Dr. Thomas W. Boutton



Regents Professor
Texas A&M AgriLife Senior Faculty Fellow
Sid Kyle Endowed Chair in Arid and Semi-Arid Land Biogeochemistry


Biogeochemistry, soil ecology


Ph.D Brigham Young University - Botany
M.S. University of Houston - Biology
B.A. St. Louis University - Biology


(979) 845-8027




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Texas A&M University
213 C Kleberg Building
MS 2126
College Station, Texas 77843-2126 USA

Dr. Boutton is interested in the ecology of grassland and savanna ecosystems, particularly the impacts of land cover/land use changes on ecosystem processes (productivity, decomposition, biogeochemistry, hydrology). At present, most of his work is oriented towards understanding the influence of woody plant invasion into grasslands and savannas on biogeochemistry and soil biology. He is also interested in understanding ecosystem responses to global changes predicted for the future. The effects of climate, land use, and atmospheric composition on ecosystem structure and function are being investigated at time scales ranging from a few years (contemporary ecosystems) to thousands of years (paleo ecosystems), and spatial scales ranging from the soil aggregate to the landscape. Dr. Boutton also serves as Director of the Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry Laboratory, and teaches two graduate level courses (ESSM 600 - Principles of Ecosystem Science and Management, and ESSM 622 - Biogeochemistry of Terrestrial Ecosystems).

Selected Recent Publications

Hinson AL, Feagin RA, Eriksson M, Najjar RG, Herrmann M, Windham-Myers L, Bianchi TS, Holmquist JR, Kroeger KD, Gonneea M, Kemp M, Hutchings JA, Crooks S, Boutton TW.  2017.  The spatial distribution of soil organic carbon in tidal wetland soils of the continental United States. Global Change Biology  doi: 10.1111/gcb.13811 (in press).

Zhou Y, Boutton TW, Wu XB.  2017.  Soil carbon response to woody plant encroachment: Importance of spatial heterogeneity and deep soil storage. Journal of Ecology doi:10.1111/1365-2745.12770 (in press).

Mushinski RM, Gentry TJ, Dorosky RJ,  Boutton TW.  2017.  Forest harvest intensity and soil depth alter inorganic nitrogen pool sizes and ammonia oxidizer community composition. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 112: 216-227.

Mushinski RM, Boutton TW, Scott DA.  2017.  Decadal-scale changes in forest soil carbon and nitrogen storage are influenced by organic matter removal during timber harvest. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 122: 846-862.

Zhou Y, Boutton TW, Wu XB, Yang C.  2017.  Spatial heterogeneity of subsurface soil texture drives landscape-scale patterns of woody patches in a subtropical savanna. Landscape Ecology  32: 915–929.




Contact Us

  • Main office: HFSB 305, 2138 TAMU, (979) 845-5033
  • Undergraduate academic advisor office: KLCT 122D, hjanke@tamu.edu
  • Graduate academic advisor office: HFSB 302A, mrydeen@tamu.edu
  • Information technology office: WFES 308, Mailing address

Department Resources

College of Ag and Life Sciences

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