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Mt. St. Helens        Volume 86, Number 1, January 2005

Cover Photo: Cover Photo: An Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo), the largest owl in the world, has killed an adult Black Kite (Milvus migrans), a medium-sized diurnal raptor. Proximity to the nest site of an Eagle Owl increases the probability of predation for Black Kites, and is an integral component of territory quality for this species. Kites have a very limited time to assess and choose a territory when they return from spring migration, a problem that is exacerbated for inexperienced individuals occupying a territory for the first time. Such individuals may resort to cues such as the presence, abundance, and breeding performance of conspecifics in previous years. The photograph was taken as part of a study conducted in the Italian Alps by F. Sergio and V. Penteriani, “Public information and territory establishment in a loosely colonial raptor,” to be published in Ecology Volume 86(2), February 2005. Click on the photo for more photographs by this author and colleagues of Black Kites and Eagle Owls.

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Table of Contents
(click on a title to view that section)

Governing Board

The Crossroads of the Society

Society Notices

Request for Student Award Judges
Student Awards for Excellence in Ecology
Mutivariate Analysis of Ecological Data Using CANCO
Applied Plant Conservation Training Program
Environmental Banking and Beyond
Biodiversity Leadership and Emerging Leader Awards
Resolution of Respect: Ramon Margalef

Minutes of the 31 July–1 August Governing Board Meeting
Minutes of the 1 August Council Meeting
Minutes of the 6 August Governing Board Meeting

2004 Edward S. Deevey Award

The importance of conspecific cues for territory establishments  F. Sergio, V. Penteriani, and C. Scandolara
Grazing effects F. Louault


The Problem with the Messages of Plant–Herbivore Interactions in Ecological Textbooks. N. Stamp
A History of the Ecological Sciences, Part 15: The Precocious Origins of Human and Animal Demography and Statistics in the 1600s. F. N. Egerton

Peer Review Statement from Public Affairs Office
Emerging Technologies
Improving the Presentation of Results of Logistic Regression with R. M. de la Cruz Rot
Focus on Field Stations
University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS)
Ecological Education: K–12
Ecological Education for Schools K–12
Society Section and Chapter News
Applied Ecology Section Newsletter
Canada Chapter Newsletter
Southeastern Chapter Newsletter


Meeting Review
Society Summit on Data Sharing and Archiving Policies. J. D. Baldwin and C. Duke


Instructions for Contributors

is published quarterly by the
Ecological Society of America, 1707 H Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20006.
It is available online only, free of charge, at
Issues published prior to January 2004 are available through

Bulletin Editor-in-Chief E. A. Johnson

Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, 1707 H Street, NW, Washington DC 20006
Phone (403) 220-7635, Fax (403) 289-9311,
E-mail: [email protected]

Associate Editor
David A. Gooding

ESA Publications Office,
127 W. State Street, Suite 301,
Ithaca, NY 14850-5427
E-mail: [email protected]

Production Editor
Regina Przygocki
ESA Publications Office,
127 W. State Street, Suite 301,
Ithaca, NY 14850-5427
E-mail: [email protected]

Section Editor, Ecology 101
H. Ornes
College of Sciences, SB310A, Southern Utah University
Cedar City, UT 84720 E-mail: [email protected]

Section Editor, Public Affairs Perspective
N. Lymn
Director for Public Affairs, ESA Headquarters,
1707 H Street, NW, Suite 400,
Washington, DC 20036 E-mail: [email protected]

Section Editors,
Emerging Technologies
D. W. Inouye
Department of Biology,
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
E-mail: [email protected]
and S. Scheiner
Div. of Environmental Biology
Natl. Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22230
E-mail: [email protected]

Section Editors,
Ecological Education: K–12

S. Barker

Dept. of Secondary Education
350 Education South,
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta
T6G 2G5 Canada
E-mail: [email protected]
and C. W. Anderson
319A Erickson Hall, Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824 USA.
E-mail: [email protected]

