Friday, November 5, 2010

Hot off the presses! Dec 01 Trends in Ecology & Evolution

The Dec 01 issue of the Trends in Ecology & Evolution is now up on Pubget (About Trends in Ecology & Evolution): if you're at a subscribing institution, just click the link in the latest link at the home page. (Note you'll only be able to get all the PDFs in the issue if your institution subscribes to Pubget.)

Latest Articles Include:

  • Editorial Board
    - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25(12):i (2010)
  • Light pollution as a biodiversity threat
    - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25(12):681-682 (2010)
  • Swarm intelligence in plant roots
    - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25(12):682-683 (2010)
  • Astrobiology in Antarctica
    - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25(12):683-684 (2010)
  • Community ecology: stasis, evolution or revolution?
    - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25(12):684-685 (2010)
  • Names are key to the big new biology
    - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25(12):686-691 (2010)
    Those who seek answers to big, broad questions about biology, especially questions emphasizing the organism (taxonomy, evolution and ecology), will soon benefit from an emerging names-based infrastructure. It will draw on the almost universal association of organism names with biological information to index and interconnect information distributed across the Internet. The result will be a virtual data commons, expanding as further data are shared, allowing biology to become more of a 'big science'. Informatics devices will exploit this 'big new biology', revitalizing comparative biology with a broad perspective to reveal previously inaccessible trends and discontinuities, so helping us to reveal unfamiliar biological truths. Here, we review the first components of this freely available, participatory and semantic Global Names Architecture.
  • Assessing rapid evolution in a changing environment
    - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25(12):692-698 (2010)
    Climate change poses a serious threat to species persistence. Effective modelling of evolutionary responses to rapid climate change is therefore essential. In this review we examine recent advances in phylogenetic comparative methods, techniques normally used to study adaptation over long periods, which allow them to be applied to the study of adaptation over shorter time scales. This increased applicability is largely due to the emergence of more flexible models of character evolution and the parallel development of molecular technologies that can be used to assess adaptive variation at loci scattered across the genome. The merging of phylogenetic and population genetic approaches to the study of adaptation has significant potential to advance our understanding of rapid responses to environmental change.
  • Making statistics biologically relevant in fragmented landscapes
    - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25(12):699-704 (2010)
    The biological impacts of habitat fragmentation are routinely assessed using standard statistical modelling techniques that are used across many ecological disciplines. However, to assess the biological relevance of fragmentation impacts, we must consider an extra, spatial dimension to the standard statistical model: the biological importance of a significant and well supported model with large effect sizes crucially depends on the configuration of habitat within the study area. We argue that mapping the outputs from statistical models across a study area generates biologically meaningful estimates of fragmentation impacts. Integrating traditional statistical approaches with geographic information systems will facilitate rigorous comparisons of fragmentation impacts between taxa, studies and ecosystems.
  • Adaptation genomics: the next generation
    - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25(12):705-712 (2010)
    Understanding the genetics of how organisms adapt to changing environments is a fundamental topic in modern evolutionary ecology. The field is currently progressing rapidly because of advances in genomics technologies, especially DNA sequencing. The aim of this review is to first briefly summarise how next generation sequencing (NGS) has transformed our ability to identify the genes underpinning adaptation. We then demonstrate how the application of these genomic tools to ecological model species means that we can start addressing some of the questions that have puzzled ecological geneticists for decades such as: How many genes are involved in adaptation? What types of genetic variation are responsible for adaptation? Does adaptation utilise pre-existing genetic variation or does it require new mutations to arise following an environmental change?
  • Species differences in responses to captivity: stress, welfare and the comparative method
    - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25(12):713-721 (2010)
    Approximately 26 billion animals, spanning over 10 000 species, are kept on farms and in zoos, conservation breeding centers, research laboratories and households. Captive animals are often healthier, longer-lived and more fecund than free-living conspecifics, but for some species the opposite is true. Captivity is a very long way from the ideal 'common garden' often assumed by evolutionary and ecological researchers using data for captive animals. The use of comparative methods to investigate the fundamental biological causes of these species differences would help to improve husbandry and enclosure design, and might even reveal relationships between susceptibilities to poor captive welfare and susceptibilities to anthropogenic threat in the wild. Studies of these species differences could also inspire and facilitate 'evo-mecho' research into the functions of behavioral control mechanisms.

No comments: