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Aimée Classen

Professor, Director of Aiken Forestry Sciences Laboratory, University of Vermont


2004 - Ph.D., Northern Arizona University


Ecosystem ecology, global change, plant-herbivore interactions, microbial ecology, nutrient cycling

Research in the Ecosystem Ecology Laboratory focuses on the interactions between above- and below-ground biotic communities and how and when changes in abiotic processes might alter those interactions. Over the few years, we have largely worked on three general questions: (1) How will the direct and interactive impacts of climate change factors alter the above- and below-ground composition and function of ecosystems?, (2) When do biotic components of ecosystems, such as microbial, mammal, and insect communities, shape ecosystem function and response following disturbance?, and (3) How do plant and soil microbial traits influence ecosystem function and ecosystem trajectories?


  • Breza L, Souza L, Sanders NJ, and Classen AT (2012) Within and between population variation in plant traits predicts ecosystem functions associated with a dominant plant species. Ecology and Evolution 10.1007/s11104-012-1201-z
  • Souza L, Weston DJ, Sanders NJ, Karve A, Crutsinger GM, and Classen AT (2011) Variation from individuals to ecosystems in the response to climatic warming: a test with Solidago altissima. Ecosphere 2(12):1-14.
  • de Graaff MA, Schadt CW, Rula K, Six J, Schweitzer JA, and Classen AT (2011) Elevated [CO2] and plant species diversity interact to slow root decomposition. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 43: 2347-2354.
  • Kardol P, Renolds WN, Norby RJ, and Classen AT (2011) Climate change effects on soil microarthropod abundance and community structure. Applied Soil Ecology47:37-44.
  • Castro HF, Classen AT, Austin EE, Norby RJ, and Schadt CW (2010) Soil microbial community responses to multiple experimental climate change drivers. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76(4):999-1007.
  • Kardol P, Cregger MA, Campany CE, and Classen AT (2010) Soil ecosystem functioning under climate change: plant species and community effects. Ecology91(3):767-781.
  • Crutsinger GM, Sanders NJ, and Classen AT (2009) Comparing intra- and inter-specific effects on litter decomposition in an old-field ecosystem. Basic and Applied Ecology 10:535-543.