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Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management

NREM Faculty - Chris Zou

Associate Professor

562 Ag Hall (office)
008C Ag Hall (address)
Stillwater, OK 74078
(405) 744-9637

Educational Background
BS: Biology, Southwest University, 1985
MS: Plant Ecology, Southwest University, 1988
PhD: Forest Science, University of Canterbury, 2000



  • NREM 4443/5443: Watershed Hydrology and Water Quality
  • NREM 5483: Ecohydrology

Research Interests

  • Ecohydrology
  • Soil Ecology& Soil Physics
  • Watershed and Wildland Hydrology

Recent Publications (since 2013, *senior author is mentored by Zou CB)

  1. *Liu, Q., Y. Hao, E. Stebler, N. Tanaka, C.B. Zou. 2018. Impact of plant functional types on coherence between precipitation and soil moisture–a wavelet analysis. Geophysical Research Letters. DOI: 10.1002/2017GL075542: 12197-12207.
  2. *Ren, J., W. Dai, C. Yang, X. Ma, and C.B. Zou. 2018. Physiological regulation of poplar species to experimental warming differs between species with contrasting elevation ranges. New Forests. DOI: 10.1007/s11056-017-9622-4.
  3. Hoff, D. L., R.E. Will, C.B. Zou, J.W. Weir, M.S. Gregory, and N.D. Lillie. 2018. Estimating increased fuel loading within the Cross Timbers forest matrix of Oklahoma, the USA due to an encroaching conifer, Juniperus virginiana, using leaf-off satellite imagery. Forest Ecology and Management 409: 215-224.
  4. Chen, Q., Y.D. Wang, C.B. Zou, and Z. L. Wang. 2017. Aboveground biomass invariance masks significant belowground productivity changes in response to salinization and nitrogen loading in reed marshes. Wetlands 37:985-995.
  5. *Acharya, B. S., T. Halihan, C.B. Zou, and R. E. Will. 2017. Vegetation controls on the spatiotemporal heterogeneity of deep moisture in the unsaturated zone: a hydrogeophysical evaluation. Scientific Reports 7. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-01662-y
  6. *Qiao, L., C.B. Zou, E. Stebler, and R.E. Will. 2017. Woody plant encroachment reduces annual runoff and shifts runoff mechanisms in the tallgrass prairie, USA. Water Resources Research 53:4838-4849.
  7. Loss, S.R., S. Paudel, C.M. Laughlin, and C.B. Zou. 2017. Local-scale correlates of native and non-native earthworm distributions in juniper-encroached tallgrass prairie. Biological Invasions 19:1621-1635.
  8. *Qiao, L., C.B. Zou, C.F. Gaitan, Y. Hong, and R.A. McPherson. 2017. Analysis of Precipitation Projections over the Climate Gradient of the Arkansas Red River Basin. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 56:1325-1336.
  9. *Zhong, Y., B. Wang, C.B. Zou, B.X. Hu, Y. Liu, Y.H. Hao. 2017. On the teleconnection patterns to precipitation in the eastern Tianshan Mountains, China. Climate Dynamics 49:3123–3139.
  10. *Acharya, B. S., Y. H. Hao, T. E. Ochsner, and C. B. Zou. 2017. Woody plant encroachment alters soil hydrological properties and reduces downward flux of water in tallgrass prairie. Plant and Soil 414:379-391.
  11. *Acharya, B. S., E. Stebler, and C. B. Zou. 2017. Monitoring litter interception of rainfall using leaf wetness sensor under controlled and field conditions. Hydrological Processes 31:240-249.
  12. *Zhong, Y., L. Y. Lei, Y. C. Liu, Y. H. Hao, C. Zou, and H. B. Zhan. 2017. The influence of large-scale climate phenomena on precipitation in the Ordos Basin, China. Theoretical and Applied Climatology 130:791-805.
  13. Xiong, D. P., P. L. Shi, X. Z. Zhang, and C. B. Zou. 2016. Effects of grazing exclusion on carbon sequestration and plant diversity in grasslands of China A meta-analysis. Ecological Engineering 94:647-655.
  14. *West, A. L., C. B. Zou, E. Stebler, S. D. Fuhlendorf, and B. Allred. 2016. Pyric-herbivory and Hydrological Responses in Tallgrass Prairie. Rangeland Ecology & Management 69:20-27.
  15. Zou, C. B., L. Qiao, and B. P. Wilcox. 2016. Woodland expansion in central Oklahoma will significantly reduce streamflows - a modelling analysis. Ecohydrology 9:807-816.
