Our cover image shows a liana in the forest canopy. Compared to trees, lianas have a much greater amount of leaves relative to their basal stem area (through which water flows). In their paper, Contribution of lianas to community‐level canopy transpiration in a warm‐temperate forest, Ichihashi et al showed that the contribution of lianas to forest water dynamics may be several times greater than their contribution to forest BA (or standing biomass), so a slight increase in liana abundance may have considerable effects on water dynamics and the capacity of forests to store carbon. Photo credit: Ryuji Ichihashi.
This issue also includes our latest Review, Stable isotopes in tropical tree rings: theory, methods and applications, by Peter van der Sleen, Pieter A. Zuidema and Thijs L. Pons, and is a bumper issue for commentaries – In their Commentaries, Niv DeMalach and Ronen Kadmon (Light competition explains diversity decline better than niche dimensionality) and Harpole et al (Out of the shadows: multiple nutrient limitations drive relationships among biomass, light and plant diversity) debate the relative importance of light competition to diversity, while Soininen, Hamel and Yoccoz discuss the importance of study design and robust analyses in ecology. All Review and Commentary papers are free to read.