Dave Wedin

Dave Wedin

  • Contact Information
  • My Story
  • Publications
  • Background
  • Interests
  • Grants
  • Advising
  • Courses Taught

Contact Information

TitleEcosystem Ecologist | Director, Center for Grassland Studies
Faculty RankProfessor
Address413 South Hardin Hall
3310 Holdrege Street
Lincoln NE

East Campus
  • office: 402-472-9608
  • fax: 402-472-4915
VitaeDownload file


Contact Preference

413 South Hardin Hall or 203 Keim Hall

My Story

Hi, I'm David Wedin, professor in plant and ecosystem ecology at the School of Natural Resources and the Director of the Center for Grassland Studies.

I split my time between an the office in 413 South Hardin Hall and 203 Keim Hall (EC 0953).

My research interests include grassland and savanna ecology, carbon and nitrogen cycling in terrestrial ecosystems, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, landscape ecology and fire ecology. They also include nitrogen-use-efficiency and resource allocation in plants, and stable isotope studies of plant-soil feedbacks.

Current research projects in Nebraska include the Sandhills Biocomplexity Project, subtitled "Spatiotemporal coupling of ecological and geological dynamics in the Nebraska Sandhills," and the ecosystem consequences of ponderosa pine establishment in the Nebraska Sandhills at the planted Nebraska National Forest at Halsey.

In the biocomplexity project that I co-lead with two other researchers, 15 total co-investigators from diverse disciplines will use a $1.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation to take an integrated approach to studying the dynamics of the Nebraska Sandhills from the last few thousand years to today, particularly the interactions of water, dunes and vegetation as the grass cover is stripped or recovers. The Sandhills are a model system for biocomplexity studies, in particular studies that integrate the perspectives of ecologists and geologists to understand how ecological interactions, geomorphology (landscape structure and development) and climate interact to shape a landscape.

Dave Wedin

Regarding pine establishment in the Sandhills, revisiting in a mosophisticated way the notions of landscape influence on climate, near the end of the 20th century, hypotheses that changes in land cover may have significant feedbacks on climate at various scales returned to the fore in ecology and biogeochemistry. The documented site history, relatively uniform soils and age (70 years on average) of the experimental ponderosa pine plantings at NNF make them uniquely suited to address these issues in the Great Plains.

Before coming to UI was an assistant and associate professor in the Department of Botany at the University of Toronto from 1992-1998.

I chaired the Initiative in Ecological and Evolutionary Analysis Graduate Students Grant program in spring 2000.

I was a guest instructor in April 1999Interactions between Element Cycles and Ecosystems, a graduate course at Wageningen Agricultural University in The Netherlands. From 1997-2000, I was associate editor of American Naturalist. In 1997, I was a member of the Ontario Graduate Scholarships Review Panel, and in 1996 I was a member of the Conservation and Restoration Biology Grant Review Panel of the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Selected Publications

