Faculty of Biological Sciences

Dr Mahesh Sankaran

MSc, Pilani, India; MS Auburn, USA; PhD May 2001, Syracuse, USA
School of Biology

Contact:  Miall 8.18, +44(0) 113 34 33108, email address for  

Faculty Research and Innovation

Modules managed

BLGY3133 - Advanced Topics in Ecology

Modules taught

BLGY1124/1128 - The Diversity of Life/Living Planet
BLGY1304 - Research Experience and Skills Level 1
BLGY2301 - Research Experience and Skills Level 2
BLGY3021 - Research Project
BLGY3133 - Advanced Topics in Ecology
BLGY5111M/5112M - MRes Bio & Cons Skills II/Advanced Statistics
BLGY5153M - African Field Ecology


Felicity Edwards (Co-supervisor) 10% FTE

Iyengar SB, Bagchi S, Barua D, Mishra C, Sankaran M A dominant dwarf shrub increases diversity of herbaceous plant communities in a Trans-Himalayan rangeland Plant Ecology 218 843-854, 2017
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Wordley CFR, Sankaran M, Mudappa D, Altringham JD Bats in the Ghats: Agricultural intensification reduces functional diversity and increases trait filtering in a biodiversity hotspot in India Biological Conservation 210 48-55, 2017
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Dohn J, Augustine DJ, Hanan NP, Ratnam J, Sankaran M Spatial vegetation patterns and neighborhood competition among woody plants in an East African savanna Ecology 98 478-488, 2017
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Ratnam J, Tomlinson KW, Rasquinha DN, Sankaran M Savannahs of Asia: Antiquity, biogeography, and an uncertain future Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 371 -, 2016
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Varma V, Iyengar SB, Sankaran M Effects of nutrient addition and soil drainage on germination of N-fixing and non-N-fixing tropical dry forest tree species Plant Ecology 217 1043-1054, 2016
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Rasquinha DN, Sankaran M Modelling biome shifts in the Indian subcontinent under scenarios of future climate change CURRENT SCIENCE 111 147-156, 2016

Osuri AM, Sankaran M Seed size predicts community composition and carbon storage potential of tree communities in rain forest fragments in India's Western Ghats Journal of Applied Ecology 53 837-845, 2016

