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Steven T. Brantley

Steven T. Brantley
Jones Center at Ichauway · Ecohydrology

Biology/Integrative Life Sciences

About

59
Publications
12,990
Reads
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917
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 2020 - present
Jones Center at Ichauway
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 2014 - present
Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center
Position
  • Researcher
September 2010 - August 2014
Coweeta Hydrologic Lab
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (59)
Article
Full-text available
Study region The Lower Flint River Basin (LFRB): a karst catchment in southwestern Georgia, USA. Study focus A year-long field campaign from July 2018 to July 2019 measured steady and dynamic stream-aquifer exchanges on Ichawaynochaway Creek (INC), a fifth-order tributary to the karstic Flint River in Georgia. The net change in discharge along a 2...
Article
Full-text available
Planting native groundcover is often recommended to restore the understory of longleaf pine stands in the southeastern United States, but the effectiveness of such restoration activities remains poorly evaluated. We conducted a study in 25-year-old longleaf pine plantation stands in Georgia, USA, to examine the effects of seeding native groundcover...
Article
Full-text available
Aims Trees regulate water availability among their rooting strata through a nocturnal, passive transference of water known as hydraulic redistribution (HR). This study investigates differences in HR and groundwater use among common canopy species in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill., Pinaceae) woodlands and explores environmental factors influen...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical cyclones can physically alter ecosystems, causing immediate and potentially long‐lasting effects on carbon dynamics. In 2018, Hurricane Michael hit the southeastern United States with category 5 winds at landfall and category 2 winds reaching over 100 miles inland, resulting in extensive damage. Longleaf pine woodlands in the path of the h...
Article
Water scarcity in the southeastern United States has increased in recent decades due to population growth, land use intensification, and climate variability. Precipitation is relatively abundant, but declines in streamflow suggest a need to better manage water yield. Restoration of low‐density, frequent‐fire longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) wo...
Preprint
Water scarcity in the southeastern United States has increased in recent decades due to population growth, land use intensification, and climate variability. Precipitation is relatively abundant, but declines in streamflow suggest a need to better manage water yield. Restoration of low-density, frequent-fire longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) wo...
Article
Full-text available
Geographically isolated wetlands (GIWs) are well known as “hotspots” for biodiversity and other ecosystem services, making their value on landscapes disproportionate to the area they occupy. GIWs are dependent on regular cycles of inundation and drying, which makes hydrology a primary controlling variable for sustaining functions and associated eco...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter, we describe current understanding of and identify research gaps on how invasive species directly, and indirectly, affect ecosystem processes. Specifically, we focus on how invasive species can alter the terrestrial carbon, nitrogen, and hydrologic cycles and how changes to these terrestrial cycles cascade to affect water quantity a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aims Trees regulate water availability among their rooting strata through a nocturnal, passive transference of water known as hydraulic redistribution (HR). This study investigates differences in HR and groundwater use among common canopy species in longleaf pine ( Pinus palustris Mill., Pinaceae) woodlands and explores environmental factors influe...
Article
Full-text available
Study region The Ichawaynochaway Creek watershed within the Lower Flint River Basin in the Southeast US. Study focus Freshwater resources are facing increasing pressure globally, even in areas not generally accustomed to water shortages. The Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River basin has experienced episodic water stress over the past three deca...
Article
The rapid loss of eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) in the southern Appalachian Mountains due to hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae, HWA) infestation has resulted in substantial changes to ecosystem structure and function. Several restoration strategies have been proposed, including silvicultural treatments that increase incident light in fore...
Article
Full-text available
The interception of rainfall by trees enriches rainwater with tree-derived dissolved organic matter (tree-DOM), which represents the first terrigenous source of DOM during storm events. The tree-DOM is then exported from the canopy via rainfall that drips from leaves and branches (throughfall) or is funneled down the tree trunk (stemflow) to the fo...
Article
Full-text available
Ecologists and conservation biologists often prioritize the study of species that are declining, threatened, or endangered over species that are abundant and ecologically important, such as foundation species (FS). Because entire ecosystems and their biodiversity depend on FS, we argue that they have high conservation priority. A citation analysis...
Preprint
Full-text available
20 Geographically isolated wetlands (GIWs) are well known as "hotspots" for biodiversity and 21 other ecosystem services, making their value on landscapes disproportionate to the area they 22 occupy. GIWs are dependent on regular cycles of inundation and drying which makes hydrology 23 a primary controlling variable for sustaining functions and ass...