Donovan, V.M., C.L. Wonkka, C.P. Roberts, D.A. Wedin, D.A. McGranahan, and D. Twidwell. 2023. The influence of wildfire on invasive plant abundance and spatial structure in eastern ponderosa pine savanna. Plant Ecology 224:987-999.
Abigail, B., Al, E., Wedin, D. A., Powers, T. (2022). Plectus of the Prairie: A Case Study of Taxonomic Resolution from a Nematode Biodiversity Survey. Journal of Nematology, 54. https://doi.org/10.2478/jofnem-2022-0039Online
Donovan, V. M., Roberts, C. P., Fogarty, D. T., Wedin, D. A., Twidwell, D. (2022). Targeted grazing and mechanical thinning enhance forest stand resilience under a narrow range of wildfire scenarios. Ecosphere. DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.4061Online
Lamke, K. E., Wedin, D. A., Wu-Smart, J. Y. (2022). Remnant prairies and high-diversity restorations work together to support wild bees season-long. Prairie Naturalist, Special Issue I, 30-40.Online
Donovan, V. M., Roberts, C. P., Wonkka, C. L., Uden, D., Angeler, D. G., Allen, C. R., Wedin, D., Drijber, R., Twidwell, D. (2021). Collapse, reorganization, and regime identity: breaking down past management paradigms in a forest-grassland ecotone. Ecology and Society, 26(2). https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-12340-260227Online
Mazis, A., Fowler, J.A., Hiller, J., Zhou, Y., Wardlow, B., Wedin, D.A., Awada, T. 2021. Ecophysio-optical traits of semiarid Nebraska grasslands under different Juniperus virginiana and Pinus ponderosa canopy covers. Ecological Indicators 131 (2021) 108159. doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2021.108159Online
Mazis, T., Awada, T. N., Fowler, J., Hiller, J., Zhou, Y., Wardlow, B., Wedin, D. A. (2021). Changes in Ecophysio-Optical Traits of Semiarid Nebraska Grasslands with Juniperus virginiana and Pinus ponderosa Encroachment. Ecological Indicators, 131. Online
Roberts, C., Donovan, V., Allen, C., Angeler, D., Helzer, C., Wedin, D. A., Twidwell Jr, D. (2021). Monitoring for spatial regimes in rangelands. Rangeland Ecology and Management., 74, 114-118.
Wedin, D.A., Russelle, M.P. 2020. "Nutrient Cycling in Forage Production Systems," in Forages: The Science of Grassland Agriculture, Volume II, Seventh Edition, ed. Kenneth J. Moore, Michael Collins, C. Jerry Nelson and Daren D. Redfearn. Online
Arterburn, J., Twidwell, D., Wonkka, C., Schacht, W., Wedin, D. A. 2019. Restoring fire-grazer interactions to pursue heterogeneity in Sandhills prairie. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 7:365.Online
Donovan, V. M., Roberts, C., Wonkka, C., Wedin, D. A., Twidwell, D. 2019. Ponderosa pine regeneration, wildland fuels management, and habitat conservation: Identifying trade-offs following wildfire. Forests. 10(3),286.Online
Keele, E. C., Donovan, V. M., Roberts, C. P., Nodskov, S. M., Wonkka, C., Allen, C., Powell, L. A., Wedin, D. A., Angeler, D. G., Twidwell, D. (2019). Relationships between a burn severity gradient, cavity-nesting birds and habitat in ponderosa pine fores
Keele, E. C., Donovan, V. M., Roberts, C., Nodskov, S. M., Wonkka, C., Allen, C., Powell, L. A., Wedin, D. A., Angeler, D., Twidwell, D. 2019. Relationships between Wildfire Burn Severity, Cavity-Nesting Bird Assemblages, and Habitat in an Eastern PonderoOnline
Roberts, C. P., Donovan, V. M., Powell, L. A., Allen, C., Wonkka, C., Angeler, D. G., Wedin, D. A., Twidwell, D. 2019. Fire legacies in eastern ponderosa pine forests. Ecology and Evolution. 9: 1869–1879.
Adane, Z., Nasta, P., Zlotnik, V., Wedin, D. A. (2018). Impact of grassland conversion to forest on groundwater recharge in the Nebraska Sand Hills. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 15, 171-183.
Donovan, V. M., Roberts, C. P., Wonkka, C., Wedin, D. A., Twidwell, D. (2018). Post-fire management alters structural and community characteristics of eastern ponderosa pine forest. Canadian Institute of Forestry.
Frater, P. N., Borer, E. T., Fay, P. A., Jin, V., Knaeble, B., Seabloom, E., Sullivan, L., Wedin, D. A., Harpole, W. S. (2018). Nutrients and environment influence arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization both independently and interactively in Schizachyrium s
Gamon, J., Hmimina, G. Y., Miao, G., Guan, K., Springer, K., Wang, R., Yu, R., Gholizadeh, H., Moore, R., Walter-Shea, E., Arkebauer, T., Suyker, A., Franz, T., Wardlow, B., Wedin, D. A. (2018). Imaging spectrometry and fluorometry in support of FLEX: wha
