Journal of Ecology

Cover image for Vol. 102 Issue 4

Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue)

Edited By: David Gibson, Richard Bardgett, Mark Rees, Amy Austin

Impact Factor: 5.431

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2012: 11/197 (Plant Sciences); 14/136 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 1365-2745

Associated Title(s): Functional Ecology, Journal of Animal Ecology, Journal of Applied Ecology, Methods in Ecology and Evolution


  1. 1 - 21
  1. Standard Papers

    1. Phylogenetic tree shape and the structure of mutualistic networks

      Scott Chamberlain, Diego P. Vázquez, Luisa Carvalheiro, Elizabeth Elle and Jana C. Vamosi

      Article first published online: 14 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12293

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Overall, these results suggest that the shape of phylogenies can influence the structure of plant–pollinator interaction networks. However, the mismatch between simulations and empirical data indicate that no simple model of trait evolution mimics that observed in real communities.

    2. Indirect effects of non-native Spartina alterniflora and its fungal pathogen (Fusarium palustre) on native saltmarsh plants in China

      Hui Li, Xiameng Zhang, Rushui Zheng, Xiao Li, Wade H. Elmer, Lorne M. Wolfe and Bo Li

      Article first published online: 12 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12285

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Invasive plants do not only directly compete with native plants, but also indirectly cause pathogen infection on the latter, by acting as vectors and reservoirs for pathogens shared with native plants. Our findings highlight the significance of indirect effects involving pathogens in biological invasions. It is necessary to consider these pathogen-mediated indirect effects of non-native plant species in multi-host-pathogen systems for management and restoration purposes.

    3. Functional attributes of savanna soils: contrasting effects of tree canopies and herbivores on bulk density, nutrients and moisture dynamics

      Ricardo M. Holdo and Michelle C. Mack

      Article first published online: 10 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12290

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Our results suggest that variation in tree cover is the dominant biotic driver of C, N and P dynamics in these savanna systems in the top 10 cm of soil, that herbivores primarily affect soil moisture content, and that canopy and herbivore effects tend to be additive rather than synergistic.

    4. Costs of female reproduction in a conifer tree: a whole-tree level assessment

      Luis Santos-del-Blanco and José Climent

      Article first published online: 10 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12283

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Costs of reproduction in a mediterranean conifer were assessed by means of a manipulation experiment as well as phenotypic and genetic correlations. We found that current reproduction strongly impacts reproductive potential, even when not significant on vegetative growth. This has strong implications for how we understand adaptive strategies in forest trees and should encourage further interest on their reproductive life-history traits.

    5. Plant functional diversity drives niche-size-structure of dominant microbial consumers along a poor to extremely rich fen gradient

      Vincent E. J. Jassey, Łukasz Lamentowicz, Bjorn J. M. Robroek, Maciej Gąbka, Anna Rusińska and Mariusz Lamentowicz

      Article first published online: 10 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12288

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Variations in plant functional type composition along a calcareous poor- to extremely-rich fen gradient drive niche-size structure of microbial consumers testate amoebae. We show strong relationships between moss types and testate amoeba size structure, suggesting that mosses may be the driving factor determining microbial network structure and associated ecosystem processes, such as carbon cycling, in fens.

    6. Exclusion of herbivores slows down recovery after experimental warming and nutrient addition in an alpine plant community

      Siri L. Olsen and Kari Klanderud

      Article first published online: 9 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12292

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Global change may strongly affect plant communities; however, knowledge of the potential for subsequent recovery is limited. We show that the effects of warming and nutrient addition on an alpine plant community are not readily reversible. Excluding herbivores further decreased the community recovery rate, suggesting that plant communities with herbivores are more likely to recover from global change.

    7. Foliar habit, tolerance to defoliation and their link to carbon and nitrogen storage

      Frida I. Piper and Alex Fajardo

      Article first published online: 1 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12284

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      We found a potential functional link between leaf habit, defoliation tolerance and C- and N-storage. The deciduous species tolerated complete and recurrent defoliations better than the evergreen species, which was associated with higher C- and N-storage in stems and roots of the former. This link was not detected under partial defoliation. We suggest that the higher C- and N-storage in the woody tissues of deciduous species as compared to evergreen species is an adaptation to tolerate complete and recurrent defoliations under which temperate winter deciduous species may have evolved.

    8. Life-history costs make perfect sprouting maladaptive in two herbaceous perennials

      Richard P. Shefferson, Robert J. Warren II and H. Ronald Pulliam

      Article first published online: 1 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12281

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Life-history costs can drive the evolution of seemingly paradoxical traits. In particular, growth can lead to survival costs that may become significant in future years. These costs may be incurred via the use of stored reserves that, once used, cannot be used in the next several years. Such costs are the currency favouring the evolutionary maintenance of vegetative dormancy in two distantly related perennial plant species and may account for dormancy throughout the plant kingdom.

    9. Demographic responses of rare forest plants to multiple stressors: the role of deer, invasive species and nutrients

      Andrea Dávalos, Victoria Nuzzo and Bernd Blossey

      Article first published online: 1 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12279

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      We found prevalent but unpredictable interactions among all study factors and plant species. Negative direct and indirect deer effects overrode impacts of all other stressors we investigated. A multi-factor approach is critical to predict plant responses to concurrent environmental forces. Assessment of combined effects should form an essential component of subsequent research on plant demography and management of declining species.

    10. Plant species richness promotes soil carbon and nitrogen stocks in grasslands without legumes

      Wen-Feng Cong, Jasper van Ruijven, Liesje Mommer, Gerlinde B. De Deyn, Frank Berendse and Ellis Hoffland

      Article first published online: 25 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12280

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Using an 11-year grassland biodiversity experiment without legumes, we demonstrated that plant species richness promotes soil carbon and nitrogen stocks via increased plant productivity also in the absence of legumes. Enhanced soil C and N stocks probably fed back positively to plant productivity via enhanced N mineralization, which can further accelerate soil C and N storage in the future.

    11. Photosynthesis in perennial mixotrophic Epipactis spp. (Orchidaceae) contributes more to shoot and fruit biomass than to hypogeous survival

      Cédric Gonneau, Jana Jersáková, Eloïse de Tredern, Irène Till-Bottraud, Kimmo Saarinen, Mathieu Sauve, Mélanie Roy, Tomáš Hájek and Marc-André Selosse

      Article first published online: 23 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12274

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Some forest understorey plants are mixotrophic, that is, simultaneously recover carbon from their own photosynthesis and from mycorrhizal fungi colonizing their roots. This study investigates carbon sources and allocation in mixotrophic perennial orchids (Epipactis spp.). The carbon from mycorrhizal fungi mostly supports below-ground organs and thus perennial survival, explaining why achlorophyllous individuals sometimes survive. At the opposite, photosynthesis mostly supports fruit and seed production, explaining why full achlorophylly remains rare and limiting the emergence of pure carbon sinks in mycorrhizal symbioses.

    12. Can facilitation influence the spatial genetics of the beneficiary plant population?

      Maria Clara Castellanos, Santiago Donat-Caerols, Santiago C. González-Martínez and Miguel Verdú

      Article first published online: 20 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12278

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Plant–plant facilitation can lead to the strong spatial aggregation of beneficiary plants and even desynchronize their flowering phenology, with potential intraspecific genetic consequences. In our study system, these effects are not strong enough to promote local genetic differentiation. Instead, facilitation seems to have a homogenizing role by allowing the persistence of a diverse gene pool in populations living in harsh environments.

    13. Parasites exert conflicting selection pressures to affect reproductive asynchrony of their host plant in an obligate pollination mutualism

      Anusha Krishnan and Renee M. Borges

      Article first published online: 17 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12277

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Figs are sites of seed production which are also nurseries for their mutualistic pollinator and several parasitic galler and parasitoid wasps. The wasp and seed contents of figs engage in a tug-of-war contest to affect the development time of their shared nursery. This can impact fruiting phenology of figs, survival and reproduction of wasps, and the fig–pollinator mutualism.

