Claudio Gratton

Claudio Gratton


444 Russell Laboratories
1630 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706



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Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley, 1997 (Entomology)
BS University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1991 (summa cum laude, Honors Biology)

My research group and I work broadly in the field of landscape ecology of arthropods in both agricultural and natural systems.  I am interested in understanding how enhance and conserve the services carried out by beneficial arthropods in agricultural landscapes.  In Wisconsin agricultural landscapes, we are interested in understanding how beneficial insects, such as pollinators and lady beetles, utilize the landscape and carry out important functions such as pollination of crops and suppression of insect pests.  Our work studying insect landscape ecology and conservation has partnered us Wisconsin potato, soybeans, cranberry and apple growers as well as rotational grazers.  We focus our studies on understanding how land-use and land-cover interact with management in order to develop ways to enhance and conserve beneficial insects.  I am also a project leader in the Sustainability Area of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center helping to develop sustainable management of bioenergy landscapes.  In less managed systems, our research program examines the ecological linkages between lakes and land with a particular emphasis on sub-arctic lakes in Iceland.

Insect Biological Control (no longer offered)
Basic and Applied Insect Ecology (Entomology 450/451)
Field Ecology (“Sapelo” Problems in Oceanography, Zoology 750)
Multivariate Analysis of Community and Landscape data (Entomology / FWE 711)
Foundations of Agroecology (Agroecology 103)
Recent Graduate seminars (Ento/Zool 875 and 990):
-Scientific proposal writing
-Novel Ecosystems
-Big data and ecoinformatics in agricultural research
-Introduction to Wisconsin Ecology research

Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors (SAAESD) National Excellence in Multistate Research Award (S-1039 Multistate group), 2008

Affiliate, Department of Integrative Biology, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Agroecology Program, University of Wisconsin – Madison


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  • Gratton, C., D. Hoekman, J. Dreyer, and R. D. Jackson. 2017. Increased duration of aquatic resource pulse alters community and ecosystem responses in a subarctic plant community. Ecology 98:2860–2872.
  • Lichtenberg, E. M., et al. 2017. A global synthesis of the effects of diversified farming systems on arthropod diversity within fields and across agricultural landscapes. Global Change Biology 23:4946–4957.
  • Tiede, J., C. Scherber, J. Mutschler, K. D. McMahon, and C. Gratton. 2017. Gut microbiomes of mobile predators vary with landscape context and species identity. Ecology and Evolution 7:8545–8557.
  • Vander Zanden, M. J., J. D. Olden, C. Gratton, and T. D. Tunney. 2017. Food web theory and ecological restoration. Pages 301–329 in Foundations of Restoration Ecology: Second Edition.
  • Mallinger, R. E., H. R. Gaines-Day, and C. Gratton. 2017. Do managed bees have negative effects on wild bees ?: A systematic review of the literature. PLoS ONE 12:e0189268.
  • Sanchez-Ruiz, J. A., J. S. Phillips, A. R. Ives, and C. Gratton. 2017. Responses of orb-weaving spider aggregations to spatiotemporal variation in lake-to-land subsidies at Lake Mývatn, Iceland. Polar Biology:1–8.
  • Gaines-Day, H. R., and C. Gratton. 2017. Understanding barriers to participation in cost-share programs for pollinator conservation by wisconsin (USA) cranberry growers. Insects 8 doi: 10.3390/insects8030079.
  • Pelton, E., Gratton, C. and Guédot, C. 2017. Susceptibility of cold hardy grapes to Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae). Journal of Applied Entomology. doi:10.1111/jen.12384
  • Kim, T. N. Fox, A. F., Wills, B. D., Meehan, T. M, Landis, D. A., and C. Gratton. 2017. Harvesting of potential biofuel grasslands has weak effects on natural enemy diversity and biocontrol services. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12901
  • Landis, D. A., Gratton, C., Jackson, R. D., Gross, K. L., Duncan, D. S., Liang, C.,Meehan, T. D.,  Robertson, B. A., Schmidt, T. M., Stahlheber, K. A., Tiedje, J. M., and Werling, B. P. 2017. Biomass and biofuel crop effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services in the North Central US. Biomass and Bioenergy. DOI: 10.1016/j.biombioe.2017.02.003
  • Spiesman, B. J., A. Bennett, R. Isaacs, and C. Gratton. 2017. Bumble bee colony growth and reproduction depend on local flower dominance and natural habitat area in the surrounding landscape. Biological Conservation. 206: 217–223.
  • Rosenheim, J. A., & Gratton, C. 2017. Ecoinformatics (big data) for agricultural entomology: pitfalls, progress, and promise. Annual Review of Entomology.  62:399-417.
  • Lacasella, F., Marta, S., Singh, A., Stack Whitney, K., Hamilton, K., Townsend, P., Kucharik, C. J., Meehan, T. D. and Gratton, C. 2017. From pest data to abundance-based risk maps combining eco-physiological knowledge, weather, and habitat variability. Ecological Applications, 27: 575–588. doi:10.1002/eap.1467
  • Herren, C. M., K. C. Webert, M. D. Drake, M. Jake Vander Zanden, Á. Einarsson, A. R. Ives, and C. Gratton. 2017. Positive feedback between chironomids and algae creates net mutualism between benthic primary consumers and producers. Ecology 98:447–455.


