Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

John B Taft
Title: Research Affiliate
Mailing address:
1816 S. Oak Street
Champaign, IL 61820
Office address:
1909 S. Oak Street
Robert A. Evers Laboratory 1909 S. Oak Street
Champaign, IL 61820
Address mailcode: 652
Office room: 2007 Evers Lab
Phone: 217-244-5046
Fax: 217-244-0802

Principal duties include: coordination of botanical survey program with emphasis on threatened and endangered species and natural areas surveys and vegetation monitoring; teaching, and research.

Teaching activities:
Teach NRES 415, Native Plant ID and Floristics.
Serve on graduate committees and help direct student research projects, occasional guest lecturer.

Outreach activities:
I give numerous presentations annually to public and professional groups with a focus on vegetational ecology.
Vegetation ecology of oak-dominated communities including flatwoods, barrens, and woodlands; methods for assessing floristic integrity; ecology of grasslands including prairies of Illinois and steppes of central Asia.
Message to students:

Please contact me for available opportunities.

Included on list of teachers ranked as excellent by students (2009-2014).
Professional affiliations:
International Association of Vegetation Scientists, Illinois Native Plant Society, Torrey Botanical Society
Selected publications:

Taft, J. B., and C. H. Dietrich.  2017.  A test of concordance in community structure between leafhoppers and grasslands in the central Tien Shan Mountains.  Arthropod-Plant Interactions.

Taft, J. B.  2016.  Are small, isolated prairie remnants smaller than they look and effectively getting smaller?  Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 143(3):207-223.

Taft, J.B., and Z.P. Kron.  2014.  Evidence of species and functional group attrition in shrub-encroached prairie: implications for restoration.  American Midland Naturalist 172: 252-265.

Taft, J. B. and E. Smith. 2013. A field test of regeneration for an isolated population of Violet collinsia (Collinsia violacea). Ecological Restoration 31(1): 57-62.

Taft, J. B., and J. O. Dawson. 2011. Evidence for community structuring associated with the actinorhizal shrub Ceanothus americanus in tallgrass prairies in Illinois, USA. Functional Plant Biology 38:711-719.

Taft, J. B., L. R. Phillippe, C. Dietrich, and K.R. Robertson. 2011. Grassland composition, structure, and diversity patterns along major environmental gradients in the Central Tien Shan. Plant Ecology 212: 1349-1361.

Sivicek, V., and J. B. Taft. 2011. Functional Group Density as an index for assessing floristic integrity in tallgrass prairie. Ecological Indicators 11: 1251-1258.

Taft, J. B. 2009. Effects of overstory stand density and fire on ground layer vegetation in
oak woodland and savanna habitats. In: Hutchinson, T. F. (ed.). Proceedings of the 3rd Fire in Eastern Oak Forests Conference; 2008 May 20-22; Carbondale, IL. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-46. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest
Service, Northern Research Station.

Taylor, C., J. B. Taft, and C. Warwick, editors. 2009. Canaries in the Catbird Seat - The Past, Present, and Future of Biological Resources in a Changing Environment. Illinois Natural History Survey Special Publication 30. Champaign.

Taft, J. B., C. Hauser, and K. R. Robertson. 2006. Estimating floristic integrity in tallgrass prairie. Biological Conservation 131:42-51.

complete publications list (pdf)
INHS Publink:
Program affiliates:
Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences and the Department of Plant Biology
Professional society involvement and activities:

PhD, Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois, 1999

MS, Botany, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, 1982

BS, General Agriculture, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, 1979

Lab name: Lab research: Lab publications: Lab current projects: admin

Illinois Natural History Survey

1816 South Oak Street, MC 652
Champaign, IL 61820

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