Recent analysis of global datasets has shown that plants are constrained in how they allocate resources to their leaves, with trade-offs between building sturdy leaves with a long lifespan that are inefficient in capturing light or building flimsy leaves with a short lifespan and high efficiency. However, it is unknown whether similar patterns occur at more local scales, particularly when you consider the same plant species growing under different conditions. In this study, Justin P. Wright talks with Alan Knapp about the surprising results of examining the effects of varying nitrogen availability and water table depth on the form and function of leaves of over 20 species of wetland plants and what that means for ecologists looking to predict how the addition or subtraction of species will affect the way that ecosystems function. Read the lay summary for more information, read the article online:Wright, J. P., Sutton-Grier, A. (2012), Does the leaf economic spectrum hold within local species pools across varying environmental conditions?. Functional Ecology, 26: 1390–1398. doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12001
Coping with stress: some species survive by breaking the rules, Lanna Desantis explains in this interview with Robbie Wilson. This podcast is part of the Special Feature: The Ecology of Stress .
For more information, read the article online: Desantis, L. M., Delehanty, B., Weir, J. T., Boonstra, R. (2013), Mediating free glucocorticoid levels in the blood of vertebrates: are corticosteroid-binding proteins always necessary?. Functional Ecology, 27: 107–119. doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12038
Alan Knapp interviews Brad Butterfield about his paper "A functional-comparative approach to facilitation between and its context-dependence", part of an upcoming Special Feature on Mechanisms of Plant Competition, and the importance of taking a trait-based approach to plant facilitation. A great deal of research has been conducted on the mechanisms and outcomes of plant competition, what traits help plants compete, but less well understood is how such traits affect the outcome of positive interactions among plants.
In this latest podcast, Alan Knapp, Editor of Functional Ecology, interviews Ryan Sponseller and his co-authors on their paper 'Variation in monsoon precipitation drives spatial and temporal patterns of Larrea tridentata growth in the Sonoran Desert'.
Julia Cooke is the Haldane Prize Winner for 2011. In this podcast, Alan Knapp, Editor, Functional Ecology interviews Julia Cooke about her paper: Silicon concentration and leaf longevity: is silicon a player in the leaf dry mass spectrum?
Read the paper:
Cooke, J., Leishman, M. R. (2011), Silicon concentration and leaf longevity: is silicon a player in the leaf dry mass spectrum?
For more details about the journal's Haldane Prize, Julia Cooke and past winners visit the British Ecological Society's website.
Alan Knapp interviews Amy Austin about her paper co-authored with Victoria Marchesini where they examined how a massive bamboo flowering event, which occurred in 2001 over 200,000 hectares in Patagonia, Argentina , impacted carbon and nutrient cycling in a native old-growth forest. Listen to the podcast at soundcloud and read the paper online:
Austin, A. T. and Marchesini, V. A. (2011), Gregarious flowering and death of understorey bamboo slow litter decomposition and nitrogen turnover in a southern temperate forest in Patagonia, Argentina.
Functional Ecology's First Podcast September 2011
In Functional Ecology's first podcast, Phil Hulme talks to Alan Knapp, about his study which is the first comparison testing for consistency in flowering phenology of species established in the wild in both their native Europe and as introduced aliens in North America.
Read the paper:
Hulme, P. E. (2011), Consistent flowering response to global warming by European plants introduced into North America. Functional Ecology, 25: 1189–1196.
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