Forest Isbell
Assistant Professor
Plant Sciences, Rm 4522
Phone Number:  706-542-3371
Office/Lab:  Plant Sciences, Rm 4503

Ph.D Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Iowa State University 2010

Research Projects: 

Research in my lab investigates the causes and consequences of changes in biodiversity at the intersection of community and ecosystem ecology. We often use field experiments to answer the following questions: (1) What are the consequences of global environmental changes for plant communities and ecosystems? (2) How do changes in plant diversity influence ecosystem functioning and stability? (3) How is plant diversity maintained? (4) To what extent do ecosystem services depend on plant diversity?

Grant Support: 

German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research. Plant diversity effects on ecosystem resistance to and recovery from perturbations. N. Eisenhauer and F. Isbell. 2013-2014.

Selected Publications: 
  • Isbell, F., P. B. Reich, D. Tilman, S. E. Hobbie, S. Polasky, and S. Binder. 2013. Nutrient enrichment, biodiversity loss, and consequent declines in ecosystem productivity. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 110:11911–11916.

  • Isbell, F., D. Tilman, S. Polasky, S. Binder, and P. Hawthorne. 2013. Low biodiversity state persists two decades after cessation of nutrient enrichment. Ecology Letters 16:454-460.

  • Reich, P. B., D. Tilman, F. Isbell, K. Mueller, S. E. Hobbie, D. Flynn and N. Eisenhauer. 2012. Impacts of biodiversity loss escalate through time as redundancy fades. Science 336:589-592.

  • Tilman, D., P. Reich, and F. Isbell. 2012. Biodiversity impacts ecosystem productivity as much as resources, disturbance or herbivory. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 109:10394-10397.

  • Isbell, F., V. Calcagno, A. Hector, J. Connolly, W. S. Harpole, P. B. Reich, M. Scherer-Lorenzen, B. Schmid, D. Tilman, J. van Ruijven, A. Weigelt, B. J. Wilsey, E. S. Zavaleta, and M. Loreau. 2011. High plant diversity is needed to maintain ecosystem services. Nature 477:199-202.

  • Isbell, F. I., and B. J. Wilsey. 2011. Increasing native, but not exotic, biodiversity increases aboveground productivity in ungrazed and intensely grazed grasslands. Oecologia 165: 771-781.

  • Isbell, F. I., H. W. Polley, and B. J. Wilsey. 2009. Biodiversity, productivity, and the temporal stability of productivity: patterns and processes. Ecology Letters 12: 443-451.