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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Dana M Blumenthal


Dana Blumenthal
         1701 Center Ave.
         Fort Collins, CO 80526
PHONE: 970-492-7122
FAX:   970-492-7160


Degrees    Research   Publications


 B.A. Reed College 1992
 M.S. University of Minnesota 1999
 Ph.D. University of Minnesota 2001


Research Interests:

Current research within Dr. Blumenthal's lab has three primary objectives:

(1) Predict how global change will influence semi-arid rangeland ecosystems. Much of this work focuses on the Prairie Heating and CO2 Enrichment (PHACE) experiment:  /News/docs.htm?docid=16754

(2) Develop durable weed control strategies for rangeland ecosystems. To this end, research is designed to identify mechanisms that drive weed invasion, with particular attention to the simple and interactive effects of increases in resource availability and release from natural enemies. A current example is the study of targeted spring grazing to control cheatgrass in mixed-grass prairie.

(3) Predict plant community responses to both rangeland management and global change using detailed measurements of plant traits. Growing databases of plant traits for mixed-grass prairie and shortgrass steppe include leaf economic, water-relations, and herbivore defense traits.

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La Pierre, K.J., D.M. Blumenthal, C.S. Brown, J.A. Klein, M.D. Smith. 2016. Drivers of variation in aboveground net primary productivity and plant community composition differ across a broad precipitation gradient.Ecosystems DOI: 10.1007/s10021-015-9949-7.

Blumenthal, D.M., J.A. Kray, W. Ortmans, L.H. Ziska, E. Pendall. 2016. Cheatgrass is favored by warming but not CO2 enrichment in a semi-arid grassland. In press, Global Change Biology.

Mowll W., D.M. Blumenthal, K. Cherwin, A. Smith, A.J. Symstad, L.T. Vermeire, S.L. Collins, M.D. Smith, A.K. Knapp. 2015. Climatic controls of aboveground net primary production in semi-arid grasslands along a latitudinal gradient portend low sensitivity to warming.  Oecologia 177:959-969.

Fay, P.L., S.M. Prober, W.S. Harpole, J.M.H. Knops, J.D. Bakker, E.T. Borer, E.M. Lind, A.S. MacDougall, E.W. Seabloom, P.D. Wragg, P.B .Adler, D.M. Blumenthal, Y.M. Buckley, C. Chu, E.E. Cleland, S.L. Collins, K.F. Davies, G. Du, X. Feng, J. Firn, D.S. Gruner, N. Hagenah, Y. Hautier, R.W. Heckman, V.L. Jin, K.P. Kirkman, J. Klein, L.M. Ladwig, Q. Li, R.L . McCulley, B.A. Melbourne, C.E. Mitchell, J.L. Moore, J.W. Morgan, A.C. Risch, M. Sch?tz, C.J. Stevens, D.A. Wedin and L.H. Yang. 2015. Grassland productivity limited by multiple nutrients. Nature Plants, NutNet NPK limitation, Nature Plants DOI: 10.1038/NPLANTS.2015.80

Zelikova T.J., DG Williams, R. Hoenigman, D.M. Blumenthal, J.A. Morgan, and E. Pendall. 2015. Seasonality of soil moisture mediates responses of ecosystem phenology to elevated CO2 and warming in a semi-arid grassland. 2015. Journal of Ecology 103:1119-1130.

