Jon Benstead

Jon Benstead


Director of Graduate Program; Chair of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment Committee


  • Postdoctoral Research, Ecosystems Center
  • PhD, Ecology, University of Georgia, 2001

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.

Selected Publications

  • Junker, J.R., W.F. Cross, J.P. Benstead, A.D. Huryn, J.M. Hood, D. Nelson, G.M. Gíslason, and J.S. Ólafsson. 2020. Resource supply governs the apparent temperature dependence of animal production in stream ecosystems. Ecology Letters 00:000-000.
  • Manning, D.W.P., A.D. Rosemond, J.P. Benstead, P.M. Bumpers, and J.S. Kominoski. 2020. Transport of N and P in U.S. streams and rivers differs with land use and between dissolved and particulate forms. Ecological Applications 00:000-000.
  • Demi, L.M., J.P. Benstead, A.D. Rosemond, and J.C. Maerz. 2020. Experimental N and P additions relieve stoichiometric constraints on organic-matter flows through five stream food webs. Journal of Animal Ecology 89:1468-1481.
  • Nelson, D., J.P. Benstead, A.D. Huryn, W.F. Cross, J.M. Hood, P.W. Johnson, J.R. Junker, G.M. Gíslason, and J.S. Ólafsson. 2020. Thermal niche diversity and trophic redundancy combine to drive neutral effects of experimental warming on organic matter flux through a stream food web. Ecology 101:e02952.
  • Huryn, A.D. and J.P. Benstead. 2019. Seasonal changes in light availability modify the temperature dependence of secondary production in an arctic stream. Ecology 100:e02690.
  • Demi, L.M., J.P. Benstead, A.D. Rosemond, and J.C. Maerz. 2019. Experimental N and P additions alter stream macroinvertebrate community composition via taxon-level responses to shifts in detrital resource stoichiometry. Functional Ecology 33:855-867.
  • Venarsky, M.P., J.P. Benstead, A.D. Huryn, B.M. Huntsman, J.W. Edmonds, R.H. Findlay, and J.B. Wallace. 2018. Experimental detritus manipulations unite surface and cave stream ecosystems along a common energy gradient. Ecosystems 21:629-642.
  • Hood, J.M., J.P. Benstead, W.F. Cross, A.D. Huryn, P.W. Johnson, G.M. Gíslason, J.R. Junker, D. Nelson, J.S. Ólafsson, and C. Tran. 2018. Increased resource use efficiency amplifies positive response of aquatic primary production to experimental warming. Global Change Biology 24:1069-1084.
  • Demi, L.M., J.P. Benstead, A.D. Rosemond, and J.C. Maerz. 2018. Litter P content drives consumer production in detritus-based streams spanning an experimental N:P gradient. Ecology 99:347-359.
  • Manning D.W.P., A.D. Rosemond, V. Gulis, J.P. Benstead, and J.S. Kominoski. 2018. Nutrients and temperature additively increase stream microbial respiration. Global Change Biology 24:e233-e247.
  • Gulis, V., K.A. Kuehn, L.N. Schoettle, D. Leach, J.P. Benstead, and A.D. Rosemond. 2017. Changes in nutrient stoichiometry, elemental homeostasis and growth rate of aquatic litter-associated fungi in response to inorganic nutrient supply. The ISME Journal 11:2729-2739.
  • Nelson, D., J.P. Benstead, A.D. Huryn, W.F. Cross, J.M. Hood, P.W. Johnson, J.R. Junker, G.M. Gíslason, and J.S. Ólafsson. 2017. Shifts in community size structure drive temperature invariance of secondary production in a stream-warming experiment. Ecology 98:1797-1806.
  • Nelson, D., J.P. Benstead, A.D. Huryn, W.F. Cross, J.M. Hood, P.W. Johnson, J.R. Junker, G.M. Gíslason, and J.S. Ólafsson. 2017. Experimental whole-stream warming alters community size structure. Global Change Biology 23:2618-2628.
  • 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 22:2152-2164.
  • 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.
  • 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.