James Bever

Distinguished Foundation Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and
Senior Scientist, Kansas Biological Survey
Ph.D., Duke University, 1992
Primary office:
Higuchi Hall


Dr. Bever's research focuses on testing basic ecological and evolutionary processes occurring within plants and their associated fungi.

Much of the conceptual basis of ecology and evolution was developed with animals in mind.  Plants and fungi differ from animals in important ways, including their motility, their nutrient acquisition systems and their genetic systems.  Conceptual frameworks building on these peculiarities can be very useful in exploring the dynamics of population and communities of plants and fungi.  Developing, testing, and exploring the implications of these models has been the goal of my work.

Selected Publications

Jaksetic, N., Foster, B. L., Bever, J. D., Schwarting, J., and Alexander, A. H.. 2018. Sowing density effects and patterns of colonization in a prairie restoration. Restoration Ecology 26: 245-254.

Malik, R. J., Ali, J. G., and Bever, J. D.  2018.  Mycorrhizal composition influences plant anatomical defense and impacts herbivore growth and survival in a life-stage dependent manner.  Pedobiologia 66: 29-35.

House, G. L. and Bever, J. D. 2018. Disturbance reduces the differentiation of mycorrhizal fungal communities in grasslands along a precipitation gradient. Ecological Applications 28: 736–74.

Bauer J. T., Koziol, L., and Bever, J. D. 2018. Ecology of Floristic Quality Assessment: testing for correlations between coefficients of conservatism, species traits and mycorrhizal responsiveness. AoB Plants 10: plx073. doi: 10.1093/aobpla/plx073

Christian, N. and Bever, J. D.  2018.  Carbon allocation and competition maintain variation in plant root mutualisms. Ecology and Evolution 8: 5792–5800.

Lekberg, Y., Bever, J., Bunn, R. Callaway, R., Hart, M, Kivlin, S., Klironomos, J., Larkin, B., Maron, J., Reinhart, K., Remke, M., and van der Putten, W.  2018.  Relative importance of competition and plant soil feedbacks, their synergy, context dependency and implications for coexistence.  Ecology Letters.  doi: 10.1111/ele.13093.

Eppinga, M. B., Baudena, M. Johnson, D. J., Jiang, J., Mack, K. M. L., Strand, A. E., and Bever, J. D.  2018.  Frequency-dependent feedback and plant community coexistence.  Nature Ecology and Evolution 2: 1403–1407.

Hoeksema, J., Bever, J. D., Chakraborty, S., Chaudhary, V., Gardes, M., Gehring, C., Hart, M., Housworth, E., Kaonongbua, W., Lajeunesse, M., Meadow, J., Milligan, B., Piculell, B., Pringle, A., Rua, M., Umbanhowar, J., Viechtbauer, W., Wang, Y. –Y., Wilson, G., and Zee, P.  2018. Evolutionary history predicts the strength of mycorrhizal mutualism: A meta-analysis. Communications Biology. doi: 10.1038/s42003-018-0120-9

Stürmer, S. L., Bever, J. D., and Morton, J. B.  2018. On the biogeography of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Glomeromycota): phylogenetic perspective on species distribution patterns. Mycorrhiza 28: 587–603.

van Tassel, D. L., Albrecht, J. K., Bever, J. D., Boe, A. A., Brandvain, Y., Crews, T. E., Gansberger, M., Gerstberger, P., González-Paleo, L., Hulke, B. S., Kane, N. C., Johnson, P. J., Pestsova, E. G., Picasso Risso, V. D., Prasifka, J. R., Ravetta, D. A., Schlautman, B., Sheaffer, C. C., Smith, K. P., Speranza, P. R., Turner, M. K., Vilela, A. E., von-Gehren, P., and Weaver, C. 2017. Accelerating Silphium domestication: an opportunity to develop new crop ideotypes and breeding strategies informed by multiple disciplines. Crop Science 57: 1274-1284.

Jaksetic, N., Foster, B. L., Bever, J. D., Schwarting, J., & Alexander, H. M. 2017. Native plant establishment and colonization in a prairie restoration. Restoration Ecology. doi:10.1111/rec.12550

Tang, M., Bever, J. D., and Yu, F.-H. 2017. Open access increases citations of papers in ecology. Ecosphere 8(7): e01887. doi:10.1002/ecs2.1887

Whitaker, B. K., Bauer, J. T., Bever, J. D., and Clay, K. 2017. Phyllosphere microbiota induce stronger negative feedbacks than soil microbiota in four native Asteraceae. Ecology Letters 20: 1064-1073.

