This issue includes a Special Feature edited by Wayne Dawson and Maarten Schrama titled; Digging Deeper: How soil biota drive and respond to plant invasions. The Special Feature brings together current research on soil microbes as drivers and responders of invasion, highlighting the methods that can be used to advance our understanding of how, when and which soil microbes play a role in the invasion process. The collection comprises of 6 research articles as well as an editorial from the guest editors. All the papers are currently free to access here.
Other papers featured in this issue include an interesting study by Kramer-Walter et al. which compares leaf, stem and root functional traits of some common woody species native to New Zealand, as well as a commentary on the same paper by Oscar Valverde-Barrantes and Christopher Blackwood. There is also a study on plant diversity and functional trait composition by Timo Conradi and Johannes Kollmann which evaluates the drivers of community structure of recovering calcareous grasslands. Further contributions include a paper from McIntire et al. on factors limiting tree line seedling abundance, a study about two invasive Australian acacias from Correia et al., and a study by Avila et al. on Quercus suber dieback. There are also two Open Access papers in this issue, including a plant mutualism study from Shelby et al. and a paper on the effect of drought periods from Fuchslueger et al.
The cover image for the September issue was provided by Duane Peltzer, one of the co-authors of the Gundale et al. Special Feature paper on plant interactions with fungi. The photo shows the invasion of the North American Lodgepole pine in New Zealand into an area previously dominated by a Southern Hemisphere beech species, as shown in the forest in the background.
Assistant Editor, Journal of Ecology