Kay L. Gross

Kay  Gross
  • University Distinguished Professor
  • Plant Biology
  • W.K. Kellogg Biological Station




I am broadly interested in the causes and consequences of species diversity in plant communities. My current research focuses on how nutrient input and management impacts the diversity, productivity and composition of grasslands. We have established several longterm experiments to test hypotheses about how nutrient enrichment (fertilization) impacts grasslands. In one experiment (part of the KBS LTER) we have followed community response to fertilization and disturbance for over 25 years. Another set of experiments in a low-productivity grassland in SW Michigan allows us to evaluate how the scale of soil resource heterogeneity and presence of clonal species influences plant diversity and community composition. We are particularly interested in how species traits, particularly clonality and growth form, affect responses to resource enrichment.


  • Diversity in managed agricultural ecosystems
  • Long-term effects of different crop management systems on the composition of weed communities in different crops
  • Biodiversity Experiment