Peter Kotanen

Peter M. Kotanen



I study ecological interactions between plants and their natural enemies (herbivores and pathogens). My recent research has centered on the effects of natural enemies on non-native species; ongoing projects focus on the question of whether escape from natural enemies promotes the survival and spread of exotic plants, and whether escape from enemies is more likely in marginal populations. Other recent research has included studies of seed ecology and of the effects of grazing by northern goose populations.

Member, Global Invasions Network.



  • Dunn, A.M., M.E. Torchin, M.J. Hatcher, P.M. Kotanen, D.M. Blumenthal, J.E. Byers, C.A.C. Coon, V.M. Frankel, R.D. Holt, R.A. Hufbauer, A.R. Kanarek, K.A. Schierenbeck, L.M. Wolfe & S. E. Perkins (2012) Indirect effects of parasites on invasions. Functional Ecology: in press.
  • Hill S.B. & P.M. Kotanen (2012) Biotic interactions experienced by a new invader: effects of its close relatives at the community scale. Botany 90: 35-42.
  • Hill S.B. & P.M. Kotanen (2011) Phylogenetic structure predicts capitular damage to Asteraceae better than origin or phylogenetic distance to natives. Oecologia 166: 843-851.
  • Hill S.B. & P.M. Kotanen (2010) Phylogenetically structured damage to Asteraceae: susceptibility of native and exotic species to foliar herbivores. Biological Invasions 12: 3333-3342.
  • MacDonald A.A.M. and P.M. Kotanen (2010) Leaf damage has weak effects on growth and fecundity of common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia). Botany 88: 158-164.
  • MacDonald A.A.M. and P.M. Kotanen (2010) The effects of disturbance and enemy exclusion on performance of an invasive species, common ragweed, in its native range. Oecologia 162: 977-986.
  • Hill, S.B. and P.M. Kotanen (2009) Evidence that phylogenetically novel non-indigenous plants experience less herbivory. Oecologia 161: 581-590.
  • MacKay, J. and P.M. Kotanen (2008) Local escape of an invasive plant, common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.), from above-ground and below-ground enemies in its native area. Journal of Ecology 96: 1152-1161.
  • Kotanen, P.M. (2007) Effects of fungal seed pathogens under conspecific and heterospecific trees in a temperate forest. Canadian Journal of Botany 85: 918-925.
  • O, P.C., P.M. Kotanen, and K.F. Abraham (2006) Geese and grazing lawns: responses of the grass Festuca rubra to defoliation in a subarctic coastal marsh. Canadian Journal of Botany 84: 1732-1739.
  • O'Hanlon-Manners, D.L. and P.M. Kotanen (2006) Losses of seeds of temperate trees to soil fungi: effects of habitat and host ecology. Plant Ecology 187: 49-58.
  • Genton B. P.M. Kotanen, P.-O. Cheptou, C. Adolphe and J.A. Shykoff (2005) Enemy release but no evolutionary loss of defence during ragweed invasion of France: an inter-continental reciprocal transplant experiment. Oecologia 146: 414-414.
  • Agrawal, A.A., P.M. Kotanen, C.E. Mitchell, J. Klironomos, A.G. Power, and W. Godsoe (2005) Enemy release? An experiment with congeneric plant pairs and diverse above- and belowground enemies. Ecology 86: 2979-2989.
  • O, P.C., P.M. Kotanen, and K.F. Abraham (2005) Survival and growth of the forage grass, Festuca rubra, in naturally and artificially devegetated sites in a sub-arctic coastal marsh. Écoscience 12: 279-285.
  • Schafer, M. and P.M. Kotanen (2004) Impacts of naturally-occurring soil fungi on seeds of meadow plants. Plant Ecology 175: 19-35.
  • O'Hanlon-Manners, D.L. and P.M. Kotanen (2004) Evidence that fungal pathogens inhibit recruitment of a shade-intolerant tree, White Birch (Betula papyrifera), in understory habitats. Oecologia 140: 650-653.