Arterburn, J., Twidwell, D., Schacht, W., Wonkka, C., Wedin, D. A. (2018). Resilience of Sandhills Grassland to Wildfire During Drought. Rangeland Ecology and Management.Online
Liang, Z. B., Lee, D. J., Dweikat, I., Wedin, D. A., Yuen, G., Drijber, R. (2017). Molecular diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizae in roots of Juniperus virginiana invasive to grasslands. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 81, 526-536.
Msanne, J., Awada, T. N., Bryan, N., Schacht, W., Drijber, R., Li, Y., Zhou, X., Okalebo, J., Wedin, D. A., Brandle, J. R., Hiller, J. (2017). Ecophysiological responses of native invasive woody Juniperus virginiana L. to resource availability and stand cOnline
Msanne, J., Awada, T. N., Schacht, W., Drijber, R., Okalebo, J., Wedin, D. A., Brandle, J. R. 2017. Ecophysiological control of native invasive woody Juniperus virginiana to resource availability and stand characteristics in the semi-arid grasslands of thOnline
Msanne, J., Awada, T., Bryan, N.M., Schacht, W., Drijber, R. Li, Y., Zhou, X., Okalebo, J., Wedin, D., Brandle, J., Hiller, J. 2017. Ecophysiological Responses of Native Invasive Woody Juniperus Virginiana L. to Resource Availability and Stand CharacterisOnline
Durso, L. M., Wedin, D. A., Gilley, J. E., Miller, D., Marx, D. 2016. Assessment of Selected Antibiotic Resistances in Ungrazed Native Nebraska Prairie Soils. Journal of Environmental Quality, 45:454-462.
Fay, P. A., Wedin, D. A., NUTNET. 2015. Grassland Productivity Limited by Multiple Nutrients. Nature Plants. doi:10.1038/nplants.2015.80.Online
Wang, T., Istanbulluoglu, E., Wedin, D. A., Hanson, P. (2015). Impacts of devegetation on the temporal evolution of soil saturated hydraulic conductivity in a vegetated sand dune area. Environmental Earth Sciences(73), 7651-7660
Wang, T., Wedin, D. A., Franz, T., Hiller, J. (2015). Effect of vegetation on the temporal stability of soil moisture in grass-stabilized semi-arid sand dunes. Journal of Hydrology. 521: 447-459.Online
Awada, T., El-Hage, R., Geha, M., Wedin, D.A., Huddle, J.A., Zhou, X., Msanne, J., Sudmeyer, R.A., Martin, D.L., and Brandle, J.R. (2013). Intra-annual variability and environmental controls over transpiration in a 58-year-old even-aged stand of invasive Online
Nemec, K., Allen, C., Wedin, D. A., Helzer, C. (2013). Influence of diversity and seeding density on invasion resistance in experimental tallgrass prairie restorations. Ecological Restoration, 31, 168-185.Online
Erkan, I., Tiejun, W., Wedin, D. A. (2012). Evaluation of Ecohydrologic Model Parsimony at Local and Regional Scales in a Semiarid Grassland Ecosystem. Ecohydrology, 5, 121-142Online
Wingeyer, A., Walters, D. T., Drijber, R., Olk, D., Arkebauer, T., Wedin, D. A., Francis, C., Verma, S. (2012). Fall Conservation Deep Tillage Stabilizes Maize Residues into Soil Organic Matter. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 76, 2154-2163.
Awada, T., S. Bihmidine, N. Bryan, X. Zhou, J. Huddle, K. Eggemeyer, D. Wedin, and F.E. Harvey, 2010, Ecophysiological and Growth Traits Explain the Success of Two Invasive Woody Species in the Semi-arid Grasslands of Nebraska, USA, 3rd Annual Internation
Eggemeyer, K.D., Awada, T., Harvey, F.E., Wedin, D., Zanner, R. and Zhou, X. 2009. Seasonal Changes in depth of water uptake for encroaching trees Juniperus virginiana and Pinus ponderosa and two dominant C4 grasses in a semi-arid grassland. Tree PhysioloOnline
Powell, L.A., A.J. Tyre, S.E. Hygnstrom, D.A. Wedin, P.R. Hanson, M.S. Kuzila, and J.B. Swinehart. 2009. Wilderness serendipity: planning and assessing learning during an experiential field course.North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture JournaOnline
Wang, T., Zlotnik, V.A., Wedin, D., Wally, K.D. (2008). Spatial trends in saturated hydraulic conductivity of vegetated dunes in the Nebraska Sand Hills: Effects of depth and topography. J. Hydrol., 349, 88-97.Online
Eggemeyer, K.D., Awada, T., Wedin, D., Harvey, F.E. and Zhou, X. 2006. Ecophysiology of two native invasive woody species and two dominant warm-season grasses in the semiarid grasslands of the Nebraska Sandhills. International Journal of Plant Sciences 16Online
Eggemeyer, K.D., T. Awada, D.A. Wedin, F.E. Harvey, and X. Zhou, 2006. Ecophysiology of Two Native Invasive Woody Species and Two Dominant Warm-Season Grasses in the Semi-arid Grasslands of the Nebraska Sandhills, International Journal of Plant Sciences, Online