  • T. Tscharntke, D. S. Karp, R. Chaplin-Kramer, P. Batary, F. DeClerck, C. Gratton, L. Hunt, A. Ives, M. Jonsson, A. Larsen, E. A. Martin, A. Martinez-Salinas, T. D. Meehan, M. O’Rourke, K. Poveda, J. A. Rosenheim, A. Rusch, N. Schellhorn, T. C. Wanger, S. Wratten, W. Zhang. 2016. When natural habitat fails to enhance biological control five hypotheses Biol. Conserv., 204: 449–458
  • Kucharik, C. J., A. C. Mork, T. D. Meehan, S. P. Serbin, A. Singh, P. A. Townsend, K. Stack Whitney, and C. Gratton. 2016. Evidence for compensatory photosynthetic and yield response of soybeans to aphid herbivory. Journal of Economic Entomology 109:1177–1187.
  • Meehan, T. D., and C. Gratton. 2016. A landscape view of agricultural insecticide use across the conterminous US from 1997 through 2012. PLOS ONE 11:e0166724.
  • Mallinger, R. E., J. Gibbs, and C. Gratton. 2016. Diverse landscapes have a higher abundance and species richness of spring wild bees by providing complementary floral resources over bees’ foraging periods. Landscape Ecology 31:1523–1535.
  • Tayyebi, A., T. D. Meehan, J. Dischler, G. Radloff, M. Ferris, and C. Gratton. 2016. SmartScapeTM: A web-based decision support system for assessing the tradeoffs among multiple ecosystem services under crop-change scenarios. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 121:108–121.
  • Fox, A. F., T. N. Kim, C. A. Bahlai, J. M. Woltz, C. Gratton, and D. A. Landis. 2016. Cover crops have neutral effects on predator communities and biological control services in annual cellulosic bioenergy cropping systems. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 232: 101–109.
  • Pelton, E., C. Gratton, R. Isaacs, S. V. Timmeren, A. Blanton, and C. Guédot. 2016. Earlier activity of Drosophila suzukii in high woodland landscapes but relative abundance is unaffected. Journal of Pest Science:1–9.
  • Stack Whitney, K., T. D. Meehan, C. J. Kucharik, J. Zhu, P. Townsend, K. Hamilton, C. Gratton. 2016. Explicit modeling of abiotic and landscape factors reveals precipitation and forests associated with aphid abundance. Ecological Applications DOI: 10.1002/eap.1418.
  • Wenninger, A., T. N. Kim, B. J. Spiesman, and C. Gratton. 2016. Contrasting foraging patterns: testing resource-concentration and dilution effects with pollinators and seed predators. Insects 7:23.
  • Spiesman, B. J., and C. Gratton. 2016. Flexible foraging shapes the topology of plant-pollinator interaction networks. Ecology 97:1431-1441.
  • Gaines-Day, H. R., and C. Gratton. 2016. Crop yield is correlated with honey bee hive density but not in high-woodland landscapes. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 218:53–57.


