• Issue

    Journal of Ecology: Volume 110, Issue 8

    1727-1992
    August 2022

COVER PICTURE AND ISSUE INFORMATION

Free Access

Cover Picture and Issue Information

  • Pages: 1727-1729
  • First Published: 09 August 2022
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Cover image: A single leaf of Erythronium americanum, the Yellow trout lily, emerges in the Catskills. The flowering and leaf out times were recorded for a citizen science initiative that enabled a comparative study of 19th and 21st century plant phenology across New York State. Location: Bearsville, NY Catskill Mountains. Photograph by Kerissa Fuccillo Battle. For full details see pages 1757–1774.

REVIEWS

Grime Review: What can remote sensing do for plant ecology?

Open Access

The shape of trees: Reimagining forest ecology in three dimensions with remote sensing

  • Pages: 1730-1745
  • First Published: 10 June 2022
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Here, we review the new opportunities these technologies bring us to measure the physical structure of trees and highlight the technological developments needed to maximise their value to the field of forest ecology. Today, perhaps for the first time, how ecologists choose to study above-ground forest structure and dynamics is limited more by creativity than by what we can measure.

Revisiting plant hydrological niches: The importance of atmospheric resources for ground-rooted plants

  • Pages: 1746-1756
  • First Published: 29 May 2022
Description unavailable

Current niche segregation frameworks (two-layer model) consider that ground-rooted plants obtain resources almost exclusively via root-absorption from soil, thus neglecting the importance of occult precipitation events (dew, fog and drizzle). We present an expanded model (three-layer model) of plant hydrological niches that incorporates the atmospheric resource-axis and provides a more complete picture of how plants obtain, remobilise and share water and nutrients.

RESEARCH ARTICLES

Editor's Choice

Open Access

Citizen science across two centuries reveals phenological change among plant species and functional groups in the Northeastern US

  • Pages: 1757-1774
  • First Published: 16 May 2022
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Citizen science observations across two centuries reveal a dramatic, climate-driven shift to earlier leaf out and flowering, which varies across settings, species and functional groups. Plants in urban areas, insect pollinated trees and early-season species show the greatest rate of advancement overall. This unprecedented comparison of historical-modern network observations illustrates how long-term monitoring and citizen science efforts are invaluable for ecological forecasting and discovery.

Editor's Choice

Nitrogen pulses increase fungal pathogens in Amazonian lowland tropical rain forests

  • Pages: 1775-1789
  • First Published: 02 May 2022
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Excretions of high nutrient concentration by animals create a mosaic of frequent but short-lived nutrient hot spots in tropical forests. These hot spots impact soil microbiome and biogeochemical cycles. Nitrogen pulses by simulated animal urine in a tropical lowland rain forest in Amazonia were found to decrease the abundance of fungal saprotrophs (S), and favour a temporal increase in the abundance of plant pathogenic fungi (P). The increase in pathogens could potentially be involved in maintaining spatially and temporally variable soil microbial diversity and thus contributing to high plant community diversity in tropical rain forests, as predicted by urea pulse the Janzen-Connell hypothesis.

Flowering overlap and floral trait similarity help explain the structure of pollination networks

  • Pages: 1790-1801
  • First Published: 07 May 2022
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Our results highlight the importance of integrating multiple axes of differentiation such as flowering phenology and floral similarity into our understanding of the drivers of plant–pollinator network structure.

Open Access

Neighbours consistently influence tree growth and survival in a frequently burned open oak landscape

  • Pages: 1802-1812
  • First Published: 18 May 2022
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This is the first study to document consistent neighbour facilitation among trees experiencing repeated stressors over an extended time period. Our findings support the literature documenting positive neighbour effects among plants in stressful and highly disturbed environments, in accordance with the stress-gradient hypothesis. While aggregated tree regeneration is typically viewed as the primary cause for the development of tree clumps in fire-prone ecosystems, our study showed that aggregated tree survival, by itself, can also be an important driver of post-fire tree clumping. Our results support the growing literature emphasizing the importance of landscape heterogeneity as a driver of resilience in fire-prone tree ecosystems, and the value of maintaining or creating this heterogeneity during forest management.

Competition mediates understorey species range shifts under climate change

  • Pages: 1813-1825
  • First Published: 06 May 2022
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Based on a dual approach that combines an 18-year transplant experiment and species distribution modelling, we show that biotic interactions mediate population growth beyond cold range margins, and may hereby impact species distributions at the continental scale. Hence, biodiversity redistributions cannot be predicted from abiotic predictors alone, but ultimately requires us to also integrate biotic interactions.

Variations in bark structural properties affect both water loss and carbon economics in neotropical savanna trees in the Cerrado region of Brazil

  • Pages: 1826-1843
  • First Published: 07 May 2022
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By combining correlative studies, experimental results and a modelling exercise, we provide a new understanding of the costs and benefits associated with the variability in gbark across tropical savanna species and a new perspective for studies of water relations and carbon economics in species from a hyperdiverse savanna.

