Ecohydrology Research Group University of South Florida - School of Geosciences

Kai Coshow Rains
Research Associate Professor

The central theme of my research is ecosystem response to environmental stress such as inundation, disturbance, and soil nutrient limitations. I study response at the organismal level, including root growth and mycorrhizal associations and at the landscape level such as application of geospatial tools to natural resource assessment with a focus on waters and wetlands.


  • Rains, M., K. Schmidt, S. Landry, W. Kleindl, K.C. Rains In Review. Reorganizing the waterscape: asymmetric loss of wetlands and gain of artificial water features in a mixed-use watershed.Wetlands
  • Rains, K.C., C. Bledsoe, T.E.C. Kraus, N. Wurzburger In Review. Ericoid mycorrhizal shrub outcompetes ectomycorrhizal tree for nitrogen in tannin-rich litter. Ecosphere
  • Stepchinski L.M., M.C. Rains, L.C. Lee, R.A. Ris, W.L. Nutter, K.C. Rains, S.R. Stewart (2023) Hydrologic Connectivity and Flow Generation from California Vernal Pool, Swale, and Headwater Stream Complexes to Downstream Waters. Wetlands Pending revisions
  • Gerlach ME, Rains KC, Guerrón-Orejuela EJ, Kleindl WJ, Downs J, Landry SM, Rains MC (2022) Using remote sensing and machine learning to locate groundwater discharge to salmon-bearing streams. Remote Sensing 14(1):63 https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14010063
  • Creed, I.F., C.L. Lane, L. Alexander, N.B. Basu, A. Calhoun, M.J. Cohen, C. Craft, E. D'Amico, E. DeKeyser, L. Fowler, H.E. Golden, J.W. Jawitz, P. Kalla, L.K. Kirkman, M. Lang, S.G. Leibowitz, D.B. Lewis, J. Marton, D.L. McLaughlin, H. Raanan-Kiperwas, M.C. Rains, K.C. Rains, L. Smith, J.N. Serran (2017) Enhancing protections for vulnerable waters. Nature Geoscience doi:10.1038/ngeo3041
  • Rains, M.C., M.J. Cohen, H.E. Golden, K.C. Rains (2017) Connecting the dots: Hydrologic connectivity between wetlands and other wetlands and waterbodies. Water Resources IMPACT 19(2) 9-10.
  • Callahan, M.K., D.K. Whigham, M.C. Rains,K.C. Rains, R.S. King C.M. Walker, J.R. Maurer, S.J. Baird (2017) Nitrogen subsidies from hillslope alder stands to streamside wetlands and headwater streams, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. doi:10.1111/1752-1688.12508
  • Rains, M.C., S. Landry, K.C. Rains, V.Seidel, and T.L.Crisman (2013) Using net wetland loss, current wetland condition, and planned future watershed condition for wetland conservation planning and prioritization, Tampa Bay Watershed, Florida. Wetlands doi:10.1007/s13157-013-0455-4
  • Rains, K.C. and C.S. Bledsoe (2007) Rapid uptake of 15N-ammonium and glycine-13C, 15N by arbuscular and ericoid mycorrhizal plants native to a Northern California coastal pygmy forest. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 39:1078-1086.
  • Rains, K.C., N.M. Nadkarni, and C.S. Bledsoe (2003) Epiphytic and terrestrial mycorrhizas in a lower montane Costa Rican cloud forest. Mycorrhiza 13:257-264.

Selected Technical Reports

  • Rains K.C., K. Bornhorst (2016) A detailed analysis of the Florida Saltwater Angler Registry. Water Institute, School of Geosciences, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. Prepared for: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission http://waterinstitute.usf.edu/publications
  • Rains KC, M.C Rains (2015) Mangrove and Mangrove-Fringe Wetlands in Ostional, Nicaragua: Current Conditions and Pathways Forward. University of South Florida, School of Geosciences, Tampa, FL
  • Three Parameters Plus (2014) Disposal and control of invasive plant species. Prepared for the Alaska Dept. of Transportation and Public Facilities, Southeastern Region. Role: Lead Author www.dot.state.ak.us/stwddes/desenviron/assets/pdf/resources/se_invasive_final.pdf
  • Rains, K.C. (2013) Non-native plant species survey, Umiat airstrip and associated road system, North Slope, Alaska. Prepared for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Northern Region.
  • Three Parameters Plus (2012) Vegetation (Bristol Bay Drainages), (Field Methods, Summary Statistics, Descriptions of Habitat Types, Digital Mapping, and Landscape Distribution, Total Project Size: 250,000 acres, Southcentral Alaska) Chapter 13 and related appendices in "The environmental baseline document" Prepared for Pebble Partnership. http://pebbleresearch.com/ Role: Co-Author
  • Rains, K.C. and T. Van Diest (2012) Guide to common plants in northern Alaska: referencing Inupiaq and English names. Prepared for native communities in Northern Alaska and funded by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Northern Region.
  • Rains, K.C. (2009) Field guide to plants of the Donlin Gold Project. (Western Alaska, 229 target species and potential look-alike species) Prepared for Barrick Gold Corp.
  • Rains, K.C. (2009) Field guide to the plants of the Foothills West Transportation Access Project, North Slope. (Northern Alaska, 148 target species and potential look-alike species) Prepared for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Northern Region.
  • Rains, K.C. and L. Lewis (2008) Field Guide to Plants of the Pebble Project. (Southwestern Alaska, 270 target species and potential look-alike species) Prepared for Pebble Partnership, Anchorage, AK.
  • Rains, M.C. M.M. Brinson, M. Clark, K.A. Coshow, J. Hall, G. Hollands, W.J. Kleindl, D. LaPlant, L. C. Lee, W. L. Nutter, R. Post, J. Powell, T. Rockwell, and D. Whigham (1997) Draft guidebook for the application of hydrogeomorphic functional assessments in precipitation-driven wetlands in Interior Alaska. Prepared for the State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • Lee, L.C., J.A. Mason, K.L. Fetherston, K.A. Coshow, M. Brinson, G. Hollands, W. Nutter, and D. Whigham (1996) Draft regional guidebook to HGM functional assessments in riverine waters/wetlands and slope wetlands in Southeast Alaska. Prepared for the State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.