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Strategies for Success
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Journals & Publications
Across both their native and introduced ranges, European honey bees (Apis mellifera) allegedly compete with cavity-dependent animals for nesting sites. However, evidence of such competition, aside from that observed in artificial nest boxes, is largely absent. In the August issue of Frontiers, Saunders et al. illustrate how long-term empirical studies on the occupancy of natural cavities could help document the presence and ecological outcomes of possible interactions between wild honey bees and cavity-nesting species.
Climate change is expected to alter the distribution and abundance of dry woodlands species including two-needle piñon (Pinus edulis), seen here sitting atop the south rim of the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona, USA. In the August issue of Ecology, Shriver et al. develop an approach to quantify the survival, recruitment, and growth of dry woodland species across their range using forest inventory data. They find that two-needle piñon survival is most sensitive to temperature and recruitment is most sensitive to soil moisture availability, leaving populations in places like northern Arizona particularly vulnerable.
The east coast of Florida, USA, hosts tens of thousands of sea turtle nests annually, with particularly high nesting densities of loggerheads (Caretta caretta) and green turtles (Cheonia mydas, pictured). By analyzing a 37-year dataset collected in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, Phillips et al. found that smaller nesting females have become more common over time in both species. While the causes of the shifting distributions of mature female size are not yet known, these results, published in the July issue of Ecosphere, have implications for reproductive output and warrant a reevaluation of size-at-maturity estimates in these protected species.
The secretive European ﬁre salamander (Salamandra salamandra) is among the main victims of the recently emerged fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal). In their study published in the July issue of Ecological Applications, Beukema et al. use a hierarchical modeling framework to explore Bsal landscape epidemiology, present invasibility predictions for Western Europe, and provide research recommendations to advance future conservation and mitigation eﬀorts. The salamander depicted here is part of a thriving Belgian population that, despite occurrence in humid, forested conditions ideal for Bsal, fortunately remains free of infection.
Diatoms are the most recently added major algal lineage in the geological record, yet today they play a dominant role in ocean biological carbon sequestration and support of Earth’s largest fisheries. In their study published in the August issue of Ecological Monographs, Behrenfeld et al. conclude that specific physiological attributes linked to predator–prey dynamics and speciation rates are responsible for the diatom’s grand success. Pictured is a scanning electron micrograph of a centric species illustrating an important and unique diatom attribute, a highly specialized siliceous cell wall (frustule).
The July issue of the ESA Bulletin continues the Human Dimensions series, highlighting the work and mission of different ESA sections. Iuliano et al. trace the past, present, and future of the Agroecology section, and how agroecology overlaps with other stakeholders in the world of ecology (and beyond).