Peter Adler

Wildland Resources/Ecology Center


Dr. Peter Adler

Contact Information

Phone: (435) 797-1021
Additional Information:

Educational Background

PhD, Ecology, Colorado State University, 2003
Other, Environmental Studies, Harvard College, 1994


College of Natural Resources Researcher of the Year, 2010

Utah State University

Distinguished Alumnus Award, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, 2010

Colorado State University

Publications | Fact Sheets

    An asterisk (*) at the end of a publication indicates that it has not been peer-reviewed.

    Publications | Journal Articles

    Academic Journal

    • Kulmatiski, A., Adler, P., Stark, J.M, Tredennik, A.T, (2017). Water and nitrogen uptake are better associated with resource availability than root biomass. Ecosphere, 8, e01738.
    • Byrne, K.M, Lauenroth, W.K, Adler, P., (2017). Contrasting effects of precipitation manipulations on plant community responses at two sites within the Great Plains, USA. Journal of Vegetation Science, 28, 238-249.
    • Tredennick, A.T, Adler, P., (2017). Do we need demographic data to forecast plant population dynamics?. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 8, 541-551.
    • Yenni, G.M, Adler, P., Ernest, S., (2017). Persistent rare species show disproportionately strong negative frequency-dependence. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 26, 513-523.
    • Ellner, S.P, Snyder, R.E, Adler, P., (2016). How to quantify the temporal storage effect using simulations instead of math. Ecology Letters, 19:11, 1333–1342.
    • Tredennick, A.T, Hooten, M.B, Aldridge, C.L, Homer, C.G, Kleinhesselink, A.R, Adler, P., (2016). Forecasting climate change impacts on plant populations over large spatial extents. Ecosphere, 7:10, n/a–n/a.
    • Harpole, W.S, Sullivan, L.L, Lind, E.M, Firn, J., Adler, P., Borer, E.T, Chase, J., Fay, P.A, Hautier, Y., Hillebrand, H., MacDougall, A.S, Seabloom, E.W, Williams, R., Bakker, J.D, Cadotte, M.W, Chaneton, E.J, Chu, C., Cleland, E.E, D’Antonio, C., Davies, K.F, Gruner, D.S, Hagenah, N., Kirkman, K., Knops, J.M, La Pierre, K.J, McCulley, R.L, Moore, J.L, Morgan, J.W, Prober, S.M, Risch, A.C, Schuetz, M., Stevens, C.J, Wragg, P.D, (2016). Addition of multiple limiting resources reduces grassland diversity. Nature, 537:7618, 93–96.
    • Chu, C., Kleinhesselink, A.R, Havstad, K.M, McClaran, M.P, Peters, D.P, Vermeire, L.T, Wei, H., Adler, P., (2016). Direct effects dominate responses to climate perturbations in grassland plant communities. Nature Communications, 7, 11766.
    • Iles, D.T, Salguero‐Gómez, R., Adler, P., Koons, D.N, (2016). Linking transient dynamics and life history to biological invasion success. Journal of Ecology, 104:2, 399–408.
    • Teller, B.J, Adler, P., Edwards, C.B, Hooker, G., Ellner, S.P, (2016). Linking demography with drivers: climate and competition. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 7:2, 171–183.
    • Tredennick, A.T, Adler, P., Grace, J.B, Harpole, W.S, Borer, E.T, Seabloom, E.W, Anderson, T.M, Bakker, J.D, Biederman, L.A, Brown, C.S, Buckley, Y.M, Chu, C., Collins, S.L, Crawley, M.J, Fay, P.A, Firn, J., Gruner, D.S, Hagenah, N., Hautier, Y., Hector, A., Hillebrand, H., Kirkman, K., Knops, J.M, Laungani, R., Lind, E.M, MacDougall, A.S, McCulley, R.L, Mitchell, C.E, Moore, J.L, Morgan, J.W, Orrock, J.L, Peri, P.L, Prober, S.M, Risch, A.C, Schütz, M., Speziale, K.L, Standish, R.J, Sullivan, L.L, Wardle, G.M, Williams, R.J, Yang, L.H, (2016). Comment on “Worldwide evidence of a unimodal relationship between productivity and plant species richness”. Science, 351:6272, 457–457.
    • Grace, J.B, Anderson, T.M, Seabloom, E.W, Borer, E.T, Adler, P., Harpole, W.S, Hautier, Y., Hillebrand, H., Lind, E.M, Pärtel, M., Bakker, J.D, Buckley, Y.M, Crawley, M.J, Damschen, E.I, Davies, K.F, Fay, P.A, Firn, J., Gruner, D.S, Hector, A., Knops, J.M, MacDougall, A.S, Melbourne, B.A, Morgan, J.W, Orrock, J.L, Prober, S.M, Smith, M.D, (2016). Integrative modelling reveals mechanisms linking productivity and plant species richness. Nature, 529:7586, 390–393.
    • Kraft, N., Adler, P., Godoy, O., James, E., Fuller, S., Levine, J., (2015). Community assembly, coexistence, and the habitat filtering metaphor. Functional Ecology, 29, 592-599.
