Washington University in St. Louis
Campus Box 1137
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
DBBS graduate programs Evolution, Ecology and Population Biology Program
Biodiversity is one of the most striking features of life on earth and has implications for a wide range of issues facing society including human health, the production of renewable resources, and global climate regulation. Our research group studies the causes of biodiversity at multiple scales, ranging from variation in the diversity of species’ traits to gradients in the diversity and dynamics of ecological communities across the planet. We explore theories to explain how fundamental processes of community ecology (speciation, dispersal, ecological drift & niche selection) interact to determine patterns of biodiversity across scales. Our current projects focus on three themes that integrate concepts from biogeography, community ecology, and evolutionary biology:
- Community Assembly from Local to Global Scales: What processes determine the assembly, diversity, and dynamics of communities across large-scale diversity gradients?
- Biogeography, Community Ecology & Conservation: How do biogeographic history and regional species pools influence patterns of biodiversity and mechanisms of community assembly in natural and human-modified landscapes?
- Biodiversity & Environmental Change: How does environmental change (e.g., drought, fire & net primary productivity) influence patterns of biodiversity at different scales within and across trophic levels?
We explore these questions using a combination of field experiments, large-scale and long-term observational studies, and modeling approaches in plant communities spanning temperate and tropical ecosystems. Our current study systems include temperate plant and pollinator communities in North America (e.g., the Ozarks & Northern Rockies), sub-tropical savannas within the hyperdiverse and threatened longleaf pine ecosystem of the southeastern United States (e.g., Florida & Louisiana), tropical forests from the Amazon to the Andes (e.g., Bolivia), and a worldwide network of temperate and tropical forest-dynamics plots coordinated through the Smithsonian Center for Tropical Forest Science-Forest Global Earth Observatory (CTFS-ForestGEO). Many of our local field studies are based at Washington University's 800-ha environmental field station, Tyson Research Center, located 25 miles (40 km) from St. Louis.
For more information, please visit our website: http://www.myersecologylab.com
LaManna, Joseph A., Maranda L. Walton, Benjamin L. Turner & Jonathan A. Myers. 2016. Negative density dependence is stronger in resource-rich environments and diversifies communities when stronger for common but not rare species. Ecology Letters 19: 657-667.
Spasojevic, Marko J., Benjamin L. Turner & Jonathan A. Myers. 2016. When does intraspecific trait variation contribute to functional beta-diversity? Journal of Ecology 104: 487-496.
Burkle, Laura A., Jonathan A. Myers & R. Travis Belote. 2016. The beta-diversity of species interactions: Untangling the drivers of geographic variation in plant-pollinator diversity and function across scales. American Journal of Botany 103: 118-28. [Invited paper for species issue: "Evolutionary Insights from Studies of Geographic Variation"]
Burkle, Laura A., Jonathan A. Myers & R. Travis Belote. 2015. Wildfire disturbance and productivity as drivers of plant species diversity across spatial scales. Ecosphere 6:art202.
Myers, Jonathan A., Jonathan M. Chase, Raelene M. Crandall & Iván Jiménez. 2015. Disturbance alters beta-diversity but not the relative importance of community assembly mechanisms. Journal of Ecology 103: 1291-1299. [Cover article]
Tello, J. Sebastián, Jonathan A. Myers, Manuel J. Macía, Alfredo F. Fuentes, Leslie Cayola, Gabriel Arellano, M. Isabel Loza, Vania Torrez, Maritza Cornejo & Peter M. Jørgensen. 2015. Elevational gradients in beta-diversity reflect variation in the strength of local community assembly mechanisms across spatial scales. PLoS ONE 10: e0121458.
Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J., et al. (108 total authors including Jonathan A. Myers). 2015. CTFS-ForestGEO: A worldwide network monitoring forests in an era of global change. Global Change Biology 21: 528-549.
Spasojevic, Marko J., Elizabeth A. Yablon, Brad Oberle & Jonathan A. Myers. 2014. Ontogenetic trait variation influences tree community assembly across environmental gradients. Ecosphere 5: article 129.
Myers, Jonathan A., Jonathan M. Chase, Iván Jiménez, Peter M. Jørgensen, Alejandro Araujo-Murakami, Narel Paniagua-Zambrana & Renate Seidel. 2013. Beta-diversity in temperate and tropical forests reflects dissimilar mechanisms of community assembly. Ecology Letters 16: 151-157.
Lessard Jean-Philippe, Jonathan Belmaker, Jonathan A. Myers, Jonathan M. Chase & Carsten Rahbek. 2012. Inferring local ecological processes amid species pool influences. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 27: 600-607. [Cover article]
Kraft, Nathan J.B., Liza S. Comita, Jonathan M. Chase, Nathan J. Sanders, Nathan G. Swenson, Thomas O. Crist, James C. Stegen, Mark Vellend, Brad Boyle, Marti J. Anderson, Howard V. Cornell, Kendi F. Davies, Amy L. Freestone, Brian D. Inouye, Susan P. Harrison & Jonathan A. Myers. 2011. Disentangling the drivers of β diversity along latitudinal and elevational gradients. Science 333: 1755-1758. [Cover article]
Chase, Jonathan M. & Jonathan A. Myers. 2011. Disentangling the importance of ecological niches from stochastic processes across scales. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 366: 2351-2363. [Invited paper for species issue: "Biogeography and Ecology: Two Views of One World"]
Myers, Jonathan A. & Kyle E. Harms. 2011. Seed arrival and ecological filters interact to assemble high-diversity plant communities. Ecology 92: 676-686.
Myers, Jonathan A. & Kyle E. Harms. 2009. Seed arrival, ecological filters, and plant species richness: A meta-analysis. Ecology Letters 12: 1250-1260.
Myers, Jonathan A. & Kaoru Kitajima. 2007. Carbohydrate storage enhances seedling shade and stress tolerance in a neotropical forest. Journal of Ecology 95:383-395.