“Linking biodiversity, material cycling and ecosystem services in a changing world”: Reflections and reactions to ESA 2017

Journal of Ecology was well represented at the 2017 annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America with Senior Managing Editor Andrea Baier on the BES stand in the convention hall, and several Associate Editors joining me for a board meeting and dinner, in prowling the halls, networking, and attending and giving presentations. I survived…

When are traits functional?

A trait is any aspect of an organism that defines it with respect to a concept. A trait may be color, when examining heat absorption; accent, in the case of humans when attempting to approximate nationality; specific leaf area (i.e., area to dry mass ratio of a leaf) when interested in investment in photosynthetic machinery…

How walnut has invaded forest ecosystems

European forests have been long regarded as invasion-resistant; however, recent findings suggest that invasive alien plant species increasingly colonise this ecosystem. In a new study published by Journal of Ecology, researchers from the Polish Academy of Sciences, Nebraska-Lincoln University and Jagiellonian University have analysed the mechanisms of invasion of alien walnut Juglans regia in over hundred forests…

Hierarchy of Hypotheses as an organizing tool for research. Report on a workshop

Journal of Ecology Executive Editor David Gibson, Associate Editor Lorena Gómez-Aparicio, and Methods in Ecology and Evolution Senior Editor Bob O’Hara recently attended a workshop “The hierarchy-of-hypotheses approach: Exploring its potential for structuring and analyzing theory, research and evidence across disciplines” August 19-21, in Hannover, Germany. Below they tell us more about this workshop. Set…

Partial mycoheterotrophy in meadow orchids

Julienne Schiebold (University of Bayreuth) has written an article about her recently published paper; Exploiting mycorrhizas in broad daylight: Partial mycoheterotrophy is a common nutritional strategy in meadow orchids.  With approximately 28,000 species, the Orchidaceae is often referred to as the largest plant family. Regardless of their geographical occurrence or life form, all orchid species are…

Virtual Issue: Forest Ecology in Asia

The editors of Journal of Ecology have put together this Virtual Issue to showcase some of the recent forest ecology research from Asia published in the journal, and in particular, our Biological Flora of the British Isles (BFBI) series. The BFBI accounts provide a concise summary of the ecology of British species, but inevitably, many of the accounts are…

How do pine trees guard against drought?

Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) press release Do young pines build up food reserves at the expense of growth to enable them to survive longer in the event of a drought? This controversial hypothesis is refuted by a new study carried out by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow…

Harper Prize Highly Commended Paper 2016: Ecological Legacies of Civil War on Savanna Tree Cover

Each year, as well as selecting an overall winner for the Harper Prize (see Martina’s interview), the editors of Journal of Ecology also select two highly commended papers. This year we had two fantastic highly commended papers by Kris Kramer-Walter et al. titled ‘Root traits are multidimensional: specific root length is independent from root tissue density and…

Interview with Harper Prize Winner 2016 Martina Treurnicht

The Harper Prize 2016 for the best paper published in Journal of Ecology by an early career researcher has been awarded to Martina Treurnicht.  Martina and colleagues collected 3454 population-level records from across the global range of these species in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa. The findings of her paper entitled ‘Environmental drivers of…