Explaining the cover image

Our newest issue’s striking cover image is an example of the graphical output of PASSaGE 2, an application providing a broad array of spatial statistical analyses not commonly found in other software packages or GIS software, documented in this edition of Methods in Ecology and Evolution. In this case, the image represents a colour-graded surface map of elevation data.

The citable reference for PASSaGE: Pattern Analysis, Spatial Statistics and Geographic Exegesis. Version 2, by Michael S. Rosenberg and Corey Devin Anderson, is available for free from Wiley Online Library, while the software and user manual are available from the PASSaGE project website.

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Issue 2.3 out today

Issue 2.3 of Methods in Ecology and Evolution is officially out today, and we couldn’t be more excited about the breadth of new methodological advancements contained within!

Application papers head the bill, with PASSaGE: Pattern Analysis, Spatial Statistics and Geographic Exegesis. Version 2 (Rosenberg & Anderson) and FDiversity: a software package for the integrated analysis of functional diversity (Casanoves et al.) – both available for free, to maximise the uptake of these new approaches.

Fine-scale environmental resolution is a hot topic for this editon, with two papers dealing with its development and application. Knouft et al. consider the practical applications of such data in Using fine-scale GIS data to assess the relationship between intra-annual environmental niche variability and population density in a local stream fish assemblage, while  McInerny & Purves explore the uncertainty arising from fine-scale environmental variation when developing species distribution models in Fine-scale environmental variation in species distribution modelling: regression dilution, latent variables and neighbourly advice. Both of these papers are accompanied by podcasts, where the authors discuss their papers with the journal coordinator in further detail.

Three statistical approaches are highlighted – Testing the significance of canonical axes in redundancy analysis (Legendre et al), Using false discovery rates for multiple comparisons in ecology and evolution (Pike), and Methods for exact perturbation analysis (Miller et al.) – all with accompanying R code or data files.

A quicker and less expensive method of identifying problematic organisms, with interesting implications for biosecurity, is proposed by Winder et al. in Evaluation of DNA melting analysis as a tool for species identification, while the necessity of accounting for the assay method when investigating oxidative stress is explored by Costantini On the measurement of circulating antioxidant capacity and the nightmare of uric acid.

Population monitoring is addressed in From meso- to macroscale population dynamics: a new density-structured approach (Queenborough et al.), while habitat and distribution modelling is addressed in Introducing a ‘stochastic movement simulator’ for estimating habitat connectivity (Palmer et al.) This issue also sees the publication of our first Open Access paper, A simple method for in situ-labelling with 15N and 13C of grassland plant species by foliar brushing by Putz et al.

Finally, Sutherland et al. look to the future with Methods for collaboratively identifying research priorities and emerging issues in science and policy, a paper that is sure to be of significant interest to researchers and policy makers alike.

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Some things are not the average

Issue 2.3 of Methods in Ecology and Evolution will be officially published online later this week, but in the meantime we’ve got a great new podcast accompanying one of the papers.

Greg McInerny, of Microsoft Research, discusses the content of his recently co-authored paper addressing the issue of adequately accounting for inter-cell environmental variation when constructing species distribution models.

The paper, Fine-scale environmental variation in species distribution modelling: regression dilution, latent variables and neighbourly advice, by Greg McInerny and Drew Purves, is currently available on Early View but will be formally published in issue 2.3 later this week.

Download the podcast

Fine-scale environmental variation in species distribution modelling

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