UTE2019: Advancing our understanding of biogeochemical controls on forest productivity with nutrient addition experiments

Jim Dalling (University of Illinois, USA) attended the joint BES/gtö tropical ecology symposium in Edinburgh last month. UTE2019 (Unifying Tropical Ecology) celebrated collaboration across the entire tropics and promoted the work of a diverse range of topics and research groups. Jim reports back on one of the sessions. The productivity of tropical forests is affected…

Species invasions and climate change: can grasslands cope?

Jane Catford and Lizzie Jones contributed a chapter about grassland invasions to Grasslands and Climate Change, the latest volume of the Ecological Reviews series. The authors tells us more about their chapter below.  Imagine a typical grassland ecosystem. You might see American prairies, rangelands of Australia, or African savannah. Either way, you’re probably thinking of wide-open spaces, dominated by…

What determines large-scale forest biomass production: climate or tree species attributes?

Irena Šímová and colleagues recently had their paper on large-scale forest productivity published in Journal of Ecology. Lead author Irena provides some background on the study below… Climate is commonly considered the main driver of forest biomass production. Nevertheless, it has recently been suggested that climatic factors affect biomass production mostly indirectly via local adaptations,…

Where do the buffalo roam? Understanding drought impacts on grasses in an African savanna.

The African savannas are vast expanses of terrestrial ecosystems that host an array of plants and animals and their interactions that have continued to fascinate ecologists and the public alike. Many important conceptual advances regarding plant-herbivore interactions, and particularly the role of grazing animals, have come from studies in these ecosystems including: accelerating turnover of…

Volume 107 Issue 3

Volume 107 Issue 3 of Journal of Ecology is now available online! This issue of Journal of Ecology includes articles about Humboldt, Eurasian grasslands, seagrass resistance, novel pest outbreaks in birch forests, and much more! The Editor’s Choice paper for this issue is by Carla Staver, Corli Wigley‐Coetsee and Judith Botha and is titled ‘Grazer movements exacerbate grass declines during…

Moss rehydration can influence soil carbon and nitrogen cycling

Mandy Slate (Rocky Mountain Research Station, USA) tells us more about her recent Journal of Ecology paper on the topic of resource loss from mosses during rehydration and how it can affect soil carbon and nitrogen… Mosses are prevalent in ecosystems worldwide and while well recognized as ecologically important, their unique physiology may influence ecosystems…

Tipping points for grasslands and climate change

Zak Ratajczak and Laura Ladwig contributed a chapter to Grasslands and Climate Change, the latest volume of the Ecological Reviews series. Zak tells us more about their chapter below.  Critical thresholds or “tipping points” are familiar to most of us. Think of a boat out at sea, which can stay afloat wave after wave after wave, without much…

Keeping up with climate change

The latest in the Ecological Reviews series is Grasslands and Climate Change. Kathryn Yurkonis, co-author with Will Harris of the chapter ‘Keeping up: climate-driven evolutionary change, dispersal and migration‘, tells us more about their contribution to the book below.  Can our grassland species keep up with climate change? Can we predict which species are more…

Foliar bacterial endophytes in a tropical forest

Eric Griffin and colleagues recently had their paper, Plant host identity and soil macronutrients explain little variation in sapling endophyte community composition: Is disturbance an alternative explanation?, published in Journal of Ecology. You can read more about the paper below. Recent advances in high-throughput sequencing are enabling scientists to uncover the structure and function of microbial…

Ecological Inspirations: Deepak Barua

Deepak Barua is an Associate Professor at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune, India. The overarching goals of Deepak’s work are to understand how interactions between traits translate to plant performance, and test how variation in performance influences adaptation and persistence in complex ecological environments. This work spans levels of biological organization:…