    • Kleinhesselink, A., Adler, P., (2015). Indirect effects of environmental change in resource competition models. The American Naturalist, 186, 766-776.
    • Maricle, B.R, Caudle, K.L, Adler, P.B, (2015). Influence of water availability on photosynthesis, water potential, leaf δ13C, and phenology in dominant C4 grasses in Kansas, USA. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, 118, 173-193.
    • Chu, C., Adler, P., (2015). Large niche differences emerge at the recruitment stage to stabilize grassland coexistence. Ecological Monographs, 85, 373-392.
    • Fay, P., al, e., Adler, P., (2015). Grassland productivity limited by multiple nutrients. Nature Plants, 1, 15080.
    • Prober, S., al, e., Adler, P., (2015). Plant diversity predicts beta but not alpha diversity of soil microbes. Ecology Letters, 18, 85-95.
    • Seabloom, E., al, e., Adler, P., (2015). Plant species’ origin predicts dominance and response to nutrient enrichment and herbivores in global grasslands. Nature Communications, 6
    • MacDougall, A., al, e., Adler, P., (2014). Anthropogenic-based regional-scale factors most consistently explain plot-level exotic diversity in grasslands. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 23, 802-810.
    • Hsu, J., Adler, P., (2014). Anticipating changes in variability of grassland production due to increases in interannual precipitation variability. Ecosphere, 5, art58.
    • E., B., al, e., Adler, P., (2014). Herbivores and nutrients control grassland plant diversity via light limitation. Nature, 508, 517-520.
    • Grace, J., Adler, P., al., e., (2014). Causal networks clarify productivity-richness interrelations, bivariate plots do not. Functional Ecology, 28, 787-798.
    • Ware, I., Terletzky, P., Adler, P., (2014). Conflicting management objectives on the Colorado Plateau: Understanding the effects of bison and cattle grazing on plant community composition. Journal of Nature Conservation, 22, 293-301.
    • Yann, H., al., e., Adler, P., (2014). Eutrophication weakens stabilizing effects of diversity in natural grasslands. Nature, 508, 521-525.
    • Borer, E., Harpole, W.S, Adler, P., al., e., (2014). Finding generality in ecology: A model for globally distributed experiments. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 5, 65-73.
    • Adler, P., Saguero-Gomez, R., Compagnoni, A., Hsu, J., Ray-Mukherjee, J., Mbeau-Ache, C., Franco, M., (2014). Functional traits explain variation in plant life history strategies. Proceedings of the National Academy of the USA, 111, 740-745.
    • Chu, C., Havstad, K.M, Kaplan, N., Lauenroth, W.K, Peters, D.P, Vermeire, L.T, Adler, P., (2014). Life form influences survivorship patterns for 109 herbaceous perennials from six semi-arid ecosystems. Journal of Vegetation Science, 25, 947-954.
    • Compagnoni, A., Adler, P., (2014). Warming, competition, and Bromus tectorum population growth across an elevation gradient. Ecosphere, 5, 121.
    • Compagnoni, A., Adler, P., (2014). Warming, soil moisture, and loss of snow increase Bromus tectorum's population growth rate. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, 2, 000020. doi: doi:10.12952/journal.elementa.000020
    • Chu, C., Adler, P., (2014). When should plant population models include age structure?. Journal of Ecology, 102, 531-543.
    • Chu, C., Norman, J., Flynn, R., Kaplan, N., Lauenroth, W., Adler, P., (2013). Cover, density and demographics of shortgrass steppe plants mapped from 1997-2010 in permanent grazed and ungrazed quadrats. Ecology, 94, 1435.
    • Seabloom, E., al,, e., Adler, P., (2013). Predicting invasion in grassland ecosystems: is exotic dominance the real embarrassment of richness?. Global Change Biology, 19, 3677–3687.
    • Byrne, K., Lauenroth, W.K, Adler, P., (2013). Contrasting effects of precipitation manipulations on production in two sites within the central grassland region, USA. Ecosystems, 16, 1039-1051.
    • Lind, E., et al., , Adler, P., (2013). Life history constraints in grassland plant species: a growth-defense tradeoff is the norm. Ecology Letters, 16, 513-521.
    • Adler, P., Byrne, K., Leiker, J., (2013). Can the past predict the future? Experimental tests of historically-based population models. Global Change Biology, 19, 1793-1803.
    • Adler, P., Fajardo, A., Kleinhesselink, A., Kraft, N.J, (2013). Trait-based tests of coexistence mechanisms. Ecology Letters, 16, 1294-1306.
