Crop species and wild plants differ in their ecological roles and traits

Rubén Milla This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology review article which can be found here. The bulk of our food supply ultimately depends on a few species of agricultural plants: corn, wheat, legumes, fruit trees and vegetables, among others. In total, a few hundred species. But where do they come from and how did they become agricultural plants? All of them … Continue reading Crop species and wild plants differ in their ecological roles and traits

Passive Acoustic Monitoring provides a fresh perspective on fundamental ecological questions

Samuel R.P-J. Ross, Darren P. O’Connell, Jessica L. Deichmann, Camille Desjonquères, Amandine Gasc, Jennifer N. Phillips, Sarab S. Sethi, Connor M. Wood, Zuzana Burivalova This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology review article which can be found here. From a bleary-eyed dawn chorus, to magnificent symphonies of whale song, to deafening choruses of tropical insects, the natural world is awash with the … Continue reading Passive Acoustic Monitoring provides a fresh perspective on fundamental ecological questions

A detailed look at plant roots and nutrients in the soil

Hana Skálová, Kateřina Jandová, Tereza Balšánková, Věroslava Hadincová, František Krahulec, Sylvie Pecháčková, Karol Krak, Tomáš Herben This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. To survive and grow, plants need a number of essential nutrients present in the soil. These nutrients are dissolved in the water present in the soil and are consumed by plants by … Continue reading A detailed look at plant roots and nutrients in the soil

Overlapping invasions: Invasive goldfish disrupt an urban pond community and benefit an invasive snail

Erin R. Crone, Erin L. Sauer, Daniel L. Preston This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Ecosystems commonly support multiple invasive species, leading to novel species interactions that can be difficult to predict. In some cases, the co-occurrence of invasive species may lead to “invasional meltdown”, in which invasive species facilitate one another and potentially … Continue reading Overlapping invasions: Invasive goldfish disrupt an urban pond community and benefit an invasive snail

Surprisingly decomposition of leaf litter in nature is not affected by temperature when reciprocally transplanted!

Matthew A. Krna, Kevin R. Tate, Surinder Saggar, Hannah L. Buckley, Gillian L. Rapson This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Combatting climate change is a big issue for the planet. One obvious approach is to better understand what happens to carbon as it progresses from the atmosphere through plants and into the soils. A … Continue reading Surprisingly decomposition of leaf litter in nature is not affected by temperature when reciprocally transplanted!

Surface plant fungi in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

Yang Li, Dashuan Tian, Junxiao Pan, Benjamin Zhou, Ruiyang Zhang, Song Lei, Jinsong Wang, Shuli Niu This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is the third pole (~4000 m) of the world. The Plateau is covered by a large area of alpine grasslands. Leaf and root surfaces of alpine plants are commonly colonised … Continue reading Surface plant fungi in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

Inundation depth stimulates plant-mediated CH4 emissions by increasing ecosystem carbon uptake and plant height in an estuarine wetland

Mingliang Zhao, Peiguang Li, Weimin Song, Xiaojing Chu, Franziska Eller, Xiaojie Wang, Jingtao Liu, Leilei Xiao, Siyu Wei, Xinge Li, Guangxuan Han This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Estuarine wetlands occupy a small fraction of the earth’s surface, but they play an important role in carbon cycles. Estuarine wetlands are characterized by strong hydrological … Continue reading Inundation depth stimulates plant-mediated CH4 emissions by increasing ecosystem carbon uptake and plant height in an estuarine wetland

Few large or many small offspring? Familiar dilemma now demonstrated also in wood-inhabiting fungi

Veera Norros, Panu Halme, Anna Norberg, Otso Ovaskainen This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. The number of offspring within a given time is one of the most fundamental traits of an organism. It determines how fast populations can grow, adapt to new conditions and spread to new areas. The number of offspring is also … Continue reading Few large or many small offspring? Familiar dilemma now demonstrated also in wood-inhabiting fungi

Interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and rhizosphere bacteria increase plant growth

Yunjian Xu, Zhe Chen, Xiaoyu Li, Jing Tan, Fang Liu, Jianping Wu This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. The rhizosphere is defined as the narrow region of soil that surrounds and is influenced by the roots of a plant. Plant roots release exudates into the rhizosphere attracting microorganisms that feed on them. Arbuscular mycorrhizal … Continue reading Interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and rhizosphere bacteria increase plant growth

Invasive plants are less tolerant of drought, but recover faster from rewetting than native plants

Xue Zhang, Ayub M. O. Oduor, Yanjie Liu This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Plant invasions outside their native ranges pose serious environmental, economic, and human health impacts. Consequently, how the spread of invasive plants may change in the future has stimulated considerable interest, in particular in the context of ongoing climate change. Prolonged … Continue reading Invasive plants are less tolerant of drought, but recover faster from rewetting than native plants