Weathering the storm: plant community flood resilience in intensively managed grasslands and the role of the plant economic spectrum

As flooding events increase in frequency and severity, how will managed grasslands weather the storm? Can we use the traits or ‘strategies’ of the plants that make up these grasslands to predict their resilience? Natalie Oram and colleagues address this issue in their new Journal of Applied Ecology article. Here they discuss their work further. Long story short: in flooded conditions, resource-conservative plant communities are … Continue reading Weathering the storm: plant community flood resilience in intensively managed grasslands and the role of the plant economic spectrum

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

A common currency for connecting the goals of restoration: plant traits can help us understand how plant communities form and help ecosystems function

For the latest post in our Toward prediction in the restoration of biodiversity series, Chad Zirbel turns to tallgrass prairies to examine the role of plant traits in predicting restoration outcomes. Chad and colleagues’ paper, Plant functional traits and environmental conditions shape community assembly and ecosystem functioning during restoration, is available in the Journal of Applied Ecology. Two of the major goals of restoration are … Continue reading A common currency for connecting the goals of restoration: plant traits can help us understand how plant communities form and help ecosystems function

Wet wetlands restore better

With Plant Conservation Day in mind, Samantha Dawson’s post discusses characteristics of wetland plants and her new paper, Plant traits of propagule banks and standing vegetation reveal flooding alleviates impacts of agriculture on wetland restoration. Many of the world’s wetlands are highly degraded and they are one of the most threatened types of ecosystems. To attempt to halt or reverse this trend, there are lots of … Continue reading Wet wetlands restore better