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The Center for Agroforestry

Meet the UMCA Faculty and Staff

Ranjith Udawatta

Ranjith Udawatta, Ph.D.

Research Professor

Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 882-4347

The primary objective of my research is to quantify environmental benefits of agroforestry. Currently, I am conducting research on influences of agroforestry and grass buffer on water and soil quality. In addressing this issue I am examining how trees and grass buffers change surface and subsurface water quality by reducing runoff, nutrients and sediment when intercropped in rowcrop agriculture. Changes in soil physical properties, soil water dynamics, competition for resources, root length density, nutrient accumulation, and microclimate are being evaluated in an agroforestry alley cropping practice. Soil carbon sequestration, cattle grazing impact on water quality, and prairie restoration are some of the areas in which I have conducted research. Recently, I used X-ray computed tomography to quantify soil porosity, distribution of pores, pore connectivity, and tortuosity as influenced by agroforestry and grass buffers.

    • Baffaut, C., N.O. Nelson, J.A. Lory, G.M.M.M.A. Senaviratne, A. B. Bhandari, R.P. Udawatta, D. W. Sweeney, M.J. Helmers, M. Van Liew, A.P. Mallarino, and C.S. Wortmann. 2017. Multisite evaluation of APEX for water quality: 1. Best professional judgement parameterization. Journal of Environmental Quality. doi:10.2134/jeq2016.06.0226
    • Nelson, N.O, C. Baffaut, J.A. Lory, G.M.M.M.A. Senaviratne, A. B. Bhandari, R.P. Udawatta, D. W. Sweeney, M.J. Helmers, M.W. Van Liew, A P. Mallarino, and C.S. Wortmann. 2017. Multisite evaluation of APEX for water quality: II Regional parameterization. Journal of Environmental Quality. doi:10.2134/jeq2016.07.0254
    • Weerasekera, C., Udawatta, R.P., Gantzer, C.J., Kremer, R.J., Jose, S., and Veum, K. 2017. Effects of cover crops on soil quality: Selected chemical and biological parameters. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis.
    • Nash, P.R, K.A. Nelson, P.P. Motavalli, and R.P. Udawatta. 2017 Improved water management of a poorly drained floodplain soil and the impact on forage production and nitrate concentration. J. Soil Water Conserv. 72:640-649.
    • Chandrasoma, J.M., R.P. Udawatta, S.H. Anderson, A.L. Thompson, and M.A. Abney. 2017. Soil hydraulic properties as influenced by prairie restoration. Geoderma 283:48-56. DOI:10.1016/j.geoderma.2016.08.001
    • Udawatta, R.P., C.J. Gantzer, S.H. Anderson, and S. Assouline. 2016. Synchrotron microtomographic quantification of geometrical soil pore characteristics affected by compaction. SOIL 2:211-220. DOI:10.5194/soil-2-211-2016
    • Zamora, D. and R.P. Udawatta. 2016. Agroforestry as a Catalyst for on-farm conservation and diversification. Agroforestry Systems 90:711-714. DOI 10.1007/s10457-016-0013-1
    • Svoma, B.M., N.I. Fox, Q. Pallardy, and R.P. Udawatta. 2016. Evapotranspiration differences between agroforestry and grass buffer systems. Agricultural Water Management. 176:214-221. DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2016.06.018
    • Akdemir, E., S.H. Anderson, and R.P. Udawatta. 2016. Influence of agroforestry buffers on soil hydraulic properties relative to row crop management. Soil Science. 181:368-376 DOI: 10.1097/SS.0000000000000170.
    • Udawatta, R.P., C.J. Gantzer, T.M. Reinbott, R.L. Wright, and R.A. Pierce II. 2016. Yield differences influenced by distance from riparian buffers and CRP. Agronomy Journal 108:647-655. DOI:10.2134/agronj2015.0273
    • Sahin, H., S.H. Anderson, and R.P. Udawatta. 2016. Water infiltration and soil water content in claypan soils influenced by agroforestry and grass buffers compared to row crop management. Agroforestry Systems DOI 10.1007/s10457-016-9899-x
