1. Bawa, K. S. et al (including Sankaran, M.) (2021). Securing biodiversity, securing our future: A national Mission on biodiversity and human well-being for India. Biological Conservation, 253, 108867.
  2. Bawa, K. S. et al (including Sankaran, M.) (2021). Opinion: Envisioning a biodiversity science for sustaining human well-being. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(42), 25951-25955.
  3. Hautier, Y. et al (including Sankaran, M.) (2020). General destabilizing effects of eutrophication on grassland productivity at multiple spatial scales. Nature Communications 12, 630 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-20997-9
  4. Borer, E.T. et al (including Sankaran, M.) (2020). Nutrients cause grassland biomass to outpace herbivory. Nature Communications 12, 590. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-20985-z
  5. Kohli, M., Mijiddorj, T. N., Suryawanshi, K. R., Mishra, C., Boldgiv, B., & Sankaran, M. (2020). Grazing and climate change have site‐dependent interactive effects on vegetation in Asian montane rangelands. Journal of Applied Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13781
  6. Wigley, B. J., Augustine, D. J., Coetsee, C., Ratnam, J., & Sankaran, M. (2020). Grasses continue to trump trees at soil carbon sequestration following herbivore exclusion in a semiarid African savanna. Ecology, 101(5), e03008. 
  7. Willemen, L., et al (including Sankaran, M) (2020). How to halt the global decline of lands. Nature Sustainability3(3), 164-166.
  8. Osuri, A. M., Machado, S., Ratnam, J., Sankaran, M., et (2020). Tree diversity and carbon storage cobenefits in tropical human‐dominated landscapes. Conservation Letters13(2), e12699.
  9. #Sriramamurthy, R. T., Bhalla, R. S., & Sankaran, M. (2020). Fire differentially affects mortality and seedling regeneration of three woody invaders in forest–grassland mosaics of the southern Western Ghats, India. Biological Invasions, 22 (5), 1623-1634.
  10. #Joshi, A. A., Ratnam, J. & Sankaran, M. (2020).  Frost maintains forests and grasslands as alternate states in a montane tropical forest-grassland mosaic; but alien tree invasion and warming can disrupt this balance.  Journal of Ecology 108: 122 - 132.
  11. Coverdale, T. C., McGeary, I. J., O'Connell, R. D., Palmer, T. M., Goheen, J. R., Sankaran, M., et al. (2019). Strong but opposing effects of associational resistance and susceptibility on defense phenotype in an African savanna plant. Oikos, 128(12), 1772-1782.
  12. Augustine, D. J., Wigley, B. J., Ratnam, J., Kibet, S., Nyangito, M., & Sankaran, M. (2019). Large herbivores maintain a two‐phase herbaceous vegetation mosaic in a semi‐arid savanna. Ecology and Evolution, 9(22), 12779-12788.
  13. Risch, A. C., et al. (including Sankaran, M.) (2019). Soil net nitrogen mineralisation across global grasslands. Nature communications, 10(1), 1-10.
  14. Sankaran, M (2019).  Drought and the ecological future of tropical savanna vegetation.  Journal of Ecology. 107:1531–1549.
  15. #Tiruvaimozhi, Y. V. & Sankaran, M. (2019). Soil respiration in a tropical montane grassland ecosystem is largely heterotroph-driven and increases under simulated warming.  Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 276, 107619
  16. Wigley, B. J., Coetsee, C., Kruger, L. M., Ratnam, J., & Sankaran, M. (2019). Ants, fire, and bark traits affect how African savanna trees recover following damage. Biotropica, 51(5), 682-691.
  17. #Krishnan, L, Barua, D. & Sankaran, M (2019). Dry-forest tree species with large seeds and low specific stem density show greater survival under drought.  Journal of Tropical Ecology 35 (1), 26-33.
  18. Ratnam, J., Chengappa, S. K.., Machado, S., Nataraj, N., Osuri, A. M., & Sankaran, M. (2019). Functional traits of trees from dry deciduous ‘forests’ of southern India suggest seasonal drought and fire are important drivers. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution7, 8.
