Faculty & Staff


Manuel Lerdau

Professor · Ph.D. Stanford University

Contact Information

I am an organismal ecologist with interests in both the ecosystem implications of physiological processes and the evolutionary underpinnings of these processes. My research centers around fundamental questions of resource acquisition and allocation in plants and touches upon such topics as herbivory and tri-trophic interactions, atmospheric chemistry and air pollution, community and ecosystem impacts of biological invasions, and organismal controls over element cycling.

I combine experimental and observational research and collaborate with modelers in the development of process-based ecosystem models. My research currently centers around questions regarding genomics and stress tolerance and trace gas exchange between plants and the atmosphere. My newest projects involve 1) the physiological ecology of metals, and 2) biological mechanisms underlying ecosystem responses to climate change.

Recent Publications

Oikawa, PY; Geibel, BM; Sternberg, LdLSLO; Li, L; Timko, MP; Swart, PK; Riemer; Mak, JE; and Lerdau, MT. 2011. Leaf and root pectin methylesterase activity and 13C⁄ 12C stable isotopic ratio measurements of methanol emissions give insight into methanol production in Lycopersicon esculentum. New Phytologist (in press). DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2011.03770.x

Oikawa, PY; Li, L; Timko, MP; Mak, JE; Lerdau, MT. 2011. Short term changes in methanol emission and pectin methylesterase activity are not directly affected by light in Lycopersicon esculentum. BIOGEOSCIENCES 8 (4): 1023-1030. DOI: 10.5194/bg-8-1023-2011

Duval, BD; Dijkstra, P; Natali, SM; Megonigal, JP; Ketterer, ME; Drake, BG; Lerdau, MT; Gordon, G; Anbar, AD; Hungate, BA. 2011. Plant-Soil Distribution of Potentially Toxic Elements in Response to Elevated Atmospheric CO2. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 45 (7): 2570-2574. DOI: 10.1021/es102250u

Gotsch, SG; Powers, JS; Lerdau, MT. 2010. Leaf traits and water relations of 12 evergreen species in Costa Rican wet and dry forests: patterns of intra-specific variation across forests and seasons. PLANT ECOLOGY 211 (1): 133-146. DOI: 10.1007/s11258-010-9779-9

Lerdau, MT; Hickman, JE. 2010. Reply to Gupta and Igamberdiev: Mechanisms and feedbacks in N fixation and NO production. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 107 (39): E154-E154. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1010448107

Hickman, JE; Wu, SL; Mickley, LJ; Lerdau, MT. 2010. Kudzu (Pueraria montana) invasion doubles emissions of nitric oxide and increases ozone pollution. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 107 (22): 10115-10119. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0912279107

Natali, SM; Sanudo-Wilhelmy, SA; Lerdau, MT. 2009. Plant and Soil Mediation of Elevated CO2 Impacts on Trace Metals. ECOSYSTEMS 12 (5): 715-727. DOI: 10.1007/s10021-009-9251-7

Powers, JS; Montgomery, RA; Adair, EC; Brearley, FQ; DeWalt, SJ; Castanho, CT; Chave, J; Deinert, E; Ganzhorn, JU; Gilbert, ME; Gonzalez-Iturbe, JA; Bunyavejchewin, S; Grau, HR; Harms, KE; Hiremath, A; Iriarte-Vivar, S; Manzane, E; de Oliveira, AA; Poorter, L; Ramanamanjato, JB; Salk, C; Varela, A; Weiblen, GD; Lerdau, MT. 2009. Decomposition in tropical forests: a pan-tropical study of the effects of litter type, litter placement and mesofaunal exclusion across a precipitation gradient. JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY 97 (4): 801-811. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2009.01515.x

Jardine, K; Karl, T; Lerdau, M; Harley, P; Guenther, A; Mak, JE. 2009. Carbon isotope analysis of acetaldehyde emitted from leaves following mechanical stress and anoxia. PLANT BIOLOGY 11 (4): 591-597. DOI: 10.1111/j.1438-8677.2008.00155.x

McFrederick, QS; Fuentes, JD; Roulston, T; Kathilankal, JC; Lerdau, M. 2009. Effects of air pollution on biogenic volatiles and ecological interactions. OECOLOGIA 160 (3): 411-420. DOI: 10.1007/s00442-009-1318-9

