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Becky Ball

Becky Ball
Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
Associate Professor, School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
Affiliated Faculty, Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability

Becky.Ball@asu.edu
602-543-2010
Website

School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences
Arizona State University, West campus
PO Box 37100
Phoenix, AZ 85069-7100

Dr. Ball's research focuses on the factors that control organic matter turnover and nutrient dynamics in soils, with a focus on the biotic component, both microbial and faunal. Her research also addresses how patterns of these compare across systems and biomes. The overall goal is to improve our mechanistic understanding of soil biogeochemical processes to allow improved predictions of how these processes will be affected by global change. To address these topics, she has worked in a variety of systems (including temperate deciduous forests, agricultural systems, and polar and hot deserts) to examine consequences of various types of human-induced environmental change (including species diversity, climate change, and land use), and have involved a variety of cross-system comparisons (including terrestrial-aquatic, above- and belowground, and cross-site).

PhD, Ecology, University of Georgia, 2007

BA, Biology, Goucher College, Maryland, 2002

Journal Articles

2015

Ball, B. A. and J. Alvarez Guevara. 2015. The nutrient plasticity of moss-dominated crust in the urbanized Sonoran Desert. Plant and Soil 389(1):225-235. DOI: 10.1007/s11104-014-2355-7. (link )

Ball, B. A. and J. Levy. 2015. The role of water tracks in altering biotic abiotic soil properties and processes in a polar desert in Antarctica. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 120(2):270-279. DOI: 10.1002/2014JG002856. (link )

Ball, B. A., C. R. Tellez and R. A. Virginia. 2015. Penguin activity influences soil biogeochemistry and soil respiration in rookeries on Ross Island, Antarctica. Polar Biology DOI: 10.1007/s00300-015-1699-7. (link )

Nielsen, U. N. and B. A. Ball. 2015. Impacts of altered precipitation regimes on soil communities and biogeochemistry in arid and semi-arid ecosystems. Global Change Biology 21(4):1407-1421. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12789. (link )

2014

Ball, B. A., Y. Carrillo and M. Molina. 2014. The influence of litter composition across the litter-soil interface on mass loss, nitrogen dynamics and the decomposer community. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 69(February):71-82. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2013.10.048. (link )

Ball, B. A. and R. A. Virginia. 2014. Microbial biomass and respiration responses to nitrogen fertilization in a polar desert. Polar Biology 37(4):573-585. DOI: 10.1007/s00300-014-1459-0. (link )

Ball, B. A. and R. A. Virginia. 2014. The ecological role of moss in a polar desert: Implications for aboveground-belowground and terrestrial-aquatic linkages. Polar Biology 37(5):651-654. DOI: 10.1007/s00300-014-1465-2. (link )

Levy, O., B. A. Ball, B. Bond-Lamberty, K. S. Cheruvelil, A. O. Finley, N. R. Lottig, S. W. Punyasena, J. Xiao, J. Zhou, L. B. Buckley, C. T. Filstrup, T. H. Keitt, J. R. Kellner, A. K. Knapp, A. D. Richardson, D. Tcheng, M. Toomey, R. Vargas, J. W. Voordeckers, T. Wagner and J. W. Williams. 2014. Approaches to advance scientific understanding of macrosystems ecology. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12(1):15-23. DOI: 10.1890/130019. (link )

2012

Ball, B. A. and R. A. Virginia. 2012. Meltwater seep patches increase heterogeneity of soil geochemistry and therefore habitat suitability. Geoderma 189-190:652-660. DOI: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2012.06.028. (link )

Carrillo, Y., B. A. Ball, M. S. Strickland and M. A. Bradford. 2012. Legacies of plant litter on carbon and nitrogen dynamics and the role of the soil community. Pedobiologia 55(4):185-192. DOI: 10.1016/j.pedobi.2012.02.002. (link )

Magalhaes, C., M. I. Stevens, S. C. Cary, B. A. Ball, B. C. Storey, D. H. Wall, R. Turk and U. Ruprecht. 2012. At limits of life: Multidisciplinary insights reveal environmental constraints on biotic diversity in continental Antarctica. PLoS One 7(8):e44578. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044578. (link )

Nielsen, U. N., D. H. Wall, B. J. Adams, R. A. Virginia, B. A. Ball, M. N. Gooseff and D. M. McKnight. 2012. The ecology of pulse events: Insights from an extreme climatic event in a polar desert ecosystem. Echosphere 3(2):art 17. DOI: 10.1890/ES11-00325.1. (link )

2011

Ball, B. A., J. E. Barrett, M. N. Gooseff, R. A. Virginia and D. H. Wall. 2011. Implications of meltwater pulse events for soil biology and biogeochemical cycling in a polar desert. Polar Research 30:14555. DOI: 10.3402/polar.v30i0.14555. (link )

