Last week quite a few members of Journal of Ecology’s Editorial team were in Lille for the joint BES/SFE Annual Meeting. It was a fantastic few days. Associate Editor Ignasi Bartomeus has written about his highlights below.
Quick summary of the talks that surprised me most:
Lots of Pollination biology talks: the most surprising finding was from K. Ohashi who showed with comparative analysis across plant species and elegant experiments in the lab that old flowers change their colour (reflectance) quite often, especially when these plants are visited by bees (which are central place foragers, and re-visit sites often). Matthias Schleuning also had a nice talk showing strong trait matching between plant floral traits and hummingbird pollinator traits. I wondered why bee-flower matching is not as strong (presumably).
Also lots of networks stuff: M. Dheling showed an amazing method to relate plant and pollinator traits via their interactions in a network. The 4rth corner analysis! I had the kind of moment where you wonder why you didn’t come up with it before, as it seems so obvious once he explained it. The plenary talk by Pedro Jordano was also a great summary of the potential that a network approach has for explaining a variety of questions, ranging from responses to global change to evolutionary process. On a more methodological point, Marta Sales-Pardo tempted me with an algorithm to detect under-sampled links. I may try it soon.
BEF talks: I skipped most of them this time, but I really liked Rudolf Rohr’s talk using a series of Lotka-Volterra models to show that BEF is positive only when no competitive exclusion and no environmental filtering is modelled. Otherwise the relationship is broken. That fits really well with our observation that dominance patterns and differential extinction risks in natural pollination systems also weaken the experimental BEF relationship.
And as always, the best part is the people that you meet and talk with.
Associate Editor, Journal of Ecology