This week’s favourite in Functional Ecology is a newly accepted paper by Martijn Vandegehuchte and colleagues who studied how mammals  –large and small – affected grazing by insects. In their study they also tested if these interactions were moderated by plant functional type identity.

An interesting paper in Nature Ecology & Evolution shows how Cuckoo females produce ‘hawk-like’ calls to mislead host parents and increase successful parasitism.

Normally, airplane magazines do not impress me. I have to make an exception for the September issue of ‘highlife’ by British Airways (note: I am not advertising the company, nor do I advocate flying), which features an interesting article on ‘The fabric of the future’. It highlighted a few companies that made fabrics from:

  • fermenting yeast that produce silk like proteins ready to be spun into fibre: botlthreads,com,
  • plastic waste from Haiti:,
  • citrus pulp:,
  • by-products form the wine industry:,

and my personal favorite,

  • from cows’ manure:

This article also gave me an idea, one with which I would like to challenge the organizers of the BES meeting in Ghent, coming December. Every year, a Christmas-jumper day is organized; perhaps parallel to that we could also look for the  ‘most-sustainable-jumper’ (which could also mean you do not buy a new one, but wear last years one again)?


Enjoy your week, Bjorn

Bjorn Robroek is the blog editor for Functional Ecologists.