ESA Frontiers November preview

October 31, 2014

Connectivity cost calculations for conservation corridors Where are conservation dollars best invested to connect fragmented habitats? Sara Torrubia and colleagues test their model balancing restoration costs with connection quality on the threatened Washington ground squirrel in eastern Washington State.

"Getting the most connectivity per conservation dollar," by Sara Torrubia, Brad H McRae, Joshua J Lawler, Sonia A Hall, Meghan Halabisky, Jesse Langdon, and Michael Case.

Agricultural companions: co-planting partner crops improves yields

Soy and cereals, rice and fish, trees sorghum - crops cultivated together yield more food. Weizheng Ren and colleagues at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China review scientific studies of traditional pairings and suggest policies to improve the use of species partnerships in modern agriculture.

"Can positive interactions between cultivated species help to sustain modern agriculture?" by Weizheng Ren, Liangliang Hu, Jian Zhang, Cuiping Sun, Jianjun Tang, Yongge Yuan, and Xin Chen.

Jellyfish and human well-being.

Jellyfish have been getting bad press lately for closing beaches, damaging fisheries, and fouling equipment at aquaculture, desalination, and power facilities. The gelatinous invertebrates generally have a bad reputation as nuisance species. But species of jellyfish also harbor small fish and other animals on and around their bodies. They transport other invertebrate ocean dwellers, like barnacles and shrimp and crab larvae. They are food for ocean predators and for people. An international team of ecologists assesses the consequences of growing global jellyfish populations for human well-being.

"Linking human well-being and jellyfish: ecosystem services, impacts, and societal responses," by William M Graham1, Stefan Gelcich, Kelly L Robinson, Carlos M Duarte, Lucas Brotz, Jennifer E Purcell, Laurence P Madin, Hermes Mianzan, Kelly R Sutherland, Shin-ichi Uye, Kylie A Pitt, Cathy H Lucas, Molly Bøgeberg, Richard D Brodeur, and Robert H Condon.

For a full press release, contact: Van Arnold, University of Southern Mississippi Office of Communications, 601.266.5568, Hattiesburg,">

Micromanaging microbes

When managing ecological resources, it is important not to forget the invisible microbial world, say Ariane Peralta and colleagues. Microbes get our attention when food-borne illness makes headlines. But most microbes do not make people sick. Microscopic activities of microbes have huge benefits for food production and water purification.

"A social-ecological framework for "micromanaging" microbial services," by Ariane L Peralta1, Diana Stuart, Angela D Kent, and Jay T Lennon.
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, issued 10 times per year, consists of peer-reviewed, synthetic review articles on all aspects of ecology, the environment, and related disciplines, as well as short, high-impact research communications of broad interdisciplinary appeal.

ESA is the world's largest community of professional ecologists and a trusted source of ecological knowledge, committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth. The 10,000 member Society publishes six journals and broadly shares ecological information through policy and media outreach and education initiatives. The Society's Annual Meeting attracts over 3,000 attendees and features the most recent advances in ecological science. Visit the ESA website at

Ecological Society of America

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