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Steven Archer

Steven Archer

Professor, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona

School of Natural Resources and the Environm
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721-0043


  • Professor, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona


  • PhD, Rangeland Ecosystem Science, Colorado State University, 1983
  • MS, Rangeland Ecosystem Science, Colorado State University, 1980
  • BA, Biology, Augustana College, 1975

External Links

Journal Articles


Levi, E. M., S. R. Archer, H. L. Throop and C. Rasmussen. 2020. Soil-litter mixing promotes decomposition and soil aggregate formation on contrasting geomorphic surfaces in a shrub-invaded Sonoran Desert grassland. Plant and Soil DOI: 10.1007/s11104-020-04508-1. (link )

Throop, H. L., S. R. Archer and M. P. McClaran. 2020. Soil organic carbon in drylands: Shrub encroachment and vegetation management effects dwarf those of livestock grazing. Ecological Applications 20(7):e02150. DOI: 10.1002/eap.2150. (link )


Bestelmeyer, B. T., D. P. Peters, S. R. Archer, D. M. Browning, G. S. Okin, R. L. Schooley and N. P. Webb. 2018. The grassland–shrubland regime shift in the southwestern United States: Misconceptions and their Implications for management. BioScience 68(9):678-690. DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biy065. (link )

Huang, C., S. R. Archer, M. P. McClaran and S. E. Marsh. 2018. Shrub encroachment into grasslands: end of an era?. PeerJ 6:e5474. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.5474. (link )

Peters, D. P., N. D. Burruss, L. L. Rodriguez, D. S. McVey, E. H. Elias, A. M. Pelzel-McCluskey, J. D. Derner, T. S. Schrader, J. Yao, S. J. Pauszek, J. Lombard, S. R. Archer, B. T. Bestelmeyer, D. M. Browning, C. W. Brungard, J. L. Hatfield, N. Hanan, J. E. Herrick, G. S. Okin, O. E. Sala, H. Savoy and E. R. Vivoni. 2018. An integrated view of complex landscapes: A big data-model integration approach to transdisciplinary science. BioScience 68(9):653-669. DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biy069. (link )

Pierce, N. A., S. R. Archer, B. T. Bestelmeyer and D. K. James. 2018. Grass-shrub competition in arid lands: An overlooked driver in grassland–shrubland state transition?. Ecosystems 1-10. DOI: 10.1007/s10021-018-0290-9. (link )

Predick, K., S. R. Archer, S. M. Aguillon, D. A. Keller, H. L. Throop and P. W. Barnes. 2018. UV-B radiation and shrub canopy effects on surface litter decomposition in a shrub-invaded dry grassland. Journal of Arid Environments 157:13-21. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2018.06.007. (link )

Scholtz, R., S. D. Fuhlendorf and S. R. Archer. 2018. Climate–fire interactions constrain potential woody plant cover and stature in North American Great Plains grasslands. Global Ecology and Biogeography 27(8):936-945. DOI: 10.1111/geb.12752. (link )

Wilcox, B. P., A. Birt, S. D. Fuhlendorf and S. R. Archer. 2018. Emerging frameworks for understanding and mitigating woody plant encroachment in grassy biomes. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainabilit 32:46-52. DOI: 10.1016/j.cosust.2018.04.005. (link )

Wilcox, B. P., A. Birt, S. R. Archer, S. D. Fuhlendorf, U. P. Kreuter, M. G. Sorice, W. J. van Leeuwen and C. B. Zou. 2018. Viewing woody-plant encroachment through a social-ecological lens. BioScience 68(9):691-705. DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biy051. (link )


Hewins, D. B., R. L. Sinsabaugh, S. R. Archer and H. L. Throop. 2017. Soil-littering mixing and microbial activity mediate decomposition and soil aggregate formation in a sandy shrub-invaded Chihuahuan Desert grassland. Plant Ecology 218(4):459-474. DOI: 10.1007/s11258-017-0703-4. (link )


Peters, D. P., K. M. Havstad, S. R. Archer and O. E. Sala. 2015. Beyond desertification: New paradigms for dryland landscapes. Frotiers in Ecology and the Environment 13(1):4-12. DOI: 10.1890/140276. (link )