The Ecological Society of America

President: Jerry M. Melillo, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA 02543
Nancy B. Grimm, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-4501
William H. Schlesinger, School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708
Vice President for Science:
Gus R. Shaver, The Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA 02543
Vice President for Finance:
Norman L. Christensen, School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708
Vice President for Public Affairs:
Alison G. Power, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-2701
Vice President for Education and Human Resources:
Carol A. Brewer, Division of Biological Sciences, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812-0001
David W. Inouye, Department of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-4415
Dee Boersma, Department of Zoology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1800
Shahid Naeem, Department of Biology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027
Margaret A. Palmer, Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-0001


The Ecological Society of America was founded in 1915 for the purpose of unifying the sciences of ecology, stimulating research in all aspects of the discipline, encouraging communication among ecologists, and promoting the responsible application of ecological data and principles to the solution of environmental problems. Ecology is the scientific discipline that is concerned with the relationships between organisms and their past, present, and future environments. These relationships include physiological responses of individuals, structure and dynamics of populations, interactions among species, organization of biological communities, and processing of energy and matter in ecosystems.

Membership is open to persons who are interested in the advancement of ecology or its applications, and to those who are engaged in any aspect of the study of organisms in relation to environment. The classes of membership and their annual dues for 2005 are as follows:
Regular member: Income level Dues
  <$40,000 $50.00
  $40,000—60,000 $75.00
  >$60,000 $95.00
Student member:
Emeritus member:   Free
Life member:
Contact Member and Subscriber Services (see below)  

Subscriptions to the journals are not included in the dues.
Special membership rates are available for individuals in developing countries. Contact Member and Subscriber services (address below) for details.

The Society publishes a bulletin, three print journals, and an electronic data archive. The Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, issued quarterly, contains announcements of meetings of the Society and related organizations, programs, awards, articles, and items of current interest to members. The journal Ecology, issued monthly, publishes essays and articles that report and interpret the results of original scientific research in basic and applied ecology. Ecological Monographs is a quarterly journal for longer ecological research articles. Ecological Applications, published six times per year, contains ecological research and discussion papers that have specific relevance to environmental management and policy. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, with 10 issues each year, focuses on current ecological issues and environmental challenges: it is international in scope and interdisciplinary in approach. Ecological Archives is published on the Internet at ‹http://esapubs.org/Archive› and contains supplemental material to ESA journal articles and data papers.
No responsibility for the views expressed by the authors in ESA publications is assumed by the editors or the publisher, the Ecological Society of America.
Subscriptions for 2005 are available to ESA members as follows:
Regular Student
Ecology $65.00 $50.00
ulletin of the Ecological Society of America Free to members
cological Monographs $30.00 $25.00

Ecological Applications $50.00 $40.00
Frontiers in Ecology Free to members
Ecological Archives

Application blanks for membership may be obtained from the Ecological Society of America, Member and Subscriber Services, 1707 H Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20006, to which all correspondence concerning membership should be addressed. Checks accompanying membership applications should be made payable to the Ecological Society of America.
For additional information on the Society and its publications, visit ESA's home page on the World Wide Web http://esa.org›.

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The Crossroads of the Society

   I became a member of ESA as a graduation gift from Dan Kozlowsky (“A critical evaluation of the trophic level concept. I. Ecological efficiencies.” Ecology 49:48–60, 1968 ). I had, since my freshman year at the University of Wisconsin, been an avid reader of Ecology and Ecological Monographs. In fact every Friday afternoon I would, as a treat, go to the library and take one or two volumes and read the articles I felt were important. This, of course, meant that as I worked my way through the volumes, I often went back to volumes I had already looked at to reread articles whose value I now understood and appreciated.
   I knew the Society mainly through its science journals. Consequently, when I received my first Bulletin, I realized that ESA really was a community of scholars. The Bulletin was at the time moving from being a vehicle to report the deadly boring minutes of Council meetings, the resolutions of respect, and the programs and abstracts of Annual Meetings, to having more general articles that discussed issues facing the Society that did not fit into the scholarly journals.
   These changes increased in tempo in the 12 years Allen Solomon was Editor-in-Chief of the Bulletin. He instituted a large number of innovations that made the Bulletin more a “must read” by all members. However, Allen’s most important contribution will be seen as making the Bulletin electronic.
   An electronic Bulletin has many interesting possibilities that the paper Bulletin did not have. We can put in more pictures, links can be made directly to meeting web sites, articles mentioned can be linked directly (in many cases), to computer programs and useful subroutines can be downloaded, PowerPoint material for lectures and seminars can be made available, even short videos can be incorporated. These technological opportunities should increase the Bulletin’s usefulness.

