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Dr. Daniel McLaughlin

Associate Professor
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, Clemson University; M.S., Environmental Engineering, Clemson University; Ph.D., Systems Ecology and Ecological Engineering, University of Florida

Dr. Daniel McLaughlin

Dr. Daniel McLaughlin
210C Cheatham Hall
310 West Campus Dr.
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Forest and wetland ecohydrology; biotic feedbacks to landform development; watershed and landscape hydrology; emerging environmental sensors; restoration and management of water resources.

My research uses state-of-the-art field instrumentation and process-based modeling to explore the abiotic/biotic interactions that control ecosystem function.  Research questions span scales (e.g., patch, watershed, landscape) and systems (e.g., forests, wetlands, streams), and are ultimately aimed at improving restoration and management of water resources.

For graduate research opportunities, please send me your C.V. and contact information.

VA Water Resources Research Center

  • Wetlandscape Functions.  Investigating the many ways that spatially distributed wetlands provide functions at local to landscapes scales.
  • Drivers of Headwater Stream Condition.  Assessing the impacts of watershed activities on water quality and habitat of headwater streams.
  • Managing Forests for Water Resources.  Understanding the role of forest management and conservation in supporting regional water resources.
  • Smoldering Fires in Peatlands.  Predicting peat fire vulnerability over time and space, and assessing post-fire conditions and vegetation recovery.
  • Hydrologic Variability in Bog Turtle Habitats.  Assessing the controls of water level variability and associated habitat conditions for this endangered species.
  • Diamond, J.S., Epstein, J., Cohen, M., McLaughlin, D.L., Hsueh, Y., Keim, R., Duberstein, J. (2021) A little relief: ecological functions and autogenesis of wetland microtopography. WIREs Water 8: e1493, doi:10.1002/wat2.1493.
  • Cianciolo T., Diamond, J., McLaughlin, D.L., Slesak, R., D’Amato, A, Palik, B. (2020) Hydrologic variability in black ash wetlands: implications for vulnerability to emerald ash borer. Hydrological Processes: doi:10.1002/hyp.14014.
  • Klammer, H., Quintero, C., Jawitz, J., McLaughlin, D.L., Cohen, M. (2020) Local storage dynamics of individual wetlands predict wetlandscape discharge. Water Resources Research: doi:10.1029/2020WR027581.
  • Diamond, J.S., McLaughlin, D.L., Slesak, R., Stovall, A. (2020) Microtopography is a fundamental organizing structure of vegetation and soil chemistry in black ash wetlands. Biogeosciences 17: 901-915, doi:10.5194/bg-17-901-2020.
  • Cianciolo, T.R., McLaughlin, D.L., Zipper, C., Timpano, A., Soucek, D., Whitmore, K., Schoenholtz, S. (2020) Selenium bioaccumulation across trophic levels and along a longitudinal gradient in headwater streams. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 39: 692-704, doi:10.1002/et.4660.
  • Cianciolo, T.R., McLaughlin, D.L., Zipper, C., Timpano, A., Soucek, D., Schoenholtz, S. (2020) Impacts to water quality and biota persist in mining-influenced Appalachian streams. Science of the Total Environment 717: 137216, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137216.
  • Acharya, S., McLaughlin, D.L., Kaplan, D., Cohen, M. (2020) A proposed method for estimating interception from near-surface soil moisture response. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 24: 1859-1870, doi:10.5194/hess-24-1859-2020.
  • Hensley, R., Decker, C., McLaughlin, D., Schilling, E., Cohen, M. (2020) Fertilization has negligible effects on nutrient export and stream biota in two North Florida forested watersheds. Forest Ecology and Management 465: 118096, doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118096.
  • Diamond, J.S., McLaughlin, D.L., Slesak, R., Stovall, A. (2019) Pattern and structure of microtopography implies autogenic origins in forested wetlands. Hydrology and Earth Systems Sciences 23: 5069-5088, doi:10.5194/hess-23-5069-2019.