Koziol, L., and Bever, J. D. 2016. AMF, phylogeny and succession: specificity of plant response to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal species increases with succession. Ecosphere 7: 11, e01555. doi:10.1002/ecs2.1555

Barrett, L. G., Zee, P. C., Bever, J. D., Miller, J. T., and Thrall, P. H. 2016. Evolutionary history shapes patterns of specificity in Acacia-rhizobial mutualisms. Evolution 70: 1473-1485.

Rua, M. A., Antonika, A., Antunes, P. M., Chaudhary, V. B., Gehring, C., Lamit, L. J., Piculell, B. P., Bever, J. D., Zabinski, C., Meadow, J. F., Lajeunesse, M., Milligan, B., Karst, J., and Hoeksema, J. D. 2016. Home-field advantage? Evidence of local adaptation among plants, soil, and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi through meta-analysis. BMC Evolutionary Biology 16: 122.

Steidinger, B. S., and Bever, J. D. 2016. Host discrimination in modular mutualisms: a theoretical framework for meta-populations of mutualists and cheaters. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B 283: 20152428. doi:10.1098/rspb.2015.2428

Chaudhary, V. B., Rúa, M. A., Antoninka, A., Bever, J. D., Cannon, J., Craig, A., Duchicela, J., Frame, A., Gardes, M., Gehring, C., Ha, M., Hart, M., Hopkins, J., Ji, B., Collins Johnson, N., Kaonongbua, W., Karst, J., Koide, R., Lamit, L. J., Meadow, J., Milligan, B. G., Moore, J., Pendergast, T. H., IV, Piculell, B., Ramsby, B., Simard, S., Shrestha, S., Umbanhowar, J., Viechtbauer, W., Walters, L., Wilson, G., Zee, P. C., and Hoeksema, J. 2016. MycoDB: A global database of plant response to mycorrhizal fungi. Scientific Data 3: 160028. doi:10.1038/sdata.2016.28.

Malik, R., Dixon, M. H., and Bever, J. D. 2016. Mycorrhizal composition can predict foliar pathogen (Pseudomonas syringae pv. glycinea) propagation. Biological Control 103: 46-53.

Ji, B., and Bever, J. D. 2016. Plant preferential allocation and fungal reward decline with soil phosphorus enrichment: implications for evolution of the arbuscular mycorrhizal mutualism. Ecosphere 7: e01256. doi:10.1002/ecs2.1256.

House, G. L., Ekanayake, S., Ruan, Y., Schütte, U., Kaonongbua, W., Fox, G., Ye, Y., and Bever, J. D. 2016. Sequence variation in the nuclear ribosomal RNA gene within isolates of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi: Tests of phylogeny and clustering methodologies. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 82(16): 4921-4930.

Herrera-Peraza, R. A., Bever, J. D., Manuel de Miguel, J., Gómez-Sal, A., Herrera, P., García, E. E., Oviedo, R., Torres-Arias, Y., Delgado, F., Valdés-Lafont, O., Muñoz, B. C., and Sánchez, J. A. 2016. Una nueva hipótesis sobre la sucesión de los bosques tropicales húmedos y secos/A new hypothesis on humid and dry tropical forests succession. Acta Botánica Cubana 215: 232-280.

Abbott, K.C., J. Karst, L.A. Biederman, S.R. Borrett, A. Hastings, V. Walsh, and J.D. Bever.  2015. Spatial heterogenity in soil microbes alters outcomes of plant competition.  PLoS One 10(5): e0125788.  doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0125788.

Cheeke, T.E., U.M. Schutte, C.M. Hemmerich, M.B. Cruzan, T.N. Rosenstiel, and J.D. Bever.  2015. Spatial soil heterogeneity has a greater effect on symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities and plant growth than modification with Bacillus thuringiensis tox genes.  Molecular Ecology 24(10): 2580-93.  doi 10.1111/mec.13178.

Bever, J.D. 2015. Preferential allocation, physio-evolutionary feedbacks, and the stability and environmental patterns of mutualism between plants and their root symbionts.  New Phytol. 205(4): 1503-14. doil: 10.1111/nph.13239.

Zhen, C., J. B. Ji, J. Zhang, F. Zhang, and J.D. Bever. 2015.  Shading decreases plant carbon preferential allocation towards the most benefical mycorrhizal mutualist. New Phytol. 205(1): 361-8.  doi:  10.1111/nph.13025.

Platt, T.G., E.R. Morton, I.S. Barton, J.D. Bever, and C. Fuqua.  2014. Ecological dynamics and complex interactions of Agrobacterium megaplasmids.  Front Plant Science 14;5:635. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2014.00635. 