  19. Wigley, B. J., Coetsee, C., Augustine, D. J., Ratnam, J., Hattas, D. & Sankaran, M. (2019). A thorny issue: woody plant defense and growth in an African savanna. Journal of Ecology 107: 1839-51. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.13140
  20. Koerner, S.E et al (including Sankaran M) (2018). Change in dominance determines herbivore effects on plant diversity.  Nature Ecology & Evolution 2 (12) 1925 - 1932.
  21. #Varma, V., Catherin A. M & Sankaran, M. (2018). Effects of increased N and P availability on biomass allocation and root carbohydrate reserves differ between N-fixing and non-N-fixing savanna tree seedlings.  Ecology & Evolution 8 (16): 8467 - 8476.
  22. #Ongole, S., Sankaran, M., & Karanth, K. K. (2018). Responses of aerial insectivorous bats to local and landscape-level features of coffee agroforestry systems in Western Ghats, India. PloS one, 13(8), e0201648.
  23. #Joshi, A., Ratnam, J. & Sankaran M. (2018). ‘Foresting’ the grassland: Historical management legacies in forest-grassland mosaics in Southern India, and lessons for the conservation of tropical grassy biomes.  Biological Conservation 224: 142-152.
  24. Goheen JR, Augustine DJ, Veblen KE, Kimuyu DM, Palmer TM, Porensky LM, Pringle RM, Ratnam J, Riginos C, Sankaran M, Ford AT et al (2018). Conservation lessons from large‐mammal manipulations in East African savannas: the KLEE, UHURU, and GLADE experiments. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1429 (1), 31-49. doi: 10.1111/nyas.13848
  25. #Wordley, C. F., Sankaran, M., Mudappa, D., & Altringham, J. D. (2018). Heard but not seen: Comparing bat assemblages and study methods in a mosaic landscape in the Western Ghats of India.  Ecology & Evolution 8 (8): 3883-3894.
  26. Anderson, T. M. et al. (including Sankaran, M). (2018). Herbivory and eutrophication mediate grassland plant nutrient responses across a global climatic gradient.  Ecology  99 (4): 822-831.
  27. #Pillai, A.A.S, Anoop, A., Prasad, V., Manoj, M. C., Varghese, S., Sankaran, M. & Ratnam, J. (2018). Multi-proxy evidence for an arid shift in the climate and vegetation of the Banni grasslands of western India during the mid- to late-Holocene.  The Holocene 28 (7): 1057-1070.
  28. #Tiruvaimozhi, Y.V., Varma, V. & Sankaran, M. (2018) Nitrogen fixation ability explains leaf chemistry and arbuscular mycorrhizal responses to fertilization.  Plant Ecology 219 (4): 391-401.
  29. Scholes, R. J. et al. (including Sankaran M) (2018). "IPBES (2018): Summary for policymakers of the assessment report on land degradation and restoration of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.".
  30. Barger, N., Gardner, T., Sankaran, M. et al. (2018).  Direct and indirect drivers of land degradation and restoration. Chapter 3: The IPBES assessment report on land degradation and restoration, IPBES.
  31. Prasad, A., Ratnam, J., & Sankaran, M. (2018). Rainfall and removal method influence eradication success for Lantana camara. Biological Invasions, 20(12), 3399-3407.
  32. Hautier, Y. et al. (including Sankaran M) (2018). Local loss and spatial homogenization of plant diversity reduce ecosystem multifunctionality. Nature ecology & evolution 2: 50 - 56.
  33. #Pillai, A. A., Anoop, A., Sankaran, M., Sanyal, P., Jha, D. K., & Ratnam, J. (2017). Mid-late Holocene vegetation response to climatic drivers and biotic disturbances in the Banni grasslands of western India. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 485: 869-878.
  34. #Iyengar, S. B., Bagchi, S., Barua, D., Mishra, C., & Sankaran, M. (2017) A dominant dwarf shrub increases diversity of herbaceous plant communities in a Trans-Himalayan rangeland. Plant Ecology 218: 843-854.
