Drought revisited: manipulating humidity changes the whole ball game

Authors Beatriz Aguirre and Alexandra (Sasha) Wright discuss the findings of their new article – The experimental manipulation of atmospheric drought: Teasing out the role of microclimate in biodiversity experiments. This article is also part of our upcoming Special Feature on Facilitative Mechanisms! Drought occurrence is increasing due to anthropogenic climate change. Drought can negatively…

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…

Celebrating Soil: A collection of the latest research

This post is from Journal of Ecology Executive Editor Richard Bardgett. The UN FAO report on the “State of Knowledge on Soil Biodiversity: Status, Challenges, and Potentialities” was released today, the day before World Soil Day. The report represents a truly global effort by soil scientists and ecologists worldwide and presents the best available knowledge on…

How exceptional plants help to reveal carbon transfer between plants

Author Vincent Merckx discusses recently published Journal of Ecology article: Mycoheterotrophic plants living on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are generally enriched in 13C, 15N and 2H isotopes by Gomes et al. Find out more about mycoheterotrophic plants, which have a symbiotic relationship with fungi, and why they are important.   Plants without photosynthesis All biology textbooks will…

Happy World Soil Day 2019

Happy #WorldSoilDay! In 2013, in an effort to raise global awareness of the critical role of soils in the natural system and in human wellbeing, the 68th General Assembly of the United Nations designated December 5th as World Soil Day. And in fact, soil is more than just critical – 95% of our food depends on it. The theme for…

Phylogeny, phenotype and plant–soil feedbacks

Connor Fitzpatrick is a graduate student based at the University of Toronto Mississauga. The article below gives us a background into his work and recent Journal of Ecology paper; Phylogenetic relatedness, phenotypic similarity and plant–soil feedbacks. This project started from the simple idea that closely related organisms will interact more strongly due to their similarity…

World Soil Day 2016

For World Soil Day 2016, secretary of the BES Plants, Soils, Ecosystems Special Interest Group, Ellen Fry, has written about the work of the SIG and the importance of World Soil Day… This year on World Soil Day I intend to use my social media platforms to raise awareness of the main issues surrounding soil…