  • McLaughlin, D.L., Diamond, J.S., Quintero, C. Heffernan, J., Cohen, M.J. (2019) Wetland connectivity thresholds and flow dynamics from stage measurements. Water Resources Research 55: 6018-6032, doi:10.1029/2018WR024652.
  • Schulte, M.L., McLaughlin, D.L., Wurster, F.C., Varner, J.M., Stewart, R.D., Aust, W.M., Jones, C.N., Gile, B. (2019) Short- and long-term hydrologic controls on smoldering fire in wetlands soils. International Journal of Wildland Fire 28: 177-186, doi:10.1071/WF18086.
  • Jones, C.N., Ameli, A., Neff, B., Evenson, G., McLaughlin, D.L., Golden, H., Lane, C. (2019) Modeling connectivity of non-floodplain wetlands: insights, approaches, and recommendations. Journal of American Water Resources Association 55: 559-577, doi:10.1111/1752-1688.12735.
  • Stovall, A., Diamond, J.S., Slesak, R.A., McLaughlin, D.L., Shugart, H. (2019) Quantifying wetland microtopography with terrestrial laser scanning. Remote Sensing of Environment: doi:10.1016/j.rse.2019.111271.
  • Jensen, C.K., McGuire, K.J., McLaughlin, Scott, D.T. (2019) Quantifying spatiotemporal variation in headwater stream length using flow intermittency sensors. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment: doi:10.1007/s10661-019-7373-8.
  • Schulte, M.L., McLaughlin, D.L., Wurster, F.C., Balentine, K., Speiran, G.K., Aust, M., Stewart, R.D., Varner, J.M., Jones, C.N. (2019) Linking ecosystem function and hydrologic regime to inform restoration of a forested peatland. Journal of Environmental Management 233: 342-351, doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.12.042.
  • Evenson, G., Jones, C.N., McLaughlin, D.L., Golden, H., Lane, C., DeVries, B., Alexander, L.C., Lang, M.W., McCarty, G.W., Sharifi, A. (2018) A watershed-scale model for depressional wetland-rich landscapes. Journal of HydrologyX 1: doi:10.1016/j.hydroa.2018.10.002.
  • Diamond, J., McLaughlin, D.L., Slesak, R., D’Amato, A., Palik, B. (2018) Forested versus herbaceous wetlands: can management mitigate ecohydrologic regime shifts from invasive emerald ash borer. Journal of Environmental Management 222: 436-446, doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.05.082.
  • Dong, X., Cohen, M.J., Martin, J., McLaughlin, D.L., Murray, A., Ward, N.D., Flint, M., Heffernan, J. (2018) Ecohydrologic processes and soil thickness feedbacks control limestone-weathering rates in a karst landscape. Chemical Geology: doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.05.021.
  • Chamberlin, C., Bianchi, T., Brown, A., Cohen, M.J., Dong, X., Flint, M., Martin, J., McLaughlin, D.L., Murray, A., Pain, A., Quintero, C., Ward, N., Zhang, X., Heffernan, J. (2018) Mass balance implies Holocene development of a low-relief karst patterned landscape. Chemical Geology: doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.05.029.
  • Evenson, G.R., Golden, H., Lane, C., McLaughlin, D.L., D’Amico, E. (2018) Depressional wetlands affect watershed hydrological, biogeochemical, and ecological functions. Ecological Applications. doi: 10.1002/eap.01701.
  • Jones, C.N., McLaughlin, D.L., Henson, K., Hass, C.A., Kaplan, D.A. (2018) From salamanders to greenhouse gases: does upland management affect wetland function? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 16(1): 14-19, doi:10.1002/fee.1744.
  • Jones, C.N., Evenson, G.R., McLaughlin, D.L., Vanderhoof, M., Lang, M., McCarty, G., Golden, H., Lane, C., Alexander, L. (2018) Estimating restorable wetland water storage at landscape scales. Hydrological Processes. doi: 10.1002/hyp.11405.
  • Creed, I.F., Lane, C.R., Alexander, L., Basu, N.B., Calhoun, A., Cohen, M.J., Craft, C., D’Amico, E., DeKeyser, E., Fowler, L., Golden, H.E., Jawitz, J.W., Kalla, P., Kirkman, L.K., Lang, M., Leibowitz, S.G., Lewis, D.B., Marton, J., McLaughlin, D.L., Raanan-Kiperwas, H., Rains, M.C., Smith, L., Serran, J.N. (2017) Enhancing protections for vulnerable waters. Nature Geoscience 10: 809-815, doi: 10.1038/NGEO3041.