Carrillo, Y., B. A. Ball, M. A. Bradford, N. Jordan and M. Molina. 2011. Soil fauna alter the effects of littler composition on nitrogen cycling in a mineral soil. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 43(7):1440-1449. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2011.03.011. (link )

2010

Ball, B. A., J. S. Kominoski, H. E. Adams, S. E. Jones, E. S. Kane, T. D. Loecke, W. Mahaney, J. Martina, C. M. Prather, T. M. Robinson and C. T. Solomon. 2010. Direct and terrestrial vegetation-mediated effects of environmental change on aquatic ecosystem processes. BioScience 60(8):590-601. DOI: 10.1525/bio.2010.60.8.5. (link )

2009

Ball, B. A., M. A. Bradford, D. C. Coleman and M. D. Hunter. 2009. Linkages between below and aboveground communities: Decomposer responses to simulated tree species loss are largely additive. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 41(6):1155-1163. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2009.02.025. (link )

Ball, B. A., M. A. Bradford and M. D. Hunter. 2009. Nitrogen and phosphorus release from mixed litter layers is lower than predicted from single species decay. Ecosystems 12(1):87-100. DOI: 10.1007/s10021-008-9208-2. (link )

Ball, B. A., R. A. Virginia, J. E. Barrett, R. Parsons and D. H. Wall. 2009. Interactions between physical and biotic factors influence CO2 flux in Antarctic dry valley soils. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 41(7):1510-1517. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2009.04.011. (link )

2008

Ball, B. A., M. D. Hunter, J. S. Kominoski, C. M. Swan and M. A. Bradford. 2008. Consequences of non-random species loss for decomposition dynamics: Experimental evidence for additive and non-additive effects. Journal of Ecology 96(2):303-313. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2007.01346.x. (link )

Kominoski, J. S., C. M. Pringle and B. A. Ball. 2008. Invasive wooly adelgid appears to drive seasonal hemlock and carcass inputs to a detritus-based stream. Herh. Internation. Verein. Limnol. 30(1):109-112. (link )

2007

Kominoski, J. S., C. M. Pringle, B. A. Ball, M. A. Bradford, D. C. Coleman, D. B. Hall and M. D. Hunter. 2007. Non-additive effects of leaf litter species diversity on breakdown dynamics in a detritus-based stream. Ecology 88(5):1167-1176. DOI: 10.1890/06-0674. (link )

Posters

2017

Ball, B. A., S. J. Hall, H. Heavenrich and J. Ripplinger. 2017. Long-term patterns in land use and soil properties across the CAP LTER ecosystem. Poster presented at the 19th Annual Central-Arizona Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research All Scientists Meeting and Poster Symposium, 13 January 2017, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link )

Kowal, N. B., P. A. Marshall and B. A. Ball. 2017. Nitrogen deposition effects on microbial communities in desert soils. Poster presented at the 19th Annual Central-Arizona Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research All Scientists Meeting and Poster Symposium, 13 January 2017, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link )

Vega, M. N., B. A. Ball, K. Wickings and L. M. Christenson. 2017. Pathways and patterns of plant litter chemistry throught decomposition. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting Portland ESA 2017, August 6-11, 2017, Portland, OR. (link )

Vega, M. N., K. Berry, S. Peters-Collaer, P. Susman, L. M. Christenson, K. G. Wickings and B. A. Ball. 2017. Pathways and patterns of plant litter chemistry during decomposition. Poster presented at the 19th Annual Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research All Scientists Meeting and Poster Symposium, 13 January 2017, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link )

2016

Alvarez Guevara, J., B. A. Ball and S. J. Hall. 2016. Urbanization alters herbivore rodent composition but not abundance. Poster presented at the Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research Eighteenth Annual All Scientists Meeting and Poster Symposium, 15 January 2016, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link )

Ball, B. A., S. J. Hall and J. Ripplinger. 2016. Influence of climate, plant communities, and land use on long-term patterns of soil properties in the CAP LTER ecosystem. Poster presented at the Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research Eighteenth Annual All Scientists Meeting and Poster Symposium, 15 January 2016, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ.

Vega, M. N., B. A. Ball, L. M. Christenson, K. G. Wickings and K. Berry. 2016. Pathways and patterns of litter chemistry during decomposition. Poster presented at the ESA Annual Meeting 2016: Novel Ecosystems in the Anthropocene, 7-12 August 2016, Fort Lauderdale, FL. (link )

2015

Alvarez Guevara, J. and B. A. Ball. 2015. How urbanization alters the top-down influence of herbivores on plant communities. Poster presented at the Seventeenth Annual CAP LTER All Scientists Meeting and Poster Symposium, 16 January 2015, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link )

Alvarez Guevara, J., S. J. Hall and B. A. Ball. 2015. Urbanization alters terrestrial herbivore composition but not abundance. Poster presented at the Ecological Science at the Frontier: Celebrating the ESA Centennial 1915-2015, 9-14 August 2015, Baltimore, Maryland. (link )

