Curtis Lubbe

Curtis Lubbe: Right place, wrong time? Hide in the soil – avoidant strategies in plants

In this new post, Curtis Lubbe from the Institute of Botany (Czech Academy of Sciences) presents his latest work ‘Winter belowground: changing winters and the perennating organs of herbaceous plants’, discuss the importance of plant storage organs in perennial plants and surprise us with his drawing talent. About the paper This paper is a review of our current understanding of how the belowground storage organs … Continue reading Curtis Lubbe: Right place, wrong time? Hide in the soil – avoidant strategies in plants

Daniel Kenna

Daniel Kenna: Warming air temperature drives changes in bumblebee flight performance

In this post, Daniel Kenna from Imperial College London’s Silwood Park Campus, explores how bumblebee flight responds to temperature change, discusses what this implies about the effects of climate change on our pollinators, and recounts his experiences in the lab. About the paper Bees’ flight performance affects their ability to pollinate plants, which is a crucial service for many of our crops and garden plants. … Continue reading Daniel Kenna: Warming air temperature drives changes in bumblebee flight performance

Lymantria dispar (caterpillar shown here) is one of the most destructive invasive insects in North America. Defoliation by this insect can kill oak trees by draining the trees’ energy reserves. Photo credit: Nathan Oalican.

Audrey Barker Plotkin: Trees can starve to death from insect defoliation

In this post, Audrey Barker Plotkin of Harvard University talks to us about her latest research where she investigates how invasive insects can starve trees and the importance of protecting temperate forest land. I’m a forest ecologist based at the Harvard Forest in the northeastern United States. Because of high levels of global trade and forest cover, our region is especially vulnerable to forest insect … Continue reading Audrey Barker Plotkin: Trees can starve to death from insect defoliation

Sam van Wassenbergh at the computer at University of Antwerp, Department of Biology.

Sam van Wassenbergh: aerodynamics behind lizards resistance to hurricanes

In our latest post, Sam van Wassenbergh from the University of Antwerp discusses his latest work ‘An aerodynamic perspective on hurricane-induced selection on Anolis lizards’. He presents the importance of functional traits trade-offs in species adaptations, highlights the need to use multidisciplinary approaches in science and shares his pride on working with his student. About the paper In our paper, we wanted to understand why … Continue reading Sam van Wassenbergh: aerodynamics behind lizards resistance to hurricanes

Anina with Erica fascicularis in the Kogelberg

Anina Coetzee: Diversity is about sharing colours

In this post Anina Coetzee, lecturer at Nelson Mandela university presents her latest work ‘’Facilitation and competition shape a geographical mosaic of flower colour polymorphisms’, discusses when it is important for plants to be similar and shares her passion for fynbos. Our study investigated the phenomenon of morphological diversity that is maintained in the absence of obvious divergent selective pressures. Specifically, in a group of … Continue reading Anina Coetzee: Diversity is about sharing colours

Lead author during an acorn collecting campaign (photo credit: Jean-Marc Louvet).

Thomas Caignard: opposite phenotypic and genetic patterns in Pyrenean oaks

In this new post, Thomas Caignard, post-doc at the University of Bordeaux, presents his latest paper ‘Counter-gradient variation of reproductive effort in a widely distributed temperate oak’, discusses the relevance of the rarely found ‘counter-gradients’ and talks about the multi-disciplinary approach is currently using. About the paper Our paper aims to study the phenotypic and genetic variability of one specific life history traits in trees: … Continue reading Thomas Caignard: opposite phenotypic and genetic patterns in Pyrenean oaks

Michael Kearney and his daughter on a road trip catching lizards for measurement of the functional traits involved in water loss.

Michael Kearney: Towards a definition of functional ecology 2.0.

Michael Kearney, professor at the University of Melbourne, presents his latest work ‘Where do functional traits come from? The role of theory and models’. He discusses the importance of definitions in science, remembers the beginnings of our journal and shows his (not so) secret passion for lizards. About the paper What’s your paper about? Our paper is about the concept of a functional trait. This … Continue reading Michael Kearney: Towards a definition of functional ecology 2.0.

Stephanie Schmiege. Photo by Kevin Griffin.

Stephanie Schmiege: leaf morphology impacts respiration in conifers

In this new post, Stephanie C. Schmiege from Columbia University (New York) presents her work on the physiological differences between flat and needle-leaved conifers, how temperature influences plants respiration mechanisms and the big opportunity she had working in tropical forests. I can think of nothing more inspiring than a grove of majestic pines or hemlocks dancing in the wind.  For as long as I can … Continue reading Stephanie Schmiege: leaf morphology impacts respiration in conifers

Xavier Morin in the Grand Luberon forest (South-Eastern France)

Xavier Morin: Finally seeing the forest for the trees? – A model to predict short term functioning and composition of forests

In this post Xavier Morin, Researcher at CEFE, CNRS, University of Montpellier, presents novel perspectives on forest gap models, highlights the complexity of ecological systems and remembers the path that lead him to being a forest scientist. About the paper Forest gap models, the first of which were developed almost 50 years ago, simulate forest dynamics (tree recruitment, growth and death) according to biotic interactions … Continue reading Xavier Morin: Finally seeing the forest for the trees? – A model to predict short term functioning and composition of forests

Author Hao Chen, School of Ecology, Sun Yat-sen University, China

Hao Chen: plants don’t store all trace elements equally

In his latest work, ‘Global resorption efficiencies of trace elements in leaves of terrestrial plants’, professor Hao Chen presents his findings on micronutrient resorption by plants, introduces his future plants in research and calls for collaborators in studying the role of plants in nutrient cycling.    What’s your paper about? This paper reports the global pattern of leaf resorption of trace elements. Specifically, we extracted data … Continue reading Hao Chen: plants don’t store all trace elements equally