Issue 6.7 is now online!

The July issue of Methods is now online!

This month’s issue contains two Applications article and one Open Access article, all of which are freely available.

fuzzySim: Binary similarity indices are widely used in ecology. This study proposes fuzzy versions of the binary similarity indices most commonly used in ecology, so that they can be directly applied to continuous (fuzzy) rather than binary occurrence values, producing more realistic similarity assessments. fuzzySim is an open source software package which is also available for R. A freely accessible, web-based analysis tool for complex activity data, provides cloud-based and automatic computation of daily aggregates of various activity parameters based on recorded immersion data. It provides maps and graphs for data exploration, download of processed data for modelling and statistical analysis, and tools for sharing results with other users.

Anna Sturrock et al. provide this month’s Open Access article. In ‘Quantifying physiological influences on otolith microchemistry‘ the authors test relationships between otolith chemistry and environmental and physiological variables. The influence of physiological factors on otolith composition was particularly evident in Sr/Ca ratios, the most widely used elemental marker in applied otolith microchemistry studies. This paper was reported on in the media recently. You can read more about it here.

Our July issue also features articles on Monitoring, Remote Sensing, Conservation, Genetics and three papers on Statistics.

Dr Sturrock’s article is not the only one in this issue to have garnered some press attention. Kelly Leigh and Martin Dominick’s paper, An assessment of the effects of habitat structure on the scat finding performance of a wildlife detection dog, has also been reported on. This paper gives the details of the first experimental study to test the effects of habitat structure on scat detection dog performance. You can read more about it here.

This month’s cover image is a photograph taken on Kakadu National Park’s floodplains in northern Australia. The image shows pandanus and water lilies, common floodplain vegetation and important cultural resources for Indigenous landowners in the park. Kakadu’s coastal floodplains are registered as a Ramsar site for their rare and unique wetlands, and importance in conserving biological diversity, but they are under threat from invasive plants such as invasive pasture grasses para grass and olive hymenachne.

In the associated article, ‘Distribution, demography and dispersal model of spatial spread of invasive plant populations with limited data‘,  Vanessa Adams et al. develop a spatially explicit, individual-based spread model that can be applied in data-poor situations to model future spread of invasive plants which can inform management strategies. It is applied to modelling spread of para grass on Kakadu’s floodplains and results are used to inform management recommendations. The model is flexible and can be easily adapted to other species and regions.

Photo ©Michael M Douglas (UWA / NERP Northern Australia Hub)

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.