  35. #Wordley, C. F., Sankaran, M., Mudappa, D., & Altringham, J. D. (2017). Bats in the Ghats: Agricultural intensification reduces functional diversity and increases trait filtering in a biodiversity hotspot in India. Biological Conservation 210: 48-55.
  36. Dohn, J., Augustine, D. J., Ratnam, J., Hanan, N. P & Sankaran, M. (2017). Spatial vegetation patterns and neighborhood competition among woody plants in an East African savanna.  Ecology 98: 478–488, DOI: 10.1002/ecy.1659.
  37. #Wordley, C. F. R., Foui, E. K., Mudappa, D., Sankaran, M. & Altringham, J. D (2016). 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(12): 9486 – 9490.
  38. #Varma, V., Iyengar, S. B. & Sankaran, M. (2016). Effects of nutrient addition and soil drainage on germination of N-fixing and non-N-fixing tropical dry forest tree species.  Plant Ecology. DOI 10.1007/s11258-016-0630-9.
  39. Ratnam, J., Tomlinson, K., Rasquinha, D. & Sankaran, M. (2016). Savannas of Asia: evidence for antiquity, current day biogeography and an uncertain future.  Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 371: 20150305. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2015.0305.
  40. #Osuri AM, Ratnam J, Varma V, Alvarez-Loayza P, Hurtado Astaiza J, Bradford M, Fletcher C, Breuer-Ndoundou HM, Jansen PA, Kenfack D, Marshall AR, Ramesh BR, Rovero F & Sankaran M (2016). Contrasting effects of defaunation on aboveground carbon storage across the global tropics Nature Communications DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11351
  41. #Osuri, A. M. & Sankaran, M. (2016).  Seed size predicts shifts in tree community composition and aboveground carbon storage in response to rainforest fragmentation in India’s Western Ghats. Journal of Applied Ecology 53: 837-845.
  42. #Rasquinha, D. N & Sankaran M (2016) Biome shifts in the Indian subcontinent under scenarios of future climate change.  Current Science 111: 147 – 156.
  43. #Wordley, C. F., Sankaran, M., Mudappa, D., & Altringham, J. D. (2015). Landscape scale habitat suitability modelling of bats in the Western Ghats of India: Bats like something in their tea. Biological Conservation 191: 529-536.
  44. Seabloom, E. W. et al. (including Sankaran M) (2015). Plant species' origin predicts dominance and response to nutrient enrichment and herbivores in global grasslands. Nature communications 6 Article number: 7710 doi:10.1038/ncomms8710
  45. #Varma, V., Ratnam, J., Viswanathan, V., Osuri, A. M., Biesmeijer, J. C., Madhusudan, M. D., Sankaran, M et al (2015). Perceptions of priority issues in the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems in India. Biological Conservation 187: 201-211.
  46. Krishnaswamy, J., Vaidyanathan, S., Rajagopalan, B., Bonell, M., Sankaran, M., Bhalla, R. S. & Badiger, S. (2015). 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 45: 175 - 184.
  47. #Osuri, A. M., Madhusudan, M. D., Kumar, V. S., Chengappa, S. K., Kushalappa, C. G. & Sankaran, M. (2014). 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.
  48. #Osuri, A. M., Kumar, V. S & Sankaran, M. (2014).  Altered stand structure and tree allometry reduce carbon storage in evergreen forest fragments in India's Western Ghats.  Forest Ecology & Management 329: 375 – 383.
  49. #Wordley, C. F., Foui, E. K., Mudappa, D., Sankaran, M., & Altringham, J. D. (2014). Acoustic Identification of Bats in the Southern Western Ghats, India. Acta Chiropterologica, 16(1), 213-222.
  50. #Kohli, M., Suryavanshi, K. S., Sankaran, M. & Mishra, C. (2014).  A penny saved is a penny earned: lean season foraging strategy of an alpine ungulate.  Animal Behaviour 92: 93-100.
