Rebecca at work in the glasshouse in Western Sydney

Rebecca Vandegeer: plant silicon defences against herbivores under drought

In this post Rebecca Vandegeer presents her study ‘Leaf silicification provides herbivore defence regardless of the extensive impacts of water stress’, discusses the importance of Silicon for plant growing and the joy of working with plants and insects  My name is Rebecca Vandegeer and I recently completed a postdoctoral research fellowship with the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University. There is growing … Continue reading Rebecca Vandegeer: plant silicon defences against herbivores under drought

Jitka Klimesova sorting biomass in field

Jitka Klimesova: why we should all care more about belowground plant organs

Jitka Klimesova serves as Senior Scientist at the Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Třeboň and as Professor at Charles University in Prague. Her main interest is in functional morphology of clonal and regenerative organs of herbs. She is the main author of the only existing database of clonal and bud bank traits for an entire flora (CLO-PLA; Czech Republic), organizes … Continue reading Jitka Klimesova: why we should all care more about belowground plant organs

Alison Munson: a large scale look at understorey plants

For their recent paper, 29 researchers came together to look at Geographic scale and disturbance influence intraspecific trait variability in leaves and roots of North American understory plants (Kumordzi, BB, Aubin, I, Cardou, F, et al. Funct Ecol. 2019; 00: 1– 14. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.13402)

In this Insight, Alison Munson talks about why they did it, what they learned and the challenges involved in bringing together multiple research teams for a continental-scale project.

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Ecologist’s Diary with Richard Beason: If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it… it does make a sound!

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” was a philosophical question posed by George Berkeley to explore various concepts relating to perception; is a sound only a sound if someone hears it, how much can we truly know about the unobserved world and so forth. I’m not looking to start a metaphysics debate (honestly!) but, for me, the answer is decidedly ‘yes, it does’. At least that’s the case if you happen to have an acoustic recorder somewhere in the vicinity of said tree when it falls. Continue reading “Ecologist’s Diary with Richard Beason: If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it… it does make a sound!”