Issue 5.5

mee-5-5-coverlargeIssue 5.5 is now online!

This months issue includes articles on species distribution models, detection and diversity, and movement and modelling. We have 2 open access papers on calculating second derivatives of population growth rates for ecology and evolution by Esther Shyu and Hal Caswell, and understanding co-occurrence by modelling species simultaneously with a Joint Species Distribution Model (JSDM) by Laura Pollock et al. Mick McCarthy wrote an interesting blog piece about the latter paper that he co-authored with Laura: Joint Species Distribution Models. Issue 5.5 also contains the freely available application paper MLST@SNaP: user-friendly software for simplification of multilocus sequence typing and dissemination of microbial population analyses by Inês Soares and Ricardo Araujo.

About the cover: Rare and inconspicuous species are more likely to be overlooked, with important consequences in ecology and conservation. To control against non-detection, the species detectability needs to be estimated. However, traditional methods to estimate detectability are costly because they require repeat surveys. This motivated a comparison of the efficiency and reliability of traditional occupancy models and the novel time-to-detection models. The cover image shows a felwort (Swertia perennis), a very conspicuous plant species of wetlands. Impossible to miss? Except when occurring at low abundance. This finding confirms that controlling against non-detection is essential, even with conspicuous species. The accompanying article, Hide-and-seek in vegetation: time-to-detection is an efficient design for estimating detectability and occurrence, highlights that detectability estimates under a time-to-detection model, based on a single visit only, were almost identical to those under a traditional occupancy model requiring two surveys. In other words, survey costs could essentially be halved by using time-to-detection designs.

To keep up to date with Methods newest content, have a look at our Accepted Articles and Early View articles, which will be included in forthcoming issues.

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