Prof. Erik  T. Nilsen
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Prof. Erik T. Nilsen

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA

Highest Degree
Ph.D. in Biology from University of California, Los Angeles, USA

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Area of Interest:

Plant and Soil Sciences
Plant Physiology
Plant Ecology
Plant Biology

Research Publications in Numbers


Selected Publications

  1. Rodrigues, R.R., R.P. Pineda, J.N. Barney, E.T. Nilsen, J.E. Barrett and M.A. Williams, 2015. Plant invasions associated with change in root-zone microbial community structure and diversity. Plos One, Vol. 10. 10.1371/journal.pone.0141424.
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  2. Nilsen, E.T. and T. Tulyanon, 2015. An update on the diversity and functional significance of scales in section Schistanthe. J. Am. Rhododendron Soc., 69: 187-193.
  3. Halter, M., J. Mitchell, D.G. Mann, B. Muthukumar, C.N. Stewart and E.T. Nilsen, 2015. Photosynthetic parameters of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) under low radiation: Influence of stable overexpression of Miscanthus×giganteus PPDK on responses to light and CO2 under warm and cool growing conditions. New Negat. Plant Sci., 1-2: 23-32.
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  4. Bao, Z. and E.T. Nilsen, 2015. Interactions between seedlings of the invasive tree Ailanthus altissima and the native tree Robinia pseudoacacia under low nutrient conditions. J. Plant Interact., 10: 173-184.
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  5. Rundel, P.W., M.R. Sharifi, E.T. Nilsen, G.A. Baker, R.A. Virginia and L.M. Shultz, 2014. Geomorphic landforms and plant community structure and dominance in the central desert region of Baja California, Mexico. Madrono, 61: 105-114.
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  6. Nilsen, E.T., R. Arora and M. Upmanyu, 2014. Thermonastic leaf movements in Rhododendron during freeze-thaw events: Patterns, functional significances and causes. Environ. Exp. Bot., 106: 34-43.
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  7. Nilsen, E.T., J. Freeman, R. Grene and J. Tokuhisa, 2014. A rootstock provides water conservation for a grafted commercial tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) line in response to mild-drought conditions: A focus on vegetative growth and photosynthetic parameters. Plos One, Vol. 9. 10.1371/journal.pone.0115380.
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  8. Nilsen, E.T., D.W. Webb and Z. Bao, 2014. The function of foliar scales in water conservation: An evaluation using tropical-mountain, evergreen shrubs of the species Rhododendron in section Schistanthe (ericaceae). Aust. J. Bot., 62: 403-416.
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  9. Nilsen E.T., C. Johnson and M. Taylor, 2014. Are idioblasts related to drought resistance in Rhododendron section Schistanthe. J. Am. Rhododendron Soc., 68: 73-79.
  10. Mitchell, J.L., M. Halter, C.N. Stewart Jr and E.T. Nilsen, 2014. Cool temperature effects on photosynthetic parameters of two biomass fuel feedstocks in a low light intensity environment. Biofuels, 5: 533-544.
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  11. Halter, M.C., J. Mitchell, D.G.J. Mann, M. Balasubramaniam, E.T. Nilsen and C.N. Jr. Stewart, 2012. Improvement of switchgrass C4 photosynthetic efficiency for increased biomass production. In-vitro Cellular Dev. Biol., 48: 64-64.
  12. Nilsen, E.T., 2011. Linkage of valuable traits from R. saxifragoides in complex hybrids. J. Am. Rhododendron Soc., 66: 9-16.
  13. Russell, R.B., T.T. Lei and E.T. Nilsen, 2009. Freezing induced leaf movements and their potential implications to early spring carbon gain: Rhododendron maximum as exemplar Funct. Ecol., 23: 463-471.
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  14. Nilsen, E.T., T.T. Lei and S.W. Semones, 2009. Presence of understory shrubs constrains carbon gain in sunflecks by advance-regeneration seedlings: Evidence from Quercus rubra seedlings growing in understory forest patches with or without evergreen shrubs present. Int. J. Plant Sci., 170: 735-747.
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  15. Horton, J.L., B.D. Clinton, J.F. Walker, C.M. Beier and E.T. Nilsen, 2009. Variation in soil and forest floor characteristics along gradients of ericaceous, evergreen shrub cover in the southern Appalachians. Castanea, 74: 340-352.
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  16. Hoof, J., L. Sack, D.T. Webb and E.T. Nilsen, 2008. Contrasting structure and function of pubescent and glabrous varieties of Hawaiian Metrosideros polymorpha (Myrtaceae) at high elevation. Biotropica, 40: 113-118.
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  17. Esen, D., E.T. Nilsen and O. Yildiz, 2008. Ecology, Competitive Advantages, and Integrated Control of Rhododendron: An Old Ornamental Yet Emerging Invasive Weed Around the World. In: Floriculture, Ornamental and Plant Biotechnology, Advances and Topical Issues, Teixeira J.A. and D. Silva (Ed.). Vol. 3, 1st Edn., Global Science Books Ltd., USA., pp: 407-421.
