USGS Professional Pages
RESEARCH ECOLOGISTContact Info
Jim Grace obtained his B.S. in Biology from Presbyterian College in South Carolina, his M.S. from Clemson University, and his Ph.D. from Michigan State University. After graduate school, he held faculty positions at the University of Arkansas and Louisiana State University, where he reached the level of Full Professor. He currently holds an Adjunct Professorship in Biology at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette. In 2000, he received the millennium Meritorious Research Award from the Society of Wetland Scientists and in 2003 received the National Science Excellence Award from the U.S. Geological Survey. He has published over 160 papers and reports, including 3 books, one on competitive interactions, one on community analysis, and one on structural equation modeling. Latest news releases related to our work can be found at:
Recommended Reading by Faculty of 1000: http://f1000.com/prime/717961256?bd=1
Science Perspectives piece (2011): http://www.sciencemag.org/content/333/6050/1709.full;
National Science Foundation press release (2011): http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=121691&org=DEB&from=news.
USGS News Release (2010): http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=2619
Conservation Maven (2010): http://www.conservationmaven.com/frontpage/predicting-the-performance-of-plant-restoration.html
USGS Genetics Program News Pick (2010): http://biology.usgs.gov/genetics_genomics/spotlight_2010.html
Nature Climate Change Research Highlights (2009): http://www.nature.com/climate/2009/0905/full/climate.2009.32.html
USGS Science Newsroom Pick (2009): http://www.nature.com/climate/2009/0905/full/climate.2009.32.html
For more news and information, search "Jim Grace USGS".
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PublicationsGrace, J.B., Adler, P.B., Harpole, W.S., Borer, E.T., and Seabloom, E.W. 2014 Causal networks clarify productivity–richness interrelations, bivariate plots do not. Functional Ecology, DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435 (early online) [Link]
Mitchell, B.R., Tierney, G.L., Schweiger, E.W., Miller, K.M., Faber-Langendoen, D. and Grace, J.B. 2014. Getting the message across: Using ecological integrity to communicate with resource managers. In: In: Guntenspergen, G.R. (ed.) Application of Threshold Concepts in Natural Resource Decision Making. Springer Verlag. [Link]
Spasojevic, M.J., Grace, J.B., Harrison, S., and Damschen, E.I. 2014. Functional diversity supports the physiological tolerance hypothesis for plant species richness along climatic gradients. Journal of Ecology 102:447-455. [Link]
Ewing, R. , Hamidi, S., Gallivan, F., Nelson, A.C., and Grace, J.B. 2014. Structural equation models of VMT growth in U.S. urbanized areas. Urban Studies. doi: 10.1177/0042098013516521. [Link]
Chambers, J.C., Bradley, B.A., D’Antonio, C., Germino, J.B., Grace, J.B., Hardegree, S.P., Miller, R.F., and Pyke, D.A. 2014. Resilience to stress and disturbance and resistance to alien grass invasions in the cold desert of Western North America. Ecosystems. 17:360-375. (DOI: 10.1007/s10021-013-9725-5) [Link]
Grace, J.B., Scheiner, S.M., Schoolmaster, D.R. Jr. 2014. Structural equation modeling: building and evaluating causal models. Chapter 8 In: Fox, G.A., Negrete-Yanlelevich, S., and Sosa, V.J. (eds.) Ecological Statistics: From Principles to Applications. Oxford University Press. (accepted)
Somers, K.A., Bernhardt, E.S., Grace, J.B., Hassett, B.A., Sudduth, E.B., Wang, S., and Urban, D.L. 2013. Streams in the urban heat island: Spatial and temporal variability in temperature. Freshwater Science 32:309-326. [Link]
de Mazencourt, C., Isbell, F., Larocque, A., Berendse, F., De Luca, E., Grace, J.B., Haegeman, B., Polley, H.W., Roscher, C., Schmid, R., Tilman, D., van Ruijven, J., Weiglt, A., Wilsen, B.J., and Loreau. M. 2013. Predicting ecosystem stability from community composition and biodiversity. Ecology Letters 16:617-625. [Link]
Whalen, M.A., Duffy, J.E. and Grace, J.B. 2013. Temporal shifts in top-down versus bottom-up control of epiphytic algae in a seagrass ecosystem. Ecology 94:510-520. [Link]
