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About Brian J. Wilsey

In the Wilsey lab, we are interested in the ecology of prairie grasslands. Tallgrass prairies are among the most species-diverse ecosystems. We commonly count 20-30 plant species in Iowa within small quadrats (0.4 m2), and most small prairies
(< 10 ha) support more than one hundred species. It is still largely unknown how this very high species diversity develops and is maintained over time. Developing a better understanding of mechanisms behind diversity maintenance is a central focus of work in the lab. Furthermore, we are studying how changes in species diversity influence community stability and ecosystem process rates (i.e. ecosystem services). Information from our studies will be useful in the management and restoration of grassland ecosystems.


Present Professor, Iowa State University Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

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Contact Information

253 Bessey
2200 Osborn Dr
Ames, IA 50011-4009
Phone: 515-294-0232
Fax: 515-294-1337


Peer-Reviewed Articles (40)