The new issue 2018/5 of the Journal of Vegetation Science is out

The cover of the new JVS issue shows different fruits of woody plants from the island of RĂ©union, related to the paper by Albert, Flores, Rouget, Wilding, & Strasberg (2018)

They used a set of vegetation plots from this tropical island to describe a pattern of striking decrease in the proportion of fleshy-fruited trees and shrubs with altitude. They explored this pattern in the context of phylogenetic community structure, which tends to be overdispersed in tropical lowlands and clustered in harsher high-altitude environments. Their explanation of why there are fewer fleshy-fruited species at high altitudes is based on the hypothesis of tropical niche conservatism, i.e. inability of the tropical fleshy-fruited lineages to adapt to high-altitude environments, combined with dispersal limitation on the oceanic island, which is difficult to reach for hardy plant species from the fleshy-fruited extratropical lineages.