We are in great need of an integrative framework that allows ecologists to predict life history strategies from functional traits that inform on population performance. The aim of a recent British Ecological Society cross-journal Special Feature is to link organismal functions, life history strategies and population performance. Here I discuss a test published within this Special Feature that shows how a recently developed dynamic energy budget population model can be used to infer from life history traits the population performance of bulb mites (Rhizoglyphus robini) in the lab.
The bright spots approach aims to assess the performance of managed ecosystems by comparing certain ecological outcomes, while controlling for other known drivers of the outcome via a statistical model; in effect, ranking sites based on their residuals from the fitted model. While the method has the potential to reduce bias in comparing different sites, the resulting assessment may come with high variance.
Migration bottlenecks provide researchers with fascinating opportunities to study animal movement ecology. Advances in technology enable the dissemination of migratory ground-speed data in relation to independent variables such as weather conditions and time of day. I spent a week in the region of Calabria, Italy monitoring raptor migrations over the Strait of Messina bottleneck. In a single field day over 1,382 migratory raptors were counted; approximately 80% of these were European Honey Buzzards (Pernis apivorus). This post identifies Europe’s most important migratory raptor bottlenecks and highlights the threats facing migratory avifauna.
No spoilers here. The villain in The Avengers: Infinity War understands ecology pretty well and we should consider his motivation as an ecologist. We need to talk a lot more about how to slow population growth.
Simple “comparison of means” experiments … train our brains to think that this is the goal of science – to discover if an effect exists.
We seek out ecologists with diverse backgrounds and perspectives to highlight their work and share their stories and experiences. Check out this week’s Ecologist Spotlight: Alyssa Frederick!
Insectivorous birds and bats help plants by removing herbivorous arthropods. Predator exclosures around the plants are needed to study this. What could be measured of the plants inside the exclosures and in uncaged controls? There are several possibilities that are listed in this post. There is need for more plant measurements in predator exclosure studies, especially in the natural tropical forests.