Issue 3.3

Rosefinch with geolocator tag

Cover image for issue 3.3
© Germán Garcia – CC Attribution 2.0 Generic

About the issue

Issue 3.3 contains an amazing number of extra features: three videos, one podcast and one Powerpoint presentation. The topics in the issue range from DNA barcoding, surveys, measuring diversity, population and movement modelling and includes five free applications.

About the cover

Recently developed light-weighed tracking devices for positioning through light intensity pattern (‘geolocation’) have begun to greatly improve our knowledge of animal migration. However, the analysis of geolocator data is impeded by many factors potentially affecting light levels and thus, ultimately the determination of positions. Herein, weather and vegetation are major factors altering the light regime experienced by the animals. The picture shows a Common Rosefinch (Carpodactus erythrinus) featured with a 0.5 gram geolocator device.

In Geolocation by light: accuracy and precision affected by environmental factors Simeon Lisovski and colleagues demonstrated the effect of weather, topography and vegetation on the measurement of day/night length, time of solar midnight/noon and the resulting position estimates using light measurements from stationary geolocators at known places and from geolocators mounted on birds.

Related

Issue 3.2

Aerial photograph of a forest

Cover image for issue 3.2
© Getzin & Wiegand – Biodiversity Exploratories

About the issue

With topics ranging from phylogenetic analysis to statistics and distribution modelling, conservation, citizen science, surveys, genetic and demographic models to avian biology, our issue 3.2 should be of interest to most ecologists and evolutionary biologists. The issue also contains 5 free applications.

About the cover

This very high-resolution image of a beech-dominated forest in central Germany was taken by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at 250 meter above ground. In this photograph one can clearly recognize individual tree crowns and even smallest gaps. UAVs are increasingly used for ecological surveys because they provide extremely fine resolutions and thus allow the identification of previously undetected object details. Furthermore, UAVs can be considered as very cost-effective tools for the acquisition of data that can be used also very flexibly.

In Assessing biodiversity in forests using very high-resolution images and unmanned aerial vehicles Getzin, Wiegand and Schöning tested the hypothesis that gap-structural information on aerial images can be principally used for the ecological assessment of understorey plant diversity in forests. The authors demonstrate that spatially implicit information on gap shape metrics is indeed sufficient to reveal strong dependency between gap patterns as a filter for incoming light and plant biodiversity. The study highlights that understorey biodiversity can be actively controlled by the spatial quality, and not just quantity, of tree removal. Thus, even under the same quota of tree harvesting, the promotion of complex and irregularly shaped gaps may be beneficial to foster biodiversity in forests.

Related

Recently accepted articles

We have been very busy in the past couple of weeks and we have a whole range of recently accepted articles:

  • A novel digital telemetry system for tracking wild animals: a field test for studying mate choice in a lekking tropical bird
    Dan Mennill, Stéphanie Doucet, Kara-Anne Ward, Dugan Maynard, Brian Otis and John Burt
  • A general theory of multimetric indices and their properties
    Donald Schoolmaster, James Grace and E. Schweiger
  • Beyond sensitivity: nonlinear perturbation analysis of transient dynamics
    Iain Stott, Dave Hodgson, and Stuart Townley
  • A two-phase sampling design for increasing detection of rare species in occupancy surveys
    Krishna Pacifici, Robert Dorazio and Michael Conroy
  • Metabarcoding of arthropods for rapid biodiversity assessment and biomonitoring
    Douglas Yu, Yingiu Ji, Brent Emerson, Xiaoyang Wang, Chengxi Ye, Chunyan Yang and Zhaoli Ding
  • How to measure and test phylogenetic signal
    Tamara Münkemüller, Sébastien Lavergne, Bruno Bzeznik, Stéphane Dray, Thibaut Jombart, Katja Schiffers and Wilfried Thuiller
  • Statistical evaluation of parameters estimating autocorrelation and individual heterogeneity in longitudinal studies
    Sandra Hamel, Nigel Yoccoz and Jean-Michel Gaillard
  • jPopGen Suite: population genetics analysis of DNA polymorphism from nucleotide sequences with errors
    Xiaoming Liu

They will be soon available on Early View.

2011 top cited papers – part 2

Today we look at part 2 of our most cited papers in Methods in Ecology and Evolution in 2011.

Plant monitoring and modelling

Stable isotope ecology

Community ecology

Our most cited papers on statistical methods in ecology and evolution, modelling species and the environment, and physiological ecology were covered in part 1 – and finally tomorrow we’ll look at our top papers in population monitoring, climate change, evolutionary ecology and phylogenomics.

2011 top cited papers – part 1

Methods in Ecology and Evolution will be receiving its first Impact Factor in summer 2012 and we are very impressed with how well our articles are being cited. For those of you who have been following Methods from the start, you will notice some papers that we have already mentioned last year in our top cited blog posts. These are still going strong! Over the next few days we’ll be highlighting our most cited papers across a broad range of fields – stay tuned on MethodsBlog.

Statistical methods in ecology & evolution

Modelling species and the environment

Parasitology

Physiological ecology

Tomorrow we will be posting part 2, where we’ll be showcasing our top cited papers in plant monitoring and modelling, stable isotope ecology and community ecology, and come back on Wednesday for part 3, when we’ll be revealing our top papers in population monitoring, climate change, evolutionary ecology and phylogenomics.

