Photo by Inés Castejón-Silvo. Syngnathus typhle resting among the seagrass in the hydrodynamic flume.

Habitat hydrodynamic shelter reduces pipefish energy expenditure

Castejon-Silvo, Ines; Terrados, Jorge; Nguyen, Thanh; Jutfelt, Fredrik; Infantes, Eduardo The loss of coastal habitats may affect associated fauna by different ways: reducing food resources, shelter from predators and nursery grounds. The decline of coastal habitat, such as in kelp forests, coral reefs, mangroves or seagrass beds, often causes a local increase in current speed and wave exposure. Here we demonstrate that the loss of … Continue reading Habitat hydrodynamic shelter reduces pipefish energy expenditure

The photo shows the greenhouse litter decomposition experiment (Youzheng Zhang took the photo).

Leaf litter of high latitude origin decomposed faster for two plant species in Chinese coastal wetlands

Wu, Jihua; Zhang, Youzheng; Pennings, Steven; Liu, Zixia; Li, Bo Climatic variation tends to create a geographical pattern of higher in situ decomposition rates at low latitudes with a hot and wet environment. However, variation in litter decomposability may oppose this pattern, because litter from tropical plants is usually most difficult to decompose. In this study we examined the latitudinal variation in decomposition within species. … Continue reading Leaf litter of high latitude origin decomposed faster for two plant species in Chinese coastal wetlands

Patch cut in northern hardwood forest at Second College Grant (image credit: Ryan B. Stephens)

Small mammal complementarity enhances dispersal of mycorrhizal fungi following forest harvesting

Ryan B. Stephens, Serita D. Frey, Anthony W. D’Amato and Rebecca J. Rowe In temperate forests, nearly all tree species form a symbiotic relationship with either arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) or ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi. These fungi colonize plant roots and increase nutrient and water uptake of trees. Small mammals such as mice, voles, and chipmunks play an important ecological role by consuming the fruiting bodies of … Continue reading Small mammal complementarity enhances dispersal of mycorrhizal fungi following forest harvesting

Moss biocrusts growing at the base of sensed spotted knapweed stems during early winter in northwestern Montana (photo: Matt Bowker).

Interactions between spotted knapweed and moss biocrusts vary across life-stage and correspond with the effect of water pulses on soil nitrogen

Slate, Mandy; McLeod, Morgan; Callaway, Ray Fluctuations in the supply of resources like water can alter how plants obtain and use resources. Therefore, these fluctuations, or pulses, can alter plant interactions and the composition of plant communities. Invasive plant species can be particularly adept at exploiting resource pulses, which is often cited as a reason for their replacement of native plant species.Biological soil crusts (biocrusts), … Continue reading Interactions between spotted knapweed and moss biocrusts vary across life-stage and correspond with the effect of water pulses on soil nitrogen

Examples of mathematical representations of functional diversity.

Review: Diving into the multiple ways to measure how species function

Stefano Mammola, Carlos P. Carmona, Thomas Guillerme, Pedro Cardoso Organisms, species, and sets of species interact and perform functions in the environment in ways that we are just starting to unravel. Quantifying how much such functions and interactions contribute to our own well-being through so-called ecosystem services is growing in importance. Scientists are doing so by measuring species traits, defined as any characteristic of a … Continue reading Review: Diving into the multiple ways to measure how species function

Robin (Erithacus rubecula) performing its role as an insect predator. Credit: Tony Cox/WTML

Trait choice affects our ability to detect patterns in community dynamics of functionally important birds

Hordley, Lisbeth; Gillings, Simon; Petchey, Owen; Tobias, Joseph; Oliver, Thomas Species vary widely in their ecological and functional traits. Ecosystems containing a wide variety of different traits usually function better and provide more ecosystem services to humans than more homogeneous ecosystems. However, the choice of traits selected to represent diversity within a community can affect our ability to understand ecosystem processes. Some traits – called … Continue reading Trait choice affects our ability to detect patterns in community dynamics of functionally important birds

Rhizobial bacteria decreases plant susceptibility to viral pathogens

Crowder, David; Basu, Saumik; Clark, Robert; Blundell, Robert; Casteel, Clare; Charlton, Akaisha Soil harbours diverse communities of microbes that can affect plant productivity and quality, as well as plant responses to stress from herbivores and pathogens. At the same time, biotic stress inflicted on plants from herbivores and pathogens might indirectly affect the function of soil microbes. However, few studies have assessed reciprocal interactions between … Continue reading Rhizobial bacteria decreases plant susceptibility to viral pathogens

EucFACE site, a Eucalyptus native, temperate, low-P forest in Eastern Australia exposed to eCO2, where this study was carried out. Photo taken by: Johanna Pihlblad.

The influence of roots on mycorrhizal fungi and soil C dynamics in a P-limited natural Eucalyptus forest

Castañeda-Gómez, Laura; Powell, Jeff; Ellsworth, David; Pendall, Elise; Carrillo, Yolima Soil organic matter (SOM) is one of the greatest reservoirs of carbon (C) on Earth, formed and preserved over time thanks to a balance of C inputs and outputs occurring in parallel. This dynamic balance can be disrupted by climate change factors such as elevated atmospheric CO2 (eCO2) concentrations. ECO2 stimulates plant photosynthetic activity, leading … Continue reading The influence of roots on mycorrhizal fungi and soil C dynamics in a P-limited natural Eucalyptus forest

Scavenging beetles control the temporal response of soil communities to carrion decomposition

Caruso, Tancredi; Ilardi, Marco; Cotter, Sheena; Hammer, Edith; Riddell, Gillian On land, soil organisms are responsible for the decomposition of biological matter from dead organisms. The resulting gas emissions account for at least 50% of all respiration on Earth. Depending on the balance between photosynthesis and respiration, soil can be either a source or a sink of greenhouse gases, which affect climate change. Also, decomposition … Continue reading Scavenging beetles control the temporal response of soil communities to carrion decomposition

Growth chamber experiment testing the influence of different plant neighbourhoods of M. truncatula on its fungal microbiota

Plant neighbours shape fungi assemblages associated to roots in focal plants at early growth stage

Mony, Cendrine; Gaudu, Valentin; Ricono, Claire; Jambon, Olivier; Vandenkoornhuyse, Philippe Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), microorganisms associated with plant roots, significantly affect plant nutrition and health. Empirical and experimental records show a certain degree of host-preference in plant-AMF interactions, leading to particular AMF assemblages associated with different species. But in the real world, a plant is not alone but generally coexists with others. Here we test … Continue reading Plant neighbours shape fungi assemblages associated to roots in focal plants at early growth stage