How much genetic variation exists in a plant population?

F. Xavier Picó discusses the recent article: ‘Spatio-temporal dynamics of genetic variation at the quantitative and molecular levels within a natural Arabidopsis thaliana population‘. Find out more about the importance of long term monitoring for investigating genetic diversity. In science, the simplest questions are commonly hard to answer. In the field of plant population biology,…

Looking at shrubs (more) carefully: epigenetic mosaicism boosts variance of offspring traits

Carlos M. Herrera, Mónica Medrano and Conchita Alonso discuss their recent paper: Ecological significance of intraplant variation: Epigenetic mosaicism in Lavandula latifolia plants predicts extant and transgenerational variability of fecundity-related traits. Plants are nonunitary entities Charles Darwin emphasized long ago that, given the constellation of features which set them apart, terrestrial plants and animals are…

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…

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,…