- Competence Areas
- Current Research
(brief bio) David Wardle works as a Professor of Soil and Plant Ecology, and his research explores the links between aboveground and belowground communities and their consequences for ecosystem functioning. Much of his research is field based, and includes work in Swedish boreal forest and subarctic tundra, and forests in New Zealand, Australia and elsewhere. Current projects focus on ecosystem impacts of invasive biota; consequences of wildfire; ecological changes across successional, retrogressive and elevational gradients; aspects of island ecology; and the ecological role of forest understory vegetation. He has authored two books on aboveground-belowground linkages (published by Princeton University Press in 2002 and Oxford University Press in 2010), and around 230 publications of which around 20 have appeared in Science and Nature. He serves or has served on several editorial boards (including Science, Ecology and Ecology Letters), has been designated as a highly cited scientist and as among the world’s 20 most cited scientists in ecology and environmental sciences, and is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and a Wallenberg Scholar.
Current Position: Professor of Soil and Plant Ecology
Current Research Activities - click here
Professional activities and recognition
Current PhD students and postdocs
Former PhD students and postdocs
1990: PhD in Soil Ecology, University of Calgary, Canada
1986: BSc (first class honours), Canterbury University, Christchurch, New Zealand
Professional activities and recognition:
Current Editorial work:
Science - Board of Reviewing Editors (2009-)
Journal of Ecology - Editorial Board (2013-)
New Zealand Journal of Ecology - Editorial Board (1997-)
Ideas in Ecology and Evolution - Editorial Board (2008-)
Previous Editorial work:
Ecology and Ecological Monographs - Board of Editors (2005-2013)
Pedobiologia - Editorial Board (1998-2014)
Ecology Letters - Receiving Editor (2001-2006)
Soil Biology and Biochemistry - Subject Editor (1997 - 2002)
Biology and Fertility of Soils - Editorial Board (1999 - 2002)
New Zealand Journal of Ecology - Chief Editor (1998-2003).
Adjunct Professor - University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Affiliate Professor - University of Alaska at Fairbanks
Research Associate - Landcare Research, Lincoln, New Zealand
Recipient of a 'Wallenberg Scholar' award, 2011-2015 (one of 10 researchers in Sweden)
Recognised by ISI since 2006 as a "Highly Cited" scientist in the field of Ecology/Environment.
Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand (NZ's academy of the sciences); elected 2003.
Recipient of an inaugural SLU 'Excellence Award' (2006), NZ Ecological Society annual award (2001), NZ Association of Scientists Research Medal (1999).
Current Postdocs and Ph.D. students advised or co-advised:
Maja Sundqvist (Postdoc). Project: Ecosystem responses to elevation in subarctic tundra.
Ciska Veen (Postdoc). Project: East, West, Home's Best: Home-field advantage effects on the decomposition of plant litter.
Jordan Mayor (postdoc). Project: Ecosystem-level changes across elevational gradients.
Nathalie Pluchon (PhD student). Project: The influence of wildfire-derived charcoal on ecosystem carbon storage and fluxes (advisors: D. Wardle, M.-C. Nilsson, P. Kardol and M. Gundale)
Bright Kumordzi (PhD student). Project: The ecological significance of within-species leaf trait variability (advisors: D. Wardle, M.-C. Nilsson and M. Gundale).
Jonathan De Long (PhD student). Project: Aboveground-belowground linkages in northern boreal and subarctic communities (advisors: D. Wardle, M-C. Nilsson, E. Dorrepaal and R. Giesler).
Babs Stuiver (PhD student). Project: Effect of understory vegetation on forest regeneration and response to disturbance (advisors: M.-C. Nilsson, M. Gundale and D. Wardle)
Anna Henriksson (PhD student). Project: Biotic resistance: Influence of species richness, saturation, and resistant species (advisors: G. Englund, J. Yu and D. Wardle; based at Umeå University)
Signe Lett (PhD student). Project: Moss traits predicting climate-warming induced forest expansion across tundra habitats (advisors, E. Dorrepaal, M.-C. Nilsson and D. Wardle; based at Umeå University)
Mel Durrett (Ph.D student). Project: ‘Spatial and Temporal Variation in Nutrient Inputs by Seabirds on Offshore New Zealand Islands’. (advisors: C. Mulder and D. Wardle; based at the University of Alaska, USA).
Ann Tomlinson (PhD student). Project: ‘Interactions between native and introduced millipedes (Diplopoda) and their impact on decomposition processes in native forests in the Auckland region’ (advisors: J. Beggs, D. Wardle and P. Johnson; based at Auckland University, New Zealand)
Former Postdocs and Ph.D. Students advised or co-advised:
Gregoire Freschet (postdoc 2011-2013)
Andrea Vincent (postdoc 2012-2013)
Stef Bokhorst (postdoc 2011-2013)
Johan Asplund (Postdoc 2011-2013)
Guillaume Bay (PhD student 2008-2013; advisors: M.-C. Nilsson, D. Wardle and U. Rasmussen)
Benjamin Jackson (PhD student 2007-2012; advisors D. Wardle, M.-C. Nilsson and D. Peltzer).