    • Anderson, J., McLaren, M.P, Adler, P., (2012). Cover and density of semi-desert grassland plants in permanent quadrats mapped from 1915 to 1947. Ecology, 93, 1492.
    • Adler, P., Dalgleish, H.J, Ellner, S.P, (2012). Forecasting community impacts of climate variability and change: When do competitive interactions matter?. Journal of Ecology, 100, 478-487.
    • Owens, H., LaFantasie, J., Adler, P., (2012). Mycorrhization rates of two grasses following alterations in moisture inputs in a southern mixed grass prairie. Applied Soil Ecology, 60, 56-60.
    • Grace, J., Adler, P., al, e., (2012). Response to Comments on “Productivity Is a Poor Predictor of Plant Species Richness”. Science, 335, 1441.
    • HilleRisLambers, J., Adler, P., Harpole, W.S, Levine, J.M, Mayfield, M.M, (2012). Rethinking community assembly through the lens of coexistence theory. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 43, 227-248.
    • Yenni, G.M, Adler, P., Ernest, S.K, (2012). Strong self-limitation promotes persistence of rare species. Ecology, 93, 456-461.
    • Hsu, J., Powell, J.A, Adler, P., (2012). Sensitivity of primary production to precipitation. Global Change Biology, 18, 2246–2255.
    • Firn, J., Moore, L.L, MacDougall, A.S, Borer, E.T, Seabloom, E.W, HilleRisLambers, J., Harpole, W.S, Cleland, E.E, Brown, C.S, Knops, J.M, Prober, S.M, Pyke, D.A, Farrell, K.A, Bakker, J.D, O'Halloran, L.R, Adler, P., Collins, S.L, D'Antonio, C.M, Crawley, M.J, Wolkovich, E.M, LaPierre, K.J, Melbourne, B.A, Hautier, Y., Morgan, J.W, Leakey, A.D, Kay, A., McCulley, R., Davies, K.F, Stevens, C.J, Chu, C., Holl, K.D, Klein, J.A, Fay, P.A, Hagenah, N., Kirkham, K.P, Buckley, Y.M, (2011). Abundance of introduced species at home predicts abundance away in herbaceous communities. Ecology Letters14, 274-281.
    • Dalgleish, H.J, Koons, D.N, Hooten, M.B, Moffet, C.A, Adler, P., (2011). Climate influences the demography of three dominant sagebrush steppe plants. Ecology92, 75-85.
    • Snyder, R., Adler, P., (2011). Coexistence and coevolution in fluctuating environments: Can the storage effect evolve?. American Naturalist, 178, E78-E84.
    • Maricle, B.R, Adler, P., (2011). Effects of precipitation on photsynthesis and water potential in Andropogon gerardee and Schizachyrium scoparium in a southern mixed grass prairie. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 72, 223-231.
    • Byrne, K.M, Lauenroth, W.K, Adler, P., Byrne, C.M, (2011). Estimating aboveground net primary production in grasslands: a comparison of nondestructive methods. Rangeland Ecology and Management, 64, 498-505.
    • Anderson, J., Vermeire, L., Adler, P., (2011). Fourteen years of mapped, permanent quadrats in a northern mixed prairie, USA. Ecology, 92, 1703.
    • Onoda, Y., Westoby, M., Adler, P., (2011). Global patterns of leaf mechanical properties. Ecology Letters14, 301-312.
    • Ray-Mukherjee, J., Jones, T.A, Adler, P., Monaco, T.A, (2011). Immature seedling growth of two North American native bunchgrasses and the invasive grass Bromus tectorum. Rangeland Ecology and Management, 64, 358-365.
    • Ray-Mukherjee, J., Jones, T.A, Adler, P., Monaco, T.A, (2011). Will trade-offs between drought tolerance and growth rate constrain restoration success? A study with two semi-arid, perennial Triticeae bunchgrasses. Plant Ecology, 212, 461-470.
    • Adler, P., et al., , (2011). Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness. Science, 333, 1750-1753.
    • White, E., Ernest, S.K, Adler, P., Hurlbert, A.H, Lyons, S.K, (2010). Integrating spatial and temporal approaches to understanding species richness. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 365:1558, 3633-3643. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0280
    • Zachmann, L., Moffet, C., Adler, P., (2010). Mapped quadrats in sagebrush steppe: long-term data for analyzing demographic rates and plant–plant interactions. Ecology, 91, 3427.
    • Adler, P., Ellner, S.P, Levine, J.M, (2010). Coexistence of perennial plants: an embarrassment of niches. Ecology Letters, 13, 1019-1029.
    • Dalgleish, H.J, Koons, D.N, Adler, P., (2010). Can life history traits predict the response of forb populations to changes in climate variability?. Journal of Ecology, 98, 209-217.
