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Current Issue of Trends Ecology Evolution


Issue: Trends in Ecology & Evolution

Dec 01, 2021

Volume 36Issue 12p1061-1164, e1-e2
The cover image depicts a masked face harbouring an intricately woven web of connections, signifying the virtual global network that helps cultivate a feeling of ‘togetherness’ in the backdrop of a pandemic threatening to keep us apart. ‘Apart, Together’ symbolises the many experiences of the scientific community as we must be apart from loved ones while experiencing the pandemic together, and those the teams working remotely from disparate geographical locations to achieve the collective goal of controlling the pandemic and saving lives. The Trends team reflects on these experiences on pages 1061–1062. Cover image credit: Phillip Krzeminski....
The cover image depicts a masked face harbouring an intricately woven web of connections, signifying the virtual global network that helps cultivate a feeling of ‘togetherness’ in the backdrop of a pandemic threatening to keep us apart. ‘Apart, Together’ symbolises the many experiences of the scientific community as we must be apart from loved ones while experiencing the pandemic together, and those the teams working remotely from disparate geographical locations to achieve the collective goal of controlling the pandemic and saving lives. The Trends team reflects on these experiences on pages 1061–1062. Cover image credit: Phillip Krzeminski.

Editorial

  • Apart, together

    • Andrea Stephens
    December 2021 marks 2 years since the first reports of an outbreak were covered by a handful of international media outlets. Few could have envisioned what would transpire over the coming months. No one can accurately predict how things will unfold in the years to come. The pandemic continues, diminished in some places, unabated in others, and periodically re-emerging throughout. Although the future remains uncertain, we have chosen to use this anniversary as an opportunity to reflect on the indelible aspects of this uniquely difficult epoch and our hopes for the future.

Scientfic Life

  • Promoting equity and inclusion with student-driven initiatives

    • Jessica Ford,
    • Nathalie Jreidini,
    • Kirsten E. Crandall,
    • Sarah Sanderson,
    • Charles C.Y. Xu
    Representation is crucial in building more inclusive communities in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) fields. STEMM Diversity is a student-driven initiative that was founded to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) at McGill University. Here, we discuss the lessons learned while developing STEMM Diversity that can help guide others to develop their own student-driven initiatives.

Science & Society

  • Biodiversity in European agricultural landscapes: transformative societal changes needed

    • Anne-Christine Mupepele,
    • Helge Bruelheide,
    • Carsten Brühl,
    • Jens Dauber,
    • Michaela Fenske,
    • Annette Freibauer,
    • Bärbel Gerowitt,
    • Andreas Krüß,
    • Sebastian Lakner,
    • Tobias Plieninger,
    • Thomas Potthast,
    • Sabine Schlacke,
    • Ralf Seppelt,
    • Hartmut Stützel,
    • Wolfgang Weisser,
    • Wolfgang Wägele,
    • Katrin Böhning-Gaese,
    • Alexandra-Maria Klein
    Reversing the decline of biodiversity in European agricultural landscapes is urgent. We suggest eight measures addressing politics, economics, and civil society to instigate transformative changes in agricultural landscapes. We emphasize the need for a well-informed society and political measures promoting sustainable farming by combining food production and biodiversity conservation

Opinions

  • Bias assessments to expand research harnessing biological collections

    • Emily K. Meineke,
    • Barnabas H. Daru
    Biological collections are arguably the most important resources for investigations into the impacts of human activities on biodiversity. However, the apparent opportunities presented by museum-derived datasets have not resulted in consistent or widespread use of specimens in ecology outside phenological research and species distribution modeling. We attribute this gap between opportunity and application to biases introduced by collectors, curators, and preservation practices and an imperfect understanding of these biases and how to mitigate them.
  • Evolution via somatic genetic variation in modular species

    • Thorsten B.H. Reusch,
    • Iliana B. Baums,
    • Benjamin Werner
    Somatic genetic variation (SoGV) may play a consequential yet underappreciated role in long-lived, modular species among plants, animals, and fungi. Recent genomic data identified two levels of genetic heterogeneity, between cell lines and between modules, that are subject to multilevel selection. Because SoGV can transfer into gametes when germlines are sequestered late in ontogeny (plants, algae, and fungi and some basal animals), sexual and asexual processes provide interdependent routes of mutational input and impact the accumulation of genetic load and molecular evolution rates of the integrated asexual/sexual life cycle.
  • Photogrammetry as a tool to improve ecosystem restoration

