Rice University
BioSciences at Rice

Evan Siemann

Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Professor of BioSciences


Our group is investigating how local environmental factors (e.g. enemies, resources, disturbance regime and recruitment limitation) interact with post-invasion adaptation to determine the likelihood and severity of Chinese Tallow Tree (Sapium sebiferum) invasions into East Texas coastal prairie, mesic forests, and floodplain forests. We also study the ecosystem level impacts of exotic tree invasions into coastal prairies. We are engaged in a number of applied research projects related to controlling exotic plant and animal invasions into Texas ecosystems. A primary focus of our current research is the role of post-introduction evolutionary changes in Chinese Tallow Tree invasions.

Google Scholar Profile for Evan Siemann

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Zhang L. Zou JW, Siemann E. 2017. Interactive effects of elevated CO2 and nitrogen deposition accelerate litter decomposition cycles of invasive tree (Triadica sebifera) Forest Ecology and Management 385: 189-197

Siemann E, DeWalt SJ, Zou JW, Rogers WE. 2016. An experimental test of the EICA Hypothesis in multiple ranges: invasive populations outperform those from the native range independent of insect herbivore suppression. Annals of Botany Plants doi:10.1093/aobpla/plw087

Zenni RD, Dickie IA, Wingfield MJ, Hirsch H, Crous CJ, Meyerson LA, Burgess TI, Zimmermann TG, Klock MM, Siemann E, Erfmeier A, Aragon R, Moniti L, Le Roux JJ. 2016. Evolutionary dynamics of tree invasions: complementing the unified framework for biological invasions. Annals of Botany Plants. doi:10.1093/aobpla/plw085

Li X. Guo W, Siemann E, Huang W, Ding JQ. 2016. Plant genotypes affect aboveground and belowground herbivore interactions by changing chemical defense. Oecologia 182:1107-1115

Zhang L., X. Ma, H. Wang, S. Liu, JW Zou, and E. Siemann. 2016. Soil respiration and litter decomposition rate increased following perennial forbs invasion into an annual grassland. Pedosphere 26: 567-576

Lu X., E. Siemann, X. Shao, H. Wei, and J. Ding. 2015. Effects of warming and nitrogen on above and belowground herbivores vary between invasive and native plants. Biological Invasions 17:2881-2892

Yang, Q., L. Bo, and E. Siemann. 2015. Positive and negative biotic interactions and invasive Triadica sebiferatolerance to salinity: a cross-continent comparative study. Oikos 124:216-224 

Zhang L., S. Liu, Y. Zhang, N. Chen, H. Wang, Z. Gao, Y. Guo, JW Zou, and E. Siemann. 2014. Decomposition of Phragmites australis litter retarded by invasive Solidago canadensis in mixtures: an antagonistic non-additive effect. Scientific Reports 4, Article number: 5488, doi:10.1038/srep05488

Gu X., E. Siemann,L. Zhu, S. Gao, Y. Wang, and J. Ding. 2014. Invasive plant population and herbivore identity affect latex induction. Ecological Entomology 39:1-9.

Carrillo J., D. McDermott, and E. Siemann. 2014. Loss of specificity: Native but not invasive populations vary in tolerance to different herbivores. Oecologia 174: 863-871.

Zhang L., H. Wang, JW Zou, W.E. Rogers, and E. Siemann. 2014. Non-native plant litter enhances soil carbon dioxide emissions in an invaded annual grassland. PLoS-ONE DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092301    

Huang, W., E. Siemann, L. Xiao, X. Yang, and J. Ding. 2014. Species-specific defense responses facilitate conspecifics and inhibit heterospecifics in above-belowground herbivore interactions. Nature Communications 5: 4851. doi:10.1038/ncomms5851

Zhang L., Y. Zhang, JW Zou, and E. Siemann. 2013. Chinese tallow trees (Triadica sebifera) from the invasive range outperform those from the native range with an active soil community or phosphorus fertilization. PLoS ONE 8(9): e74233. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074233

Lu X., E. Siemann, X. Shao, H. Weiand J. Ding. 2013. Climate warming affects biological invasions by shifting interactions of plants and herbivores. Global Change Biology 19:2339-2347.

Huang W., E. Siemann, X. Yang, G.S. Wheeler and J. Ding. 2013. Facilitation and inhibition: changes in plant nitrogen and secondary metabolites mediate interactions between above- and belowground herbivores. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 280:20131318.       

