Landscape & Vegetation Change

Research opportunities in Long-term landscape and vegetation are greatest at the Santa Rita Experimental Range near Tucson. The available data include repeat photography since 1902, permanent transects since 1953, and long-term livestock exclosures maintained since 1916. These resources are available on the Santa Rita web site Long-term geomorphic landscape change resources include the soil survey (see Spatial Data at and geomorphic classification (see 

image of Santa Rita Experimental Station

Example of repeat photography documenting long-term vegetation change at photo-station 81 between 1919 and 2017 on the Santa Rita Experimental Range. 

image of Santa Rita Experimental Station

Highlighted Research Projects

Bagchi, S., Singh, N.J., Briske, D.D., Bestelmeyer, B.T., McClaran, M.P. and Murthy, K. 2017. Quantifying long-term plant community dynamics with movement models: implications for ecological resilience. Ecological Applications 27:1514-1528. 

McClaran, M.P., Browning, D.M., and Huang, C. 2010. Temporal dynamics and spatial variability in desert grassland vegetation. In R.H. Webb, D.E. Boyer, and R.M. Turner (eds.). Repeat Photography: Methods and Applications in the Natural Sciences. Island Press. Pages 145-166.  

Throop, H.L., S.A. Archer, and M.P. McClaran. 2020. Soil organic carbon in drylands: shrub encroachment and vegetation management effects dwarf those of livestock grazing.  Ecological Applications. 30(7), 2020, e02150,