No risk – no fun: penalty and recovery from spring frost damage in deciduous temperate trees

Frederik Baumgarten, Arthur Gessler & Yann Vitasse This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Getting the timing right to unfold fresh leaves in spring is a gamble for deciduous trees in seasonal climates that has a long evolutionary history. Too early and the whole investment might be sacrificed to a single frost event; too late … Continue reading No risk – no fun: penalty and recovery from spring frost damage in deciduous temperate trees

Multidimensional change of biodiversity and ecosystem functions

Guiyao Zhou, Manuel Esteban Lucas-Borja, Shengen Liu, Hang-Wei Hu, Ji-Zheng He, Xinxin Wang, Zheng Jiang, Xuhui Zhou, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Mediterranean forests are one of the most important global hotspots of biodiversity, and are critical for supporting ecosystem function and climate change mitigation. Over the past decades, these forests … Continue reading Multidimensional change of biodiversity and ecosystem functions

Where does organic matter go once it reaches the soil?

Carlos Lozano Fondón, Marco Scotti, Michele Innangi, Cristina Bondavalli, Anna De Marco, Amalia Virzo De Santo, Antonietta Fioretto, Cristina Menta, Antoni Bodini This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Soils host a great variety of organisms that eat each other so that multiple feeding relationships arise through which organic matter is being processed. The transformation … Continue reading Where does organic matter go once it reaches the soil?

Biocrusts reduce response of microbial C decomposition to increasing temperature compared with bare soil in dryland

Gang Huang, Yan-gui Su*, Guo-peng Wu, Zheng-yi Huang, Si-nuo Lin, Hao Cheng This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Biocrusts are universal in drylands and are found on the soil surface and in the top few millimeters to centimeters of soil. They are composed of cyanobacteria, lichens, mosses, and algae in different proportions and can … Continue reading Biocrusts reduce response of microbial C decomposition to increasing temperature compared with bare soil in dryland

Soil carbon is related to tree growth strategy in naturally regenerating tropical forests

Abby Wallwork, Lindsay F. Banin, Daisy H. Dent, Ute Skiba, Emma Sayer This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Forests which are left to naturally regenerate following human disturbance now make up over half of all remaining tropical forest and are increasingly important for their role in the global carbon budget. During forest regrowth, carbon … Continue reading Soil carbon is related to tree growth strategy in naturally regenerating tropical forests

What will happen to early vegetation growth at different stages as plant litter increases?

Xiaoyue Zhang, Xiangyin Ni, Petr Heděnec, Kai Yue, Xinyu Wei, Jing Yang, Fuzhong Wu This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Vegetation regeneration is a complex process, involving many stages from seeds and seedlings to plant establishment and development. As the first thing the seed contacts on the soil floor, litter could provide nutrients and … Continue reading What will happen to early vegetation growth at different stages as plant litter increases?

Specific impact of mesozooplankton feeding strategies on carbon flows

Blanche Saint-Béat, Gérald Darnis, Maxime Leclerc, Marcel Babin, Frederic Maps This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Through their feeding interactions, Arctic marine organisms regulate the transfer of carbon produced during the short summer season and drive the functioning of Arctic marine ecosystems. Mesozooplankton—small animals drifting in oceanic currents—form a crucial hub of matter and … Continue reading Specific impact of mesozooplankton feeding strategies on carbon flows

What happens to coral colonies after death? Exploring erosion of dead coral colonies

Juliano Morais, Renato Morais, Sterling B. Tebbett, David R. Bellwood This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. One of the main things people may have heard about corals in recent years is that they are dying due to coral bleaching events. Coral bleaching occurs when corals are exposed to high water temperatures for too long. … Continue reading What happens to coral colonies after death? Exploring erosion of dead coral colonies

Restoring ecosystem health requires not just more plants, or the right type of plants, but both

Kathleen R. Balazs, Seth M. Munson, Bradley J. Butterfield This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Restoring degraded ecosystems is a massive environmental challenge. Establishing the right types of plants is often considered critical to restoring soil health, suppressing weeds, and producing biomass for forage and wildlife. However, biomass might also play a supporting role … Continue reading Restoring ecosystem health requires not just more plants, or the right type of plants, but both

Using ecosystem engineers to enhance multiple ecosystem processes

James E. Byers This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology review which can be found here. Some species have large effects on their physical environment, effectively altering it enough to influence surrounding species in the community. These species are dubbed ecosystem engineers. Because of their large influences on community and ecosystem properties, ecosystem engineers must be purposefully and centrally considered in restoration … Continue reading Using ecosystem engineers to enhance multiple ecosystem processes