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Stinson, Kristina

Tel: +1 (413) 577-3304
Room: 217 Holdsworth Hall
Lab Website:

Primary interests

I am a plant ecologist interested in the responses of individual species and populations to global change.  I combine ecological, physiological, and genetic data to assess the impacts of environmental stresses on plant growth and reproduction, and potential implications for changes in species distributions.  This work has both theoretical and applied value, and frequently aims to provide practical guidelines to land managers interested in ecological restoration and conservation.  Examples of my research include: characterizing the disruption of plant-mycorrhizal symbioses by invasive plant species; modeling source-sink dynamics of plant invasions to help prioritize eradication efforts; identifying priority populations of alpine plants for conservation; and quantifying the effects of rising atmospheric CO2 on plant reproduction.

Current Projects

Mediating biological invasion in a global change context:  A major focus of my research program is the effects of global change on the toxicity of invasive plant species to soil fungi.  One goal of this project is to understand how soil fungi and native plants reassemble following disruption by the phytotoxic invasive plant, garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata).  Another goal is to determine management strategies for garlic mustard that are most likely to promote restoration of fungal-plant interactions under a range of future environmental scenarios.

Mapping ragweed hotspots in New England: I am also investigating the reproductive responses of plants to climate change.  Ongoing research links plant ecological data to landscape models of climate change, to create regional maps of timing and duration of pollen release by common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia).  This work will help regional and urban planners to predict where and when allergenic pollen may be most problematic, and thus relates global change ecology to issues of human health.


Courses Taught

NRC 212

EnvSci 214


Selected Recent Publications

K. Barto, P. Antunes, K. Stinson, J. Klironomos, D. Cipollini. (2011) Diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in forests with and without established garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) invasions.  Oecologia.

Stinson, K., Brophy, C., and Connolly (2011).  Catching up on global change: CO2 reverses genotypic dominance in common ragweed Ecosphere 2(4) 46.

Dukes, J., Pontius, J., Orwig, D., Warren, G., Cooke, B., Brazee, N.  Ayres, M., Harrington, R., Rodgers, V., Theoharides, K., Lerdau, M., Wick, R., Ehrenfeld, J., Gurevitch J., Strange, E., and Stinson, K. (2009) Responses of pests, pathogens and invasive species to climate change in the forests of Northeastern North America:  What can we predict?  Canadian Journal of Forest Research 39:231-248.

Wolfe, B.E., Rodgers, V.L., Stinson, K.A., and Pringle, A. (2008) The invasive plant Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) inhibits ectomycorrhizal fungi in its introduced range.  Journal of Ecology 96:777-783.

Rodgers, V.L., Stinson, K.A., and Finzi, A.C. (2008) Ready or not, garlic mustard is moving in: Alliaria petiolata as a member of Eastern North American Forests.  Bioscience 58:428-436.

Callaway R.M., Cipollini, D. Barto K., Thelen, G.C., Hallett G., Prati D., Stinson, K.A., Klironomos, J. (2008) Novel weapons: invasive plant suppresses fungal mutualists in America but not in its native Europe. Ecology 89:1043-1055.

Stinson, K.A., Kaufman, S.R, Durbin*, L.M., and Lowenstein, F. (2007) Responses of a New England Forest community to increasing levels of invasion by garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata). Northeastern Naturalist 14:73-88.

Stinson, K.A., Tran*, J.H., Petzold*, (J.M., and Bazzaz, F.A.  (2006) Architectural and physiological mechanisms of reduced size inequality in CO2-enriched stands of common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) Global Change Biology 12: 1680-1689.

Stinson K.A., Campbell S.A., Powell J.R., Wolfe B.E., Callaway R.M., Thelen G.C., Hallett S.G., Prati D. and Klironomos J.N. 2006. Invasive plant suppresses the growth of native tree seedlings by disrupting belowground mutualisms. PLOS Biology 4: 727-731.

Stinson, K.A., and Bazzaz, F.A. (2006) CO2-enrichment reduces reproductive dominance in competing stands of Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed). Oecologia 147:155-163.

Sudderth, E.A., Stinson, K.A., and Bazzaz, F.A. (2005) Plant-mediated aphid population response to elevated CO2 and increased nitrogen availability.  Global Change Biology 11:1‑12.

Ellison, A.E., et al. (2005) Loss of foundation species: consequences for the structure and dynamics of forested ecosystems.  Frontiers in Ecology 3:479-486.

Stinson, K.A. (2004) Natural selection favors rapid reproductive phenology in Potentilla pulcherrima (Rosaceae) at opposite ends of a subalpine snowmelt gradient. American Journal of Botany 91: 531-539.

Stinson, K.A. (2004) Effects of snowmelt timing and neighbor density on the distribution of the high altitude plant, Potentilla diversifolia. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research  37: 379‑386.


Page updated: March 24, 2014