Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

David Wardle

David Wardle
Position: Research Associate
Team: Ecosystems & Global Change
Location: Lincoln
P.O. Box 69040
Lincoln 7640
Fax: +64 3 321 9998

Contact David

Research Interests

Research Interests

Research interests

The primary research focus is on aboveground and belowground ecology, linkages between aboveground and belowground communities, and the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. This research is focused on laboratory, glasshouse and field studies in both natural and managed ecosystems, and much of the field work is performed in New Zealand rainforests and in subarctic Swedish tundra and boreal forest communities.

Selected publications

Wardle, D.A., Walker, L.R. and Bardgett, R.D. (2004). Ecosystem properties and forest decline in contrasting long-term chronosequences. Science 305: 509-513.

Wardle, D.A., Bardgett, R.D., Klironomos, J.N., Setälä, H., Van der Putten, W.H. and Wall, D.H. (2004) Ecological linkages between aboveground and belowground biota. Science 304: 1629-1633.

Wardle, D.A. and Bardgett, R.D. (2004) Human-induced changes in densities of large herbivorous mammals: consequences for the decomposer subsystem. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2: 145-153.

Wardle, D.A., Yeates, G.W., Barker, G.M., Bellingham, P.J., Bonner, K.I. and Williamson, W. (2003) Island biology and ecosystem functioning in epiphytic soil communities. Science 301: 1717-1720.

Wardle, D.A., Hörnberg, G., Zackrisson, O., Kalela-Brundin, M., and Coomes, D.A., (2003) Long term effects of wildfire on ecosystem properties across an island area gradient. Science 300: 972-975.

Bardgett, R.D. and Wardle, D.A. (2003) Herbivore mediated linkages between aboveground and belowground communities. Ecology 84: 2258-2268.

Wardle, D.A., Bonner, K.I., and Barker, G.M. (2002). Linkages between plant litter decomposition, litter quality, and vegetation responses to herbivores. Functional Ecology 16: 585-595.

Ettema, C., and Wardle, D.A. (2002) Spatial soil ecology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 17: 177-183.

Wardle, D.A., Barker, G.M., Yeates, G.W., Bonner, K.I., and Ghani, A. (2001). Introduced browsing mammals in natural New Zealand forests: aboveground and belowground consequences. Ecological Monographs 71: 587-614.

Loreau, M., Naeem, S., Inchausti, P., Bengtsson, J., Grime, J. P., Hector, A., Hooper, D.U., Huston, M.A., Raffaelli, D., Schmid, B., Tilman, D., and Wardle, D.A. (2001) Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: current knowledge and future challenges. Science 294: 804-808.

Wardle, D.A., Bonner, K.I., Barker, G.M., Yeates, G.W., Nicholson, K.S., Bardgett, R.D., Watson, R.N. and Ghani, A. (1999). Plant removals in perennial grassland: vegetation dynamics, decomposers, soil biodiversity and ecosystem properties. Ecological Monographs 69: 535-568.

Wardle, D.A., Zackrisson, O., Hörnberg, G. and Gallet, C. (1997). Influence of island area on ecosystem properties. Science 277: 1296-1299.

Wardle, D.A., Zackrisson, O., Hörnberg, G. and Gallet, C. (1997) Biodiversity and ecosystem properties. Science 278: 1867-1869.



  • Calgary
    PhD Soil Ecology Biol Science
  • Canterbury
    BSc (Hons) Botany



  • Wardle DA 2011. Belowground phenomena. In: Simberloff D, Rejmánek M ed. Encylclopedia of biological invasions. Encyclopedia of the natural world. 3. Berkeley, University of California Press. Pp. 54-57. (Book Section, 2011)
  • Wardle, D. A., Bardgett, R. D., Callaway, R. M. and Van der Putten, W. H. (2011) Terrestrial ecosystem responses to species gains and losses. Science 332: 1273-1277. (Journal Article, 2011)
  • Kardol, P. and Wardle, D. A. (2010) How understanding aboveground-belowground linkages can assist restoration ecology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25: 670-679. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2010.09.001 (Journal Article, 2011)
  • Schmidt S, Mulder CP, Ellis J, Bellingham P, Cameron E, Croll D, Jones H, Kameda K, Kolb G, Kueffer C, Mittelhauser G, Orrock J, Palmborg C, Vidal E, Wait A, Wardle D, Yang L, Young H 2010. Global analysis of biogeochemistry and plant communities of seabird islands. Proceedings: 1st World Seabird Conference, Victoria, B.C., Canada, 7-11 September 2010. (Conference Proceedings, 2010)
  • Wardle DA, Karl BJ, Beggs JR, Yeates GW, Williamson WM, Bonner KI 2010. Determining the impact of scale insect honeydew, and invasive wasps and rodents, on the decomposer subsystem in a New Zealand beech forest. Biological invasions 12(8): 2619-2638. (Journal Article, 2010)
  • Bardgett RD, Wardle DA 2010. Aboveground-belowground linkages : biotic interactions, ecosystem processes, and global change. Oxford series in ecology and evolution. Oxford, Oxford University Press. 320 p. (Book, 2010)
  • Díaz, S., Hector, A. and Wardle, D. A. (2009) Biodiversity in forest carbon sequestration initiatives: not just a side benefit. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 1: 55-60. (Journal Article, 2010)
  • De Bello, F., Lavorel, S., Díaz, S., Harrington, R., Cornelissen, J. H. C., Bardgett, R. D., Berg, M. P., Cipriotti, P., Feld, C. K., Hering, D., da Silva, P. M., Potts, S. G., Sandin, L., Sousa, J. P., Storkey, J., Wardle, D. A. and Harrison, P. A. (2010) Towards an assessment of multiple ecosystem processes and services via functional traits. Biodiversity and Conservation (in press). (Journal Article, 2010)
  • Peltzer DA, Bellingham PJ, Fukami T, Kurokawa H, R. WL, Wardle DA, Yeates GW 2010. [Abstract] Biotic indirect effects of plant invaders : small things matter! Proceedings: Biodiversity : 2010 and beyond : programme and abstracts, University of Otago, Dunedin, 22-25 November 2010. Pp. 98. (Conference Proceedings, 2010)



  • Editorial Board (and Chief editor until December 2003) New Zealand Journal of Ecology , New Zealand Journal of Ecology
  • Adjunct Professorship, School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury
  • Editorial Board of Pedobiologia
  • Professor of Ecology (50% time), Department of Forest Vegetation Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences,Umea, Sweden , Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • Reviewer for >60 journals including Science and Nature
  • Board of Reviewing Editors (2009-), Science
  • Board of Editors, Ecology
  • Board of Editors, Ecological Monographs
  • Editorial Board, Ideas in Ecology and Evolution



  • Ecology