Reisner, M.D., Grace, J.B., Pyke, D.A., Doescher, P.S. 2013. Conditions favoring Bromus tectorum dominance of endangered sagebrush steppe ecosystems. Journal of Applied Ecology doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12097. [Link]
Dettweiler-Robinson, E., Bakker, J.D., and Grace, J.B. 2013. Controls of biological soil crust cover and composition shift with succession in sagebrush shrub-steppe. Journal of Arid Environments. 94:96-104. [Link]
Schoolmaster, D.R. Jr., Grace, J.B., Schweiger, E.W., Mitchell, B.R., and Guntenspergen, G.R. 2013. A causal examination of the effects of confounding factors on multimetric indices. Ecological Indicators 29:411-419. [Link]
Chen, D., Lan, Z., Bai, X., Grace, J.B., and Bai, Y. 2013. Evidence that acidification-induced declines in plant diversity and productivity are mediated by changes in below-ground communities and soil properties in a semi-arid steppe grassland. Journal of Ecology 101:1322-1334. [Link]
Chambers, J.C., Miller, R.F., Board, D.I., Pyke, D.A., Roundy, B.A., Grace, J.B., Schupp, E.W., Tausch, R.J. 2013. Resilience and resistance of sagebrush ecosystems: Implications for state and transition models and management treatments. Rangeland Ecology & Management – Special Issue. (http://dx.doi.org/10.2111/REM-D-13-00074.1)
Laliberte, E., Grace, J.B., Huston, M.A., Lambers, H., Teste, F.P., Turner, B.L., and Wardle, D.A. 2013. How does pedogenesis drive plant diversity? Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 28: 331-340. [Link]
Schoolmaster, D.R. Jr., Grace, J.B., Schweiger, E.W., Guntenspergen, G.R., Mitchell, B.R., Miller, K.M., and Little, A.M., 2012. An algorithmic and information-theoretic approach to multimetric index construction. Ecological Indicators 23: 14-23. [Link]
Grace, J.B., Schoolmaster, D.R. Jr., Guntenspergen, G.R., Little, A.M., Mitchell, B.R., Miller, K.M., and Schweiger, E.W. 2012. Guidelines for a graph-theoretic implementation of structural equation modeling. Ecosphere 3(8): article 73 (44 pages). [Link]
Grace, J.B., P.B. Adler, E.W. Seabloom, E.T. Borer, J. Jillebrand, Y. Hautier, A. Hector, W.S. Harpole, L.R. O’Halloran, et al. 2012. Towards a multivariate representation of the multiple mechanisms controlling productivity and diversity: Responses to comments on “Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness.” Science 335:1441. DOI: 10.1126/science.1214939. [Link]
Cardinale, B.J., Duffy, J.E., Gonzalez, A. Hooper, D.U., Perrings, C., Venail, P., Narwani, A., Mace, G.M., Tilman, D., Wardle, D.A., Kinzig, A.P., Daily, G.C., Loreau, M., Grace, J.B., Larigauderie, A., Srivastava, D., and Naeem, S. 2012. Biodiversity loss and its impact on humanity. Nature - Review 486:59-67. [Link]
Schoolmaster, D.R. Jr., Grace, J.B., and Schweiger, E.W. 2012. A general theory of multimetric indices and their properties. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 3:773-781. [Link]
Matteson, K.C., Grace, J.B., and Minor, E.S. 2012. Direct and indirect effects of land use on floral resources and flower-visiting insects across an urban landscape. Oikos 122:682-694. [Link]
Grace, J.B., Keeley, J., Johnson, D., and Bollen, K.A. 2012. Structural equation modeling and the analysis of long-term monitoring data. pp 325-358. In: Gitzen, R.A., Millspaugh, J.J., Cooper, A.B., and Licht, D.S. Design and Analysis of Long-Term Ecological Monitoring Studies. Cambridge University Press. [Link]
McKee, K.L. and Grace, J.B., 2012, Effects of prescribed burning on marsh-elevation change and the risk of wetland loss: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012-1031, 51 p. [Link]
Chambers, J., R. Miller, and J.B. Grace. 2012. Understanding the importance of resilience and resistance to the restoration of sagebrush rangelands. SageSTEP News, Issue 18, Spring 2012. [Link]
Grace, J.B., Harrison, S., and Damschen, E.I. 2011. Local richness along gradients in the Siskiyou herb flora: R. H. Whittaker revisited. Ecology 92:108-120 [Link]
Willig, M.R. 2011 Science: Perspective on Adler et al. paper. 333:1719-1710. [Link]
Adler, P.B. et al. and Grace, J.B (total of 58 authors). 2011. Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness. Science 333:1750-1753. [Link]
