Virtual Issue on Global Warming

Edited by Mike Hutchings, David Gibson, Richard Bardgett and Mark Rees

The editors of Journal of Ecology are pleased to present this Virtual Issue on Global Warming to coincide with the 95th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 2010, which places global warming at center stage.

This Virtual Issue is a selection of 14 papers published in Journal of Ecology over the last 4 years on the topic of climate change. The papers not only demonstrate the breadth of work published in the Journal on this topic, but also show that effects of climate change are far ranging. Topics range from studies on effects of natural winter warming events on sub-Arctic vegetation, to studies that explore the effects of climate change on tree lines, decomposition processes, and on individual plant species and their gene expression. Important concepts are also considered, such as the integration of plant–soil interactions into global carbon cycle models, which lie at the heart of understanding the global consequences of warming for the Earth system. It is clear that global warming will continue to exert influence across all levels of ecological organization, and many of the most compelling and important studies in this area are being published in Journal of Ecology.

The papers included in this Virtual Issue reflect the international scope and range of Journal of Ecology. The journal is the oldest ecological journal in the world, published continuously since 1913 by the British Ecological Society. The Journal of Ecology is truly one of most important ecological journals available, having an Impact Factor in 2010 of 4.69 and being ranked 12th of 124 ecological journals. Moreover, the Journal of Ecology was recognized in 2009 by the Special Libraries Association as being one of the top 100 most influential journals in Biology and Medicine in the last 100 years.

We invite you to read and share with colleagues the papers in this Virtual Issue, visit the journal website, consider taking out a subscription if you don't have one already, and submit your best work to the journal for potential publication.

Special Feature & Essay Review
The changing global carbon cycle: linking plant–soil carbon dynamics to global consequences
F. Stuart Chapin III, Jack McFarland, A. David McGuire, Eugenie S. Euskirchen, Roger W. Ruess, Knut Kielland

Special Feature & Essay Review
Integrating plant–soil interactions into global carbon cycle models
Nicholas J. Ostle, Pete Smith, Rosie Fisher, F. Ian Woodward, Joshua B. Fisher, Jo U. Smith, David Galbraith, Peter Levy, Patrick Meir, Niall P. McNamara, Richard D. Bardgett

Essay Review
The freezer defrosting: global warming and litter decomposition rates in cold biomes
Rien Aerts

Standard Paper
Volume 95 (2007)
Tree line population monitoring of Pinus sylvestris in the Swedish Scandes, 1973–2005: implications for tree line theory and climate change ecology
Leif Kullman

Volume 96 (2008)
Using rainout shelters to evaluate climate change effects on the demography of Cryptantha flava
Richard W. Lucas, Irwin N. Forseth, Brenda B. Casper

Regional tree line dynamics in response to global change in the Pyrenees
Enric Batllori, Emilia Gutiérrez

Volume 97 (2009)
Post-Little Ice Age tree line rise and climate warming in the Swedish Scandes: a landscape ecological perspective
Leif Kullman, Lisa Öberg

Decomposition in tropical forests: a pan-tropical study of the effects of litter type, litter placement and mesofaunal exclusion across a precipitation gradient
Jennifer S. Powers, Rebecca A. Montgomery, E. Carol Adair, Francis Q. Brearley, Saara J. DeWalt, Camila T. Castanho, Jerome Chave, Erika Deinert, Jörg U. Ganzhorn, Matthew E. Gilbert, José Antonio González-Iturbe, Sarayudh Bunyavejchewin, H. Ricardo Grau, Kyle E. Harms, Ankila Hiremath, Silvia Iriarte-Vivar, Eric Manzane, Alexandre A. de Oliveira, Lourens Poorter, Jean-Baptiste Ramanamanjato, Carl Salk, Amanda Varela, George D. Weiblen, Manuel T. Lerdau

Global patterns in plant height
Angela T. Moles, David I. Warton, Laura Warman, Nathan G. Swenson, Shawn W. Laffan, Amy E. Zanne, Andy Pitman, Frank A. Hemmings, Michelle R. Leishman

Winter warming events damage sub-Arctic vegetation: consistent evidence from an experimental manipulation and a natural event
Stef F. Bokhorst, Jarle W. Bjerke, Hans Tømmervik, Terry V. Callaghan, Gareth K. Phoenix

Volume 98 (2010)
Response of the prairie–forest border to climate change: impacts of increasing drought may be mitigated by increasing CO2
Peter H. Wyckoff, Rachel Bowers

Variation in gene expression of Andropogon gerardii in response to altered environmental conditions associated with climate change
Steven E. Travers, Zhongwen Tang, Doina Caragea, Karen A. Garrett, Scott H. Hulbert, Jan E. Leach, Jianfa Bai, Amgad Saleh, Alan K. Knapp, Philip A. Fay, Jesse Nippert, Patrick S. Schnable, Melinda D. Smith

Evidence for climatic niche and biome shifts between native and novel ranges in plant species introduced to Australia
Rachael V. Gallagher, Linda J. Beaumont, Lesley Hughes, Michelle R. Leishman

High Arctic plant community resists 15 years of experimental warming
James Hudson, Greg Henry

Complex responses to climate drivers in onset of spring flowering across a semi-arid elevation gradient
Theresa Crimmins, Michael Crimmins, C. Bertelsen

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