  18. Nilsen, E.T. and D.W. Webb, 2007. Do scale type and density of rhododendron species of section vireya have any relationship to stomata. J. Am. Rhododendron Soc., 61: 93-102.
  19. Lei, T.T., E.T. Nilsen and S.W. Semones, 2006. Light environment under Rhododendron maximum thickets and estimated carbon gain of regenerating forest tree seedlings. Plant Ecol., 184: 143-156.
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  20. Esen, D. and E.T. Nilsen, 2006. Effects of shade in understory on leaf characteristics of purple- flowered rhododendron (Rhododendron ponticum L.) in western black sea region of Turkey. J. Balkan Ecol., 9: 305-314.
  21. Al-Sagir, M.G., D.M. Porter and E.T. Nilsen, 2006. Anatomical analysis of Pistacia sp. (anacardiaceae). J. Biol. Sci., 6: 242-244.
  22. Eppard, H.R., J.L. Horton, E.T. Nilsen, P. Galusky and B.D. Clinton, 2005. Investigating the allelopathic potential of Kalmia latifolia L. (ericaceae). Southeastern Nat., 4: 383-392.
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  23. Call, L.J. and E.T. Nilsen, 2005. Analysis of interactions between the invasive tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima) and the native black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia). Plant Ecol., 176: 275-285.
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  24. Beier, C.M., E.T. Nilsen, J.L. Horton, B.D. Clinton and J.F. Walker, 2005. Resource availability and tree seedling performance along natural gradients of subcanopy density in an eastern deciduous forest. Plant Ecol., 176: 131-142.
  25. Nilsen, E.T., 2003. Unique Anatomical Traits in Leaves of Rhododendron Section Vireya: A Discussion of Functional Significance. In: Rhododendrons in Horticulture and Science, Argent, G. and M. McFarlane (Eds.). Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh, Scotland, pp: 20-36.
  26. Nilsen, E.T. and S.E. Scheckler, 2003. A unique 'giant cell' type in leaves of vireyas. J. Am. Rhododendron Soc., 57: 6-11.
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  27. Nilsen, E.T. and J. Horton, 2003. Rhododendron Maximum in the USA: Similarities to Rhododendron Ponticum in Britain and Ecological Mechanisms for Community Effects. In: Rhododendrons in Horticulture and Science, Argent, G. and M. McFarlane (Eds.). Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh, Scotland, pp: 259-272.
  28. Inderjit and E.T. Nilsen, 2003. Bioassays and field studies for allelopathy in terrestrial plants: Progress and problems. Crit. Rev. Plant Sci., 22: 221-238.
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  29. Call, L.J. and E.T. Nilsen, 2003. Analysis of spatial patterns and spatial association between the invasive tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima) and the native black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia). Am. Midland Nat., 150: 1-14.
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  30. Lei, T.T., S.W. Semones, J.F. Walker, B.D. Clinton and E.T. Nilsen, 2002. Effects of Rhododendron maximum thickets on tree seed dispersal, seedling morphology and survivorship. Int. J. Plant Sci., 163: 991-1000.
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  31. Cordero, R.A. and E.T. Nilsen, 2002. Effects of summer drought and winter freezing on stem hydraulic conductivity of Rhododendron species from contrasting climates. Tree Physiol., 22: 919-928.
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  32. Nilsen, E.T., B.D. Clinton, T.T. Lei, O.K. Miller, S.W. Semones and J.F. Walker, 2001. Does rhododendron maximum L.(ericaceae) reduce the availability of resources above and belowground for canopy tree seedlings? Am. Midland Nat., 145: 325-343.
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  33. Orcutt, D.M. and E.T. Nilsen, 2000. Physiology of Plants under Stress: Soil and Biotic Factors. Vol. 2, John Wiley and Sons, New York, ISBN-13: 9780471170082, Pages: 696.
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  34. Braunschweig, S., E.T. Nilsen and T. Wiebolt, 1999. The Mid Atlantic Shale Barrens. In: Savannas, Barrens and Rock Outcrop Plant Communities of North America, Anderson, R.G., J.S. Fralish and J.M. Baskin (Eds.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK., pp: 83-98.
  35. Nilsen, E.T., 1995. Stem Photosynthesis: Extent, Patterns and Role in Plant Carbon Economy. In: Stems and Trunks in Plant Form and Function, Gartner, B. (Ed.). Academic Press, San Diego, pp: 223-240.
  36. Nilsen, E.T., M.R. Sharifi and P.W. Rundel, 1984. Biomass and Production of Native Stands of Prosopis Glandulosa in California Wash Woodlands: Management Implications. In: California Riparian Systems: Ecology, Conservation and Product Management, Warner, R.E. and K.M. Hendrix (Eds.). University of California Press, Berkeley, pp: 722 727.