How is polyploidy affecting the evolution and diversity of plant functional traits? the case of Dianthus broteri complex

Javier López-Jurado discusses recent article: Polyploidy promotes divergent evolution across the leaf economics spectrum and plant edaphic niche in the Dianthus broteri complex. Find out more about role of polyploidy – the state of having more than two paired sets of chromosomes – in overcoming constraints for the evolution of plant functional traits. Major functional traits in…

Why trait-based ecology is full of surprises

Noémie Pichon discusses her recent article: ‘Intraspecific trait changes have large impacts on community functional composition but do not affect ecosystem function‘. Find out more about this new research into intraspecific trait variation and its importance for understanding community functional composition. Trait variation is as large within as between species, but it doesn’t mean the…

Feng Jiang – Harper Prize Shortlist

For the past month, we have been featuring all the articles that were shortlisted for the Harper Prize 2020. The Harper Prize is an annual award for the best early career research paper published in Journal of Ecology. Feng Jiang’s paper ‘Tree mycorrhizal type mediates the strength of negative density dependence in temperate forests’ was one of the eight papers…

Alizée Mauffrey – Harper Prize Shortlist

Throughout May, we will be featuring all the articles that were shortlisted for the Harper Prize 2020. The Harper Prize is an annual award for the best early career research paper published in Journal of Ecology. Alizée’s article, Seaweed functional diversity revisited: Confronting traditional groups with quantitative traits was one of the eight papers shortlisted for this year’s award. About…

Call for proposals: Leveraging natural history collections to understand the impacts of global change

Natural history collections in museums, herbaria, seed banks, and tissue banks provide some of the most valuable information sources in an ecologist’s toolbox: time series data. These collections not only permanently archive preserved specimens, but also critical historical and contemporary information about how species distributions, interactions, and phenotypes respond to global change across time scales.…

Editor’s Choice: Volume 109 Issue 4

The Editor’s Choice for our April issue is “Dynamic feedbacks among tree functional traits, termite populations and deadwood turnover” by Guo, Tuo, Ci, Yan & Cornelissen. The findings of this article imply that tree functional composition, with variation in deadwood quality through decomposition time, can help to sustain termite populations and thereby forest carbon turnover. Here…

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.…