Alan Knapp

Alan KnappProfessor
Office: Anatomy-Zoology Building E210
Phone: 970-491-7010
Education: Ph.D., University of Wyoming

Current research interests reflect my initial training as a Plant Physiological Ecologist and a two-decade association with large-scale ecosystem research through the NSF Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program. Thus, traditional leaf-level gas exchange, plant water relations and energy balance studies have been a staple of our research for many years, with a focus on the elucidation of ecophysiological mechanisms that drive ecological processes and reflect evolutionary change. This approach has been broadened by involvement with the Konza Prairie ( LTER program. These interactions have provided our lab with a strong appreciation for collaborative, interdisciplinary research across broad spatial and temporal scales. Indeed, we now prefer to label ourselves as Plant Ecologists that are comfortable working at scales varying from the leaf to the landscape.

Collaborative, interdisciplinary research is appealing and important because it provides scientists the opportunity to make key contributions within the specific framework of a single discipline (a traditional approach), as well as the tools to synthesize across disciplines and tackle issues that the single lab approach cannot. This synthetic approach to Ecology will become more important in the future, and it best describes our group's current and future research interests

Selected Publications

Knapp, A.K., C. Beier, D.D. Briske, A.T. Classen, Y. Luo, M. Reichstein, M.D. Smith, S.D. Smith, J.E. Bell, P.A. Fay, J.L. Heisler, S.W Leavitt, R. Sherry, B. Smith and E. Weng. 2008. Consequences of more extreme precipitation regimes for terrestrial ecosystems. BioScience 58: 811-821.

Knapp, A.K., J.M. Briggs, S.L. Collins, S.R. Archer, M.S. Bret-Harte, B.E. Ewers, D.P. Peters, D.R. Young, G.R. Shaver, E. Pendall, M.B. Cleary. 2008. Shrub encroachment in North American grasslands: Shifts in growth form dominance rapidly alters control of ecosystem carbon inputs. Global Change Biology 14:615-623.

Nippert, J.B. and A.K. Knapp. 2007. Linking water uptake with rooting patterns in grassland species. Oecologia 153:261-272.

Knapp, A.K., C. E. Burns, R.W. S. Fynn, K.P. Kirkman, C. D. Morris and M. D. Smith. 2006. Convergence and contingency in production-precipitation relationships in North American and South African C4 grasslands. Oecologia 149: 456-464.

Knapp, A.K., P.A. Fay, J.M. Blair, S. L. Collins, M. D. Smith, J. D. Carlisle, C. W. Harper, B. T. Danner, M.S. Lett and J. K. McCarron. 2002. Rainfall variability, carbon cycling and plant species diversity in a mesic grassland. Science 298: 2202-2205.

Knapp, A.K. and M.D. Smith. 2001. Variation among biomes in temporal dynamics of aboveground primary production. Science 291: 481-484.

Knapp, A.K., J.M. Briggs and J.K. Koelliker. 2001. Frequency and extent of water limitation to primary production in a mesic temperate grassland. Ecosystems 4:19-28.

Smith, M.D. and A.K. Knapp. 1999. Exotic plant species in a C4-dominated grassland: invasibility, disturbance and community structure. Oecologia 120: 605-612.

Knapp, A.K., J.M. Blair, J.M. Briggs, S.L. Collins, D.C. Hartnett, L.C. Johnson and E.G. Towne. 1999. The keystone role of bison in North American tallgrass prairie. BioScience 49: 39-50.

Knapp, A.K., J.M. Briggs, D.C. Hartnett and S.L. Collins. 1998. Grassland Dynamics: Long-Term Ecological Research in Tallgrass Prairie. Oxford University Press, NY, 364 pages.