Dean E. Pearson

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As primary producers, plants are known to influence higher trophic interactions by initiating food chains. However, as architects, plants may bypass consumers to directly affect predators with important but underappreciated trophic ramifications. Invasion of western North American grasslands by the perennial forb, spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa), has(More)
Although post-dispersal seed predators are common and often reduce seed density, their influence on plant population abundance remains unclear. On the one hand, increasing evidence suggests that many plant populations are seed limited, implying that seed predators could reduce plant abundance. On the other hand,.it is generally uncertain whether the(More)
Long-term studies have revealed population declines in fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. In birds, and particularly amphibians, these declines are a global phenomenon whose causes are often unclear. Among reptiles, snakes are top predators and therefore a decline in their numbers may have serious consequences for the functioning of many(More)
Biological control of exotic invasive plants using exotic insects is practiced under the assumption that biological control agents are safe if they do not directly attack non-target species. We tested this assumption by evaluating the potential for two host-specific biological control agents (Urophora spp.), widely established in North America for spotted(More)
The use of indices to evaluate small-mammal populations has been heavily criticized, yet a review of smallmammal studies published from 1996 through 2000 indicated that indices are still the primary methods employed for measuring populations. The literature review also found that 98% of the samples collected in these studies were too small for reliable(More)
Escape from specialist natural enemies is frequently invoked to explain exotic plant invasions, but little attention has been paid to how generalist consumers in the recipient range may influence invasion. We examined how seed preferences of the widespread generalist granivore Peromyscus maniculatus related to recruitment of the strongly invasive exotic(More)
In fire-adapted ecosystems, fire is presumed to be the dominant ecological force, and little is known about how consumer interactions influence forest regeneration. Here, we investigated seed predation by deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and its effects on recruitment of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) seedlings in(More)
Release of exotic insects as biological control agents is a common approach to controlling exotic plants. Though controversy has ensued regarding the deleterious direct effects of biological control agents to non-target species, few have examined the indirect effects of a ”well-behaved” biological control agent on native fauna. We studied a grassland in(More)
Exotic invasive plants present one of the greatest challenges to natural resource management. These weeds can alter entire communities and ecosystems, substantially degrading important ecosystem services such as forage for wild and domestic herbivores, water and soil quality, recreational values, and wildlife habitat. Traditionally, weed management in(More)