Ph.D. Student Profile: Maria Susana Alvarado-Barrientos
Degree: Natural Resources and Environmental Studies
Research Topic: Plant water use across a land cover change trajectory of pasture to Pinus patula plantations in the seasonal cloud forest zone of Veracruz, Mexico
Advisor: Dr. Heidi Asbjornsen
Description of Research
Reforestation of tropical mountains is actively promoted worldwide to restore hydrological services attributed to montane forests, such as increasing stream flow and groundwater recharge. However, conclusive evidence for this causal linkage is lacking for many tropical montane environments. My dissertation research evaluates changes in plant water use associated with conversion of pasture to pine plantations in a seasonally dry cloud forest. Also, it examines the implications of these changes on the site's water yield in the face of regional climate change (namely, the reduction in cloud immersion occurrence). I hope to advance scientific knowledge about plant-water relations in cloud forests –a poorly understood area–, provide information and insights to improve predictive models of water yield from mountain catchments, and pertinent information for future policymaking regarding reforestation.
Selected Presentations and Publications
- Alvarado-Barrientos, M.S., Hernandez-Santana, V. and Asbjornsen, H. (2013) “Variability of the radial profile of sap velocity in Pinus patula from contrasting stands within the seasonal cloud forest zone of Veracruz, Mexico”. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 168: 108-119.
- Asbjornsen, H., M.S. Alvarado-Barrientos, L.A. Bruijnzeel, T.E. Dawson, D. Geissert, G.R. Goldsmith, M. Gomez-Cardenas, A. Gomez-Tagle, S. Gotsch, F. Holwerda, J. McDonnell9, L. Muñoz-Villers, C. Tobón. (2012) Ecohydrological Controls of Watershed Response to Land Use Change in the Montane Cloud Forest Zone in Mexico. Poster presentation, AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco.
- Alvarado-Barrientos, M.S., Holwerda, F., Asbjornsen, Dawson, T.E. (2012) “Linking fog climatology and the impact of cloud immersion on transpiration of Pinus patula within a seasonal tropical montane cloud forest environment”. Oral presentation, ESA Annual Meeting, Portland, 10 August.
- Asbjornsen, H., Goldsmith, G.R., Alvarado-Barrientos, M.S., Rebel, K., van Osch, F.P., Rietkerk, M.G., Chen, J., Gotsch, S., Tobón, C., Geissert, D.R., Gómez-Tagle, A., Vache, K., Dawson, T.E. (2011) “Ecohydrological advances and applications in plant water relations research: a review”. Journal of Plant Ecology 4:3:22.
- Alvarado-Barrientos, M.S., Holwerda, F., Asbjornsen, H., Sauer, T., Dawson, T.E., Bruijnzeel, L.A. (2010) “Effects of overcast and foggy conditions on transpiration rates of Pinus patula trees along a chronosequence within the cloud belt of the Sierra Madre Oriental, central Veracruz, Mexico”. Oral presentation, AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, 17 December.
- Guerra. A. and M.S. Alvarado (2006) “De la Sierra de las Minas al Valle de San Jerónimo: acciones locales para la gestión integrada del agua” (From the Sierra de las Minas to the San Jeronimo Valley: local actions for integrated water resources management). Serie Técnica Informe Técnico no. 343, CATIE, San José Costa Rica. 98 pp.
- MS Hydrology (Ecohydrology specialization). Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2007
- BS Forest Engineering. Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Guatemala, 2003