High CO2 helps savanna trees escape fatal herbivory

Brad S. Ripley, Sarah L. Raubenheimer, Lavinia Perumal, Maurice Anderson, Emma Mostert, Barney S. Kgope, Guy F. Midgley, Kimberley J. Simpson This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. When you picture a savanna in your mind, you likely think of a wide and open tropical scene dominated by grasses with a scattering of trees. However … Continue reading High CO2 helps savanna trees escape fatal herbivory

Estimates of nectar productivity through a simulation approach differ from the nectar replenished in 24 h

Luca Carisio, Lucie Schurr, Véronique Masotti, Marco Porporato, Gabriel Nève, Laurence Affre, Sophie Gachet, Benoît Geslin This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Nectar is a key resource for numerous insects. Despite its importance, the production of nectar by flowers has mainly been assessed using one simple sampling method, in which the replenished nectar volume … Continue reading Estimates of nectar productivity through a simulation approach differ from the nectar replenished in 24 h

Experimental removal of egg microbes has long-lasting performance effects for Melissa blue caterpillars

Su’ad A. Yoon, Joshua G. Harrison, Angela M. Smilanich, Matthew L. Forister This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Transmission of microbes from mothers to young (maternal transmission) is extremely common in the animal kingdom. In the Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), the microbiome is thought to be transient and mostly shaped by diet. In this … Continue reading Experimental removal of egg microbes has long-lasting performance effects for Melissa blue caterpillars

Superior pest control on defenceless plants

Saioa Legarrea, Arne Janssen, Lin Dong, Joris J. Glas, Yvonne M. van Houten, Alessandra Scala, Merijn R. Kant This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. The world is green with plants, despite the abundance of herbivores that attack and consume them. For decades, scientists have debated whether plant persistence is due to predators that feed … Continue reading Superior pest control on defenceless plants

Insect associated microbes and plant defense interact to modulate the performance of a caterpillar

Guillaume Minard, Aapo Kahilainen, Arjen Biere, Hannu Pakkanen, Johanna Mappes, Marjo Saastamoinen This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Plants tend to express some pattern of physical or chemical defenses that protects them against their natural enemies. Many specialist herbivores have evolved strategies to cope with such plant defenses. Their gut microbiota (i.e. the microbes … Continue reading Insect associated microbes and plant defense interact to modulate the performance of a caterpillar

The impact of invasive plants on tropical plant-seed disperser interactions varies with fruiting season

Alba Costa, Ruben Heleno, Yanick Dufrene, Eleanor Huckle, Ronny Gabriel, Xavier Harrison, Dana G. Schabo, Nina Farwig, Christopher N. Kaiser-Bunbury This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. The interactions between plants and the animals that disperse their seeds, such as birds and reptiles, can be modified by the presence of invasive non-native plant species and, … Continue reading The impact of invasive plants on tropical plant-seed disperser interactions varies with fruiting season

Bottom-up cascading effects triggered by increased soil nutrients modulate interactions between plants, aphids, and aphid-tending ants

María Lescano, Carolina Quintero, Alejandro G. Farji-Brener, Esteban Balseiro This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Herbivores demand large amounts of nutrients other than carbon (C) to sustain their vital functions. Particularly, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are the two most important and critical limiting ones, but plants are usually poor in these nutrients (i.e., … Continue reading Bottom-up cascading effects triggered by increased soil nutrients modulate interactions between plants, aphids, and aphid-tending ants

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

Habitat Loss Increases Partner-Switching In Plant-Pollinator Communities

Amparo Lázaro, Carmelo Gómez-Martínez This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here Many ecosystem services depend on interactions between species. This is the case for the pollination service, which is essential for the maintenance of biodiversity, crop production and overall ecosystem functions, and is sustained by plant-pollinator interactions. Understanding how flexible the interactions between plants and … Continue reading Habitat Loss Increases Partner-Switching In Plant-Pollinator Communities

Do ants and plants see the world the same way?

Heloise Gibb, Tom R. Bishop, Lily Leahy, Catherine L. Parr, Jean-Philippe Lessard, Nathan J. Sanders, Jonathan Z. Shik, Javier Ibarra-Isassi, Ajay Narendra, Robert R. Dunn, Ian J. Wright This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology perspective article that can be found here. An ecological strategy describes the way a species interacts with other species and its environment and determines its evolutionary fitness. … Continue reading Do ants and plants see the world the same way?