Cover stories: Volume 109 Issue 3

The cover image for our March issue shows Letharia vulpina, a lichen typical of high‐altitude forests in the Alps. Author and photographer, Juri Nascimbene, and lead author, Hugo Saiz, share the story behind this image and their related research article “Networks of epiphytic lichens and host trees along elevation gradients: Climate change implications in mountain…

Is resprouting a persistence trait in tropical forests?

Author James Dalling discusses recent paper “Nutrient availability predicts multiple stem frequency, an indicator of species resprouting capacity in tropical forests” by Heineman, Turner and Dalling. Read on to find out more about variations in the resprouting ability of tropical trees. The life of a tree is seldom the unobstructed path of a single stem…

Editor’s Choice: Volume 109 Issue 2

The Editor’s Choice for our February issue is “Spatial mapping of root systems reveals diverse strategies of soil exploration and resource contest in grassland plants“ by Lepik et al. This article combines fine‐scale measurements of plant root distributions with spatial statistics, yielding new insights into plant behavioural strategies. Here the handling Editor, JC Cahill, provides an overview…

Falling seed size in forest fruits after Amazonian fires

Author Joseph Hawes discusses recently published Journal of Ecology article: A large-scale assessment of plant dispersal mode and seed traits across human-modified Amazonian forests by Hawes et al.  Find out more about the effects of disturbance on functional traits related to seed dispersal in a tropical forest and the implications of this for the future.…

Functional traits that moderate tropical tree recruitment during post‐windstorm secondary succession

Author Hao Ran Lai discusses recently published Journal of Ecology article: “Functional traits that moderate tropical tree recruitment during post-windstorm secondary succession” by Lai et al.  Find out more about their study on what causes differences in tree recruitment in a tropical lowland forest in Singapore. Understanding how species respond to environmental changes is becoming an…

Can we use remote sensing technology as a practical short-cut to explore trait-mediated ecosystem functioning impacts?

Author Kenny Helsen discusses recently published Journal of Ecology article: Optical traits perform equally well as directly‐measured functional traits in explaining the impact of an invasive plant on litter decomposition by Helsen et al. Discover whether the optical traits of an invasive plant species can be used to explain their ecosystem impacts. Is the data…

Editor’s Choice: Volume 108 Issue 1

The Editor’s Choice article for Volume 108 Issue 1 is “Growth–trait relationships in subtropical forest are stronger at higher diversity“ by Bongers et al. This study assessed how growth–trait relationships at the individual tree level are impacted by species richness at community and local neighbourhood scales. This Editor’s Choice article highlights the impact that species richness can have…

Special Feature: Is phylogenetic and functional trait diversity a driver or a consequence of grassland community assembly?

The latest issue of Journal of Ecology includes a Special Feature guest edited by Nicholas Barber, David Gibson and Holly Jones. Below, Holly discusses the inspiration behind the Special Feature & summarises each of the research articles. When scientists think of healthy ecosystems, they often think of ecosystems that have lots of different species.  Diverse ecosystems are more resilient,…