Paul Kardol (postdoc 2009-2011)
Zhanfeng Liu (postdoc 2010-2011)
Sheel Bansal (postdoc 2009-2011; advisors M.-C. Nilsson and D. Wardle)
Maja Sundqvist (PhD student 2007-2011; advisors D. Wardle, R. Giesler and B. Graae).
Micael Jonsson (postdoc 2006-2009)
Fujio Hyodo (postdoc 2007-2009)
Camilla Esberg (PhD student 2006-2010; advisors R. Giesler, B. Graae and D. Wardle)
Hiroko Kurokawa (postdoc 2005-2007; advisors: D. Wardle and D. Peltzer)
Fiona Dearden (PhD student 2003-2007)
Helena Dehlin (PhD student 2002-2006; advisors: M-C Nilsson and D. Wardle)
Katja Ilmarinen (PhD student 2002-2006; advisors: J. Mikola and D. Wardle)
Tadashi Fukami (postdoc 2003-2005; advisors: D. Wardle and P. Bellingham)
Kate Orwin (PhD student 2000-2004; advisors: D. Wardle and L. Greenfield)
Wendy Williamson (postdoc 1999-2002)
Duane Peltzer (postdoc 2000-2001)
Lena Jonsson (postdoc 1998-1999; advisors: M.-C. Nilsson and D. Wardle)
Juha Mikola (postdoc 1998-1999)
Fabienne Charpentier (postdoc 1995-1996)
Lab rotation (visiting and collaborating) Postdocs and Ph.D students
Gregory Crutsinger (Ph.D. student, University of Tennessee, USA) (2007)
Ruth Gregg (Ph.D student, University of Lancaster, UK) (2006, 2007)
Enrique Doblas-Miranda (Ph. D. student, University of Granada, Spain) (2005, 2007)
Christien Ettema (Postdoc, Wageningen University, Netherlands) (2002)
Jackson, B. G., Peltzer, D. A. and Wardle, D. A. (2013). The within-species leaf economic spectrum does not predict leaf litter decomposability at either the within-species or whole community levels. Journal of Ecology 101: 1409-1419.
Bay, G., Nahar, N., Oubre, M., Whitehouse, M., Wardle, D. A., Zackrisson, O., Nilsson, M.-C. and Rasmussen, U. (2013) Boreal feather mosses secrete chemical signals to gain nitrogen. (Rapid Report) New Phytologist 200: 54-60.
Jackson, B. G., Peltzer, D. A. and Wardle, D. A. (2013) Are functional traits and litter decomposability coordinated across leaves, twigs, and wood? A test using temperate rainforest tree species (Editor's Choice). Oikos 122: 1131-1142.
Laliberté, E., Grace, J. B., Huston, M. A., Lambers, H., Teste, F. P., Turner, B. L. and Wardle, D. A. (2013) How does pedogenesis drive plant diversity? Trends in Ecology and Evolution 28: 331-340.
Gundale, M. J., Hyodo, M., Nilsson, M.-C. & Wardle, D. A. (2012) Nitrogen niches revealed through species and functional group removal in a boreal shrub community. Ecology 93: 1695-1704.
Lagerström, A., Nilsson, M.-C., Zackrisson, O. and Wardle, D. A. (2007). Ecosystem input of nitrogen through biological fixation in feather mosses during ecosystem retrogression. Functional Ecology 21: 1027-1033.
Wardle, D. A., Bellingham, P. J., Mulder, C. P. H. and Fukami, T. (2007) Promotion of ecosystem carbon sequestration by invasive predators. Biology Letters 3: 479-482.
Wardle, D. A. (2006) The influence of biotic interactions on soil biodiversity. Ecology Letters 9: 870-886.
Fukami, T., Wardle, D. A., Bellingham, P. J., Mulder, C. P. H., Towns, D. R., Yeates, G. W., Bonner, K. I., Durrett, M. S., Grant-Hoffman, M. N and Williamson, W. M. (2006). Above- and below-ground impacts of introduced predators in seabird-dominated island ecosystems. Ecology Letters 9: 1299-1307.
Nilsson, M. C. and Wardle, D. A. (2005) Understory vegetation as a forest ecosystem driver: evidence from the northern Swedish boreal forest. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 3: 421-428.
Wardle, D. A., Bardgett, R. D., Klironomos, J. N., Setälä, H., Van der Putten, W. H. and Wall, D. H. (2004) Ecological linkages between aboveground and belowground biota. Science 304: 1629-1633.
Ettema, C., and Wardle, D. A. (2002) Spatial soil ecology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 17: 177-183.
Wardle, D. A., Barker, G. M., Yeates, G. W., Bonner, K. I., and Ghani, A. (2001) Introduced browsing mammals in natural New Zealand forests: aboveground and belowground consequences. Ecological Monographs 71: 587-614.
Wardle, D. A., Bonner, K. I., Barker, G. M., Yeates, G. W., Nicholson, K. S., Bardgett, R. D., Watson, R. N. and Ghani, A. (1999) Plant removals in perennial grassland: vegetation dynamics, decomposers, soil biodiversity and ecosystem properties. Ecological Monographs 69: 535-568.
Wardle, D. A., Zackrisson, O., Hörnberg, G. and Gallet, C. (1997) Influence of island area on ecosystem properties. Science 277: 1296-1299.