Vickers, CE; Gershenzon, J; Lerdau, MT; Loreto, F. 2009. A unified mechanism of action for volatile isoprenoids in plant abiotic stress. NATURE CHEMICAL BIOLOGY 5 (5): 283-291. DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.158

Dukes, JS; Pontius, J; Orwig, D; Garnas, JR; Rodgers, VL; Brazee, N; Cooke, B; Theoharides, KA; Stange, EE; Harrington, R; Ehrenfeld, J; Gurevitch, J; Lerdau, M; Stinson, K; Wick, R; Ayres, M. 2009. Responses of insect pests, pathogens, and invasive plant species to climate change in the forests of northeastern North America: What can we predict?. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FOREST RESEARCH-REVUE CANADIENNE DE RECHERCHE FORESTIERE 39 (2): 231-248. DOI: 10.1139/X08-171

Jardine, K; Harley, P; Karl, T; Guenther, A; Lerdau, M; Mak, JE. 2008. Plant physiological and environmental controls over the exchange of acetaldehyde between forest canopies and the atmosphere. BIOGEOSCIENCES 5 (6): 1559-1572.

Natali, S; Sanudo-Wilhelmy, SA; Lerdau, M. 2009. Effects of elevated carbon dioxide and nitrogen fertilization on nitrate reductase activity in sweetgum and loblolly pine trees in two temperate forests. PLANT AND SOIL 314 (1-2): 197-210. DOI: 10.1007/s11104-008-9718-x

D'Odorico, P; Laio, F; Ridolfi, L; Lerdau, MT. 2008. Biodiversity enhancement induced by environmental noise. JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL BIOLOGY 255 (3): 332-337.Natali, SM; Sanudo-Wilhelmy, SA; Norby, RJ; Zhang, H; Finzi, AC; Lerdau, MT. 2008. Increased mercury in forest soils under elevated carbon dioxide. OECOLOGIA 158 (2): 343-354. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2008.09.007

Natali, SM; Sanudo-Wilhelmy, SA; Norby, RJ; Zhang, H; Finzi, AC; Lerdau, MT. 2008. Increased mercury in forest soils under elevated carbon dioxide. OECOLOGIA 158 (2): 343-354. DOI: 10.1007/s00442-008-1135-6

Gurevitch, J; Howard, TG; Ashton, IW; Leger, EA; Howe, KM; Woo, E; Lerdau, M. 2008. Effects of experimental manipulation of light and nutrients on establishment of seedlings of native and invasive woody species in Long Island, NY forests. BIOLOGICAL INVASIONS 10 (6): 821-831. DOI: 10.1007/s10530-008-9241-2

Ashton, IW; Lerdau, MT. 2008. Tolerance to herbivory, and not resistance, may explain differential success of invasive, naturalized, and native North American temperate vines. DIVERSITY AND DISTRIBUTIONS 14 (2): 169-178. DOI: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2007.00425.x

Leger, EA; Howe, KM; Gurevitch, J; Woo, E; Hickman, J; Ashton, IW; Lerdau, M. 2007. The interaction between soil nutrients and leaf loss during early 14 establishment in plant invasion. FOREST SCIENCE 53 (6): 701-709.

Funk, JL; Jones, CG; Lerdau, MT. 2007. Leaf- and shoot-level plasticity in response to different nutrient and water availabilities. TREE PHYSIOLOGY 27 (12): 1731-1739.

Wang, JF; Bras, RL; Lerdau, M; Salvucci, GD. 2007. A maximum hypothesis of transpiration. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-BIOGEOSCIENCES 112 (G3): art. no.-G03010. DOI: 10.1029/2006JG000255

Brilli, F; Barta, C; Fortunati, A; Lerdau, M; Loreto, F; Centritto, M. 2007. Response of isoprene emission and carbon metabolism to drought in white poplar (Populus alba) saplings. NEW PHYTOLOGIST 175 (2): 244-254. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2007.02094.x

Theis, N; Lerdau, M; Raguso, RA. 2007. The challenge of attracting pollinators while evading floral herbivores: Patterns of fragrance emission in Cirsium arvense and Cirsium repandum (Asteraceae). INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PLANT SCIENCES 168 (5): 587-601.

Lerdau, M; Avery, C. 2007. The utility of standardized tests. SCIENCE 316 (5832): 1694-1694.

Lerdau, M. 2007. A positive feedback with negative consequences. SCIENCE 316 (5822): 212-213. DOI: 10.1126/science.1141486