  • Kotanen, P.M. (2004) Revegetation following soil disturbance and invasion in a Californian meadow: a 10-year history of recovery. Biological Invasions 6: 245-254.
  • O'Hanlon-Manners, D.L. and P.M. Kotanen (2004) Logs as refuges from fungal pathogens for seeds of Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis). Ecology 85: 284-289.
  • Schafer, M. and P.M. Kotanen (2003) The influence of soil moisture on losses of buried seeds to fungi. Acta Oecologica 24: 255-263.
  • Agrawal, A.A. and P.M. Kotanen (2003) Herbivores and the success of exotic plants: a phylogenetically controlled experiment. Ecology Letters 6: 1-4.
  • Blaney, C.S. and P.M. Kotanen (2002) Persistence in the seed bank: an experimental comparison of native and alien plants. Écoscience 9: 509-517.
  • Kotanen, P.M. (2002) Fates of added nitrogen in fresh-water arctic wetlands grazed by Snow Geese: the role of mosses. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 34: 219-225.
  • Blaney, C.S. and P.M. Kotanen (2001) Effects of fungal pathogens on seeds of native and exotic plants: a test using congeneric pairs. Journal of Applied Ecology 38: 1104-1113.
  • Blaney, C.S. and P.M. Kotanen (2001) Post-dispersal losses to seed predators: an experimental comparison of native and exotic old field plants. Canadian Journal of Botany 79: 284-292.
  • Blaney, C.S. and P.M. Kotanen (2001) The vascular flora of Akimiski Island, Nunavut Territory. The Canadian Field-Naturalist 115: 88-98.
  • Kotanen, P.M. and J.P. Rosenthal (2000) Tolerating herbivory: does the plant care if the herbivore has a backbone? Evolutionary Ecology 14: 537-549.
  • Kotanen, P.M. and J. Bergelson (2000) Effects of simulated grazing on different genotypes of Bouteloua gracilis: how important is morphology? Oecologia 123: 66-74.
  • Kotanen, P.M., J. Bergelson, and D.L. Hazlett (1998) Habitats of native and exotic plants in Colorado shortgrass steppe: a comparative approach. Canadian Journal of Botany 76: 664-672.
  • Kotanen, P.M. (1997) Effects of experimental soil disturbance on revegetation by natives and exotics in coastal Californian meadows. Journal of Applied Ecology 34: 631-644.
  • Kotanen, P.M. (1997) Effects of gap area and shape on recolonization by grassland plants with differing reproductive strategies. Canadian Journal of Botany 75: 352-361.
  • Kotanen, P.M. and R.L. Jefferies (1997) Long-term destruction of wetland vegetation by Lesser Snow Geese. Écoscience 4: 1895-1898.
  • Kotanen, P.M. (1996) Revegetation following soil disturbance in a California meadow: the role of propagule supply. Oecologia 108: 652-662.
  • Kotanen, P.M. (1995) Responses of vegetation to a changing regime of disturbance: effects of feral pigs on a Californian Coastal Prairie. Ecography 18: 190-199.
  • Rosenthal, J.P. and P.M. Kotanen (1994) Terrestrial plant tolerance to herbivory. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 9: 117-157.
  • Kerbes, R.H., P.M. Kotanen, and R.L. Jefferies (1990) Destruction of wetland habitats by Lesser Snow Geese: a keystone species on the west coast of Hudson Bay. Journal of Applied Ecology 27: 242-258.
  • Kotanen, P.M. and R.L. Jefferies (1989) Responses of arctic sedges to release from grazing: leaf demography of Carex Xflavicans. Canadian Journal of Botany 67: 1408-1413.
  • Kotanen, P.M. and R.L. Jefferies (1989) Responses of arctic sedges to release from grazing: leaf elongation in two species of Carex . Canadian Journal of Botany 67: 1414-1419.
  • Kotanen, P.M. and R.L. Jefferies (1987) The leaf and shoot demography of grazed and ungrazed plants of Carex subspathacea. Journal of Ecology 75: 961-975.


Plant ecology, plant-herbivore interactions, biological invasions, arctic ecology
Current Courses
BIO313H5, BIO330H5, BIO481Y5