  • Golden, H.E., Creed, I.F., Ali, G., Basu, N.B., Neff, B., Rains, M.C, McLaughlin, D.L., Alexander, L.C., Ameli, A.A., Christensen, J.R., Evenson, G.R., Jones, C.N., Lane, C.R., Lang, M. (2017) Scientific tools for integrating geographically isolated wetlands into land management decisions.  Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 15(6):319-327, doi: 10.1002/fee.1504.
  • Chandler, H. C., McLaughlin, D.L., Gorman, T.A., McGuire, K.J., Feaga, J.B., Haas, C.A. (2017) Drying rates of ephemeral wetlands: implications for breeding amphibians. Wetlands: doi: 10.1007/s13157-017-0889-1.
  • Hensley, R.T., McLaughlin, D.L., Cohen, M.J., Decker, P.H. (2017) Stream phosphorus dynamics of minimally impacted coastal plain watersheds. Hydrological Processes: doi: 10.1002/hyp.11132.
  • Van Meter, K.J., Steiff, M., McLaughlin, D.L., Basu, N.B. (2016) The socioecohydrology of rainwater harvesting tanks in India: understanding water storage and release dynamics across spatial scales. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (20): 2629-2647, doi: 10.5194/hess-20-2629-2016.
  • Cohen, M.J., Creed, I., Alexander, L., Basu, N., Calhoun, A., Craft, C., D’Amico, E., DeKeyser, E., Fowler, L., Golden, H., Jawitz, J., Kalla, P., Kirkman, K., Lane, C., Lang, M., Leibowitz, S., Lewis, D., Marton, J., McLaughlin, D.L., Mushet, D., Rannan-Kiperwas, H., Rains, M., Smith, L., Walls, S. (2016) Do geographically isolated wetlands influence landscape functions? Proceedings of the National Academy Sciences 113(8): 1978-1986, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1512650113.
  • Watts, A. C., Schmidt, C.A., McLaughlin, D.L., Kaplan, D.A. (2015) Hydrologic implications of smoldering fires in wetland landscapes. Freshwater Science: doi: 10.1086/683484.
  • Rains, M.C., Leibowitz, S.G., Cohen, M.J., Creed, I.F., Golden, H.E., Jawitz, J.W., Kalla, P., Lane, C.R., Lang, M.W., McLaughlin, D.L. (2015) Geographically isolated wetlands are part of the hydrological landscape. Hydrological Processes: doi:  10.1002/hyp.10610.
  • McLaughlin, D.L., Kaplan, D.A., Cohen, M.J. (2014).  A significant nexus: geographically isolated wetlands influence landscape hydrology.  Water Resources Research: doi:10.1002/2013WR015002.
  • Watts, A.C., Watts, D.L., Cohen, M.J., Heffernan, J.B, McLaughlin, D.L., Martin, J.B., Kaplan, D.A., Osborne, T.Z., Kobziar, L.N. (2014) Evidence of biogeomorphic patterning in a low-relief karst landscape.  Earth Surface Processes and Landforms: doi: 10.1002/esp.3597.
  • McLaughlin, D.L., Carlson Mazur, M.L., Kaplan, D.A., Cohen, M.J. (2014) Estimating effective specific yield in inundated conditions: a comment on a recent application. Ecohydrology: doi: 10.1002/eco.1522.
  • Cademus, R., Escobedo, F.J., McLaughlin, D.L., Abd-Elrahman, A. (2014) Analyzing trade-offs, synergies, and drivers among timber production, carbon sequestration, and water yield in Pinus elliotii forests in southeastern USA.  Forests 5(6): 1409-1431, doi: 10.3390/f5061409.
  • McLaughlin, D.L., Cohen, M.J. (2014) Ecosystem specific yield for estimating evapotranspiration and groundwater exchange from diel surface water variation.  Hydrological Processes 28: 1495-1506, doi: 10.1002/hyp.9672.
  • McLaughlin, D.L., Kaplan, D.A., Cohen, M.J. (2013) Managing forests for increased regional water yield in the southeastern U.S. coastal plain.  The Journal of the American Water Resources Association 49(4): 953-965, doi: 10.1111/jawr.12073.
  • McLaughlin, D.L., Cohen, M.J. (2013) Realizing ecosystem services: Wetland hydrologic function along a gradient of ecological condition.  Ecological Applications 23(7): 1619-1631.
  • McLaughlin, D.L., Brown, M.T., Cohen, M.J. (2012) The ecohydrology of a pioneer wetland species and a drastically altered landscape.  Ecohydrology 5: 656-667, doi: 10.1002/eco.253.
  • McLaughlin, D.L., Cohen, M.J. (2011) Thermal artifacts in measurements of fine-scale water level variation.  Water Resources Research 47: W09601, doi:10.1029/2010WR010288.
  • FREC 4784/5784 Wetland Hydrology and Biogeochemistry
  • FREC 3754 Watersheds and Water Quality Monitoring