   However, technology will not make the Bulletin necessary. If one reads the “Visions” Committee report ‹www.esa.org/ecovisions›, one message runs throughout. ESA must reach out to a wider audience. The Society actually started doing this before the Visions Committee by developing a new journal, “Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment” under the founding Editor-in-Chief, Sue Silver. “Frontiers” has clearly filled an empty niche in both ESA and in wider ecology and environmental communities. In this issue of the Bulletin, you will find several new columns. I have asked Susan Barker and Charles Anderson to edit a column that will be of use to teachers, with articles that will bridge the gap between research in the science of ecology and the needs and concerns of teachers. This will include how students learn and understand ecology. I would also like to start a similar column directed at ecologists who are environmental consultants. David Inouye will now be assisted by Sam Scheiner in editing the Technological Tools column under its new name, “Emerging Technologies.” This will help keep us up-to-date on areas not in our speciality. I have also asked the International Section to increase our international coverage, particularly of what other ecological societies are doing. Finally, I am starting a column that gives background and commentary on significant, recently published ecological science papers. Ecology is now such a diverse and eclectic field it is difficult to understand the significance of developments in all parts of the discipline. I hope that this feature will keep us aware.
   The Society owes Allen Solomon a large debt for his work for ESA over the last 12 years and for decades before. I have known Al since the 1970s, but I always remember him with a smile for a paper he gave at an Annual Meeting in the 1980s; the subject was the paleoecology of Lake Woebegone.

E. A. Johnson
Bulletin Editor-in-Chief
15 November 2004


Society Notices



Murray F. Buell Award
E. Lucy Braun Award

Judges are needed to evaluate candidates for the Murray F. Buell Award for the outstanding oral presentation by a student and the E. Lucy Braun Award for the outstanding poster presentation by a student at the Annual ESA Meeting at Montreal, Canada in 2005. We need to provide each candidate with at least four judges competent in the specific subject of the presentation. Each judge is asked to evaluate 3–5 papers and/or posters. Current graduate students are not eligible to judge. This is a great way to become involved in an important ESA activity. We desperately need your help!

Please complete and send this form by mail, fax, or e-mail to the Chair of the Student Awards Subcommittee: Christopher F. Sacchi, Department of Biology, Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA 19530 USA. Call (610) 683-4314; FAX: (610) 683-4854 or e-mail: [email protected]

If you have judged in the past several years, this information is on file. If you do not have to update your information, simply send me an e-mail message, “Yes, I can judge this year.”

Name ______________________________________________________________________________________________
Current mailing address _______________________________________________________________________________
June/July mailing address _____________________________________________________________________________
Current telephone Summer telephone ____________________________________________________________________
E-mail Fax __________________________________________________________________________________________
Year M.S. received Year Ph.D received ______________________________________

Areas of expertise (check all that apply):
— Discipline Research approach (please rank) Organisms
— Botany Population ecology Vertebrates
— Zoology Community ecology Types:
— Microbiology Ecosystem ecology Invertebrates
— Applied ecology Types:
— Habitat Physiological ecology Plants
— Soil Behavioral ecology Types:
— Terrestrial Paleoecology Fungi
— Freshwater Theoretical ecology Microbes
— Marine Evolutionary ecology Types:

Provide a few key words or phrases that describe your interests and expertise: _________________________


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Murray F. Buell Award and E. Lucy Braun Award

