Professor Elise Pendall

Elise Pendall Professor Elise Pendall is a soil and ecosystem ecologist who investigates the responses of biogeochemical cycling to climate change and ecological disturbances. She spent 11 years on the faculty of the University of Wyoming, and came to HIE in 2014, where she leads the Soil Biology and Genomics theme and teaches the Master's unit "Ecosystems in a Changing World." 

Her current research uses eddy covariance and stable isotopes to investigate the seasonality of carbon cycling in native Eucalyptus woodlands near Sydney, as part of the Australian Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (opens in a new window) and OzFlux (opens in a new window). Elise's research interests centre on how linkages between aboveground and belowground ecosystem components regulate carbon, water and nutrient cycling in grasslands, forests and crops. She uses stable isotope techniques to investigate carbon storage in soils, water losses from plants, and nitrogen turnover by soil microbes. She works closely with postdocs and students to conduct basic and applied research on ecosystems in Australia and beyond.

I'm interested in the metabolism of terrestrial ecosystems - the breathing of the Earth - and how it can mitigate climate change...

Key research questions investigate how climate change and ecological disturbances might impact carbon storage and water loss from these sensitive ecosystems. Elise has authored more than 80 refereed journal articles, including a highly cited synthesis of belowground process responses to climate change. Recently, she has shown that plant species mediate feedbacks to climate change by altering decomposition and nutrient cycling processes, and ecosystem respiration decreases with warming in a semiarid grassland, with important influences of prior soil moisture and temperature.

Prof Elise Pendall's research topics

Areas of Research / Teaching Expertise

Soil science, biogeochemistry, ecosystem ecology, stable isotope ecology.

Awards and Responsibilities

Recognition

  • Extraordinary Merit in Research, University of Wyoming, 2009
  • NOAA Climate and Global Change Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 1998-2000

Journal Editorships and Advisory Boards

  • National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) Science Advisory Board, 2009-2011
  • Journal of Geophysical Research ¡V Biogeosciences, Associate Editor, 2013-present
  • Global Change Biology Editorial Advisory Board, 2011-present
  • Biogeoscience Editorial Board, 2014-present
  • Environmental Research Letters, Guest Editor, Special Issue on Extreme Events and Carbon Cycle
  • Functional Ecology, Guest Editor, Special Feature on Belowground Responses to Global Change

Societies I Support

Grants / Current Projects

  • Data-model synthesis of grassland carbon metabolism: Quantifying direct, indirect and interactive effects of warming and elevated CO2.
    Co-Researchers: K Ogle, WJ Parton, DG Williams
    Partner/Funding Body: US Department of Energy Terrestrial Carbon Program
    Period: 2011-2014.
  • Plant-microbe feedback responses to climate change in grasslands.
    Co-Researchers: MA Wallenstein, D Blumenthal, Y. Carrillo
    Partner/Funding Body: US National Science Foundation
    Period: 2010-2014.
  • Winter soil respiration in Southeast Wyoming.
    Co-Researcher: C. Tucker
    Partner/Funding Body: US National Science Foundation
    Period: 2011-2013
  • Quantifying the effects of large-scale vegetation change on coupled water, carbon and  nutrient cycles: Beetle Kill.
    Co-Researchers: PD Brooks, BE Ewers.
    Partner/Funding Body: US National Science Foundation
    Period: 2009-2012
  • How the timing of summer precipitation affects the responses of boreal forest to climate change.
    Co-Researchers: D Mann, A Lloyd.
    Partner/Funding Body: US National Science Foundation
    Period: 2010-2013
  • How does warming prevent soil nitrogen availability from declining in response to elevated CO2?
    Co-Researchers: M. Hovenden, PC Newton, M Rillig; Dr PM Mele; Dr M Lieffering
    Partner/Funding Body: Australian Research Council Discovery Grant.
    Period: 2009-2013.
  • Impacts of bark beetle outbreaks on forest water yield in southern Wyoming.
    Co-Researchers: BE Ewers, DG Williams.
    Partner/Funding Body: Wyoming Water Development Council.
    Period: 2010-2013.
  • Decadal Scale Estimates of Forest Water Yield After Bark Beetle Epidemics in Southern Wyoming.
    Co-Researchers: BE Ewers, U Norton, S Albeke, R Sivanpillai.
    Partner/Funding Body: Wyoming Water Research Competitive Grant Program.
    Period: 2012-2013.
  • Water in a Changing West: The Wyoming Center for Environmental Hydrology and Geophysics.
    Co-Researchers: SN Miller, SW Holbrook, and 10 others.
    Partner/Funding Body: US National Science Foundation
    Period: 2012-2017.

