The effects of temperature can influence the movement of green algae individuals across multiple generations

Hannah S. Meier, Isaac J. Schuman, Tamara J. Layden, Anna Ritz, Colin T. Kremer, Samuel B. Fey This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. The goal of this project was to gain a better understanding of how the environmental conditions experienced by past generations influences an individual’s behaviour in their current environment. Behaviour is important … Continue reading The effects of temperature can influence the movement of green algae individuals across multiple generations

Temperature controls the speed of life

Caroline Greiser, Loke von Schmalensee, Olle Lindestad, Karl Gotthard, Philipp Lehmann This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Insects develop faster when it is warmer, but at very high temperatures development drastically slows down again. This nonlinear response to temperature makes it difficult to predict if an insect will develop on average rapidly or slowly … Continue reading Temperature controls the speed of life

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

Similar or dissimilar: Elevation and temperature explain contrasting trends among various chemicals in leaves of alpine willows

Martin Volf, Tereza Volfová, Elvira Hörandl, Natascha D. Wagner, Niko Luntamo, Juha-Pekka Salminen, Brian E. Sedio This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Plants produce an astonishing diversity of chemical compounds. Those with specialized functions are called specialized metabolites and they defend plants from natural enemies or adverse environmental conditions, such as low temperatures, or … Continue reading Similar or dissimilar: Elevation and temperature explain contrasting trends among various chemicals in leaves of alpine willows

With board and lodging: facultative endosymbionts come with energy costs for aphids

Clavé Corentin, Sugio Akiko, Morlière Stéphanie, Pincebourde Sylvain, Simon Jean-Christophe, Foray Vincent This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Aphids form intimate associations with bacteria. These bacteria, also called endosymbionts, are hosted in specialized cells and are transmitted vertically from mother to offspring. While some endosymbionts are obligate (e.g., Buchnera aphidicola), others appear  to be facultative, … Continue reading With board and lodging: facultative endosymbionts come with energy costs for aphids

The effect of temperature on performance changes predictably with elevation in a lizard

Rory S. Telemeco, Eric J. Gangloff, G. Antonio Cordero, Essie M. Rodgers, Fabien Aubret This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Unlike mammals and birds, the body temperature of most animals varies with their environment. The body temperatures they experience affects all aspects of their biology, from growth and development, to digestion, to running. Typically, … Continue reading The effect of temperature on performance changes predictably with elevation in a lizard

Opportunity for thermoregulation accelerates development but not growth in newt larvae

Lumír Gvoždík This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article that can be found here. Organisms are often exposed to variation in environmental temperature. Many cold-blooded species buffer this variation by adopting various thermoregulatory behaviours, such as basking in lizards. However, the effectiveness of behavioural thermoregulation is limited by the availability of environmental temperatures that allow them to reach their target … Continue reading Opportunity for thermoregulation accelerates development but not growth in newt larvae

How an alpine plant species responds to temperature stress depends on the type of trait and life stage

Pieter A. Arnold, Shuo Wang, Alexandra A. Catling, Loeske E. B. Kruuk, Adrienne B. Nicotra This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. Understanding how plants can respond to temperature stress is increasingly important as the climate changes, particularly in alpine ecosystems where rates of changes are occurring faster. The ability of a plant to change the expression of its traits … Continue reading How an alpine plant species responds to temperature stress depends on the type of trait and life stage

Why do fence lizards bask in the sun? Turns out, it’s not just to warm up!

Dane A. Conley, Matthew S. Lattanzio This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. In nature, many lizards spend the day moving between sun and shade, behaviours we always thought were driven just by temperature. However, sunlight provides more than just warmth, it also provides exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. As humans, we often relate UV … Continue reading Why do fence lizards bask in the sun? Turns out, it’s not just to warm up!

Can ants optimise their wax layer for two needs at the same time?

Marti Wittke, Lucas Baumgart, Florian Menzel This is a plain language summary of a Functional Ecology research article which can be found here. All terrestrial animals must protect themselves against water loss. Insects do this with a waxy layer on their body. It consists of dozens of compounds – which is why biologists can use it to easily distinguish even closely related species. In social … Continue reading Can ants optimise their wax layer for two needs at the same time?