  16. Zou, C. B., G. L. Caterina, R. E. Will, E. Stebler, and D. Turton. 2015. Canopy Interception for a tallgrass prairie under juniper encroachment. Plos One 10.
  17. *Chen, S. J., C.B. Zou, T. Cao, J. Huang, S. Wu, S.X. Zhang, C.G. Chen. 2015. Temporal dynamics and vertical attenuation of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) in secondary Pinus Tabulaeformis stands in the Qinling Mountains. Journal of Basic Science and Engineering 23:1069-1079
  18. *Dale, J., C. B. Zou, W. J. Andrews, J. M. Long, Y. Liang, and L. Qiao. 2015. Climate, water use, and land surface transformation in an irrigation intensive watershed - Streamflow responses from 1950 through 2010. Agricultural Water Management 160:144-152.
  19. Villegas, J. C., F. Dominguez, G. A. Barron-Gafford, H. D. Adams, M. Guardiola-Claramonte, E. D. Sommer, A. W. Selvey, J. F. Espeleta, C. B. Zou, D. D. Breshears, and T. E. Huxman. 2015. Sensitivity of regional evapotranspiration partitioning to variation in woody plant cover: insights from experimental dryland tree mosaics. Global Ecology and Biogeography 24:1040-1048.
  20. *Wine, M. L., J. M. H. Hendrickx, D. Cadol, C. B. Zou, and T. E. Ochsner. 2015. Deep drainage sensitivity to climate, edaphic factors, and woody encroachment, Oklahoma, USA. Hydrological Processes 29:3779-3789.
  21. *Qiao, L., C. B. Zou, R. E. Will, and E. Stebler. 2015. Calibration of SWAT model for woody plant encroachment using paired experimental watershed data. Journal of Hydrology 523:231-239.
  22. *Dong, J. N., T. E. Ochsner, M. Zreda, M. H. Cosh, and C. B. Zou. 2014. Calibration and validation of the cosmos rover for surface soil moisture measurement. Vadose Zone Journal 13. DOI: 10.2136/vzj2013.08.0148
  23. *Qiao, L., Y. Hong, S. Chen, C. B. Zou, J. J. Gourley, and B. Yong. 2014. Performance assessment of the successive Version 6 and Version 7 TMPA products over the climate-transitional zone in the southern Great Plains, USA. Journal of Hydrology 513:446-456.
  24. Zou, C. B., D. J. Turton, R. E. Will, D. M. Engle, and S. D. Fuhlendorf. 2014. Alteration of hydrological processes and streamflow with juniper (Juniperus virginiana) encroachment in a mesic grassland catchment. Hydrological Processes 28:6173-6182.
  25. Caterina, G. L., R. E. Will, D. J. Turton, D. S. Wilson, and C. B. Zou. 2014. Water use of Juniperus virginiana trees encroached into mesic prairies in Oklahoma, USA. Ecohydrology 7:1124-1134.
  26. Ge, J. J., and C. Zou. 2013. Impacts of woody plant encroachment on regional climate in the southern Great Plains of the United States. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres 118:9093-9104.
  27. Will, R. E., S. M. Wilson, C. B. Zou, and T. C. Hennessey. 2014. Increased vapor pressure deficit due to higher temperature leads to greater transpiration and faster mortality during drought for tree seedlings common to the forest-grassland ecotone. New Phytologist 200:366-374.
  28. Breshears, D. D., H. D. Adams, D. Eamus, N. G. McDowell, D. J. Law, R. E. Will, A. P. Williams, and C. B. Zou. 2013. The critical amplifying role of increasing atmospheric moisture demand on tree mortality and associated regional die-off. Frontiers in Plant Science 4. doi:  10.3389/fpls.2013.00266
  29. Twidwell, D., C. L. Wonkka, C. A. Taylor, C. B. Zou, J. J. Twidwell, and W. E. Rogers. 2014. Drought-induced woody plant mortality in an encroached semi-arid savanna depends on topoedaphic factors and land management. Applied Vegetation Science 17:42-52.
  30. Adams, H. D., M. J. Germino, D. D. Breshears, G. A. Barron-Gafford, M. Guardiola-Claramonte, C. B. Zou, and T. E. Huxman. 2013. Nonstructural leaf carbohydrate dynamics of Pinus edulis during drought-induced tree mortality reveal role for carbon metabolism in mortality mechanism. New Phytologist 197:1142-1151.
  31. *Chen, S. J., C. G. Chen, C. B. Zou, E. Stebler, S. X. Zhang, L. Hou, and D. X. Wang. 2013. Application of Gash analytical model and parameterized Fan model to estimate canopy interception of a Chinese red pine forest. Journal of Forest Research 18:335-344.