David Eissenstat, Ph.D.

David Eissenstat, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Woody Plant Physiology
201 Forest Resources Bldg.
University Park, PA 16802

Areas of Expertise

  • Root biology and ecology
  • Mycorrhizal ecology
  • Plant Physiological Ecology
  • Plant Ecology
  • Global Change Biology
  • Belowground Ecology
  • Fruit tree physiology



  • PhD., Plant Physiological Ecology, Utah State University, 1987
  • M.S., Range Science, University of Idaho, 1980
  • B.S., Agriculture, Cornell University, 1978


The hierarchy of root branching order determines bacterial composition, microbial carrying capacity and microbial filtering
Communications Biology, King, William L., Yates, Caylon F., Guo, Jing, Fleishman, Suzanne M., Trexler, Ryan V., Centinari, Michela, Bell, Terrence H., Eissenstat, David M., 2021

Undervine groundcover substantially increases shallow but not deep soil carbon in a temperate vineyard
Agro-Ecosystems, Fleishman, Suzanne M., Bock, Hayden W., Eissenstat, David M., Centinari, Michela, 2021

Tree‐induced alterations to soil properties and rhizoplane‐associated bacteria following 23 years in a common garden
Plant and Soil, Yates, Caylon F., Guo, Jing, Bell, Terrence H., Fleishman, Suzanne M., Bock, Hayden W., Trexler, Ryan V., Eissenstat, David M., Centinari, Michela, 2021

Warming and grazing interact to affect root dynamics in an alpine meadow
Plant and Soil, Wu, Yibo, Zhu, Biao, Eissenstat, David M., Wang, Shiping, Tang, Yanhong, Cui, Xiaoyong, 2021

Remarkable Similarity in Timing of Absorptive Fine-Root Production Across 11 Diverse Temperate Tree Species in a Common Garden
Frontiers in Plant Science, Withington, Jennifer M., Goebel, Marc, Bułaj, Bartosz, Oleksyn, Jacek, Reich, Peter B., Eissenstat, David M., 2021

Limiting similarity shapes the functional and phylogenetic structure of root neighborhoods in a subtropical forest
New Phytologist, Luo, Wenqi, Lan, Runxuan, Chen, Dongxia, Zhang, Bingwei, Xi, Nianxun, Li, Yuanzhi, Fang, Suqing, Valverde-Barrantes, Oscar J., Eissenstat, David M., Chu, Chengjin, Wang, Youshi, 2021

On the controls of preferential flow in soils of different hillslope position and lithological origin
Hydrological Processes, Tang, Qicheng, Duncan, Jonathan M., Guo, Li, Lin, Henry, Xiao, Dacheng, Eissenstat, David M., 2020

Bark decomposition in white oak soil outperforms eastern hemlock soil, while bark type leads to consistent changes in soil microbial composition
Biogeochemistry, Malik, Rondy J., Trexler, Ryan V., Eissenstat, David M., Bell, Terrence H., 2020

On characterizing root function in perennial horticultural crops
American Journal of Botany, Lavely, Emily K., Chen, Weile, Peterson, K. Aysha, Klodd, Annie E., Volder, Astrid, Marini, Richard P., Eissenstat, David M., 2020

Belowground responses of woody plants to nitrogen addition in a phosphorus-rich region of northeast China
Trees - Structure and Function, Guo, Jing, Gao, Yingzhi, Eissenstat, David M., He, Chunguang, Sheng, Lianxi, 2020

Observing and Simulating Spatial Variations of Forest Carbon Stocks in Complex Terrain
Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Smeglin, Yuting H., Davis, Kenneth J., Shi, Yuning, Eissenstat, David M., Kaye, Jason P., Kaye, Margot W., 2020

Rootstock vigor shifts aboveground response to groundcover competition in young grapevines
Plant and Soil, Fleishman, Suzanne M., Eissenstat, David M., Centinari, Michela, 2019

Author Correction
Nature, Ma, Zeqing, Guo, Dali, Xu, Xingliang, Lu, Mingzhen, Bardgett, Richard D., Eissenstat, David M., McCormack, M. Luke, Hedin, Lars O., 2019

Soil organic carbon stability in forests
Global Change Biology, Angst, Gerrit, Mueller, Kevin E., Eissenstat, David M., Trumbore, Susan, Freeman, Katherine H., Hobbie, Sarah E., Chorover, Jon, Oleksyn, Jacek, Reich, Peter B., Mueller, Carsten W., 2019

Changes in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi between young and old Vitis roots
Symbiosis, Vukicevich, Eric, Thomas Lowery, D., Eissenstat, David, Hart, Miranda, 2019