Chen L., C.Tiu, S. Peng, and E. Siemann. 2013. Phenotypic plasticity and invasion: invasive populations of Triadica sebifera have performance advantage over native populations only in low soil salinity. PLoS-one 8(9): e74961. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074961

Yang Q., J. Carrillo, H. Jin, L. Shang, S.M. Hovick, S. Nijjer, C.Gabler, B. Li, E. Siemann. 2013. Plant-soil interactions and Triadica sebifera invasion: a cross-continent comparative study. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 65:78-85.

Gabler C.A. and E. Siemann. 2013. Rapid ontogenetic niche expansions in invasive Chinese tallow tree permit establishment in unfavorable but variable environments and can be exploited to streamline restoration Journal of Applied Ecology 50:748–756.

Wang Y., J. Carrillo, E. Siemann, G.S. Wheeler, L. Zhu, X. Guand J. Ding. 2013. Specificity of extrafloral nectar induction by herbivores differs among native and invasive populations. Annals of Botany 112:751-756.

Horn K.C., M.D. Eubanks, and E. Siemann. The effect of diet on intra- and interspecific interactions of Caribbean crazy ants (Nylanderia pubens) PLoS ONE 8(6): e66912. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066912

Gabler C.A. and E. Siemann. 2013. Timing of favorable conditions, competition and fertility interact to govern recruitment of invasive Chinese tallow tree in stressful environments. PLoS ONE 8(8): e71446. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0071446

Carrillo J., Y. Wang, J. Ding, K. Klootwyk, and E. Siemann. 2012. Decreased indirect defense in the invasive tree, Triadica sebifera. Plant Ecology 213:945-954.

Park I., S.J. DeWalt, E. Siemann, and W.E. Rogers. 2012. Differences in cold hardiness between introduced populations of an invasive tree. Biological Invasions 14:2029-2038.

Chamberlain S., S. Hovick, C. Dibble, N. Rasmussen, B. Van Allen, B. Maitner, J. Ahern, L. Bell-Dereske, J. Carrillo, M. Meza-Lopez, C. Roy, E. Siemann, M. Lajeunesse, K. Whitney. 2012. Does phylogeny matter? Assessing the impact of phylogenetic information in ecological meta-analysis. Ecology Letters 15:627-636.

Gabler C.A. and E. Siemann. 2012. Environmental variability and ontogenetic niche shifts in exotic plants may govern reinvasion pressure in restorations of invaded ecosystems. Restoration Ecology 20:545-550.

Wundrow E.J., J.A. Carrillo, C.A. Gabler, K.C. Horn, and E. Siemann. 2012. Facilitation and competition among invasive plants: a field experiment with alligatorweed and water hyacinth. PLoS ONE 7(10): e48444. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048444

Wang Y., E. Siemann, G.S. Wheeler, L. Zhu, X. Gu, J. Ding. 2012. Genetic variation in anti-herbivore chemical defenses in an invasive plant. Journal of Ecology 100:894-904.

Carrillo J., Y. Wang, J. Ding, E. Siemann. 2012. Induction of extrafloral nectar depends on herbivore type in invasive and native Chinese tallow seedlings. Basic and Applied Ecology 13:449-457.

Huang W., E. Siemann, J. Carrillo, and J. Ding. 2012. Interactive effects of herbivory and competition intensity determine invasive plant performance. Oecologia 170: 373-382.

Huang W., J.A. Carrillo, J. Ding, and E. Siemann. 2012. Invader partitions ecological and evolutionary responses to above and belowground herbivory. Ecology 93:2343-2352.

Carrillo J.A., A. Danielson-François, E. Siemann, and L. Meffert. 2012. Density dependent sexual conflict in the housefly, Musca domestica. Journal of Ethology 30:247-254.

DeWalt S.J., E. Siemann, W.E. Rogers. 2011. Geographic distribution of genetic variation in introduced populations of Chinese Tallow Tree. American Journal of Botany 98: 1128-1138.

Wang Y., W. Huang, E. Siemann, J. Zou, G.S. Wheeler, J. Carrillo, and J. Ding. 2011. Lower herbivore resistance and higher tolerance in invasive plants: biological control agents reach high densities but exert weak control of their host plants. Ecological Applications 21: 729-738.

Hartley M., W.E. Rogers, and E. Siemann. 2010. Comparisons of arthropod assemblages on an invasive and native trees: abundance, diversity and damage Arthropod-Plant Interactions 4:237-245.

