Danielle Ignace

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Danielle Ignace

Contact & Office Hours

Ford Hall 111



Ph.D., M.S., University of Arizona

B.S., University of Wisconsin


Danielle Ignace’s research interests include plant physiological ecology, species invasions, climate change, nitrogen deposition, ecosystem ecology, plant ecology, and desert and forest ecosystems.

Ecosystems across the world have been facing a broad range of global change factors that have profound impacts on their structure and function. One of the most pressing issues facing these systems is climate change. This is particularly important since we are predicted to see increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme climate events. In addition to climate change, ecosystems are consistently exposed to nitrogen deposition from a variety of sources. Nonnative invasive plant species may be able to capitalize on these environmental changes, leading to dramatic changes in biodiversity and ecosystem function. Taken together, these factors may interact in a way that completely alters our surrounding environment.

Ignace’s research addresses the impacts of these global change factors with the goal of being able to make predictions on their future impacts on native plant communities. Her lab studies the impacts of these factors in many areas, from desert to forest ecosystems. The lab integrates tools and concepts from plant physiology, community ecology and ecosystem ecology to investigate how plant physiological traits and species interactions influence community and ecosystem dynamics.

Representative Publications

* Denotes Smith College undergraduate advisee
† Denotes Smith College graduate student advisee

*Meadows-McDonnell, M., *K. Boyd, Christopher Williams, and D.D. Ignace. In Preparation. Annual variation in photosynthetic function of a forest regenerating post clearcut.

Ignace, D.D., *S. Danguilan, and *Y. Ahn. In Revision. Life-stage dependent positive and negative interactions of a non-native invasive in the Chihuahuan Desert.

†Kelley, W. and D.D. Ignace. In Review. Characterizing the soil seed bank in areas invaded by Elaeagnus umbellata. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society.

D.D. Ignace. Invited for revisions by the editor. Determinants of temperature sensitivity of soil respiration with the decline of a foundation species. PLOS One.

*A. Fassler, J. Bellemare, and D.D. Ignace. Accepted. Loss of a foundation species, Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), due to exotic pests could lead to biotic homogenization of fungal communities and altered timing of bacterial activity in the forest floor. Northeastern Naturalist.

Ignace, D.D., *A. Fassler, and J. Bellemare. 2018b. Decline of a foundation trees species due to invasive insects will trigger net release of soil organic carbon. Ecosphere 9(8).

Ignace, D.D., N. Huntly, and P. Chesson. 2018a. The role of climate in the dynamics of annual plants in a Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem. Evolutionary Ecology Research 19: 1-19.

Ignace, D.D. and P. Chesson. 2014. Removing an invader: Evidence for forces reassembling a Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem. Ecology 95(11):3203-3212.

Ogle, K., R.W. Lucas, L.P. Bentley, J.M. Cable, G. Barron-Gafford, A. Griffith, D.D. Ignace, G. D. Jenerette, A. Tyler, T.E. Huxman, M.E. Loik, S.D. Smith, and D.T. Tissue. 2012. Differential daytime and nighttime stomatal behavior and substantial nighttime water loss in plants from deserts of North America. New Phytologist 194: 464-476.

Ignace, D.D., S.I. Dodson, and D. Kashian. 2011. Identification of the critical timing of sex determination in Daphnia magna (Crustacea, Branchiopoda) for use in toxicological studies. Hydrobiologia 668(1):117-123.

Ignace, D.D. and T.E. Huxman. 2009. Limitations to photosynthetic function across season in Larrea tridentata (creosotebush) growing on contrasting soil surfaces in the Sonoran Desert. Journal of Arid Environments 73:626-633.

Resco, V., D.D. Ignace, W. Sun, T.E. Huxman, J.F. Weltzin, and D.G. Williams. 2008. Chlorophyll fluorescence, predawn water potential and photosynthesis in precipitation pulsedriven ecosystems - implications for ecological studies. Functional Ecology 22: 479-483.

Ignace, D.D., T.E. Huxman, J. Weltzin, and D.G. Williams. 2007. Leaf gas exchange and water status responses of a native and non-native grass to precipitation across contrasting soil surfaces in the Sonoran Desert. Oecologia 152:401-413.

Patrick, L., J. Cable, D. Potts, D.D. Ignace, G. Barron-Gafford, N. Van Gestel, T. Robertson, H. Alpert, A. Griffith, T. Huxman, J. Zak, M. Loik, D. Tissue. 2007. Effects of an increase in summer precipitation on leaf, soil and ecosystem fluxes of CO2 and H2O in a sotol-grassland in Big Bend National Park, Texas. Oecologia 151:704-718.

Potts, D.L., T.E. Huxman, J.M. Cable, N.B. English, D.D. Ignace, J.A. Eilts, M.J. Mason, J.F. Weltzin, and D.G. Williams. 2006. Antecedent moisture and seasonal precipitation influenceresponse of canopy-scale carbon and water exchange to rainfall pulses in a semi-arid grassland. New Phytologist 170:849-860.

Yepez, E.A., T.E Huxman, D.D. Ignace, N.B. English, J.F. Weltzin, A.E. Castellanos, D.G. Williams. 2005. Dynamics of transpiration and evaporation following a moisture pulse in semiarid grassland: A chamber-based isotope method for partitioning flux components. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 132 (3-4): 359-376.

Huxman, T.E., J.M. Cable, D.D. Ignace, J.A. Eilts, N.B. English, J. Weltzin, and D.G. Williams. 2004. Response of net ecosystem gas exchange to a simulated precipitation pulse in a semi-arid grassland: the role of native versus non-native grasses and soil texture. Oecologia 141:295-305.

Enquist, B.J., E.P. Economo, T.E. Huxman, A.P. Allen, D.D. Ignace, and J.F. Gillooly. 2003. Scaling metabolism from organisms to ecosystems. Nature 423:639-642.