Asymmetry in above- and belowground productivity responses to N addition in a semi-arid temperate steppe
Global Change Biology, Wang, Jing, Gao, Yingzhi, Zhang, Yunhai, Yang, Junjie, Smith, Melinda D., Knapp, Alan K., Eissenstat, David M., Han, Xingguo, 2019

Correction to
Symbiosis, Vukicevich, Eric, Lowery, D. Thomas, Eissenstat, David, Hart, Miranda, 2019

Root and mycorrhizal fungal foraging responses to fruit removal in apple trees
Plant and Soil, Lavely, Emily K., Zhang, Jianghong, Adams, Thomas S., Bryla, David R., DeForest, Jared L., Marini, Richard P., Crassweller, Robert, Eissenstat, David M., 2018

Linking fine root morphology, hydraulic functioning and shade tolerance of trees
Annals of Botany, Zadworny, Marcin, Comas, Louise H., Eissenstat, David M., 2018

Nutrient foraging by mycorrhizas
Functional Ecology, Chen, Weile, Koide, Roger T., Eissenstat, David M., 2018

Evolutionary history resolves global organization of root functional traits
Nature, Ma, Zeqing, Guo, Dali, Xu, Xingliang, Lu, Mingzhen, Bardgett, Richard D., Eissenstat, David M., McCormack, M. Luke, Hedin, Lars O., 2018

Susquehanna shale hills critical zone observatory: Shale hills in the context of shaver’s creek watershed
Vadose Zone Journal, Brantley, Susan L., White, Tim, West, Nicole, Williams, Jennifer Z., Forsythe, Brandon, Shapich, Dan, Kaye, Jason, Lin, Henry, Shi, Yuning, Kaye, Margot, Herndon, Elizabeth, Davis, Kenneth J., He, Yuting, Eissenstat, David, Weitzman, Julie, Dibiase, Roman, Li, Li, Reed, Warren, Brubaker, Kristen, Gu, Xin, 2018

Root morphology and mycorrhizal type strongly influence root production in nutrient hot spots of mixed forests
Journal of Ecology, Chen, Weile, Koide, Roger T., Eissenstat, David M., 2018

On the sensitivity of root and leaf phenology to warming in the Arctic
Arctic and Alpine Research, Radville, Laura, Post, Eric, Eissenstat, David M., 2018

Above-and belowground responses to shifts in soil moisture in bearing apple trees
Hortscience: A Publication of the American Society for Hortcultural Science, Eissenstat, David M., Neilsen, Denise, Neilsen, Gerry H., Adams, Thomas S., 2018

Reviews and syntheses
Biogeosciences, Brantley, Susan L., Eissenstat, David M., Marshall, Jill A., Godsey, Sarah E., Balogh-Brunstad, Zsuzsanna, Karwan, Diana L., Papuga, Shirley A., Roering, Joshua, Dawson, Todd E., Evaristo, Jaivime, Chadwick, Oliver, McDonnell, Jeffrey J., Weathers, Kathleen C., 2017

Weathering of rock to regolith: the activity of deep roots in bedrock fractures
Geoderma, Hasenmueller, Elizabeth A., Gu, Xin, Weitzman, Julie N., Adams, Thomas S., Stinchcomb, Gary E., Eissenstat, David M., Drohan, Patrick J., Brantley, Susan L., Kaye, Jason P., 2017

Building a better foundation
New Phytologist, McCormack, M. Luke, Guo, Dali, Iversen, Colleen M., Chen, Weile, Eissenstat, David M., Fernandez, Christopher W., Li, Le, Ma, Chengen, Ma, Zeqing, Poorter, Hendrik, Reich, Peter B., Zadworny, Marcin, Zanne, Amy, 2017

Variability in aboveground carbon driven by slope aspect and curvature in an eastern deciduous forest, USA
Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Smith, Lauren A., Eissenstat, David M., Kaye, Margot W., 2017

CZ-tope at Susquehanna Shale Hills CZO
Chemical Geology, Sullivan, P. L., Ma, L., West, N., Jin, L., Karwan, D. L., Noireaux, J., Steinhoefel, G., Gaines, K. P., Eissenstat, D. M., Gaillardet, J., Derry, L. A., Meek, K., Hynek, S., Brantley, S. L., 2016

Rapid tree water transport and residence times in a Pennsylvania catchment
Ecohydrology, Gaines, Katie P., Meinzer, Frederick C., Duffy, Christopher J., Thomas, Evan M., Eissenstat, David M., 2016