  • Dreyer, J., D. Hoekman, and C. Gratton. 2015. Positive indirect effect of aquatic insects on terrestrial prey is not offset by increased predator density. Ecological Entomology doi:10.1111/een.12272
  • Radeloff, V. C., J. W. Williams, B. L. Bateman, K. D. Burke, S. K. Carter, E. S. Childress, K. J. Cromwell, C. Gratton, A. O. Hasley, B. M. Kraemer, A. W. Latzka, E. Marin-Spiotta, C. D. Meine, S. E. Munoz, T. M. Neeson, A. M. Pidgeon, A. R. Rissman, R. J. Rivera, L. M. Szymanski, and J. Usinowicz. 2015. The rise of novelty in ecosystems. Ecological Applications 25:2051–2068.
  • Mallinger, R.E., Werts, P., Gratton, C.  2015. Pesticide use within a pollinator-dependent crop has negative effects on the abundance and species richness of sweat bees, Lasioglossum spp., and on bumble bee colony growth  Journal of Insect Conservation 19:999-1010.
  • Meehan, T.D., and Gratton, C.  2015.  A consistent positive association between landscape simplification and insecticide use across the Midwestern US from 1997 to 2012.  Environmental Research Letters
  • Jonsson, M., C. S. Straub, R. K. Didham, H. L. Buckley, B. S. Case, R. J. Hale, C. Gratton, and S. D. Wratten. 2015. Experimental evidence that the effectiveness of conservation biological control depends on landscape complexity. Journal of Applied Ecology:online first DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12489.
  • Perillo, A. C., C. J. Kucharik, T. D. Meehan, S. P. Serbin, A. Singh, P. A. Townsend, K. Stack Whitney, C. Gratton. 2015. Use of insect exclusion cages in soybean creates an altered microclimate and differential crop response. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 208: 50–61.
  • Dreyer, J., P. A. Townsend, J. C. Hook III, D. Hoekman, M. J. Vander Zanden, and C. Gratton. 2015. Quantifying aquatic insect deposition from lake to land. Ecology 96:499–509.
  • Jackson, R. D., L. G. Oates, W. H. Schacht, T. J. Klopfenstein, D. J. Undersander, M. A. Greenquist, M. M. Bell, and C. Gratton. 2015. Nitrous oxide emissions from cool-season pastures under managed grazing. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems:1–12.
  • Bartrons, M., C. Gratton, B. J. Spiesman, and M. J. Vander Zanden. 2015. Taking the trophic bypass: aquatic-terrestrial linkage reduces methylmercury in a terrestrial food web. Ecological Applications 25:151–159.
  • Liere, H., T. N. Kim, B. P. Werling, T. D. Meehan, D. A. Landis, and C. Gratton. 2015. Trophic cascades in agricultural landscapes: indirect effects of landscape composition on crop yield. Ecological Applications 25:652–661.
  • Gaines-Day, H. R., and C. Gratton. 2015. Biotic and abiotic factors contribute to cranberry pollination. Journal of Pollination Ecology 15:15–22.
  • Stack Whitney, Kaitlin. 2015. Manoomin: The taming of wild rice in the Great Lakes region. Arcadia. 2015 (2): ISSN 2199-3408.
  • Mallinger, R. E., and C. Gratton. 2015. Species richness of wild bees, but not the use of managed honeybees, increases fruit set of a pollinator-dependent crop. Journal of Applied Ecology 52:323–330.


  • Lacasella, F., C. Gratton, S. D. Felici, M. Isaia, M. Zapparoli, S. Marta, and V. Sbordoni. 2014. Asymmetrical responses of forest and “beyond edge” arthropod communities across a forest–grassland ecotone. Biodiversity and Conservation 24:447–465.
  • Bennett, A. B., T. D. Meehan, C. Gratton, and R. Isaacs. 2014. Modeling pollinator community response to contrasting bioenergy scenarios. PLoS One 9:e110676.
  • Bultman, H., D. Hoekman, J. D. Dreyer, and C. Gratton. 2014.  Terrestrial deposition of aquatic insects increases plant quality for insect herbivores and herbivore density. Ecological Entomology 39:419-426.
  • Dreyer, J. and C. Gratton. 2014. Habitat linkages in conservation biological control: lessons from the land-water interface. Biological Control 75: 68-76
  • Skevas, T., S. M. Swinton, T. D. Meehan, T. N. Kim, C. Gratton, and A. Egbendewe-Mondzozo. 2014. Integrating agricultural pest biocontrol into forecasts of energy biomass production. Ecological Economics 106:195–203.
  • Tayyebi, A., B. C. Pijanowski, M. Linderman, and C. Gratton. 2014. Comparing three global parametric and local non-parametric models to simulate land use change in diverse areas of the world. Environmental Modelling & Software 59:202–221.
  • Werling, B. P., T. L. Dickson, R. Isaacs, H. Gaines, C. Gratton, K. L. Gross, H. Liere, C. M. Malmstrom, T. D. Meehan, L. Ruan, B. A. Robertson, G. P. Robertson, T. M. Schmidt, A. C. Schrotenboer, T. K. Teal, J. K. Wilson, and D. A. Landis. 2014. Perennial grasslands enhance biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services in bioenergy landscapes  PNAS 111: 1652-1657
  • Yang, L. H., and C. Gratton. 2014. Insects as drivers of ecosystem processes. Current Opinion in Insect Science. doi:10.1016/j.cois.2014.06.004


