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Diane L. Larson, Ph.D.

Research Wildlife Biologist
USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
1561 Lindig Street
St. Paul, Minnesota 55108

Phone: (651) 649-5041
Fax: (651) 649-5040
Email NPWRC Staff
Research (Principal Investigator),
Minnesota Office

Photo of Diane Larson.


  • Plant and animal interactions (pollination, seed dispersal, biological control)
  • Restoration (tallgrass and mixed-grass prairies, methodology, resistance to invasion)
  • Invasive plants (ecological effects, restoration after infestation)

Current Projects:

  • Pollination webs to guide management of rare and invasive species in a changing climate; Diane Larson and Sam Droege (USGS)
  • Tallgrass prairie restoration: evaluation of theory-based methods for resistence to invasion; Diane Larson (USGS), Pauline Drobney, Sara Vacek, JB Bright, Nick Palaia, Doug Wells (FWS)
  • Measuring the effects of high flows on channel morphology and the mortality and colonization of Phragmites australis on the Central Platte River, Nebraska; Diane Larson (USGS), Susan Galatowitsch (University of Minnesota), Paul Kinzel (USGS Sediment Transport Lab)


  • Ph.D., Biology, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL (1991)
  • M.A., Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO (1984)
  • B.A., Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO (1978)

Professional Experience:

  • 1991-present:  Research Wildlife Biologist, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, USGS, Jamestown, ND

Professional Affiliations:

  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Dept. of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN (1998-present)
  • Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Horticultural Science, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN (2008-present)

Selected Publications:

Phillips-Mao, L.,D.L. Larson and N.R. Jordan. In press. Effects of native herbs and light on garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) invasion. Invasive Plant Science and Management, in press.

Beyhaut, E., D.L. Larson, D.L. Allen, P.H. Graham. In press. Legumes in prairie restoration: evidence for wide cross-nodulation and improved inoculant delivery. Plant & Soil, in press. DOI 10.1007/s11104-013-1999-z

Haines, D.F., D.L. Larson, and J.L. Larson. 2013. Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) affects vegetation more than seed banks in mixed-grass prairies of the northern Great Plains. Invasive Plant Science and Management, 6(3): 416-432.

Larson, D.L., JB Bright, P. Drobney, J.L. Larson, N. Palaia, P.A. Rabie, S. Vacek, and D. Wells. 2013. Using prairie restoration to curtail invasion by Canada thistle: the importance of limiting similarity and seed mix richness. Biological Invasions 15:2049-2063. DOI 10.1007/s10530-013-0432-0.

Jordan, Nicholas R, Laura Aldrich-Wolfe, Sheri C. Huerd, Diane L. Larson, and Gary Muehlbauer. 2012. Soil-occupancy effects of invasive and native grassland plant species on composition and diversity of mycorrhizal associations. Invasive Plant Science and Management 5:494-505.

Larson, D.L., JB Bright, P. Drobney, J.L. Larson, N. Palaia, P.A. Rabie, S. Vacek, and D. Wells. 2011. Effects of planting methods and seed mix richness on the early stages of tallgrass prairie restoration. Biological Conservation, 144: 3127-3139.

Larson. D.L., S.M. Galatowitsch and J.L. Larson. 2011. Native and European haplotypes of Phragmites australis on the central Platte River, Nebraska. Great Plains Research, 21: 175-180.

Larson, D.L., L. Phillips-Mao, G. Quiram, L. Sharpe, R. Stark, S. Sugita and A. Weiler. 2011. A framework for sustainable invasive species management: environmental, social and economic objectives. Journal of Environmental Management, 92: 14-22.

Larson, D.L. and J.L. Larson. 2010. Control of one invasive plant species allows exotic grasses to become dominant in northern Great Plains grasslands. Biological Conservation 143: 1901-1910.

