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


Cover crops and a devigorating rootstock can impart substantial agroecosystem services to high-resource vineyards: A multi-year study
Agro-Ecosystems, Fleishman, Suzanne M., Eissenstat, David M., Hoffer, Grant M., Centinari, Michela, 2023

Rock fragment content in soils shift root foraging behavior in xerophytic species
Plant and Soil, Hu, Hui, Bao, Weikai, Eissenstat, David M., Huang, Long, Liu, Jian, Li, Fanglan, 2022

Shifts in root dynamics along a hillslope in a mixed, mesic temperate forest
Plant and Soil, Primka, Edward J., Adams, Thomas S., Buck, Alexandra S., Eissenstat, David M., 2022

Mite density, not diversity, declines with biomass removal in Patagonian woodlands
Applied Soil Ecology, Fernández, Margarita M., Casas, Cecilia, Bedano, José C., Eissenstat, David M., Kaye, Margot W., García, Ivana M., Kun, Marcelo E., Garibaldi, Lucas A., 2022

Phylogenetic Signal, Root Morphology, Mycorrhizal Type and Macroinvertebrate Exclusion: Exploring Wood Decomposition in Soils Conditioned by 13 Temperate Tree Species
Forests, Malik, Rondy J., Bruns, Mary Ann V., Bell, Terrence H., Eissenstat, David M., 2022

Topography Mediates the Response of Soil CO2 Efflux to Precipitation Over Days, Seasons, and Years
Ecosystems, Kopp, Marissa, Kaye, Jason Philip, Smeglin, Yuting He, Adams, Thomas, Primka, Edward J., Bradley, Brosi, Shi, Yuning, Eissenstat, David, 2022

Functionally-explicit sampling can answer key questions about the specificity of plant–microbe interactions
Environmental Microbiomes, Fleishman, Suzanne M., Eissenstat, David M., Bell, Terrence, Centinari, Michela, 2022

Limited evidence of vertical fine-root segregation in a subtropical forest
New Phytologist, Luo, Wenqi, Ni, Ming, Wang, Youshi, Lan, Runxuan, Eissenstat, David M., Cahill, James F., Li, Buhang, Chu, Chengjin, 2021

Topographical shifts in fine root lifespan in a mixed, mesic temperate forest
PLoS One, Primka IV, Edward J., Adams, Thomas S., Buck, Alexandra, 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

On improving soil carbon sequestration in temperate vineyards with undervine groundcovers.
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Fleishman, Suzanne, Bock, Hayden, Eissenstat, David, Centinari, M, 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

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

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

Topographic and Host Effects on Arbuscular Mycorrhizal and Ectomycorrhizal Fungal Communities in a Forested Watershed
Ecosystems, Chen, Weile, Koide, Roger T., Eissenstat, David M., 2020

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, Y, 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: Evolutionary history resolves global organization of root functional traits (Nature, (2018), 555, 7694, (94-97), 10.1038/nature25783)
Nature, Ma, Zeqing, Guo, Dali, Xu, Xingliang, Lu, Mingzhen, Bardgett, Richard D., Eissenstat, David M., McCormack, M. Luke, Hedin, Lars O., 2019

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

Soil organic carbon stability in forests: Distinct effects of tree species identity and traits
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

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: Changes in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi between young and old Vitis roots (Symbiosis, (2019), 10.1007/s13199-019-00598-3)
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

Using a spatially-distributed hydrologic biogeochemistry model with a nitrogen transport module to study the spatial variation of carbon processes in a Critical Zone Observatory
Ecological Modelling, Shi, Yuning, Eissenstat, David M., He, Yuting, Davis, Kenneth J., 2018

Root diameter predicts the extramatrical hyphal exploration distance of the ectomycorrhizal fungal community
Ecosphere, Chen, Weile, Eissenstat, David M., Koide, Roger T., 2018

Nutrient foraging by mycorrhizas: From species functional traits to ecosystem processes
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: On the roles trees play in building and plumbing the critical zone
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: improving root-trait measurements to understand and model plant and ecosystem processes
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: Synthesizing multiple isotope proxies to elucidate Critical Zone processes across timescales in a temperate forested landscape
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: A study in grape
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: variation among species, tissues and guilds
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: assessing the role of soluble phenolics
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

The continuous incorporation of carbon into existing Sassafras albidum fine roots and its implications for estimating root turnover
PLoS One, Adams, Thomas S., Eissenstat, David M., 2014

Foraging strategies in trees of different root morphology: The role of root lifespan
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: Consequences and research priorities
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