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Water-carbon coupling in tropical ecosystems

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Diagram of soil moisture vs burned areas with Ignition probability

Despite exhibiting among the largest water and carbon fluxes on earth, tropical ecosystems are generally under-studied relative to those in the mid-latitudes. We are particularly interested in the wet tropics across the under-studied old-world continents, e.g. African and Asian tropical ecosystems. In past work, we have focused on understanding the seasonal variability of water uptake and evapotranspiration in the Congo river basin to understand seasonal variability in plant water uptake and understand how changing precipitation patterns and land-use change are affecting the water cycle in the basin. We also study the interplay between anthropogenic hydrologic change (e.g. canal building and restoration), land use change, and fire in peatlands in Insular Southeast Asia, since Southeast peat fires emit globally significant amounts of carbon. For each of these studies, we have used remote sensing to build new datasets to help answer our scientific questions.

Selected Publications

Climate change-induced peatland drying in Southeast Asia
Dadap, N.C., A.R. Cobb, A.M. Hoyt, C.F. Harvey, A.F. Feldman, E.-S. Im, and A.G. Konings (2022). Environmental Research Letters, 17:074026.

Mapping drainage canals across Southeast Asian peatlands reveals widespread hydrologic disturbance
Dadap, N.C., A.M. Hoyt, A.R. Cobb, D. Oner, M. Kozinski, P. Fua, K. Rao, C.F. Harvey, and A.G. Konings (2021). AGU Advances, 2(1): e2020AV000321.

Data-driven estimates of evapotranspiration and its controls in the Congo basin
Burnett, M.W., G.R. Quetin, and A.G. Konings (2020). Hydrology and Earth System Science, 24, 4189-4211.

Satellite soil moisture observations predict burned area in Southeast Asian peatlands
Dadap, N.C., A.R. Cobb, A.M. Hoyt, C.F. Harvey, and A.G. Konings (2019). Environmental Research Letters, 14, 094014.

Tall Amazonian forests are less sensitive to precipitation variability
Giardina, F., A.G. Konings, D. Kennedy, S.H. Alemohammad, R.S. Oliviera, M. Uriarte, and P. Gentine (2018). Nature Geoscience, 405-409.

Active microwave observations of diurnal and seasonal variations of canopy water content across the humid African tropical forests
Konings, A. G., Y. Yu, L. Xu, Y. Yang, D.S. Schimel, and S.S. Saatchi (2017). Geophysical Research Letters, 44: 2290-2299.