    • Adler, P., HilleRisLambers, J., Levine, J.M, (2009). Weak effects of climate variability on coexistence in a sagebrush steppe community. Ecology, 90, 3303-3312.
    • Adler, P., Leiker, J., Levine, J.M, (2009). Direct and indirect effects of climate change on a prairie plant community. PLoSONE, 4, e6887.
    • Lauenroth, W.K, Adler, P., (2008). Demography of grassland plants: Survival, life expectancy, and lifespan. Journal of Ecology, 96, 1023-1032.
    • Adler, P., Drake, J.M, (2008). Environmental variability, stochastic extinction, and competitive coexistence. The American Naturalist, 172, E186-E195.
    • Adler, P., HilleRisLambers, J., (2008). The influence of climate and species composition on the population dynamics of ten prairie forbs. Ecology, 89, 3049-3060.
    • Levine, J.M, Adler, P., HilleRisLambers, J., (2008). On testing the role of niche differences in stabilizing coexistence. Functional Ecology, 22, 934-936.
    • Adler, P., HilleRisLambers, J., Levine, J.M, (2007). A niche for neutrality. Ecology Letters, 10, 95-104.
    • Adler, P., Levine, J.M, (2007). Contrasting relationships between precipitation and species richness in space and time.. Oikos, 116, 221-232.
    • Adler, P., Tyburczy, W.R, Lauenroth, W.K, (2007). Long-term mapped quadrats from Kansas prairie: Demographic information for herbaceous plants. Ecology, 88, 2673.
    • White, E.P, Adler, P., Lauenroth, W.K, Gill, R.A, Greenberg, D., Kauffman, D.M, Rassweiler, A., Rusak, J.A, Smith, M.D, Steinbeck, J.R, Waide, R.B, Yao, J., (2006). A comparison of the species-time relationship across ecosystems and taxonomic groups. Oikos, 112, 185-195.
    • Adler, P., HilleRisLambers, J., Kyriakidis, P., Guan, Q., Levine, J.M, (2006). Climate variability has a stabilizing effect on coexistence of prairie grasses. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103, 12793-1279.
    • Adler, P., Garbulsky, M.F, Paruelo, J.M, Lauenroth, W.K, (2006). Do abiotic differences explain contrasting graminoid functional traits in sagebrush steppe, USA and Patagonian steppe, Argentina?. Journal of Arid Environments, 65, 62-82.
    • Busby, P.E, Adler, P., Warren, T., Swanson, F., (2006). Fates of live trees retained in forest cutting units, western Cascade Range, Oregon. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 36, 2544-2549.
    • Adler, P., White, E.P, Lauenroth, W.K, Kauffman, D.M, Rassweiler, A., Rusak, J.A, (2005). Evidence for a general species-time-area relationship. Ecology, 86, 2032-2039.
    • Adler, P., Milchunas, D.G, Sala, O.E, Burke, I.C, Lauenroth, W.K, (2005). Plant traits and ecosystem grazing effects: comparison of US sagebrush steppe and Patagonia steppe. Ecological Applications, 15, 774-792.
    • Adler, P., Hall, S.A, (2005). The development of forage production and utilization gradients around livestock watering points. Landscape Ecology, 20, 319-333.
    • Levine, J.M, Adler, P., Yelenik, S.G, (2004). A meta-analysis of biotic resistance to exotic plant invasions.. Ecology Letters, 7, 975-989.
    • Adler, P., Milchunas, D.G, Lauenroth, W.K, Sala, O.E, Burke, I.C, (2004). Functional traits of graminoids in semi-arid steppes: A test of grazing histories. Journal of Applied Ecology, 41, 653-663.
    • Adler, P., (2004). Neutral models fail to reproduce observed species-time and species-area relationships in Kansas grasslands.. Ecology, 85, 1265-1272.
    • Adler, P., Lauenroth, W.K, (2003). The power of time: spatiotemporal scaling of species diversity.. Ecology Letters, 6, 749-756.
    • Adler, P., Bradford, J.B, (2002). Compensation: An alternative method for analyzing diversity-productivity experiments.. Oikos, 96, 411-420.
    • Adler, P., Raff, D.A, Lauenroth, W.K, (2001). The effect of grazing on the spatial heterogeneity of vegetation. Oecologia, 128, 465-479.
    • Adler, P., Lauenroth, W.K, (2000). Livestock exclusion increases the spatial heterogeneity of vegetation in Colorado shortgrass steppe.. Applied Vegetation Science, 3, 231-222.
    • Adler, P., Morales, J.M, (1999). Influence of environmental factors and sheep grazing on an Andean grassland.. Journal of Range Management, 52, 471-481.
    • Adler, P., D'Antonio, C.M, Tunison, J.T, (1998). Understory succession following a dieback of Myrica faya in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Pacific Science, 52, 69-78.

