NCEAS Project 2094

Restoration of invaded California grasslands

  • Eric Seabloom


ActivityDatesFurther Information
Postdoctoral Fellow1st June 1997—16th July 2004Participant List  

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Abstract
The evolution of behavior and plant-community dynamics are two seemingly disparate elements in ecology. However, the movement of animals through a landscape can have strong impacts on the competitive coexistence of various plant life-history strategies, and the distribution of resources can alter animal-movement patterns. Accordingly, animal behavior and plant-community dynamics can be inextricably linked by the influence of animal movement on the composition of plant communities and, in the case of herbivores, the effects of plant-community composition on animal movement. For disturbance-generating herbivores, the link between the animal-movement patterns and plant-community composition is particularly strong, because the animal's foraging success is dependent on the composition of the plant community and the animal's movement generates disturbances that can profoundly alter the competitive balance among plant species. Disturbance-generating herbivores are of additional interest because of their strong effects on the physical environment. For example, the tunneling behavior of pocket gophers can increase the heterogeneity of soil nitrogen, phosphorous, and carbon at the soil surface, but soil mixing will decrease vertical variability. In addition, the burrowing activity of gophers will lower soil bulk density and increase water infiltration, temperature, and litter decomposition rates. Pocket gopher activity is also a major force determining the rates of soil movement on hillslopes. In my research, I am using a variety of modeling techniques to examine the interactions between the behavior of disturbance-generating animals, the structure of the associated plant community, and the ecosystem processes that result from this interaction. These models range from spatially-explicit movement models to analytical models of animal energetics and soil erosion. This modeling work is closely coordinated with a series of field experiments designed to test the predictions in the California grassland system. This system is of particular interest, because of the high density of pocket gophers and their large apparent impacts on plant community composition and soil, nutrient, and water flux. In addition, the outcome of these studies is of profound conservation interest, because of widespread invasion of California native grasslands by exotic annual species.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Borer, Elizabeth T.; Anderson, Kurt E.; Blanchette, Carol A.; Broitman, Bernardo R.; Cooper, Scott D.; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Seabloom, Eric; Shurin, Jonathan B. 2002. Topological approaches to food web analyses: A few modifications may improve our insights. Oikos. Vol: 99. Pages 397-401.
Journal Article Borer, Elizabeth T.; Seabloom, Eric; Shurin, Jonathan B.; Anderson, Kurt E.; Blanchette, Carol A.; Broitman, Bernardo R.; Cooper, Scott D.; Halpern, Benjamin S. 2005. What determines the strength of a trophic cascade?. Ecology. Vol: 86. Pages 528-537.
Journal Article Gabet, Emmanuel J.; Reichman, O. J.; Seabloom, Eric. 2003. The effects of bioturbation on soil processes and sediment transport. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Vol: 31. Pages 249-273.
Journal Article Gerber, Leah R.; Seabloom, Eric; Burton, Rebecca S.; Reichman, O. J. 2003. Translocation of an imperilled woodrat population: Integrating spatial and habitat patterns. Animal Conservation. Vol: 6(4). Pages 309-316.
Journal Article Gram, Wendy K.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Cottingham, Kathryn L.; Seabloom, Eric; Boucher, V.; Goldwasser, Lloyd; Micheli, Fiorenza; Kendall, Bruce E.; Burton, Rebecca S. 2004. Distribution of plants in a California serpentine grassland: Are rocky hummocks spatial refuges for native species?. Plant Ecology. Vol: 172. Pages 159-171.
Journal Article Halpern, Benjamin S.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Seabloom, Eric; Shurin, Jonathan B. 2005. Predator effects on herbivore and plant stability. Ecology Letters. Vol: 8. Pages 189-194.
Journal Article Reichman, O. J.; Seabloom, Eric. 2002. Ecosystem engineering: A trivialized concept?: Response. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. Vol: 17. Pages 308.
Journal Article Reichman, O. J.; Seabloom, Eric. 2002. The role of pocket gophers as subterranean ecosystem engineers. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. Vol: 17. Pages 44-49.
Journal Article Romanach, Stephanie S.; Seabloom, Eric; Reichman, O. J.; Rogers, W. E.; Cameron, G. N. 2005. Effects of species, sex, age, and habitat on geometry of pocket gopher foraging tunnels. Journal of Mammalogy. Vol: 86(4). Pages 750-756.