Osuri AM, Ratnam J, Varma V, Alvarez-Loayza P, Hurtado Astaiza J, Bradford M, Fletcher C, Ndoundou-Hockemba M, Jansen PA, Kenfack D, Marshall AR, Ramesh BR, Rovero F, Sankaran M Contrasting effects of defaunation on aboveground carbon storage across the global tropics. Nat Commun 7 11351-, 2016
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Wordley CFR, Foui EK, Mudappa D, Sankaran M, Altringham JD Range extension of the endangered Salim Ali's Fruit Bat Latidens salimalii (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) in the Anamalai Hills, Tamil Nadu, India Journal of Threatened Taxa 8 9486-9490, 2016
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Wordley CFR, Sankaran M, Mudappa D, Altringham JD Landscape scale habitat suitability modelling of bats in the Western Ghats of India: Bats like something in their tea Biological Conservation 191 529-536, 2015
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Seabloom EW, Borer ET, Buckley YM, Cleland EE, Davies KF, Firn J, Harpole WS, Hautier Y, Lind EM, Macdougall AS, Orrock JL, Prober SM, Adler PB, Anderson TM, Bakker JD, Biederman LA, Blumenthal DM, Brown CS, Brudvig LA, Cadotte M, Chu C, Cottingham KL, Crawley MJ, Damschen EI, Dantonio CM, Decrappeo NM, Du G, Fay PA, Frater P, Gruner DS, Hagenah N, Hector A, Hillebrand H, Hofmockel KS, Humphries HC, Jin VL, Kay A, Kirkman KP, Klein JA, Knops JMH, La Pierre KJ, Ladwig L, Lambrinos JG, Li Q, Li W, Marushia R, Mcculley RL, Melbourne BA, Mitchell CE, Moore JL, Morgan J, Mortensen B, O'halloran LR, Pyke DA, Risch AC, Sankaran M, Schuetz M, Simonsen A, Smith MD, Stevens CJ, Sullivan L, Wolkovich E, Wragg PD, Wright J, Yang L Plant species origin predicts dominance and response to nutrient enrichment and herbivores in global grasslands Nature Communications 6 -, 2015
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Varma V, Ratnam J, Viswanathan V, Osuri AM, Biesmeijer JC, Madhusudan MD, Sankaran M, Krishnadas M, Barua D, Budruk M, Isvaran K, Jayapal R, Joshi J, Karanth KK, Krishnaswamy J, Kumar R, Mukherjee S, Nagendra H, Niphadkar M, Owen N, Page N, Prasad S, Quader S, Nandini R, Robin VV, Sait SM, Shah MA, Somanathan H, Srinivasan U, Sundaram B Perceptions of priority issues in the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems in India Biological Conservation 187 201-211, 2015
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Osuri AM, Madhusudan MD, Kumar VS, Chengappa SK, Kushalappa CG, Sankaran M Spatio-temporal variation in forest cover and biomass across sacred groves in a human-modified landscape of India's Western Ghats Biological Conservation 178 193-199, 2014
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Krishnaswamy J, Vaidyanathan S, Rajagopalan B, Bonell M, Sankaran M, Bhalla RS, Badiger S Non-stationary and non-linear influence of ENSO and Indian Ocean Dipole on the variability of Indian monsoon rainfall and extreme rain events Climate Dynamics -, 2014
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Kohli M, Sankaran M, Suryawanshi KR, Mishra C A penny saved is a penny earned : lean season foraging strategy of an alpine ungulate Animal Behaviour 92 93-100, 2014
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Hautier Y, Seabloom EW, Borer ET, Adler PB, Harpole WS, Hillebrand H, Lind EM, MacDougall AS, Stevens CJ, Bakker JD, Buckley YM, Chu C, Collins SL, Daleo P, Damschen EI, Davies KF, Fay PA, Firn J, Gruner DS, Jin VL, Klein JA, Knops JM, La Pierre KJ, Li W, McCulley RL, Melbourne BA, Moore JL, O'Halloran LR, Prober SM, Risch AC, Sankaran M, Schuetz M, Hector A Eutrophication weakens stabilizing effects of diversity in natural grasslands. Nature 508 521-525, 2014
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Lehmann CE, Anderson TM, Sankaran M, Higgins SI, Archibald S, Hoffmann WA, Hanan NP, Williams RJ, Fensham RJ, Felfili J, Hutley LB, Ratnam J, San Jose J, Montes R, Franklin D, Russell-Smith J, Ryan CM, Durigan G, Hiernaux P, Haidar R, Bowman DM, Bond WJ Savanna vegetation-fire-climate relationships differ among continents. Science 343 548-552, 2014
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Osuri AM, Kumar VS, Sankaran M Altered stand structure and tree allometry reduce carbon storage in evergreen forest fragments in India's Western Ghats Forest Ecology and Management 329 375-383, 2014
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Wordley CFR, Foui EK, Mudappa D, Sankaran M, Altringham JD Acoustic identification of bats in the Southern Western Ghats, India Acta Chiropterologica 16 213-222, 2014
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Sankaran M, Augustine DJ, Ratnam J Native ungulates of diverse body sizes collectively regulate long-term woody plant demography and structure of a semi-arid savanna JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY 101 1389-1399, 2013

Seabloom EW, Borer ET, Buckley Y, Cleland EE, Davies K, Firn J, Harpole WS, Hautier Y, Lind E, Macdougall A, Orrock JL, Prober SM, Adler P, Alberti J, Michael Anderson T, Bakker JD, Biederman LA, Blumenthal D, Brown CS, Brudvig LA, Caldeira M, Chu C, Crawley MJ, Daleo P, Damschen EI, D'Antonio CM, Decrappeo NM, Dickman CR, Du G, Fay PA, Frater P, Gruner DS, Hagenah N, Hector A, Helm A, Hillebrand H, Hofmockel KS, Humphries HC, Iribarne O, Jin VL, Kay A, Kirkman KP, Klein JA, Knops JM, La Pierre KJ, Ladwig LM, Lambrinos JG, Leakey AD, Li Q, Li W, McCulley R, Melbourne B, Mitchell CE, Moore JL, Morgan J, Mortensen B, O'Halloran LR, Pärtel M, Pascual J, Pyke DA, Risch AC, Salguero-Gómez R, Sankaran M, Schuetz M, Simonsen A, Smith M, Stevens C, Sullivan L, Wardle GM, Wolkovich EM, Wragg PD, Wright J, Yang L Predicting invasion in grassland ecosystems: is exotic dominance the real embarrassment of richness? Global Change Biology 19 3677-3687, 2013
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Sankaran M, Mcnaughton SJ Terrestrial Plant-Herbivore Interactions: Integrating Across Multiple Determinants and Trophic Levels, 2013

Moustakas A, Kunin WE, Cameron TC, Sankaran M Facilitation or competition? Tree effects on grass biomass across a precipitation gradient. PLoS One 8 e57025-, 2013
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Velho N, Ratnam J, Srinivasan U, Sankaran M Shifts in community structure of tropical trees and avian frugivores in forests recovering from past logging Biological Conservation 153 32-40, 2012
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Ratnam J, Bond WJ, Fensham RJ, Hoffmann WA, Archibald S, Lehmann CER, Anderson MT, Higgins SI, Sankaran M When is a 'forest' a savanna, and why does it matter? GLOBAL ECOL BIOGEOGR 20 653-660, 2011

