The Editors of Journal of Ecology are pleased and excited to present eight papers as part of the BES’ ‘Ecology in China’ Virtual Issue. Papers from each of the five BES journals are represented in this Virtual Issue (See MEE’s blog post). These papers are a sample of the increasingly sophisticated and ground breaking ecological work that is being conducted in China. The majority of these papers reflect collaborative work between Chinese scientists and Western colleagues, and it is clear that all participants benefit in such partnerships. It is also clear from just these papers that ecological work in China covers a wide range of ecological topics. The Journal of Ecology papers in this Virtual Issue cover topics ranging from population through ecosystem ecology, above- and belowground systems, interactions with fungi and animals, and address theoretical, empirical, and applied concepts. There is no question that these studies are pushing forward the discipline. For example, Liu et al.’s paper “Understanding the ecosystem implications of the angiosperm rise to dominance: leaf litter decomposability among magnoliids and other basal angiosperms” is also part of the Journal’s Special Feature “The Tree of Life in Ecosystems” that is setting the research agenda for understanding eco-evolutionary relationships between plant species and ecosystem functions. Indeed, stay tuned for an Eco-Evo Special Issue in the Journal early next year! The other papers in this Virtual Issue are similarly exciting and important. We look forward to extending this growing relationship with our Chinese colleagues and seeing more of their best work in Journal of Ecology.