Sarah Neumann

Research Assistant Professor, Forest Ecology

Sarah Neumann



Ph.D. in Forestry and in Ecology, Evolution and Behavioral Biology, Michigan State University, 2008
B.S. in Biology, University of the South, 1999

Research Interests

I am a forest ecologist whose research (both greenhouse and field based) focuses on plant-soil feedbacks as a mechanism for shaping community composition, structure and productivity of temperate and tropical forests.  In particular, I am interested in feedbacks between plants and their soil community (both damping-off and mycorrhizal fungi as well as abiotic mediated feedbacks) and the impact that these feedbacks can have on maintenance of tree species diversity, exotic plant invasions as well as native species shifting range boundaries due to climate change.  I also investigate how abiotic factors (e.g. climate, light, soil fertility or moisture) can impact the occurrence or strength of these feedbacks. I use a mechanistic approach in my research to investigate the causes or processes underlying patterns occurring at the community level.

Selected Publications

I. Ibáñez & S. McCarthy-Neumann. The rise of thresholds and nonlinearities in tree species recruitment: direct, indirect and synergistic effects of driving variables. (In review at Journal of Ecology).

McCarthy-Neumann, S. & I. Ibáñez. Plant-soil feedback links negative distance dependence and light gradient partitioning processes during seedling establishment. (In press at Ecology).

McCarthy-Neumann, S. & I. Ibáñez. 2012. Tree range expansion may be enhanced by escape from negative plant-soil feedbacks. Ecology 93: 2637-2649.

McCarthy-Neumann, S. & R.K. Kobe. 2010. Conspecific plant-soil feedbacks reduce survivorship and growth of tropical tree seedlings. Journal of Ecology 98: 396-407.

McCarthy-Neumann, S. & R.K. Kobe. 2010. Conspecific and heterospecific plant-soil feedbacks influence survivorship and growth of temperate tree seedlings. Journal of Ecology 98: 408-418.

McCarthy-Neumann, S. & R.K. Kobe. 2008. Tolerance of soil pathogens co-varies with shade tolerance across species of tropical tree seedlings. Ecology 89: 1883-1892.

Wolfe, W., Evans, J., McCarthy, S., Gain, W. & Bryan, B. 2004. Tree-regeneration and mortality patterns and hydrologic change in a forested karst wetland- Sinking Pond, Arnold Air Force Base, TN. USGS. Water-Resources Investigations Report.

McCarthy, S. & J. Evans. 2000. Population dynamics of overcup oak (Quercus lyrata) in a seasonally flooded karst depression. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 127:9-18.