Van Riper, L.C., D.L. Larson and J.L. Larson. 2010. Nitrogen-limitation and invasive sweetclover impacts vary between two Great Plains plant communities. Biological Invasions, 12:2735-2749. DOI 10.1007/s10530-009-9678-y

Van Riper, L.C. and D.L. Larson. 2009. Role of invasive Melilotus officinalis in two native plant communities. Plant Ecology 200: 129-139. DOI 10.1007/s11258-008-9438-6

Jordan, N.R, D.L. Larson and S.C. Huerd. 2008. Soil modification by invasive plants: effects on native and invasive species of mixed-grass prairies. Biological Invasions 10: 177-190.

Larson, D.L., J.B. Grace, P.A. Rabie, and P. Andersen. 2007. Short-term disruption of a leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) biocontrol program following herbicide application. Biological Control: 40:1-8.

Larson, D.L., R.A. Royer and M.R. Royer. 2006. Insect visitation and pollen deposition in an invaded prairie plant community. Biological Conservation 130: 148-159.

Reed, C.C., D.L. Larson and J.L. Larson. 2006. Canada thistle biological control agents on two South Dakota Wildlife Refuges. Natural Areas Journal 26: 47-52.

Larson, D. L. and J. B. Grace. 2004. Temporal dynamics of leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) and two species of flea beetles (Aphthona spp.) used as biological control agents. Biological Control 29:207-214.

Larson, D. L. 2003. Native weeds and exotic plants: relationships to disturbance in mixed-grass prairie. Plant Ecology 169:317-333.

Fahnestock, J. T., D. L. Larson, G. E. Plumb and J. K. Detling. 2003. Effects of ungulates and prairie dogs on seed banks and vegetation in a North American mixed-grass prairie. Plant Ecology 167:255-268.

Larson, D. L., P. J. Anderson, and W. E. Newton. 2001. Alien plant invasion in mixed-grass prairie: effects of vegetation type and anthropogenic disturbance. Ecological Applications 11:128-141.

Larson, D. L., W. E. Newton, P. J. Anderson, and S. J. Stein. 1999. Effects of fire retardant chemical and fire suppressant foam on shrub steppe vegetation in northern Nevada. International Journal of Wildland Fire 9:115-127.

Larson, D. L. 1998. Tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum, life history in relation to agriculture in the northern Great Plains: a hypothesis. Pages 325-329 In: Lannoo, M. J., ed., Status and conservation of midwestern amphibians. University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, Iowa.

Larson, D. L., S. McDonald, A. J. Fivizzani, W. E. Newton, and S. J. Hamilton. 1998. Effects of the herbicide atrazine on Ambystoma tigrinum metamorphosis: duration, larval growth, and hormonal response. Physiological Zoology 71:671-679.

Larson, D. L., M. J. Lannoo, N. E. Euliss, and D. Mushet. 1998. Amphibians of the northern grasslands: what do we know? Pages 450-451 In: Mac, M. J., Opler, P. A., C. E. Puckett Haecker, and P. D. Doran, Editors. Status and Trends of the Nation's Biological Resources. Biological Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Va.

Larson, D. L. 1996. Seed dispersal by specialist versus generalist foragers: the plant's perspective. Oikos 76:113-120.

Larson, D. L. 1995. Effects of climate on numbers of northern prairie wetlands. Climatic Change, 30:169-180.

Oquist, M. G., B. H. Svensson, P. Groffman, M. Taylor, K. B. Bartlett, M. Boko, J. Brouwer, O. F. Canziani, C. B. Craft, J. Laine, D. L. Larson, P. J. Martikainen, E. Matthews, W. Mullie, S. Page, C. J. Richardson, J. Rieley, N. Roulet, J. Silvola, Y. Zhang. 1996. Chapter 6. Non-tidal wetlands. Pages 215-239 in: Climate Change 1995. Impacts, Adaptations and Mitigation of Climate Change: Scientific-Technical Analyses. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.

Larson, D. L. 1994. Potential effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gases on avian habitats and populations in the northern Great Plains. American Midland Naturalist 131:330-346.

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