  51. *Hautier, Y. et al. (including M. Sankaran) (2014). Eutrophication weakens stabilizing effects of diversity in natural grasslands. Nature 508: 521 – 525.
  52. *Lehmann, C., T.M. Anderson, M. Sankaran, S.I. Higgins, S. Archibald, W.A. Hoffmann, N.P. Hanan, R.J. Williams, R. Fensham, J. Felfili, L. Hutley, J. Ratnam, J. San Jose, R. Montes, D. Franklin, J. Russell-Smith, C. M. Ryan, G. Durigan, P. Hiernaux, R. Haidar, D. M. J. S. Bowman & W.J. Bond (2014).  Savanna vegetation-fire-climate relationships differ between continents.  Science 343: 548 - 552.
  53. Seabloom, E. W. et al. (including Sankaran M) (2013). Predicting invasion in grassland ecosystems: is exotic dominance the real embarrassment of richness?  Global Change Biology 19: 3677 - 3687.
  54. Sankaran, M.  Ratnam, J. & Augustine D. J. (2013).  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.
  55. Moustakas, A., Kunin, W. E., Cameron, T. C. & Sankaran, M. (2013). Facilitation or competition?  Tree effects on grass biomass across a precipitation gradient. PLoS ONE 8(2): e57025. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057025
  56. #Velho, N., Ratnam, J., Srinivasan, U. & Sankaran, M. (2012). Shifts in community structure of tropical trees and avian frugivores in forests recovering from past logging. Biological Conservation 153: 32-40.
  57. *Ratnam, J., Bond, W. J., Fensham, R. J., Hoffmann, W. A., Archibald, S., Lehmann, C. E. R., Andersen, M. T., Higgins, S. I. &  Sankaran, M. (2011). When is a forest a savanna and why does it matter?  Global Ecology & Biogeography 20: 653 - 660.
  58. Moustakas, A., Wiegand, K., Meyer, K. M., Ward, D. & Sankaran, M. (2010). Learning new tricks from old trees: revisiting the savanna question. Frontiers of Biogeography 2.2: 49 – 55.
  59. Higgins, S.I., Scheiter, S. & Sankaran, M. (2010). The stability of African savannas: insights from the indirect estimation of the parameters of a dynamic model. Ecology 91: 1682-1692.
  60. Sankaran, M. (2009). Diversity patterns in savanna grassland communities: implications for conservation strategies in a biodiversity hotspot. Biodiversity & Conservation 18: 1099-1115.
  61. *Srivastava, D. S., Cardinale B. J., Downing A. L., Duffy J.E., Jouseau C, Sankaran, M. & Wright J. P. (2009).  Diversity has stronger top-down than bottom-up effects on decomposition.  Ecology 90: 1073 – 1083.
  62. Cardinale, B. J., D. S. Srivastava, J. E. Duffy, J. P. Wright, A. L. Downing, M. Sankaran, C. Jouseau, M. W. Cadotte, I. T. Carroll, J. J. Weis, A. Hector, and M. Loreau. (2009). Effects of biodiversity on the functioning of ecosystems: A summary of 164 experimental manipulations of species richness. Ecology (Data Paper) 90 (3): 854.
  63. Ratnam, J., Sankaran, M., Hanan N. P., Grant, R. C & Zambatis, N. (2008). Nutrient resorption patterns of plant functional groups in a tropical savanna: variation and functional significance. Oecologia 157 (1): 141 – 151.
  64. *Sankaran, M., Ratnam, J & Hanan, N. P. (2008). Woody cover in African savannas: the role of resources, fire and herbivory. Global Ecology & Biogoegraphy.  17: 236 - 245.
  65. *Grace, J. B., Anderson, M. T., Smith, M., Seabloom, E., Andelman, S., Meche, G., Weiher, E., Allain, L. K., Jutila, H., Sankaran, M., Knops, J., Ritchie, M.E. & Willig, M. R.  (2007). Does species diversity limit productivity in natural grassland communities? Ecology Letters 10: 680 – 689.
