Group highlights

(For a full list of publications, see Google Scholar)

Termite sensitivity to temperature affects global wood decay rates

Decomposition rates vary with temperature and precipitation, in part because of the effects of climate on decomposer organisms. Although microbes are widely recognized as decomposers, animals such as insects also play a key role in tropical systems. This global study quantifies climate-related variation in wood decomposition by both microbes and termites. Climate influenced both microbial and termite decomposition, but termite presence and activity were more sensitive to temperature. Termites may thus play a larger role in global wood decomposition as the climate warms.

Amy E. Zanne, Habacuc Flores-Moreno, Jeff R. Powell, William K. Cornwell, et al.

Science (2022)

Wood construction more strongly shapes deadwood microbial communities than spatial location over 5 years of decay

Microbial community structure varied more strongly with wood traits than with spatial locations, mirroring the relative role of these factors on decay rates on the same pieces of wood even after 5 years. Co‐occurring fungal and bacterial communities persistently influenced one another independently from their shared environmental conditions.

Marissa R. Lee, Brad Oberle, Wendy Olivas, Darcy F. Young, Amy E. Zanne

Environmental Microbiology (2020)

Set ambitious goals for biodiversity and sustainability

In response to the goals proposed in the draft post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) made public by the CBD, we urge negotiators to consider three points that are critical if the agreed goals are to stabilize or reverse nature’s decline.

S Díaz, N Zafra-Calvo, A Purvis, PH Verburg, D Obura, P Leadley, R Chaplin-Kramer, L De Meester, E Dulloo, B Martín-López, MR Shaw, P Visconti, W Broadgate, MW Bruford, ND Burgess, J Cavender-Bares, F DeClerck, JM Fernández-Palacios, LA Garibaldi, SLL Hill, F Isbell, CK Khoury, CB Krug, J Liu, M Maron, PJK McGowan, HM Pereira, V Reyes-García, J Rocha, C Rondinini, L Shannon, YJ Shin, PVR Snelgrove, EM Spehn, B Strassburg, SM Subramanian, JJ Tewksbury, JEM Watson, AE Zanne

Science (2020)

Leaf traits can be used to predict rates of litter decomposition

We decomposed green leaves and naturally senesced leaf litter of nine species representing a wide range of leaf functional traits. We evaluated the ability of traits associated with leaf and litter physiology, N biochemistry and carbon quality to predict litter decomposition.

Marc V. Rosenfield, Jason K. Keller, Catrina Clausen, Kimberlee Cyphers, Jennifer L. Funk

Oikos (2019)

Functional biogeography of angiosperms: life at the extremes

To understand linear and nonlinear relationships between angiosperm structure and biogeographic distributions, we integrated large datasets of growth habits, conduit sizes, leaf phenologies, evolutionary histories, and environmental limits.

Amy E. Zanne, William D. Pearse, William K. Cornwell, Daniel J. McGlinn, Ian J. Wright, Josef C. Uyeda

New Phytologist (2018)

Dissecting the Effects of Diameter on Wood Decay Emphasizes the Importance of Cross-Stem Conductivity in Fraxinus americana

We implemented a three-way factorial experiment in Fraxinus americana, (white ash), an iconic North American species threatened by an invasive beetle.

Brad Oberle, Kristofer R. Covey, Kevin M. Dunham, Edgar J. Hernandez, Maranda L. Walton, Darcy F. Young, Amy E. Zanne

Ecosystems (2018)

Fly family diversity shows evidence of livestock grazing pressure in Mongolia (Insecta: Diptera)

We examine how increasing grazing pressures on the Mongolian steppe affect Diptera diversity and abundance. We observed that fly family diversity decreased in heavily grazed sites and that diptera communities at sites with intense grazing have proportionally higher prevalence of taxa from the families Muscidae, Sepsidae, Ephydridae, Chloropidae, and Tachinidae, two of which are often associated with animal waste.

Rebecca A. Clement, Paul B. Frandsen, Tristan McKnight, C Riley Nelson

Journal of Insect Conservation (2018)

Towards a worldwide wood economics spectrum

To draw together our current understanding of wood function, we identify and collate data on the major wood functional traits, including the largest wood density database to date (8412 taxa), mechanical strength measures and anatomical features, as well as clade‐specific features such as secondary chemistry.

Jerome Chave, David Coomes, Steven Jansen, Simon L. Lewis, Nathan G. Swenson, Amy E. Zanne

Ecology Letters (2009)