Southwest Biological Science Center


The Southwest Biological Science Center (SBSC) conducts quality, objective research on the lands and aquatic systems of the Southwest. This research can assist those who manage, conserve, and rehabilitate the arid regions of the nation. Click on SCIENCE in the sidebar to the left to explore SBSC science in more detail.

Learn More

Terrestrial Dryland Ecology Branch

Terrestrial Dryland Ecology Branch

The Terrestrial Dryland Ecology (TDE) Branch of the SBSC studies the biology, ecology,and processes of semi-arid and arid lands (known as drylands). TDE researchers study plant-soil-water relationships and the wildlife found in drylands.

TDE Science

River Ecosystem Science Branch & GCMRC

River Ecosystem Science Branch & GCMRC

The River Ecosystem Science (RES) Branch of the SBSC, which includes the Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center (GCMRC), studies the biology, ecology, and processes of rivers in the western United States, with an emphasis on the Southwest.

GCMRC & RES Science


Date published: September 20, 2021

RAMPS Newsletter - Summer 2021 Edition

Restoration Assessment and Monitoring Program for the Southwest (RAMPS)

A Program of the Southwest Biological Science Center & Ecosystems Mission Area

To subscribe to our newsletter, please visit:


Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2022

Vertical movement of soluble carbon and nutrients from biocrusts to subsurface mineral soils

Dryland ecosystems can be constrained by low soil fertility. Within drylands, the soil nutrient and organic carbon (C) cycling that does occur is often mediated by soil surface communities known as biological soil crusts (biocrusts), which cycle C and nutrients in the top ca. 0–2 cm of soil. However, the degree to which biocrusts are...

Young, Kristina E.; Ferrenberg, Scott; Reibold, Robin H.; Reed, Sasha; Swenson, Tami; Northen, Trent; Darrouzet-Nardi, Anthony

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Carbon and ecohydrological priorities in managing woody encroachment: An UAV perspective 63 years after a control treatment

Woody encroachment, including both woody species expansion and density increase, is a globally observed phenomenon that deteriorates arid and semi-arid rangeland health, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. Mechanical and chemical control treatments are commonly performed to reduce woody cover and restore ecohydrologic function. While the...

Sankey, Temuulen T.; Leonard, Jackson; Moore, Margaret; Sankey, Joel B.; Belmonte, Adam

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Tree mortality response to drought-density interactions suggests opportunities to enhance drought resistance

The future of dry forests around the world is uncertain given predictions that rising temperatures and enhanced aridity will increase drought-induced tree mortality. Using forest management and ecological restoration to reduce density and competition for water offers one of the few pathways that forests managers can potentially minimize drought-...

Bradford, John; Shriver, Robert K; Robles, Marcos D.; McCauley, Lisa A; Andrews, Caitlin M.; Crimmins, Michael A.; Bell, David M.