Damschen, E.I., Harrison, S., and Grace, J.B. 2010. Climate change effects on an endemic-rich edaphic flora: resurveying Robert H. Whittaker's Siskiyou sites (Oregon, USA). Ecology 92:3609-3619. Selected as Editor's Choice, Science Magazine [Link]
Harrison, S., Damschen, E.I. and Grace, J.B. 2010. Ecological contingency in the effects of climatic warming on forest herb communities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. early online, pnas.100623107. [subject of USGS News Release http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=2619] [other press, http://www.examiner.com/liberal-in-national/study-climate-change-adversely-affects-low-elevation-mountain-vegetation] [Link]
McIver, J., Brunson, M., Bunting, S., Chambers, J., Devoe, N., Doescher, P., Grace, J., Johnson, D., Knick, S., Miller, R., Pellant, M., Pierson, F., Pyke, D., Rollins, K., Roundy, R., Schupp, R., Tausch, R., and Turner, D. 2010. The Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project (SageSTEP): A Test of State-and-Transition Theory. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mt. Res. Station Report. http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_gtr237.pdf [Link]
Anderson, T.M., Hopcraft, J.G.C., Eby, S., Ritchie, M., Grace, J.B. and Olff, H. 2010. Landscape-scale analyses suggest both nutrient and antipredator advantages to Serengeti herbivore hotspots. Ecology 91:1519-1529. [Link]
Grace, J.B., Anderson, T.M., Olff, H., and Scheiner, S.M. 2010. On the specification of structural equation models for ecological systems. Ecological Monographs 80:67-87. [Link]
Travis, S.E. and Grace, J.B. 2010. Predicting performance for ecological restoration: a case study using Spartina alterniflora. Ecological Applications 20:192-204. [selected as Recommended Reading by the Faculty of 1000: http://f1000biology.com/article/id/2305956/evaluation] [featured in a Research Brief by Conservation Maven: http://www.conservationmaven.com/frontpage/predicting-the-performance-of-plant-restoration.html] [Link]
Editor's Choice. 2010. Narrow niches and nowhere to go. Highlight of Damschen, Harrison, and Grace paper in Ecology 91:3609-3619. Science Magazine [Link]
USGS News Release. 2010. Mountain vegetation impacted by climate change. Highlight of paper by Harrison, Damschen, and Grace 2010. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. [Link]
Riginos, C., Grace, J.B., Augustine, D.J., and Young, T.P. 2009. Local versus landscape-scale effects of savanna trees on grasses. Journal of Ecology 97:1337-1345.
Oberle, B., Grace, J.B., Chase, J. 2009. Beneath the veil: plant growth form influences the strength of species richness - productivity relationships in forests. Global Ecology and Biogeography 18:416-425.
Cherry, J.A., McKee, K.L., and Grace, J.B. 2009. Elevated CO2 enhances biological contributions to elevation change in coastal wetlands by offsetting stressors associated with sea-level rise. Journal of Ecology 97:67-77. [this article was featured in Nature News April 9, 2009, featured in Nature Climate Change Research Highlights May 5, 2009, and was a USGS Science Newsroom Pick. http://www.nature.com/climate/2009/0905/full/climate.2009.32.html]
Barnett, A. 2009. Marsh attacks - Report on Cherry, McKee & Grace 2009 Journal of Ecology. Nature Reports Climate Change. Vol 3, May 2009. p 64. [Link]
Youngblood, A., Grace, J.B., and McIver, J.D. 2009. Delayed conifer mortality after fuel reduction treatments: Interactive effects of fuel, fire intensity, and bark beetles. Ecological Applications (Special Feature) 19:321-337. [Link]
Chaudhary, V.B., Bowker, M.A., O'Dell, T.E., Grace, J.B., Redman, A.E., Rillig, M.C., and Johnson, N.C. 2009. Untangling the biological contributions to soil stability in semi-arid shrublands. Ecological Applications. 19:110-122. [Link]
Grace, J.B., Youngblood, A., and Scheiner, S.M. 2009. Structural equation modeling and ecological experiments. Chapter 2, pp. 19-45. In: Miao, S., Carstenn, S., and Nungesser, M. (Eds.) Real World Ecology: Large-Scale and Long-Term Case Studies and Methods. Springer Verlag, New York.