Selected Publications

Young Sprout

Looman A, Maher DT, Pendall E, Bass A, Santos IR, (2017) 'The carbon dioxide evasion cycle of an intermittent first-order stream: contrasting water-air and soil-air exchange', Biogeochemistry, vol.132, no.s 1-2, pp 87-102

Beringer J, Hutley LB, McHugh I, Arndt SK, Campbell D, Cleugh HA, Cleverly J, De Dios VR, Eamus D, Evans B, Ewenz C, Grace P, Griebel A, Haverd V, Hinko-Najera N, Huete A, Isaac P, Kanniah K, Leuning R, Liddell MJ, MacFarlane C, Meyer W, Moore C, Pendall E, Phillips A, Phillips RL, Prober SM, Restrepo-Coupe N, Rutledge S, Schroder I, Silberstein R, Southall P, Sun Yee M, Tapper NJ, Van Gorsel E, Vote C, Walker J, Wardlaw T, (2016) 'An introduction to the Australian and New Zealand flux tower network - OzFlux', Biogeosciences, vol.13, no.21, pp 5895-5916

Bissett A, Fitzgerald A, Meintjes T, Mele PM, Reith F, Dennis PG, Breed MF, Brown B, Brown MV, Brugger J, Byrne M, Caddy-Retalic S, Carmody B, Coates DJ, Correa C, Ferrari BC, Gupta VVSR, Hamonts K, Haslem A, Hugenholtz P, Karan M, Koval J, Lowe AJ, Macdonald S, McGrath L, Martin D, Morgan M, North KI, Paungfoo-Lonhienne C, Pendall E, Phillips L, Pirzl R, Powell JR, Ragan MA, Schmidt S, Seymour N, Snape I, Stephen JR, Stevens M, Tinning M, Williams K, Yeoh YK, Zammit CM, Young A, (2016) 'Introducing BASE: the Biomes of Australian Soil Environments soil microbial diversity database', Gigascience, vol.5, Article no.21

Blumenthal DM, Kray JA, Ortmans W, Ziska LH, Pendall E, (2016) 'Cheatgrass is favored by warming but not CO2 enrichment in a semi-arid grassland', Global Change Biology, vol.22, no.9, pp 3026-3038

Carrillo Y, Dijkstra FA, LeCain D, Pendall E, (2016) 'Mediation of soil C decomposition by arbuscular mycorrizhal fungi in grass rhizospheres under elevated CO2, Biogeochemistry, vol.127, no.1, pp 45-55

Crowther TW, Todd-Brown KEO, Rowe CW, Wieder WR, Carey JC, Machmuller MB, Snoek BL, Fang S, Zhou G, Allison SD, Blair JM, Bridgham SD, Burton AJ, Carrillo Y, Reich PB, Clark JS, Classen AT, Dijkstra FA, Elberling B, Emmett BA, Estiarte M, Frey SD, Guo J, Harte J, Jiang L, Johnson BR, Kroel-Dulay G, Larsen KS, Laudon H, Lavallee JM, Luo Y, Lupascu M, Ma LN, Marhan S, Michelsen A, Mohan J, Niu S, Pendall E, Penuelas J, Pfeifer-Meister L, Poll C, Reinsch S, Reynolds LL, Schmidt IK, Sistla S, Sokol NW, Templer PH, Treseder KK, Welker JM, Bradford MA, (2016) 'Quantifying global soil carbon losses in response to warming', Nature, vol.540, no.7631, pp 104-108

