Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Justin Becknell coauthored a paper recently published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. Titled “Abundance of Neotropical legumes during secondary succession across a rainfall gradient. Nature Ecology & Evolution,” this work examines the poorly understood role of nitrogen-fixing legumes trees in replenishing the nutrient supply of tropical forests recovering from deforestation. By combining data from 42 neotropical secondary forests, the authors found that the importance of legume trees is highest in the driest parts of the tropics and that this importance declines with increasing rainfall. These results are important for understanding how forest communities will change with continued deforestation and as rainfall amounts differ with climate change. Click here for a PDF of the paper. For a news story about the paper, click here.