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…

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…

Tropical trees, lianas, and spatial structure

Adam Clark (University of Minnesota) has just had his paper accepted in Journal of Ecology. Below, Adam tells us more about his study… Plant communities in the tropical forests of Central and South America are famously diverse, and by some estimates are home to more than a third of all tree species on earth. Two processes…

Logging of Borneo’s Rainforests: Impacts on Plant Communities

Timm Döbert, from CSIRO in Australia, recently had a paper published in Journal of Ecology entitled “Logging increases the functional and phylogenetic dispersion of understorey plant communities in tropical lowland rainforest”. Below, his co-author Bruce Webber describes the context of the research and highlight the main findings of their study. How does logging affect the diversity of rainforest understorey plant…

Plant-microbe interactions in nutrient and water limited Australian soils

Holly Vuong, from CSIRO in Canberra, Australia, recently had a paper published in Journal of Ecology entitled “Host species and environmental variation can influence rhizobial community composition”. Below, Holly presents the context of her study on plant-microbes interactions in nutrient and water limited Australian soils and summarizes the findings of her experiment. Out of about 1,350 Acacia species in…

The Complex Role of Mutualistic Soil Fungi in Plant Invasions

For our next Invasive Species Week blog post, Rebecca Bunn and Ylva Lekberg have contributed a piece about their paper, which is included in our special Invasive Species Virtual Issue. Read their full paper here, free to access for a limited time.  For an exotic plant to become invasive it must outcompete native plants. One of the…