Skip to Content
Seth Munson

Seth Munson

Research Ecologist, Southwest BIological Science Center, Northern Arizona University

Southwest Biological Science Center
Northern Arizona University
525 S Beaver St, #5614
Flagstaff, AZ 86011


  • Research Ecologist, Southwest BIological Science Center, Northern Arizona University


Seth Munson is an ecologist with the Southwest Biological Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona. His research focuses on plant-soil interactions in dryland ecosystems and how these interactions are affected by climate and land use changes. Much of his research aims to understand the dynamics of dryland ecosystems at long temporal and broad spatial scales, which employs a multidisciplinary approach. His work seeks to improve the management of arid and semiarid lands and is done in close collaboration with several land management agencies.


  • PhD, Ecology, Colorado State University, 2009
  • BA, Biology, Earlham College, 2001

External Links

Journal Articles


Copeland, S. M., S. M. Munson, J. B. Bradford and B. J. Butterfield. 2019. Influence of climate, post‐treatment weather extremes, and soil factors on vegetation recovery after restoration treatments in the southwestern US. Applied Vegetation Science 22(1):85-95. DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12414. (link )

Thoma, D. P., S. M. Munson and D. L. Witwicki. 2019. Landscape pivot points and responses to water balance in national parks of the southwest US. Journal of Applied Ecology 56(1):157-167. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13250. (link )


Bradford, J. B., J. L. Betancourt, S. M. Munson and T. E. Wood. 2018. Anticipatory natural resource science and management for a changing future. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 16(5):295-303. DOI: 10.1002/fee.1806. (link )

Copeland, S. M., S. M. Munson, D. S. Pilliod, J. L. Welty, J. B. Bradford and B. J. Butterfield. 2018. Long‐term trends in restoration and associated land treatments in the southwestern United States. Restoration Ecology 26(2):311-322. DOI: 10.1111/rec.12574. (link )

Gremer, J. R., C. Andrews, J. R. Norris, L. P. Thomas, S. M. Munson, M. C. Duniway and J. B. Bradford. 2018. Increasing temperature seasonality may overwhelm shifts in soil moisture to favor shrub over grass dominance in Colorado Plateau drylands. Oecologia 188(4):1195-1207. DOI: 10.1007/s00442-018-4282-4. (link )

Munson, S. M., E. L. Bunting, J. B. Bradford, B. J. Butterfield and J. R. Gremer. 2018. Plant production responses to precipitation differ along an elevation gradient and are enhanced under extremes. Ecosystems 1-10. DOI: 10.1007/s10021-018-0296-3. (link )

Munson, S. M., S. C. Reed, J. Penuelas, N. G. McDowell and O. E. Sala. 2018. Ecosystem thresholds, tipping points, and critical transitions. New Phytologist Trust 218(4):1315-1317. DOI: 10.1111/nph.15145. (link )

Wilson, S. D., D. R. Schlaepfer, J. B. Bradford, W. K. Lauenroth, M. C. Duniway, S. A. Hall, K. Jamiyansharav, G. Jia, A. Lkhagva, S. M. Munson, D. A. Pyke and B. Tietjen. 2018. Functional group, biomass, and climate change effects on ecological drought in semiarid grasslands. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 123(3):1072-1085. DOI: 10.1002/2017JG004173. (link )

Winkler, D. E., D. Backer, J. C. Belnap, J. B. Bradford, B. Butterfield, S. M. Copeland, M. C. Duniway, A. M. Faist, S. E. Fick, S. L. Jensen, A. T. Kramer, R. Mann, R. T. Massatti, M. L. McCormick, S. M. Munson, P. Olwell, S. D. Parr, A. A. Pfennigwerth, A. M. Pilmanis, B. A. Richardson, E. Samuel, K. See, K. E. Young and S. C. Reed. 2018. Beyond traditional ecological restoration on the Colorado Plateau. Restoration Ecology 26(6):1055-1060. DOI: 10.1111/rec.12876. (link )


Bradford, J. B., D. R. Schlaepfer, W. K. Lauenroth, C. B. Yackulic, M. Duniway, S. Hall, G. Jia, K. Jamiyansharav, S. M. Munson, S. D. Wilson and B. Tietjen. 2017. Future soil moisture and temperature extremes imply expanding suitability for rainfed agriculture in temperate drylands. Scientific Reports 7:Art. 12923. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-13165-x. (link )

Bunting, E. L., S. M. Munson and M. L. Villarreal. 2017. Climate legacy and lag effects on dryland plant communities in the southwestern U.S. Ecological Indicators 74(Mar):216-229. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.10.024. (link )

Butterfield, B. J., J. B. Bradford, S. M. Munson and J. R. Gremer. 2017. Aridity increases below-ground niche breadth in grass communities. Plant Ecology 218(4):385-394. DOI: 10.1007/s11258-016-0696-4. (link )

Butterfield, B. J., S. M. Copeland, S. M. Munson, C. M. Roybal and T. E. Wood. 2017. Prestoration: Using species in restoration that will persist now and into the future. Restoration Ecology 25(52):5155-5163. DOI: 10.1111/rec.12381. (link )

Munson, S. M. and A. L. Long. 2017. Climate drives shifts in grass reproductive phenology across the western USA. New Phytologist 213(4):1945-1955. DOI: 10.1111/nph.14327. (link )

Schlaepfer, D. R., J. B. Bradford, W. K. Lauenroth, S. M. Munson, B. Tietjen, S. Hall, S. D. Wilson, M. C. Duniway, G. Jia, D. A. Pyke, A. Lkhagva and K. Jamiyansharav. 2017. Climate change reduces extent of temperate drylands and intensifies drought in deep soils. Nature Communications 8:Art. 14196. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14196. (link )

Tietjen, B., D. R. Schlaepfer, J. B. Bradford, W. K. Lauenroth, S. Hall, M. C. Duniway, T. Hochstrasser, G. Jia, S. M. Munson, D. A. Pyke and S. D. Wilson. 2017. Climate change‐induced vegetation shifts lead to more ecological droughts despite projected rainfall increases in many global temperate drylands. Global Change Biology 23(2):2743-2754. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13598. (link )