Issue 4 includes a special feature titled ‘Linking organismal functions, life history strategies and population performance’ which is edited by Roberto Salguero-Gómez (University of Oxford, UK), Cyrille Violle (CNRS, France), Olivier Gimenez (CNRS, France), and Dylan Childs (University of Sheffield, UK).
The special feature provides a synthetic overview of the forces and mechanisms producing the worldwide diversity of plant and animal forms and functions through the comparative lens of functional traits and demographic rates. It includes 4 papers from Journal of Ecology, as well as papers in Journal of Animal Ecology and Functional Ecology.
The editor’s choice paper for this issue is a study by Lou Barbe et al. that gives evidence that plant species decompose synergistically if surrounded by functionally of phylogenetically distinct neighbours.
This issue also includes our latest Biological Flora of the British Isles paper; Ulmus glabra by Peter Thomas, Duncan Stone and Nicola La Porta.
Further highlights include papers on the impact of ozone on forest growth, plant spatial association networks across dryland ecosystems, the dynamics of kelp forests, and a paper about the spatial patterns of plant-associated fungi.
There is a paper on algal turf communities and coral reef development and survival – Caitlin Fong tells us more about this paper in a video podcast. You can also watch a video from Luisa Conti who explains her paper ‘Functional trait differences and trait plasticity mediate biotic resistance to potential plant invaders‘.
This issue also includes Cubino et al.’s paper on flammability in grasslands. This paper received a lot of extra attention due to it including a second language abstract translated into te reo Māori, an indigenous language of New Zealand. You can read more about the significance of second language abstracts on the journal blog.
The cover image for this issue is provided by Dominik Merges and is linked to his paper on spatial patterns of plant-associated fungi. The image shows the fruiting bodies of needle cast disease on conifer needles which is caused by generalist pathogenic Lophodermium fungi. The photo was taken by Dominik’s co-author, Eike Neuschulz.
Here are some more great images submitted to the journal for issue 4: