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Temporal changes with life long effects

Walking through central European meadows among hills and mountains, in the middle of spring, we are amazed by the striking beauty of the plethora of flowers blooming, and the hundreds of insects feasting on the blossoms. Watching butterflies, we notice them stopping on...

Seasonal effects on stream community structures

Think about your garden, where you might plant vegetables in late spring and expect to harvest them throughout the summer. Fertilizers are often required to provide nutrients to the plants, and pests like insects might consume the plants before you can harvest them...

Forum: Eltonian niche and functional diversity

One of this month's Editor's choice papers, which is also Forum paper, has the title "Bringing the Eltonian niche into functional diversity". The first author, Matthias Dehling sent us a photo.... This composite photo shows a Western Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla)...

December cover

The photo on our December cover shows a Laughing falcon, Herpetotheres cachinnans , scoring a human-dominated landscape at Costa Rica. Photo: Daniel Karp The paper "Do correlated responses to multiple environmental changes exacerbate or mitigate species loss?" is...

There is a hole in my litterbag….

Disaster. A ruined experiment. Returning after a year to find half of the experiment eaten! Usually plant material, or litter, rots when buried outside, so we were expecting some of the litter to have disappeared through decomposition. But eaten? What would eat plant...

November cover

The photo on the November cover shows a Bombus appositus legitimately visiting a Corydalis caseana flower on an inflorescence bearing both robbed and unrobbed flowers. This interaction is studied in the paper Why are some plant–nectar robber interactions commensalisms...

Seabirds of habit

Breakfast at the nearest coffee shop in the morning, lunch from the local convenience store, quick drink in your regular on the way home. Sound familiar? Just like we can be creatures of habit, new research has revealed that seabirds, too, adapt to hourly cycles to...

One or more embryos? A parasitoidic dilemma....

The small (1.5 mm) parasitoid wasp female in the photo is inserting her ovipositor into the egg of a moth, which she uses as a host for her young. After she has laid her own egg within the host, the growing embryo divides many times to form a clone of genetically...

Editor's choice November

We chose the article of Ellen van Velzen and colleagues as the editor’s choice for November. The authors present a model that challenges the paradigm and common view that plastic inducible defences stabilise predator-prey dynamics. The reason for this contrasting...

Coastal phytoplankton community dynamics, interactions, and coexistence

Diatoms and more generally phytoplankton exhibit a striking diversity of species, which is reflected in a stunning variation of shapes, sizes, and life-histories. Photo credit: Nadine Neaud-Masson - Ifremer Nantes Yet, being primary producers, these small algae ought...

Cover October

The cover of our October Issue is a photograph of an armadillo lizard ( Ouroborus cataphractus ) showing it's heavy armour and defensive tail-biting behaviour. Body armour not only evolved to thwart predators, but also appears to be driven by climate, more specifically...

The price of safety

The world is a dangerous place for a small insect. With so many would-be predators, many insects turn to chemical defences in order to protect themselves. These chemicals range from the toxic to the merely smelly or bad tasting. They all have one purpose however, to...

Which hosts do root hemiparasitic plants chose from a plant community?

As a part of my PhD I wanted to test the quality of 13 different host species for the hemiparasite Rhinanthus alectorolophus, and I planned to include also one host mixture, because this might be the more natural host environment for the parasite. But which mixture...

Towards a common fire strategy scheme for plants and animals

One of the unifying approaches in ecology is to search for common strategies, that is, types of mechanisms and responses to environmental factors and disturbances. Plant strategies to persist in fire-prone ecosystems (and the traits involved) are nowadays quite well...

MOOSE ARE DRIVERS OF CHANGE INFLUENCING ADAJACENT STREAM ECOSYSTEMS

Moose have altered the direction of forest regeneration following spruce budworm outbreak and created vast areas of spruce-moose savannah – particularly in Cape Breton Highlands National Park (see above picture). We conducted a field study to investigate whether the...

How does urbanization affect herbivory?

Urban environments are expanding at a rapid rate with over half of the human population residing now in cities. This fast development promises dramatic changes on physical environment, ecological communities and local and global ecosystems in the coming decades. For...

How robust are the patterns of density-dependence and sex-bias in dispersal?

Organisms disperse from one place to another for a variety of reasons, including search for food or mates and escape from stress. One of the factors that influence dispersal is population density. We investigated three issues on the effects of population density on...

Cover September

The photo on our September cover shows a dung beetle on a boletus mushroom and comes from the paper "Down‐sizing of dung beetle assemblages over the last 53 000 years is consistent with a dominant effect of megafauna losses" by Andreas H. Schweiger and Jens-Christian...

Photosynthetic performance and species success

During ecological successions, the differences in physiological performances of co-occurring species contribute to trigger the changes in plant community composition: however, plant physiology and vegetation dynamics are rarely investigated together. A long term...

When the big partner disappears – ecological consequences of megafauna loss for dung beetles

Dung beetles – tireless workers behind the scenes Dung beetles keep our ecosystems running by processing the left-overs of bigger animals. Services of high ecological and economic importance such as nutrient cycling and soil fertilization, bioturbation and aeration as...

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