Recently accepted articles

We have been very busy this week and we have a whole range of recently accepted articles:

  • Bats as bioindicators – The need of a standardized method for acoustic bat activity surveys
    Peter Stahlschmidt and Carsten Brühl
  • Developing a deeper understanding of animal movements and spatial dynamics through novel application of network analyses
    David Jacoby, Edward Brooks, Darren Croft and David Sims
  • BaSTA: an R package for Bayesian estimation of age-specific survival from incomplete mark-recapture/recovery data with covariates
    Fernando Colchero, Owen Jones and Maren Rebke
  • Designing a benthic monitoring programme with multiple conflicting objectives
    Allert Bijleveld, Jan van Gils, Jaap van der Meer, Anne Dekinga, Casper Kraan, Henk van der Veer and Theunis Piersma
  • Category count models for resource management
    Paul Fackler
  • mvabund – an R package for model-based analysis of multivariate abundance data
    David Warton, Yi Wang, Ulrike Naumann, and Stephen Wright
  • Movement ecology of human resource users: using net squared displacement, biased random bridges and resource utilisation functions to quantify hunter and gatherer behaviour
    Sarah Papworth, Nils Bunnefeld, Katie Slocombe and E.J. Milner-Gulland

Issue 2.5 out today

Issue 2.5 of Methods in Ecology and Evolution is published today, and it’s a special 150 page bumper edition!

The tempo of evolution  heads the bill for this issue, with a strong phylogenetic duo in Measuring the temporal structure in serially sampled phylogenies by Rebecca R. Gray, Oliver G. Pybus and Marco Salemi, and A simple polytomy resolver for dated phylogenies by Tyler S. Kuhn, Arne Ø. Mooers and Gavin H. Thomas. The nature of life-history evolution is also examined, with a re-interpretation of the ubiquity of post-reproductive lifespan in Levitis and Lackey’s A measure for describing and comparing postreproductive life span as a population trait.

Two papers describe improved camera trapping methods, leading towards a practical application of the random encounter model in  Quantifying the sensitivity of camera traps: an adapted distance sampling approach (Rowcliffe et al.), and towards a measure for correcting for observer error in Estimating survival in photographic capture–recapture studies: overcoming misidentification error (Morrison et al.).

An innovative use of stable isotope analysis to the problem of tracking carnivore ranges is explored in Tracking large carnivore dispersal using isotopic clues in claws: an application to cougars across the Great Plains by Hénaux et al., while an inexpensive, convenient and widely applicable assay for comparitive analysis of avian immune function is introduced in A simple assay for measurement of ovotransferrin – a marker of inflammation and infection in birds by Horrocks et al. An improved method for raising honeybees in vitro, with potential to improve urgent research on colony collapse disorder, is proposed by Hendriksma et al. in Honey bee risk assessment: new approaches for in vitro larvae rearing and data analyses.

Three papers deal with predicting and modelling range expansions, invasive migrations, and community upheaval  under climate change. Improving prediction and management of range expansions by combining analytical and individual-based modelling approaches, by Travis et al., and A benefit analysis of screening for invasive species – base-rate uncertainty and the value of information, by Sahlin et al., provide useful tools for improved modelling under these uncertain conditions, while by contrast Heating up the forest: open-top chamber warming manipulation of arthropod communities at Harvard and Duke Forests, by Pelini et al., showcases an ingenious experimental setup for artificially simulating global change on a small scale, and in situ.

Population structure and community connectivity are addressed in Powney et al.’s Measuring functional connectivity using long-term monitoring data, and Joppa & Williams’ The influence of single elements on nested community structure.

Two papers on population modelling round off the issue, with Transient sensitivity analysis for nonlinear population models by Taverner et al., and Estimating abundance from presence/absence maps by Wen-Han Hwang and Fangliang He.

Don’t forget that your library can get free access in perpetuity to the first two years of Methods in Ecology and Evolution (including this issue!) by just completing this request form.

Our twelfth application!

The publication of smatr 3 – an R package for estimation and inference about allometric lines, by David Warton, Remko Duursma, Daniel Falster and Sara Taskinen, marks our twelfth published application paper – and, like the first eleven, it’s available for free.

Methods in Ecology and Evolution’s applications are intended to provide a citable description of new methods and techniques in ecology and evolution, with the intention of promoting and maximising the uptake of these new approaches. The papers we’ve already published span a huge range of methodologies, providing new tools for testing the tempo of evolution in phylogenetic trees, assessing the effectiveness of forest carbon conservation, and performing a broad array of spatial statistical analyses – to name but a few.

You can view the full range of applications on the MEE website.

Top cited papers – part 2

Here’s part 2 of our look at Methods in Ecology and Evolution’s most highly cited papers to date!

Plant monitoring and modelling

Stable isotope ecology

Community ecology

We covered statistical methods in ecology and evolution, modelling species and the environment, and physiological ecology in part 1 of our look at our most popular papers so far – and on Monday we’ll be rounding off with our top papers in population monitoring, climate change, evolutionary ecology and phylogenetics.

Top cited papers – part 1

ISI has only been indexing Methods in Ecology and Evolution for a short time, but some of our papers are already accumulating an impressive number of citations. Over the next few days we’ll be highlighting our most cited papers across a broad range of fields – just in case they’ve slipped you by.

Statistical methods in ecology & evolution

Modelling species and the environment

Physiological ecology

Check back tomorrow here for part 2, where we’ll be showcasing our top cited papers in plant monitoring and modelling, stable isotope ecology and community ecology, and come back on Monday for part 3, when we’ll be revealing our top papers in  population monitoring, climate change, evolutionary ecology and phylogenetics.