K-State Division of Biology



John M. Briggs

Director, Konza Prairie Biological Station

Ph.D. 1985, University of Arkansas


Plant Ecology especially the role of fire and grazing in grasslands; The expansion of woody vegetation into grasslands; Landscape Ecology; Influence of humans on ecosystems; The use of Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems in Ecosystem Research; Ecological Data Management


218 Bushnell Hall
(785) 532-0140

Selected Research Publications
(† = graduate student; * = undergraduate student)

Hall, S., J. Trujillo, D. Nakase, C. Strawhacker, M. Kruse-Peeples, H. Schaafsma, J. M. Briggs (in press) Legacies of prehistoric agricultural practices within plant and soil properties across an arid ecosystem. Ecosystems.

Ungerer, M.C., Heatherington,* C.A., Joern, A., Towne, E.G., Briggs, J.M.  2012. Genetic variation and mating success in managed American plains bisonJournal of Heredity doi:10.1093/jhered/ess095.

Knapp, A.K., J. M. Briggs and M.D. Smith. 2012. Community stability does not preclude ecosystem sensitivity to chronic resource alteration. Functional Ecology 26:1231-1233.

Butterfield, B.J. and J.M. Briggs. 2011. Regeneration niche differentiates functional strategies of desert woody plant species. Oecologia 165:477-487.

Butterfield, B.J., J. Betacourt, R. Turner, and J.M. Briggs.  2010. Facilitation drives 65 years of vegetation change in the Sonoran Desert. Ecology 91:1132-1139.

Butterfield, B.J. and J.M. Briggs.  2009. Patch dynamics of soil-biotic feedbacks in the Sonoran Desert. Journal of Arid Environments 73:96-102.

Walker, J.S., N.B. Grimm, J.M. Briggs, C. Gries, and L. Dugan. 2009.  Effects of urbanization on plant species in central Arizona. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 7:465-470.

Grimm, N.B., S.H. Faeth, N.E. Golubiewski, C.L. Redman, J. Wu, X. Bai, and J.M. Briggs. Global Change and the Ecology of Cities. 2008. Science 319:756-760.

Knapp, A.K., J.M. Briggs, S.L. Collins, S.R. Archer, M.S. Bret-Harte, B.E. Ewers, D.P. Peters, D.R. Young, G.R. Shaver, E. Pendall, and M.B. Cleary. 2008. Shrub encroachment in North American grasslands: Shifts in growth form dominance rapidly alters control of ecosystem carbon inputs. Global Change Biology 14:615-623.

Briggs, J.M., H. Schaafsma†, and D. Trenkov†. 2007. Woody vegetation expansion in a desert grassland: Prehistoric human impact? Journal of Arid Environment 69: 458-472.

Walker†, J.S., and J.M. Briggs. 2007. An object-oriented approach to urban forest mapping with high-resolution, true-color aerial photography. Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing 73:577-583.

Briggs, J.M., K. A. Spielmann, H. Schaafsma†, K. W. Kintigh, M. Kruse†, K. Morehouse†, and K. Schollmeyer†. 2006. Ecology needs archaeologists: Archaeology needs ecologists. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 4:180-188.

Nippert†, J.B., A. K. Knapp, and J.M. Briggs. 2006. Intra-annual rainfall variability and grassland productivity: can the past predict the future? Plant Ecology 184:65-74.

Briggs, J.M., A.K. Knapp, J.M. Blair, J.L. Heisler†, G.A. Hoch†, M.S. Lett†, and K. McCarron†. 2005.  An ecosystem in transition: woody plant expansion into mesic grassland. BioScience 55:243-254.

Heisler†, J.L., J. M. Briggs, A.K. Knapp, J.M. Blair, and A. Seery*. 2004. Direct and indirect effects of fire on shrub density and aboveground productivity in a mesic grassland. Ecology 85: 2245-2257.

Lett†, M.S., A.K. Knapp, J.M. Briggs, and J.M. Blair. 2004. Influence of shrub expansion on carbon and nitrogen in a mesic grassland. Canadian Journal of Botany 82: 1363-1370.

Heisler†, J. L., J.M. Briggs, and A.K. Knapp. 2003. Long-term patterns of shrub expansion in a C4-dominated grassland: fire frequency and the dynamics of shrub cover and abundance. American Journal of Botany 90:423-428.

Briggs, J.M., A.K. Knapp, and B. L. Brock. 2002. Expansion of woody plants in tallgrass prairie: A 15-year study of fire and fire-grazing interactions. The American Midland Naturalist 147: 287-294.

Hoch†, G.A., J.M. Briggs, and L.C. Johnson. 2002. Assessing the rate, mechanism and consequences of conversion of tallgrass prairie to Juniperus virginiana forest. Ecosystems 6: 578-586.

Collins, S.L., A.K. Knapp, J.M. Briggs, J.M. Blair, and E.M. Steinauer. 1998. Modulation of diversity by grazing and mowing in native tallgrass prairie. Science 280: 745-747.

Knapp, A.K. J.M. Briggs, D.C. Hartnett and S.L. Collins. 1998. Grassland Dynamics: Long-term Ecological Research in Tallgrass Prairie. Oxford University Press, New York. 364pp.

Complete List of Research Publications -(PDF)


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