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

Zhou Y, Watts SE, Boutton TW, Archer SR.  2019.  Root density distribution and biomass allocation of co-occurring woody plants on contrasting soils in a subtropical savanna parkland.  Plant and Soil doi.org/10.1007/s11104-019-04018-9 (in press).

Mushinski RM, Boutton TW, Gentry T.  2019.  Forest organic matter removal leads to long-term reductions in bacterial and fungal abundance.  Applied Soil Ecology 137: 106-110.

Hyodo A, Malghani S, Zhou Y, Mushinski RM, Toyoda S, Yoshida N, Boutton TW, West JB.  2019.  Biochar amendment suppresses N2O emissions but has no impact on 15N site preference in an anaerobic soil.  Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry  33: 165–175.

Zhou Y, Boutton TW, Wu XB.  2018. Soil phosphorus does not keep pace with soil carbon and nitrogen accumulation following woody plant encroachment.  Global Change Biology  24: 1992-2007.

Zhou Y, Boutton TW, Wu XB.  2018.  Woody plant encroachment amplifies spatial heterogeneity of soil phosphorus to considerable depth.  Ecology  99: 136-147.

Zhou Y, Boutton TW, Wu XB.  2018.  Soil C:N:P stoichiometry response to vegetation change from grassland to woodland.  Biogeochemistry 140: 341-357.




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