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William Parton

William Parton

Senior Research Scientist, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University


Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory
Colorado State University
1499 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1499


  • Senior Global Futures Fellow, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory
  • Senior Research Scientist, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University


Bill Parton is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Forest Rangeland and Watershed Stewardship and a Senior Research Scientist here at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory. He has spent the last 40 years developing ecosystem models and studying the way in which climate, human activity, and land use change intersect.



  • PhD, Meteorology, University of Oklahoma-Norman, 1972
  • MS, Meteorology, University of Oklahoma-Norman, 1968
  • BS, Meteorology, Pennsylvania State University-University Park, 1966

External Links

Journal Articles


Asao, S., W. J. Parton, M. Chen and W. Gao. 2018. Photodegradation accelerates ecosystem N cycling in a simulated California grassland. Ecosphere 9(8):e02370. DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.2370. (link )

Del Grosso, S. J., W. J. Parton, J. D. Derner, M. Chen and C. J. Tucker. 2018. Simple models to predict grassland ecosystem C exchange and actual evapotranspiration using NDVI and environmental variables. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 249:1-10. DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2017.11.007. (link )

Qin, X., H. Wang, Y. He, Y. Li, Z. Li, Q. Gao, Y. Wan, B. Qian, B. McConkey, R. DePauw, R. Lemke and W. J. Parton. 2018. Simulated adaptation strategies for spring wheat to climate change in a northern high latitude environment by DAYCENT model. European Journal of Agronomy 95:45-56. DOI: 10.1016/j.eja.2017.12.005. (link )


Adair, E. C., W. J. Parton, J. Y. King, L. A. Brandt and Y. Lin. 2017. Accounting for photodegradation dramatically improves prediction of carbon losses in dryland systems. Ecosphere 8(7):e01892. DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.1892. (link )

Chen, M., W. J. Parton, S. J. Del Grosso, M. D. Hartman, K. A. Day, C. J. Tucker, J. D. Derner, A. K. Knapp, W. K. Smith, D. Ojima and W. Gao. 2017. The signature of sea surface temperature anomalies on the dynamics of semiarid grassland productivity. Ecosphere 8(12):e02069. DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.2069. (link )


Parton, W. J., M. P. Gutmann, S. A. Williams, M. Easter and D. Ojima. 2005. Ecological impact of historical land-use patterns in the Great Plains: A methodological assessment. Ecological Applications 15(6):1915-1928.


Throop, H. L., E. A. Holland, W. J. Parton, D. S. Ojima and C. A. Keough. 2004. Effects of nitrogen deposition and insect herbivory on patterns of ecosystem-level carbon and nitrogen dynamics: Results from the CENTURY model. Global Change Biology 10(7):1092-1105. DOI: 10.1111/j.1529-8817.2003.00791.x. (link )


Parton, W. J., M. P. Gutmann and W. R. Travis. 2003. Historical land use change in eastern Colorado. Great Plains Research 13:97-125.


Jackson, R. B., H. J. Schenk, E. G. Jobbágy, J. G. Canadell, G. D. Colello, R. E. Dickinson, C. B. Field, P. Friedlingstein, M. Heimann, K. Hibbard, D. W. Kicklighter, A. Kleidon, R. P. Nelson, W. J. Parton, O. E. Sala and M. T. Sykes. 2000. Belowground consequences of vegetation change and their treatment in models. Ecological Applications 10(2):470-483. DOI: 10.1890/1051-0761(2000)010[0470:BCOVCA]2.0.CO;2. (link )


Parton, W. J., J. M. Scurlock, D. Ojima, D. S. Schimel, D. O. Hall, M. Coughenour, E. Garcia Moya, T. G. Gilmanov, A. Kamnalrut, J. I. Kinamario, T. Kirchner, T. G. Kittel, J. C. Menaut, O. E. Sala, R. J. Scholes and J. A. Van Veen. 1995. Impact of climate change on grassland production and soil carbon worldwide. 1(1):13-22. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.1995.tb00002.x. (link )


Sala, O. E., W. K. Lauenroth and W. J. Parton. 1992. Long term soil water dynamics of the shortgrass steppe. Ecology 73(4):1175-1181. DOI: 10.2307/1940667. (link )


Sala, O. E., W. J. Parton, L. A. Joyce and W. K. Lauenroth. 1988. Primary production of the central grassland region of the United States. Ecology 69(1):40-45. DOI: 10.2307/1943158. (link )


Sala, O. E., W. K. Lauenroth and W. J. Parton. 1982. Plant recovery following prolonged drought in a shortgrass steppe. Agricultural Meteorology 27(1-2):49-58. DOI: 10.1016/0002-1571(82)90019-X. (link )


Sala, O. E., W. K. Lauenroth, W. J. Parton and M. J. Trlica. 1981. Water status of soil and vegetation in a shortgrass steppe. Oecologia (Berl.) 48:327-331. (link )

Book Chapters


Gutmann, M. P., W. J. Parton, G. Cunfer and I. C. Burke. 2005. Population and environment in the US Great Plains. In: Entwisle, B. and P. C. Stern eds., Population, Land Use, and Environment: Research Directions. National Academies Press.