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…

Ecological and functional effects of fungal endophytes on wood decomposition

Lauren C. Cline, Jonathan S. Schilling, Jon Menke, Emily Groenhof, Peter G. Kennedy Decomposition represents an important process in the global carbon (C) cycle, as C locked into plant tissues is released as CO2 into the atmosphere by microorganisms. Because wood makes up a substantial amount of both living and dead plant tissue, the rate…

Anatomy of pine needles reflects climatic adaptation

Artur Jankowski , Tomasz P. Wyka, Roma Żytkowiak, Bengt Nihlgård, Peter B. Reich, Jacek Oleksyn Short growing season, low temperature and nutrient shortages have caused many plants in subarctic regions to adapt a slow, conservative life style. For example, few subarctic woody plants can afford to replace their leaves annually as is common in the…

Species complement each other through differences in both spatial and temporal resource use

Cameron Wagg, Anne Ebeling, Christiane Roscher, Janneke Ravenek, Dörte Bachmann, Nico Eisenhauer, Liesje Mommer, Nina Buchmann, Helmut Hillebrand, Bernhard Schmid, Wolfgang W. Weisser It has long been observed that a greater diversity of plant species can result in greater ecosystem productivity. It is thought that a greater diversity of species increases productivity because different species…

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…

Serology in wildlife: two problems and how to deal with them

Romain Garnier, Raül Ramos, Ana Sanz-Aguilar, Maud Poisbleau, Henri Weimerskirch, Sarah Burthe, Jeremy Tornos, Thierry Boulinier How can we track infectious diseases in wild animal populations? Serology, the quantification of antibodies present in the blood following exposure to a disease agent, is a tool of primary importance. However, the lack of specific reagents for detecting…