Jon Benstead


Phone: (205) 348-9034


Dr. Benstead’s Lab Webpage

Jon Benstead received a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Georgia in 2001 and served as a postdoctoral researcher at The Ecosystems Center. He joined the University of Alabama as an Assistant Professor in 2005, became Associate Professor in 2011, and Professor in 2016.

Research Interests

My laboratory’s research program focuses on interactions among three important drivers of ecosystem function and community structure: energy input, nutrient availability, and temperature. While our research leverages the unique characteristics of streams and their suitability for ecosystem-level research, we concentrate on broad questions that are also relevant to other ecosystem types. A major goal for our research program is to integrate the metabolic theory of ecology, with its emphasis on temperature and body size, with the explicit multiple-element approach to resource limitation that is central to ecological stoichiometry theory. Although guided by theory, our research has a strong empirical focus, spans scales from the individual to the ecosystem, and often exploits both natural landscape gradients and experimental manipulations at the ecosystem level.

Recent Publications

Manning, D.W.P., A.D. Rosemond, J.P. Benstead, J.S. Kominoski, V. Gulis, and J.C. Maerz. 2016. Convergence of detrital stoichiometry predicts thresholds of nutrient-stimulated breakdown in streams. Ecological Applications 00:000-000.

Williamson, T.J., W.F. Cross, J.P. Benstead, G.M. Gíslason, J.M. Hood, A.D. Huryn, P.W. Johnson, and J.R. Welter. 2016. Warming alters coupled carbon and nutrient cycles in experimental streams. Global Change Biology 00:000-000.

Bumpers, P.M., J.C. Maerz, A.D. Rosemond, and J.P. Benstead. 2015. Salamander growth rates increase along an experimental stream phosphorus gradient. Ecology 96:2994-3004.

Manning D.W.P., A.D. Rosemond, J.S. Kominoski, V. Gulis, J.P. Benstead, and J.C. Maerz. 2015. Litter stoichiometry as a critical nexus for the effects of streamwater nutrients on detrital breakdown. Ecology 96:2214-2224.

Kominoski, J.S., A.D. Rosemond, J.P. Benstead, V. Gulis, J.C. Maerz, and D.W.P. Manning. 2015. Low-to-moderate nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations accelerate microbially driven litter breakdown rates. Ecological Applications 25:856-865.

Welter, J.R., J.P. Benstead, W.F. Cross, J.M. Hood, A.D. Huryn, P.W. Johnson, and T.J. Williamson. 2015. Does N2-fixation amplify the temperature dependence of ecosystem metabolism? Ecology 96:603-610.

Rosemond, A.D., J.P. Benstead, P.M. Bumpers, V. Gulis, J.S. Kominoski, D.W.P. Manning, K. Suberkropp, and J.B. Wallace. 2015. Experimental nutrient additions accelerate terrestrial carbon loss from stream ecosystems. Science 347:1142-1145.

Cross, W.F., J.M. Hood, J.P. Benstead, A.D. Huryn, and D. Nelson. 2015. Interactions between temperature and nutrients across levels of ecological organization. Global Change Biology 21:1025-1040.

Venarsky, M.P., B.M. Huntsman, A.D. Huryn, J.P. Benstead, and B.R. Kuhajda. 2014. Quantitative food web analysis supports the energy-limitation hypothesis in cave stream ecosystems. Oecologia 176:859-869.

O’Gorman, E.J., J.P. Benstead, W.F. Cross, N. Friberg, J.M. Hood, P.W. Johnson, B.D. Sigurdsson, and G. Woodward. 2014. Climate change and geothermal ecosystems: natural laboratories, sentinel systems, and future refugia. Global Change Biology 20:3291-3299.

Huryn, A.D., J.P. Benstead and S.M. Parker. 2014. Seasonal changes in light availability modify the temperature dependence of ecosystem metabolism in an arctic stream. Ecology 95:2826-2839.

Benstead, J.P., J.M. Hood, N.V. Whelan, M.R. Kendrick, D. Nelson, A.F. Hanninen, and L.M. Demi. 2014. Coupling of dietary phosphorus and growth across diverse fish taxa: a meta-analysis of experimental aquaculture studies. Ecology 95:2768-2777.