Issue 7.4 is now online!
This month’s issue contains two Applications articles and one Open Access article, all of which are freely available.
– CPW Photo Warehouse: freely available software that has been customized to identify, archive, and transform photographs into data formats required for statistical analyses. Users navigate a series of point-and-click menu items that allow them to input information from camera deployments, import photos and store data. Images are seamlessly incorporated into the database windows, but are stored separately.
– SIMR: An R package that allows users to calculate power for generalized linear mixed models from the lme4 package. The power calculations are based on Monte Carlo simulations. It includes tools for (i) running a power analysis for a given model and design; and (ii) calculating power curves to assess trade-offs between power and sample size.
This month’s Open Access article comes from Jonathan Chang and Michael Alfaro. In ‘Crowdsourced geometric morphometrics enable rapid large-scale collection and analysis of phenotypic data‘, the authors present a method to quickly and accurately gather morphometric data using crowdsourced image-based landmarking. They found that crowdsourced workers perform similarly to experienced morphologists on the same digitization tasks. Also, the authors demonstrate the speed and accuracy of their method on seven families of ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii).
This month’s cover image shows a flapper skate (Dipturus intermedia) caught by anglers of the Scottish Sea Anglers Conservation Network (SSACN) in the Sound of Jura off the west coast of Scotland. During the study for the related article a total of 17 individuals were tagged with data storage tags (DSTs) between 2011 and 2012 in order to better understand their behaviour and define conservation measures for this endangered marine apex predator. In total only four individuals were recaptured in 2012 – one mature female and three males – and their depth profiles showed high individual variability. All individuals were rod-caught thanks to the expertise of SSACN’s members who target flapper skate in a catch and release fishing programme.
The analysis of individual behaviour is quickly developing thanks to computational advances and the development of electronic tags that are able to collect high quantities of high frequency data. Such data are necessary to obtain useful information on the detailed behaviour of individuals. These data help us to understand the processes that relate animals to their environment. Therefore it is essential to develop methods which can deal with the issues that these data intrinsically carry – such as long memory, non-normality, non-stationarity and nonlinearity. The related article is ‘Markov switching autoregressive models for interpreting vertical movement data with application to an endangered marine apex predator‘ by Pinto et al.
Photo © Ian Burrett/SSACN