Bergin, K. L. and B. A. Ball. 2015. Impacts of altered precipitation on aboveground-belowground interactions in the Sonoran Desert. Poster presented at the Seventeenth Annual CAP LTER All Scientists Meeting and Poster Symposium, 16 January 2015, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link )

2014

Alvarez Guevara, J. and B. Ball. 2014. Moss nutrient plasticity over variations in soil resource availability in desert soils. Poster presented at the CAP LTER 16th Annual Poster Symposium and All Scientist Meeting, January 17, 2014, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link )

Christman, M., B. A. Ball and S. J. Hall. 2014. Nutrient dynamics during photodegradation for Ambrosia deltoidea litter in an arid, urban ecosystem.. Poster presented at the 16th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium and All Scientist Meeting, January 17, 2014, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link )

2013

Ball, B. A. and R. A. Virginia. 2013. Moss nutrient plasticity in desert ecosystems: A hot-cold desert comparison. Poster presented at the 11 January 2013, 15th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium and All Scientist Meeting 2013, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link )

Christman, M. and B. A. Ball. 2013. The role of Ambrosia dumosa litter degradation in N-fertilization cycles in urban versus rural environments. Poster presented at the 11 January 2013, 15th Annual Poster Symposium and All Scientist Meeting 2013, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link )

2012

Ball, B. A. 2012. Moss nutrient plasticity in desert ecosystems: A hot-cold desert comparison. Poster presented at 10-13 September 2012 LTER All Scientists Meeting, Estes Park, Colorado. (link )

2011

Ball, B. A. and R. A. Virginia. 2011. Permafrost melt seep patches increase heterogeneity of soil geochemistry and therefore habitat suitability. Poster presentation at the 24-27 May 2011 Soil Ecology Society Meeting, The University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.

2010

Ball, B. A., J. E. Barrett, R. A. Virginia and D. H. Wall. 2010. Soil biology and biogeochemical cycling under water-pulse events in a polar desert: Responses and mechanisms. Invited session speaker at June 2010 International Polar Year Oslo Science Conference, Oslo, Norway. (link )

2009

Ball, B. A. and R. A. Virginia. 2009. The response of soil biogeochemical cycling and microbial stoichiometry to water pulse events in a polar desert. Poster presented at the 14-16 September 2009 LTER All Scientists Meeting, Estes Park, Colorado. (link )

Carrillo, Y., B. A. Ball, J. Strickland and M. A. Bradford. 2009. Interactions between the legacies of plant litter inputs on soil chemistry and soil communities affect litter and soil organic matter dynamics. Poster presented at the July 2009 Soil Ecology Society Bienial Meeting, Burlington, Vermont.

2007

Ball, B. A. 2007. Biochemical quality of litter as a driver of detrital community assemblage in mineral soil. Poster presentation at the April 2007 Soil Ecology Society Biennial Meeting, Moab, Utah (2nd author, presenter).

Carrillo, Y., B. A. Ball, C. Jordan and M. Molina. 2007. Chemical quality of litter as a driver of detrital community assemblage in mineral soil. Poster presetnted at the 5-10 August 2007 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, San Jose, California. (link )

Presentations

2012

Ball, B. A. 2012. Moss nutrient plasticity in a polar desert: Insights from a hot desert comparison. Presentation at the 5-10 August 2012 97th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, Portland, Oregon. (link )

2011

Ball, B. A., R. A. Virginia, B. J. Adams, J. E. Barrett and D. H. Wall. 2011. Extreme stoichiometry: Nutrient limitation and fertilization in polar desert soils. Presentation at the 7-12 August 2011 96th Ecological Society of American Annual Meeting, Austin, Texas. (link )

2010

Ball, B. A. and R. A. Virginia. 2010. The role of moss as integrators of soil and stream nutrient status in a polar desert. Presentation at the 1-6 August 2010 95th Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (link )

2009

Ball, B. A. 2009. Cross-site synthesis: Using terrestrial-aquatic linkages to form graduate student linkages. Invited presentation at the 14-16 September 2009 LTER All Scientists Meeting, Graduate Student Symposium, Estes Park, Colorado.

Ball, B. A. and R. A. Virginia. 2009. Microbial biomass and respiration responses to nitrogen fertilization in a polar desert. Presentation at the July 2009 Soil Ecology Society Biennial meeting, Burlington, Vermont.

2008

Ball, B. A. 2008. Stoichiometry and soil CO2 flux. Presentation at the June 2008 McMurdo All Science Meeting, Chicago, Illinois.

2007

Ball, B. A., M. A. Bradford, D. C. Coleman, M. D. Hunter, J. S. Kominoski and C. Pringle. 2007. Effects of leaf litter species richness and composition on nutrient turnover and decomposer biota. Presentation at the 5-10 August 2007 Ecological Society of America/Society of Ecological Restoration Meeting, San Jose, California. (link )