Article commentary

Spatial heterogeneity of physicochemical properties explains differences in microbial composition in arid soils from Cuatro Cienegas, Mexico

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Budiman Minasny –– microbial diversity
Patchiness of forest landscape can predict species distribution better than abundance: the case of a forest-dwelling passerine, the short-toed treecreeper, in central Italy

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Luis Eguiarte –– This paper is an interesting and relevant contribution to the understanding of the process that determine the distribution and abundance of a species in relationship to environmental variables and patchiness. Also it is important because the comparison among different modelling methods, and for the potential of the ideas and methods in conservation biology and in understanding the role of fragmentation. The different methodologies and approaches should be useful in similar studies in other species.
Stable isotope analysis (δ13C and δ15N) of soil nematodes from four feeding groups

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Budiman Minasny –– A good one
Continent-wide survey reveals massive decline in African savannah elephants

Editor rating: 8 / 10

David Roberts –– The Convention of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species will be discussion elephants and therefore this will be extremely important
Aquatic insects dealing with dehydration: do desiccation resistance traits differ in species with contrasting habitat preferences?

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Marta Sánchez –– This study provide new data on desiccation resistance in aquatic beetles, which is important to understand their presence and distribution in aquatic environments; these data can be relevant in the context of climate change due to the expected drought intensification, particularly important in semi-arid regions
You can hide but you can’t run: apparent competition, predator responses and the decline of Arctic ground squirrels in boreal forests of the southwest Yukon

Editor rating: 9 / 10

Leon Higley –– It offers data on predator-prey relationships that is clear and convincing.
Experimental exposure to urban and pink noise affects brain development and song learning in zebra finches (Taenopygia guttata)

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Jennifer Vonk –– The authors are attempting to identify mechanisms by which songbirds may alter their songs as a function of urban environments. The results speak to plasticity and impact of the human environment on indigenous species.
Advances in global sensitivity analyses of demographic-based species distribution models to address uncertainties in dynamic landscapes

Editor rating: 9 / 10

Curtis Daehler –– The authors have produced a software package that will allow users to make comprehensive analyses of coupled demographic-GIS (SDM) population viability models. These analyses will help in the development of effective management plans for rare and endangered species.
Constant and seasonal drivers of bird communities in a wind farm: implications for conservation

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Patricia Gandini –– The paper will contribute to a better environmental planning in the installation of wind farms
Hierarchical organization of a Sardinian sand dune plant community

Editor rating: 7 / 10

G Matt Davies –– A rare experimental validation of ecological theory and frequently offered explanations for the spatial structuring of sand-dune ecosystems. This paper goes further than the normal descriptive approach and uses manipulations to discern important interactions and processes

Discussing these articles

Nice to see 2 new #Rstats packages for simulating neutral #landscape models. Pipe dreams of integrating this into scripts we wrote to look at the relative effect of uncertainty from landscape and population demographic models. via @thePeerJ

African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) Populations Crash! Article: Journal:

Los elefantes africanos al borde de la extinción - In Spanish

Daily Maverick: "Counting Africa’s beleaguered elephants: Massive two-year census finds alarming declines"

GeekWire: "Paul Allen’s Great Elephant Census confirms catastrophic decline in Africa"

The Washington Post: "The largest-ever survey of elephants in Africa reveals startling declines"

Huffington Post: "A New Elephant Census Shows The Devastating Impact Of Poaching"


NPR Radio Slot: "Often On The Move, Restless Elephants Are Tough To Count — And Keep Safe"

NPR: "African Elephant Population Declines By 30 Percent"

Mashable: "Historic census reveals the true plight of Africa's elephants"

The Guardian: "Poaching drives huge 30% decline in Africa's savanna elephants"