  66. *Cardinale, B. J., Srivastava, D. S., Duffy, J. E., Wright, J. P., Downing, A. L., Sankaran, M. & Jouseau, C. (2006). Effects of biodiversity on the functioning of trophic groups and ecosystems. Nature 443: 989 - 992.
  67. *Sankaran, M., Niall P. Hanan, Robert J. Scholes, Jayashree Ratnam, Brian S. Cade, Jonas Ardo, David J. Augustine, Feetham Banyikwa, Andries Bronn, Gabriela Bucini, Kelly K. Caylor, Michael B. Coughenour, Alioune Diouf, Wellington Ekaya, Christie J. Feral, Edmund C. February, Peter G. H. Frost, Jacques Gignoux, Pierre Hiernaux, Steven I. Higgins, Halszka Hrabar, Xavier Le Roux, Fulco Ludwig, Kristine L. Metzger, Herbert H. T. Prins, Susan Ringrose, William Sea, Jörg Tews, Jeff Worden, Nick Zambatis.  (2005). Determinants of woody cover in African savannas. Nature 438: 846 - 849.
  68. *Bunker, D. E., De Clerck, F., Bradford, J. C., Colwell, R. K., Perfecto, I., Phillips, O., Sankaran, M. & Naeem, S. (2005). Species Loss and Above-ground Carbon Storage in a Tropical Forest. Science 310: 1029-1031.
  69. Sankaran, M. (2005). Fire, grazing and the dynamics of tall-grass savannas in the Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve. Conservation & Society 3(1): 4 – 25.
  70. *Sankaran, M., Ratnam, J & Hanan, N. P. (2004).  Tree grass coexistence in savannas revisited – insights from an examination of assumptions and mechanisms invoked in existing models. Ecology Letters 7: 480-490.
  71. *Sankaran, M. & Augustine, D. J. (2004).  Large herbivores suppress microbial abundance in a semi-arid grazing ecosystem. Ecology 85(4): 1052-1061.
  72. *Sankaran, M. & McNaughton, S. J. (1999). Determinants of biodiversity regulate compositional stability of communities. Nature 401: 691-693.

Book chapters, proceedings and communications

  1. Veldman, J. W., et al. (including Sankaran, M.) (2019). Comment on “The global tree restoration potential”. Science, 366(6463), eaay7976.
  2. Ratnam, J., Sheth, C., & Sankaran, M. (2019). African and Asian Savannas: Comparisons of Vegetation Composition and Drivers of Vegetation Structure and Function. In Savanna Woody Plants and Large Herbivores, PF Scogings & M Sankaran (eds), Wiley, pp 25-49.
  3. Augustine, D. J., Scogings, P. F., & Sankaran, M. (2019). Mesobrowser Abundance and Effects on Woody Plants in Savannas. In Savanna Woody Plants and Large Herbivores, PF Scogings & M Sankaran (eds), Wiley, pp 551-583.
  4. Scogings, P. F., & Sankaran, M. (2019). Woody Plants and Large Herbivores in Savannas: Ancient Past–Uncertain Future. In Savanna Woody Plants and Large Herbivores, PF Scogings & M Sankaran (eds), Wiley, pp 683-712.
  5. Griffith, D. M., Lehmann, C. E., Strömberg, C. A., Parr, C. L., Pennington, R. T., Sankaran, M., Ratnam, J. et al. (2017). Comment on “The extent of forest in dryland biomes”.  Science 358 (6365), eaao1309.
  6. Sankaran, M. (2016).  Grazing and fire effects on community and ecosystem processes in tall-grass mesic savannas in southern India.  In The ecology of large herbivores in South & South East Asia, FS Ahrestani & M Sankaran (eds), Springer pp 187 - 205.
  7. Ahrestani, F. S. & Sankaran, M. (2016).  The large herbivores of south and southeast Asia: a prominent but neglected guild.  In The ecology of large herbivores in South & South East Asia, FS Ahrestani & M Sankaran (eds), Springer pp 1 - 13.
