Looking at shrubs (more) carefully: epigenetic mosaicism boosts variance of offspring traits

Carlos M. Herrera, Mónica Medrano and Conchita Alonso discuss their recent paper: Ecological significance of intraplant variation: Epigenetic mosaicism in Lavandula latifolia plants predicts extant and transgenerational variability of fecundity-related traits. Plants are nonunitary entities Charles Darwin emphasized long ago that, given the constellation of features which set them apart, terrestrial plants and animals are…

Genetic changes in New England Cichorium intybus since Thoreau’s times

Tomáš Závada discusses his recent paper ‘Radical shift in the genetic composition of New England chicory populations‘. Find out more about how genetic diversity and structure of Cichorium intybus populations have changed over time and the importance of herbarium specimens in this discovery. Herbarium collections represent a goldmine of botanical data. These days, herbarium specimens…

Editor’s Choice (110:8): Two centuries of change

The editor’s choice for our August issue is “Citizen science across two centuries reveals phenological change among plant species and functional groups in the Northeastern US” by Kerissa Fuccillo Battle et al. Here, Associate Editor Charles Kwit explains the importance of this research:  While often equated with Henry David Thoreau, phenology and its documentation across space (e.g.…

Meet the Editor: Andy Hector

We’re delighted to announce that Professor Andrew Hector has recently been appointed as a new Senior Editor for Journal of Ecology. Andy has been an Associate Editor with the journal since 2015 and we’re thrilled to welcome him to his new role. Andy is a community ecologist interested in biodiversity loss and its consequences for…

Editor’s Choice: Consistency of demographic trade-offs across 13 (sub)tropical forests

The editor’s choice for our July issue is “Consistency of demographic trade-offs across 13 (sub)tropical forests” by Kambach et al. Here, Associate Editor Pieter Zuidema explains the importance of this research: There is no such thing as ‘the tropical forest’. Tropical forests differ in their structure, diversity and species composition. These differences are caused by variation in…

A milestone for the Biological Flora: 300 accounts and counting

To mark the publication of our 300th Biological Flora of Britain and Ireland, the Editor, Tony Davy, reflects on the project’s progress and achievements over the past 81 years: Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis) is one of our most attractive and widespread European grassland flowers. Its floral biology and importance for our beleaguered pollinators, among many…

Kelsey Byers: Life & Healing

To celebrate UK Pride Month, the British Ecological Society journal blogs are hosting a ‘Rainbow Research’ series, which aims to promote visibility of STEM researchers from the LGBTQ+ community. Each post will be connected to a theme represented by one of the colours shown in the Progress Pride flag. In this post, Kelsey Byers discusses life and…

How abiotic context affects plant invasions mechanisms

Mariana Chiuffo discusses her recent paper: ‘Importance of invasion mechanisms varies with abiotic context and plant invader growth form‘. You can also read this blog post in Spanish here. Human activity has caused an unprecedented geographic reorganization of non-native plants. At a global level, 3.9% of vascular plants have become naturalized somewhere else (van Kleunen…

How is polyploidy affecting the evolution and diversity of plant functional traits? the case of Dianthus broteri complex

Javier López-Jurado discusses recent article: Polyploidy promotes divergent evolution across the leaf economics spectrum and plant edaphic niche in the Dianthus broteri complex. Find out more about role of polyploidy – the state of having more than two paired sets of chromosomes – in overcoming constraints for the evolution of plant functional traits. Major functional traits in…