British Ecological Society

PSE Journal Club


PSE is a Special Interest Group of the British Ecological Society (BES) which focuses on plant-soil interactions, biogeochemical cycling, community dynamics, and ecosystem functioning.  Our BES webpage can be found here, and further details about the group are below.


– To promote research on plant-soil interactions and their role in ecosystems through workshops, symposia, and events at BES meetings – To provide opportunities for networking and collaboration among researchers involved in the study of plant-soil interactions and ecosystem ecology – To serve as a platform to discuss and share techniques, expertise, and data – To promote research across scientific disciplines to students, facilitate training opportunities in different techniques, and provide support for early-career researchers


The study of plant-soil interactions is a rapidly growing area in terrestrial ecology. Plant ecologists can no longer ignore the importance of soil organisms for plant growth and community dynamics, and soil ecologists increasingly consider plants as major drivers of soil biota and the processes they regulate. Recent research combining aboveground and belowground approaches has shown that plant-soil interactions are a driving force for primary productivity, nutrient and carbon cycling, vegetation dynamics, and ecosystem responses to global change. In tandem with rapid advances in the area of plant-soil interactions, there is increasing scientific and political recognition that soil processes underpin ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling, food production and climate mitigation, and are central to the restoration of degraded soils and sustainable agriculture.

Contact Information

Sign up for our email list by sending an email to listserv@jiscmail.ac.uk Subject: BLANK Message: SUBSCRIBE PLANT-SOIL-ECO Firstname Lastname
Follow us on Twitter @BESPlantSoilEco, or like us on Facebook

PSE Organising Committee

Ellen Fry, The University of Manchester (Secretary)
Mike Whitfield, New Phytologist (Deputy Secretary)
Tom Crowther, Yale University

Jennifer Rhymes, University of Manchester (Policy Officer)

Jessica Clayton, University of Cologne (Student Representative)

Rosanne Broyd, Lancaster University and James Hutton Institute (Student Representative)


The British Ecological Society (BES) is a learned society for professional ecologists and others with an interest in ecology.   It was founded in 1913 and now has around 4000 members worldwide.  The BES’s activities include the publication scientific journals, the organisation and sponsorship of meetings, the funding of  grant schemes, education work and policy work. For more information about the BES, please visit the BES website.


The PSE Journal Club idea was developed through discussions between Sarah Pierce, Mike Whitfield and Kathryn Luckett in autumn 2013.  The PSE committee thought it was a good idea, so Mike, Sarah and PSE secretary Franciska de Vries started to develop the blog in late 2013, with the plan to launch it in early 2014.

We’re planning to post on a new paper approximately every two weeks, and hope there will be plenty of discussion via the comments and on twitter.  If you have a suggestion for a paper you think the journal club should discuss, please let us know.  Better yet, we’d love for other members of the PSE community to submit their own guest posts.  If you’re interested in this, you can contact us via twitter, the comments or email.


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