Deng Y, He Z, Xiong J, Yu H, Xu M, Hobbie SE, Reich PB, Schadt CW, Kent A, Pendall E, Wallenstein M, Zhou J, (2016) 'Elevated carbon dioxide accelerates the spatial turnover of soil microbial communities', Global Change Biology, vol.22, no.2, pp 957-964

Karan M, Liddell M, Prober SM, Arndt S, Beringer J, Boer M, Cleverly J, Eamus D, Grace P, Van Gorsel E, Hero JM, Hutley L, Macfarlane C, Metcalfe D, Meyer W, Pendall E, Sebastian A, Wardlaw T, (2016) 'The Australian SuperSite Network: A continental, long-term terrestrial ecosystem observatory', Science of the Total Environment, vol.568, pp 1263-1274

Mitra B, Mackay DS, Ewers BE, Pendall E, (2016) 'Response of sagebrush carbon metabolism to experimental precipitation pulses', Journal of Arid Environments, vol.135, pp 181-194

Mueller KE, Blumenthal DM, Carrillo Y, Cesarz S, Ciobanu M, Hines J, Pabst S, Pendall E, de Tomasel CM, Wall DH, Eisenhauer N, (2016) 'Elevated CO2 and warming shift the functional composition of soil nematode communities in a semiarid grassland', Soil Biology and Biochemistry , vol.103, pp 46-51

Mueller KE, Blumenthal DM, Pendall E, Carrillo Y, Dijkstra FA, Williams DG, Follett RF, Morgan JA, Penuelas J, (2016) 'Impacts of warming and elevated CO2 on a semi-arid grassland are non-additive, shift with precipitation, and reverse over time', Ecology Letters, vol.19, no.8, pp 956-966

Nie M, Pendall E, (2016) 'Do rhizosphere priming effects enhance plant nitrogen uptake under elevated CO2?', Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, vol.224, pp 50-55

Ogle K, Ryan E, Dijkstra FA, Pendall E, (2016) 'Quantifying and reducing uncertainties in estimated soil CO2 fluxes with hierarchical data-model integration', Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, vol.121, no.12, pp 2935-2948 

Tucker CL, Tamang S, Pendall E, Ogle K, (2016) 'Shallow snowpack inhibits soil respiration in sagebrush steppe through multiple biotic and abiotic mechanisms', Ecosphere, vol.7, no.5, Article no.e01297

van Gorsel E, Wolf S, Cleverly J, Isaac P, Haverd V, Ewenz C, Arndt S, Beringer J, de Dios VR, Evans BJ, Griebel A, Hutley LB, Keenan T, Kljun N, Macfarlane C, Meyer WS, McHugh I, Pendall E, Prober SM, Silberstein R, (2016) 'Carbon uptake and water use in woodlands and forests in southern Australia during an extreme heat wave event in the "Angry Summer" of 2012/2013', Biogeosciences, vol.13, no.21, pp 5947-5964

Borkhuu B, Peckham SD, Ewers BE, Norton U, Pendall E, (2015) 'Does soil respiration decline following bark beetle induced forest mortality? Evidence from a lodgepole pine forest', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol.214-215, Article no.5751, pp 201-207

Chen J, Carrillo Y, Pendall E, Dijkstra FA, Evans RD, Morgan JA, Williams DG, (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, vol.18, no.5, pp 867-880

Chen J, Zelikova TJ, Pendall E, Morgan JA, Williams DG, (2015) 'Daily and seasonal changes in soil amino acid composition in a semiarid grassland exposed to elevated CO2 and warming', Biogeochemistry, vol.123, no.1-2, pp 135-146

Cleary MB, Naithani KJ, Ewers BE, Pendall E, (2015) 'Upscaling CO2 fluxes using leaf, soil and chamber measurements across successional growth stages in a sagebrush steppe ecosystem', Journal of Arid Environments, vol.121, pp 43-51