Journal Article Romanach, Stephanie S.; Reichman, O. J.; Seabloom, Eric. 2005. Seasonal influences on burrowing activity of a subterranean rodent, Thomomys bottae. Journal of Zoology. Vol: 266(3). Pages 319-325.
Journal Article Seabloom, Eric; Moloney, Kirk A.; van der Valk, A. G. 1998. The role of water depth and soil temperature in determining initial composition of prairie wetland coenoclines. Plant Ecology. Vol: 138(2). Pages 203-216.
Presentations Seabloom, Eric. 1998. Topic: Restoration of California grasslands. Euro-American Mammal Congress. Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. Spain.
Journal Article Seabloom, Eric; Reichman, O. J.; Gabet, Emmanuel J. 2000. The effect of hillslope angle on pocket gopher (Thomomys bottae) burrow geometry. Oecologia. Vol: 125. Pages 26-34.
Journal Article Seabloom, Eric; Reichman, O. J. 2001. Simulation models of the interactions between herbivore foraging strategies, social behavior, and plant community dynamics. American Naturalist. Vol: 157. Pages 76-95.
Presentations Seabloom, Eric. 2001. Topic: Restoration of California grasslands. Estacion Biologica de Donana. Seville, Spain.
Presentations Seabloom, Eric. 2001. Topic: Restoration of California grasslands. Department of Biology, Pennsylvania State University. Sate College, Pennsylvania.
Journal Article Seabloom, Eric; Dobson, Andrew P.; Stoms, David M. 2002. Extinction rates under nonrandom patterns of habitat loss. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Vol: 99. Pages 11229-11234.
Presentations Seabloom, Eric. 2002. Topic: Restoration of California grasslands. Department of Zoology, University of Melbourne. Melbourne, Australia.
Presentations Seabloom, Eric. 2002. Topic: Restoration of California grasslands. Department of Botany, University of Wisconsin. Madison, Wisconsin.
Presentations Seabloom, Eric. 2002. Topic: Restoration of California grasslands. Department of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin. Madison, Wisconsin.
Presentations Seabloom, Eric. 2002. Topic: Restoration of California grasslands. School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University. Wellington, New Zealand.
Presentations Seabloom, Eric. 2003. Biological invasions seminar series. Pennsylvania State University.
Journal Article Seabloom, Eric; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Boucher, V.; Burton, Rebecca S.; Cottingham, Kathryn L.; Goldwasser, Lloyd; Gram, Wendy K.; Kendall, Bruce E.; Micheli, Fiorenza. 2003. Competition, seed limitation, disturbance, and reestablishment of California native annual forbs. Ecological Applications. Vol: 13(3). Pages 575-592.
Journal Article Seabloom, Eric; Harpole, W. Stanley; Reichman, O. J.; Tilman, David. 2003. Invasion, competitive dominance, and resource use by exotic and native California grassland species. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Vol: 100. Pages 13384-13389.
Journal Article Seabloom, Eric; Richards, Shane A. 2003. Multiple stable equilibria in grasslands mediated by herbivore population dynamics and foraging behavior. Ecology. Vol: 84(1). Pages 2891-2904.
Journal Article Seabloom, Eric; van der Valk, A. G. 2003. Plant diversity, composition, and invasion of restored and natural prairie pothole wetlands: Implications for restoration. Wetlands. Vol: 23. Pages 1-12.
Journal Article Seabloom, Eric; van der Valk, A. G. 2003. The development of vegetative zonation patterns in restored prairie pothole wetlands. Journal of Applied Ecology. Vol: 40. Pages 92-100.
Presentations Seabloom, Eric. 2003. Topic: Restoration of California grasslands. Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of California San Diego. San Diego, California.
Presentations Seabloom, Eric. 2003. Topic: Restoration of California grasslands. Department of Zoology, Oregon State University. Corvallis, Oregon.
Presentations Seabloom, Eric. 2004. Topic: Restoration of California grasslands. Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University. East Lansing, Michigan.
Journal Article Seabloom, Eric; Bjornstad, Ottar N.; Bolker, Benjamin; Reichman, O. J. 2005. Spatial signature of environmental heterogeneity, dispersal, and competition in successional grasslands. Ecological Monographs. Vol: 75(2). Pages 199-214.
Journal Article Seabloom, Eric. 2010. Spatial and temporal variability in propagule limitation of California native grasses. Oikos. Vol: 120(2). Pages 291-301. (Online version)
Journal Article Seabloom, William; Seabloom, Mary E.; Seabloom, Eric; Barron, Robert; Hendrickson, Sharon. 2003. A 14- to 24-year longitudinal study of a comprehensive sexual health model treatment program for adolescent sex offenders: Predictors of successful completion and subsequent criminal recidivism. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. Vol: 47(4). Pages 468-481.
Journal Article Shurin, Jonathan B.; Seabloom, Eric. 2005. The strength of trophic cascades across ecosystems: Predictions from allometry and energetics. Journal of Animal Ecology. Vol: 74. Pages 1029-1038.