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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Kevin Mueller



Post Doc
Research Ecologist

         1701 Center Ave.
         Fort Collins, CO 80526
PHONE: 970-492-7126
FAX:   970-492-7160


B.S.     Xavier University                     2002
M.S.    University of Cincinnati             2005
Ph.D.   Pennsylvania State University  2011


Research interests: 

My research seeks to determine how environmental factors and land management influence the structure and function of rangeland ecosystems.  To achieve these goals, I often study interactions between plants and other components of grassland ecosystems, including herbivores, soil, and the atmosphere.  Areas of special interest include climate change and climate variability, plant production and community composition, and the cycling of water and nutrients.


Irisarri, J.G.N., J.D. Derner, L.M. Porensky, D.J. Augustine, J.L. Reeves and K.E. Mueller. 2016. Grazing intensity differentially regulates ANPP response to precipitation in North American semiarid grasslands. Ecological Applications 26: 1370–1380.

Castellano, M.J., K. E. MUELLER, D. C. OLK, J. E. SAWYER and J. SIX. 2015. Integrating plant litter quality, soil organic matter stabilization, and the carbon saturation concept. Global Change Biology, doi: 10.1111/gcb.12982

Diefendorfa,A. F., K. H.Freeman, S. L.Wing, E. D. Currano, K. E. Mueller. 2015. Paleogene plants fractionated carbon isotopes similar to modern plants. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 429:33-44.

Mueller, K. E., S. E. Hobbie, J. Chorover, P. B. Reich, N. Eisenhauer, M. J. Castellano, O. A. Chadwick, T. Dobies, C. M. Hale, A. M. Jagodzinski, I. Kałucka, B. Kieliszewska-Rokicka, J. Modrzynski, A. Rozen, M. Skorupski, Ł. Sobczyk, M. Stasinska, L. K. Trocha, J. Weiner, A. Wierzbicka, J. Oleksyn. 2015. Effects of litter traits, soil biota, and soil chemistry on soil carbon stocks at a common garden with 14 tree species. Biogeochemistry DOI 10.1007/s10533-015-0083-6

Mueller, K. E., D. M. Eissenstat, C. W. Müller, J. Oleksyn, P. B. Reich, and K. H. Freeman. 2013. What controls the concentration of various aliphatic lipids in soil? Soil Biology & Biochemistry 63:14-17.

Mueller, K. E., D. Tilman, D. A. Fornara, and S. E. Hobbie. 2013. Root depth distribution and the diversity–productivity relationship in a long-term grassland experiment. Ecology 94:787–793.

Mueller, K. E., S. E. Hobbi, D. Tilman, and P. B. Reich. 2013. Effects of plant diversity, N fertilization, and elevated carbon dioxide on grassland soil N cycling in a long-term experiment. Global Change Biology 19:1249–1261, doi: 10.1111/gcb.12096

Reich, P. B., D. Tilman, F. Isbell, K. Mueller, S. E. Hobbie, D. F. B. Flynn, and N. Eisenhauer. 2012. Impacts of biodiversity loss escalate through time as redundancy fades. Science, 336:589-592.

Comas, L.H., K. E. Mueller, L. L. Taylor, P. E. Midford, H. S. Callahan, and D. J. Beerlingz. 2012. Evolutionary patterns and biogeochemical significance of angiosperm root traits. International Journal of Plant Science, 173:584-595

Mueller, K. E., P.J. Polissar, J. Oleksyn, K. H. Freeman. 2012. Differentiating temperate tree species and their organs using lipid biomarkers in leaves, roots and soil. Organic Geochemistry 52:130–141

Mueller, K. E., S. E. Hobbie, J. Oleksyn, P. B. Reich, and D. M. Eissenstat. 2012. Do evergreen and deciduous trees have different effects on net N mineralization in soil? Ecology, 93:1463–1472

Mueller, K. E., D. M. Eissenstat, S. E. Hobbie, J. Oleksyn, A. M. Jagodzinski, P. B. Reich, O. A. Chadwick, and J. Chorover. 2012. Tree species effects on coupled cycles of carbon, nitrogen, and acidity in mineral soils at a common garden experiment. Biogeochemistry, DOI 10.1007/s10533-011-9695-7

Freeman, K.H., K. E. Mueller, A. F. Diefendorf, S. L. Wing, and P. L. Koch. 2011. Clarifying the influence of water availability and plant types on carbon isotope discrimination by C3 plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108:E59–E60

Mueller,K.E., A. F. Diefendorf, K. H. Freeman, and D. M. Eissenstat. 2010. Appraising the roles of nutrient availability, global change, and functional traits during the angiosperm rise to dominance. Ecology Letters, 13:E1–E6, doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01455.x

Diefendorf, A.F., K. E. Mueller, S. L. Wing, P. L. Koch, and K. H. Freeman. 2010. Global patterns in leaf 13C discrimination and implications for studies of past and future climate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107:5738-5743.

Vonderheide, A.P., K. E. Mueller, J. Meija, and G.L. Welsh. 2008. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers: Causes for concern and knowledge gaps regarding environmental distribution, fate and toxicity.  Science of the Total Environment 400:425-436.

Mueller, K. E., and J. R. Shann. 2007. Effects of Tree Root-Derived Substrates and Inorganic Nutrients on Pyrene Mineralization in Rhizosphere and Bulk Soil. Journal of Environmental Quality 36:120–127.

Mueller, K. E., S. R. Muueller-Spitz, H. F. Henry, A.P. Vonderheide, R. S. Soman, B. K. Kinkle, and J. R. Shann. 2006. Fate of Pentabrominated Diphenyl Ethers in Soil: Abiotic Sorption, Plant Uptake, and the Impact of Interspecific Plant Interactions. Environmental Science & Technology 40:6662-6667.

Mueller, K. E., and J. R. Shann. 2005. PAH dissipation in spiked soil: Impacts of bioavailability, microbial activity, and trees. Chemosphere 64:1006–1014.





Last Modified: 7/25/2016
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