Journal of Ecology

Cover image for Vol. 102 Issue 1

January 2014

Volume 102, Issue 1

Pages 1–267

  1. Editorial

    1. Top of page
    2. Editorial
    3. Invasion ecology
    4. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    5. Plant-climate interactions
    6. Plant population and community dynamics
    7. Reproductive ecology
    8. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    9. Plant development and life-history traits
    10. Plant-herbivore interactions
    11. Dispersal
    12. Palaeoecology and land-use history
    1. Journal of Ecology News (pages 1–3)

      David J. Gibson, Amy T. Austin, Richard D. Bardgett, Mark Rees, Andrea Baier and Lauren Sandhu

      Article first published online: 16 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12191

  2. Invasion ecology

    1. Top of page
    2. Editorial
    3. Invasion ecology
    4. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    5. Plant-climate interactions
    6. Plant population and community dynamics
    7. Reproductive ecology
    8. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    9. Plant development and life-history traits
    10. Plant-herbivore interactions
    11. Dispersal
    12. Palaeoecology and land-use history
    1. Impact of plant invasions on local arthropod communities: a meta-analysis (pages 4–11)

      Thomas van Hengstum, Danny A. P. Hooftman, J. Gerard B. Oostermeijer and Peter H. van Tienderen

      Article first published online: 5 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12176

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      A meta-analysis of 56 studies shows that arthropod abundance is reduced by 29% and taxonomic richness by 17% in habitats with invaded plant species. Woody invaders had the strongest impact (−50%). Potential ecological drivers of change are discussed. We are the first to synthesise these effects across studies.

    2. Experimental evidence for indirect facilitation among invasive plants (pages 12–18)

      S. Luke Flory and Jonathan T. Bauer

      Article first published online: 3 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12186

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      New results provide experimental evidence that an initial plant invasion associated with suppression of resident species and increased resource availability can facilitate a secondary invasion. Such positive interactions among species with similar habitat requirements, but offset phenologies, may exacerbate invasions and their impacts on native ecosystems.

  3. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions

    1. Top of page
    2. Editorial
    3. Invasion ecology
    4. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    5. Plant-climate interactions
    6. Plant population and community dynamics
    7. Reproductive ecology
    8. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    9. Plant development and life-history traits
    10. Plant-herbivore interactions
    11. Dispersal
    12. Palaeoecology and land-use history
    1. Invasive plants escape from suppressive soil biota at regional scales (pages 19–27)

      John L. Maron, John Klironomos, Lauren Waller and Ragan M. Callaway

      Article first published online: 5 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12172

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      Our results suggest that for some invasives, native soils have strong suppressive potential, whereas this is not the case in soils from across the introduced range. Differences in regional-scale evolutionary history among plants and soil biota could ultimately help explain why some exotics are able to occur at higher abundance in the introduced versus native range. Top panel: feedback on shoot biomass. Bottom panel: feedback on root biomass.

    2. The phenology–substrate-match hypothesis explains decomposition rates of evergreen and deciduous oak leaves (pages 28–35)

      Ian S. Pearse, Richard C. Cobb and Richard Karban

      Article first published online: 21 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12182

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      Our study extends theory of litter quality and the decomposer community into a temporal context, which may be an important source of variation in decomposition rates when species with different litterfall phenologies co-occur.

    3. Species-specific responses of foliar nutrients to long-term nitrogen and phosphorus additions in a lowland tropical forest (pages 36–44)

      Jordan R. Mayor, S. Joseph Wright and Benjamin L. Turner

      Article first published online: 6 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12190

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      Collectively, these results suggest that adjustment of N/P ratios can be expected in eudicots exposed to elevated P, but foliar N appears to already be at optimal levels in these lowland rain forest tree species. The complexity of species-specific responses to altered nutrient availability highlights the difficulty in predicting future responses of tropical forest trees to a changing world.

  4. Plant-climate interactions

    1. Top of page
    2. Editorial
    3. Invasion ecology
    4. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    5. Plant-climate interactions
    6. Plant population and community dynamics
    7. Reproductive ecology
    8. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    9. Plant development and life-history traits
    10. Plant-herbivore interactions
    11. Dispersal
    12. Palaeoecology and land-use history
    1. Intraspecific trait variability mediates the response of subalpine grassland communities to extreme drought events (pages 45–53)

      Vincent Jung, Cécile H. Albert, Cyrille Violle, Georges Kunstler, Grégory Loucougaray and Thomas Spiegelberger

      Article first published online: 8 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12177

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      Our results highlight the need for a better consideration of intraspecific variability to understand and predict the effect of climate change on plant communities. While both species turnover and intraspecific variability can be expected following an extreme drought, we report new evidence that intraspecific variability can be a more important driver of the short-term functional response of plant communities.

