Drivers of productivity, biomass and soil organic matter

Masha T. van der Sande, Eric J. M. M. Arets, Marielos Peña-Claros, Marcel R. Hoosbeek, Yasmani Cáceres-Siani, Peter van der Hout and Lourens Poorter Tropical forests remove and store large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere as they grow, and therefore fulfil an important role in reducing climate change. However, we poorly understand how the…

Soil organic matter availability and climate drive latitudinal patterns in bacterial diversity from tropical to cold-temperate forests

Jing Tiana, Nianpeng He, Lauren Hale, Shuli Niu, Guirui Yua, Yuan Liu, Evgenia Blagodatskaya, Yakov Kuzyakov, Qun Gao and Jizhong Zhou Patterns of variation in plant diversity at local, regional and global scales have been extensively studied. But despite the crucial role of bacteria for terrestrial ecosystem functioning, our understanding of their large-scale biogeography patterns…

Fish contests and community structure

Kai C. Paijmans and Marian Y.L. Wong Contests are a method by which animals resolve conflict over access to resources such as food, shelter and mates. Contest theory is a complex set of models which explain the mechanisms, dynamics and outcomes of animal contests. Because competition for limiting resources is an established mechanism by which…

Ecological and functional effects of fungal endophytes on wood decomposition

Lauren C. Cline, Jonathan S. Schilling, Jon Menke, Emily Groenhof, Peter G. Kennedy Decomposition represents an important process in the global carbon (C) cycle, as C locked into plant tissues is released as CO2 into the atmosphere by microorganisms. Because wood makes up a substantial amount of both living and dead plant tissue, the rate…

Species complement each other through differences in both spatial and temporal resource use

Cameron Wagg, Anne Ebeling, Christiane Roscher, Janneke Ravenek, Dörte Bachmann, Nico Eisenhauer, Liesje Mommer, Nina Buchmann, Helmut Hillebrand, Bernhard Schmid, Wolfgang W. Weisser It has long been observed that a greater diversity of plant species can result in greater ecosystem productivity. It is thought that a greater diversity of species increases productivity because different species…

Where, when and how many males contribute to sea turtle reproduction?

Gail Schofield, Kostas A. Katselidis, Martin K. S. Lilley, Richard D. Reina , Graeme C. Hays Research on sea turtles is strongly focused on collecting information on beaches about nesting females, their eggs and offspring. The sex of sea turtle offspring is dependent on sand temperature: the warmer the sand, the more females are produced,…

Trait-matching and mass determine the functional response of herbivore communities to land use intensification

Gaëtane Le Provost, Nicolas Gross, Luca Börger, Hélène Deraison, Marilyn Roncoroni, Isabelle Badenhausser Understanding how different organisms interact is essential to understand what drives the structure of ecological communities and how they may be affected by environmental change. One important type of interaction is a “trophic interaction” – who eats whom – and for many…

REVIEW: Seed predation & plant community theory

Loralee Larios, Dean E. Pearson and John L. Maron Community ecologists seek to understand the relative strength of local processes in determining the identity and number of species that establish in any given location. Increasingly, plant ecologists have focused on plant traits and how these may determine which species can live together and which species…

Are isotopes representing reliably the structure of food webs?

Franck Jabot, Carolina Giraldo, Sébastien Lefebvre and Stanislas Dubois Most atoms can be found in nature in various forms that are called isotopes. Primary producers (plants, algae, bacteria…) often have different isotopic compositions, notably in carbon isotopes, so that the isotopic composition of their consumers will reflect the food items it has consumed. But the…