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

Plant specialisations may limit climate-induced vegetation range changes on a sub-Antarctic island

Michael D. Cramer, David W. Hedding, Michelle Greve, Guy F. Midgley, Brad S. Ripley This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Increasing temperatures due to climate change are expected to push terrestrial species into cooler zones upslope or poleward, so that they continue to occupy their optimal temperature ranges. While there is evidence for this … Continue reading Plant specialisations may limit climate-induced vegetation range changes on a sub-Antarctic island

Quantifying within-species trait variation in space and time reveals limits to trait-mediated drought response

Kelly L. Kerr, Leander D.L. Anderegg, Nicole Zenes, William R.L. Anderegg This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article that can be found here. Climate change is currently a major stressor for many forest ecosystems around the globe, yet some tree species can deal with climate change through acclimation to changing environmental conditions. However, we still do not fully understand the … Continue reading Quantifying within-species trait variation in space and time reveals limits to trait-mediated drought response

Soil nutrient availability and tree height control the physiology of the world’s tallest tropical trees

David Bartholomew, Lindsay Banin, Paulo Bittencourt, Mohd Aminur Faiz Suis, Lina Mercado, Reuben Nilus, David Burslem, Lucy Rowland This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which is published here. The tropical forests of Borneo in South-East Asia possess exceptionally high levels of biodiversity, act as important carbon stores and are home to the world’s tallest tropical trees. However, these characteristics … Continue reading Soil nutrient availability and tree height control the physiology of the world’s tallest tropical trees

How does wood density relate to xylem anatomy traits across environmental gradients?

Alex Fajardo, Frida I. Piper, Ana I. García-Cervigón This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which is published here. Although it is well-known that plant functional traits, or plant’s attributes, change across environmental gradients, much less is known about how the coordination of traits changes across gradients within species. In the last decades, major research efforts have been made to … Continue reading How does wood density relate to xylem anatomy traits across environmental gradients?

Riparian trees change their sensitivity to dry air over the growing season

Jessica S. Guo, Susan E. Bush, Kevin R. Hultine This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which is published here. Rising air temperatures also increase the atmospheric demand for water, which is a key driver of plant water uptake. In response to drier air, vascular plants can close their stomata (small pores on the surface of leaves) at the risk … Continue reading Riparian trees change their sensitivity to dry air over the growing season

Six plant species (Phleum phleoides, Prunella grandiflora, Filipendula vulgaris, Plantago media, Festuca rubra, and Centaurea jacea) growing together in each experimental microcosm. Photo is taken at the end of the experiment (after 4 months).

Old meadow microbial community supports sensitive plants

Masoud M. Ardestani, Ondřej Mudrák, Jakub Vicena, Daquan Sun, Hana Veselá, Jan Frouz This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which is published here. Meadows are one of the most species rich ecosystem on the world, but despite this, their large area was ploughed in the past, converted to arable land or destroyed in other way. Current activities of their … Continue reading Old meadow microbial community supports sensitive plants

The 13C labelling experiment investigating the interaction of eutrophication and drought on plant C allocation.

How do plants allocate carbon in response to environmental change?

Bo Meng, Junqin Li, Yuan Yao, Jesse B. Nippert, David G. Williams, Hua Chai, Scott L. Collins & Wei Sun This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which is published here. Understanding how plants allocate their resources to leaves, stems, and roots is needed to predict how well plants can adapt to global environmental change. Classical theory predicts that plants … Continue reading How do plants allocate carbon in response to environmental change?

Calligonum mongolicum Turcz. (Polygonaceae) in a typical desert grassland at the southern edge of the Badain Jaran Desert, Gansu, China. Benefiting from the novel habitats created by C. mongolicum shrubs, the associated local community can hold more biomass and higher species richness than open areas.

Facilitation in water-limited community collapses at the extreme end of drought stress

Zhang Ge-Fei, Zhao Wen-Zhi, Wang Xiao-Fen This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which is published ahead of the article. Check back soon for the link to the paper! Facilitation (positive rather than negative, competitive interactions between species) plays an important role in improving species coexistence and driving community assembly in severe environments. It is generally believed that facilitation can … Continue reading Facilitation in water-limited community collapses at the extreme end of drought stress

Schematic drawing illustrating selection on various traits by plants

Adaptation to cold includes faster nitrogen resorption in Arabidopsis thaliana leaves

Kevin Sartori, Cyrille Violle, Denis Vile, François Vasseur, Pierre de Villemereuil, Justine Bresson, Lauren Gillespie, Leila Rose Fletcher, Lawren Sack, Elena Kazakou This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which is published here. Resorption refers to the process by which plants recycle nutrients from senescing leaves. It is of particular interest for nitrogen due to the scarcity of its assimilable … Continue reading Adaptation to cold includes faster nitrogen resorption in Arabidopsis thaliana leaves