Bryan Foster

Senior Scientist
Primary office:
Higuchi Hall


Dr. Foster studies the ecological forces that shape plant communities.


Broadly, research in our lab explores how biotic interactions, resource availability, and species pools interact to govern the assembly, diversity, and functioning of plant communities. We are also interested in understanding the impacts of management and human-induced global changes on biodiversity and ecosystem function and applying this understanding to the conservation and restoration of native plant communities.

Selected Publications

  • Komatsu, K. J., Avolio, M. L., Lemoine, N. P., Isbell, F., Grman, E., Houseman, G. R., Koerner, S. E., Johnson, D. S., Wilcox, K. R., Alatalo, J. M., Anderson, J. P., Aerts, R., Baer, S. G., Baldwin, A. H., Bates, J., Beierkuhnlein, C., Belote, R. T., Blair, J., Bloor, J. M. G., Bohlen, P. J., Bork, E. W., Boughton, E. H., Bowman, W. D., Britton, A. J., Cahill, J. F., Chaneton, E., Chiariello, N. R., Cheng, J., Collins, S. L., Cornelissen, J. H. C., Du, G., Eskelinen, A., Firn, J., Foster, B., Gough, L., Gross, K., Hallett, L. M., Han, X., Harmens, H., Hovenden, M. J., Jagerbrand, A., Jentsch, A., Kern, C., Klanderud, K., Knapp, A. K., Kreyling, J., Li, W., Luo, Y., McCulley, R. L., McLaren, J. R., Megonigal, J. P., Morgan, J. W., Onipchenko, V., Pennings, S. C., Prevéy, J. S., Price, J. N., Reich, P. B., Robinson, C. H., Russell, F. L., Sala, O. E., Seabloom, E. W., Smith, M. D., Soudzilovskaia, N. A., Souza, L., Suding, K., Suttle, K. B., Svejcar, T., Tilman, D., Tognetti, P., Turkington, R., White, S., Xu, Z., Yahdjian, L., Yu, Q., Zhang, P. & Zhang, Y. 2019. Global change effects on plant communities are magnified by time and the number of global change factors imposed. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 201819027.
  • Langley, J. A., Chapman, S. K., Avolio, M.,  Bowman, W. D., Johnson, D. S., La Pierre, K. J., Isbell, F., Wilcox, K. R., Foster, B. L., Hovenden, M. J., Knapp, A. K., Koerner, S., Lortie, C., Megonigal, J. P. Newton, P., Reich, P. B., Smith, M. D., Suttle, B., and Tilman, D.  2018. Ambient changes exceed treatment effects on plant species abundance in global change experiments. Global Change Biology 24: 5668-5679.
  • Denning, K. R. and Foster, B. L. 2018. Taxon-specific associations of tallgrass prairie flower visitors with site-scale forb communities and landscape composition and configuration. Biological Conservation 227:74-8.
  • Denning, K. R. and Foster, B. L. 2017. Flower visitor communities are similar on remnant and reconstructed tallgrass prairies despite forb community differences. Restoration Ecology doi: 10.1111/ rec.12615
  • Nathan J., Foster, B. L., Bever, J. D., Schwarting, J. and Alexander, H. M. 2017. Sowing density effects and patterns of colonization in a prairie restoration. Restoration Ecology doi:10.1111/rec.12550.
  • Murphy, C. A., Foster, B. L., and Gao, C. 2016. Temporal dynamics in rhizosphere bacterial communities of three perennial grassland species. Agronomy 2016 6 (1): 17.
  • Foster, B.L.,G.R. Houseman, D.R. Hall and S.E. Hinman (2015) Does tallgrass prairie restoration enhance the invasion resistance of post-agricultural lands? Biological Invasions 17: 3579-3590.