Limited linkages of aboveground and belowground Phenology
American Journal of Botany, Radville, Laura, Bauerle, Taryn L., Comas, Louise H., Marchetto, Katherine A., Lakso, Alan N., Smart, David R., Dunst, Richard M., Eissenstat, David M., 2016

Linking the respiration of fungal sporocarps with their nitrogen concentration
Functional Ecology, Trocha, Lidia K., Rudy, Elżbieta, Chen, Weile, Dabert, Miroslawa, Eissenstat, David M., 2016

Mycorrhizal fungi and roots are complementary in foraging within nutrient patches
Ecology, Cheng, Lei, Chen, Weile, Adams, Thomas S., Wei, Xing, Li, Le, McCormack, Michael Luke, Deforest, Jared L., Koide, Roger T., Eissenstat, David M., 2016

Moving forward with fine-root definitions and research
New Phytologist, McCormack, M. Luke, Iversen, Colleen M., Eissenstat, David M., 2016

Root morphology and mycorrhizal symbioses together shape nutrient foraging strategies of temperate trees
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Chen, Weile, Koide, Roger T., Adams, Thomas S., DeForest, Jared L., Cheng, Lei, Eissenstat, David M., 2016

Untangling the effects of root age and tissue nitrogen on root respiration in Populus tremuloides at different nitrogen supply
Tree Physiology, Ceccon, Christian, Tagliavini, Massimo, Schmitt, Armin Otto, Eissenstat, David M., 2016

Reliance on shallow soil water in a mixed-hardwood forest in central Pennsylvania
Tree Physiology, Gaines, Katie P., Stanley, Jane W., Meinzer, Frederick C., McCulloh, Katherine A., Woodruff, David R., Chen, Weile, Adams, Thomas S., Lin, Henry, Eissenstat, David M., 2016

Designing a suite of measurements to understand the critical zone
Earth Surface Dynamics, Brantley, Susan L., Dibiase, Roman A., Russo, Tess A., Shi, Yuning, Lin, Henry, Davis, Kenneth J., Kaye, Margot, Hill, Lillian, Kaye, Jason, Eissenstat, David M., Hoagland, Beth, Dere, Ashlee L., Neal, Andrew L., Brubaker, Kristen M., Arthur, Dan K., 2016

Coping with cover crop competition in mature grapevines
Plant and Soil, Klodd, A. E., Eissenstat, D. M., Wolf, T. K., Centinari, M., 2016

Limited variation in proportional contributions of auto- and heterotrophic soil respiration, despite large differences in vegetation structure and function in the Low Arctic
Biogeochemistry, Cahoon, Sean M.P., Sullivan, Patrick F., Gamm, Cassandra, Welker, Jeffrey M., Eissenstat, David, Post, Eric, 2016

Root phenology in a changing climate
Journal of Experimental Botany, Radville, Laura, McCormack, M. Luke, Post, Eric, Eissenstat, David M., 2016

Linking root traits to nutrient foraging in arbuscular mycorrhizal trees in a temperate forest
New Phytologist, Eissenstat, David M., Kucharski, Joshua M., Zadworny, Marcin, Adams, Thomas S., Koide, Roger T., 2015

Complementarity in nutrient foraging strategies of absorptive fine roots and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi across 14 coexisting subtropical tree species
New Phytologist, Liu, Bitao, Li, Hongbo, Zhu, Biao, Koide, Roger T., Eissenstat, David M., Guo, Dali, 2015

Redefining fine roots improves understanding of below-ground contributions to terrestrial biosphere processes
New Phytologist, McCormack, M. Luke, Dickie, Ian A., Eissenstat, David M., Fahey, Timothy J., Fernandez, Christopher W., Guo, Dali, Helmisaari, Heljä Sisko, Hobbie, Erik A., Iversen, Colleen M., Jackson, Robert B., Leppälammi-Kujansuu, Jaana, Norby, Richard J., Phillips, Richard P., Pregitzer, Kurt S., Pritchard, Seth G., Rewald, Boris, Zadworny, Marcin, 2015

On the controls of root lifespan
Plant and Soil, Adams, Thomas S., Eissenstat, David M., 2015

Early season root production in relation to leaf production among six diverse temperate tree species
Plant and Soil, McCormack, M. Luke, Gaines, Katie P., Pastore, Melissa, Eissenstat, David M., 2015

Sensitivity of four ecological models to adjustments in fine root turnover rate
Ecological Modelling, McCormack, M. Luke, Crisfield, Elizabeth, Raczka, Brett, Schnekenburger, Frank, Eissenstat, David M., Smithwick, Erica A.H., 2015

