Dr. Carla D'Antonio

RESEARCH: My research focus has been to understand processes that control invasions by non-native species into ecological communities and how and when the addition of some individual species affects ecosystem structure and functioning. I seek a mechanistic understanding of ecological patterns and process and although I work primarily at the community and ecosystem levels, I also examine individual plant and population processes. Such an integrated approach is often necessary to answer questions about the importance of individual species and how communities and ecosystems will change with increasing human population pressure, increasing movement of plant species, nitrogen deposition and climatic fluctuations. I also try to link my research questions and findings to the restoration of community and ecosystem processes in degraded ecosystems.

Students and postdocs in my lab work on a variety of research questions related to understanding controls over vegetation change such as species invasions, the importance of fire and nutrient availability to vegetation change, and the impact of individual species on 'native' ecosystem structure or functioning. While the studies of species invasions has important conservation implications, these species also offer an important opportunity to probe factors structuring plant communities and sources of variation in species effects on ecosystem processes. But in my lab we also study vegetation change that may not involve species invasions. For example we are studying ecosystem responses to high intensity wildfire events in sites where non-native species currently play very little role.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS (to represent a range of activities with which I have been associated):

D'Antonio, C. and P. Vitousek. 1992. Biological invasions by exotic grasses, the grass-fire cycle and global change. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 23:63-88.

Levine, J. and C.M. D'Antonio. 1999. Elton revisited: a review of evidence linking diversity and invasability. Oikos 87: 15-26.

D'Antonio, C.M, J.T. Tunison and R. Loh. 2000. Variation in impact of exotic grass fueled fires on species composition across an elevation gradient in Hawai'i . Austral Ecol. 25:507-522.

D'Antonio, C.M., R.F. Hughes and P.M. Vitousek. 2001. Factors influencing dynamics of invasive C4 grasses in a Hawaiian woodland: role of resource competition and priority effects. Ecology 82:89-104.

D'Antonio, C.M., J. Levine and M. Thomsen. 2001. Ecosystem resistance to invasion and the role of propagule supply: A California perspective. Journal of Mediterranean Ecology 2:233-245.

Mack, M., C.M. D'Antonio and R. Ley. 2001. Pathways through which exotic grasses alter N cycling in a seasonally dry Hawaiian woodland. Ecological Applications 11:1323-1335.

Brooks, M.L., C.M. D'Antonio, D.M. Richardson, J.B. Grace, J.E. Keeley,J.M. DiTomaso, R.J. Hobbs,M. Pellant, D. Pyke. 2004. Effects of invasive alien plants on fire regimes. Bioscience 54:677-688 .

Thomsen, M., C.M. D'Antonio, K.W. Suttle, and W.P. Sousa. 2006. Ecological resistance, seed density and their interactions determine patterns of invasion in a California coastal prairie. Ecology letters 9:160-170.

D'Antonio, C.M. and M. M. Mack. 2006. Nutrient limitation in a fire-derived, nitrogen rich Hawaiian grassland. Biotropica 38: 458-467.

Stromberg, M., J. Corbin and C. D'Antonio (editors). 2007. California grasslands: ecology and management. UC Press, Berkeley.

D'Antonio, C.M., C. Malmstrom, S.A. Reynolds and J. Gerlach.2007. Ecology of invasive non-native species in California grassland. Pp. 67-86. In, M. Stromberg, J. Corbin and C.M. D'Antonio, editors. California grassland: ecology and management. UC Press, Berkeley.

D'Antonio, CM, J. Chambers, R. Loh and JT Tunison. 2009. Applying ecological concepts to the management of widespread grass invasions. In: Management of invasive weeds , Inderjit (editor). P. 123-149. Springer-Verlag.

Corbin, J. and C.M. D'Antonio. 2011. Abundance and productivity mediate invader effects on nitrogen dynamics in a California grassland. Ecosphere , in press.

D'Antonio, C.M., R.F. Hughes and JT. Tunison. 2011. Long-term impacts of invasive grasses and subsequent fire in seasonally dry Hawaiian woodlands. Ecological Applications , in press.


Contact Info:

Office: Bren Hall 4017
Phone: (805) 893-2796
Email: dantonio@es.ucsb.edu

link to departmental webpage


Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology Department :: Environmental Studies Department :: University of California Santa Barbara