Picture of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Jonathan  Bennett

Jonathan Bennett Assistant Professor

3C24, 51 Campus Drive


Plant Sciences

Research Interests

My research focuses on understanding the factors influencing plant community structure and associated ecosystem functions. My previous work has focused on understanding how variation in plant competition, mycorrhizas, and plant-pollinator interactions alter plant communities, especially as it relates to invasion by non-native plants. Ultimately, the goal of my research is to make these interactions and their consequences more predictable by understanding how they relate to variation in plant traits. Most of this research has been conducted in grassland plant communities, and I have a growing interest in how grazing regulates the aforementioned interactions and the consequences for range health. I also dabble in plant-soil interactions in forested systems, and I remain keen on maintaining active research in this field.

Areas of specialization

  • Plant community ecology
  • Mycorrhizal ecology
  • Functional traits in plant ecology
  • Plant-soil interactions
  • Plant-pollinator interactions
  • Invasion ecology


BSc – St. Francis Xavier University

MSc – University of Windsor

PhD – University of Alberta

Selected Recent Publications

Bennett, J. A., H. Maherali, K. O. Reinhart, Y. Lekberg, M. M. Hart, and J. Klironomos. 2017. Plant-soil feedbacks and mycorrhizal type influence temperate forest population dynamics. Science 355:181-184.

Bennett, J. A., K. Riibak, R. Tamme, R. J. Lewis, and M. Pärtel. 2016. The reciprocal relationship between competition and intraspecific trait variation. Journal of Ecology 104:1410-1420.

Bennett, J. A., K. Riibak, E. Kook, Ü. Reier, R. Tamme, C. Guillermo Bueno, and M. Pärtel. 2016. Species pools, community completeness and invasion: disentangling diversity effects on the establishment of native and alien species. Ecology Letters 19:1496-1505.

Bennett, J. A., and J. F. Cahill. 2016. Fungal effects on plant-plant interactions contribute to grassland plant abundances: evidence from the field. Journal of Ecology 104:755-764.

Bennett, J. A., and M. Pärtel. 2017. Predicting species establishment using absent species and functional neighborhoods. Ecology and Evolution 7:2223-2237.

Selected Awards

Funding Sources