LeCain D, Smith D, Morgan J, Kimball BA, Pendall E, Miglietta F, (2015) 'Microclimatic Performance of a Free-Air Warming and CO2 Enrichment Experiment in Windy Wyoming, USA', Plos One, vol.10, no.2, Article no.e0116834

Nie M, Bell C, Wallenstein MD, Pendall E, (2015) 'Increased plant productivity and decreased microbial respiratory C loss by plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria under elevated CO2', Scientific Reports, vol.5, Article no.9212

Norton U, Ewers BE, Borkhuu B, Brown NR, Pendall E, (2015) 'Soil Nitrogen Five Years after Bark Beetle Infestation in Lodgepole Pine Forests', Soil Science Society of America Journal, vol.79, no.1, pp 282-293 

Ogle K, Pendall E, (2015) 'Isotope partitioning of soil respiration: A Bayesian solution to accommodate multiple sources of variability', Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, vol.120, no.2, pp 221-236

Ryan EM, Ogle K, Zelikova TJ, Lecain DR, Williams DG, Morgan JA, Pendall E, (2015) 'Antecedent moisture and temperature conditions modulate the response of ecosystem respiration to elevated CO2 and warming', Global Change Biology, vol.21, no.7, pp 2588-2602 

Schwendenmann L, Pendall E, Sanchez-Bragado R, Kunert N, Holscher D, (2015) 'Tree water uptake in a tropical plantation varying in tree diversity: interspecific differences, seasonal shifts and complementarity', Ecohydrology, vol.8, no.1, pp 1-12

Yi C, Pendall E, Ciais P, (2015) 'Focus on extreme events and the carbon cycle', Environmental Research Letters, vol.10, no.7, Article no.070201 

Zelikova TJ, Williams DG, Hoenigman R, Blumenthal DM, Morgan JA, Pendall E, (2015) 'Seasonality of soil moisture mediates responses of ecosystem phenology to elevated CO2 and warming in a semi-arid grassland', Journal of Ecology, vol.103, no.5, pp 1119-1130

Bell C, Carrillo Y, Boot C, Rocca J, Pendall E, Wallenstein M, (2014) 'Plant species-specific stoichiometry of soil nutrients and extracellular enzymes in a semi-arid grassland ecosystem', New Phytologist, vol.201, pp 505–517

Carrillo Y, Dijkstra FA, LeCain D, Morgan JA, Blumenthal D, Waldron S, Pendall E, (2014) 'Disentangling root responses to climate change in a semiarid grassland', Oecologia, vol.175, no.2, pp 699-711

Carrillo Y, Dijkstra FA, Pendall E, LeCain D, Tucker C, (2014) 'Plant rhizosphere influence on microbial C metabolism: the role of elevated CO2, N availability and root stoichiometry', Biogeochemistry, vol.117, no.s 2-3, pp 229-240

Mitra B, Mackay DS, Pendall E, Ewers BE, Cleary MB, (2014) 'Does vegetation structure regulate the spatial structure of soil respiration within a sagebrush steppe ecosystem?', Journal of Arid Environments, vol.103, pp 1-10

Nie M, Pendall E, Bell C, Wallenstein MD, (2014) 'Soil aggregate size distribution mediates microbial climate change feedbacks', Soil Biology and Biochemistry, vol.68, pp 357-365

Reed DE, Ewers BE, Pendall E, (2014) 'Impact of mountain pine beetle induced mortality on forest carbon and water fluxes', Environmental Research Letters, vol.9, no.10, Article no.105004 

Zelikova TJ, Blumenthal DM, Williams DG, Souza L, LeCain DR, Morgan J, Pendall E, (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 of the United States of America, vol.111, no.43, pp 15456-15461

Blumenthal DM, Resco V, Morgan JA, Williams DG, LeCain DR, Hardy EM, Pendall E, Bladyka E, (2013) 'Invasive forb benefits from water savings by native plants and carbon fertilization under elevated CO2 and warming', New Phytologist, vol.200, no.4 pp 1156-1165