    2. Phenotypic plasticity promotes persistence following severe events: physiological and morphological responses of seagrass to flooding (pages 54–64)

      Paul S. Maxwell, Kylie A. Pitt, Dana D. Burfeind, Andrew D. Olds, Russell C. Babcock and Rod M. Connolly

      Article first published online: 25 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12167

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      Phenotypic plasticity in habitat-forming species can result in a large variation in their responses to severe events, like floods or cyclones. Acclimation to prior poor environmental conditions can promote persistence in habitat forming species, like seagrasses, following severe events. The measurement of phenotypic characteristics along an impact gradient can therefore provide an indication of the response of habitat forming species to severe events.

  5. Plant population and community dynamics

    1. Top of page
    2. Editorial
    3. Invasion ecology
    4. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    5. Plant-climate interactions
    6. Plant population and community dynamics
    7. Reproductive ecology
    8. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    9. Plant development and life-history traits
    10. Plant-herbivore interactions
    11. Dispersal
    12. Palaeoecology and land-use history
    1. Intraspecific functional differentiation suggests local adaptation to long-term climate change in a calcareous grassland (pages 65–73)

      Catherine H. Ravenscroft, Jason D. Fridley and J. Philip Grime

      Article first published online: 28 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12168

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      Results suggest that population-level shifts can be a mechanism of resistance to local climate-induced extinction. Trait differentiation with respect to fine-scale variation in soil depth suggests that edaphic heterogeneity fosters high local genetic diversity, which provides a range of local phenotypes upon which drought-based selection may act.

    2. Testing the roles of competition, facilitation and stochasticity on community structure in a species-rich assemblage (pages 74–85)

      Carlos Martorell and Robert P. Freckleton

      Article first published online: 12 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12173

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      Our results, taken together with recent studies on tropical forests, suggest that weak interactions among established plants may be a general phenomenon, but that local interactions during colonization are important drivers of community composition. Most of the variance in species abundance in our community was explained by intraspecific competition and stochasticity, with interspecific interactions playing a minor role due to their overall weakness, interaction changes over ontogeny, and the cancellation of opposite-sign interactions when all the species in the community are considered. Despite this, some species were rare seemingly because they cannot withstand interspecific competition. Thus, to untangle the effects of interactions on community structure, future research should focus on interactions occurring at different phases of population growth and on whole communities.

    3. Eavesdropping in plants: delayed germination via biochemical recognition (pages 86–94)

      Ian J. Renne, Brandon T. Sinn, Gregory W. Shook, David M. Sedlacko, Jessica R. Dull, Diego Villarreal and José L. Hierro

      Article first published online: 4 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12189

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      Coupling ample theoretical support with empirical evidence here and elsewhere, an ‘eavesdrop-and-wait‘ competition avoidance strategy could be a common phenomenon. Our findings suggest sympatric association may contribute to evolution of species-specific BR and that seed traits are important in its development. The underlying mechanism affecting these germination decisions may be simple phytochemical-induced hormonal regulation. Factors preclude BR from being ubiquitous, but nonetheless BR provides a potentially powerful mechanism by which some plant populations and the spatiotemporal diversity of some communities are structured. Lastly, allelopathy may be erroneously invoked when phytochemical-induced germination reduction occurs but a toxicity mechanism has not been elucidated. In many cases, this fits more with the BRH than classic allelopathy.

    4. Local adaptation and range boundary formation in response to complex environmental gradients across the geographical range of Clarkia xantiana ssp. xantiana (pages 95–107)

      Billie Gould, David A. Moeller, Vincent M. Eckhart, Peter Tiffin, Eric Fabio and Monica A. Geber

      Article first published online: 4 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12188

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      Theory predicts that lack of heritable trait variation and/or maladaptive gene flow can promote the formation of geographic range boundaries even in the absence of barriers to dispersal. Genetic and phenotypic data from across the range of the wildflower Clarkia xantiana ssp. xantiana suggest that across complex landscapes, despite ubiquitous local adaptation, these factors do not necessarily contribute to boundary formation as predicted.