Article
Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carr. (eastern hemlock) is dying across much of eastern North America from the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA, Adelges tsugae Annand). Survey studies show that eastern hemlock populations with high foliar nutrient concentrations are associated with low infestation rates, and also suggest that deeply shaded trees may be m...
Article
Full-text available
Seed sourcing is a concern for restoration practitioners in all regions and habitats. The possibility that plants are most suited to their home environments due to genetic adaptations to local biotic and abiotic conditions prompts questions of how far plant material can be moved from home sites and remain ecologically appropriate in a restoration s...
Article
Full-text available
Many currently forested areas in the southern Appalachians were harvested in the early 1900s and cleared for agriculture or pasture, but have since been abandoned and reverted to forest (old-field succession). Land-use and land-cover changes such as these may have altered the timing and quantity of water yield (Q). We examined 80 years of streamflo...
Article
Barrier islands are heavily influenced by external drivers such as sea-level rise, storm related disturbances, and other complex factors that affect net sediment exchange. Numerous ecological processes (e.g., dispersal, competition, facilitation) interact with these drivers and ultimately influence barrier island state change and thus, stability. O...
Article
Full-text available
Many currently forested areas in the southern Appalachians were harvested in the early 1900s and cleared for agriculture or pasture, but have since been abandoned and reverted to forest (old-field succession). Land use and land cover changes such as these may have altered the timing and quantity of water yield (Q). We examined 80 years of streamflo...
Article
Small trees and shrubs play an important role in forest diversity and regeneration and may contribute substantially to ecosystem fluxes of carbon and water; however, relatively little attention is given to quantifying the contribution of small trees to forest processes. One reason for this may be that the allometric equations developed for large tr...
Article
Climate change and forest disturbances are threatening the ability of forested mountain watersheds to provide the clean, reliable, and abundant fresh water necessary to support aquatic ecosystems and a growing human population. Here we used 76 years of water yield, climate, and field plot vegetation measurements in six unmanaged, reference watershe...
Article
Full-text available
Ecologists and environmental scientists often prioritize research efforts with conservation importance. Dominant, widespread, or locally abundant species at low risk of extinction receive relatively little attention unless they are invasive. Native foundation species create habitats and environmental conditions that support many associated species...
Article
Full-text available
Ecologists and environmental scientists often prioritize research efforts with conservation importance. Dominant, widespread, or locally abundant species at low risk of extinction receive relatively little attention unless they are invasive. Native foundation species create habitats and environmental conditions that support many associated species...
Article
Full-text available
Barrier islands are complex and dynamic systems that provide critical ecosystem services to coastal populations. Stability of these systems is threatened by rising sea level and the potential for coastal storms to increase in frequency and intensity. Recovery of dune-building grasses following storms is an important process that promotes topographi...
Article
Few studies have examined how insect outbreaks affect landscape-level hydrologic processes. We report the hydrologic effects of the invasive, exotic hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) in a headwater catchment in the southern Appalachian Mountains. The study watershed experienced complete mortality of an evergreen tree species, Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carr....
Article
Ecomorphodynamic feedbacks play an important role in the susceptibility and response of barrier islands to disturbance by overwash. Dune-building grasses, like Ammophila breviligulata, can help to restore areas of high relief after overwash events (i.e., resist disturbance). If overwash recurs before dunes have reestablished, however, overwash-adap...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Few studies have examined how insect outbreaks affect landscape-level hydrologic and biogeochemical processes. Here, we report the hydrologic and biogeochemical effects of the invasive, exotic Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand; HWA) in a headwater catchment in the southern Appalachian mountains. The study a...
Article
Infestation of eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carr.) with hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA, Adelges tsugae) has caused widespread mortality of this key canopy species throughout much of the southern Appalachian Mountains in the past decade. Because eastern hemlock is heavily concentrated in riparian habitats, maintains a dense canopy, and has an...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Numerous paired watershed studies have addressed the role of forests in regulating water yield and have demonstrated the tight interaction between vegetation and streamflow production. New challenges, such as the effects of non-random species loss on water yield, are emerging, and are already influencing forested ecosy...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Evidence suggests that rising temperatures will increase the destructive potential of hurricanes, and past records attribute increased wave energy in the Atlantic Ocean to these storms. Barrier islands may suffer increasing damage by hurricanes and northeasters, and can respond to increased storm frequency and sea-level...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Rhododendron maximum, a large, evergreen, ericaceous shrub common to cove forest and riparian areas in the southern Appalachians has increased in growth recently in areas where hemlock woolly adelgid has reduced forest canopy cover. Even in forests with intact canopies, a dense R. maximum shrub canopy increases total c...
