A couple new papers from the Pennings lab

A couple new papers from the Pennings lab, available online in “early view” format. Wenwen and Steve published a massive synthesis of many years of monitoring of Spartina alterniflora stem height and density at the GCE LTER site. The bottom line is that all the variation across zones, sites and years in Spartina alterniflora height and flowering status can be understood as resulting from a couple simple allometric rules.

Liu, Wenwen, and S. C. Pennings. 2019. Self-thinning and size-dependent flowering of the grass Spartina alterniflora across space and time. Functional Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.13384.


Youzheng and Steve published a study of latitudinal patterns in nematode diversity in Chinese coastal wetlands. All the field work was done by Youzheng before coming to Steve’s lab, and Steve helped guide the analysis, presentation and writing. The bottom line is that, in native (Phragmites) wetlands, nematodes display the canonical pattern of lower diversity at high latitudes. But in wetlands dominated by the introduced Spartina alterniflora, there is no latitudinal pattern in nematode diversity. The introduced plant somehow disrupts the normal latitudinal patterns. This summer Youzheng and Steve will start writing a paper about what happens when you sample nematodes across latitude in the native range within the United States. Stay tuned!

Zhang, Y., S. C. Pennings, B. Li, J. Wu. 2019. Biotic homogenization of wetland nematode communities by exotic Spartina alterniflora in China. Ecology 100(4):e02596. 10.1002/ecy.2596.



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