Tuesday, April 19, 2011

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

The May 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 26(5):i (2011)
  • Species differences in captivity: where are the invertebrates?
    - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 26(5):211 (2011)
  • Invertebrate welfare: where is the real evidence for conscious affective states?
    - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 26(5):212-213 (2011)
  • Art and illusion
    - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 26(5):213-214 (2011)
  • Legacy of rebirth: lessons from Monterey Bay
    - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 26(5):214-215 (2011)
  • Translocation of species, climate change, and the end of trying to recreate past ecological communities
    - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 26(5):216-221 (2011)
    Many of the species at greatest risk of extinction from anthropogenic climate change are narrow endemics that face insurmountable dispersal barriers. In this review, I argue that the only viable option to maintain populations of these species in the wild is to translocate them to other locations where the climate is suitable. Risks of extinction to native species in destination areas are small, provided that translocations take place within the same broad geographic region and that the destinations lack local endemics. Biological communities in these areas are in the process of receiving many hundreds of other immigrant species as a result of climate change; ensuring that some of the 'new' inhabitants are climate-endangered species could reduce the net rate of extinction.
  • Intralocus sexual conflict resolved through gene duplication
    - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 26(5):222-228 (2011)
    Gene duplication is mainly recognized by its primary role in the origin of new genes and functions. However, the idea that gene duplication can be a central player in resolving sexual genetic conflicts through its potential to generate sex-biased and sex-specifically expressed genes, has been almost entirely overlooked. We review recent data and theory that support gene duplication as a theoretically predicted and experimentally supported means of resolving intralocus sexual antagonism. We believe that this role is probably the consequence of sexual conflict for housekeeping genes that are required in males and females, and which are expressed in sexually dimorphic tissues (i.e. where sexually antagonistic selection is exerted). We think that these genes cannot evolve tissue-specific expression unless they duplicate.
  • Has water limited our imagination for aridland biogeochemistry?
    - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 26(5):229-235 (2011)
    The classic ecological paradigm for deserts, that all processes are controlled by water availability, has limited our imagination for exploring other controls on the cycling of carbon and nutrients in aridland ecosystems. This review of recent studies identifies alternative mechanisms that challenge the idea that all soil processes in aridlands are proximately water-limited, and highlights the significance of photodegradation of aboveground litter and the overriding importance of spatial heterogeneity as a modulator of biotic responses to water availability. Aridlands currently occupy >30% of the terrestrial land surface and are expanding. It is therefore critical to incorporate these previously unappreciated mechanisms in our understanding of aridland biogeochemistry to mitigate the effects of desertification and global change.
  • Do global change experiments overestimate impacts on terrestrial ecosystems?
    - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 26(5):236-241 (2011)
    In recent decades, many climate manipulation experiments have investigated biosphere responses to global change. These experiments typically examined effects of elevated atmospheric CO2, warming or drought (driver variables) on ecosystem processes such as the carbon and water cycle (response variables). Because experiments are inevitably constrained in the number of driver variables tested simultaneously, as well as in time and space, a key question is how results are scaled up to predict net ecosystem responses. In this review, we argue that there might be a general trend for the magnitude of the responses to decline with higher-order interactions, longer time periods and larger spatial scales. This means that on average, both positive and negative global change impacts on the biosphere might be dampened more than previously assumed.
  • Non-immunological defense in an evolutionary framework
    - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 26(5):242-248 (2011)
    After parasite infection, invertebrates activate immune system-based defenses such as encapsulation and the signaling pathways of the innate immune system. However, hosts are often able to defend against parasites without using these mechanisms. The non-immunological defenses, such as behaviors that prevent or combat infection, symbiont-mediated defense, and fecundity compensation, are often ignored but can be important in host–parasite dynamics. We review recent studies showing that heritable variation in these traits exists among individuals, and that they are costly to activate and maintain. We also discuss findings from genome annotation and expression studies to show how immune system-based and non-immunological defenses interact. Placing these studies into an evolutionary framework emphasizes their importance for future studies of host–parasite coevolution.
  • Improving assessment and modelling of climate change impacts on global terrestrial biodiversity
    - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 26(5):249-259 (2011)
    Understanding how species and ecosystems respond to climate change has become a major focus of ecology and conservation biology. Modelling approaches provide important tools for making future projections, but current models of the climate-biosphere interface remain overly simplistic, undermining the credibility of projections. We identify five ways in which substantial advances could be made in the next few years: (i) improving the accessibility and efficiency of biodiversity monitoring data, (ii) quantifying the main determinants of the sensitivity of species to climate change, (iii) incorporating community dynamics into projections of biodiversity responses, (iv) accounting for the influence of evolutionary processes on the response of species to climate change, and (v) improving the biophysical rule sets that define functional groupings of species in global models.

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