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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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David Augustine



Dr. David Augustine
Landscape Ecologist
Crops Research Laboratory
1701 Center Ave.
Fort Collins, CO 80526
PHONE: 970-492-7125
FAX:     970-492-7160

Degrees    Research    Publications




 B.S.  Biology  1994  Duke University
 B.A.  Environmental Science and Policy    
 M.S.  Wildlife Conservation  1997  University of Minnesota
 Ph.D.  Biology  2002  Syracuse University


Research Interests:

Dr. Augustine's research interests include plant-herbivore interactions, the ecology and management of semi-arid rangelands, and conservation biology.  His current research examines interactions among cattle, prescribed fire, and prairie dogs in shortgrass steppe, and the effects of these disturbance processes on vegetation heterogeneity and native grassland birds.




Augustine, D.J. J. D. Derner, D. Milchunas, D. Blumenthal & L. M. Porensky. 2017. Grazing moderates increases in C3 grass abundance over seven decades across a soil texture gradient in shortgrass steppe. Journal of Vegetation Science,Doi: 10.1111/jvs.12508

Carver, A.R., J. D. Ross, D.J. Augustine, S.K. Skagen, A.M. Dwyer, D. F. Tomback & M. B. Wunder. 2017. Weather radar data correlate to hail-induced mortality in grassland birds. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation. doi: 10.1002/rse2.41

Porensky,L.M., K. E. Mueller, D. J. Augustine and J. D. Derner. 2016. Thresholds and gradients in a semi-arid grassland: long-term grazing treatments induce slow, continuous and reversible vegetation change. Journal of Applied Ecology, 53:1013–1022

J. D. Derner and D. J. Augustine. 2016. Adaptive Management for Drought on Rangelands. Rangelands 211-215.

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.

Fynn, R. W. S., D. J. Augustine, M. J. S. Peel and M. de Garine-Wichatitsky. 2016. Strategic management of livestock to improve biodiversity conservation in African savannahs: a conceptual basis for wildlife-livestock coexistence. Journal of Applied Ecology, 53:388-397

Hermance, J.F., D. J. Augustine & J. D. Derner. 2015. Quantifying characteristic growth dynamics in a semi-arid grassland ecosystem by predicting short-term NDVI phenology from daily rainfall: a simple four parameter coupled-reservoir model. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 36:5637-5663,

Ford, A. T., J. R. Goheen, D. J. Augustine, M. F. Kinnaird, T. G. O'brien, T. M. Palmer, R. M. Pringle, and R. Woodroffe. 2015. Recovery of African wild dogs suppresses prey but does not trigger a trophic cascade. Ecology, 96: 2705-2714.

Augustine, D. J., J. D. Derner. 2015. Patch-burn grazing management, vegetation heterogeneity, and avian responses in a semi-arid grassland. The Journal of Wildlife Management; DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.909

Augustine D.J., J. D. Derner. 2015. Patch burn grazing management in a semiarid grassland: Consequences for pronghorn, plains pricklypear, and wind erosion. Rangeland Ecology & Management 68:40-47

Wiggins, D. A., G. D. Schnell, and D. J. Augustine. 2014. Distribution and nesting success of ferruginous hawks and Swanson's hawks on an agricultural landscape in the great plains. The Southwestern Naturalist 59:356-363

Augustine, D.J., J. D. Derner, and J. K. Detling. 2014. Testing for Thresholds in a Semiarid Grassland: The Influence of Prairie Dogs and Plague. Rangeland Ecology & Management, 67:701-709.

Moran, M. S., G. E. Ponce-Campos, A. Huete, M. P. Mcclaran, Y .  Zhang,  E. P. Hamerlynck, D. J. Augustine, S. A. Gunter, S. G. Kitchen, D. P. C. Peters, P. J. Starks, And M. Hernandez. 2014. Functional response of U.S. grasslands to the early 21st-century drought.Ecology, 95: 2121-2133.

Augustine, D. J., J. D. Derner, and D. P. Smith. 2014. Characteristics of burns conducted under modified prescriptions to mitigate limited fuels in a semi-arid grassland. Fire Ecology  10:36-47, doi: 10.4996/fireecology.1002036

Augustine, D.J.,and S.K. Skagen. 2014. Mountain Plover nest survival in relation to prairie dog and fire dynamics in shortgrass steppe. The Journal of Wildlife Management 78:595-602; DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.700

Augustine, D. J., P. Brewer, D. M. Blumenthal, J. D. Derner, and J. C. von Fischer. 2014. Prescribed fire, soil inorganic nitrogen dynamics, and plant responses in a semiarid grassland. Journal of Arid Environments 104:59-66.

