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Departments & Programs


Rodrigo Vargas

Title:Blaustein Visiting Professor
Primary Affiliation:Department of Environmental Earth System Science
Office Location:
Research Group:Soil and Environmental Biogeochemistry
Alternative Website:Personal Info Page


    • 2007 | Ph.D. Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside
    • 2002 | Licenciatura Biology, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico  

Professional Experience

    • 2010 - Present | Assistant Professor, Department of Conservation Biology, Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE)
    • 2007 - 2010 | Postdoctoral Fellow, Environmental Science Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley  

Professional Activities

    • 2011 - Present | FIU NEON soil working group, Co-chair
    • 2011 - Present | Global Change Biology, Editorial Advisory Board
    • 2009 - 2010 | Faculty of 1000, Associate Faculty Member, Ecosystem Ecology  


  • Richardson A, Anderson R, Arain MA, Barr A, Bohrer G, Chen G, Chen J,
    Ciais P,  Davis K, Desai A, Dietze M, Dragoni D, Garrity SR, Gough CM,
    Grant R, Hollinger DY, Margolis HA, McCaughey H, Migliavacca M, Monson RK,
    Munger JW, Poulter B, Raczka BM, Ricciuto DM, Sahoo AK, Schaefer K, Tian H, Vargas
    R, Verbeeck H, Xiao J, Xue Y (2012) Terrestrial biosphere models need better
    representation of vegetation phenology: results from the North American Carbon
    Program Site Synthesis. Global Change Biology. 18:566-584
  • Heinemeyer A, Wilkinson M, Vargas R, Subke JA, Casella E, Morison JIL,
    Ineson P (2012)Exploring the “overflow tap” theory: linking forest soil CO2 fluxes and individual mycorrhizosphere
    components to photosynthesis. Biogeosciences. 9:79-95
  • Ryu Y, Baldocchi DD, Black AT, Detto M, Law BE, Leuning R, Miyata A,
    Reichstein M, Vargas R, Ammann C, Beringer J, Flanagan LB, Gu L, Hutley L, Kim
    J, McCaughey H, Moors E, Rambal S, Vesala T (2012). On the temporal upscaling
    of evapotranspiration from instantaneous remote sensing measurements to 8-day
    mean daily-sums. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 152:212-222
  • Dietze M, Vargas R, Richardson AD, Stoy P, Barr A, Anderson R, Arain A,
    Baker I, Black AT, Chen J, Cias P, Flanagan L, Gough C, Grant R, Hollinger D,
    Izaurralde RC, Kucharik C, Lafleur P, Liu S, Lokupitiya E, Luo Y, Munger JW,
    Peng C, Poulter B, Price D, Ricciuto D, Riley W, Sahoo A, Schaefer K, Suyker A,
    Tian H, Tonitto C, Verbeeck H, Verma S, Wang W. Characterizing the performance
    of ecosystem models across time scales: A spectral analysis of the North
    American Carbon Program site-level synthesis. Journal of Geophysical
    Research-Biogeosciences. 116: G04029
  • Liu S, Bond-Lamberty B, Hicke JA, Vargas R, Zhao S, Chen J, Edburg SL,
    Liu J, McGuire AD, Xiao J, KeaneR, Yuan W, Tang J, Luo Y, Potter Y, Oeding J.
    (2011) Simulating the impacts of disturbances on forest carbon cycling in North
    America: Processes, data, models, and challenges. Journal of Geophysical
    Research-Biogeosciences. Vol 116, G00K08
  • Vargas R, Yepez E. (2011) Toward a Mexican eddy covariance network for
    Carbon Cycle Science. Eos Transactions AGU. 92(37):307
  • Vargas R, Baldocchi DD, Bahn M, Hanson PJ, Hosman KP, Kulmala L,
    Pumpanen J, Yang B  (2011) On the multi-temporal correlation between
    photosynthesis and soil CO2 efflux: reconciling lags
    and observations. New Phytologist. 191:1006-1017
  • Sonnentag O, Detto M, Vargas R, Ryu Y, Runkle BRK, Kelly M, Baldocchi
    DD (2011) Tracking the structural and functional development of a perennial
    pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium L.) infestation using a multi-year archive of
    webcam imagery and eddy covariance measurements. Agricultural and Forest
    Meteorology. 151:916-926
  • Harmon M, Bond-Lamberty B, Tang J,  Vargas R (2011). Heterotrophic
    respiration in disturbed forests: a review with examples from North America.
    Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences.Vol. 116, G00K04
  • Masek J, Cohen W, Leckie D, Wulder M, Vargas R, de Jong B, Healey S,
    Law B, Birdsey RA, Houghton R, Mildrexler D, Goward S, Kurz W, Smith B (2011).
    Recent rates of forest harvest and conversion in North America. Journal of
    Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences. Vol. 116, G00K03
  • Mahecha MD, Reichstein M, Carvalhais N, Lasslop G, Lange H, Seneviratne
    SI, Vargas R, Ammann C, Arain MA, Cescatti A, Janssens IA, Migliavacca M,
    Montagnani L, Richardson AD (2011). Response to comment on: Global convergence
    in the temperature sensitivity of respiration at ecosystem level. Science.
  • Thomey M, Collins SL, Vargas R, Johnson J, Brown R, Natvig D, Friggens
    M (2011) Effect of precipitation variability on net primary production and soil
    respiration in a Chihuahuan desert grassland. Global Change Biology.
  • Vargas R, Carbone M, Reichstein M, Baldocchi DD (2011) Frontiers and
