A billboard near Roosevelt Dam proclaimed in the 1960s: “Arizona Grows Where Water Flows.” But growth and the control of water to support it have never been simple uncontested endeavors.
The Ecology of Water Harvesting - LIVE ONLY, NO WEBINAR
Dr. Vanessa Buzzard, Sr. Research Specialist, School of Natural Resource and Environment
Water harvest systems are common in residences throughout Tucson, but little work has been done to explore how these systems impact ecological processes. We therefore set out to characterize changes in ecosystem processes relating to soil health after installation of various water harvesting systems. We assessed intra-annual variation in soil properties and microbial diversity following installation of three water harvesting treatments; passive, irrigated, and greywater basins. Overall, we observed shifts in soil physicochemical properties and microbial community composition indicating that water harvesting influences the ecology of soil systems.
Dr. Buzzard is a senior research specialist in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2017, where she focused on plant functional trait distributions across both space and time. She has since moved from studies of predominantly natural systems to focus on urban environments, where she extends questions regarding the drivers of biodiversity and ecosystem function in soils to human environments.