    Professional Journal

    • Koons, D.N, Terletzky, P., Adler, P., Wolfe, M., Ranglack, D., Howe, F., Hersey, K., Paskett, W., Du Toit, J.T, (2012). Climate and density-dependent drivers of reproductive success in plains bison.. Journal of Mammalogy, 93:2, 475-481.

    An asterisk (*) at the end of a publication indicates that it has not been peer-reviewed.

    Publications | MultiMedia


    An asterisk (*) at the end of a publication indicates that it has not been peer-reviewed.

    Publications | Other


    • Adler, P., (2009). Testing the storage effect with long-term observational data. Temporal Niche Dynamics

    An asterisk (*) at the end of a publication indicates that it has not been peer-reviewed.


    WILD 6900 - Graduate Special Topics, Fall 2021
    WILD 3800 - Wildland Plants and Ecosystems, Fall 2021
    WILD 6770 - Community Ecology, Fall 2020
    WILD 3800 - Wildland Plants and Ecosystems, Fall 2020
    WILD 6900 - Graduate Special Topics, Fall 2018
    WILD 3800 - Wildland Plants and Ecosystems, Fall 2018

    Graduate Students Mentored

    Jaqueline Pena, Wildland Resources
    Danielle Smull, Wildland Resources
    Andrew Kleinhesselink, Wildland Resources
    Aldo Compagnoni, Wildland Resources 2013
    Ian Ware, Wildland Resources 2012
    Joanna Hsu, Wildland Resources 2011
    Jayanti Mukherjee, 2010
    Luke Zachmann, Wildland Resources 2010


    Jacqueline Pena - MS
    Danielle Smull - MS
    Brittany Teller - Postdoctoral Fellow
    Andrew Tredennick - Postdoctoral Fellow


    WILD 3800 - Wildland Plants and Ecosystems
    WILD 6770 - Plant Community Ecology

    Research Links

    Adler Lab Group
    Google Scholar
    Selected Publications