Zhang W., P.F. Hendrix, B.A. Snyder, M. Molina, J. Li, X. Rao, E. Siemann, and S. Fu. Dietary flexibility aids Asian earthworm invasion in North American forests. Ecology 91:2070-2079.

Nijjer S., W.E. Rogers and E. Siemann. 2010. Impacts of fertilization on mycorrhizal allocation and effectiveness in Western Gulf Coast grasslands. American Midland Naturalist 163:124-133.   

Huang W. E. Siemann, G.S. Wheeler, J. Zou, J. Carrilloand J. Ding. 2010. Resource allocation to defense and growth are driven by different responses to generalist and specialist herbivory in an invasive plant. Journal of Ecology 98:1157-1167.

Siemann E., J Carrillo, C. Gabler, R. Zipp, and W.E. Rogers. Experimental test of the impacts of feral hogs on forest dynamics and processes in the southeastern US. Forest Ecology and Management 258: 546-553.

Zou J., W.E. Rogers and E. Siemann. 2009. Plasticity of Sapium sebiferum seedling growth to light and water resources: Inter- and intraspecific comparisons. Basic and Applied Ecology 10:79-88. 

Zou J., E. Siemann.,W.E. Rogers and S.J. DeWalt. 2008 Decreased resistance and increased tolerance to native herbivores of the invasive plant Sapium sebiferum. Ecography 31: 663-671.

Rua M.A., S. Nijjer, A. Johnson, W.E. Rogers, and E. Siemann..2008. Experimental approaches for testing allelopathy: a case study using the invader Sapium sebiferum. Allelopathy Journal 22:1-13.

Horn K.C., S.D. Johnson, K.M. Boles, A. Moore, E. Siemann, and C.A. Gabler. 2008. Factors affecting hatching success of golden apple snail eggs: effects of water immersion and cannibalism. Wetlands 28:544-549.

Zou J., W.E. Rogers and E. Siemann. 2008. Increased competitive ability and herbivory tolerance of the invasive plant Sapium sebiferum. Biological Invasions 10:291-302.

Nijjer S., W.E. Rogers, C.A. Lee, and E. Siemann. 2008. The effects of soil biota and fertilization on the success of Sapium sebiferum. Applied Soil Ecology 38:1-11.

Zou J., W.E. Rogers and E. Siemann. 2007. Differences in morphological and physiological traits between native and invasive populations of Sapium sebiferum Functional Ecology 21: 721-730.

Siemann E., W.E.Rogers and J.B. Grace. 2007. Effects of nutrient loading and changing frequencies of extreme rainfall events on coastal tall grass prairies: invasion intensity, vegetation responses and C and N distribution. Global Change Biology 13: 2184–2192.

Nijjer S., W.E. Rogers and E. Siemann. 2007. Negative plant-soil feedbacks reduce the long-term success of an invasive tree. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 274: 2621–2627.

Hartley M., W.E. Rogers, J.B. Grace and E. Siemann. 2007. Responses of prairie arthropod communities to fire and fertilizer: balancing plant and arthropod conservation. American Midland Naturalist 157:92-105.

Siemann E. and W.E. Rogers. 2007. The role of soil resources in an exotic tree invasion in Texas coastal prairie. Journal of Ecology 95: 689-697.

Zou J., W.E. Rogers, S.J. DeWalt and E. Siemann.2006. Chinese tallow tree (Sapium sebiferum) ecotype effects on ecosystem carbon and nitrogen processes. Oecologia 150:272-281.

DeWalt S.J., E. Siemann, and W.E. Rogers. 2006. Microsatellite markers for an invasive tetraploid tree, Chinese Tallow (Triadica sebifera). Molecular Ecology Notes 6:505-507.         

Siemann E., W.E. Rogers and S.J. DeWalt. 2006. Rapid adaptation of an invasive plant and its insect herbivores. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 273:2763-2769

Siemann E. and W.E. Rogers. 2006. Recruitment limitation, seedling performance and persistence of exotic tree monocultures. Biological Invasions 8:979-991

Donahue C., W.E. Rogers, and E. Siemann. 2006. Restoring an invaded prairie by mulching live Sapium sebiferum (Chinese tallow trees): effects of mulch on Sapium seed germination. Natural Areas Journal 26:244-253.

Rogers W.E. and E. Siemann. 2005. Herbivory tolerance in native and invasive ecotypes of Chinese tallow tree (Sapium sebiferum) under different resource levels: support for the Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability hypothesis Plant Ecology 181:57-68.

