Help from the dead: facilitation during succession can start when neighbours die



Resco de Dios et al. (2014, this issue) show a shift from negative to positive effects on woody seedlings when grass neighbours died in the second half of a 4-yr study. Further experiments are needed to unambiguously assign the effects to living and dead neighbours, but the study raises intriguing possibilities, and yet another link between ecosystem-level ecology and population biology.