Seabloom, E. W. E. T. Borer, Y. M. Buckley, E. E. Cleland, K. F. Davies, J. Firn, W. S. Harpole, Y. Hautier, E. M. Lind, A. S. MacDougall, J. L. Orrock, S. M. Prober, P. B. Adler, T. M. Anderson, J. D. Bakker, L. A. Biederman, D. M. Blumenthal, C. S. Brown, L. A. Brudvig, M. Cadotte, C. Chu, K. L. Cottingham, M. J. Crawley, E. I. Damschen, C. M. Dantonio, N. M. DeCrappeo, G. Du, P. A. Fay, P. Frater, D. S. Gruner, N. Hagenah, A. Hector, H. Hillebrand, K. S. Hofmockel, H. C. Humphries, V. L. Jin, A. Kay, K. P. Kirkman, J. A. Klein, J. M. H. Knops, K. J. La Pierre, L. Ladwig, J. G. Lambrinos, Q. Li, W. Li, R. Marushia, R. L. McCulley, B. A. Melbourne, C. E. Mitchell, J. L. Moore, J Morgan, B. Mortensen, L. R. O'Halloran, D. A. Pyke, A. C. Risch, M. Sankaran, M. Schuetz, A. Simonsen, M. D. Smith, C. J. Stevens, L. Sullivan, E. Wolkovich, P. D. Wragg, J. Wright & L Yang. 2015 Plant species' origin predicts dominance and response to nutrient enrichment and herbivores in global grasslands.Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8710

Reeves, J. L., D. M. Blumenthal, J. A. Kray, J. D. Derner. 2015. Increased seed consumption by biological control weevil tempers positive CO2 effect on invasive plant (Centaurea diffusa) fitness.Biological Control 84:36-43

Ib??ez I, J.M. Diez, L.P. Miller, J.D. Olden, C.J.B. Sorte, D.M. Blumenthal, B.A. Bradley, C.M. D'Antonio, J.S. Dukes, R.I. Early, E.D. Grosholz, J.J .Lawler. 2014. Integrated assessment of biological invasions.Ecological Applications 24:25-37.

Augustine D.J., P. Brewer, D.M. Blumenthal, J.D. Derner, J.C. von Fischer. 2014. Prescribed fire, soil inorganic nitrogen dynamics, and plant responses in semiarid grassland.Journal Arid Environment  104:59-66.

Borer E.T., et al.(>50 authors). 2014. Herbivores and nutrients control grassland plant diversity via light limitation.  Nature 508:517-520.

Carillo Y., E. Pendall, F.A. Dijkstra, D.R. LeCain, J.A. Morgan, D.M. Blumenthal, S. Waldron. 2014. Disentangling root responses to climate change in a semiarid grassland.  Oecologia 175:699-711.

Blumenthal D.M. and J.A. Kray. 2014. Climate change, plant traits, and invasion in natural and agricultural ecosystems.  In L Ziska and JS Dukes, Eds., Invasive species and global climate change. CABI Press, Wallingford, UK.   Published 9/3/14. (Peer-reviewed invited book chapter).

Alba C., M.D. Bowers, D.M. Blumenthal, R.A. Hufbauer. 2014. Chemical and mechanical defenses vary among maternal lines and leaf ages in Verbascum thapsus L. (Scrophulariaceae) and reduce palatability to a generalist insect.PLoS One 9:e104889.

Zelikova, T. J., D. M. Blumenthal, D. G. Williams, L.Souza, D. R. LeCain, J. Morgan, and E. Pendall.  2014. Long-term exposure to elevated CO2 enhances plant community stability by suppressing dominant plant species in a mixed-grass prairie. PNAS, doi:10.1073

Seabloom E. et al.(>50 authors). 2013. Predicting invasion in grassland ecosystems: is exotic dominance the real embarrassment of richness?Global Change Biology 19:3677-3687.

Blumenthal, D. M., V. Resco, J. A. Morgan, D. G. Williams, D. R. LeCain, E. M. Hardy, E. Pendall, and E. Bladyka. 2013. Invasive forb benefits from water savings by native plants and carbon fertilization under elevated CO2 and warming. New Phytologist, doi: 10.1111/nph.12459.