  6. Reproductive ecology

    1. Top of page
    2. Editorial
    3. Invasion ecology
    4. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    5. Plant-climate interactions
    6. Plant population and community dynamics
    7. Reproductive ecology
    8. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    9. Plant development and life-history traits
    10. Plant-herbivore interactions
    11. Dispersal
    12. Palaeoecology and land-use history
    1. Beyond nectar sweetness: the hidden ecological role of non-protein amino acids in nectar (pages 108–115)

      Massimo Nepi

      Article first published online: 1 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12170

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      The presence of non-protein amino acids (NPAAs) in floral nectar is known from the 1970s, although no hypothesis was proposed until now regarding their role in interacting with nectar feeders. This paper proposes that they may contribute to the plant-insect network of interactions in several ways: by affecting the physiology of the nervous system of the insect, by regulating nectar intake through phagostimulation and by promoting muscle function during flight. (Picture by Marta Galloni, University of Bologna).

    2. Long-tongued insects promote disassortative pollen transfer in style-dimorphic Narcissus papyraceus (Amaryllidaceae) (pages 116–125)

      Violeta I. Simón-Porcar, Rocío Santos-Gally and Juan Arroyo

      Article first published online: 11 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12179

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      In this study, we provide empirical support for the hypothesis that, under the action of long-tongued pollinators, pollen transfer patterns in the stylar-dimorphic Narcissus papyraceus resemble in part those of heterostylous species. In addition, we found that short-tongued insects act mostly as pollen thieves, thereby limiting the male tness of both style morphs, besides depleting the female tness of S-morph plants. In view of these results, we propose that the differing pollination efciencies of oral visitors, in addition to their frequency, are key in determining the morph ratio of populations in this Narcissus.

    3. Flower colour and phylogeny along an altitudinal gradient in the Himalayas of Nepal (pages 126–135)

      Mani Shrestha, Adrian G. Dyer, Prakash Bhattarai and Martin Burd

      Article first published online: 26 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12185

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      Flower colours are more disparate among plants at subalpine elevations than at subtropical elevations, but floral reflectance spectra at both elevation zones contain chromatic cues that seem adapted to hymenopteran vision.

    4. Landscape scale variation in nectar amino acid and sugar composition in a Lepidoptera pollinated orchid species and its relation with fruit set (pages 136–144)

      Pieter Gijbels, Wim Van den Ende and Olivier Honnay

      Article first published online: 16 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12183

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      Landscape scale variation in nectar composition of Gymnadenia conopsea is influenced by environmental variables and appears to be an important feature of plant reproductive success. Furthermore, both nectar amino acid and sugar composition show high within-plant variation. This variation may reduce geitonogamous pollination but it may also limit rapid pollinator-mediated selection on nectar traits.

  7. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure

    1. Top of page
    2. Editorial
    3. Invasion ecology
    4. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    5. Plant-climate interactions
    6. Plant population and community dynamics
    7. Reproductive ecology
    8. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    9. Plant development and life-history traits
    10. Plant-herbivore interactions
    11. Dispersal
    12. Palaeoecology and land-use history
    1. Environmental factors predict community functional composition in Amazonian forests (pages 145–155)

      Claire Fortunel, C. E. Timothy Paine, Paul V. A. Fine, Nathan J. B. Kraft and Christopher Baraloto

      Article first published online: 31 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12160

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      The consequences of biodiversity loss for ecosystem services largely depend on the functional identities of extirpated species. However, poor descriptions of functional diversity across landscapes hamper accurate predictions, particularly in highly-diverse tropical regions. Here we demonstrate that environmental filtering determines the functional composition of lowland Amazonian forests; and that environmental factors allow the prediction of community functional composition among habitats.

    2. Community assembly by limiting similarity vs. competitive hierarchies: testing the consequences of dispersion of individual traits (pages 156–166)

      Tomáš Herben and Deborah E. Goldberg

      Article first published online: 21 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12181

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      The degree of dispersion of trait values among species in a community has frequently been used to infer processes of community assembly. However, our results from simulation of clonal plant communities suggest that such inference can be misleading. In particular, we show that dispersion of traits reflecting niche differences has different effects on diversity than dispersion of traits reflecting competitive ability.

    3. Trade-off between light interception efficiency and light use efficiency: implications for species coexistence in one-sided light competition (pages 167–175)

      Yusuke Onoda, Jema B. Saluñga, Kosuke Akutsu, Shin-ichiro Aiba, Tetsukazu Yahara and Niels P. R. Anten

      Article first published online: 22 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12184

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      Taller plants can pre-empt light and suppress growth of subordinate plants, yet in many vegetation species of different statures coexist. We explored the mechanisms underlying this apparent paradox using a novel combined analysis of tree growth and light interception. Taller trees were more efficient in light interception but less efficient in light utilization than shorter trees, resulting into similar relative growth rates across different tree heights. This mechanism may help to explain species coexistence under one-sided light competition.