Dijkstra FA, Carrillo Y, Pendall E, Morgan JA, (2013) 'Rhizosphere priming: a nutrient perspective', Frontiers in Microbiology, vol.4, p 216

Nie M, Lu M, Bell J, Raut S, Pendall E, (2013b) 'Altered root traits due to elevated CO2: A meta-analysis', Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol.22, pp 1095-1105

Nie M, Pendall E, Bell C, Gasch C, Raut S, Tamang S, Wallenstein MD, (2013a) 'Positive climate feedbacks of soil microbial communities in a semi-arid grassland', Ecology Letters, vol.16, pp 234-241

Pendall E, Heisler-White JL, Williams DG, Dijkstra FA, Carrillo Y, Morgan JA, LeCain DR, (2013) 'Warming Reduces Carbon Losses from Grassland Exposed to Elevated Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide', PLOS-One, vol.8, article no.e71921

Tucker C, Bell J, Pendall E, Ogle K, (2013) 'Does declining carbon-use efficiency explain thermal acclimation of soil respiration with warming?', Global Change Biology, vol.19, 252-263

Carrillo Y, Dijkstra FA, Pendall E, Morgan JA, (2012) 'Controls over N availability under elevated CO2 and warming in a semiarid grassland', Ecosystems, vol.15, pp 761-774

Dijkstra FA, Pendall E, Morgan JA, Blumenthal D, Carrillo Y, LeCain DR, (2012) 'Climate change alters stoichiometry of phosphorus and nitrogen in a semiarid grassland', New Phytologist, vol.196, pp 807-816

Edburg SL, Hicke JA, Brooks PD, Pendall E, Ewers BE, Norton U, Gochis D, Gutmann E, (2012) 'Cascading Impacts of Bark Beetle-Caused Tree Mortality to Coupled Biogeophysical and Biogeochemical Processes', Frontiers in Ecology, vol.10, pp 416-424

Naithani K, Ewers BE, Pendall E, (2012) 'Response of sapflux-scaled transpiration and stomatal conductance to soil and atmospheric drought in a semi-arid sagebrush ecosystem', Journal of Hydrology, vol.464, pp 176-185

Osanai Y, Flittner A, Janes JA, Theobald P, Pendall E, Newton PCD, Hovenden MJ, (2012) 'Decomposition and nitrogen transformation rates in a temperate grassland vary among co-occurring plant species', Plant and Soil, vol.350, 365¡V378

Cable JM, Ogle K, Lucas R, Charlet D, Cleary MB, Griffith A, Nowak RS, Rogers M, Steltzer H, Sullivan P, Pendall E, Smith S, Huxman TE, Loik M, Tissue DT, van Gestel N, Welker J, (2011) 'The temperature responses of soil respiration in deserts: a seven desert synthesis', Biogeochemistry, vol.103, pp 71-90

Carrillo Y, Pendall E, Dijkstra FA, Morgan JA, Newcomb J, (2011) 'Response of soil organic matter pools to elevated CO2 and warming in a semiarid grassland', Plant and Soil, vol.347, pp 339-350

Luo YQ, Melillo J, Niu S, Beier C, Clark JS, Classen AT, Davidson E, Dukes JS, Evans RD, Field CB, Czimczik C, Keller M, Kimball B, Kueppers LM, Norby RJ, Pelini S, Pendall E, Rastetter E, Six J, Smith M, Tjoelker MG, Torn MS, (2011) 'Coordinated Approaches to Quantify Long-Term Ecosystem dynamics in Response to Global Change', Global Change Biology, vol.17, pp 843-854

Morgan JA, LeCain, DR, Pendall, E, Blumenthal DM, Kimball BA, Carrillo Y, Williams DG, Heisler-White, J, Dijkstra FA, West M, (2011) 'Carbon dioxide eliminates desiccation in warmed semi-arid grassland and C4 grasses prosper', Nature, vol.476, pp 202- 206

Pendall E, Osanai Y, Williams A, Hovenden MA, (2011) 'Soil C storage under simulated climate change is mediated by plant functional type', Global Change Biology, vol.17, pp 505-514