Grace, J.B., Carstenn, S., Miao, S., and Sinhoj, E., 2009. Ecology in the real world, how might we progress? Chapter 12, pp. 293-302. In: Miao, S., Carstenn, S., and Nungesser, M. (Eds.) Real World Ecology: Large-Scale and Long-Term Case Studies and Methods. Springer Verlag, New York.
Koerner, C. 2009. Science highlight: Collins et al., Rank clocks and plant community dynamics. Faculty of 1000. May 08, 2009. [Link]
Hay, M. 2009. Science highlight: Riginos and Grace, Savanna tree density, herbivores, and the herbaceous community: bottom-up versus top-down effects. Faculty of 1000, June 24, 2009. [Link]
FOR PUBLICATIONS PRIOR TO 2009, REFER TO MY CV.
My USGS Science Strategy AreasUnderstanding Ecosystems & Predicting Ecosystems Change
Ecological analysis and structural equations
Jim Grace - Ecology and society are moving from a historical emphasis on individual processes to a concern about entire systems. The complexity of the world in which we live, along with the increased level of our ambitions, now cause us to want to understand systems and predict, as much as we can, their behavior. Understanding systems requires approaches that permit both the discovery and extrapolation of system structure. Analytically, systems are often represented as networks of interacting elements, thus the business of studying systems can be approached using methods for studying causal networks.
One approach to studying causal networks is structural equation modeling (SEM). From an historical perspective, the SEM currently practiced can be called “Second Generation” SEM. The first phase of development, “First Generation SEM”, was based on the path analysis methodology developed by Sewell Wright. The “Second Generation” of SEM commenced with the LISREL synthesis in the early 1970’s and continues as the dominant form of application to the present.
We believe there is now a need for a “Third Generation” of SEM that is more fundamental, more flexible, and a more complete scientific system. A more fundamental approach would permit direct specification of SE models and the flexibility to customize their properties. Current SEM software takes the opposite approach, packaging complex routines into cryptic modules, with add-ons that seek to overcome the inherent limitations of a global covariance analysis. Regarding completeness as a scientific system, the practice of SEM has historically been an analysis framework that emphasizes discovering network structure and testing hypotheses about networks. Increasingly there is a need to extend our work to include prediction and forecasting.
In a new paper, we describe the implementation of next-generation SEM using a "Graph-Theoretic" approach. That paper is:
Grace, J.B., Schoolmaster, D.R. Jr., Guntenspergen, G.R., Little, A.M., Mitchell, B.R., Miller, K.M., and Schweiger, E.W. 2012. "Guidelines for a graph-theoretic implementation of structural equation modeling." Ecosphere
Work is well underway to develop an R package to automate the procedures described in this paper.
In addition to advancing methodology, major topics of current emphasis include:
Global Climate Change Effects – Projects in this theme include studies of the effects of sea level rise on coastal marshes, regional vegetation shifts in California, and the role of genomics in ecosystem adaptation.
Developing Integrative Measures of Ecosystem Health - Working with the National Park Service, we have been evaluating current methods for estimating biotic integrity.
Identifying the Linkages between Stressors and Forest Health in Eastern National Parks - This work, also in collaboration with the National Park Service, seeks to further the work of their Vital Signs program using SEM to develop hypotheses about how particular forces influence individual forest health metrics.
Other Applications – Perusing the papers listed under "Publications" provides information on other applications we have been involved with.
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