Volume 109 Issue 3

Volume 109 Issue 3 of Journal of Ecology is now available online!

Our March issue contains a fascinating range of articles, including multidisciplinary research that asks what drives biodiversity patterns?, an article investigating how climate influences the efficiency of plant structural defence against browsing and a habitat‐based assessment of the role of competition in plant invasions.

This issue also contains the journal’s first Sprent Review: “Evolution and biogeography of actinorhizal plants and legumes” by Ardley & Sprent.
You can read more about the launch of our new Sprent Review series here. We also have a new blog post today from the authors of this inaugural Sprent Review, Julie Ardley and Janet Sprent!

The Editor’s Choice paper for this issue is “Simulated Indigenous fire stewardship increases the population growth rate of an understorey herb” by Hart‐Fredeluces, Ticktin & Lake.

This article explores how indigenous knowledge can provide guidance for sustainable plant population management. Beargrass Xerophyllum tenax is presented as a model system to explore the influence of Indigenous stewardship, or its absence, on population dynamics. The authors collected demographic and abiotic data on beargrass over 3 years across fire severities in nine populations and conducted an experiment to simulate Native American leaf gathering.

You can find out more about this research in our Editor’s Choice blog post, written by Crystal McMichael. There is also a recent author blog about this paper by Georgia Hart-Fredeluces: Indigenous stewardship and the protection of plant biodiversity under global change.

The cover image for this issue relates to “Networks of epiphytic lichens and host trees along elevation gradients: Climate change implications in mountain ranges” by Saiz, Dainese, Chiarucci & Nascimbene. The photograph, taken by Juri Nascimbene, shows a thin film of water bathing the thallus of Letharia vulpina, a lichen typical of high-altitude forests in the Alps. Lichens are extremely sensitive to climate, their vitality depending on both ambient temperature and moisture.

You can find out more about this image and the related research in our latest Cover Stories blog.

We hope you enjoy this gallery of potential cover photographs that were submitted to the journal for this issue!

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