Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Rangeland Resources & Systems Research » People » David Hoover

David Hoover

Research Ecologist

David Hoover

Research Ecologist/Ecohydrologist


Contact Information




USDA - ARS        

Crops Research Laboratory

1701 Center Ave Fort Collins, CO 80526


Phone: 970-492-7126



Ph.D.   2014     Ecology                                               Colorado State University

M.S.     2008    Integrative Geosciences                        University of Connecticut

B.S.      2003    Ecology and Evolutionary Biology          University of Connecticut



Dr. David Hoover’s current research is focused on how land management and climatic variability influence the ecohydrology of semi-arid rangelands. He examines carbon and water dynamics through the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum at multiple temporal and spatial scales, ranging from plant-level ecophysiology through ecosystem-level exchange, to landscape-level patterns of water movement, storage and use. In addition to his research, Dr. Hoover seeks to provide science-based information for land managers to facilitate sustainable livestock production in a changing climate.



Raynor, E.J., Derner, J.D., Hartman, M.D., Dorich, C.D., Parton, W.J., Hendrickson, J.R., Harmoney, K.R., Brennan, J.R., Owensby, C.E., Kaplan, N.E., Lutz, S.M., Hoover, D.L. and Augustine, D.J. 2024. Secondary production of the central rangeland region of the United States. Ecological Applications: e2978.

Copeland, S.M., Hoover, D.L., Augustine, D.J., Bates, J.D., Boyd, C.S., Davies, K.W., Derner, J.D., Duniway, M.C., Porensky, L.M. and Vermeire, L.T. 2023. Variable effects of long-term livestock grazing across the western United States suggest diverse approaches are needed to meet global change challenges. Applied Vegetation Science 26(1):e12719.

Raynor, E.J., Derner, J.D., Augustine, D.J., Jablonski, K.E., Porensky, L.M., Ritten, J., Hoover, D.L. and Elliott, J. 2022. Balancing ecosystem service outcomes at the ranch-scale in shortgrass steppe: The role of grazing management. Rangelands 44: 391-397.

Spiegal, S., Webb, N.P., Boughton, E.H., Boughton, R.K., Brymer, A.B., Clark, P.E., Collins, C.D.H., Hoover, D.L., Kaplan, N., McCord, S.E., Meredith, G., Porensky, L.M., Toledo, D., Wilmer, H., Wulfhorst, J.D. and Bestelmeyer, B.T. 2022. Measuring the social and ecological performance of agricultural innovations on rangelands: Progress and plans for an indicator framework in the LTAR network. Rangelands 44: 334–344.

Hoover, D.L., Abendroth, L.J., Browning, D.M., Saha, A., Snyder, K., Wagle, P., Witthaus, L., Baffaut, C., Biederman, J.A., Bosch, D.D., Bracho, R., Clark, P., Ellsworth, P., Fay, P.A., Flerchinger, G., Kearney, S., Levers, L., Saliendra, N., Schmer, M., Schomberg, H., Scott, R.L. 2022. Indicators of water use efficiency across diverse agroecosystems and spatiotemporal scales. Science of The Total Environment 864, 160992.

Raynor, E.J., Derner, J.D., Porensky, L.M., Hoover, D.L., Augustine, D.J., Jablonski, K.E., Dwyer, A.M., and K.P. Davis. 2022. Grazing Management Practices for Grassland Bird Breeding Habitat in the Shortgrass Steppe. Colorado State University Extension Fact Sheet No. 1.636 Nature Resources Management.

Finger-Higgens, R., Duniway, M.C. , Ficka, S., Geigera, E.L., Hoover, D.L., Pfennigwerth, A.A.Van Scoyoc, M.W., Belnap, J. 2022. Decline in biological soil crust N-fixing lichens linked to increasing summertime temperatures. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119(16): e2120975119.

Hoover, D. L., A. A. Pfennigwerth, M. C. Duniway. 2021. Drought resistance and resilience: The role of soil moisture– plant interactions and legacies in a dryland ecosystem.  Journal of Ecology, DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.13681

Cheng, G.,  R.D. Harmel , L. Ma, J.D. Derner,  D.J. Augustine, P.N.S. Bartling, Q. X. Fang, J.R. Williams, C.J. Zilverberg, R.B. Boone, D. Hoover, Q. Yu. 2021. Evaluation of APEX modifications to simulate forage production for grazing management decision-support in the Western US Great Plains. Agricultural Systems 191:103139,

Hoover, D. L., W. K. Lauenroth, D. G. Milchunas, L. M. Porensky, D. J. Augustine, and J. D. Derner. 2021. Sensitivity of productivity to precipitation amount and pattern varies by topographic position in a semiarid grassland. Ecosphere 12(2): e03376. 10.1002/ecs2.3376

Hoover, D. L., B. Bestelmeyer, N. B. Grimm, T. E. Huxman, S. C. Reed, O. Sala, T. R. Seastedt, H. Wilmer, And S. Ferrenberg. 2020.  Traversing the Wasteland: A Framework for Assessing Ecological Threats to Drylands.  BioScience XX: 1–13, doi:10.1093/biosci/biz126

