Tree plumbing system characteristics were not linked to their growth during drought

Chris M. Smith-Martin, Robert Muscarella, Roi Ankori-Karlinsky, Sylvain Delzon, Samuel L. Farrar, Melissa Salva-Sauri, Jill Thompson, Jess K. Zimmerman, María Uriarte This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Droughts are causing trees to grow less and die more in many forests worldwide. Some tree species are more affected by drought than others, but we do … Continue reading Tree plumbing system characteristics were not linked to their growth during drought

The silicon and nitrogen concentrations in wildflowers and grasses vary under different water conditions

Marius Klotz, Jörg Schaller, Heike Feldhaar, Jürgen Dengler, Gerhard Gebauer, Gregor Aas, Anita Weissflog, Bettina M. J. Engelbrecht This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Wildflower and grass species have to cope with unfavourable conditions, such as drought and flooding. This causes stress to which plants respond by adjusting their growth and nutrient content. Understanding … Continue reading The silicon and nitrogen concentrations in wildflowers and grasses vary under different water conditions

Maladaptation versus smart acclimation to expected climate change in wooded pasture grasses

Pierre Vollenweider, Géraldine Hildbrand, Davide De Masi, Konstantin Gavazov, Vivian Zufferey, Alexandre Buttler, Georg von Arx This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Mountain grasslands are characterized by high biodiversity, low management intensity and plant species adapted to cool and moist climate conditions. With climate warming, however, they may undergo losses in biodiversity. Investigating the … Continue reading Maladaptation versus smart acclimation to expected climate change in wooded pasture grasses

Drought threatens dioecious Populus euphratica

Zhichao Xia, Yue He, Zuodong Zhu, Helena Korpelainen and Chunyang Li This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. R.A. Fisher, a famous biologist, proposed that natural populations, whether there are more females than males or more males than females, will still have a 1:1 ratio of females to males in their offspring. However, the rate … Continue reading Drought threatens dioecious Populus euphratica

Functional traits and tree demographic properties: a case study in subtropical monsoon forests

Pengcheng He, Juyu Lian, Qing Ye, Hui Liu, Yi Zheng, Kailiang Yu, Shidan Zhu, Ronghua Li, Deyi Yin, Wanhui Ye, Ian J. Wright This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Functional traits are plant attributes that can reflect plant life-history processes such as carbon acquisition, water transport and nutrient cycling, and include features associated with … Continue reading Functional traits and tree demographic properties: a case study in subtropical monsoon forests

Nitrogen-induced phosphorus limitation affects soil carbon cycling

Min Luo, Daryl L. Moorhead, Raúl Ochoa-Hueso, Carsten W. Mueller, Samantha C. Ying, Ji Chen This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology review article which can be found here. Fossil fuel combustion and agricultural fertilization have more than doubled natural levels of reactive nitrogen (N) inputs to terrestrial ecosystems, whereas the input of phosphorus (P) is relatively small. These unbalanced N and … Continue reading Nitrogen-induced phosphorus limitation affects soil carbon cycling

Silica deposits in wheat leaves are impacted by nitrogen fertilisation and competition

Felix de Tombeur, Taïna Lemoine, Cyrille Violle, Hélène Fréville, Sarah J. Thorne, Sue E. Hartley, Hans Lambers, Florian Fort This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Plants use a wide array of defences against herbivores and pathogens. For example, some plants absorb silicon (Si) from the soil and deposit it as hard minerals in leaf … Continue reading Silica deposits in wheat leaves are impacted by nitrogen fertilisation and competition

Differences in growth and physiology favor invasive weeds over native wildflowers

Justin M. Valliere, Rhay G. Flores, Branden J. Cason, Mayra J. Hernández This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Humans have altered ecosystems worldwide through the introduction of weedy, nonnative plant species that are sometimes able to outcompete native plant species. Other human activities may also contribute to the spread of such invasive plants and … Continue reading Differences in growth and physiology favor invasive weeds over native wildflowers

Non-structural carbohydrates predict survival in saplings of temperate trees under carbon stress

Frida I. Piper, Paulo Moreno-Meynard, Alex Fajardo This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. As much as one might manage a financial budget for both savings and current expenditure, plants have carbon (C) reserves that are mainly composed of starch and soluble sugars. These are also named non-structural carbohydrates (NSCs). Lately, NSCs have been paid more attention … Continue reading Non-structural carbohydrates predict survival in saplings of temperate trees under carbon stress

How an alpine plant species responds to temperature stress depends on the type of trait and life stage

Pieter A. Arnold, Shuo Wang, Alexandra A. Catling, Loeske E. B. Kruuk, Adrienne B. Nicotra This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Understanding how plants can respond to temperature stress is increasingly important as the climate changes, particularly in alpine ecosystems where rates of changes are occurring faster. The ability of a plant to change the expression of its traits … Continue reading How an alpine plant species responds to temperature stress depends on the type of trait and life stage