Augustine, D. J., and J. D. Derner. 2014. Controls over the strength and timing of fire-grazer interactions in a semi-arid rangeland. Journal of Applied Ecology 51:242-250.

Derner, J. D.,  D. J. Augustine, and E. Kachergis. 2014. Cattle as Ecosystem Engineers: New grazing management enhances rangeland biodiversity. Western Confluence, winter,10-13.

Sankaran M., D. J. Augustine, and J. Ratnam. 2013.Native ungulates of diverse body sizes collectively regulate long-term woody plant demography and structure of a semi-arid savanna. Journal of Ecology 101:1389-1399.

Rebollo, S., D. G. Milchunas , P. Stapp , D. J. Augustine, and J. D. Derner. 2013. Disproportionate effects of non-colonial small herbivores on structure and diversity of grassland dominated by large herbivores. Oikos 122:1757-1767.

Augustine, D. J., and T. L. Springer. 2013. Competition and facilitation between a native and a domestic herbivore: trade-offs between forage quantity and quality. Ecological Applications 23:850-863.

Augustine, D. J., and J. D. Derner. 2013. Assessing herbivore foraging behavior with GPS collars in a semiarid grassland. Sensors 13:3711-3723; doi:10.3390/s130303711

Augustine, D. J., D. G. Milchunas, and J. D. Derner. 2013. Spatial redistribution of nitrogen by cattle in semiarid rangeland. Rangeland Ecology & Management 66:56-62.

Augustine, D. J., and B. W. Baker. 2013 Associations of grassland bird communities with black-tailed prairie dogs in the North American Great Plains. Conservation Biology 27:324-334, DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12013

Baker,B. W., D. J. Augustine, J. A. Sedgwick, and B. C. Lubow. 2013. Ecosystem engineering varies spatially: a test of the vegetation modification paradigm for prairie dogs. Ecography 36:230-239

Derner, J. D., D. J. Augustine, J. C. Ascough II, and L. R. Ahuja. 2012. Opportunities for increasing utility of models for rangeland management. Rangeland Ecology Management 65:623-631

Sidle, J. G., D. J. Augustine, D. H. Johnson, S. D. Miller, J. F. Cully, Jr., and R. P. Reading. 2012. Aerial surveys adjusted by ground surveys to estimate area occupied by black-tailed prairie dog colonies.  Wildlife Society Bulletin 36:248-256

Dijkstra,F. A., D. J. Augustine, P. Brewer, and  J. C. von Fischer. 2012. Nitrogen cycling and water pulses in semiarid grasslands:are microbial and plant processes temporally asynchronous? Oecologia 170:799-808

Augustine, D. J., and J. D. Derner. 2012. Disturbance regimes and mountain plover habitat in shortgrass steppe: large herbivore grazing does not substitute for prairie dog grazing or fire. The Journal of Wildlife Management 76:721-728.

Augustine, D. J., D. T. Booth, S. E. Cox, and J. D. Derner. 2012. Grazing intensity and spatial heterogeneity in bare soil in a grazing-resistant grassland. Rangeland Ecology & Management 65:39-46.

Augustine, D. J., K. E. Veblen, J. R. Goheen, C. Riginos, and T. P. Young. 2011. Pathways for positive cattle-wildlife interactions in semiarid rangelands. In: N. Georgiadis (editor). Conserving Wildlife in African Landscapes: Kenya's Ewaso Ecosystem. Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, Washington D. C. pp 55-71.

Augustine, D. J., F. A. Dijkstra, E. W. Hamilton III, and J. A. Morgan. 2011. Rhizosphere interactions, carbon allocation, and nitrogen acquisition of two perennial North American grasses in response to defoliation and elevated atmospheric CO2. Oecologia 165:755-770.

Augustine, D. J. 2011. Habitat selection by mountain plovers in shortgrass steppe. Journal of Wildlife Management 75:297-304.

Toombs, T. P., J. D. Derner, D. J. Augustine, B. Krueger, and S. Gallagher. 2010. Managing for biodiversity and livestock - A scale-dependent approach for promoting vegetation heterogeneity in western Great Plains grasslands. SRM-Ranglands June:10-15.

Augustine, D. J. 2010. Spatial versus temporal variation in precipitation in a semiarid ecosystem. Landscape Ecology 25:913-925.

Augustine, D. J.  2010.  Response of native ungulates to drought in semi-arid Kenyan rangeland.  African Journal of Ecology 48:1009-1020

Augustine, D. J., J. D. Derner, and D. G. Milchunas. 2010. Prescribed fire, grazing, and herbaceous plant production in shortgrass steppe. Rangeland Ecology Management 63:317-323

Blumenthal, D., and D. Augustine. 2009. Plant interactions with herbivores. In: ENCYCLOPEDIA OF LIFE SCIENCES. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester [Doi:10.1002/9780470015902.a0003203.pub2]

Riginos, C, J. B. Grace, D. J. Augustine, and T.P. Young.  2009.  Local versus landscape-scale effects of savanna trees on grasses.  Journal of Ecology 97:1337-1345. 