Importance of vegetation for manganese cycling in temperate forested watersheds
Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Herndon, Elizabeth M., Jin, Lixin, Andrews, Danielle M., Eissenstat, David M., Brantley, Susan L., 2015

Variability in root production, phenology, and turnover rate among 12 temperate tree species
Ecology, Luke McCormack, M., Adams, Thomas S., Smithwick, Erica A.H., Eissenstat, David M., 2014

Foraging strategies in trees of different root morphology
Tree Physiology, Adams, Thomas S., Mccormack, M. Luke, Eissenstat, David M., 2013

What controls the concentration of various aliphatic lipids in soil?
Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Mueller, Kevin E., Eissenstat, David M., Müller, Carsten W., Oleksyn, Jacek, Reich, Peter B., Freeman, Katherine H., 2013

Variation of first-order root traits across climatic gradients and evolutionary trends in geological time
Global Ecology and Biogeography, Chen, Weile, Zeng, Hui, Eissenstat, David M., Guo, Dali, 2013

Regional scale patterns of fine root lifespan and turnover under current and future climate
Global Change Biology, Luke McCormack, M., Eissenstat, David M., Prasad, Anantha M., Smithwick, Erica A.H., 2013

Above-and belowground controls on water use by trees of different wood types in an eastern US deciduous forest
Tree Physiology, Meinzer, Frederick C., Woodruff, David R., Eissenstat, David M., Lin, Henry S., Adams, Thomas S., McCulloh, Katherine A., 2013

Spatial Distribution of Tree Species Governs the Spatio-Temporal Interaction of Leaf Area Index and Soil Moisture across a Forested Landscape
PLoS One, Naithani, Kusum J., Baldwin, Doug C., Gaines, Katie P., Lin, Henry, Eissenstat, David M., 2013

Root stress and nitrogen deposition
New Phytologist, Smithwick, Erica A.H., Eissenstat, David M., Lovett, Gary M., Bowden, Richard D., Rustad, Lindsey E., Driscoll, Charles T., 2013

Global Change and Root Lifespan
PLANT ROOTS: THE HIDDEN HALF, 4TH EDITION, Eissenstat, David, McCormack, M, Du, Quanying, 2013

Tree species effects on coupled cycles of carbon, nitrogen, and acidity in mineral soils at a common garden experiment
Biogeochemistry, Mueller, Kevin E., Eissenstat, David M., Hobbie, Sarah E., Oleksyn, Jacek, Jagodzinski, Andrzej M., Reich, Peter B., Chadwick, Oliver A., Chorover, Jon, 2012

Predicting fine root lifespan from plant functional traits in temperate trees
New Phytologist, Luke Mccormack, M., Adams, Thomas S., Smithwick, Erica A.H., Eissenstat, David M., 2012

Avoiding transport bottlenecks in an expanding root system
American Journal of Botany, Bagniewska-Zadworna, Agnieszka, Byczyk, Julia, Eissenstat, David M., Oleksyn, Jacek, Zadworny, Marcin, 2012

Do evergreen and deciduous trees have different effects on net N mineralization in soil?
Ecology, Mueller, Kevin E., Hobbie, Sarah E., Oleksyn, Jacek, Reich, Peter B., Eissenstat, David M., 2012

Advancing the use of minirhizotrons in wetlands
Plant and Soil, Iversen, C. M., Murphy, M. T., Allen, M. F., Childs, J., Eissenstat, D. M., Lilleskov, E. A., Sarjala, T. M., Sloan, V. L., Sullivan, P. F., 2012

Growth and physiology of olive pioneer and fibrous roots exposed to soil moisture deficits
Tree Physiology, Polverigiani, S., McCormack, M. L., Mueller, C. W., Eissenstat, D. M., 2011

Hydraulic patterns and safety margins, from stem to stomata, in three eastern US tree species
Tree Physiology, Johnson, D. M., McCulloh, K. A., Meinzer, F. C., Woodruff, D. R., Eissenstat, D. M., 2011

Contrasting the morphology, anatomy and fungal colonization of new pioneer and fibrous roots
New Phytologist, Zadworny, Marcin, Eissenstat, David M., 2011

Above-and below-ground responses to soil moisture deficits in olive, Polverigiani, S., McCormack, M. L., Eissenstat, D. M., 2011

Decomposition of the finest root branching orders
Ecological Monographs, Goebel, Marc, Hobbie, Sarah E., Bulaj, Bartosz, Zadworny, Marcin, Archibald, Douglas D., Oleksyn, Jacek, Reich, Peter B., Eissenstat, David M., 2011