Philip Rundel

Distinguished Professor Emeritus
(310) 825-4072
3112 Life Sciences Building (LSB)

Recent Courses

EE BIOL 116 - Conservation Biology
EE BIOL 154 - California Ecosystems
EE BIOL 19 - Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

Research Areas

Research Interests

Our laboratory maintains a breadth of interests centering on aspects of vascular plant adaptation to environmental water and nutrient stress. Within this context we have focused particularly on the interactions of physiological water stress and nutrient availability in limiting net primary production of arid zone plants. We are looking intensively at the relationship of seasonal changes in morphological, architectural and physiological components of plant form and function in woody desert legumes and evergreen shrubs. Our approaches in these investigations involve analysis of components of tissue water relations, photosynthetic capacity, foliar nutrient levels, leaf morphology and canopy architecture. We are very interested in applications of stable isotope ratios to ecological research studies as a means of developing integrated measurements of physiological response to environmental stress. Such measures will help us link physiological process studies to an ecosystem perspective. In addition to our work on desert ecosystems, my laboratory group maintains interests in several other areas. These include the physiological ecology of plant species in Mediterranean-type and tropical ecosystems, parallel with our desert research. We are also investigating the impact of air pollutants on photosynthetic capacity and productivity of coniferous forest trees in California.

Selected Publications

Riordan, E.C. and P.W. Rundel, "The future of California sage scrub in an era of increasing urbanization and global climate change", Fremontia, 41 (3): 2-7 (2013) .

Rundel P.W. and R.M. Cowling., "Biodiversity of the Succulent Karoo", Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, 2nd edition, Levin S.A.(Eds.), Waltham, MA Academic Press 1 : 485-490 (2013) .

Moroney, J. and P.W. Rundel, "Density and dispersion of the invasive Mediterranean annual Centaurea melitensis in its native and non-native ranges", Biological Invasions, Levin S.A.(Eds.), 15 : 495-507 (2013) .

Pivovaroff, A., R. Sharifi, C. Scoffoni, L. Sack and P. Rundel, "Making the best of the worst of times: traits underlying combined shade and drought tolerance of Ruscus aculeatus and R. microglossum", Functional Plant Biology, Levin S.A.(Eds.), 15 : - (2013) [link].

Rundel, P.W. and R.M. Cowling, "Mediterranean-climate ecosystems", Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, 2nd ed, Levin, S(Eds.), Oxford Elsevier 15 : - (2013) .

Keeley, J.E., C.J. Fotheringham and P.W. Rundel, "Postfire chaparral regeneration under mediterranean and non-mediterranean climates", Madrono, Levin, S(Eds.), 59 : 109-127 (2012) .

Graham, E.A., P.W. Rundel, W. Kaiser, Y. Lam, M. Stealey and E.M. Yuen, "Fine-scale patterns of soil and plant surface temperatures in an alpine fellfield habitat, White Mountains, California", Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, Levin, S(Eds.), 44 : 288-295 (2012) .

Keeley, J.E.,W.A. Bond, R.J. Bradstock, J.G. Pausas and P.W. Rundel, "Fire in Mediterranean Ecosystems: Ecology, Evolution and Management", Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, Levin, S(Eds.), Cambridge Cambridge University Press 44 : - (2012) .

Zutta, B.R., P.W. Rundel, S. Saatchi, J.D. Casana, P. Gauthier, A. Soto, Y. Velazco and W. Buermann, "Prediciendo la distribucion de Polylepis: bosques Andinos vulnerable y cada vez mas importantes", Revue Peruana de Biologia, Levin, S(Eds.), 19 : 205-212 (2012) .

Balderama, E., R.P. Schoenberg, E. Murray, and P.W. Rundel, "Application of branching models to the study of invasive species", Journal of the American Statistical Association, Levin, S(Eds.), 107 : 467-476 (2012) .