Plant-animal interactions: The search for general interaction rules brings energetic traits into focus

Alexander Neu, Huw Cooksley, Karen J. Esler, Anton Pauw, Francois Roets, Frank M. Schurr, Matthias Schleuning This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Plants and animals interact in different ways with each other. Interactions can be positive for both partners (e.g., mutualistic interactions between plants and their pollinators), or they can be positive for one … Continue reading Plant-animal interactions: The search for general interaction rules brings energetic traits into focus

Frugivorous birds adjust their diet to achieve their nutritional goals

Pedro G. Blendinger, Tobias N. Rojas, Andrés F. Ramírez-Mejía, Irene M. A. Bender, Silvia Lomáscolo, Julieta Magro, M. Gabriela Núñez Montellano, Román A. Ruggera, Mariana Valoy, Mariano Ordano This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. You may have come across announcements that say something like: “Eat fruits and vegetables”. No doubt this sign would be … Continue reading Frugivorous birds adjust their diet to achieve their nutritional goals

A new approach to investigate wild animal energy budgets

Ruth Dunn, Jonathan Green, Sarah Wanless, Mike Harris, Mark Newell, Maria Bogdanova, Francis Daunt, Cat Horswill, Jason Matthiopoulos This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which is published here. Wild animals must acquire enough energy from their food to avoid burning through their fat reserves, losing weight, and potentially dying. Although studying how much animals eat and how much they … Continue reading A new approach to investigate wild animal energy budgets

How to measure energy expenditure in wild birds: comparing heart rate, acceleration and time-budget methods

J. Morgan Brown, Willem Bouten, Kees C. J. Camphuysen, Bart A. Nolet, Judy Shamoun-Baranes This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which is published here. Animals have to work hard to obtain food for energy, meaning they should limit the energy they use where possible. This makes energy a useful metric for ecologists to measure to compare the efficiency of … Continue reading How to measure energy expenditure in wild birds: comparing heart rate, acceleration and time-budget methods

Diverse communities (solid lines) produce energy (magenta) and biomass (green) faster than low-diversity communities (dashed lines), thus accumulating more total biomass. But as biomass accumulates, species compete more intensely limiting energy and thus biomass production. These effects are stronger in more diverse communities so that the positive effects of biodiversity progressively reduce as communities grow older. (Image credit: Giulia Ghedini)

Biodiversity increases energy and biomass production but only in younger communities

Giulia Ghedini, Dustin J. Marshall, Michel Loreau Read the full research here Preserving biodiversity is important because species diversity affects the productivity of biological communities. Diverse communities can better use available resources and, thus, produce more biomass than species-poor communities. When diversity is high, communities are also more likely to contain very productive species which further increase biomass production. While these positive biodiversity effects are … Continue reading Biodiversity increases energy and biomass production but only in younger communities