Dr. Dianye Zhang, a postdoc from Prof. Yuanhe Yang’s Lab in the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, discusses his recent paper “Changes in above-/below-ground biodiversity and plant functional composition mediate soil respiration response to nitrogen input” published in Functional Ecology. What is the background behind your paper? Intensified human activities accelerate the deposition of reactive nitrogen (N) into terrestrial ecosystems. Reactive N enrichment, … Continue reading Dianye Zhang: Nitrogen-induced changes in biodiversity and plant community composition affect soil respiration
In this new post Amy Sweeny, postdoctoral research at University of Edinburgh, presents her last work ‘Spatiotemporal variation in drivers of parasitism in a wild wood mouse population.’ She discusses the importance of recognising the forces behind parasitism, the difficulties behind field work and her career path on disease ecology. About the paper In natural populations, parasite infection is ubiquitous. However, some individuals within a … Continue reading Amy Sweeny: Why is this mouse more infected than others?
In this post Li-ting Zheng, a PhD candidate at East China Normal University, presents her recently accepted paper “Functionally diverse tree stands reduce herbaceous diversity and productivity via canopy packing.” She discusses the importance of tree functional diversity in shaping the dynamics of the understorey herbaceous community during the early successional period, and the importance of communication for those pursuing a research career. About the … Continue reading Li-ting Zheng: Functionally diverse tree stands with intensive canopy packing reduce herbaceous diversity and productivity
Fernanda Barros, postdoc at University of Exeter, talks in this new post about her recent paper ‘Phytogeographic origin determines Tropical Montane Cloud Forest hydraulic trait composition’. She highlights the importance of functional traits for ecology, discusses the importance of drought tolerance in tropical mountain cloud forests and calls for more efforts to reduce inequality in science. About the paper Our paper investigates traits of important … Continue reading Fernanda Barros: What can plant life history tell us?
The Haldane Prize is awarded by the British Ecological Society each year for the best paper in Functional Ecology written by an early career author. Here is the shortlist for the 2021 Haldane Prize. Alexander Austin: Solitary bee larvae prioritize carbohydrate over protein in parentally provided pollen Audrey Barker Plotkin: Defoliated trees die below a critical threshold of stored carbon Bálint Uveges: Chemical defence effective against multiple … Continue reading 2021 Haldane Prize Shortlist: Functional Ecology’s Award for Early Career Researchers
In this new post, Natasha de Manincor from University of Lille presents her work “Geographical variation of floral scents in generalist entomophilous species with variable pollinator communities”. She highlights the importance of Volatile Organic Compounds for pollination, discusses the mechanisms behind plant intraspecific chemicals variability and shares her passion for fieldwork all over the world. About the paper Plants are limited by their immobility, so … Continue reading Natasha de Manincor: Geographical floral scent variation depends on pollinators and plant species identity
In this new post, Robin Heinen from the Netherlands Institute of Ecology presents his latest work ‘Foliar herbivory creates subtle soil legacy effects that alter future herbivores via changes in plant community biomass allocation’, discuss the importance of complex interactions to understand ecological communities and shares his worries about not being able to disconnect from nature when you are ecologist. About the paper In early … Continue reading Robin Heinen: Feeding from up to bottom: belowground herbivory impacts on plant-soil feedbacks
In this new post, PhD Marina Dacal from University of Alicante presents her last work ‘Climate change legacies contrastingly affect the resistance and resilience of soil microbial communities and multifunctionality to extreme drought’. She talks about the importance of looking at multiple components when doing ecology, highlights the importance of drylands and shares her new-found passion for knitting. About the paper Soil microbes are the … Continue reading Marina Dacal: Can past climatic conditions influence soil microbes and functioning responses to present extreme climatic events?
Manuel Nogales and Félix Medina talk about their experience working under the eruption of a volcano in Canary Islands (Spain), while sharing their mixed feelings on the research opportunity and the destruction they lived. On Sunday, September 19, 2021, a volcanic eruption began in the southwest of La Palma, one of the islands that are part of the Canaries, Spain. It is the first terrestrial … Continue reading Disaster Ecology: Our experience as biologists in the middle of a volcanic eruption (La Palma, Canary Islands, 2021)
In our newest post, Robert Buchkowski from University of Wester Ontario presents his last work ‘Weak interactions between strong interactors in an old-field ecosystem: control of nitrogen cycling by coupled herbivores and detritivores’. He discusses the importance of considering multiple interacting organisms when evaluating ecosystem functioning, the challenge to extract earthworms from the soil and warns about doing ecology under the supervision of an expert. … Continue reading Robert Buchkowski: Weak interactions between herbivores and detritivores in an old-field ecosystem