Issue 6.12 is now online!
Our final issue of 2015 contains one Applications article and two Open Access articles, all of which are freely available.
– stagePOP: A tool for predicting the deterministic dynamics and interactions of stage-structured populations (i.e. where the life cycle consists of distinct stages, for example eggs, juveniles and reproductive adults). The continuous-time formulation enables stagePop to easily simulate time-varying stage durations, overlapping generations and density-dependent vital rates.
Julia Cherry et al. provide one of this month’s Open Access articles. In ‘Testing sea-level rise impacts in tidal wetlands: a novel in situ approach‘ the authors describe the use of experimental weirs that manipulate water levels to test sea-level rise impacts in situ and at larger spatial scales. This new method can provide more robust estimates of sea-level rise impacts on tidal wetland processes. This article was accompanied by a press release when it was published in Early View. You can read more about this article here.
This month’s cover image shows the Terrain Wetness Index (TWI) computed from a very high-resolution Digital Elevation Model (DEM) acquired in the Swiss pre-Alps. TWI is one of the many underused environmental variables (along with the likes of morphometry indices and solar radiation) which can be obtained from DEMs and used as proxies to relevant ecological features.
In the associated paper, ‘Very high-resolution digital elevation models: are multi-scale derived variables ecologically relevant?‘, Leempoel et al. emphasize the usefulness of a large panel of DEM-derived variables to model micro-climatic conditions related to topography. Among them, it was found that wetness and ruggedness indices predicted measured ambient humidity and soil moisture, respectively. On the other hand, the authors progressively degraded the spatial resolution of DEMs and found a strong scale dependency in models’ strength. These results support the relevance of using multi-scale DEM variables to provide surrogates for important climatic variables, offering suitable alternatives to direct measurements at a local scale. This article is Open Access and is freely available to everyone.
Photo © Kevin Leempoel, EPFL