Derner, J. D.,  W. K. Lauenroth, P. Stapp, and D. J. Augustine. 2009. Livestock as ecosystem engineers for grassland bird habitat in the western great plains of North America. Rangeland Ecology & Management 62:111-118.

Derner, J., D. Augustine, and B. Lauenroth. 2009. Conservation grazing management. Cow Country, Winter 139:10-11.

Augustine, D. J., and D. G. Milchunas. 2009. Vegetation responses to prescribed burning of grazed shortgrass steppe. Rangeland Ecology & Management 62:89-97.

Augustine, D. J., S. J. Dinsmore, M. B. Wunder, V. J. Dreitz, and F. L. Knopf.  2008.  Response of mountain plovers to plague-driven dynamics of black-tailed prairie dog colonies.  Landscape Ecology 23:689-697.  

Thompson,C. M., D. J. Augustine, and D. M. Mayers. 2008. Swift fox response to prescribed fire in shortgrass steppe. Western North American Naturalist 68:251-256

Augustine, D. J., M. R. Matchett, T. B. Toombs, J. F. Cully, T. L. Johnson, and J. G. Sidle. 2008.  Spatiotemporal dynamics of black-tailed prairie dog colonies affected by plague.  Landscape Ecology 23:255-267.

Young, T. P., and D. J. Augustine. 2007. Interspecific variation in the reproductive response of acacia species to protection from large mammalian herbivores. Biotropica 39:559-561

Augustine, D. J., J. F. Cully, and T. L. Johnson. 2007.  Influence of fire on black-tailed prairie dog colony expansion in shortgrass steppe.  Rangeland Ecology & Management 60:538-542.

Augustine, D. J., and S. J. McNaughton.  2006.  Interactive effects of large herbivores, soil fertility and variable rainfall on ecosystem processes in a semi-arid savanna.  Ecosystems  9:1242-1256.

Sankaran, M., N. P. Hanan, R.J . Scholes, J. Ratnam, and D.J. Augustine. 2005.  Determinants of woody cover in African savannas.  Nature 438:846-849. 

Augustine, D. J., and S. J. McNaughton. 2004.  Temporal asynchrony in soil nutrient dynamics and plant production in a semi-arid ecosystem.  Ecosystems 7:829-840.

Augustine, D. J. 2004. Influence of cattle management on habitat selection by impala on central Kenyan rangeland.  Journal of Wildlife Management 68:916-923.

Augustine, D. J., and S. J. McNaughton. 2004.  Regulation of shrub dynamics by native browsing ungulates on East African rangeland.  Journal of Applied Ecology 41:45-58. 

Sankaran, M. S., and D. J. Augustine. 2004.  Large herbivores suppress decomposer abundance in a semiarid grazing ecosystem.  Ecology 41:45-58. 

Augustine, D. J., and D. S. deCalesta.  2003.  Defining deer overabundance and threats to forest communities: from individual plants to landscape structure. Ecoscience 10: 472-486.

Augustine, D. J., S. J. McNaughton, and D. A. Frank.  2003.  Feedbacks between large herbivores and soil nutrients in a managed savanna ecosystem. Ecological Applications 13:1325-1337.

Augustine, D. J. 2003.  Long-term, livestock-mediated redistribution of nitrogen and phosphorous in an East African savanna.  Journal of Applied Ecology 40:137-149.

Augustine, D. J.  2003.  Spatial heterogeneity in the herbaceous layer of a semi-arid    savanna ecosystem.Plant Ecology 167:319-332.

Augustine, D. J., and D. A. Frank.  2001.  Effects of migratory grazers on spatial heterogeneity of soil nitrogen properties in a grassland ecosystem.Ecology 82:3149-3162.

Augustine, D. J., and S. J. McNaughton.  1998.  Ungulate effects on the functional species composition of plant communities: herbivore selectivity and plant tolerance.  Journal of Wildlife Management  62:1165-1183.

Augustine, D. J., L. E. Frelich, and P. A. Jordan.  1998.  Evidence for two alternate stable states in an ungulate grazing system.  Ecological Applications 8:1260-1269.

Augustine, D. J., and P. A. Jordan.  1998.  Predictors of white-tailed deer grazing intensity in fragmented deciduous forests.  Journal of Wildlife Management 62:1076-1085.  

Augustine, D. J., and L. E. Frelich.  1998.  Effects of white-tailed deer on populations of an understory forb in fragmented deciduous forestsConservation Biology 12:995-1004

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