Dr. John (Jay) Arnone III

Research Professor, Biology
Ecosystem ecology, Global change ecology, Ecohydrology, Climate variability, Ecosystem responses to invasive or introduced species, Plant biodiversity effects on ecosystem function and soil ecology, Net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE), Net Ecosystem Productivity (NEP), Heterotrophic respiration (Rh), Soil respiration, Earthworm, Carbon sequestration, Desert net CO2 uptake, Desert carbon sequestration, Arid lands, Applied research, Frits Went Laboratory, controlled environment facilities, EcoCELLs, EcoPODs, Whole-ecosystem controlled environment gas-exchange lysimeter facility, Watershed hydrology, Watershed ecology, evapotranspiration, ET, eddy covariance, Alternative agricultural species and practices (conventional vs. organic) effects on agro-ecosystem CO2 sequestration, water use, and life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes; regenerative agriculture

Professional Interests

My research focuses primarily on understanding the effects of global environmental change (a.k.a. "climate change") on the functioning and structure of terrestrial ecosystems, and deciphering the underlying ecological mechanisms driving the responses. This includes the study of how rising atmospheric CO2, changes in ambient temperature, interannual climate variability (e.g. anomalously warm years or heat waves), reductions in biological diversity, and large periodic disturbances (e.g. wildfire) affect plant physiological processes, plant growth and survival, plant populations and plant communities, as well as ecosystem processes and feedbacks. Although my interests in ecology are broad, I am particularly keen on understanding how belowground processes are impacted by changing ambient environmental conditions (e.g. fine root dynamics, activity of soil fauna, soil hydrology and root biology). I attempt to bridge traditional ecological disciplines and seek out collaboration with scientists from other disciplines to address these wider-ranging ecological questions.

My research group and I also apply our expertise to directly address real-world environmental questions and challenges for clients such as the U.S. Department of the Interior, Southern Nevada Water Authority, Sempra Energy, American Vanadium, Washoe County Air Quality Management, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Gas Technology Institute, The Nature Conservancy, the Desert Research Corporation, and Tu Biomics.

Research Areas

  • Plant and Ecosystem ecology
  • Global change biology
  • Response of ecosystems to climate variability
  • Mountain ecosystems functional ecology
  • NevCAN (Nevada Climate-ecohydrological Assessment Network)
  • Invasive species effects on ecosystem function
  • Post-fire plant physiological ecology
  • Profile featured in DRI Spring 2000 Newsletter
  • Nevada Desert FACE Facility (NDFF)
  • Ecohydrology
  • Climate change
  • Net desert ecosystem CO2 fluxes and controls
  • Multi-trophic interactions in terrestrial ecosystems in response to environmental factors
  • Terrestrial nutrient cycling
  • Vegetation-soil water interactions
  • Arid land restoration
  • Alternative agricultural species and practices (e.g., conventional vs. organic) effects on agro-ecosystem CO2 sequestration, water use, and life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes
  • Regenerative agriculture


Ph.D. 1988 Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies Plant Physiological Ecology
M.Phil. 1985 Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies Tree Physiology / Plant Physiological Ecology
M.F.S. 1981 Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies Tree Physiology / Plant Physiological Ecology
B.S. 1979 University of Vermont, School of Natural Resources Forestry / Forest Science

Link to Publications

Teaching and mentoring (current)

University of Nevada, Reno --Graduate Program in Hydrologic Sciences



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