  8. Sankaran, M. & Ahrestani, F. S.  (2016).  Large herbivores of south and southeast Asia: synthesis and future directions.  In The ecology of large herbivores in South & South East Asia, FS Ahrestani & M Sankaran (eds), Springer pp 237 - 249.
  9. Marthews, T. R., Nelaballi, S., Ratnam, J. & Sankaran, M. (2015) Ecosystem monitoring and forest census studies in South Asia. Current Science 108: 1779 - 1782.
  10. Sankaran, M. & Ratnam, J. 2013.  African and Asian Savannas.  In ‘Encyclopedia of Biodiversity’ 2nd Edition.  Simon Levin (Editor-in-Chief).  Elsevier Press pp 58 – 74.
  11. Sankaran, M. & McNaughton, S. J. 2012.  Terrestrial plant-herbivore interactions: Integrating across multiple determinants and trophic levels. In Vegetation Ecology 2nd Edition (ed.) van der Maarel, E.  Blackwell Science, Oxford pp 233-259.
  12. Duffy, J. E., Srivastava, D. S., McLaren, J., Sankaran, M., Solan, M., Griffin, J., Emmerson, M. & Jones, K. E. 2009.  Forecasting decline in ecosystem services under realistic scenarios of extinction.  In Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning, and Human Wellbeing: An Ecological and Economic Perspective. Shahid Naeem, Daniel E. Bunker, Andy Hector, Michel Loreau & Charles Perrings (eds).  Oxford University Press.  pp 60: 77.
  13. Sankaran, M. & Anderson T. M. 2009. Management and restoration in African Savannas: Interactions and feedbacks.  In New Models for Ecosystem Dynamics and Restoration, Richard Hobbs & Kate Suding (eds). Island Press. Pp 136 – 155.
  14. Varma, V., Moustakas, A. and Sankaran, M. 2009.  Effects of fire and density on patch survival and growth in savannas.  In Vegetation Processes and Human Impact in a Changing World. 52nd IAVS International Symposium Abstracts, Chania, Crete. Wiley-Blackwell.
  15. Ojima, D. S., Wall, D. H., Moore, J., Galvin, K., Hobbs, N. T., Hunt, W. H., Paustian, K., Swift, D., Boone, R. B., Conant, R. T., Klein, J., Christensen, L., Sankaran, M., Ratnam, J., Ayres, E., Steltzer, H., Simmons, B. and Williams, G. 2006. Don’t sell social science short. Science 312: 1470.
  16. Sankaran, M. & McNaughton, S. J. 2005.  Terrestrial plant-herbivore interactions: Integrating across multiple determinants and trophic levels. In Vegetation Ecology (ed.) van der Maarel, E.  Blackwell Science, Oxford. pp 265-285.
  17. Sankaran, M. 2001.  Vegetation classification and land-cover change in the Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, south India, as inferred from satellite imagery: implications for conservation of a bio-diversity hotspot. In Tropical Ecosystems: Structure, Diversity and Human Welfare, K. N. Ganeshaiah, R. Uma Shaanker, K. S. Bawa  (eds.), Oxford & IBH Publishing, New Delhi,  pp 145-149.
  18. Sankaran, M. & McNaughton S. J. 2001. Dry season nitrogen dynamics in three contrasting savanna grassland communities: temporal patterns and the effects of fire and grazing.  In Tropical Ecosystems: Structure, Diversity and Human Welfare (Supplement), K. N. Ganeshaiah, R. Uma Shaanker, K. S. Bawa  (eds.), Oxford & IBH Publishing, New Delhi,  pp 61-62.


  1. Ahrestani, F. S. & Sankaran, M. (eds) (2016). The ecology of large herbivores in South & South East Asia, Ecological Studies 225, Springer.
  2. Scogings, P.F. & Sankaran, M. (eds) (2019).  Savanna woody plants and large herbivores.  Wiley.