Issue 8.7 is now online!

© Paula Matos

The July issue of Methods is now online!

This issue contains three Applications articles (one of which is Open Access) and one additional Open Access article. These four papers are freely available to everyone, no subscription required.

BioEnergeticFoodWebs: An implementation of Yodzis & Innes bio-energetic model, in the high-performance computing language Julia. This package can be used to conduct numerical experiments in a reproducible and standard way.

 Controlled plant crosses: Chambers which allow you to control pollen movement and paternity of offspring using unpollinated isolated plants and microsatellite markers for parents and their putative offspring. This system has per plant costs and efficacy superior to pollen bags used in past studies of wind-pollinated plants.

 The Global Pollen Project: The study of fossil and modern pollen assemblages provides essential information about vegetation dynamics in space and time. In this Open Access Applications article, Martin and Harvey present a new online tool – the Global Pollen Project – which aims to enable people to share and identify pollen grains. Through this, it will create an open, free and accessible reference library for pollen identification. The database currently holds information for over 1500 species, from Europe, the Americas and Asia. As the collection grows, we envision easier pollen identification, and greater use of the database for novel research on pollen morphology and other characteristics, especially when linked to other palaeoecological databases, such as Neotoma.

The potential of radio-tag signals from fixed-position antennas systems to provide more precise information on tag location and movement has not been explored in great detail in an ecological setting. In their Open Access article ‘Novel, continuous monitoring of fine-scale movement using fixed-position radiotelemetry arrays and random forest location fingerprinting‘ Harbicht et al. present a new telemetric tool for accurately estimating the location of tagged individuals from received signal strength values. The new methods applied in this study can also be expanded to include multiple axes (x, y, z) and multiple environments (aquatic and terrestrial) for remotely monitoring wildlife movement.

Our July issue also features freely available articles on Biodiversity, Genetics, Movement Ecology and more.

This month’s cover image shows the bare-bottomed sunburst lichen (Xanthomendoza fulva (Hoffm.) Søchting, Kärnefelt & S.Y. Kondr.) growing in a tree trunk in a forest located in Siskiyou County along the border between Oregon and California, USA. It can grow up to 1 cm or may coalesce over large areas forming rosettes or colonies of small ascending lobes, like those in the image. This species can be found in several boreal and temperate regions of the world, both in semi-open and shaded habitats growing over bark, wood or rocks.

In the related article, Tracking global change using lichen diversity: towards a global-scale ecological indicator, Matos et al. design a novel framework to incorporate surrogates of lichen species richness, shifts in species composition and metrics of functional diversity collected by different sampling methodologies. Lichens, such as the species depicted in the image, have been used as ecological indicators of the effects of the major drivers of global change since the beginning of the industrial revolution to the present. The framework developed will enable future cross-continental analysis of lichen biodiversity change from North America and Europe, enabling a more thoroughly comprehension of biodiversity response to global change.

Photo © Paula Matos

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.