    • Weerasekara, C., R.P. Udawatta, S. Jose, R.J. Kremer, and C. Weerasekara. 2016. Soil quality differences in a row-crop watershed with agroforestry and grass buffers. Agroforestry Systems DOI 10.1007/s10457-016-9903-5
    • Rajper, A.M., R.P. Udawatta, R.J. Kremer, C-Ho Lin, and S. Jose. 2016. Assessing the role of probiotics on soil microbial biomass, communities structure and enzyme activity. Agroforestry Systems 90:811-827. DOI 10.1007/s10457-016-9895-1
    • Adhikari, P., R.P. Udawatta, S.H. Anderson, and C.J. Gantzer. 2014. Soil thermal properties under prairies, conservation buffers, and corn/soybean land use systems. Soil Science Society of America Journal 78:1977-1986. DOI:10.2136/sssaj2014.02.0074
    • Udawatta, R.P., P. Adhikari, G.M.M.M.A Senaviratne, and H.E. Garrett. 2014. Variability of soil carbon in row crop watersheds with agroforestry buffers. Agroforestry Systems 89:37-47. DOI:10.1007/s10457-014-9740-3
    • Senaviratne, G.M.M.M.A., R.P. Udawatta, S.H Anderson, C. Baffaut, and A. Thompson. 2014. Use of Fuzzy rainfall-runoff predictions for claypan watersheds with conservation buffers. Journal of Hydrology 507:1008-1018. DOI:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.06.023
    • Udawatta, R.P., R.J. Kremer, K.A. Nelson, S. Jose, and S. Bardhan. 2014. Soil quality of a mature alley cropping agroforestry system in temperate North America. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 45:2539-2551. 00: 1-13.DOI: 10.1080/00103624.2014.932376
    • Senaviratne, G.M.M.M.A., R.P. Udawatta, C. Baffaut, and S.H Anderson. 2014. Evaluation of a stepwise, multiobjective, multivariable parameter optimization method for the APEX model. Journal of Environmental Quality 43:1381-1391. DOI:10.2134/jeq2013.12.0509
    • Udawatta, R.P., K.A. Nelson, S. Jose, and P.P. Motavalli. 2014. Temporal and spatial differences in crop yields of a mature silver maple alley cropping system. Agronomy Journal 106:407-415. DOI:10.2134/agronj2013.0429
    • Bardhan, S., S. Jose, R.P. Udawatta, and F. Fritschi. 2013. Microbial community diversity in a 21-year-old temperate alley cropping system. Agroforestry Systems 87:1031-1041. DOI: 10.1007/s10457-013-9617-x
    • Senaviratne, G.M.M.M.A., R.P. Udawatta, C. Baffaut, and S.H. Anderson. 2013. Agricultural policy environmental extender simulation of three adjacent row-crop watersheds in the claypan region. Journal of Environmental Quality 42:726-736. DOI:10.2134/jeq2012.0241
    • Motavalli, P.P., R.P. Udawatta, and S. Bardhan. 2013. Apparent soil electrical conductivity used to determine soil phosphorus variability in poultry litter-amended pastures. American Journal of Experimental agriculture 3(1):124-141. DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/2122

Book Chapters

    • Udawatta, R.P., C.J. Gantzer, S. Jose. 2017. Agroforestry practices and soil ecosystem services. pp 305-334. In M.M. Al-Kaisi and B. Lowery (Eds.) Soil Health and Intensification of Agroecosytems. Elsevier AP, USA.
    • Udawatta et al., 2017 (invited contributor). Agroforestry and climate change: reducing threats and enhancing resiliency in agricultural landscapes. Haan, T., T. Patel-Weynand, M. Schoeneberger, and G. Bentrup (Eds.). USDA Forest Service. 63p. In Press
    • Udawatta, R.P., S.H. Anderson, C.J. Gantzer, and S. Assouline. 2013. Computed tomographic evaluation of earth materials with varying resolutions pp. 97-112 In S.H. Anderson and J.W. Hopmans (eds.) Soil-Water-Root Processes: Advances in Tomography and Imaging. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Special Pub. 61, Madison, WI.
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