Article
Full-text available
In contrast to stable inland systems, coastal landscape positions are dynamic, changing as shorelines migrate and storms alter topography. We define landscape position by distance to ocean shoreline and elevation above sea level, two metrics that integrate a suite of environmental and biotic factors. As shoreline and elevation change, suitability o...
Article
Full-text available
In contrast to stable inland systems, coastal landscape positions are dynamic, changing as shorelines migrate and storms alter topography. We define landscape position by distance to ocean shoreline and elevation above sea level, two metrics that integrate a suite of environmental and biotic factors. As shoreline and elevation change, suitability o...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Ecomorphodynamic feedbacks play an important role in barrier island response to disturbance. Dune-building grasses like Ammophila breviligulata can rebuild areas of high relief after overwash events.; however, if overwash recurs before dunes have reestablished, overwash-adapted "maintainer" species like Spartina patens (which preserve low, flat top...
Article
Accurate measurement of leaf area index (LAI), an important characteristic of plant canopies directly linked to primary production, is essential for monitoring changes in ecosystem C stocks and other ecosystem level fluxes. Direct measurement of LAI is labor intensive, impractical at large scales and does not capture seasonal or annual variations i...
Article
Full-text available
Ecomorphodynamic feedbacks play an important role in barrier island response to disturbance. Dune-building grasses like Ammophila breviligulata can rebuild areas of high relief after overwash events.; however, if overwash recurs before dunes have reestablished, overwash-adapted "maintainer" species like Spartina patens (which preserve low, flat top...
Article
Barrier islands are dynamic, disturbance-prone landscapes that support complex, sensitive ecosystems. As sea level rises and storms potentially become more intense, overwash disturbance events on barrier islands will likely become more common. Following an overwash event, dunes typically recover if dune-building grasses like Ammophila breviligulata...
Article
As climate changes in the future, rising sea level and potentially more frequent storms may cause overwash events on barrier islands to become more common. Dunes are generally expected to recover after overwash events as dune-building grasses recolonize overwash fans. However, if overwash reoccurs before dunes have had sufficient time to recover, b...
Article
Expansion of woody vegetation in grasslands is a worldwide phenomenon with implications for C and N cycling at local, regional and global scales. Although woody encroachment is often accompanied by increased annual net primary production (ANPP) and increased inputs of litter, mesic ecosystems may become sources for C after woody encroachment becaus...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Expansion of woody vegetation in grasslands is a worldwide phenomenon with implications for C and N cycling at local, regional and global scales. Although woody encroachment is often accompanied by increased ANPP and increased litterfall, mesic ecosystems with high antecedent levels of soil organic matter (SOM) may beco...
Article
Full-text available
Expansion of shrubs into grasslands is often accompanied by a reduction in understory light and an associated reduction of shade-intolerant species. However, effects of specific canopy architectural characteristics on the light environment under shrub thickets are unknown. Our objective was to determine what characteristics of canopy architecture m...
Article
Ecological consequences of shrub encroachment are emerging as a key issue in the study of global change. In mesic grasslands, shrub encroachment can result in a fivefold increase in ecosystem leaf area index (LAI) and a concurrent reduction in understory light and herbaceous diversity. LAI and light attenuation are often higher for shrub thickets t...
Article
Full-text available
Woody encroachment into herbaceous ecosystems is emerging as an important ecological response to global change. A primary concern is alterations in C and N cycling and associated variations across a variety of ecosystems. We quantified seasonal variation in litterfall and litter N concentration in Morella cerifera shrub thickets to assess changes i...
Article
Woody encroachment into herbaceous ecosystems is emerging as an important ecological response to global change. A primary concern is alterations in C and N cycling and associated variations across a variety of ecosystems. We quantified seasonal variation in litterfall and litter N concentration in Morella cerifera shrub thickets to assess changes i...
Article
There is increasing interest in the changes in ecosystem services that accompany the conversion of grasslands to shrub-dominated communities. Shrub structure and associated effects on the light environment may be especially important in affecting productivity and diversity. Leaf-area index (LAI) and understory light levels of Morella cerifera shrub...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
I am looking into the feasibility of using motion-activated underwater cameras to passively count, size, and identify fish passing through small (<50 cm) artificial passages constructed near a lake shore. 

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