The Hu Lab at Montana State University examines the relationships between plants, water, soil and climate.

We measure the function of individual plants, then scale-up to the watershed or ecosystem. This allows us to explore the physiological mechanisms driving patterns of water, carbon, and nutrient transport across space and time.

Our research is currently focused across the Western U.S., but new and exciting research opportunities have taken us to the Galapagos Islands.

Our lab is equipped with commonly-used instruments to study plant ecophysiology, including a Li-6400 gas analyzer, a pressure bomb for measuring plant water potential, a water distillation extraction line, and a Picarro L2130-i for isotope analysis. Using isotopes, we can trace the chemical signature of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen as they move through the soil-plant-climate continuum.

Recent grant success means a new cohort of students has joined the lab in fall 2015. Their projects will build on our strong track record in forest science and take advantage of the lab’s significant field- and lab-based capacities.

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