Amazon dams erode bat functional diversity

Guthieri Teixeira Colombo, Raffaello Di Ponzio, Maíra Benchimol, Carlos A. Peres, Paulo Estefano D. Bobrowiec This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article that can be found here. The loss and fragmentation of tropical rainforests is occurring at alarming rates. One of the threats comes from the implementation of mega hydroelectric dams. The river damming floods large tracts of continuous lowland … Continue reading Amazon dams erode bat functional diversity

The important role of sponges in carbon and nitrogen cycling in a deep-sea biological hotspot

Ulrike Hanz, Philip Riekenberg, Anna Kluijver, Marcel van der Meer, Jack Middelburg, Jasper de Goeij, Martijn Bart, Erik Wurz, Ana Colaco, Gerard Duineveld, Gert-Jan Reichart, Hans Tore Rapp, Furu Mienis This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article that can be found here. High densities of deep-sea sponges (so called sponge grounds) are hotspots of biodiversity and biomass in the food … Continue reading The important role of sponges in carbon and nitrogen cycling in a deep-sea biological hotspot

The ability to increase growth rate after a bad start in life is regulated by a TRP channel and influences reproduction

Zuzana Sekajova, Elena Rosa, Foteini Spagopoulou, Panagiotis-Ioannis Zervakis, Martin I. Lind This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. The environment is not constant, but often fluctuates on a daily, seasonal or year-to-year basis. This is especially true for temperature. At the same time, these environmental conditions can have a large impact on the ability of … Continue reading The ability to increase growth rate after a bad start in life is regulated by a TRP channel and influences reproduction

Why do fence lizards bask in the sun? Turns out, it’s not just to warm up!

Dane A. Conley, Matthew S. Lattanzio This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. In nature, many lizards spend the day moving between sun and shade, behaviours we always thought were driven just by temperature. However, sunlight provides more than just warmth, it also provides exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. As humans, we often relate UV … Continue reading Why do fence lizards bask in the sun? Turns out, it’s not just to warm up!

Coexisting finch species change where they go and what they eat when food resources decline

Sydney J. Collett, Tara L. Crewe, Ian J. Radford, Stephen T. Garnett and Hamish A. Campbell This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article that can be found here. How similar species co-exist has long intrigued ecologists. Gouldian, masked and long-tailed finches, three finches from the tropical Australian savannas, are similar in size and feed together through most of the year. … Continue reading Coexisting finch species change where they go and what they eat when food resources decline

Individual tree species within a mixed forest drive its nutrient use efficiency

Tania L. Maxwell, Nicolas Fanin, William C. Parker, Mark R. Bakker, Ariane Belleau, Céline Meredieu, Laurent Augusto, Alison D. Munson This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article that can be found here. Increasing the number of tree species within a forest has been shown to improve nutrient cycling due to factors such as complementarity between species that vary in structure … Continue reading Individual tree species within a mixed forest drive its nutrient use efficiency

Quantifying within-species trait variation in space and time reveals limits to trait-mediated drought response

Kelly L. Kerr, Leander D.L. Anderegg, Nicole Zenes, William R.L. Anderegg This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article that can be found here. Climate change is currently a major stressor for many forest ecosystems around the globe, yet some tree species can deal with climate change through acclimation to changing environmental conditions. However, we still do not fully understand the … Continue reading Quantifying within-species trait variation in space and time reveals limits to trait-mediated drought response

Perception of the dead increases reproduction in fruit flies

Quentin Corbel, Pau Carazo This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article that can be found here Animals that perceive a threat to their survival can increase their immediate reproductive effort in order to compensate for the consequences of early death on their lifetime reproduction. This strategy is called terminal investment, and it has been documented in response to various environmental … Continue reading Perception of the dead increases reproduction in fruit flies

Phenotypic rather than genetic similarity is a matter of determining the strength of competition

Xiaofei Tian, Hajime Ohtsuki, Jotaro Urabe This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Competition is an important biological interaction determining the coexistence of multiple species. Classically, it is inferred that closely related species are less likely to coexist since they should compete more strongly for shared resources. This idea is called the Competition-Relatedness Hypothesis (CRH). … Continue reading Phenotypic rather than genetic similarity is a matter of determining the strength of competition

The importance of soil bacteria related to N cycle in eucalyptus plantations under the near-natural management model

Zhao-lei Qu, Bing Liu, Yue-mei Zhang, Lin Huang, An-gang Ming, Hui Sun This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article that can be found here. Eucalyptus, due to its fast growth and high yield of commercial timber, is widely planted in China, especially in Guangxi province, a mountainous region in the far south of China. However, inappropriate plantation management strategies (e.g., … Continue reading The importance of soil bacteria related to N cycle in eucalyptus plantations under the near-natural management model