    14. Competition for light and water play contrasting roles in driving diversity–productivity relationships in Iberian forests

      Tommaso Jucker, Olivier Bouriaud, Daniel Avacaritei, Iulian Dănilă, Gabriel Duduman, Fernando Valladares and David A. Coomes

      Article first published online: 16 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12276

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Complementary light use strategies among neighbouring trees are critical in explaining why above-ground wood production (AWP) increases in mixed-species stands. In contrast, drought causes trees in mixture to compete more fiercely for below-ground resources, leaving less room for complementarity and causing positive diversity effects to lessen in strength. Together, these two mechanisms provide much needed context for AWP–diversity relationships in Mediterranean forests. Whether or not managing for mixed pine-oak forests proves to be beneficial for AWP is likely to depend on how climate changes in the Iberian Peninsula.

    15. Coexistence and relative abundance in plant communities are determined by feedbacks when the scale of feedback and dispersal is local

      Keenan M. L. Mack and James D. Bever

      Article first published online: 16 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12269

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Our results support the claim that empirical observations of a positive correlation between relative abundance and strength of average feedback serve as evidence that local scale negative feedbacks play a prominent role in structuring plant communities. We also identify that this relationship depends upon local scale plant dispersal and feedback which generates clumping and magnifies the negative feedbacks.

    16. Short-term spatial stability in trophic interactions

      Eliecer R. Díaz and Christopher D. McQuaid

      Article first published online: 12 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12272

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Ecological stability is traditionally defined through species resilience, tolerance and resistance. We expand the concept to include spatial stability in trophic interaction strength. This can promote resilience in spatially fragmented communities and is identified using two criteria: (i) interaction strength returns to pre-disturbance levels (A) and (ii) is correlated between years on the same patches (spatial determinism, B).

    17. Differentiating genetic and environmental drivers of plant–pathogen community interactions

      Posy E. Busby, George Newcombe, Rodolfo Dirzo and Thomas G. Whitham

      Article first published online: 9 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12270

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      While our study found that plant genotype plays a significant role in shaping associated pathogen communities at local and geographic scales, the environment most strongly influenced Populus angustifolia leaf pathogens at the geographic scale. Plant genetic effects on pathogens were also influenced by the environment, highlighting the potential for environmental (e.g. climate) change to trigger local evolutionary responses in plant–pathogen community interactions.

    18. Soil fertility and parasitoids shape herbivore selection on plants

      Luis Abdala-Roberts, Víctor Parra-Tabla, Diane R. Campbell and Kailen A. Mooney

      Article first published online: 9 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12275

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Overall, we show that parasitoids can shape herbivore selection on plants, but that both herbivore and parasitoid selective impacts depend upon the abiotic environment. These findings underscore how linkages between abiotic factors and trophic complexity influence the ecological and evolutionary outcomes of species interactions.

  2. Future Directions

    1. You have free access to this content
      How much of the world is woody?

      Richard G. FitzJohn, Matthew W. Pennell, Amy E. Zanne, Peter F. Stevens, David C. Tank and William K. Cornwell

      Article first published online: 9 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12260

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Our study poses a simple question but addressing it required us to deal with biases inherent in large functional trait data bases. We develop an approach to overcome these biases using observed trait values and taxonomic information. We estimate that between 45% and 48% of the world?s plant species are woody. The world is much woodier than biologists think.

  3. Standard Papers

    1. The influence of phylogenetic relatedness on species interactions among freshwater green algae in a mesocosm experiment

      Patrick A. Venail, Anita Narwani, Keith Fritschie, Markos A. Alexandrou, Todd H. Oakley and Bradley J. Cardinale

      Article first published online: 3 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12271

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      The phylogenetic relatedness of the green algae species used here did not predict the prevalence of competitive and facilitative interactions, rejecting the hypothesis that close relatives compete strong and contesting recent evidence that facilitation is likely to occur between distant relatives.

    2. Seeing the trees for the forest: drivers of individual growth responses to climate in Pinus uncinata mountain forests

      Juan Diego Galván, Jesús Julio Camarero and Emilia Gutiérrez

      Article first published online: 29 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12268

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      The individual-scale approach taken in this study allowed detecting that trees growing at southern and low-elevation sites were the most negatively affected by warm and dry summer conditions. Our results emphasize that both (i) an individual-scale approach to quantify tree growth responses to climate and (ii) a detailed evaluation of the potential biotic and abiotic drivers of those individual responses are necessary to understand climate sensitivity of trees.


  1. 1 - 21