Review: Stable isotopes in tropical tree rings

Peter van der Sleen, Pieter A. Zuidema,  Thijs L. Pons Tree-ring research is a well-established field in temperate and other strongly seasonal climates. But during recent decades, the formation of annual growth rings has also been shown for a large and growing number of tropical trees, thus allowing tree-ring research in tropical climates. Even more…

Root traits are related to plant water-use among rangeland Mediterranean species

Florian Fort, Florence Volaire, Lydie Guilioni, Karim Barkaoui, Marie-Laure Navas, Catherine Roumet In the context of a global increase in the frequency and intensity of droughts under climate change, root traits need to be explored to better understand their influence on water-use strategies of plants and communities. Perennial Mediterranean herbaceous species are an interesting model…

Grasslands invaded by non-native species are fast cyclers

Laura Yahdjian, Pedro M. Tognetti, Enrique J. Chaneton Land-use changes often involve the abandonment and natural re-vegetation of former agricultural fields, a process perceived as an opportunity for conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration. In theory, the speed of plant litter decay and nutrient cycling should decelerate as weedy plant species…

How sea snakes partition energy within coastal environments

Vinay Udyawer, Colin A. Simpfendorfer, Michelle R. Heupel, Timothy D. Clark   Resources within a given environment (e.g. shelter, prey) are often not the same between different habitats. Therefore how animals move and select habitats within their environment tend to incorporate strategies to maximise the benefits they gain from different habitats while minimising the amount…

Understanding the role of animal defecation in aquatic nutrient cycles

Halvor M. Halvorson, Delaney J. Hall, and Michelle A. Evans-White A central question in ecology is how organisms affect the ecosystems they inhabit. Ecologists have historically addressed this question from many angles; one of the most compelling over the last two decades has been a focus on animal wastes. This is because wastes depend on…

“Cagey” trees have safer lives

Tristan Charles-Dominique, Jean-Francois Barczi, Elizabeth Le Roux and Simon Chamaillé-Jammes Where large browsers such as impalas or kudus are abundant, trees survive only if they have chemical or structural defences. Structural defences include the arrangement of dense and intricate architecture, termed ‘cage’ architecture. Previous studies showed that trees developing in herbivore-rich environments tend to have…

Home-field advantages of litter decomposition increase with nitrogen addition

Ying-Bin Li, Qi Li, Jun-Jie Yang, Xiao-Tao Lü, Wen-Ju Liang, Xing-Guo Han, T. Matijn Bezemer Due to fossil fuel combustion and agricultural practices, atmospheric deposition of nitrogen (N) has increased over the past decades, and is projected to increase further in coming years. N-deposition often leads to changes in soil biological communities, plant litter and…