John Wesley Powell, the great explorer of the American West, noted that if it was possible to spread all available surface water evenly across the western US, there would still be a desert very similar to the one he encountered on his journeys. Powell's insights were nearly prophetic. Since Powell's adventures, almost all of the great rivers in the American West have been dammed, diverted, or tapped for groundwater for the sake of agriculture and municipal water supplies. Nowhere are these changes more poignant and relevant than in Arizona. Dr. Sabo's research employs large-scale field experiments, stable isotopic tracers, and lab physiology to understand links between the water cycle and animal performance, abundance, and species diversity. Most of his work focuses on riparian and river ecology. For example, students in Dr. Sabo's lab study links between groundwater aquifers and animals in riparian forests. Here we are finding that riparian trees connect groundwater to riparian animals that live above ground, and thereby alleviate water-stress for these organisms. Dr. Sabo also has projects that examine the effects of dams on energy flow through aquatic food webs. One aspect of this work is to understand how dams alter the relative dependence of top predators on aquatic and terrestrial sources of carbon, and thus energy. All of this work is geared towards understanding the sustainable management of water resources for humans and biodiversity. Dr. Sabo teaches classes in biometry, experimental design, field ecology, and water and sustainability.
- Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
- Director, Future H2O, Knowledge Enterprise Development
- Professor, School of Life Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- Affiliated Faculty, Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
- PhD, Ecology, University of California - Berkeley, 2000
- MS, Fisheries, University of Washington, 1995
- BS, University of Notre Dame, 1992
- water resource management
- environmental flows
- energy flow
- riparian ecology
- stream ecology
- ecosystem disturbances
- climate change and adaptation
- Clean Water and Sanitation
- Partnerships for the Goals
Moody, E. K., E. W. Carson, J. R. Corman, H. Espinosa-Perez, J. Ramos, J. L. Sabo and J. J. Elser. 2018. Consumption explains intraspecific variation in nutrient recycling stoichiometry in a desert fish. Ecology 99(7):1552-1561. DOI: 10.1002/ecy.2372. (link )
Sankarasubramanian, A., J. L. Sabo, K. L. Larson, S. Seo, T. Sinha, R. Bhowmik, A. R. Vidal, K. Kunkel, G. Mahinthakumar, E. Berglund and J. S. Kominoski. 2017. Synthesis of public water supply use in the U.S.: Spatio-temporal patterns and socio-economic controls. Earth's Future 5(7):771-788. DOI: 10.1002/2016EF000511. (link )
Moody, E. K., J. R. Corman, J. J. Elser and J. L. Sabo. 2015. Dietary composition affects the rate of N:P ratio of fish excretion. Freshwater Biology 60(3):456-465. DOI: 10.1111/fwb.12500. (link )
Allen, D. C., K. McCluney, S. R. Elser and J. L. Sabo. 2014. Water as a trophic currency in dryland food webs. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12:156-160. DOI: 10.1890/130160. (link )
McCluney, K. and J. L. Sabo. 2014. Sensitivity and tolerance of riparian arthropod communities to altered water resources along a drying river. PLOS One 9(10):e109276. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0109276. (link )
Bang, C., S. H. Faeth and J. L. Sabo. 2012. Control of arthropod abundances, richness and composition in a heterogeneous desert city. Ecological Monographs 82(1):85-100. DOI: 10.1890/11-0828.1.