 Smith, M. D., S. E. Koerner, A. K. Knapp, M. L. Avolio, F. A. Chaves, E. M. Denton, J. Dietrich, D. J. Gibson, J. Gray, A. M. Hoffman, D. L. Hoover, K. J. Komatsu, A. Silletti, K. R. Wilcox, Q. Yu| J. M. Blair. 2020. Mass ratio effects underlie ecosystem responses to environmental change. Journal of Ecology 00:1–10., DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.13330

Raynor E. J., J. D. Derner, D. L. Hoover, W. J. Parton, and D. J. Augustine. 2020. Large-scale and local climatic controls on large herbivore productivity: implications for adaptive rangeland management. Ecological Applications 00(00):e02053. 10.1002/eap.2053

Winkler, D. E., J. Belnap, D. Hoover, S. C. Reed, M. C. Duniway. 2019. Shrub persistence and increased grass mortality in response to drought in dryland systems. Global Change Biology, 2019;00: 1–15.

Hoover D.L., K. Koriakin, J. Albrigtsen, and T. Ocheltree. 2019.  Comparing water-related plant functional traits among dominant grasses of the Colorado Plateau: Implications for drought resistance. Plant Soil,

Hoover, D. L., K. R. Wilcox, and K. E. Young. 2018. Experimental droughts with rainout shelters: a methodological review. Ecosphere 9(1):e02088. 10.1002/ecs2.2088

Hoover D.L., M. Duniway,  J. Belnap. 2017. Testing the apparent resistance of three dominant plants to chronic drought on the Colorado Plateau. Journal of Ecology, 105:152-162.

Knapp A.K., M. Avolio, C. Beier, C.J.W.  Carroll, S.L. Collins, J.S. Dukes, L.H. Fraser, R. Griffin-Nolan, D.L. Hoover, M.E. Loik, R.P. Phillips, A. Post, O.E.Sala, I. Slette, L. Yahdjian, M.D. Smith. 2016.  Pushing precipitation to the extreme in distributed experiments: recommendations for simulating wet and dry years. Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.13504.

Hoover, D.L., A.K. Knapp, M.D. Smith. 2016.  Photosynthetic responses to an experimental heat wave are mediated by soil water availability in a mesic grassland. Oecologia, 10.1007/s00442-016-3755-6.

Smith M.D., A.K. Knapp, S.L. Collins, D.E. Burkepile,  K.P.  Kirkman, S.E.  Koerner, D.I. Thompson, J.M. Blair, C.E. Burns, S. Eby, E.J. Forrestel, R.W.S. Fynn, N. Govender, N. Hagenah, D.L. Hoover, K.R. Wilcox. 2016. Shared drivers but divergent ecological dynamics: insights from long-term experiments in savanna grasslands. BioScience, 66:666-682.

Hoover D.L, .A.K. Knapp, M.D. Smith. 2016. The immediate and prolonged effects of climate extremes on soil respiration in a mesic grassland. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences, 10.1002/2015JG003256:1-11.

Hoover D.L., .B.M. Rogers. 2016. Not all droughts are created equal: the impacts of drought frequency and magnitude on grassland carbon cycling. Global Change Biology, 22:1809-1820.

Koerner S.E., M.L. Avoilio, C.C. Chang, J. Gray,  Hoover D.L., M.D. Smith. 2015. Invasibility of a mesic grassland depends on time-scale of fluctuating resources. Journal of Ecology, 103:1538-1546.

Hoover D.L., M. Duniway, J. Belnap. 2015. Pulse-drought atop press-drought: Unexpected plant responses and implications for dryland ecosystems. Oecologia, 179:1211-1221.

Knapp A, D.L. Hoover, K. Wilcox, M. Avolio, S. Koerner , K.  La Pierre, M.  Loik ,  L. Yiqi, O.  Sala, M. Smith. 2015. Characterizing differences in precipitation regimes of extreme wet and dry years: Implications for climate change experiments. Global Change Biology, 21:2624-2633.

Hoover D.L., A.K. Knapp, M.D. Smith. 2014. Resistance and resilience of a grassland ecosystem to climate extremes. Ecology, 95: 2646-2656.

Smith G.N., V.L. Rodgers, E.R. Brzostek, A. Kulmatiski, M.L. Avolio, S.E.Koerner, D.L. Hoover, K. Grant, A. Jentsch, S. Fatichi, D. Niyogi. 2014.  Towards a better integration of biological data from precipitation manipulation experiments into Earth system models. Reviews of Geophysics, 15: 412-434.

Hoover D.L., A.K. Knapp, M.D. Smith. 2014. Contrasting sensitivities of two dominant C4 grasses to extreme heat waves and drought. Plant Ecology, 215:721-731.

Knapp A.K., D.L. Hoover, J.M. Blair, G. Buis, D.E.  Burkepile,  A. Chamberlin, S.L. Collins, R.W.S. Fynn, K. Kirkman, M.D. Smith, D. Blake, N. Govender, P. O’Neal, T.  Schreck, A.  Zinn. 2012.A test of two mechanisms proposed to optimize grassland aboveground primary productivity in response to grazing.  Journal of Plant Ecology, 5: 357-365.