatal conductance are challenging in coast redwood forests, making it difficult to anticipate the impacts of f...
Article
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Global renewable electricity generation capacity has rapidly increased in the past decade. Increasing the sustainability of electricity generation and the market share of solar photovoltaics (PV) will require continued cost reductions or higher efficiencies. Wavelength-Selective Photovoltaic Systems (WSPVs) combine luminescent solar cell technology...
Article
Stressful episodic weather will likely affect the carbon balance of trees as the climate changes, potentially altering survival. However, the role of elevated [CO2] in tolerating “off-season” episodic extremes is not clear. We tested for interactive effects of elevated CO2 and springtime heat stress on photosynthesis for seven genotypes of Eucalypt...
Article
Full-text available
Intensification of the global hydrological cycle, ranging from larger individual precipitation events to more extreme multi-year droughts, has the potential to cause widespread alterations in ecosystem structure and function. With evidence that the incidence of extreme precipitation years (defined statistically from historical precipitation records...
Article
Full-text available
Quantifying the variation in plant–water relations and photosynthesis over environmental gradients and during unique events can provide a better understanding of vegetation patterns in a future climate. We evaluated the hypotheses that photosynthesis and plant water potential would correspond to gradients in precipitation and soil moisture during a...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the nature and magnitude of the regional climatic variations is a key factor for the development of adaptation and mitigation policies. Because of this, the present paper analyzes the minimum and maximum temperature and precipitation records made by meteorological stations located at the State of Mexico between 1978 and 2000. To do so...
Article
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Circadian resonance, whereby a plant's endogenous rhythms are tuned to match environmental cues, has been repeatedly shown to be adaptive, although the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Concomitantly, the adaptive value of nocturnal transpiration in C3 plants remains unknown because it occurs without carbon assimilation. These seemingly unrelat...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is intensifying the hydrologic cycle and is expected to increase the frequency of extreme wet and dry years. Beyond precipitation amount, extreme wet and dry years may differ in other ways, such as the number of precipitation events, event size, and the time between events. We assessed 1,614 long-term (100-year) precipitation records...
Article
Snowfall provides the majority of soil water in certain ecosystems of North America. We tested the hypothesis that snow depth variation affects soil water content, which in turn drives water potential (Ψ) and photosynthesis, over 10 years for two widespread shrubs of the western USA. Stem Ψ (Ψ stem) and photosynthetic gas exchange [stomatal conduct...
Article
Full-text available
The role of time in ecology has a long history of investigation, but ecologists have largely restricted their attention to the influence of concurrent abiotic conditions on rates and magnitudes of important ecological processes. Recently, however, ecologists have improved their understanding of ecological processes by explicitly considering the eff...
Data
Table S1. Table of sample plot locations, elevation, and distance to ocean. Table S2. Table of species composition (frequency and average cover) for plots by climate zone. Table S3. Table of environmental variables sorted by principle component scores. Figure S1. Cluster Analysis figure.
Article
We investigated the hypothesis that maritime climatic factors associated with summer fog and low cloud stratus (summer marine layer) help explain the compositional diversity of chaparral in the coast range of central California. We randomly sampled chaparral species composition in 0.1-hectare plots along a coast-to-interior gradient. For each plot,...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods The central coast of California is renowned as a hotspot of local endemism, especially in woody species that require fire-dependent recruitment. In this study, we investigate the hypothesis that climatic factors associated with the summer marine layer best explain chaparral composition patterns along the west central co...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Precipitation regimes that characterize extreme wet or dry years differ from average precipitation years in many ways besides amount. Yet, most experiments that manipulate precipitation focus on increasing or decreasing precipitation amount (annual or growing season) by a locally relevant magnitude. Much less attention...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Sagebrush steppe is one of the most widespread ecosystem types in the western U.S., yet also one of the most vulnerable to large-scale ecosystem conversion due to a positive feedback between the non-native species Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) and fire. One of the most ubiquitous invasive species in the western U.S., B....
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Atmospheric CO2 has risen 40% in the past 150 years, and heat waves (periods with a minimum of 5 days of air temperatures >5K above average maximum temperatures) have become far more frequent in Australia. There is genetic variation in plant response to elevated CO2, including within a single species, suggesting that t...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Forest ecosystems play an important role in maintaining climate stability as a vital carbon sink at regional and global scales. Changing climatic conditions are projected to alter the distribution, composition and productivity of forest ecosystems globally. Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs) have been used to cha...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change threatens the ability of agriculture and forestry to meet growing global demands for food, fibre, and wood products. Information gathered from genotype-by-environment interactions (G×E), which demonstrate intraspecific variation in phenotypic plasticity (the ability of a genotype to alter its phenotype in response to environmental ch...
Article
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Phenotypic plasticity is often considered important for invasive plant success, yet relatively few studies have assessed plasticity in both native and invasive populations of the same species. We examined the plastic response to temperature for Bromus tectorum populations collected from similar shrub-steppe envi-ronments in the Republics of Armenia...
Article
Soil microbial communities in Chihuahuan Desert grasslands generally experience highly variable spatiotemporal rainfall patterns. Changes in precipitation regimes can affect belowground ecosystem processes such as decomposition and nutrient cycling by altering soil microbial community structure and function. The objective of this study was to deter...
Article
Background/Question/Methods Increases in nitrogen (N) emissions and deposition have been occurring throughout the western U.S. over the last half-century as a result of industry, agriculture, and transportation. These increases have been associated with changes in plant community composition and invasive species spread, though not much work has b...
Article
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Enrichment planting in naturally recovering secondary forests or in tree plantations is increasingly being used as strategy to restore later-successional, large-seeded tropical forest trees. We seeded two tree species (Otoba novogranatensis and Ruagea glabra) in three agricultural sites in Southern Costa Rica: abandoned pastures, eight to ten year...