Mack, K.M. and J. D. Bever.  2014.  Coexistence and relative abundance in plant communities are determined by feedbacks when the scale of feedback and dispersal is local. Journal of Ecology 102(5): 1195-1201.

   Poisot, T. J. D. Bever, P. H. Thrall, M. Hochberg. 2014.  When protection is not enough--emergence and persistence of protective mutualists in pathogenic communities.  Ecology and Evolution 19: 3841-50.  doi: 10.1002/ece3.1151.

Mack, K.M.L. and J.D. Bever.  2014.  Strength of feedback determines relative abundance in plant communities.  Theoretical considerations of the scale of dispersal and the scale and strength of feedback.  Journal of Ecology.  doi:  10.1111/1365-2745.12269

Larimer, A.L., K. Clay, and J.D. Bever.  2014.  Synergism and context dependency of interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and rhizobia with a prairie legume.  Ecology 95(4): 1045-54. 

Steidenger, B.S. and J. D. Bever.  2014.  The coexistence of hosts with different abilities to discriminate against cheater partner: an evolutionary game theory approach to the stability of cheating and mutualisms.  American Naturalist 183: 762-770.

Cheeke, T.E., H. Darby, T.N. Rosenstiel, J.D. Bever, and M. B. Cruzan.  2014.  Effect of Bt maize cultivation on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal colonization, spore abundance and diversity, and plant growth.  Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment.  195: 29-35.

Zee, P.C. and J. D. Bever. 2014. Joint evolution of kin recognition and cooperation in spatially structured rhizobium populations.  PLOS ONE 9:395141.
Larimer, A., K. Clay, and J. D. Bever. 2014.  Synergism and context dependency of interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and rhizobia with a prairie legume.  Ecology 95: 1045-1054.

Morton, E. R. T. G. Platt, C. Fuqua, and J. D. Bever. 2014.  Non-additive costs and interactions alter the competitive dynamics of co-occurring ecologically distinct plasmids.  Proceedings of the Royal Society of London.  281: 20132173.

Morton, E.R., J. D. Bever, and C. Fuqua.  2013.  Large deletions in the pAtC58 megaplasmid of Agrobacterium tumefaciens can confer reduced carriage cost and increased virulence.  Genome Biology and Evolution. 7:13353-1364.

Bever, J.D., L.M. Broadhurst, and P.H. Thrall. 2013.  Microbial phylotype composition and diversity predicts plant productivity and plant-soil feedback.  Ecology Letters 16(2): 167-74.  doil: 10.1111/ele.12024.

Koziol, L. L.H. Rieseberg, N. Kane, and J.D. Bever.  2012.  Reduced drought tolerance during demestication and the evolution of weediness results from tolerance-growth trade-offs.  Evolution 66(12): 3803-14.  doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01718.x.Epub 2012.

Duchicela, J. K.M. Vogelsang, P.A. Schultz, W. Kaonongbua, E.L. Middleton, and J.D. Bever.  2012.  Non-native plants and soil microbes:  potential contributors to the consistent reduction in soil aggregate stability caused by the disturbance of North American grasslands.  New Phytol. 196(1): 212-22.  doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.

Bever, J.D., T.G. Platt, and E.R. Morton.  2012.  Microbial population and community dynamics on plant roots and their feedbacks on plant communities.  Annual Review Microbial 66: 265-83.  doil:  10.1146/annurev-micro-092611-150107.

Bauer, J.D., N.M. Kleczewski, J.D. Bever, K. Clay, and H.L. Reynolds. 2012.  Nitrogen-fixing bacteria, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and the productivity and structure of prairie grassland communities.  Oecologia 170(4): 1089-98.  doi:  10.1007/s00442-012-2363-3.

Platt, T.G., C. Fuqua, and J.D. Bever.  2012.  Resource and competitive dynamics shape the benefits of public good cooperation in a plant pathogen.  Evolution 66(6): 1953-65.  doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01571.x.Epub 2012.

Johnson, D.J. W.T. Beaulieu, J.D. Bever, and K. Clay.  2012.  Conspecific negative density dependence and forest diversity.  Science 18:336(6083):904-7.  doi: 10.1126/science.1220269.PMID: 22605774.

Platt, T.G., J.D. Bever, and C. Fuqua.  2012.  A cooperative virulence plasmid imposes a high fitness cost under conditions that induce pathogenesis.  Proceedings of Biological Sciences. 279(1734): 1691-9.  doi: 10.1098/respb.2011.


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