    4. An allelopathic plant facilitates species richness in the Mediterranean garrigue (pages 176–185)

      Bodil K. Ehlers, Anne Charpentier and Eva Grøndahl

      Article first published online: 1 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12171

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      Thymus vulgaris produce monoterpenes as the main constituent of its aromatic oil. It has a genetic polymorphism for monoterpene production, and the different monoterpenes vary in their allelopathic properties. Our finding shows that thyme increases species richness both locally and at the community level by creating a mosaic of thyme-modified and unmodified microsites differing in richness and composition. We suggest that this may also apply to other aromatic plants common in Mediterranean vegetation.

    5. The intrinsic dimensionality of plant traits and its relevance to community assembly (pages 186–193)

      Daniel C. Laughlin

      Article first published online: 22 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12187

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      There appears to be a tractable upper limit to the dimensionality of plant traits. To optimize research efficiency for advancing our understanding of trait-based community assembly, ecologists should minimise the number of traits while maximising the number of dimensions, because including multiple correlated traits does not yield dividends and including more than eight traits leads to diminishing returns. It is recommended to measure traits from multiple organs whenever possible, especially leaf, stem, root, and flowering traits, given their consistent performance in explaining community assembly across different ecosystems.

  8. Plant development and life-history traits

    1. Top of page
    2. Editorial
    3. Invasion ecology
    4. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    5. Plant-climate interactions
    6. Plant population and community dynamics
    7. Reproductive ecology
    8. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    9. Plant development and life-history traits
    10. Plant-herbivore interactions
    11. Dispersal
    12. Palaeoecology and land-use history
    1. A model-based meta-analysis for estimating species-specific wood density and identifying potential sources of variation (pages 194–208)

      Kiona Ogle, Sharmila Pathikonda, Karla Sartor, Jeremy W. Lichstein, Jeanne L. D. Osnas and Stephen W. Pacala

      Article first published online: 8 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12178

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      Our hierarchical Bayesian approach overcomes many of the limitations of traditional meta-analyses, and the incorporation of phylogenetic or taxonomic information facilitates estimates of trait values for data-poor species. We provide relatively well-constrained wood density estimates for 305 tree species, which may be useful for tree growth and forest models, and the uncertainties associated with the estimates may inform future sampling campaigns.

    2. Interspecific variation in the size-dependent resprouting ability of temperate woody species and its adaptive significance (pages 209–220)

      Rei Shibata, Mitsue Shibata, Hiroshi Tanaka, Shigeo Iida, Takashi Masaki, Fumika Hatta, Hiroko Kurokawa and Tohru Nakashizuka

      Article first published online: 5 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12174

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      To understand the adaptive significance of resprouting ability, we first evaluated the size-dependence of the ability for coexisting woody species in a temperate forest. All the studied species could resprout during their juvenile stage, and resprouting ability increased as stump size increased. Most sub-canopy and canopy trees lost their ability to resprout after attaining a particular stump size, whereas shrub species retained the ability to resprout throughout their lifetimes.

  9. Plant-herbivore interactions

    1. Top of page
    2. Editorial
    3. Invasion ecology
    4. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    5. Plant-climate interactions
    6. Plant population and community dynamics
    7. Reproductive ecology
    8. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    9. Plant development and life-history traits
    10. Plant-herbivore interactions
    11. Dispersal
    12. Palaeoecology and land-use history
    1. Long-term biological legacies of herbivore density in a landscape-scale experiment: forest understoreys reflect past deer density treatments for at least 20 years (pages 221–228)

      Tim Nuttle, Todd E. Ristau and Alejandro A. Royo

      Article first published online: 5 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12175

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      Our long-term, experimental results show unequivocally that elevated deer densities cause significant, profound legacy effects on understorey vegetation persisting at least 20 years. Of relevance regionally and globally where high deer densities have created depauperate understoreys, we expect that deer density reduction alone does not guarantee understorey recovery; stands may need to be managed by removing recalcitrant understorey layers (e.g., ferns).

