Freshwater Plant Ecology

Journal of Ecology is pleased to announce a new Virtual Issue on Freshwater Plant Ecology. Featuring research on algae, phytoplankton, aquatic biofilms, invasive species, dispersal, phylogenetics and much more!

Here our Editors Amy Austin, Christer Nilsson and Janne Alahuhta give us an overview of the themes covered in this collection of papers.


Streams, lakes, rivers and wetlands – all freshwater environments with a fascinating array of plant ecological interactions. Our virtual issue ‘dips’ into some of the most recent, and increasing, number of publications in Journal of Ecology on freshwater plant ecology.  While the plants in these ecosystems are often small and seemingly inconspicuous, the ways in which they affect and are affected by climate and biotic interactions is fascinating. An exploration of general theorems of ecology, such as Rapoport’s rule of diversity in fresh waters, to environmental filtering and competitive exclusion in lakes are featured in this collection of papers. 

Lake Melquina in the Neuquén Province of Argentina, Patagonia. Photo: Amy Austin.

We explore the intersection of evolution with ecology, with respect to phylogenetic relatedness of freshwater plants, at widely varying spatial scales – starting with how phylogeny contributes to coexistence all the way to the biogeochemistry of litter decomposition. Not leaving the abiotic environment aside, there are also studies relating how the geology and climate control resource availability and modulate the complexity of ecological interactions in these ecosystems.  

Derbyshire Wye, UK. Photo: Mark Rees.

Finally, we consider global change impacts through indirect effects. Changes to migratory birds who help plants disperse along their migration routes and the impact of alien plant invasions on lake plants’ resistance showcase the importance of global change in freshwater.

We hope you enjoy this virtual issue and if you have related research on plant ecology in freshwater ecosystems, please do consider submitting to Journal of Ecology.


Amy Austin, Christer Nilssen & Janne Alahuhta
Senior and Associate Editors, Journal of Ecology

You can read the Virtual Issue here. All of the papers are free to read, for a limited time!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s