Article
Full-text available
Enrichment planting in naturally recovering secondary forests or in tree plantations is increasingly being used as strategy to restore later-successional, large-seeded tropical forest trees. We seeded two tree species ( Otoba novogranatensis and Ruagea glabra) in three agricultural sites in Southern Costa Rica: abandoned pastures, eight to ten year...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Snowfall is the dominant hydrologic input for high elevations and latitudes of the western United States. Many climate models envision changes in California’s Sierra Nevada snow pack characteristics, which would impact the hydrology and ecology of the plant communities of this range and adjacent arid lands. Snow pack w...
Article
Full-text available
Global change is likely to affect invasive species distribution, especially at range margins. In the eastern Sierra Nevada, California, USA, the invasive annual grass, Bromus tectorum, is patchily distributed and its impacts have been minimal compared with other areas of the Intermountain West. We used a series of in situ field manipulations to det...
Article
We examined large-scale climatic and small-scale biotic and abiotic factors affecting Pinus jeffreyi (Pinaceae) seedling establishment at its low-elevation boundary along the conifer forest-sagebrush steppe ecotone in eastern California, USA. In three successive growing seasons, P. jeffreyi seedlings were planted in three microhabitats (under Artem...
Article
Ecological responses to 50-year old manipulations of snow depth and melt timing were assessed using snow fences arrayed across 50 km of a shrub–conifer landscape mosaic in eastern California, USA. We compared how increased, decreased, and ambient snow depth affected patterns of vegetation community composition, fire fuel accumulation, and annual tr...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Snowfall is the dominant hydrologic input for high elevations and latitudes of the arid- and semi-arid western United States. Many climate models envision changes in California’s Sierra Nevada snow pack characteristics, which would severely impact the storage and release of water for one of the world’s largest economie...
Article
Mediterranean-type climate (MTC) regions around the world are notable for cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers. A dominant vegetation type in all five MTC regions is evergreen, sclerophyllous shrubland, called chaparral in California. The extreme summer dry season in California is moderated by a persistent low-elevation layer of marine fog and cl...
Article
Night-time stomatal conductance (g(night)) occurs in many ecosystems, but the g(night) response to environmental drivers is relatively unknown, especially in deserts. Here, we conducted a Bayesian analysis of stomatal conductance (g) (N=5013) from 16 species in the Sonoran, Chihuahuan, Mojave and Great Basin Deserts (North America). We partitioned...
Article
Alterations in seasonal precipitation have been demonstrated to have short-term effects on biochemical limitations to photosynthesis, but longer-term effects on plant biochemistry are generally unknown. This study explores the long-term impacts of altered precipitation on the photosynthetic biochemistry of seven dominant desert plants. Seasonal pre...
Article
Snowfall provides the majority of soil water recharge in many western high-elevation North American ecosystems, but climate change may alter the magnitude and timing of snowfall and snow melt events thereby affecting ecosystem processes. Experiments were conducted to test hypotheses about multi-scale linkages of antecedent snow depth variation with...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Precipitation, temperature, and other factors affect plant and ecosystem processes at multiple time scales, but a common assumption is that conditions at a given time directly affect processes at that same time period. Recent work in pulse-driven, semiarid systems shows that antecedent water availability averaged over...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Bromus tectorum L. is an exotic annual grass from Eurasia that has spread through much of the Great Basin Desert, displacing native plant communities and altering fire regimes. At high elevations, B. tectorum is present in small populations, but agents of global change may facilitate its spread. This research explores...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Snowfall is an important input of water in high-elevation and high-latitude arid and semi-arid ecosystems of western North America. Climate change may alter snowfall amounts and the timing of snowmelt, thereby altering seedling recruitment success. Our objective was to experimentally test hypotheses linking snow climate...
Article
Full-text available
The temperature response of soil respiration in deserts is not well quantified. We evaluated the response of respiration to temperatures spanning 67°C from seven deserts across North America and Greenland. Deserts have similar respiration rates in dry soil at 20°C, and as expected, respiration rates are greater under wet conditions, rivaling rates...
Article
Full-text available
Precipitation, soil water, and other factors affect plant and ecosystem processes at multiple time scales. A common assumption is that water availability at a given time directly affects processes at that time. Recent work, especially in pulse-driven, semiarid systems, shows that antecedent water availability, averaged over several days to a couple...
Article
Invasive plants are thought to be especially capable of range shifts or expansion in response to climate change due to high dispersal and colonization abilities. Although highly invasive throughout the Intermountain West, the presence and impact of the grass Bromus tectorum has been limited at higher elevations in the eastern Sierra Nevada, potenti...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Plant-herbivore relationships may be the most common type of biotic interaction on earth. Selection pressure from these interactions has shaped, via co-evolution, the communities as they exist today. Even subtle changes in abiotic conditions can alter these interactions and thus change both the plant and herbivore comm...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods The timing and magnitude of seasonal precipitation impacts the photosynthetic responses of plants in the major deserts of the United States (Great Basin, Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan). While many studies have examined the short-term impacts of altered precipitation regimes on plant physiological responses, much is un...
Article
Snowfall is the dominant hydrologic input for high elevations and latitudes of the arid- and semi-arid western United States. Sierra Nevada snowpack provides numerous important services for California, but is vulnerable to anthropogenic forcing of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system. Fundamental ecological models envision migrations of species to h...
Article
Arid and semi-arid ecosystems are likely to be particularly sensitive to changes in precipitation. Reflectance spectra can provide valuable information and scaling opportunities regarding plant physiological responses to precipitation. However, their effectiveness in arid and semi-arid ecosystems with low vegetation cover remains equivocal. We comp...