Heat waves interfere with bumble bees’ ability to gather food and pollinate an important crop

Jeremy A. Hemberger, Nick M. Rosenberger, Neal M. Williams This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. It’s no secret that the planet is getting warmer. Just this year, there have been periods of extremely hot temperatures, with records broken in both North America and Europe. Periods of extreme temperatures impact not just our comfort, but … Continue reading Heat waves interfere with bumble bees’ ability to gather food and pollinate an important crop

Are non-breeding animals “super-spreaders” of disease?

Juliet Lamb, Jeremy Tornos, Romain Dedet, Hubert Gantelet, Nicolas Keck, Juliette Baron, Marine Bely, Augustin Clessin, Aline Flechet, Amandine Gamble, Thierry Boulinier This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Most wildlife tracking studies focus on breeders, which are easy to observe and capture at their breeding sites. In any given year, however, many individuals do … Continue reading Are non-breeding animals “super-spreaders” of disease?

Nomadic birds depart with moderate—but not large—fuel stores

Joely G. DeSimone, Beverly S. Domschot, Megan A. Fylling, William M. Blake, Creagh W. Breuner This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here.               Migration is a common animal behavior, allowing animals to track food sources that vary across time and space. Many birds migrate seasonally—breeding in the north and spending the non-breeding season to the … Continue reading Nomadic birds depart with moderate—but not large—fuel stores

Drought resistance and recovery of community traits in semiarid grasslands

Wentao Luo, Robert J. Griffin-Nolan, Lin Song, Niwu Te, Jiaqi Chen, Yuan Shi, Taofeek O. Muraina, Zhengwen Wang, Melinda D. Smith, Qiang Yu, Alan K. Knapp, Xingguo Han, Scott L. Collins This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Global climate change is expected to increase rainfall variability, potentially increasing the frequency of extreme droughts during … Continue reading Drought resistance and recovery of community traits in semiarid grasslands

Worms induce immunological changes in the host that favor protozoa

Mauricio Seguel, Sarah A. Budischak, Anna E. Jolles, Vanessa O. Ezenwa This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. In nature, most animals are simultaneously infected with a diverse range of parasites. Some of these parasites, like gastrointestinal (GI) worms, can cause profound changes in the host that affect co-occurring parasites. In this study, focusing on … Continue reading Worms induce immunological changes in the host that favor protozoa

Life success of annual plants in gypsum drylands is strongly affected by biological soil crusts and neighbour plants

Laura Ortiz, Arantzazu L. Luzuriaga, Pablo Ferrandis This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Biological soil crusts (BSC) are complex combinations of lichens, mosses, cyanobacteria, algae and fungi intimately associated with the soil surface. These living layers form an intricate, heterogeneous mosaic of patches on the ground in drylands worldwide, which greatly interfere with plants … Continue reading Life success of annual plants in gypsum drylands is strongly affected by biological soil crusts and neighbour plants

Water stress reduces flower and seed production in wild mustard plants

Rebecca J. Höfer, Tina Lindner, Manfred Ayasse, Jonas Kuppler This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Climate change will lead to reduced precipitation, which can cause a water deficit in the soil, leading to water stress in plants. It is known that water stress in plants alters floral characteristics such as morphology, phenology or floral … Continue reading Water stress reduces flower and seed production in wild mustard plants

Tree plumbing system characteristics were not linked to their growth during drought

Chris M. Smith-Martin, Robert Muscarella, Roi Ankori-Karlinsky, Sylvain Delzon, Samuel L. Farrar, Melissa Salva-Sauri, Jill Thompson, Jess K. Zimmerman, María Uriarte This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Droughts are causing trees to grow less and die more in many forests worldwide. Some tree species are more affected by drought than others, but we do … Continue reading Tree plumbing system characteristics were not linked to their growth during drought

How does nitrogen deposition affect the stability of below-ground net primary productivity?

Fangfang Ma, Weinan Chen, Jinsong Wang, Dashuan Tian, Qingping Zhou, Shuli Niu This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Ecosystem stability is crucial for the provision of ecosystem functions and services, as it refers to the ability of ecosystems to maintain consistent inter-annual productivity in changing environment. Much effort has been devoted to studying the … Continue reading How does nitrogen deposition affect the stability of below-ground net primary productivity?

Predicted extinctions target the planet’s most unique bird species

Jarome R. Ali, Benjamin W. Blonder, Alex L. Pigot, Joseph A. Tobias This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Extinction rates are projected to increase worldwide, but it remains unclear how this loss of biodiversity might affect the way ecosystems function. Since ecological processes are hard to quantify at global scales, morphological traits can provide … Continue reading Predicted extinctions target the planet’s most unique bird species