Have we been incorrectly analyzing plant cover data?

Our latest review paper is by Christian Damgaard and Kathryn Irvine on the subject of analyzing plant cover data. Read more about their paper below. Plant cover is a measure of the two-dimensional projection of plant species onto the surface and is the most commonly used measure of plant abundance. There are numerous historic and…

VOCs and conspecific adult-larva interactions

Read more about Xiao Sun and colleagues’ Journal of Ecology study on volatiles of compounds (VOCs) and the performance of herbivores… The interactions of aboveground and belowground herbivory can determine species populations and community composition. The outcome of the interactions can differ between conspecific and heterospecific aboveground and belowground herbivores, with conspecific herbivores enhancing their…

Interactive – not only additive – models predict trait-by-environment effects on fitness

Nuria Pistón and colleagues recently had their paper on functional traits and fitness published in Journal of Ecology. Nuria tells us more about the study below.  Trait-based approaches are extensively used in ecology to examine species interactions and species response to environmental change. However, although the link between traits and fitness is essential for the definition…

Species invasions and climate change: can grasslands cope?

Jane Catford and Lizzie Jones contributed a chapter about grassland invasions to Grasslands and Climate Change, the latest volume of the Ecological Reviews series. The authors tells us more about their chapter below.  Imagine a typical grassland ecosystem. You might see American prairies, rangelands of Australia, or African savannah. Either way, you’re probably thinking of wide-open spaces, dominated by…

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,…

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…

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…