Jamieson, M. A., C Quintero, and D. M. Blumenthal. 2013. Interactive effects of simulated nitrogen deposition and altered precipitation patterns on plant allelochemical concentrations. Journal Chemical Ecology
DOI 10.1007/s10886-013-0340-x

Walthall, C. L., J. Hatfield, P. Backlund, L. Lengnick, E. Marshall, M. Walsh, S. Adkins, M. Aillery, E. A. Ainsworth, C. Ammann, C. J. Anderson, I. Bartomeus, L. H. Baumgard, F. Booker, B. Bradley, D. M. Blumenthal, J. Bunce, K. Burkey, S. M. Dabney, J. A. Delgado, J. Dukes, A. Funk, K. Garrett, M. Glenn, D. A. Grantz, D. Goodrich, S. Hu, R. C. Izaurralde, R. A. C. Jones, S. H. Kim, A. D. B. Leaky, K. Lewers, T. L. Mader, A. McClung, J. Morgan, D. J. Muth, M. Nearing, D. M. Oosterhuis, D. Ort, C. Parmesan, W. T. Pettigrew, W. Polley, R. Rader, C. Rice, M. Rivington, E. Rosskopf, W. A. Salas, L. E. Sollenberger, R. Srygley, C. St?ckle, E. S. Takle, D. Timlin, J. W. White, R. Winfree, L. Wright-Morton, and L. H. Ziska. 2013. Climate change and agriculture in the United States: effects and adaptation. USDA Technical Bulletin 1935. Washington, DC. 186 pages.

Kumschick, S., C. Alba, R. Hufbauer, and D.M. Blumenthal. 2013. Evolution of fast-growing but more resistant phenotypes in introduced common mullein (Verbascum thapsus). Journal of Ecology, 101:378-387.

Sorte, C. J. B., I. Ibanez, D. M. Blumenthal, N. A. Molinari, L. P. Miller, E. D. Grosholz, J. M. Diez, C. M. D'Antonio, J. D. Olden, S. J. Jones, and J. S. Dukes. Poised to prosper? A cross-system comparison of climate change effects on native and non-native species performance. Ecology Letters, 16:261-270, doi: 10.1111/ele.12017

Lind, E., E. Borer, E. Seabloom, P. Adler, J. Bakker, D. Blumenthal, M. Crawley, K. Davies, J. Firn, D. Gruner, W. Harpole, Y. Hautier, H. Hillebrand, J. Knops, B. Melbourne, A. Risch, M. Schuetz, C. Stevens, and P. Wragg.  Life history constraints in grassland plant species: a growth-defense tradeoff is the norm.  Ecology Letters, 16:513-521, doi: 10.1111/ele.12078.

Parker J. D., M. E. Torchin, R. A. Hufbauer, N. P. Lemoine, C. Alba, D. M. Blumenthal, O. Bossdorf, J. E. Byers, A. M. Dunn, R. W. Heckman, M. Hejda, V. Jaro??k, A. R. Kanarek, L. B. Martin, S. E. Perkins, P. Py?ek, K. Shierenbeck, C. Schl?der, R. van Klinken, K. J. Vaughn, W. Williams, and L. M. Wolfe.  Do invasive species perform better in their new ranges? Ecology, 94:985-994.

Perry, L. G., P. B. Shafroth, D. M. Blumenthal, J. A. Morgan, and D. R. LeCain.  2013.  Elevated CO2 does not offset greater water stress predicted under climate change for native and exotic riparian plantsNew Phytologist 19:532-543.

Dunn, A. M., M. E. Torchin, M. J. Hatcher, P. M. Kotanen, D. M. Blumenthal, J. E. Byers, C. A. C. Coon, V. M. Frankel, R. D. Holt, R. A. Hufbauer, A. R. Kanarek, K. A. Schierenbeck, L. M. Wolfe, and S. E. Perkins. 2012.  Indirect effects of parasites in invasions.  Functional Ecology 26:1262-1274.

