The August issue of Methods is now online!

This month’s issue of Methods in Ecology and Evolution is even bigger than our July issue. In 250 pages of exciting ecology and evolution, we’re covering the impact of biologgers, seed dispersal, interactions between individuals, and loads more.

With the extra long issue, comes more free articles. There are ELEVEN papers in our August issue that are free to access for absolutely anyone. You can find out about the four Practical Tools papers and seven Applications articles below.

Find out a little more about the new issue of Methods in Ecology and Evolution below.

Featured Articles

Hyperdiverse Food Webs: To understand our impact on ecosystems (as a species), we need detailed knowledge about trophic relationships among species. Casey et al. demonstrate the capacity of metabarcoding to reconstruct diverse and complex food webs with exceptional resolution, a significant advancement from traditional food web reconstruction.

Accounting for Errors in Acoustic Surveys: Automated identification can make acoustic surveys quicker and easier. But it generates identification errors, which could influence analyses. Barré et al. propose a cautious method to account for errors in acoustic identifications of any taxa without excessive manual checking of recordings.

©Joaquim Alves Gaspar

Ethics in Invertebrate Research: Given emerging research on invertebrate cognition and shifting public perception on the use of invertebrates in research, it’s vital that we have a discussion about the ethics of invertebrate use in research. Focusing on two ethical considerations faced during invertebrate studies, Drinkwater et al. make recommendations for integrating principles of vertebrate research into invertebrate research practice.

Comparing Alpha and Beta Diversity: Chao et al. review the two classes of alpha diversities and discuss the properties of their corresponding beta and (dis)similarity measures. They offer clear guidelines regarding the choice of an alpha formula.

MVSE and Index P: Understanding how climate dictates the timing and potential of viral transmission is essential for preparedness of public health systems and design of control strategies. Obolski et al. have developed the Index P, a novel suitability index based on a climate‐driven mathematical expression for the basic reproductive number of mosquito‐borne viruses and an R Package (MVSE) to estimate it. Find out more about this in English or em Português.

eDNA in the Open Ocean: Identifying species by amplifying eDNA from seawater is a novel is a novel way to detect elusive species of conservation importance in remote locations. Truelove et al. explain how you can use these methods.

Applications and Practical Tools

We’ve already heard about one of our Practical Tools papers (eDNA in the Open Ocean) and one of our Applications (MVSE). But there are nine more to find out about!

Self-Preserving eDNA filter: Thomas et al. have created a new eDNA filter housing (compatible with any suction pump) partially comprised of a biodegradable, hydrophilic material that functions to automatically preserve captured eDNA via desiccation – no filter membrane transfer steps, no chemical or cold storage required.

Measuring Functional Traits with Field Spectroscopy: Due to fine‐scale heterogeneity of many vegetation types, measuring the spectral response, as a proxy for functional traits, of individual plant species remains challenging using conventional approaches. This new procedure from Van Cleemput et al. accurately represented spectral and functional differences between species.

AviaNZ: The AviaNZ program includes methods for simple, rapid manual annotation of recordings and denoising and segmentation methods. It also has a training procedure you can use to prepare your own filters to automatically recognise individual species.

pathtrackr: To meet the need for an efficient and cost‐effective video tracking and analysis tool, Harmer and Thomas have developed the pathtrackr package. Itallows for an automated and consolidated workflow, from video input to statistical output, of an animal’s movement.

Adjustable temperature arrays in two set ups.

Adjustable Temperature Array: To accurately characterise a species’ thermal niche and aid in predicting effects of climate change we need information on thermal tolerances and physiological responses to changing temperatures, and the ecological effects and evolutionary processes that may shape a species’ niche. So, Cocciardi et al. have created an adjustable temperature array to assist with experimental ecology and evolution research.

spatsoc: spatsoc provides flexible functions, explicitly for animal telemetry data. It generates edge lists and gambit‐of‐the‐group data, performs data‐stream randomisation, and generates group by individual matrices. If you’re using animal telemetry or otherwise georeferenced data for movement or spatial analyses you now have access to efficient and intuitive functions to generate social networks.

Working on Animal Social Networks or Social Network Analysis? Consider submitting a paper to our joint Special Feature with the Journal of Animal Ecology.

rsmove: This R Package from Remelgado et al. uses a pixel‐based approach to link animal tracking and remote sensing data that bridge the gap between these two disciplines while respecting the limitations of the latest.

ForestGapR: Silva et al. present a cutting‐edge open source r package for forest gap analysis from canopy height models derived from Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) and other remote sensing sources.

AeRobiology: The development of new real‐time automatic sampling devices also requires new tools to reduce time of calculations and data management. The AeRobiology r package, from Rojo et al., has been implemented to accelerate and facilitate these tasks.

The Bird on the Cover

This month’s cover shows a dark‐eyed junco (Junco hyemalis) singing. Boundary trade‐offs often limit the co‐distribution of behavioural, ecological, life‐history, and other traits. In this issue, Cardoso uses birdsong as a case study to evaluate how well quantile regression estimates distances to boundary trade‐offs. While quantile regression tests for the existence of boundary trade‐offs, it provides a poor indication of distances from individual data points to the real boundary limits. Using double quantile regression instead (the consensus of reciprocal quantile regressions) robustly assesses distances to these boundaries.

Photo credit: © David Levinson

To keep up to date with Methods newest content, have a look at our Accepted Articles and Early View articles, which will be showing up in issues later this year.