Call for papers: citizen science Special Feature

*UPDATE: the deadline for this special feature open call has been extended to 28 February 2020* Ecological projects involving citizen scientists have rapidly increased in number and there is now a general consensus that they can produce high-quality data. Citizen science projects generate large datasets that allow novel ecological questions to be addressed, but can require the development of both new analytical tools to handle … Continue reading Call for papers: citizen science Special Feature

Functional traits in agroecology: advancing description and prediction in agroecosystems

Our series of posts on the Special Feature, Functional traits in agroecology rounds up with a post from one of the series’ editors, Adam Martin. We’ve always thought “commentary” articles – particularly those that outline a vision for a future field of research – to be an interesting enigma in science. On one hand, many commentary-type articles have been undoubtedly influential and can be pointed … Continue reading Functional traits in agroecology: advancing description and prediction in agroecosystems

Functional traits represent a key nexus between scientific and local knowledge

Continuing our Special Feature series, Functional traits in agroecology, Marney Isaac comments on her paper, Farmer perception and utilization of leaf functional traits in managing agroecosystems. Using leaf functional traits to understand plant response to environmental change is well-established for research in a wide number of natural ecosystems, and now being more widely applied to agroecosystems. Yet, little is known about if, or how, farm managers … Continue reading Functional traits represent a key nexus between scientific and local knowledge

Ecological diversity metrics can teach us how to feed the world well

For the latest post in our Functional traits in agroecology series, Stephen Wood (The Nature Conservancy, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies) highlights the importance of considering social and human, as well as ecological traits in agricultural systems. The full article, Nutritional functional trait diversity of crops in south-eastern Senegal is a part of a Special Feature in Journal of Applied Ecology. Crop yields have … Continue reading Ecological diversity metrics can teach us how to feed the world well

Finding evidence for land restoration strategies

Restoration has never been more important, with almost a third of the world’s land surface degraded. But what exactly is restoration? And how do we know if it works? Madelon Lohbeck continues our Special Feature series on Functional traits in agroecology. Read the full article, Trait-based approaches for guiding the restoration of degraded agricultural landscapes in East Africa. More than 1.5 billion of the world’s poorest … Continue reading Finding evidence for land restoration strategies

Leveraging functional diversity in farm fields for sustainability

The latest issue of Journal of Applied Ecology includes a Special Feature, Functional traits in agroecology. To accompany the feature, we’re introducing a series of blog posts from the authors themselves. The first of these comes from Jennifer Blesh and discusses her article, Functional traits in cover crop mixtures: Biological nitrogen fixation and multifunctionality. Global climate, energy, and water crises pose immense challenges for agricultural systems. … Continue reading Leveraging functional diversity in farm fields for sustainability

Finding missing branches: Phylogenetic patterns of plant community diversity in restored and remnant tallgrass prairies

Originally posted on The Applied Ecologist:
To round off our series of posts from the Special Feature, Toward prediction in the restoration of biodiversity, we’re sharing Rebecca Barak’s post from earlier this year on her article Restored tallgrass prairies have reduced phylogenetic diversity compared with remnants.  Tallgrass prairie is one of the most endangered habitats on earth. In my home state of Illinois, USA, back in 1820,… Continue reading Finding missing branches: Phylogenetic patterns of plant community diversity in restored and remnant tallgrass prairies

Tree islands for tropical forest restoration: the outlook is rosy after 10 years

Source: Tree islands for tropical forest restoration: the outlook is rosy after 10 years Shared from Natural history of Ecological Restoration, Leighton Reid comments on his article, Local tropical forest restoration strategies affect tree recruitment more strongly than does landscape forest cover. The article was recently published as part of the Toward prediction in the restoration of biodiversity Special Feature in Journal of Applied Ecology. Planting tree … Continue reading Tree islands for tropical forest restoration: the outlook is rosy after 10 years

Variation in soil microbial communities leads to variation in plant communities

In the latest in our series of blogs for the Toward prediction in the restoration of biodiveristy Special Feature, Jonathan Bauer discusses his article, Effects of between-site variation in soil microbial communities and plant-soil feedbacks on the productivity and composition of plant communities. All articles from the Special Feature are available in issue 54.4 of Journal of Applied Ecology. Microorganisms in the soil have strong effects on plant … Continue reading Variation in soil microbial communities leads to variation in plant communities

Resilience: advancing a deceptively simple concept

The latest in our series of blogs to accompany the Special Feature, Toward prediction in the restoration of biodiveristy, is written by Loralee Larios. Loralee’s article, Where and how to restore in a changing world: a demographic-based assessment of resilience, is published in the Journal of Applied Ecology. The unprecedented rates at which natural systems have been altered have prompted a parallel increase in restoration efforts to … Continue reading Resilience: advancing a deceptively simple concept