Lee, H., J. Fitzgerald, D. B. Hewins, R. L. McCulley, S. R. Archer, T. Rahn and H. L. Throop. 2014. Soil moisture and soil-litter mixing effects on surface litter decomposition: A controlled environment assessment. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 72(May):123-132. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2014.01.027. (link )


Hewins, D. B., S. R. Archer, G. S. Okin, R. L. McCulley and H. L. Throop. 2013. Soil-litter mixing accelerates decomposition in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland. Ecosystems 16(2):183-195. DOI: 10.1007/s10021-012-9604-5. (link )


Barnes, P. W., H. L. Throop, D. B. Hewins, M. L. Abbene and S. R. Archer. 2012. Soil coverage reduces photodegradation and promotes the development of soil-microbial films on dryland leaf litter. Ecoystems 15(2):311-321. DOI: 10.1007/s10021-011-9511-1. (link )

Throop, H. L., S. R. Archer, H. C. Monger and S. Waltman. 2012. When bulk density methods matter: Implications for estimating soil organic carbon pools in rocky soils. Journal of Arid Environments 77(Feb):66-71. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2011.08.020. (link )

Throop, H. L., L. G. Reichmann, O. E. Sala and S. R. Archer. 2012. Response of dominant grass and shrub species to water manipulation: An ecophysiological basis for shrub invasion in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland. Oecologia 169(2):373-383. DOI: 10.1007/s00442-011-2217-4. (link )


Nafus, A. M., M. P. McClaran, S. R. Archer and H. L. Throop. 2009. Multi-species allometric models predict grass biomass in a semi-desert rangeland. Rangeland Ecology & Management 62(1):68-72. DOI: 10.2111/08-003. (link )


Throop, H. L. and S. R. Archer. 2008. Shrub (Prosopis velutina) encroachment in a semi-desert grassland: Spatial-temporal changes in soil organic carbon and nitrogen pools. Global Change Biology 14(10):2420-2431. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2008.01650.x. (link )


Throop, H. L. and S. R. Archer. 2007. Interrelationships among shrub encroachment, land management, and litter decomposition in a semidesert grassland. Ecological Applications 17(6):1809-1823. DOI: 10.1890/06-0889.1. (link )

Book Chapters


Archer, S. R., E. M. Andersen, K. L. Predick, S. Schwinning, R. J. Steidl and S. R. Woods. 2017. Woody plant encroachment: Causes and consequences. Pp. 25-84 In: Briske, D. D. ed., Rangeland Systems: Processes, Management and Challenges. Springer International Publishing. ISBN: 978-3-319-46707-8.


Barnes, P. W., H. L. Throop, S. R. Archer, D. D. Breshears, R. L. McCulley and M. A. Tobler. 2015. Sunlight and soil-litter mixing: Drivers of litter decomposition in drylands. Pp. 273-302 In: Luttge, U. and W. Beyschlag eds., Progress in Botany. Springer International Publishing. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-08807-5_11. ISBN: 978-3-319-08806-8.


Peters, D. P., B. T. Bestelmeyer, K. M. Havstad, A. Rango, S. R. Archer, A. C. Comrie, H. R. Gimblett, L. Lopez-Hoffman, O. E. Sala, E. R. Vivoni, M. L. Brooks, J. Brown, H. C. Monger, J. H. Goldstein, G. S. Okin and C. E. Tweedie. 2013. Desertification of rangelands. Pp. 239-258 Climate Vulnrability: Understanding and Addressing Threads to Essential Resources. Vol 4. Elsevier Inc. Academic Press. ISBN: 9780123847034.


Throop, H. L. and S. R. Archer. 2009. Resolving the dryland decomposition conundrum: Some new perspectives on potential drivers. Pp. 171-194 In: Luttge, U., W. Beyschlag, B. Budel and D. Francis eds., Progress in Botany. Vol 70. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-68421-3_8. ISBN: 978-3-540-68420-6.



McCulley, R. L., J. A. Nelson, K. Predick, E. M. Levi, P. W. Barnes, H. L. Throop and S. R. Archer. 2017. UV radiation stimulates but soil-litter mixing reduces fungal role in dryland litter decomposition. Presentation at the Annual Meeting Portland ESA 2017, August 6-11, 2017, Portland, OR. (link )