  • Bennett, A. B., and C. Gratton. 2013. Floral diversity increases beneficial arthropod richness and decreases variability in arthropod community composition. Ecological Applications 23:86–95. doi: 10.1890/11-2029.1.
  • Kennedy, C. M., E. Lonsdorf, M. C. Neel, N. M. Williams, T. H. Ricketts, R. Winfree, R. Bommarco, C. Brittain, A. L. Burley, D. Cariveau, L. G. Carvalheiro, N. P. Chacoff, S. A. Cunningham, B. N. Danforth, J.-H. Dudenhöffer, E. Elle, H. R. Gaines, L. A. Garibaldi, C. Gratton, A. Holzschuh, R. Isaacs, S. K. Javorek, S. Jha, A. M. Klein, K. Krewenka, Y. Mandelik, M. M. Mayfield, L. Morandin, L. A. Neame, M. Otieno, M. Park, S. G. Potts, M. Rundlöf, A. Saez, I. Steffan-Dewenter, H. Taki, B. F. Viana, C. Westphal, J. K. Wilson, S. S. Greenleaf, and C. Kremen. 2013. A global quantitative synthesis of local and landscape effects on wild bee pollinators in agroecosystems. Ecology Letters:n/a–n/a. doi: 10.1111/ele.12082.
  • Meehan, T. D., C. Gratton, E. Diehl, N.  D. Hunt, D. F. Mooney, S. J. Ventura, B. L. Barham, and R. D. Jackson. 2013. Ecosystem-service tradeoffs associated with switching from annual to perennial energy crops in riparian zones of the US Midwest. PLoS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080093


  • Hoekman, D., M. Bartrons, and C. Gratton. 2012. Ecosystem linkages revealed by experimental lake-derived isotope signal in heathland food webs. Oecologia 170:735–743. doi: 10.1007/s00442-012-2329-5.
  • Meehan, T., J. Glassberg, and C. Gratton. 2012. Butterfly community structure and landscape composition in agricultural landscapes of the central United States. Journal of Insect Conservation 1–9. doi: 10.1007/s10841-012-9523-y.
  • Wimp, G., S. Murphy, D. Lewis, M. Douglas, R. Ambikapathi, L. Van-Tull, C. Gratton, and R. Denno. 2012. Predator hunting mode influences patterns of prey use from grazing and epigeic food webs. Oecologia 1–11. doi: 10.1007/s00442-012-2435-4.
  • Meehan, T. D., B. P. Werling, D. A. Landis, and C. Gratton. 2012. Pest-suppression potential of Midwestern landscapes under contrasting bioenergy scenarios. PLoS ONE 7:e41728. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0041728.
  • Dreyer, J., D. Hoekman, and C. Gratton. 2012. Lake‐derived midges increase abundance of shoreline terrestrial arthropods via multiple trophic pathways. Oikos 121:252–258. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0706.2011.19588.x.
  • Bennett, A. B., and C. Gratton. 2012. Local and landscape scale variables impact parasitoid assemblages across an urbanization gradient. Landscape and Urban Planning 104:26–33. doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2011.09.007.
  • Mueller, E. E., R. L. Groves, and C. Gratton. 2012. Crop and non-crop plants as potential reservoir hosts of Alfalfa mosaic virus and Cucumber mosaic virus for spread to commercial snap bean. Plant Disease 96:506–514. doi: 10.1094/PDIS-02-11-0089.
  • Werling, B., J. P. Harmon, C. S. Straub, and C. Gratton. 2012. Influence of native North American prairie grasses on predation of an insect herbivore of potato. Biological Control 61:15–25. doi: 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2011.11.009.
  • Werling, B. P., D. M. Lowenstein, C. S. Straub, and C. Gratton. 2012. Multi–predator effects produced by functionally distinct species vary with prey density. Journal of Insect Science 12:30.
  • Schmidt, N. P., M. E. O’Neal, P. F. Anderson, D. Lagos, D. Voegtlin, W. Bailey, P. Caragea, E. Cullen, C. DiFonzo, K. Elliott, C. Gratton, D. Johnson, C. H. Krupke, B. McCornack, R. O’Neil, D. W. Ragsdale, K. J. Tilmon, and J. Whitworth. 2012. Spatial distribution of Aphis glycines (Hemiptera: Aphididae): a summary of the suction trap network. Journal of Economic Entomology 105:259–271. doi: 10.1603/EC11126.

Program Info

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