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Department of Botany

College of Arts and Sciences

David Williams

Specialization: Plant-environment interaction, global change ecology, stable isotope ecology


Office: Berry Center 222A, 308
Phone: 766-2494


PhD, Botany, Washington State University, 1992
MS, Rangeland Ecology, Texas A&M University, 1988
BS, Botany, The University of Texas, 1985


REWM 3500 - Rangeland Plant Ecophysiology
RNEW 5500 - Stable Isotope Ecology

Research Emphasis

Plant physiological ecology, carbon and water cycles in arid and semi-arid environments, ecology of plant invasions, global change ecology, application of stable isotope techniques to ecology and hydrology

Current Research Projects

Water in a Changing West: The Wyoming Center for Environmental Hydrology and Geophysics. NSF EPSCoR. 2012-2017.

Telling the story of Earth’s changing cryosphere: From molecules to alpine lakes to adventure film festivals. NSF EPSCoR. 2015-2016.

Tracing pollution sources and pollution hotspots with nitrogen isotopes. Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee. 2015-2018.

Plant productivity in a high CO2 world. Collaborative project with the University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment. 2013-2016.

Selected Publications

Chen, J., Y. Carillo, E. Pendall, F. Dijkstra, R.D. Evans, J. Morgan, and D.G. Williams. 2015. Soil microbes compete strongly with plants for soil inorganic and amino acid nitrogen in a semiarid grassland exposed to elevated CO2 and warming. Ecosystems 18:867-880.

Zelikova, T.J., D.G. 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. Journal of Ecology 103:1119-1130

Ryan, E., K. Ogle, T.J. Zelikova, D. LeCain, D.G. Williams, J. Morgan, E. Pendall. 2015. Antecedent moisture and temperature modulate the influence of elevated CO2 and warming on ecosystem respiration. Global Change Biology 21:2588–2602

Chen, J., T.J. Zelikova, E. Pendall, J.A. Morgan and D.G. Williams. 2014. Daily and seasonal changes in soil amino acid composition in a semiarid grassland exposed to elevated CO2 and warming. Biogeochemistry 123:135–146

Zelikova, T.J., D.M. Blumenthal, D.G. Williams, L. Souza, D.R. LeCain, J.A. Morgan, E. Pendall. 2014. Long-term exposure to elevated CO2 enhances plant community stability by suppressing dominant plant species in a mixed grass prairie. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111:15456-15461

Tucker, C.L., J.M. Cable, D.G. Williams, and K. Ogle. 2014. Process-based isotope partitioning of winter soil respiration in a subalpine ecosystem reveals importance of rhizospheric respiration. Biogeochemistry 121:389-408

Williams, D.G., K.R. Hultine, and D.L. Dettman. 2014. Functional tradeoffs in succulent stems predict responses to climate change in columnar cacti. Journal of Experimental Botany 65:3405-3413

Schlaepfer, D.R., B.E. Ewers, B.N. Shuman, D.G. Williams, J.M. Frank, W.J. Massman, and W.K. Lauenroth. 2014. Terrestrial water fluxes dominated by transpiration: Comment. Ecosphere 5:art61

Resco de Dios, V., J. Weltzin, W. Sun, T. Huxman, and D.G. Williams. 2014. Transitions from grassland to savanna under drought through passive facilitation by grasses. Journal of Vegetation Science 25:937-946

Pendall, E., J.L. Heisler-White, D.G. Williams, F.A. Dijkstra, Y. Carrillo, J.A. Morgan, D.R. LeCain. 2013. Warming reduces carbon losses from grassland exposed to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide. PLOS-One 8: e71921

Crous, K.Y., A.G. Quentin, Y.-S. Lin, B.E. Medlyn, D.G. Williams, C.V.M. Barton, and D.S. Ellsworth. 2013. Photosynthesis of temperate Eucalyptus globulus trees outside their native range has limited adjustment to elevated CO2 and climate warming. Global Change Biology 19:3790-3807

Blumenthal, D.M., V. Resco, J.A. Morgan, D.G. Williams, D.R. LeCain, E.M. Hardy, E. Pendall, and E. Bladyka. 2013. Water savings by native plants benefit an invasion forb under elevated CO2. New Phytologist 200:1156-1165

Cable, J.M., K. Ogle, G.A. Barron-Gafford, L.P. Bentley, W.L. Cable, R.L. Scott, D.G. Williams, and T. E. Huxman. 2013. Antecedent conditions influence soil respiration differences in shrub and grass patches. Ecosystems 16:1230-1247

Chen, J. and D.G. Williams. 2013. A novel in situ water perfusion and extraction method for soil amino acid quantification. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 59:86-88

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 doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2012.04349.x

Resco, V., J. Weltzin, W. Sun, T.E. Huxman, and D.G. Williams. 2012. Windows of opportunity for Prosopis velutina seedling establishment and encroachment in a semiarid grassland. Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 14:275-282

Cable J.M., G. Barron-Gafford, K. Ogle, M. Pavao-Zuckerman, R.L. Scott, D.G. Williams, and T.E. Huxman. 2012. Shrub encroachment alters sensitivity of soil respiration to temperature and moisture. Journal of Geophysical Research Vol 117 G01001, doi:10.1029/2011JG001757

Sun, W., V. Resco and D.G. Williams. 2012. Environmental and physiological controls on the carbon isotope composition of CO2 respired by leaves and roots of a C3 woody legume (Prosopis velutina) and a C4 perennial grass (Sporobolus wrightii). Plant, Cell and Environment 35:567-577

Bronson, D.R., N.B. English, D.L. Dettman, and D.G. Williams. 2011. Seasonal photosynthetic gas exchange and water-use efficiency in a constitutive CAM plant, the giant saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea). Oecologia DOI 10.1007/s00442-011-2021-1

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. Carbon dioxide eliminates desiccation in warmed semi-arid grassland and C4 grasses prosper. Nature 476:202-205

Edwards, C.E., B.E. Ewers, D.G. Williams, X. Qiguang, L. Ping, X. Xu, C.R. McClung, C. Weinig. 2011. The genetic architecture of ecophysiological and circadian traits in Brassica rapa. Genetics 189:375-390

Resco, V., J.P. Ferrio, J.A. Carreira, L. Calvo, P. Casals, A. Ferrero-Serrano, E. Marcos, J. M. Moreno, D.A. Ramírez, M. T. Sebastià, F. Valladares, and D.G. Williams. 2011. The stable isotope ecology of plant succession. Plant Ecology and Diversity 4:117-130

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