Reindeer shape tundra carbon storage

Henni Ylänne, Johan Olofsson, Lauri Oksanen and Sari Stark Recently global attention has been directed to high latitudes, where a large share of the worlds’ carbon is stored. The anticipated rise of temperatures could enable higher activity of soil microbes and release some of the carbon to the atmosphere, thus increasing the greenhouse effect. However,…

Predicting directional change in community properties: genotypic covariance between the performance of a resident species and community assembly in the field

Arthur M. Riedel, Keyne Monro, Mark W. Blows, Dustin J. Marshall Ecologists have long known that the species that arrive a site first may influence the communities of organisms that assemble around them – some species are facilitated by particular resident species while others are suppressed. Recently biologists, especially plant biologists, have identified that even…

Mammals and bacteria in a rain forest: temporal dynamics of soil bacteria in response to simulated N pulse from mammalian urine

Erika Buscardo, József Geml, Steven K. Schmidt, Artur L. C. Silva, Rommel T. J. Ramos, Silvanira M.R. Barbosa, Soraya S. Andrade, Ricardo Dalla Costa, Anete P. Souza, Helena Freitas, Hillândia B. Cunha, Laszlo Nagy Medium- and large-sized animals in tropical forests concentrate considerable amounts of the organic matter they consume by depositing faeces and urine…

What shapes leaf litter decomposition in aquatic systems?

Fabienne Santschi, Isabelle Gounand, Eric Harvey & Florian Altermatt   One of the most important processes in ecology is how, and how much, biomass is produced and how this biomass eventually decomposes again, making resources available to other organisms. Production of biomass is almost universally confined to plants, while decomposition includes activities of microbes, including…

C:N:P stoichiometry in China’s forests: from organs to ecosystems

Jiahui Zhang, Ning Zhao, Congcong Liu, Hao Yang, ML Li, Guirui Yu, Kevin Wilcox, Qiang Yu, Nianpeng He   Mineral nutrient elements have received wide attention in forest ecosystems because more than 16 elements support the growth and development of plants. Carbon (C, the main element of both structure and energy, i.e. sugars), nitrogen (N,…

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…

Mowing exacerbates the loss of ecosystem stability under nitrogen enrichment in a temperate grassland

Yunhai Zhang, Michel Loreau, Nianpeng He, Guangming Zhang, Xingguo Han Zhang The increasing availability of biologically active nitrogen (N) caused by fertilizers and atmospheric deposition has resulted in biodiversity loss in terrestrial ecosystems. Mowing (or biomass removal) is a crucial management strategy for restoring plant diversity in the face of increased N deposition/fertilization. Both N…

Diversity of species makes grasslands work more effectively

Marcus Guderle, Dörte Bachmann, Alexandru Milcu, Annette Gockele, Marcel Bechmann, Christine Fischer, Christiane Roscher, Damien Landais, Olivier Ravel, Sébastien Devidal, Jacques Roy, Arthur Gessler, Nina Buchmann, Alexandra Weigelt and Anke Hildebrandt Colourful meadows not only look more beautiful than grasslands cultivated with monocultures, but their biodiversity also makes them more resistant to various environmental changes…

Facilitation by leguminous shrubs increases along a precipitation gradient

Hai-Yang Zhang, Xiao-Tao Lü, Alan K. Knapp, Henrik Hartmann, Edith Bai, Xiao-Bo Wang, Zheng-Wen Wang, Xiao-Guang Wang, Qiang Yu, Xing-Guo Han Woody plant encroachment, defined as an increase in abundance of indigenous woody plants in formerly grass-dominated ecosystems, has been frequently reported in arid, mesic, alpine and arctic areas worldwide. How shrubs coexist with grasses…