Crop species and wild plants differ in their ecological roles and traits

Rubén Milla This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology review article which can be found here. The bulk of our food supply ultimately depends on a few species of agricultural plants: corn, wheat, legumes, fruit trees and vegetables, among others. In total, a few hundred species. But where do they come from and how did they become agricultural plants? All of them … Continue reading Crop species and wild plants differ in their ecological roles and traits

Dances with wolves: the invasion of a gobbling skink and the counterpunch of the native opponent

Shi-Ping Huang, Jhan-Wei Lin, Chun-Chia Chou, Chen-Pan Liao, Jung-Ya Hsu, Jing-Fu Tsai, Shao-Lun Liu, Wen-San Huang This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. It is well-known that competition from invasive species can harm the persistence of native species. But sometimes the native species fights back, dealing with the new pressure accordingly. Here we present an … Continue reading Dances with wolves: the invasion of a gobbling skink and the counterpunch of the native opponent

Passive Acoustic Monitoring provides a fresh perspective on fundamental ecological questions

Samuel R.P-J. Ross, Darren P. O’Connell, Jessica L. Deichmann, Camille Desjonquères, Amandine Gasc, Jennifer N. Phillips, Sarab S. Sethi, Connor M. Wood, Zuzana Burivalova This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology review article which can be found here. From a bleary-eyed dawn chorus, to magnificent symphonies of whale song, to deafening choruses of tropical insects, the natural world is awash with the … Continue reading Passive Acoustic Monitoring provides a fresh perspective on fundamental ecological questions

A detailed look at plant roots and nutrients in the soil

Hana Skálová, Kateřina Jandová, Tereza Balšánková, Věroslava Hadincová, František Krahulec, Sylvie Pecháčková, Karol Krak, Tomáš Herben This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. To survive and grow, plants need a number of essential nutrients present in the soil. These nutrients are dissolved in the water present in the soil and are consumed by plants by … Continue reading A detailed look at plant roots and nutrients in the soil

Plant responses to environmental conditions control the moisture content of living fine fuels

Anne Griebel, Matthias M. Boer, Chris Blackman, Brendan Choat, David S. Ellsworth, Paul Madden, Belinda Medlyn, V´ıctor Resco de Dios, Agnieszka Wujeska-Klause, Marta Yebra, Nicolas Younes Cardenas, Rachael H. Nolan This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. The moisture content of living tissues is an important predictor of the occurrence of wildfires as it affects … Continue reading Plant responses to environmental conditions control the moisture content of living fine fuels

Overlapping invasions: Invasive goldfish disrupt an urban pond community and benefit an invasive snail

Erin R. Crone, Erin L. Sauer, Daniel L. Preston This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Ecosystems commonly support multiple invasive species, leading to novel species interactions that can be difficult to predict. In some cases, the co-occurrence of invasive species may lead to “invasional meltdown”, in which invasive species facilitate one another and potentially … Continue reading Overlapping invasions: Invasive goldfish disrupt an urban pond community and benefit an invasive snail

Surprisingly decomposition of leaf litter in nature is not affected by temperature when reciprocally transplanted!

Matthew A. Krna, Kevin R. Tate, Surinder Saggar, Hannah L. Buckley, Gillian L. Rapson This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Combatting climate change is a big issue for the planet. One obvious approach is to better understand what happens to carbon as it progresses from the atmosphere through plants and into the soils. A … Continue reading Surprisingly decomposition of leaf litter in nature is not affected by temperature when reciprocally transplanted!

Combined response and effect plant fire traits differ among regions with different fire histories

Pedro Jaureguiberry, Sandra Díaz This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology Research article which can be found here. Fire is a very important ecological factor in many regions of the world, influencing the characteristics of a region’s vegetation. Plants can respond to fire via resprouting (R) or seeding (S), which rely on the regeneration from vegetative tissues that survived fire or on … Continue reading Combined response and effect plant fire traits differ among regions with different fire histories

Change on the Range: Plant species loss from over-grazing will reduce rangeland carbon storage

Anvar Sanaei, Emma J. Sayer, Zuoqiang Yuan, Hugo Saiz,Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo,Majid Sadeghinia, Parvaneh Ashouri, Sahar Ghafari, Hasan Kaboli, Mansoureh Kargar, Eric W. Seabloom, Arshad Ali This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Livestock grazing in rangelands supports the livelihoods of millions of people in arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Unfortunately, over-grazing and climate change … Continue reading Change on the Range: Plant species loss from over-grazing will reduce rangeland carbon storage

A fresh look at seed dormancy reveals three pathways enable seeds to germinate

Byron B. Lamont and Juli G. Pausas This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology review article which can be found here. Seeds are fine-tuned to accept only certain environmental stimuli to break dormancy and cause them to germinate at once or allow them to germinate later. Some seeds germinate as soon as the soil is moist, warm, and aerated. Their dormancy had … Continue reading A fresh look at seed dormancy reveals three pathways enable seeds to germinate