Happy World Soil Day 2019

Happy #WorldSoilDay! In 2013, in an effort to raise global awareness of the critical role of soils in the natural system and in human wellbeing, the 68th General Assembly of the United Nations designated December 5th as World Soil Day. And in fact, soil is more than just critical – 95% of our food depends on it. The theme for…

Moss rehydration can influence soil carbon and nitrogen cycling

Mandy Slate (Rocky Mountain Research Station, USA) tells us more about her recent Journal of Ecology paper on the topic of resource loss from mosses during rehydration and how it can affect soil carbon and nitrogen… Mosses are prevalent in ecosystems worldwide and while well recognized as ecologically important, their unique physiology may influence ecosystems…

Growth or mortality? How demography shapes tropical seedling distributions along a soil moisture gradient

Following on from iDiv’s press release, lead author Stefan Kupers shares some background on their study about tropical tree species and drought and reflects on the significance of the findings.  Despite high annual rainfall, tropical forests can suffer severe droughts. These droughts are expected to become more frequent and extreme with climate change. On regional…

Soil moisture matters, even in tropical rainforests

German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) press release. Growth rates shape species distributions of tropical tree seedlings on a soil moisture gradient, according to a new study published in Journal of Ecology. Even in wet environments like tropical rainforests, tree species are separated along local gradients of soil moisture. Researchers from iDiv found evidence…

Long-term ecological experiments in plant-soil ecosystems – a joint ECT-PSE Annual Science Conference

UPDATE: The abstract submission deadline has been extended to 5pm on Friday 15 March. Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words and submitted to this address: plantsoileco@britishecologicalsociety.org ECT/PSE-SIG 2019 ANNUAL SCIENCE MEETING – BUXTON, DERBYSHIRE 21/22 MAY 2019: https://www.ecologicalcontinuitytrust.org/events Plant, Soils, Ecosystems is one of the special interest groups of the British Ecological Society. PSE…

World Soil Day 2018

Wednesday 5th December is World Soil Day 2018. This soil celebration gives me the opportunity to highlight great papers related to soil published in Journal of Ecology this year. While the role of soil in shaping plant community assembly, composition and diversity has long be recognized, the mechanisms involved to explain these effects are not always…

Different “ghosts of herbivory past” for soil microbes

Read more about Karin Burghardt and colleagues’ recently published paper on litter decomposition in their blog post below… Often when dead leaves from a plant fall to the ground and begin decomposing, we assume that all leaves from a plant species are equivalent from the perspective of decomposers. This assumption is even formalized in many models of…

Harper Prize Highly Commended Papers 2017: Plant-Soil Interactions (Part 2)

In this second Harper Prize video podcast, I present the findings of my highly commended paper entitled ‘Stoichiometric N:P flexibility and mycorrhizal symbiosis favour plant resistance against drought‘. This experiment was carried out at The University of Sydney (Australia) with Alberto Canarini and Feike Dijkstra through a postdoctoral fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation.…

Harper Prize Highly Commended Papers 2017: Plant-Soil Interactions (Part 1)

Each year, as well as selecting an overall winner for the Harper Prize (Jenny Zambrano, see previous blog post), the editors of Journal of Ecology also select two highly commended papers. This year the two highly commended papers are from Connor Fitzpatrick et al. titled ‘Phylogenetic relatedness, phenotypic similarity and plant–soil feedbacks‘ and myself, Pierre Mariotte et al.…