Higgins SI, Scheiter S, Sankaran M The stability of African savannas: insights from the indirect estimation of the parameters of a dynamic model ECOLOGY 91 1682-1692, 2010

Moustakas A, Wiegand K, Meyer KM, Ward D, Sankaran M Learning new tricks from old trees: revisiting the savanna question Frontiers of Biogeography 2 47-53, 2010

Sankaran M Diversity patterns in savanna grassland communities: implications for conservation strategies in a biodiversity hotspot BIODIVERS CONSERV 18 1099-1115, 2009

Srivastava DS, Cardinale BJ, Downing AL, Duffy JE, Jouseau C, Sankaran M, Wright JP Diversity has stronger top-down than bottom-up effects on decomposition ECOLOGY 90 1073-1083, 2009

Duffy JE, Srivastava DS, McLaren J, Solan M, Sankaran M, Griffin J, Emmerson M, Jones KE Forecasting decline in ecosystem services under realistic scenarios of extinction. In Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning, and Human Wellbeing: An Ecological and Economic Perspective. , 2009

Sankaran M, Anderson MT Management and restoration in African savannas: Interactions and feedbacks In New Models for Ecosystem Dynamics and Restoration , 2009

Cardinale BJ, Srivastava DS, Duffy JE, Wright JP, Downing AL, Sankaran M, Jouseau C, Cadotte MW, Carroll IT, Weis JJ, Hector A Effects of biodiversity on the functioning of ecosystems: A summary of 164 experimental manipulations of species richness. ECOLOGY 90 854-854, 2009

Ratnam J, Sankaran M, Hanan NP, Grant RC, Zambatis N Nutrient resorption patterns of plant functional groups in a tropical savanna: variation and functional significance OECOLOGIA 157 141-151, 2008

Sankaran M, Ratnam J, Hanan N Woody cover in African savannas: the role of resources, fire and herbivory GLOBAL ECOL BIOGEOGR 17 236-245, 2008

Grace JB, Anderson TM, Smith MD, Seabloom E, Andelman SJ, Meche G, Weiher E, Allain LK, Jutila H, Sankaran M, Knops J, Ritchie M, Willig MR Does species diversity limit productivity in natural grassland communities? ECOL LETT 10 680-689, 2007

Cardinale BJ, Srivastava DS, Duffy JE, Wright JP, Downing AL, Sankaran M, Jouseau C Effects of biodiversity on the functioning of trophic groups and ecosystems NATURE 443 989-992, 2006

Ojima DS, Wall DH, Moore J, Galvin K, Hobbs NT, Hunt WH, Paustian K, Swift D, Boone RB, Conant RT, Klein J, Christensen L, Sankaran M, Ratnam J, Ayres E, Steltzer H, Simmons B, Williams G Don't sell social science short SCIENCE 312 1470-1470, 2006

Sankaran M, Hanan NP, Scholes RJ, Ratnam J, Augustine DJ, Cade BS, Gignoux J, Higgins SI, Le Roux X, Ludwig F, Ardo J, Banyikwa F, Bronn A, Bucini G, Caylor KK, Coughenour MB, Diouf A, Ekaya W, Feral CJ, February EC, Frost PGH, Hiernaux P, Hrabar H, Metzger KL, Prins HHT, Ringrose S, Sea W, Tews J, Worden J, Zambatis N Determinants of woody cover in African savannas NATURE 438 846-849, 2005

Bunker DE, DeClerck F, Bradford JC, Colwell RK, Perfecto I, Phillips OL, Sankaran M, Naeem S Species loss and aboveground carbon storage in a tropical forest SCIENCE 310 1029-1031, 2005

Bunker DE, DeClerck F, Bradford JC, Colwell RK, Perfecto I, Phillips OL, Sankaran M, Naeem S Ecology: Species loss and aboveground carbon storage in a tropical Science 310 1029-1031, 2005
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Sankaran M Fire, grazing and the dynamics of tall-grass savannas in the Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve. Conservation&Society 3 4-25, 2005

Sankaran M, McNaughton SJ Terrestrial plant-herbivore interactions: integrating across multiple determinants and trophic levels In Vegetatation Ecology , 2005

Sankaran M, Ratnam J, Hanan NP Tree-grass coexistence in savannas revisited - insights from an examination of assumptions and mechanisms invoked in existing models ECOL LETT 7 480-490, 2004

Sankaran M, Augustine DJ Large herbivores suppress decomposer abundance in a semiarid grazing ecosystem ECOLOGY 85 1052-1061, 2004

Sankaran M, McNaughton SJ Determinants of biodiversity regulate compositional stability of communities Nature 401 691-693, 1999
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