The cover of issue 32×01 shows sites along the North–South Transect of Eastern China. Our new Special Focus on Functional Traits Along a Transect uses the NSTEC to provide a continental‐scale view of the spatial patterns of functional traits in forest ecosystems, the link between functional traits and ecosystem functioning, and the responses to future climate changes. The large gradient datasets that presented in this special focus are publically available, and could be used to test numerous ecological theories, explore the mechanisms underlying ecosystem responses to changing environment, and provide new perspectives on contemporary debates in macroecology and benchmark ecological models.
The papers in this collection arise from work on a forest transect in China which includes boreal, temperate and subtropical environments. Their findings have real-world relevance, especially in the context of global climate change.
Also in this issue, Hulme et al’s Perspective paper asks if we can do better at Comparing traits of native and alien plants: Can we do better?, while Hart et al’s asks Fungal inoculants in the field: Is the reward greater than the risk?