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…

Phosphatase kinetics in forest soils

Xinyu Zhang, Yang Yang, Chuang Zhang, ShuliNiu, Hao Yang, Guirui Yu, Huimin Wang, EvgeniaBlagodatskaya, YakovKuzyakov, DashuanTian, Yuqian Tang, Shuang Liu, Xiaomin Sun   Global changes including increases in nitrogen (N) deposition and phosphorus (P) fertilization may cause changes in the nutrient demands of plants and microbes. Soil phosphatase enzymes that are produced by plants and…

Microbial richness and composition independently drive soil multifunctionality

Manuel Delgado‐Baquerizo, Pankaj Trivedi, Chanda Trivedi, David J. Eldridge, Peter B. Reich, Thomas C. Jeffries, Brajesh K. Singh Unlike for plants or animals, we have only a limited understanding of the relationships between microbial diversity and composition and ecosystem functioning, particularly in terrestrial environments. Microbes are by far the most abundant and diverse life forms…

Biogenic silica accumulation varies across tussock tundra plant functional type

Joanna C. Carey, Thomas C. Parker, Ned Fetcher and Jianwu Tang Arctic ecosystems are experiencing the effects of climate change to a much larger degree than most other places on Earth. Rapid Arctic warming is changing the types of plants that proliferate in tundra ecosystems, with shrubs often outcompeting grass and sedge species, and permafrost…

Soil and vegetation carbon turnover times from tropical to boreal forests

Jinsong Wang, Jian Sun, Jianyang Xia, Nianpeng He, Meiling Li and Shuli Niu Part of an upcoming Special Feature on Functional Traits Along a Transect! Carbon (C) storage in terrestrial ecosystems is the balance between photosynthetic inputs and C losses by respiration. However, the large variations in the time that C stays in different ecosystem…

Linking the structure and dynamics of populations with ecosystem function

Steven E. McMurray, Joseph R. Pawlik, and Christopher M. Finelli It is often assumed that the functional roles of species within a community are fixed; however, these roles are often dynamic and influenced by the structure and dynamics of populations, including the abundance and size of organisms. Given recent and predicted changes in the populations…