Dijkstra, F. A., E. Pendall, J. A. Morgan, D. M. Blumenthal, Y. Carrillo, D. R. LeCain,R. F. Follett, and D. G. Williams. 2012. Climate change alters stoichiometry of phosphorus and nitrogen in a semiarid grassland. New Phytologist 196:807-815.

Bradley, B. A., D. M. Blumenthal, R. Early, E. D. Grosholz, J. J. Lawler, L. P. Miller, C. J. B. Sorte, C. M. D'Antonio, J. M Diez, J. S. Dukes, I. Ibanez, and J. D. Olden.  2012.  Global change, global trade, and the next wave of plant invasions.  Frontiers in Ecology & the Environment 10:20-28.

Diez, J. M., C. M. D'Antonio, J. S. Dukes, E. D. Grosholz, J. D. Olden, C. J. B. Sorte, D. M. Blumenthal, B. A. Bradley, R. Early, I. Ibanez, S. Jones, J. Lawler, and L. P. Miller. 2012 Will extreme climatic events facilitate biological invasions?   Frontiers in Ecology & the Environment 10:249-257.

Carrillo, Y., F. A. Dijkstra, E. Pendall, J. A. Morgan,and D. M. Blumenthal. 2012. Controls over soil nitrogen pools in a semiarid grassland under elevated CO2 and warming. Ecosystems 15:761-774.

Blumenthal, D. M., A. P. Norton, S. E. Cox, E. M. Hardy, G. E. Liston, L. Kennaway, D. T. Booth, and J. D. Derner. 2012. Linaria dalmatica invades south-facing slopes and less grazed areas in grazing-tolerant mixed-grass prairie.Biological Invasions 14:395-404.

Blair, A. C., D. Blumenthal, and R. A. Hufbauer. 2011. Hybridization and invasion: an experimental test with diffuse knapweed (Centaurea diffusa Lam.).Evolutionary Applications p.p. 17-28.

Alba, C., M. D. Bowers, D. Blumenthal, and R. Hufbauer. 2011. Evolution of growth but not structural or chemical defense in Verbascum thapsus (common mullein) following introduction to North America.Biological Invasion 13:2379-2389.

Morgan, J. A., D. R. LeCain, E. Pendall, D. M. Blumenthal, B. A. Kimball, Y. Carrillo, D. G. Williams, J. Heisler-White, F. A. Dijkstra, and M. West. 2011. C4 grasses propser as carbon dioxide eliminates desiccation in warmed semi-arid grassland.Nature 476:202-206.

Ziska, L. H., D. M. Blumenthal, G. B. Runion, E. R. Hunt, Jr., and H. Diaz-Soltero. 2011. Invasive species and climate change: an agronomic perspective.Climatic Change 105:13-42.

Mitchell, C. E., D. Blumenthal, V. Jaro??k, E. E. Puckett, and P. Py?ek.  2010.  Controls on pathogen species richness in plants introduced and native ranges: roles of residence time, range size and host traitsEcology Letters Online Early 13:1525-1535.

Dijkstra, F. A., D. Blumenthal, J. A. Morgan, D. R. LeCain, and R. F. Follett.2010. Elevated CO2 effects on semi-arid grassland plants in relation to water availability and competition. Functional Ecology 24:1152-1161.

Perry, L. G., D. Blumenthal, T. A. Monaco, M. W. Paschke, and E. F. Redente.  2010.  Immobilizing nitrogen to control plant invasionOecologia 163:13-24.

Dijkstra, F. A., J. A. Morgan, D. Blumenthal, and R. F. Follett. 2010. Water limitation and plant inter-specific competition reduce rhizosphere-induced C decomposition and plant N uptake.Soil Biology and Biochemistry 42:1073-1082.

Dijkstra, F. A., D. Blumenthal, J. A. Morgan, E. Pendall, Y. Carrillo, and R.F. Follett. 2010. Contrasting effects of elevated CO2 and warming on nitrogen cycling in a semiarid grassland.New Phytologist 187:426-437.

