mee-4-1-coverlargeIssue 4.1 is now available online. This month Methods covers modelling interactions, statistics, population dynamics, surveys and distribution models.

All content in this issue is freely available – enjoy!

About the cover: There is a growing number of high-quality food-web datasets that are augmented with estimates of body mass and/or numerical abundance. In “Cheddar – analysis and visualisation of ecological communities in R” the authors present a new R package that provides a wide range of food-web and community-level analyses and plots, focussed on such enhanced data. The package allows a large range of commonly applied analyses and visualisations to be produced with just a few lines of R code. A rapidly emerging area of research examines how food-web patterns vary across environmental, spatial or temporal gradients. One of the datasets included with Cheddar describes ten naturally occurring stream communities sampled across a wide pH range. A number of food-web properties vary across this gradient, with diversity, linkage density and complexity all increasing with pH. The graphs shown on this cover image are from three different food webs, arranged in circles of radius proportional to the number of nodes in the web and with red lines representing trophic links. The lower two communities (Dargall Lane, right, and Old Lodge, left) are acidic. The top web is an aggregation of the ten regional webs, including data from base-rich sites with complex, species-rich communities.
Image by Murray Thompson.

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