How lizards hold on for dear life during hurricanes

Emma C. C. DiPaolo and Jason J. Kolbe This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Hurricane activity is increasing due to climate change. Extreme weather events like hurricanes can be devastating for natural populations, causing widespread mortality and population extinctions. Hurricanes can also be a source of natural selection, favoring traits that help organisms survive … Continue reading How lizards hold on for dear life during hurricanes

Sexual selection might play an important role in adaptation to increased temperatures and extreme climate events

Maria Moiron, Lennart Winkler, Oliver Yves Martin, Tim Janicke This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Anthropogenic climate change is not only causing increased temperatures worldwide, but also an increased number of extreme climatic events such as heatwaves, cold spells, tropical cyclones and severe droughts. Understanding the effects that this rise in temperatures and heatwaves … Continue reading Sexual selection might play an important role in adaptation to increased temperatures and extreme climate events

Evolution of predatory behavior of an aquatic insect during its range expansion (+ Traducción Española!)

José Antonio Carbonell, Ying-Jie Wang, Arnaud Sentis, Robby Stoks This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Many species are shifting their distributions polewards in response to climate change. This has been associated with the evolution of ecological and life history traits and their thermal plasticity, which eventually may shape trophic interactions and thereby the success … Continue reading Evolution of predatory behavior of an aquatic insect during its range expansion (+ Traducción Española!)

Closely related tropical herbs have similar tolerance to high temperatures

Georgia G. Hernández, Timothy M. Perez, Oscar M. Vargas, W. John Kress, Ramón Molina-Bravo, Roberto A. Cordero, Jeffrey R. Seemann, Carlos García-Robledo This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. The tropics are known for their stable temperatures throughout the year. However, temperatures greatly vary among the vast mosaic of habitats within the tropics. It is … Continue reading Closely related tropical herbs have similar tolerance to high temperatures

Parental care behaviors shifted from parents to offspring in social insects

Thomas Chouvenc This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Parental care behaviors represent an important selective force in animals as they lead to improved offspring survival. Parental care encompasses a spectrum of strategies from simple nest defense behaviors, or minimal resource provisioning, to elaborate brood care and expensive parental investment. In fact, the evolution of … Continue reading Parental care behaviors shifted from parents to offspring in social insects

Rapid changes in soil bacteria

Caylon Yates, Ryan V. Trexler, Idalys Bonet, William L. King, Kevin L. Hockett, Terrence H. Bell This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Introducing microorganisms to soil systems to enhance soil processes such as nitrogen fixation has long been of interest; however, this approach remains limited by poor establishment of introduced microorganisms. Historical adaptation to … Continue reading Rapid changes in soil bacteria

How red-flowered species in the Mediterranean Basin lure (almost) red-blind pollinators

Melissa León-Osper, Eduardo Narbona This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Plants show a variety of flower traits such as colour, scent, shape, and size to attract pollinators. In particular, the colour acts as a lure for pollinators, facilitating flower detectability and plant reproduction. In this study, we focus on red-flowered species from the Mediterranean … Continue reading How red-flowered species in the Mediterranean Basin lure (almost) red-blind pollinators

Effect of water availability on volatile-mediated communication between potato plants in response to insect herbivory

Carla Vázquez-González, Laura Pombo-Salinas, Lucía Martín-Cacheda, Sergio Rasmann, Gregory Röder, Luis Abdala-Roberts, Kailen A. Mooney, Xoaquín Moreira This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Plants can perceive and respond to complex blends of above- or belowground volatile organic compounds (‘VOCs’) emitted by herbivore-damaged neighbours, a phenomenon termed ‘plant communication’. Such chemical cues act as warning … Continue reading Effect of water availability on volatile-mediated communication between potato plants in response to insect herbivory

Evolutionary relatedness and similarity explain the interactions between exotic and local plants mediated by flower visiting insects

Mialy Razanajatovo, Felana Rakoto Joseph, Princy Rajaonarivelo Andrianina, Mark van Kleunen This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. When exotic species conquer new regions, new combinations of exotic and local species interact. We can therefore use invasions as natural experiments to understand the formation of species interactions. For flowering plants, exotic species, once they have … Continue reading Evolutionary relatedness and similarity explain the interactions between exotic and local plants mediated by flower visiting insects

Nutrient resorption in a grassland-dominant plant with high phenotypic plasticity

Zuxin Zhang, Jing Zheng, Yingjie Guang, Lijun Chen, Xinping Luo, Dali Chen, Xiaowen Hu This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Leaf nutrient resorption is an important strategy that plants use to conserve nutrients. Resorption can reduce the plant’s dependence on soil nutrient supply and enhance its nutrient use efficiency, thus it is considered as … Continue reading Nutrient resorption in a grassland-dominant plant with high phenotypic plasticity