Bossdorf O., H. Auge, L. Lafuma, W.E. Rogers, E. Siemann, and D. Prati. 2005. Phenotypic and genetic differentiation in native versus introduced plant populations Oecologia 144: 1-11

Hartley M.K., S.J. DeWalt, W.E. Rogers and E. Siemann. 2004. Characterization of arthropod assemblage supported by the Chinese Tallow tree (Sapium sebiferum). Texas Journal of Science 56: 369-382. 

Lankau R.L., W.E. Rogers and E. Siemann. 2004. Constraints on the utilization of the invasive Chinese Tallow Tree (Sapium sebiferum) by generalist native herbivores in coastal prairies. Ecological Entomology 29:66-75.

Donahue C., W.E. Rogers and E. Siemann. 2004. Effects of temperature and mulch depth on Chinese Tallow Tree (Sapium sebiferum) seed germination. Texas Journal of Science 56: 347-356.

Butterfield B.J., W.E. Rogers and E. Siemann. 2004. Growth of Chinese tallow tree (Sapium sebiferum) and four native trees along a water gradient. Texas Journal of Science 56: 335-346.

Rogers W.E. and E. Siemann. 2004. Invasive ecotypes tolerate herbivory more effectively than native ecotypes of the Chinese tallow tree Sapium sebiferum. Journal of Applied Ecology 41:561-570.

Siemann E., W.P. Carson, W.E. Rogers and W.W. Weisser. 2004. Reducing herbivory using insecticides. pages 303-327 in Weisser, W.W. and E. Siemann (eds). Insects and Ecosystem Function. Ecological Studies Series. Springer-Verlag.

Siemann E. and W.W. Weisser. 2004. Testing the role of insects for ecosystem functioning. pages 383-401 in Weisser, W.W. and E. Siemann (eds). Insects and Ecosystem Function. Ecological Studies Series. Springer-Verlag.

Nijjer S., W.E. Rogers and E. Siemann. 2004. The effect of mycorrhizae on the growth of five native tree species and the invasive Chinese Tallow Tree (Sapium sebiferum) Texas Journal of Science 56: 357-368. 

Rogers W.E. and E. Siemann. 2004. The role of herbivores in alien plant invasions: insights using a combination of methods to enhance or reduce herbivory. pages 329-355 in Weisser, W.W. and E. Siemann (eds). Insects and Ecosystem Function. Ecological Studies Series. Springer-Verlag. 

Weisser W.W. and E. Siemann. 2004. The various effects of insects on ecosystem functioning. pages 3-24 in Weisser, W.W. and E. Siemann (eds). Insects and Ecosystem Function. Ecological Studies Series. Springer-Verlag.

Siemann E. and W.E. Rogers. 2003. Changes in resources under pioneer trees may facilitate tree invasions of grasslands. Journal of Ecology 91:923-931.

Rogers W.E., E. Siemann and R.A. Lankau. 2003. Damage induced production of extrafloral nectaries in native and introduced seedlings of Chinese tallow tree (Sapium sebiferum) American Midland Naturalist 149:413-417.

Rogers W.E. and E. Siemann. 2003. Effects of simulated herbivory and resources on Chinese tallow tree (Sapium sebiferum, Euphorbiaceae) invasion of native coastal prairie. American Journal of Botany 90:241-247.

Siemann E. and W. E. Rogers. 2003. Herbivory, disease, recruitment limitation and success of alien and native tree species. Ecology 84:1489-1505.

Siemann E. and W.E. Rogers. 2003. Increased competitive ability of an invasive tree may be limited by an invasive beetle. Ecological Applications 13:1503-1507.

Siemann E. and W.E. Rogers. 2003. Reduced resistance of invasive varieties of the alien tree Sapium sebiferum to a generalist herbivore. Oecologia 135:451-457.

Personal Web Page

  • A.B. (1990) Cornell University
  • Ph.D. (1997) University of Minnesota
  • College Courses
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Education Certification Program
  • Environmental and Energy Systems Institute
  • Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering
  • Provost's Office
  • Shell Center for Sustainability
  • Sloan Professional Masters Program
Research Areas
  • population and community ecology, forests, grasslands, plant ecology, insect ecology, chemical ecology, plant/herbivore interactions, wetlands, freshwater ecology, invasive species, biodiversity, conservation, algal biology, biofuels, wastewater remediation
Contact Information
Email: siemann@rice.edu
Phone: (713) 348-5954
Office: Anderson Biology Lab, 101A