    2. Nectar thieves influence reproductive fitness by altering behaviour of nectar robbers and legitimate pollinators in Corydalis ambigua (Fumariaceae) (pages 229–237)

      Yan-Wen Zhang, Ji-Min Zhao and David W. Inouye

      Article first published online: 10 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12166

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      Although nectar theft is not uncommon, its consequences for pollination have not been well studied, particularly in the context of an interaction web. Our results demonstrate that, especially in systems that include a mix of legitimate pollinators, nectar robbers and nectar thieves, an experimental approach is required to dissect their various effects on plant fitness.

    3. Different combinations of multiple defence traits in an extrafloral nectary-bearing plant growing under various habitat conditions (pages 238–247)

      Akira Yamawo, Jun Tagawa, Yoshio Hada and Nobuhiko Suzuki

      Article first published online: 28 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12169

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Tolerance scores of Mallotus japonicus seedlings cultivated for 2 months in open site, forest edge and treefall gap conditions. The defence tactics of EFN-bearing plants in the field must be determined considering the complex effects of different abiotic factors. Each plant can change its combination of defence traits in response to abiotic habitat conditions.

  10. Dispersal

    1. Top of page
    2. Editorial
    3. Invasion ecology
    4. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    5. Plant-climate interactions
    6. Plant population and community dynamics
    7. Reproductive ecology
    8. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    9. Plant development and life-history traits
    10. Plant-herbivore interactions
    11. Dispersal
    12. Palaeoecology and land-use history
    1. Directness and tempo of avian seed dispersal increases emergence of wild chiltepins in desert grasslands (pages 248–255)

      Tomás A. Carlo and Joshua J. Tewksbury

      Article first published online: 19 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12180

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      Birds dispersed disproportionally high quantities of chiltepin seeds into favourable recruitment microhabitats, showing a case of directed dispersal. Birds also increase seedling emergence through the temporal deposition of seeds under fleshy-fruited trees, most likely as a result of reducing the odds of seed predation. A coupling between directed seed dispersal with classic facilitative plant-plant interactions leads to the formation of pattern and self-organization in a plant community.

  11. Palaeoecology and land-use history

    1. Top of page
    2. Editorial
    3. Invasion ecology
    4. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    5. Plant-climate interactions
    6. Plant population and community dynamics
    7. Reproductive ecology
    8. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    9. Plant development and life-history traits
    10. Plant-herbivore interactions
    11. Dispersal
    12. Palaeoecology and land-use history
    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Looking forward through the past: identification of 50 priority research questions in palaeoecology (pages 256–267)

      Alistair W. R. Seddon, Anson W. Mackay, Ambroise G. Baker, H. John B. Birks, Elinor Breman, Caitlin E. Buck, Erle C. Ellis, Cynthia A. Froyd, Jacquelyn L. Gill, Lindsey Gillson, Edward A. Johnson, Vivienne J. Jones, Stephen Juggins, Marc Macias-Fauria, Keely Mills, Jesse L. Morris, David Nogués-Bravo, Surangi W. Punyasena, Thomas P. Roland, Andrew J. Tanentzap, Kathy J. Willis, Martin Aberhan, Eline N. van Asperen, William E. N. Austin, Rick W. Battarbee, Shonil Bhagwat, Christina L. Belanger, Keith D. Bennett, Hilary H. Birks, Christopher Bronk Ramsey, Stephen J. Brooks, Mark de Bruyn, Paul G. Butler, Frank M. Chambers, Stewart J. Clarke, Althea L. Davies, John A. Dearing, Thomas H. G. Ezard, Angelica Feurdean, Roger J. Flower, Peter Gell, Sonja Hausmann, Erika J. Hogan, Melanie J. Hopkins, Elizabeth S. Jeffers, Atte A. Korhola, Robert Marchant, Thorsten Kiefer, Mariusz Lamentowicz, Isabelle Larocque-Tobler, Lourdes López-Merino, Lee H. Liow, Suzanne McGowan, Joshua H. Miller, Encarni Montoya, Oliver Morton, Sandra Nogué, Chloe Onoufriou, Lisa P. Boush, Francisco Rodriguez-Sanchez, Neil L. Rose, Carl D. Sayer, Helen E. Shaw, Richard Payne, Gavin Simpson, Kadri Sohar, Nicki J. Whitehouse, John W. Williams and Andrzej Witkowski

      Article first published online: 16 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12195

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      Sediment coring on Lake Baikal, Russia. Palaeoecological information (i.e. the biological and geochemical remains preserved in lake sediments) provide insights into ecological processes and environmental change occurring over decades to millions of years. Our exercise targeted future research areas for palaeoecology by identifying 50 priority questions. Photo: Marc Roussel-Orizon..

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