Deviche, P. J., P. J. Sharp, A. Dawson, J. L. Sabo, B. H. Fokidis, S. Davies and L. Hurley. 2012. Up to the challenge? Hormonal and behavioral responses of free-ranging male Cassin's Sparrows, Peucaea cassinii, to conspecific song playback. Hormones and Behavior 61(5):741-749. DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2012.03.012. (link )
Bang, C., J. L. Sabo and S. H. Faeth. 2010. Reduced wind speed improves plant growth in a desert city. PLoS One 5(6):e11061. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.001161. (link )
Deviche, P. J., L. L. Hurley, H. B. Fokidis, B. Lerbour, B. Silverin, B. Silverin, J. L. Sabo and P. J. Sharp. 2010. Acute stress rapidly decreases plasma testosterone in a free-ranging male songbird: Potential site of action and mechanism. General and Comparative Endrocrinology 169(1):82-90. DOI: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2010.07.009. (link )
Gerber, L. R., M. Gonzalez-Suarez, C. J. Hernandez-Camacho, J. K. Young and J. L. Sabo. 2010. The cost of male aggression and polygyny in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus). PLOS One 5(8):e12230. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012230. (link )
Sabo, J. L., T. Sinha, L. C. Bowling, G. H. Schoups, W. W. Wallender, M. E. Campana, K. A. Cherkauer, P. L. Fuller, W. L. Graf, J. W. Hopmans, J. S. Kominoski, C. Taylor, S. W. Trimble, R. H. Webb and E. E. Wohl. 2010. Reclaiming freshwater sustainability in the Cadillac Desert. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 107(50):21263-21270. (link )
Deviche, P. J., J. L. Sabo and P. J. Sharp. 2008. Glutamatergic stimulation of lutenising hormone secretion in relatively refractory male songbirds. Journal of Neuroendrocrinology 20(10):1191-1202. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2826.2008.01771.x. (link )
Sabo, J. L. and L. R. Gerber. 2007. Predicting extinction risk in spite of predator-prey oscillations. Ecological Applications 17(5):1543-1554. DOI: 10.1890/06-0630.1. (link )
Gerber, L. R., H. McCallum, K. D. Lafferty, J. L. Sabo and A. Dobson. 2005. Exposing extinction risk analysis to pathogens: Is disease just another form of density dependence?. Ecological Applications 15(4):1402-1414. DOI: 10.1890/04-0880. (link )
Sabo, J. L., R. A. Sponseller, M. Dixon, K. Gade, T. K. Harms, J. B. Heffernan, A. Jani, G. Katz, C. Soykan, J. Watts and J. R. Welter. 2005. Riparian areas harbor different, not more, species. Ecology 86(1):56-62. DOI: 10.1890/04-0668.
Sabo, J. L., E. J. Holmes and P. M. Kareiva. 2004. The efficacy of simple viability models in ecological risk assessment: Does density dependence matter?. Ecology 85:328-341.
Wyant, K. A., Y. Y. Marusenko, S. J. Hall and J. L. Sabo. 2014. Land-use type changes the belowground food-web in an arid, urban ecosystem. Poster presented at the 16th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium and All Scientists Meeting, January 17, 2014, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link )
Wyant, K. A., Y. Y. Marusenko, S. J. Hall and J. L. Sabo. 2013. Land-use type changes the belowground food-web in an arid, urban ecosystem. Poster presented at the 11 January 2013, 15th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium and All Scientist Meeting 2013, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link )
Marusenko, Y. Y., K. A. Wyant, S. J. Hall and J. L. Sabo. 2012. Land-use type affects biogeochemical cycling, soil microbial communities, and the belowground food-web in an arid ecosystem. Poster presented at 13 January 2012 CAP LTER 14th Annual Poster Symposium and All Scientist Meeting, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. (link )
Bang, C., J. L. Sabo and S. H. Faeth. 2010. Emerging patterns from urban ecological field studies. Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. Poster presented at the January 14, 2010 12th Annual Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research Poster Symposium, Global Institute of Sustainability.
Bang, C., J. L. Sabo and S. H. Faeth. 2009. Is the answer still blowing in the wind? Plant growth in urban areas. Tempe, AZ. Poster presented at 11th Annual Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research (CAP LTER) Poster Symposium, January 15, 2009, Global Institute of Sustainability. (link )
Sabo, J. L., R. Quay and D. D. White. 2013. Outcomes of the ASU "Frontiers in Water Reuse Workshop". Presented by Dave White at Arizona Water Reuse 2013, July 15-16, 2013, Flagstaff, Arizona.
Bang, C., J. L. Sabo and S. H. Faeth. 2009. Arthropod diversity and trophic dynamics in urban and desert areas in Phoenix: Long term monitoring and field experiments. Presentation at the August 2-7, 2009 94th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, Albuquerque, NM.
Bang, C., J. L. Sabo and S. H. Faeth. 2009. Arthropod diversity and trophic dynamics in urban areas of Phoenix - Long-term monitoring and experimental studies. Invited talk at the June 2009 Symposium on "Managing Residential Landscapes for Wildlife" at the Urban Wildlife Ecology and Management Conference, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.
Bang, C., J. L. Sabo, J. M. Anderies and S. H. Faeth. 2007. Trophic dynamics and effects of urbanization: A complex field experiment compared to a simple mathematical model. Presentation at the August 6-10, 2007 Ecological Restoration in a Changing World at the 92 Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America in conjunction with the Society for Ecological Restoration 18th International Conference, San Jose, CA.