Contact for reprints or pdf copies.

In press

Brown, J.K., Zinnert, J.C., and D.R. Young. Emergent interactions influence functional traits and success of dune building ecosystem engineers. Journal of Plant Ecology, in press.


Shilfett, S.A., Zinnert, J.C., and D.R. Young. 2017. Functional traits of expanding, thicket forming shrubs: strategies between exotic and native species. Ecosphere 8(9):c01918.

Harris, A.L., Zinnert, J.C., and D.R. Young. 2017. Differential responses of barrier island dune grasses to species interactions and burial. Plant Ecology, 218:609-619.

Thompson, J.A., Zinnert, J.C., and D.R. Young. 2017. Microclimate modification enhances native shrub encroachment. Ecosphere, 8:e01687.

Zinnert, J.C., Stallins, J.A., Brantley, S.T. and D.R. Young. 2017. Crossing scales: complexity of barrier island processes for predicting future change. Bioscience, 67:39-52.

Via, S.M., Zinnert, J.C., and D.R. Young. 2017. Multiple metrics quanitfy and differentiate resonses of vegetation to a common explosives mixture. International Journal of Phytoremediation, 64:56-64.


Via, S.M., Zinnert, J.C., and D. R. Young. 2016. Legacy effects of explosive contamination on vegetative communities. Open Journal of Ecology, 6: 496-508. 

Bissett, S.N., Zinnert, J.C., and D.R. Young. 2016. Woody expansion facilitates liana expansion and affects physical structure in temperate coastal communities. Ecosphere, 7: e01383 

Zinnert, J.C., Shiflett, S.A., Via, S.M., Dows, B., Manley, P.V. and D.R. Young. 2016. Spatio-temporal dynamics in barrier island upland vegetation: the overlooked coastal landscape. Ecosystems 19: 685-697  

Zinnert, J.C., Brantley, S.T., and D.R. Young. Correspondence: Bistability and the future of barrier islands. Nature Climate Change, 6: 5-6.

Via, S.M. and J.C. Zinnert. Impacts of explosive coumpounds on vegetation: a need for community scale investigations. Environmental Pollution, 208: 495-505. 


Feagin, R.A., J. Figlus, J. Zinnert, J. Sigren, M.L. Martinez, R. Silva Casarin, W.K. Smith, D. Cox, D. Young, and G. Carter. 2015. Going with the flow or against the grain? The promise of nature-based solutions for protecting beaches, dunes, and barrier islands.  Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 13: 203-210. 

Via S.M., J.C. Zinnert, and D.R. Young. 2015. Differential effects of two explosive compounds on seed germination and seedling morphology of a native coastal shrub, Morella cerifera. Ecotoxicology, 24: 194-201.


Ali .A, J.C. Zinnert, M. Balasubramaniam, P. Yanhui, S-M Chung, and C.N. Stewart. 2014. Physiological and transcriptional responses of Baccharis halimifolia in Comp B (RDX/TNT) amended soil.  Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 21: 8261-8270.

Bissett, S.N., J.C. Zinnert and D.R. Young.  2014. Linking habitat with associations of woody vegetation and vines on tow mid-Atlantic barrier islands.  Journal of Coastal Research 30: 843-850.

Guglielmo, L., F. Azzaro, C. Baviera, A. Bergamasco,S.N. Bissett, C. Brugnano, G. Caruso, F. Decembrini, A.L. Garey, A. Granata, C. Cugliandolo, V. Lentini, M.A. Lo Gullo, T.L. Maugeri, M. Pansera, F. Raimondo, L.P. Rodriguez-Vlades, L.A. Smock, S. Spano, P. Trifilo, J.K. Vick, D.R. Young, G. Zagami, J.C. Zinnert and R. Minutoli.  2014. Multidisciplinary ecological assessment of the Alcantara River (Sicily, Italy) using Bioindicators.  Marine and Freshwater Research 65: 283-305.

Shiflett, S.A., J.C. Zinnert and D.R. Young.  2014.  Conservation of functional traits leads to shrub expansion across a chronosequence of shrub thicket development.  Trees 28:849-858.

Shiflett S.A., J.C. Zinnert, and D.R. Young. 2014. Coordination of leaf N, structure, photosynthetic capacity and hydraulics in the face of environmental controls enhances evergreen expansive potential. Trees Structure and Function, 28: 1635-1644.

Via, S.M., J.C. Zinnert, A.D. Butler and D.R. Young.  2014. Comparative plant physiological responses to RDX, TNT, and Composition B contaminated soils.  Environmental and Experimental Botany 99: 67-74.


Shiflett, S.A., J.C. Zinnert and D.R. Young.  2013.  Seasonal patterns of light availability and light use of broadleaf evergreens in a deciduous forest understory: Potential mechanisms for expansion.  Open Journal of Ecology 3: 151-160.

Shiflett, S.A., J.C. Zinnert and D.R. Young.  2013.  Changes in composition and structure during restoration of maritime communities.  Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 140: 89-100.

Zinnert, JC, SA Shiflett and DR Young.  2013.  Plant functional traits of a shrub invader relative to sympatric native shrubs.  Ecosphere 4(10): Article 119.

 Zinnert, J.C., S. Via and D.R. Young.  2013. Distinguishing natural from anthropogenic stress in plants: physiology, fluorescence and hyperspectral reflectance.  Plant and Soil 366:133–141.


Aguilar, C., J.C. Zinnert M. Jose Polo, and D.R. Young.  2012.  NDVI as an indicator for changes in water availability to woody vegetation.  Ecological Indicators 23: 290-300.

Zinnert, J.C.  2012.  Plants as phytosensors: physiological responses of a woody plant in response to RDX exposure and potential for remote detection.  International Journal of Plant Sciences 173: 1-11.

Zinnert, J.C., J.D. Nelson, and A.M. Hoffman.  2012. Effects of salinity on physiological responses and the photochemical reflectance index in two co-occurring coastal shrubs.  Plant and Soil 345: 41-44.


Zinnert, J.C., S.A. Shiflett, J.K. Vick, and D.R. Young.  2011.  Woody vegetative cover dynamics in response to recent climate change on an Atlantic barrier island: remote sensing approach.  Invited publication, Geocarto International Special Issue "Remote Sensing of Coastal System Dynamics", 26: 595-612. 

Young, D.R., S.T. Brantley, J.C. Naumann, and J.K. Vick.  2011.  Landscape position and habitat polygons in a dynamic coastal barrier environment.  Ecosphere 2: Article 71.

Brantley, S.T. J.C. Naumann and D.R. Young.  2011. Application of hyperspectral vegetation indices to detect variations of high leaf area index temperate shrub thicket canopies.  Remote Sensing of Environment 115: 514-523.



Recent news

Dr. Natasha Woods has joined our lab as a Ford Foundation post-doctoral scholar!

Welcome Michael Sinclair - a new MS student in the Coastal Plant Ecology Lab!

Paper published in Ecosphere on functional traits of expanding shrubs

VCU Island time

Other collaboration

CPEL is a member of the Nutrient Network. We maintain 2 sites on Hog and Metompkin Islands in order to understand how disturbance regime interacts with nutrient additions on coastal grassland communities.