Editor’s Choice: Volume 109 Issue 5

The Editor’s Choice for our May issue is “Herbivore dung stoichiometry drives competition between savanna trees and grasses” by Judith Sitters & Harry Olde Venterink. This article shows that browsing and grazing herbivores potentially help maintain the tree‐grass balance in African savanna, through variation in the nitrogen (N) to phosphorus (P) ratio of their dung! Here the…

Many Paths to Intermediate Symbiont Prevalence

Lead author Marion Donald discusses her recently published Journal of Ecology article: Context-dependent variability in the population prevalence and individual fitness effects of plant-fungal symbiosis. Find out more about about this investigation into intermediate symbiont prevalence. Microbial symbionts are common partners of nearly every macro-organism on Earth. While some symbioses are deeply integrated, rendering them…

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,…

Press release: Wheat virus crosses over, harms native grasses

Michigan State University Press Release Once upon a time, it was thought that crop diseases affected only crops. New research shows, however, that a common wheat virus can spread and harm perennial native grasses. In their Journal of Ecology paper, researchers from Michigan State University, Kansas University and Virginia University show that farmers and scientists need to…

[EcoGist]: Tree effects on grass growth in savannas

In our second podcast in the EcoGist series, Justin Dohn of Colorado State University in Colorado, USA, describes his paper on tree effects on grass growth in Savannas.  P.S. To give credit where it’s due, EcoGists are modeled after the 60 second science podcasts of Scientific American. If you haven’t heard them before, definitely go have a…