Sara Baer | Plant Biology | SIU

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Sara Baer

Professor and Chair. Ecosystem/Restoration/Grassland Ecology

Sara Baer

Phone: 618.453.3228
Office: Life Science II, Room 425
email: sgbaer@siu.edu
Laboratory website

My research centers on bridging ecological theory with restoration ecology to improve the structure and function of degraded ecosystems. I am particularly interested in the degree to which the recovery of soil microbiological processes, carbon pools, and nitrogen dynamics influence floristic diversity in disturbed, restored, and native ecosystems. Much of my research has focused on agroecosystems restored to tallgrass prairie species. These studies have demonstrated that grassland restorations are dynamic ecosystems belowground, with continual increases in total soil carbon and rapid recovery of labile organic matter pools, while becoming increasing nitrogen limited. I am also involved in long-term studies examining the role of soil resource heterogeneity on diversity in a prairie restoration at the Konza Prairie Long Term Ecological Research site. Intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms underlying patterns of species dominance in restored ecosystems are of great interest to me, specifically the role of soil nutrient supply rates as affected by carbon sequestration, species variation in resource allocation patterns, and hierarchical consequences of selective breeding of dominant species used in restorations.

Visit my laboratory website to learn more.

Education

Ph.D. 2001, Kansas State University

Selected Publications

  1. Bach, E.M., S. G. Baer, and J. Six. 2012. Plant and soil responses to high and low diversity restoration practices. Environmental Management 49:412-424.
  2. Gibson, D. J., A. J. Alstadt, S. G. Baer, and M. Geisler. 2011. Effects of foundation species genotypic diversity on subordinate species richness in an assembling community. Oikos 121: 496-507 DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0706.2011.19447.x
  3. Gibson, D.J., J. Urban, and S. G. Baer. 2011. Mowing and fertilizer effects on seedling establishment in a successional old field. Journal of Plant Ecology 4: 157-168.
  4. Lambert, A. M., S. G. Baer, and D. J. Gibson. 2011. Intraspecific variation in ecophysiology of three dominant prairie grasses used in restoration: cultivar vs. non-cultivar population sources. Restoration Ecology 19:43-52
  5. Klopf, R. P. and S. G. Baer. 2011. Root dynamics of cultivar and non-cultivar population sources of three dominant grasses during initial establishment of tallgrass prairie. Restoration Ecology 19: 112-11.
  6. Baer, S. G., C. K. Meyer, E. M. Bach, R. P. Klopf, and J. Six.  2010.  Contrasting ecosystem recovery on two soil textures: implications for carbon mitigation and grassland conservation.  Ecosphere 1(1):art5. doi:10.1890/ES10-00004.1
  7. Bach, E. M., S. G. Baer, C. K. Meyer, and J. Six.  2010.  Soil microbial and structural recovery during grassland restoration on contrasting soil texture.  Soil Biology and Biochemistry doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2010.08.014
  8. Lambert, A. M., S. G. Baer, and D. J. Gibson. 2010.  Intraspecific variation in ecophysiology of three dominant prairie grasses used in restoration: cultivar vs. non-cultivar population sources. Restoration Ecology doi: 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2010.00673.x
  9. Meyer, C. K., M. R. Whiles, and S. G. Baer.  2010.  Plant community recovery following restoration in temporally variable riparian wetlands.  Restoration Ecology 18:52-64.
  10. Klopf, R. P. and S. G. Baer.  2009.  Root dynamics of cultivar and non-cultivar population sources of three dominant grasses during initial establishment of tallgrass prairie. Restoration Ecology no. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2009.00539.x
  11. Baer, S. G., D. Engle, J. M. H. Knops, K. A. Langeland, B. D. Maxwell, F. D. Menalled, and A. Symstad.  2009. Non-target and invasive species in rehabilitated production systems: Ecological impacts, management and future use.  Environmental Management 43:189-196.