What determines large-scale forest biomass production: climate or tree species attributes?

Irena Šímová and colleagues recently had their paper on large-scale forest productivity published in Journal of Ecology. Lead author Irena provides some background on the study below… Climate is commonly considered the main driver of forest biomass production. Nevertheless, it has recently been suggested that climatic factors affect biomass production mostly indirectly via local adaptations,…

Tipping points for grasslands and climate change

Zak Ratajczak and Laura Ladwig contributed a chapter to Grasslands and Climate Change, the latest volume of the Ecological Reviews series. Zak tells us more about their chapter below.  Critical thresholds or “tipping points” are familiar to most of us. Think of a boat out at sea, which can stay afloat wave after wave after wave, without much…

Keeping up with climate change

The latest in the Ecological Reviews series is Grasslands and Climate Change. Kathryn Yurkonis, co-author with Will Harris of the chapter ‘Keeping up: climate-driven evolutionary change, dispersal and migration‘, tells us more about their contribution to the book below.  Can our grassland species keep up with climate change? Can we predict which species are more…

Foliar bacterial endophytes in a tropical forest

Eric Griffin and colleagues recently had their paper, Plant host identity and soil macronutrients explain little variation in sapling endophyte community composition: Is disturbance an alternative explanation?, published in Journal of Ecology. You can read more about the paper below. Recent advances in high-throughput sequencing are enabling scientists to uncover the structure and function of microbial…

Grasslands and Climate Change

Grasslands are the most extensive terrestrial biome, and have the largest total global accumulation of soil carbon. Grasslands and their ecotonal neighbours the savannas, have been the crucible for much of human history and activity.  However, despite being lauded and loved because of their charismatic megafauna (e.g., lions in African grasslands and savannas, bison in…

Effects of climate change‐induced early flowering

Journal of Ecology author and Associate Editor Amy Iler tells us more about her new paper on the effects of climate change‐induced early flowering in aspen sunflowers… As someone who has spent hours upon hours counting flowers at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) to measure flowering phenology, I often wondered how the changes in flowering…

Ecogeographic isolation under climate change

Karl Duffy‘s paper on ecogeographical isolation is published in the latest issue of Journal of Ecology (107.1). Karl tells us more about his paper in the blog post below.  Since Humboldt, evolutionary biologists and ecologists have been interested in the geographical distributions of plants. Prior to the Modern Synthesis, ecological and geographical (ecogeographical) differences between…

Age-dependent trait expression in plants

Brandie Quarles (Duke University) gives some background on her recent paper on ageing in plants.  Ageing, or senescence, is defined as a decline in function and an increased risk of mortality with increasing age. When many people hear the word aging, they likely think about it in the context of humans or other animals. I’ve…

The long shadow of Humboldt

The latest mini-review published in Journal of Ecology is Humboldt and the reinvention of nature by Juli Pausas and William Bond. Juli shares the inspiration behind the paper below. It all started when I was reading an excellent book by Andrea Wulf titled The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World. The book provides…