Sexual selection might play an important role in adaptation to increased temperatures and extreme climate events

Maria Moiron, Lennart Winkler, Oliver Yves Martin, Tim Janicke This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Anthropogenic climate change is not only causing increased temperatures worldwide, but also an increased number of extreme climatic events such as heatwaves, cold spells, tropical cyclones and severe droughts. Understanding the effects that this rise in temperatures and heatwaves … Continue reading Sexual selection might play an important role in adaptation to increased temperatures and extreme climate events

Evolution of predatory behavior of an aquatic insect during its range expansion (+ Traducción Española!)

José Antonio Carbonell, Ying-Jie Wang, Arnaud Sentis, Robby Stoks This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Many species are shifting their distributions polewards in response to climate change. This has been associated with the evolution of ecological and life history traits and their thermal plasticity, which eventually may shape trophic interactions and thereby the success … Continue reading Evolution of predatory behavior of an aquatic insect during its range expansion (+ Traducción Española!)

Closely related tropical herbs have similar tolerance to high temperatures

Georgia G. Hernández, Timothy M. Perez, Oscar M. Vargas, W. John Kress, Ramón Molina-Bravo, Roberto A. Cordero, Jeffrey R. Seemann, Carlos García-Robledo This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. The tropics are known for their stable temperatures throughout the year. However, temperatures greatly vary among the vast mosaic of habitats within the tropics. It is … Continue reading Closely related tropical herbs have similar tolerance to high temperatures

Parental care behaviors shifted from parents to offspring in social insects

Thomas Chouvenc This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Parental care behaviors represent an important selective force in animals as they lead to improved offspring survival. Parental care encompasses a spectrum of strategies from simple nest defense behaviors, or minimal resource provisioning, to elaborate brood care and expensive parental investment. In fact, the evolution of … Continue reading Parental care behaviors shifted from parents to offspring in social insects

Rapid changes in soil bacteria

Caylon Yates, Ryan V. Trexler, Idalys Bonet, William L. King, Kevin L. Hockett, Terrence H. Bell This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Introducing microorganisms to soil systems to enhance soil processes such as nitrogen fixation has long been of interest; however, this approach remains limited by poor establishment of introduced microorganisms. Historical adaptation to … Continue reading Rapid changes in soil bacteria

How red-flowered species in the Mediterranean Basin lure (almost) red-blind pollinators

Melissa León-Osper, Eduardo Narbona This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Plants show a variety of flower traits such as colour, scent, shape, and size to attract pollinators. In particular, the colour acts as a lure for pollinators, facilitating flower detectability and plant reproduction. In this study, we focus on red-flowered species from the Mediterranean … Continue reading How red-flowered species in the Mediterranean Basin lure (almost) red-blind pollinators

Effect of water availability on volatile-mediated communication between potato plants in response to insect herbivory

Carla Vázquez-González, Laura Pombo-Salinas, Lucía Martín-Cacheda, Sergio Rasmann, Gregory Röder, Luis Abdala-Roberts, Kailen A. Mooney, Xoaquín Moreira This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Plants can perceive and respond to complex blends of above- or belowground volatile organic compounds (‘VOCs’) emitted by herbivore-damaged neighbours, a phenomenon termed ‘plant communication’. Such chemical cues act as warning … Continue reading Effect of water availability on volatile-mediated communication between potato plants in response to insect herbivory

Nutrient resorption in a grassland-dominant plant with high phenotypic plasticity

Zuxin Zhang, Jing Zheng, Yingjie Guang, Lijun Chen, Xinping Luo, Dali Chen, Xiaowen Hu This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Leaf nutrient resorption is an important strategy that plants use to conserve nutrients. Resorption can reduce the plant’s dependence on soil nutrient supply and enhance its nutrient use efficiency, thus it is considered as … Continue reading Nutrient resorption in a grassland-dominant plant with high phenotypic plasticity

Bite force in the subterranean rodent family of African mole-rats: the role of digging mode, social organisation, and ecology

Andrea Kraus, Matěj Lövy, Ondřej Mikula, Jan Okrouhlík, Nigel C. Bennett, Anthony Herrel, Šumbera Radim The is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article that can be found here. Biting enables animals to process food, to defend themselves and to carry and manipulate objects, among many other functions. With a proper device, bite force can be directly measured. The main predictor of … Continue reading Bite force in the subterranean rodent family of African mole-rats: the role of digging mode, social organisation, and ecology

Ladybird beetles adapt to bacterial symbionts of their prey

Xue-Yong Du, Huan-Ying Yang, Sen-Rui Gong, Pei-Fang Zhang, Pei-Tao Chen, Yuan-Sen Liang, Yu-Hao Huang, Xue-Fei Tang, Qiao-Kui Chen, Patrick De Clercq, Hao-Sen Li, Hong Pang This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Consuming microbially contaminated food can make us sick, either directly from the microorganisms or as a result of the toxins they release. That … Continue reading Ladybird beetles adapt to bacterial symbionts of their prey