Rodolfo Dirzo

Principal Investigator

Rodolfo Dirzo

My research is simply part of the research that most lab members are conducting. In addition to that, I conduct some projects in which students from Stanford –and from other universities– participate. I also conduct research in collaboration with other colleagues from a variety of institutions—nationally and internationally, including the following:

Patterns of herbivory in plants from continuous and fragmented forest at Los Tuxtlas research station. Collaborators: Betsabe Ruiz, Roger Guevara, Armando Aguirre

Herbivory-driven induction of chemical and physical defenses: epigenetic consequences across multiple generations in wild radish. Collaborators: Mar Sobral, Isabelle Neylan

Impact of mammalian herbivory and trampling on understory plant communities from Mexican rainforests of contrasting levels of defaunation: Montes Azules and Los Tuxtlas. Collaborator: Eduardo Mendoza

Effects of logging on mammalian communities from Maya forests in the Yucatan Peninsula. Collaborator: Gabriel Gutierrez-Granados

Effects of defaunation on plant community structure and ecosystem processes and services in tropical ecosystems . Collaborators: Hillary Young, Douglas McCauley

Ecological and biodiversity consequences of oil palm plantations in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica—The Intitative Osa-Golfito (INOGO). Collaborator: William Durham

Plant species richness in tropical forests of Mexico: Analyses at the scale of 0.1 ha. Collaborators: Juan Carlos Lopez, Armando Aguirre

Effects of mammalian herbivory on oak regeneration in California woodlands. Collaborator: Roger Guevara

Effects of rat eradication on antive and coconut-invaded forest in the Palmyra atoll. Collaborators: Hillary Young, Douglas McCauley

rdirzo@stanford.edu


Publications by Rodolfo Dirzo

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Gallery by Rodolfo Dirzo

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Posts by Rodolfo Dirzo

Jomar Barbosa using a GPS unit to draw borders around a mistletoe-infected tree at Jasper Ridge.

Incidence and dynamics of mistletoe infestation on the oaks of Jasper Ridge

Research by on June 10, 2016
The project examines spatial variation in the degree of mistletoe infestation at Stanford’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. We are establishing a baseline for monitoring the progress of mistletoe infestation and its impacts on individual oak trees. Collaborator: Jomar Barbosa (CAO laboratory at the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, Hilo, Hawaii. USA) Funding: Jasper Ridge Biological… Read more Incidence and dynamics of mistletoe infestation on the oaks of Jasper Ridge
Rodolfo demonstrates the difference in the intensity of herbivore damage between caged oak saplings (left), which are protected from large herbivores such as deer, and uncaged saplings (right).

Ecology of oak regeneration at Jasper Ridge

Research by on June 10, 2016
In this project, we are monitoring 75 pairs of individually caged saplings for three predominant oak species at Jasper Ridge: coast live oak, valley oak, and blue oak. The saplings are monitored for growth and survival, as well as invertebrate herbivory. We are documenting dramatic contrasts in mortality, and found that growth was lower in… Read more

Osa-Golfito Initiative in Southern Costa Rica (INOGO)

Research by on June 10, 2016
The central question being addressed with this project is: How can we make human well-being and the well-being of the natural environment compatible? One of the main projects in this program (LAPA) is the experimental enrichment of oil palm plantations, via addition of bananas, cacao, and timber trees, to address risks of fungal pathogens, secure… Read more Osa-Golfito Initiative in Southern Costa Rica (INOGO)
Rodolfo Dirzo with an elephant, one of the species of large herbivore experimentally removed from the study plots in Kenya.

Linkages between wildlife defaunation, savannah ecosystem structure and composition, and consequences for small mammal abundance in the context of risks for human health

Research by on June 10, 2016
This study combines experimental manipulations of wildlife together with “real life” pairwise comparisons (intact vs. defaunated landscapes) in the context of landscape heterogeneity and land use change. As an example of the cascading consequences of defaunation, we found that when large herbivores are experimentally removed, the abundance of rodents increases dramatically, along with the abundance… Read more Linkages between wildlife defaunation, savannah ecosystem structure and composition, and consequences for small mammal abundance in the context of risks for human health
Rodolfo and field assistant measure plant characteristics in a control plot.

Consequences of defaunation on the structure and diversity of the understory in neotropical forests

Research by on June 10, 2016
This study compares two tropical rainforest sites in Mexico with contrasting levels of defaunation: Los Tuxtlas (defaunated) and Montes Azules (intact). In addition, we have established exclosure experiments in both sites to look at mammalian herbivory, seed predation and structure and composition of the understory vegetation. Collaborator: Dr. Eduardo Mendoza (Universidad de Michoacán, Mexico) Funding:… Read more Consequences of defaunation on the structure and diversity of the understory in neotropical forests
Palmyra Atoll in the Central Pacific.

Ecological consequences of rat eradication on the Palmyra Atoll (Central Pacific)

Research by on June 10, 2016
For this project, we are able to draw on extensive and detailed baseline data on the structure, composition, and diversity of the native vegetation and the islets dominated by the invasive coconut palm, as well as information about the food chain length and dynamics and soil, foliage, and runoff nutrients on the Palmyra Atoll in… Read more Ecological consequences of rat eradication on the Palmyra Atoll (Central Pacific)

Stanford biologist Rodolfo Dirzo receives the Roland Volunteer Service Prize

News by on May 20, 2016
Biology Professor Rodolfo Dirzo received the 2016 Miriam Aaron Roland Volunteer Service Prize for his commitment to community engagement as an integral part of his teaching and research, and for inspiring students from underserved communities to pursue conservation projects and careers.   Rodolfo Dirzo receives the Roland Volunteer Service Prize Read more…

Courses taught by Rodolfo Dirzo

Teaching by on February 29, 2016
BIO 105A: Ecology and Natural History of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve (EARTHSYS 105A) Formerly 96A – Jasper Ridge Docent Training. First of two-quarter sequence training program to join the Jasper Ridge education/docent program. The scientific basis of ecological research in the context of a field station, hands-on field research, field ecology and the natural history of… Read more Courses taught by Rodolfo Dirzo

Undergraduate student Isabelle Neylan awarded the Firestone Medal for Undergraduate Research

News by on July 2, 2015
Undergraduate student Isabelle Neylan was awarded the Firestone Medal for Undergraduate Research. Her thesis, an amazing piece of work, is entitled “The effects of herbivory, epigenetic transgenerational changes, and conspecific communication on the induced defenses of wild radish.” Read more…

Rodolfo Dirzo awarded the Merit in Ecology Medal

News by on April 24, 2015
Rodolfo Dirzo was honored with the Merit in Ecology (Research) Medal by the Ecological Society of Mexico (SCME- 2015) for his academic background and his role in the formation of Schools of Ecology in Mexico. Read more…