3 Works

Season of prescribed fire determines grassland restoration outcomes after fire exclusion and overgrazing

Erin N. Novak, Michelle Bertelsen, Dick Davis, Devin M. Grobert, Kelly G. Lyons, Jason P. Martina, W. Matt McCaw, Matthew O'Toole & Joseph W. Veldman
Fire exclusion and mismanaged grazing are globally important drivers of environmental change in mesic C4 grasslands and savannas. Although interest is growing in prescribed fire for grassland restoration, we have little long-term experimental evidence of the influence of burn season on the recovery of herbaceous plant communities, encroachment by trees and shrubs, and invasion by exotic grasses. We conducted a prescribed fire experiment (seven burns between 2001 and 2019) in historically fire-excluded and overgrazed grasslands...

Ontogenetic development underlies population response to mortality

Benjamin Toscano, Alexandra Figel & Volker Rudolf
Understanding demographic responses to mortality is crucial to predictive ecology. While classic ecological theory posits reductions in population biomass in response to extrinsic mortality, models containing realistic developmental change predict the potential for counterintuitive increase in stage-specific biomass, i.e., biomass overcompensation. Patterns of biomass overcompensation should be predictable based on differences in the relative energetic efficiencies of juvenile maturation and adult reproduction. Specifically, in populations where reproduction is the limiting process, adult-specific mortality should enhance...

Developmental change in predators drives different community configurations

Benjamin Toscano & Volker Rudolf
Theoreticians who first observed alternative stable states in simple ecological models warned of grave implications for unexpected and irreversible collapses of natural systems (i.e., regime shifts). Recent ecosystem-level shifts engendering considerable economic losses have validated this concern, positioning bistability at the vanguard of coupled human-environment systems management. While the perturbations that induce regime shifts are known, the ecological forces that uphold alternative stable states are often unresolved or complex and system-specific. Thus, the search continues...

Registration Year

  • 2021

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Trinity College
  • Rice University
  • The University of Texas at Austin
  • Texas A&M University
  • Texas State University