Bachman SA, Heisler-White J, Pendall E, Williams DG, Morgan JA, (2010) 'Elevated carbon dioxide alters impacts of precipitation pulses on ecosystem  photosynthesis and respiration in a semi-arid grassland', Oecologia, vol.162, pp 791-802

Cleary MB, Pendall E, Ewers BE, (2010) 'Aboveground and belowground carbon pools after fire in mountain big sagebrush steppe', Rangeland Ecology and Management, vol.63, pp 187-196

Dijkstra FA, Blumenthal D, Morgan JA, Pendall E, Carrillo Y, Follett RF, (2010) 'Contrasting effects of elevated CO2 and warming on nitrogen cycling in a semiarid grassland', New Phytologist, vol.187, pp 426-437

Pendall E, Schwendenmann L, Tans PP, Rahn T, Miller JB, (2010) 'Fluxes of CO2, CH4, CO, N2O and H2 and isotope source signatures estimated from nocturnal boundary layers in forest and pasture sites in Panama', Global Change Biology, vol.16, pp 2721-2736

Shim JH, Pendall E, Ojima DS, Morgan JA, (2009) 'Wetting and drying cycles drive variations in ƒÔ13C of respired CO2 in semi-arid grassland', Oecologia, vol.160, pp 321-333

Wingate L, Ogee J, Cuntz M, Genty B, Reiter I, Seibt U, Yakir D, Peylin P, Miller JB, Burlett R, Maseyk K, Mencuccini M, Pendall E, Shim J, Barbour M, Hunt J, Mortazavi B, Grace J, (2009) 'The impact of soil micro-organisms on the global budget of δ18O in atmospheric CO2', Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, vol.106, pp 22411-22415

Dijkstra FA, Pendall E, Mosier AR, King JY, Milchunas DG, Morgan JA, (2008) 'Long-term enhancement of N availability and plant growth under elevated CO2 in a semiarid grassland', Functional Ecology, vol.22, pp 975-982

Knapp A, Briggs JM, Collins SL, Archer SL, Bret-Harte MS, Ewers BE, Peters DP, Young DR, Shaver GR, Pendall E, Cleary MB, (2008) 'Shrub encroachment in North American grasslands: Shifts in growth form dominance rapidly alters control of ecosystem carbon inputs', Global Change Biology, vol.14, pp 1-9

Kwon H, Pendall E, Ewers BE, Cleary MB, Naithani K, (2008) 'Spring drought regulates summer net ecosystem CO2 exchange in a sagebrush-steppe ecosystem', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol.148, pp 381-391

Gum TreePendall E, King JY, (2007) 'Increased soil organic matter pool sizes and turnover rates under elevated CO2', Soil Biology and Biochemistry, vol.39, pp 2628-2639

Schwendenmann L, Pendall E, (2006) 'Effects of forest conversion into grassland on soil aggregate structure and carbon storage in Panama: evidence from soil carbon fractionation and stable isotopes', Plant and Soil OI:10.1007/s11104-006-9109-0

Del Grosso SJ, Parton WR, Mosier AR, Holland EA, Pendall E, Schimel DS, Ojima DS, (2005) 'Modeling soil CO2 emissions from ecosystems', Biogeochemistry, vol.73, pp 71-91

Pendall E, Williams DG, Leavitt SW, (2005) 'Comparison of measured and modeled variations in pinon pine leaf water isotopic enrichment across a summer moisture gradient', Oecologia, vol.145, pp 605-618

Pendall E, Bridgham S,  Hanson PJ, Hungate B, Kicklighter DW, Johnson DW, Law BE, Luo Y, Megonigal JP, Olsrud M, Ryan MG, Wan S, (2004) 'Belowground Process Responses to Elevated CO2 and Temperature: A Discussion of Observations, Measurement Methods, and Models', New Phytologist, vol.162, pp 447-458

Pendall E, Mosier AR, Morgan JA, (2004) 'Rhizodeposition stimulated by elevated CO2 in a semi-arid grassland', New Phytologist, vol.162, pp 311-322