    • Renata Ferrari,
    • Liam Lachs,
    • Daniel R. Pygas,
    • Adriana Humanes,
    • Brigitte Sommer,
    • Will F. Figueira,
    • Alasdair J. Edwards,
    • John C. Bythell,
    • James R. Guest
    Ecosystem restoration has been practiced for over a century and is increasingly supported by the emergent applied science of restoration ecology. A prerequisite for successful ecosystem restoration is determining meaningful and measurable goals. This requires tools to monitor success in a standardized way. Photogrammetry uses images to reconstruct landscapes and organisms in three dimensions, enabling non-invasive measurement of key success indicators with unprecedented accuracy. We propose photogrammetry can improve restoration success by: (i) facilitating measurable goals; (ii) innovating and standardizing indicators of success; and (iii) standardizing monitoring.

Reviews

  • Modelling the tempo and mode of lineage dispersal

    • Jan Hackel,
    • Isabel Sanmartín
    Lineage dispersal is a basic macroevolutionary process shaping the distribution of biodiversity. Probabilistic approaches in biogeography, epidemiology, and macroecology often model dispersal as a background process to explain extant or infer past distributions. We propose framing questions around the mode, timing, rate, and direction of lineage dispersal itself, from a lineage- or geography-centric perspective. We review available methods for modelling lineage dispersal. Likelihood- and simulation-based approaches to modelling dispersal have made progress in accounting for the variation of lineage dispersal over space, time, and branches of a phylogeny and its interaction with diversification.
  • Fruit secondary metabolites shape seed dispersal effectiveness

    • Annika S. Nelson,
    • Susan R. Whitehead
    Plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) play a central role in seed dispersal and fruit defense, with potential for large impacts on plant fitness and demography. Yet because PSMs can have multiple interactive functions across seed dispersal stages, we must systematically study their effects to determine the net consequences for plant fitness. To tackle this issue, we integrate the role of fruit PSMs into the seed dispersal effectiveness (SDE) framework. We describe PSM effects on the quantity and quality of animal-mediated seed dispersal, both in pairwise interactions and diverse disperser communities, as well as trade-offs that occur across dispersal stages.
  • Epigenetic inheritance and reproductive mode in plants and animals

    • Dafni Anastasiadi,
    • Clare J. Venney,
    • Louis Bernatchez,
    • Maren Wellenreuther
    Epigenetic inheritance is another piece of the puzzle of nongenetic inheritance, although the prevalence, sources, persistence, and phenotypic consequences of heritable epigenetic marks across taxa remain unclear. We systematically reviewed over 500 studies from the past 5 years to identify trends in the frequency of epigenetic inheritance due to differences in reproductive mode and germline development. Genetic, intrinsic (e.g., disease), and extrinsic (e.g., environmental) factors were identified as sources of epigenetic inheritance, with impacts on phenotype and adaptation depending on environmental predictability.
  • Causal assumptions and causal inference in ecological experiments

    • Kaitlin Kimmel,
    • Laura E. Dee,
    • Meghan L. Avolio,
    • Paul J. Ferraro
    Causal inferences from experimental data are often justified based on treatment randomization. However, inferring causality from data also requires complementary causal assumptions, which have been formalized by scholars of causality but not widely discussed in ecology. While ecologists have recognized challenges to inferring causal relationships in experiments and developed solutions, they lack a general framework to identify and address them. We review four assumptions required to infer causality from experiments and provide design-based and statistically based solutions for when these assumptions are violated.
  • Speciation by sexual selection: 20 years of progress

    • Tamra C. Mendelson,
    • Rebecca J. Safran
    Twenty years ago, a seminal paper summarized the role of sexual selection in speciation as the coordinated evolution of (male) courtship signals and (female) preferences leading to prezygotic (behavioral) isolation between divergent lineages. Here, we discuss areas of progress that inspire an updated perspective. First, research has identified multiple mechanisms of sexual selection, in addition to female mate choice, that drive the origin and maintenance of species. Second, reviews and empirical data now conclude that sexual selection alone will rarely lead to reproductive isolation without ecological divergence, and we discuss the assumptions and possible exceptions underlying that conclusion.
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Trends in Ecology & Evolution