    challenges in soil respiration research: from measurements to model-data
    integration. Biogeochemistry. 102:1-13
  • Richardson AD, Black AT, Ciais P, Delbart N, Dunn AL, Friedl MA, Gobron
    N, Hollinger DY, Kutsch WL, Longdoz B, Luyssaert S, Migliavacca M, Montagnani
    L, Munger JW, Moors E, Piao S, Rebmann C, Reichstein M, Saigusa N, Tomelleri E,
    Vargas R, Varlagin A, Vesala T (2010) Influence of spring and autumn
    phenological switches on forest ecosystem productivity. Philosophical
    Transactions of the Royal Society. 365:3227-3246.
  • Vargas R, Baldocchi DD, Allen MF, Bahn M, Black TA, Collins SL, Curiel
    Yuste J, Hirano T, Jassal RS, Pumpanen J, Tang J (2010) Looking deeper into the
    soil: environmental controls and seasonal lags of soil CO2 production and efflux across multiple
    vegetation types. Ecological Applications. 20(6):1569-1582.
  • Mahecha MD, Reichstein M, Carvalhais N, Lasslop G, Lange H, Seneviratne
    SI, Vargas R, Ammann C, Arain MA, Cescatti A, Janssens IA, Migliavacca M,
    Montagnani L, Richardson AD (2010). Global convergence in the temperature
    sensitivity of respiration at ecosystem level. Science. 329:838-840.
  • Bahn M,  Reichstein M, Davidson EA, Grünzweig J, Jung J, Carbone
    MS, Epron D, Misson L, Nouvellon Y, Roupsard O, Savage K, Trumbore SE, Gimeno
    C, Curiel Yuste J, Tang J, Vargas R, Janssens IA (2010). Soil respiration at
    mean annual temperature predicts annual total across biomes. Biogeosciences.
  • Hasselquist N, Vargas R, Allen MF (2010) Using soil sensing technology
    to examine interaction and controls between ectomycorrhizal growth and
    environmental factors on soil CO2 dynamics.
    Plant and Soil. 331:17-29
  • Vargas R, Detto M, Baldocchi DD, Allen MF (2010) Multiscale analysis of
    temporal variability of soil CO2 production as influenced by weather and
    vegetation. Global Change Biology. 16:1589-1605
  • Vargas R, Hasselquist N, Allen EB, Allen MF (2010) Effects of a
    hurricane disturbance on aboveground forest structure, arbuscular mycorrhizae
    and belowground carbon in a restored tropical forest. Ecosystems. 13:118-128
  • Ryu Y, Sonnentag O, Nilson T, Vargas R, Kobayashi H, Baldocchi DD
    (2010) How to quantify tree leaf area index in an open savanna ecosystem: A
    multi-intrument and multi-model approach. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology.
  • Vargas R, Baldocchi DD, Querejeta JI, Curtis PS, Hasselquist NJ,
    Janssens IA, Allen MF, Montagnani L (2010) Ecosystem CO2 fluxes of arbuscular and ectomycorrhizal
    dominated vegetation types are differentially influenced by precipitation and
    temperature. New Phytologist 185: 226-236
  • Allen EB, Querejeta JI, Vargas R, Estrada-Medina H, Egerton-Warburton
    L, Gómez-Pompa A, Allen MF (2009) Restoration and mycorrhizae in seasonal
    tropical forest: fungal species composition, carbon accumulation, and water
    relations. Pp. 159-184 in Álvarez-Sánchez, J. (ed.). Ecología de micorrizas
    arbusculares y restauración de ecosistemas. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de
    México. 361 pp. (ISBN:978-607-02-0712-9).
  • Vargas R (2009) On the fate of old stored carbon after large-scale
    disturbances in plants. Plant Signaling and Behavior 4(7):617-619.
  • Vargas R, Trumbore SE, Allen MF (2009)  Evidence of old carbon
    used to grow new fine roots in a tropical forest. New Phytologist 182:710-718
  • Vargas R, Allen EB, Allen MF (2009) Effects of vegetation thinning on
    above- and belowground carbon in a seasonally dry tropical forest in Mexico.
    Biotropica. 41: 302-311
  • Vargas R and Allen MF (2008) Environmental controls and the influence
    of vegetation type, fine roots and rhizomorphs on diel and seasonal variation
    in soil respiration. New Phytologist. 179: 460-471
  • Vargas R and Allen MF (2008) Diel patterns of soil respiration after
    hurricane Wilma in a tropical forest. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences.
    vol. 113, G03021
  • Vargas R and Allen MF (2008) Dynamics of fine root, fungal rhizomorphs
    and soil respiration in a mixed temperate forest: integrating sensors and
    observations. Vadose Zone Journal. 7(3):1055-1064
  • Carbone M and Vargas R (2008) Automated soil respiration measurements:
    new information, opportunities, and challenges. New Phytologist. 117(2):
  • Vargas R, Allen MF, Allen EB (2008) Biomass and carbon accumulation in
    a fire chronosequence of a seasonally dry tropical forest. Global Change
  • Allen MF, Vargas R, Graham EA, Swenson W, Hamilton M, Taggart M, Harmon
    TC, Rat’ko A, Rundel P, Fulkerson B, Estrin D. 2007. Soil sensor technology:
    Life within a pixel. BioScience. 57(10):859-867
  • Vargas R and Novelo E. 2007. Seasonal changes in periphyton nitrogen
    fixation in a protected tropical wetland. Biology and Fertility of Soils.
  • Vargas R and Novelo E
    (2003) Fijación de nitrógeno por Cyanoporkaryota en la Reserva Ecológica El
    Edén, Q.R., México. 

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