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Paul Verburg

Assistant Professor

Contact Information


  • M.S. Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands, 1992
  • Ph.D. Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands, 1998

Research Interests

My research focuses on the effects of large-scale environmental perturbations such as climate change and acid rain on nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems with an emphasis on soil biogeochemical processes. In my research I try to apply fundamental knowledge of soil processes to address ecosystem-scale questions. In most projects I have collaborated with people from a wide range of disciplines including plant physiologists, hydrologists, and atmospheric chemists. Recent projects involved experimental and modeling studies focusing on the impacts of increased N deposition and precipitation on Mojave Desert ecosystems. More specifically, I was interested in assessing potential linkages between below-ground biotic processes including fine root dynamics and microbial decomposition and abiotic processes such as carbonate weathering and precipitation. Recently, I have become involved in research addressing the impacts of forest management on soils in the Lake Tahoe Basin. In a recent project we looked at the impacts of prescribed fire on nutrient emissions from soils to aquatic environments and the atmosphere. Finally, I have been involved in a project studying the potential use of Pinyon-Juniper lands in the Great Basin as a feedstock for biofuel production. My role in this project was to assess the potential environmental impacts of biomass harvesting in these often remote areas.

Class Materials

Selected Publications

  • Verburg P.S.J., A.C. Young, B.A. Stevenson, I. Glanzmann, J.A. Arnone III, G. M. Marion, C. Holmes, R.S. Nowak 2013, Do increased summer precipitation and N deposition alter fine root dynamics in a Mojave Desert ecosystem?, Global Change Biology. 19, 948-956
  • Chen, L.-W. A., P. Verburg, A. Shackelford, D. Zhu, R. Susfalk, J. C. Chow, J. G. Watson. 2010, Moisture effects on carbon and nitrogen emission from burning of wildland biomass., Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussion, 10, 7985-8007.
  • Verburg, P.S.J., D.W. Johnson, D.E. Schorran, L.L. Wallace, Y. Luo, J.A. Arnone III. 2009, Impacts of an anomalously warm year on nutrient availability in experimentally manipulated tallgrass prairie ecosystems., Global Change Biology. 15: 888-900
  • Arnone III, J.A., P.S.J. Verburg, D.W. Johnson, J.D. Larsen, R.L. Jasoni, A.J. Farnady, C.M. Batts, C. von Nagy, W.G. Coulombe, D.E. Schorran, P.E. Buck, B.H. Braswell, J.S. Coleman, R.A. Sherry, L.L. Wallace, Y. Luo, D.S. Schimel 2008, Reduction of ecosystem CO2 uptake in anomalously warm year persists due to lagged rise in respiration., Nature. 455:383-386.
  • Marion, G.M., P.S.J. Verburg, B. Stevenson, J.A. Arnone III. 2008, Soluble element distributions in a Mojave Desert soil., Soil Science Society of America Journal. 72:1815-1823
  • Verburg, P.S.J., J. Larsen, D.W. Johnson, D.E. Schorran, J.A. Arnone III. 2005, Impacts of an anomalously warm year on soil CO2 fluxes in experimentally manipulated tallgrass prairie ecosystems., Global Change Biology. 11:1720-1732

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