BioScience tip sheet, January 2009
A description of peer-reviewed articles from the issue
The January 2009 issue of BioScience includes the following research articles:
Leaf Evolution and Development: Advancing Technologies, Advancing Understanding. Heather L. Sanders and Sarah E. Wyatt. Advancing techniques are revealing networks of genes and epigenetic phenomena that regulate the development of leaves. The article discusses new research methods that are becoming available for the study of leaf development, including genomics and visualization techniques that show where the products of genes are active.
Aquaculture Production and Biodiversity Conservation. James S. Diana. An assessment by James S. Diana, of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, concludes that despite well-publicized concerns about some harmful effects of aquaculture, the technique may, when practiced well, be no more harmful to biodiversity than other food production systems. Aquaculture production of aquatic animals now accounts for about a third of the total supply and will probably remain the most rapidly increasing food production system worldwide through 2025, according to Diana.
Wet and Wonderful: The World’s Largest Wetlands Are Conservation Priorities. Paul A. Keddy, Lauchlan H. Fraser, Ayzik I. Solomeshch, Wolfgang J. Junk, Daniel R. Campbell, Mary T. K. Arroyo, and Cleber J. R. Alho. The authors explore the ecosystem services provided by four diverse examples of the world’s largest wetlands: the West Siberian Lowland, the Amazon River Basin, the Congo River Basin, and the Mississippi River Basin. Among the most important services are carbon cycling and climate regulation, freshwater supply, and biodiversity maintenance. The authors argue that large wetlands “constitute their own vital class for conservation planning.”
Fish, Floods, and Ecosystem Engineers: Aquatic Conservation in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Ketlhatlogile Mosepele, Peter B. Moyle, Glenn S. Merron, David R. Purkey, and Belda Mosepele. The Okavango Delta, Botswana, is a major wetland surrounded by the Kalahari Desert. The delta supports a diverse fish fauna that depends not only on seasonal flooding from inflowing rivers, but also on the actions of ecosystem engineers. Understanding this complexity can help allocate water within the Okavango watershed.
Spurious Certainty: How Ignoring Measurement Error and Environmental Heterogeneity May Contribute to Environmental Consequences. Reinette Biggs, Stephen R. Carpenter, and William A. Brock. Environmental studies that appear to provide conflicting results can often be reconciled through the use of hierarchical Bayesian techniques. Such techniques can lead to a more accurate understanding of complex systems.
A Framework for Implementing Biodiversity Offsets: Selecting Sites and Determining Scale. Joseph A Kiesecker, Holly Copeland, Amy Pocewicz, Nate Nibbelink, Bruce McKenney, John Dahlke, Matt Holloran, and Dan Stroud. Selecting sites for biodiversity offsets, which seek to ensure that environmental impacts of development are balanced by environmental gains, provides conceptual and methodological challenges. The authors demonstrate the use of the Marxan site-selection algorithm in this process.
BioScience is the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) and is published jointly with the University of California Press 11 times per year. BioScience publishes commentary and peer-reviewed articles covering a wide range of biological fields, with a focus on “Organisms from Molecules to the Environment.” The journal has been published since 1964. AIBS is an umbrella organization for professional scientific societies and organizations that are involved with biology. It represents some 200 member societies and organizations with a combined membership of about 250,000.
January 4, 2009
September 1, 2008
BioScience tip sheet, September 2008
Research articles that will be published in the September 2008 issue of BioScience are as follows:
The Molecular Biology Toolbox and Its Use in Basic and Applied Insect Science. Michel Cusson.
The sequencing and annotation of insect genomes and comparative genomics are providing new insights into the molecular underpinnings of insect-specific processes. These have led to a variety of biotechnological applications to pest management, some with large economic potential.
Vulnerability of Permafrost Carbon to Climate Change: Implications for the Global Carbon Cycle. Edward A. G. Schuur and colleagues.
A new assessment indicates that the thawing of permafrost in northern latitudes, which greatly increases microbial decomposition of carbon compounds in soil, will dominate other effects of warming in the region and could become a major force promoting the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and thus further warming. Note: this article is the subject of a separate press release posted today, under embargo until Sep. 1, titled “Thawing Permafrost Likely to Boost Global Warming.”
Unintended Consequences of Urbanization for Aquatic Ecosystems: A Case Study from the Arizona Desert. W. John Roach, James B. Heffernan, Nancy B. Grimm, J. Ramón Arrowsmith, Chris Eisinger, and Tyler Rychener.
Indian Bend Wash, an urbanizing watershed in Arizona, provides a case study of how human alteration of land cover, stream channels, and hydrology can dramatically affect ecosystem processes, including nutrient cycling, both intentionally and otherwise.
Warfare Ecology. Gary E. Machlis and Thor Hanson.
War has extensive ecological consequences. The authors outline warfare ecology as a new field of study, provide a taxonomy of warfare for organizing the field, review research conducted to date, and propose research directions and policy implications arising from the study of all stages of war.
Causes and Consequences of Sociality in Bats. Gerald Kerth.
Modern field techniques and new molecular methods are providing opportunities to study aspects of bat biology that were until recently inaccessible, in particular social systems. These are emerging as far more complex than had been imagined and hold promise for shedding light on the evolution of sociality.
Walking the Line between Lab and Computation: The “Moist” Zone. Bart Penders, Klasien Horstman, and Rein Vos.
Philosophically-based differences between styles of research in different scientific communities result in practical problems in daily cooperation. A case study of nutrigenomic research shows how specific technologies can facilitate cooperation by helping to identify common ground.
Deforestation, Mosquitoes, and Ancient Rome: Lessons for Today. Lara O’Sullivan, Andrew Jardine, Angus Cook, and Philip Weinstein.
Deforestation and associated ecological changes such as increased standing water probably exacerbated pestilence, believed to have been malaria, in and near Rome around the first century BCE. Modern parallels reinforce the importance of considering the complex interactions between deforestation, agriculture, and vectorborne disease.
BioScience, published 11 times per year, is the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS). BioScience publishes commentary and peer-reviewed articles covering a wide range of biological fields, with a focus on “Organisms from Molecules to the Environment.” The journal has been published since 1964. AIBS is an umbrella organization for professional scientific societies and organizations that are involved with biology. It represents some 200 member societies and organizations with a combined membership of about 250,000.