  • Haddad, N. M., Brudvig, L. A., Clobert, J., Davies, K. F., Gonzalez, A., Holt, R. D., Lovejoy, T. E., Sexton, J. O., Austin, M. P., Collins, C. D., Cook, W. M., Damschen, E. I., Ewers, R. M., Foster, B. L., Jenkins, C. N., King, A. J., Laurance, W. F., Levey, D. J., Margules, C. R., Melbourne, B. A., Nicholls, A. O., Orrock, J. L., Song, D.-X., & Townshend, J. R. (2015). Habitat fragmentation and its lasting impact on Earth’s ecosystems. AAAS Science Advances, 1(2). doi:10.1126/sciadv.1500052.
  • Fraser, L. H., Pither, J., Jentsch, A., Sternberg, M., Zobel, M., Askarizadeh, D., Bartha, S., Beierkuhnlein, C., Bennett, J. A., Bittel, A., Boldgiv, B., Boldrini, I. I., Bork, E., Brown, L., Cabido, M., Cahill, J., Carlyle, C. N., Campetella, G., Chelli, S., Cohen, O., Csergo, A.-M., Díaz, S., Enrico, L., Ensing, D., Fidelis, A., Fridley, J. D., Foster, B., Garris, H., Goheen, J. R., Henry, H. A. L., Hohn, M., Jouri, M. H., Klironomos, J., Koorem, K., Lawrence-Lodge, R., Long, R., Manning, P., Mitchell, R., Moora, M., Müller, S. C., Nabinger, C., Naseri, K., Overbeck, G. E., Palmer, T. M., Parsons, S., Pesek, M., Pillar, V. D., Pringle, R. M., Roccaforte, K., Schmidt, A., Shang, Z., Stahlmann, R., Stotz, G. C., Sugiyama, S.-i., Szentes, S., Thompson, D., Tungalag, R., Undrakhbold, S., van Rooyen, M., Wellstein, C., Wilson, J. B., & Zupo, T. (2015). Worldwide evidence of a unimodal relationship between productivity and plant species richness. Science, 349(6245), 302–305. doi:10.1126/science.aab3916 ISSN: 0036-8075. 
  • Houseman, G. R., B. L. Foster and C. E. Brassil. 2014. Propagule pressure-invasibility relationships: testing the influence of soil fertility and disturbance with Lespedeza cuneata. Oecologia 174:511-520.
  • Long, Q., Foster, B. L., Kindscher, K. et al. 2014. Seed and microsite limitations mediate stochastic recruitment in a low-diversity prairie restoration.  Plant Ecology 15, 1287-1298.
  • Murphy, C. A. and B. L. Foster. 2014. Soil properties and spatial processes influence bacterial metacommunities within a grassland restoration experiment. Restoration Ecology 22: 685-691.
  • Wong, B. M., G. R. Houseman, and B. L. Foster. 2012. "Targeting Vulnerable Life-Stages of Sericea Lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata) with Prescribed Burns" Invasive Plant Science & Management. 5(4). 487-493.
  • Alexander, H. M., B. L. Foster, F. Ballantyne, C. D. Collins, J. Antonovics, and R. D. Holt. 2012. "Metapopulations and metacommunities: combining spatial and temporal perspectives in plant ecology" Journal of Ecology. 100. 88-103.
  • Foster, B. L., E. J. Questad, C. D. Collins, C. A. Murphy, T. L. Dickson, and V. H. Smith. 2011. "Seed availability constrains plant species sorting along a soil fertility gradient" Journal of Ecology. 99. 473-481.
  • Dickson, T. L. and B. L. Foster. 2011. "Fertilization decreases plant biodiversity even when light is not limiting" Ecology Letters. 14. 380-388.
  • Questad, E. J., B. L. Foster, S. Jog, K. Kindscher, and H. Loring. 2011. "Evaluating patterns of biodiversity in managed grasslands with spatial turnover metrics" Biological Conservation. 144. 1050-1058.
  • Foster, B. L., I. S. Khavin, C. A. Murphy, V. H. Smith, M. E. Ramspott, K. P. Price, and K. Kindscher. 2010. "Integrated responses of grassland biodiversity and ecosystem properties to hay management: A field experiment" Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science. 113. 103-119.

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