Congrats to Our EEE Scholars
We're proud to announce Karen Bailey, Aroloye Ofo Numbere, Bruno Soares and Nikki Traylor-Knowles as this year's EEE ScholarsRead more
It's Time to Renew!
ESA members, the time to renew your membership for 2023 is now! Make sure you don't miss out on a single minute's worth of benefits.Read more
Journals & Publications
In Antarctica, ice-free habitats occupy less than 1% of the continent’s terrestrial extent but nevertheless harbor eukaryotic biodiversity, which has been largely understudied due to logistical constraints. However, a novel combination of methods – repeated lasso regression linking environmental DNA traces with soil properties – has shown promise as a relatively easy and cost-effective means to predict the presence of phyla based on selected geochemical properties of soil samples, such as pH. In the December issue of Frontiers, Czechowski et al. share how the probability of detecting tardigrades (phylum Tardigrada) was higher in the absence of alkaline substrates, for instance, at sites in the Prince Charles Mountains. By establishing such biotic–abiotic relationships, this approach can help to inform future surveys for, and conservation of, Antarctic taxa.
Castilleja chromosa as seen in the Golden Gate Range, Nevada, USA. Hemiparasitic plants like C. chromosa parasitize other plants to gain key resources and can reduce host plant abundance. In their study published in the December issue of Ecology, Hodžić et al. show a positive correlation between hemiparasitic abundance and community evenness in plant communities across North America.
The Colorado Plateau is world renowned for spectacular geology and landforms, such as shown here from Canyonlands National Park in southeastern Utah, USA. However, as with drylands globally, the Colorado Plateau is increasingly threatened by climate and land use change. In their study in the November issue of Ecosphere, Duniway et al. used a network of 135 long-term vegetation-monitoring sites in three national parks and characterized connections between geology, geomorphology, soils, climate, and dryland plant communities. The authors found that soil depth, aridity, lithology, and soil salinity were some of the most important landscape variables governing plant community composition and present a novel framework that links the geologic and geomorphic evolution of landscapes with the distribution of soils and plant communities that can guide ecosystem management.
A pair of Rosy-faced Lovebirds (Agapornis roseicollis) in a backyard located in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. In their study published in the December issue of Ecological Applications, Andrade et al. look to untangle how bird species traits are linked to public perceptions. Iconic bird species tied to the regional desert environment were important for bolstering positive attitudes. However, the non-native—yet charismatic and gregarious—Rosy-faced Lovebird demonstrated how distinctive attributes can shape human perceptions of urban wildlife.
Hover flies (Diptera: Syrphidae) provide a multitude of ecosystem services including pollination and biological control. In their paper in the November issue of Ecological Monographs, Clem et al. examine for evidence and mechanisms of long-distance migration in Nearctic hover flies. Using stable hydrogen isotopes (δ2H) combined with abundance, morphological, and cold-tolerance data, they found that North American species like Eupeodes americanus (pictured here in central Illinois, USA) migrate south during autumn in response to encroaching winter conditions. Hover fly migration likely has major implications for ecosystems including pollen and nutrient transfer, and provision of sustainable pest management.
Many funders, societies, and publishers have adopted policies to facilitate the broadest reuse of research data and to support open science. Publishing data in a data repository can be a new, unfamiliar task. To reduce the learning curve, the Environmental Data Initiative has developed user-friendly software to make capturing and submitting data and metadata a simple process. An article in the October issue of the ESA Bulletin introduces ezEML to researchers who publish data and information managers who update data sets.