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How do plants stay connected?

Alistair Auffret (Stockholm University) recently had an Essay Review published in Journal of Ecology titled; Plant functional connectivity – integrating landscape structure and effective dispersal. Below, Alistair gives us a background to his paper and more information on the functional connectivity of plants… Plants, like all other organisms, generally need to be able to move across a landscape.…

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Thinking about Forests

Nina Farwig was one of the contributors to the dispersal special feature published in issue 105.1 of Journal of Ecology. Read more about her paper below… When thinking about forests, the average European citizen will picture an ecosystem that has been shaped by human activity for hundreds of years. In fact, today, more than 70%…

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Wetlands in the wings – World Wetlands Day 2017

  To celebrate World Wetlands Day 2017, Helen Moor of Stockholm University has given a background to her recent essay review published in Journal of Ecology; Towards a trait-based ecology of wetland vegetation.   Wetland ecosystems, from marshes to bogs, can provide numerous benefits to society. They can act as water reservoirs and attenuate floods, filter…

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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…

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A natural forest study

For our second contribution for National Tree Week, we hear from authors Zilong Ma and Han Chen, whose recently published paper was included in the special National Tree Week Virtual Issue. Zilong Ma is a PhD student at Lakehead University in Canada, supervised by Han Y.H. Chen who is also an Associate Editor for Journal of Ecology. Research…

Effects of nitrogen deposition on masting tree reproduction

Michał Bogdziewicz is a PhD student at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, supervised by Rafał Zwolak (AMU, as well) and Elizabeth Crone (Tufts University, USA). Michal’s work involves the study of different aspects of mast seeding consequences on ecosystems: the connection between masting and Lyme disease and the effects of masting on animal populations. The main goal…

Discovering something previously overlooked in annual grasslands

Today Journal of Ecology published a paper titled ‘Lagging behind: have we overlooked previous-year rainfall effects in annual grasslands?‘ written by Dudney et al. Below, lead author Joan Dudney of University of California Berkeley, provides a background to the study. Return to the same place in an annual grassland and you will invariably notice that no two…

Trees may acclimate to drought, but not to warming, in semi-arid systems

Charlotte Grossiord et al. have an interesting paper recently published online in Journal of Ecology, entitled ‘Precipitation, not air temperature, drives functional responses of trees in semi-arid ecosystems‘. The scientists from the Los Alamos National Laboratory provide evidences that trees in semi-arid systems may acclimate to reduced precipitation but not to temperature rise. Charlotte kindly agreed to…

The Quest for Predicting Plant-Soil Feedback

A new study from the Department of Soil Quality at Wageningen University and the Department of Terrestrial Ecology at Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) gives evidence that plants grow better in soil from other species. Published today in Journal of Ecology, the paper is written by Cortois et al. and is titled ‘Plant-soil feedbacks: role of plant functional group and plant traits‘. …

Winner of the Postdoctoral Excellence Award – ESA Plant Population Ecology

Editor’s note We are very pleased to announce that Jenni McDonald has been selected to receive the Postdoctoral Excellence Award by the Ecological Society of America’s Plant Population Ecology section for her Journal of Ecology paper, “Transients drive the demographic dynamics of plant populations in variable environments.” This paper was part of a BES cross-journal…