Katharine Suding

Head shot of Katharine Suding
Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1999 • Professor EBIO & INSTAAR
(303) 735-3193

Ramaley C-296

Research Lab 1 (RL-1) on East Campus, Room 120

Research Description

I am a plant community ecologist working at the interface of ecosystem, landscape and population biology. My goal is to apply cutting-edge “usable” science to the challenges of restoration, species invasion, and environmental change. My research group and I work with a range of conservation groups, government agencies and land managers to provide evidence-based solutions that take into account biodiversity, human well-being, and management opportunities. We employ a combination of long-term monitoring, modeling and experimental approaches in settings that range from alpine tundra to oak woodlands to grasslands. Common themes include plant-soil feedbacks, functional traits, species effects on ecosystem processes, and non-linear and threshold dynamics.

Selected Publications

Suding, K.N., K.L. Gross, and G. Houseman. 2004. Alternative states and positive feedbacks in restoration ecology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 19: 46-53.

Suding, K.N., S.L. Collins, L. Gough, C. Clark, E.E. Cleland, K.L. Gross, D.G. Milchunas, and S. Pennings. 2005. Functional- and abundance-based mechanisms explain diversity loss due to N fertilization. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 102: 4387-4392. 

Suding, K.N., S. Lavorel, F.S. Chapin, H. Cornelissen, S. Diaz, E. Garnier, D. Goldberg, D.U. Hooper, S.T. Jackson and M.L. Navas. 2008. Scaling environmental change through the community-level: a trait-based response-and-effect framework for plants. Global Change Biology 14:1125-1140

Funk, J. L., E.E. Cleland, K.N. Suding, E.S. Zavatela. 2008. Restoration through re-assembly: plant traits and invasion resistance. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 23: 695-703

Suding, K.N. and R.J. Hobbs. 2009. Threshold models in restoration and conservation:  a developing framework. Trends in Ecology and Evolution  24:271-279

Suding, K.N. 2011. Toward an era of restoration in ecology: successes, failures, and opportunities ahead. Annual Review Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 42: 465-487.

Spasojevic, M.J., and K.N. Suding. 2012. Inferring community assembly mechanisms from functional diversity patterns: the importance of multiple assembly processes. Journal of Ecology 100: 652-661.

Butterfield, B. J. and K. N. Suding. 2013. Single-trait functional indices outperform multi-trait indices in linking environmental gradients and ecosystem services in a complex landscape. Journal of Ecology 101:9-17.

Cleland, E. E., L. Larios, and K. N. Suding. 2013. Strengthening Invasion Filters to Reassemble Native Plant Communities: Soil Resources and Phenological Overlap. Restoration Ecology 21:390-398.

Dickens, S. and K. Suding. 2013. Spanning the Science-Practice Divide: Why Restoration Scientists Need to be More Involved with Practice. Ecological Resoration 31:134-140.

Hallett, L. M., S. Diver, M. V. Eitzel, J. J. Olson, B. S. Ramage, H. Sardinas, Z. Statman-Weil, and K. N. Suding. 2013. Do We Practice What We Preach? Goal Setting for Ecological Restoration. Restoration Ecology 21:312-319.

Suding, K. N., W. S. Harpole, T. Fukami, A. Kulmatiski, A. S. MacDougall, C. Stein, and W. H. van der Putten. 2013. Consequences of plant-soil feedbacks in invasion. Journal of Ecology 101:298-308.

Hallett, L. M., J. S. Hsu, E. E. Cleland, S. Collins, T. L. Dickson, E. C. Farrer, K. Gross, L. A. Gherardi, R. J. Hobbs, L. Turnbull, and K. N. Suding. 2014. Biotic mechanisms of community stability shift along a precipitation gradient. Ecology 1693-1700.

Maron, J.L, H. Auge, D Pearson, L. Korell, I. Henson, KN Suding, C. Stein. 2014.  Staged invasions across disparate grasslands: effects of seed provenance, consumers and disturbance on productivity and species richness. Ecology Letters 17: 499-507.

Farrer, E. C., I. Ashton, J. Knape, and K. N. Suding. 2014. Separating direct and indirect effects of global change: a population dynamic modeling approach using readily available field data. Global Change Biology 20:1238-1250.

Goldstein, L.J and K.N. Suding. 2014.  Intra-annual rainfall regime shifts competitive interactions between coastal sage scrub and invasive grasses. Ecology 95: 425-435 .

Standish, RJ, RJ Hobbs, MM Mayfield, BT Bestelmeyer, KN Suding, et al. 2014. Resilience in ecology: abstraction, distraction, or where the action is? Biological Conservation 177: 43-51.

Spasojevic, M.J, Copeland, S., and Suding, K.N. 2014. Using functional diversity patterns to explore metacommunity dynamics: a framework for understanding local and regional influences on community structure. Ecography 10: 939-949.

Hobbs, RJ, E Higgs, CM Hall and multiple authors including KN Suding. 2014. Managing the whole landscape: histroical, hybrid and novel ecosystems. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12: 557-564.

Stein, C, LM Hallett, WS Harpole and KN Suding. 2014. Evaluating ecosystem services provided by non-native species: an experimental test in California grasslands. PLoS ONE 9: e75396.

Suding, KN, E. Higgs, M. Palmer, et al. 2015. Committing to ecological restoration. Science. 348: 638-640.