Bradley B. A., D. M. Blumenthal, D. S. Wilcove, and L. H. Ziska. 2010. Predicting plant invasion in an era of global change.  Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25:310-318.

Blumenthal D. M., A. P. Norton, and T. R. Seastedt. 2010. Restoring competitors and natural enemies for long-term control of plant invaders. Rangelands 32:16-20.

Blumenthal, D.  2009. Carbon addition interacts with water availability to reduce invasive forb establishment in a semi-arid grassland. Biological Invasions 11:1281-1290.

Wilby, A., C. Mitchell, D. Blumenthal, P. Daszak, M.L. Deprez-Loustau, C.S. Friedman, P. Jutro, A. Mazumder, A.H. Prieur-Richard, M.B. Thomas, and C. Mitchell.  2009.  Biodiversity, food provision and human health.  In: O. Sala, L. Meyerson, and C. Parmesan, eds., Biodiversity Change and Human Health: From Ecosystem Services to Spread of Disease.  Island Press, Washington D.C.

Blumenthal, D., and D. Augustine. 2009. Plant Interactions with Herbivores. In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester [Doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0003203.pub2]

Blumenthal, D., C. E. Mitchell, P. Py?ek, and V. Jaro??k.  2009.  Synergy between resource availability and pathogen release in plant invasion.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106:7899-7904.

Hardy, E. M., and D. Blumenthal.  2008.  An efficient and inexpensive system for greenhouse pot rotation. Horticultural Science 43:965-966.

Blumenthal, D, R. A. Chimner, J. M. Welker, and J. A. Morgan. 2008. Increased snow facilitates plant invasion in mixedgrass prairie.New Phytologist 179: 440-448.

Blumenthal, D., and R. A. Hufbauer. 2007. Increased plant size in exotic populations: a common garden test with 14 invasive species.   Ecology 88:2758-2768.

Blumenthal, D., T. Booth, S. Cox, and C. Ferrier. 2007. Large-scale aerial images capture details of invasive plant populations.  Rangeland Ecology & Management 60:523-528

Ziska, L., and D. Blumenthal.  2007.  Comparing 20th century populations of cultivated oat: has empirical selection maximized the vegetative & growth response to carbon dioxide? Crop Science 47:1547-1552.

Ziska, L., and D. Blumenthal.  2007.  Empirical selection of cultivated oat in response to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide?  Crop Science 47:1547-1552.

Blumenthal, D.  2006.  Interactions between resource availability and enemy release in plant invasion.  Ecology Letters 9:887-895.

Blumenthal, D, U. Norton, J. D. Derner, and J. D. Reeder.  2006.  Long-term effects of tebuthiuron on Bromus tectorum. Western North American Naturalist 66:420-425.

Blumenthal, D.  2005.  Interrelated causes of plant invasion.  Science 310:243-244.

Blumenthal, D. M., N. R. Jordan, and E. L. Svenson.  2005.  Effects of prairie restoration on weed invasions.  Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment 107:221-230.

Blumenthal, D. M., N. R. Jordan, and E. L. Svenson.  2003.  Weed control as a rationale for restoration: the example of tallgrass prairie.  Conservation Ecology 7:1:6 [online]

Blumenthal, D. M., N. R. Jordan, and M. P. Russelle.  2003.  Soil carbon addition controls weeds and facilitates prairie restoration.  Ecological Applications 13:605-613.

Blumenthal, D. M., and N. R. Jordan.  2001.  Weeds in field margins: a spatially explicit simulation analysis of Cirsium arvense population dynamics.Weed Science 49: 509-519.

Blumenthal, D. M., and J. L. Jannink.  2000. A classification of collaborative management methods.Conservation Ecology 4:13.  [online].

Belsky, A. J., and D. M. Blumenthal.  1997.  Effects of livestock grazing on stand dynamics and soils in upland forests of the Interior West.  Conservation Biology 11:315-327.

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