Recent Posts

Driving factors of disease spread in natural plant-pollinator communities (Nature Ecol. Evol.)

Disease spread within species-rich communities is hard to predict and prevent due to the dynamic transmission of parasites between multiple hosts that change in abundance and composition over time. To better understand the temporal dynamics of bee parasites in communities of plants and pollinators, Graystock…

Alpine plant growth and reproduction dynamics in a warmer world (New Phytol.)

Climate warming affects plant performance in warm and dry regions. In cold regions, warming stimulates growth and reproduction, but its effects can vary depending on location and species. Whether herbaceous plants can adapt to increasing temperatures is unclear and a matter of concern. In this study…

Phylogenetic relatedness mediates persistence and density of soil seed banks ($) (J. Ecol.)

Soil seed banks are classified into two types, depending on how long seeds remain viable in the soil before germination or decay: transient (< 1 year) or persistent (> 1 year). In turn, a species' ability to form a persistent seed bank presumably depends on seed traits and plant habitat. However,…

Cones structure and seed traits of four species of large‐seeded pines: Adaptation to animal‐mediated dispersal (Ecol. Evol.)

Different studies show that animal-dispersed pines have particular cone and seed structures to match their dispersers. However, most research has either addressed the changes in cone and seed traits in a single species over an environmental gradient or the differences between wind-dispersed and animal-dispersed…

Influential neighbours: Seeds of dominant species affect the germination of common grassland species (J. Veg. Sci.)

Seed-seed interactions can control the germination of grassland species. The result of this interaction (i.e., germination being inhibited or promoted) presumably depends on the dominance and taxonomic relatedness of interacting species. However, the relative importance of these factors is poorly explored.…

Flowering plant composition shapes pathogen infection intensity and reproduction in bumble bee colonies (PNAS)

Pathogens are one of many factors underlying pollinator decline.  Diseases can be transmitted from commercial honeybees to wild bees through flowers. Bumble bees (Bombus impatiens) are infected by the gut pathogen Crithidia bombi which is contracted at flowers by fecal-oral transmission. However, not…

Plant dispersal strategies of high tropical alpine communities across the Andes (J. Ecol.)

Since dispersal is crucial for the assembly of plant communities, a better understanding of its relation to climate is needed to predict plant communities' responses to changes in the environment. However, this kind of association is still missing in tropical alpine ecosystems –one of the most vulnerable…

Ploidy affects the seed, dormancy and seedling characteristics of a perennial grass, conferring an advantage in stressful climates ($) (Plant Biol.)

Both polyploidy (i.e., having more than two sets of chromosomes) and seed traits influence plant fitness. However, the interaction between these two factors is underexplored. Here, Stevens et al. tested the effect of polyploidy and seed developmental environment on 1) seed viability and mass; 2) seed…

Individualistic responses of forest herb traits to environmental change ($) (Plant Biol)

Functional traits have shown promise for their ability to improve predictions of interspecific plant responses to environmental factors, but most trait-based studies have not addressed the role of intraspecific trait variation (ITV) in trait-environment relationships. ITV may be directly or indirectly…