Coordination between water uptake depth and the leaf economic spectrum in a Mediterranean shrubland

  • Pages: 1844-1856
  • First Published: 06 May 2022
Description unavailable

Greater utilisation of water stored in nutrient-rich topsoil layers favours a more acquisitive nutrient-use strategy, whereas a deeper water uptake pattern appears to constrain access to nutrients. Our findings thus suggest a largely inescapable trade-off and coordination between soil water uptake depth and carbon- and nutrient-use strategies in low-fertility drylands.

Dancing with Douglas-fir: Determinism dominates fungal community assembly processes

  • Pages: 1857-1870
  • First Published: 10 May 2022
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Shifts in fungal communities could impact forests by altering interactions between trees and their environments. Our study reveals the fungal community assembly processes on roots and in soils around Douglas fir at four locations in western North America. Deterministic, homogenizing selection was widespread and indicates that partner selection and local climate likely drive fungal community assembly around Douglas fir.

Investigating the effect of habitat amount and landscape heterogeneity on the gamma functional diversity of grassland and hedgerow plants

  • Pages: 1871-1882
  • First Published: 18 May 2022
Description unavailable

Landscape structure is one of the main drivers of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. We investigated the effects of habitat amount, compositional and configurational heterogeneity on the gamma functional diversity of plants in two habitat types: hedgerows and grasslands. We demonstrated that landscape structure can both affect functional diversity and select particular trait syndromes related to plant dispersal, phenology and competitiveness.

Scale-dependent species–area relationship: Niche-based versus stochastic processes in a typical subtropical forest

  • Pages: 1883-1895
  • First Published: 13 May 2022
Description unavailable

Our results show that the small-scale species-area relationship (SAR) in a typical subtropical forest follows a power law, exhibits a scale shift in SAR slope at 30 m scale, and is strongly shaped by niche effects that are dominated by environmental position relative to heterogeneity. However, soil heterogeneity controls the increase in niche effect and shift in the SAR slope with increasing spatial scales. Hence, edaphic factors can be responsible for scale dependence in small-scale SARs, thereby linking small-scale and large-scale SARs.

Open Access

Upslope release—Downslope receipt? Multi-year plant uptake of permafrost-released nitrogen along an arctic hillslope

  • Pages: 1896-1912
  • First Published: 13 May 2022
Description unavailable

Thawing permafrost releases plant-available N to arctic plants. Yet, in topographically diverse arctic landscapes, permafrost-N may be transported along hillslopes, away from the point-of-release. We show that arctic plants effectively acquire locally-released permafrost-N, even in sloping terrain. At the same time, downslope-moving permafrost-N is captured by plants at a considerable distance downhill. The combination of N-form, strong inter-annual N retention, and plant species-specific N uptake patterns may contribute to dictating changes in plant community composition along arctic hillslopes. The potential for plants to take advantage of both locally-released and topographically transported permafrost-N could lead to important changes in arctic vegetation patterns.

Flexible diets enable pollinators to cope with changes in plant community composition

  • Pages: 1913-1927
  • First Published: 20 April 2022
Description unavailable

Overall, our study highlights the importance of incorporating plant traits when evaluating the ability of pollinators to find new interaction partners. Besides, our simulation results suggest that diet flexibility may not unequivocally protect pollination against changes in plant communities, especially if they entail shifts in the characteristics of the floral assemblage, and hence, the ability of pollinators to find new interaction partners can be compromised.

Open Access

Ericaceous dwarf shrubs contribute a significant but drought-sensitive fraction of soil respiration in a boreal pine forest

  • Pages: 1928-1941
  • First Published: 21 May 2022
Description unavailable

Understorey shrubs contribute to soil respiration in proportion to their share of fine root biomass, but they are more affected by drought than heterotrophs and pine root-associated organisms.

Intra-annual species gain overrides species loss in determining species richness in a typical steppe ecosystem after a decade of nitrogen enrichment

  • Pages: 1942-1956
  • First Published: 23 May 2022
Description unavailable

The effects of long-term N addition on the seasonal dynamics of plant species turnover are poorly understood. We clearly demonstrated that species gain and loss decreased with increasing amounts of N addition, resulting in a lower plant species turnover rate and greater similarity in the community between two adjacent months throughout the growing season. Species gain was more important than species loss in determining species richness after a decade of N application.

Importance of invasion mechanisms varies with abiotic context and plant invader growth form

  • Pages: 1957-1969
  • First Published: 27 May 2022
Description unavailable

We reviewed studies to evaluate whether the importance of disturbance, enemy release, facilitation, and novel weapons mechanisms to explain non-native plant invasions varies with evapotranspiration, latitude, precipitation, and temperature. Environmental context and plant growth form influenced the role played by each invasion mechanism. Our results show that environmental conditions influence the strength of biotic interactions leading to plant invasions.

BIOLOGICAL FLORA*

No. 300

Open Access

Biological Flora of Britain and Ireland: Knautia arvensis

  • Pages: 1970-1992
  • First Published: 01 June 2022
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Field Scabious is a widespread, native perennial of grasslands and meadows found throughout much of Europe. It is a popular plant frequently used as part of pollinator seed mixes, as the nectariferous blue-lilac flowers support a range of generalist and specialist pollinators.