Sridhar, V., K.G. Hubbard, and D.A. Wedin. 2006. Assessment of soil moisture dynamics of the Nebraska Sandhills using long-term measurements and a hydrology model. J. of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering. 132:463-473.Online
Tjoelker, M.G., J.M. Craine, D. Wedin, P.B. Reich and D. Tilman. 2005. Linking leaf and root trait syndromes among 39 grassland and savannah species. New Phytologist, 167:493-508.Online
Reich, P.B., D. Tilman, S. Naeem, D.S. Ellsworth, J. Knops, J. Craine, D. Wedin, and J. Trost. 2004. Species and functional group diversity independently influence biomass accumulation and its response to CO2 and N. Proceedings of the National Academy of Online
Sanderson, M.A., R.H. Skinner, D.J. Barker, G.R. Edwards, B.F. Tracy, and D.A. Wedin. 2004. Plant species diversity and management of temperate forage and grazing land ecosystems. Crop Science, 44:1132-1144.Online
Wedin, D.A. 2004. C4 Grasses: Resource use, ecology and global change. 2004. Pages 15-50 in Moser, L.E., B.L. Burson, and L.E. Sollenberger (ed.) Warm-Season (C4) Grasses. Monograph No. 45. ASA, CSSA, SSSA. Madison, WI.
Craine, J.M., D.A. Wedin, F.S. Chapin and P.B. Reich 2003. Relationship between the structure of root systems and resource use for 11 North American grassland plants. Plant Ecology. 165:85-100 .Online
Craine, J.M., D.A.Wedin, F.S. Chapin III, and P.B.Reich. 2003. The dependence of root system properties on root system biomass of 10 North American grassland species. Plant and Soil, 250:39-47. (UNL ARD #13772).Online
Craine, J.M., Tilman, D.G., Wedin, D.A., Reich, P.B., Tjoekler, M.J., Knops, J.M.H., Knops. 2002. Functional Traits, Productivity and Effects on Nitrogen Cycling of 33 Grasslands Species. Functional Ecology. Functional Ecology. 16:563-574.
Knops, J.M.H., Bradley, K.L., Wedin, D.A. 2002. Mechanisms of Species Impacts on Ecosystem Nitrogen Cycling. Ecology Letters. 5:454-466.Online
Crane, J.M., D.A. Wedin, and P.B. Reich 2001. The response of soil CO2 flux to changes in atmospheric CO2 nitrogen supply , and plant diversity. Global Change Biology. 7:947-953 .Online
Knops, J.M.H., Wedin, D., Tilman, D. 2001. Biodiversity and Decomposition in Experimental Grassland Ecosystems. Oecologia. 126:429-433.Online
Reich, P., Knops, J., Tilman, D., Crain, J., Ellsworth, D., Tjoekler, M., Lee, T., Wedin, D., Naeem, S., Behauddin, D., Hendrey, G., Jose, S., Wrage, K., Goth, J., Bengston, W. 2001. Plant Diversity Enhances Ecosystem Responses to Elevated Co2 and Nitroge
Reich, P.D., Petersen, D.W., Wedin, D.A., Wragge, K. 2001. Fire and vegetation effects on productivity and nitrogen cycling across a forest-grassland continuum. Ecology. 81:1703-1719.Online
Tilman, D., Reich, P., Knops, J., Wedin, D., Mielke, T., Lehman, C. 2001. Diversity and Productivity in a Long-term Grassland Experiment. Science. 294:843-845.Online
Gholz, H.L, Wedin, D.A. Smitherman, S., Harmon, M., Parton, W.J. 2000. Long-term dynamics of pine and hardwood litter in contrasting environments: toward a global model of decomposition. Global Change Biology. 6:751-766.Online
Wedin, D.A. 1999. Nitrogen availability, plant-soil feedbacks and grassland stability. roceedings of the VI International Rangeland Congress (1): 193-197.Online
Guertin, D.S., Easterling, W.E., Brandle, J.R. 1997. Climate Change and Forests in the Great Plains: Issues in modeling fragmented woodlands in intensively managed landscapes. BioScience. 47(5):287-295.Online
Johnson, N.C. and D.A. Wedin 1997. Soil carbon, nutrients, and mycorrhizae during conversion of a dry tropical forest to grassland. Ecological Applications. 7:171-182.Online
Wedin, D.A. and D. Tilman 1996. Influence of nitrogen loading and species composition on the carbon balance of grasslands. Science. 27:1720-1723.
Allen, R., Mazis, A., Wardlow, B., Cherubini, P., Hiller, J., Wedin, D.A., Awada, T. 2023. Coupling dendroecological and remote sensing techniques to assess the biophysical traits of Juniperus virginiana and Pinus ponderosa within the Semi-Arid grasslands of the Nebraska Sandhills. Forest Ecology and Management 544 (2023) 121184. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2023.121184Online
Keele, E. C., Donovan, V. M., Roberts, C. P., Nodskov, S. M., Wonkka, C. L., Allen, C., Powell, L. A., Wedin, D. A., Angeler, D. G., Twidwell, D. (in press). Relationships Between Wildfire Burn Severity, Cavity-Nesting Bird Assemblages, and Habitat in an



DegreeMajorInstitutionYear Awarded
Doctorate of PhilosophyEcologyUniversity of Minnesota1990
Bachelor of ScienceBiologySt. Olaf College1981





TitleAwarded byYear Awarded
UNL Parents Association Recognition AwardUNL Parents Association2015
Senior Faculty Holling Award for Teaching ExcellenceCASNR/UNL2014




SNR Program Areas

  • Applied Ecology

Areas of Interest/Expertise

  • Tallgrass prairie conservation and management
  • Ecosystem science
  • Forest / grassland ecology
  • Plant-soil interactions
  • Carbon and nitrogen cycling
  • Ecohydrology
  • Great Plains Forestry


Currently this page only displays grants that were awarded on 1/1/ 2009 to the present. If a grant was awarded prior to 1/1/ 2009 and is still active, it will not be displayed on this page.

Grant TitlePrairie Corridor Phase 3 (Additional Funding)
Starting Date08/10/2021


Ending Date06/30/2022
Funding Level$58,544.00
Funding AgencyCity of Lincoln


Grant TitlePrairie Corridor Phase 3
Starting Date05/01/2019


Ending Date06/30/2020
Funding Level$58,544.00
Funding AgencyCity of Lincoln


Grant TitlePrairie Corridor Phase 2 (Additional Funding)
Starting Date07/01/2018


Ending Date06/20/2019
Funding Level$86,237.00
Funding AgencyCity of Lincoln


Grant TitlePonderosa Pine on the Edge
Starting Date10/01/2015


Ending Date09/30/2020
Funding Level$373,900.00
Funding AgencyAgricultural Research Division - McIntire Stennis


Grant TitleEffects of Compaction and Soil Moisture on American Burying Beetles
Starting Date03/04/2015


Ending Date12/31/2015
Funding Level$33,372.00
Funding AgencyNebraska Department of Roads


Grant TitleBurying Beetle Occurrence Model
Starting Date08/01/2014


Ending Date12/31/2015
Funding Level$74,148.00
Funding AgencyNebraska Department of Roads


Grant TitleLearning from the 2012 Niobrara Fire
Starting Date06/05/2013


Ending Date08/31/2015
Funding Level$132,050.00
Funding AgencyNature Conservancy


Grant TitleMethane Uptake by Grassland Soils: Biogeochemistry, Microbial Ecology and Integrative Modeling
Starting Date04/15/2011


Ending Date03/31/2015
Funding Level$12,587.00
Funding AgencyCU


Grant TitleMethane Uptake by Grassland Soils: Biogeochemistry, Microbial Ecology and Integrative Modeling (additional funding)
Starting Date04/15/2011


Ending Date03/31/2015
Funding Level$12,871.00
Funding AgencyCU


Grant TitleMethane Uptake by Grassland Soils (additional funding)
Starting Date04/15/2011


Ending Date03/31/2015
Funding Level$13,165.00
Funding AgencyColorado State University



Graduate Programs

Master of Applied Science

Master of Science in Natural Resource Sciences
including specializations in

  • Applied Ecology

Doctorate of Philosophy in Natural Resource Sciences
including specializations in

  • Applied Ecology

Courses Taught

Course NumberCourse TitleFall Even YearsFall Odd YearsSpring Even YearsSpring Odd YearsSummer SessionCross Listing
NRES 310Introduction to Forest ManagementXX
NRES 424/824Forest EcologyXX
NRES 438/838Grassland Conservation: Planning and ManagementXX