Murray F. Buell had a long and distinguished record of service and accomplishment in the Ecological Society of America. Among other things, he ascribed great importance to the participation of students in meetings and to excellence in the presentation of papers. To honor his selfless dedication to the younger generation of ecologists, the Murray F. Buell Award for Excellence in Ecology is given to a student for the outstanding oral paper presented at the ESA Annual Meeting.
     E. Lucy Braun, an eminent plant ecologist and one of the charter members of the Society, studied and mapped the deciduous forest regions of eastern North America and described them in her classic book, The Deciduous Forests of Eastern North America. To honor her, the E. Lucy Braun Award for Excellence in Ecology is given to a student for the outstanding poster presentation at the ESA Annual Meeting.
     A candidate for these awards must be an undergraduate, a graduate student, or a recent doctorate not more than 9 months past graduation at the time of the meeting. The paper or poster must be presented as part of the program sponsored by the Ecological Society of America, but the student need not be an ESA member. To be eligible for these awards the student must be the sole or senior author of the oral paper (Note: symposium talks are ineligible) or poster. Papers and posters will be judged on the significance of ideas, creativity, quality of methodology, validity of conclusions drawn from results, and clarity of presentation. While all students are encouraged to participate, winning papers and posters typically describe fully completed projects. The students selected for these awards will be announced in the ESA Bulletin following the Annual Meeting. A certificate and a check for $500 will be presented to each recipient at the next ESA Annual Meeting.
     If you wish to be considered for either of these awards at the 2005 Annual Meeting, you must send the following to the Chair of the Student Awards Subcommittee: (1) the application form below, (2) a copy of your abstract, and (3) a 250-word or less description of why/how the research presented will advance the field of ecology. Because of the large number of applications for the Buell and Braun awards in recent years, applicants may be prescreened prior to the meeting, based on the quality of the abstract and this description of the significance of their research. The application form, abstract, and research justification must be sent by mail, fax, or email (e-mail is preferred; send e-mail to [email protected]) to the Chair of the Student Awards Subcommittee: Dr. Christopher F. Sacchi, Department of Biology, Kutztown University of PA, Kutztown, PA 19530 USA. If you have questions, write, call (610) 683-4314, fax (610) 683-4854, or email: [email protected]. You will be provided with suggestions for enhancing a paper or poster. The deadline for submission of form and abstract is 1 March 2005; applications sent after 1 March 2005 will not be considered. This submission is in addition to the regular abstract submission. Buell/Braun participants who fail to notify the B/B Chair by 1 May of withdrawal from the meeting will be ineligible, barring exceptional circumstances, for consideration in the future. Electronic versions of the Application Form are available on the ESA web site, or you can send an e-mail to [email protected] and request that an electronic version be sent to you as an attachment.

Application Form for Buell or Braun Award

Name __________________________________________________________________________________________

Current Mailing Address____________________________________________________________________________

Current Telephone ________________________________________________________________________________

Email __________________________________________________________________________________________

College/University Affiliation _______________________________________________________________________

Title of Presentation ______________________________________________________________________________

Presentation: Paper (Buell Award) ______ Poster (Braun Award) _______

At the time of presentation I will be (check one):
______an undergraduate student ______a graduate student______a recent doctorate not more than 9 months past graduation

I will be the sole ____ /senior ____ author (check one) of the paper/poster.

Signed (electronic signatures are OK)________________________________________________________________

Please attach a copy of your abstract and 250word or less description of why/how the research presented will advance the field of ecology.

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Multivariate Analysis of Ecological Data using CANOCO

   This course will be held 19–30 July 2005 in Ceske Budejovice in the Czech Republic. The course introduces modern approaches to multivariate data analysis, with much time allocated to practicals, where participants do work with their own data. In-depth lectures and practicals are provided for the following topics:
   · Classical ordination me-thods (PCA, CA, DCA, PCO, NMDS)
   · Constrained ordination methods (RA, CCA) including partial analyses and permutation tests of multivariate hypotheses
   · Thorough explanation of how to interpret the contents of ordination diagrams
   In addition, we provide overview for classification methods (cluster analysis, TWINSPAN), modern regression methods (GLM, GAM, CART), and experimental design.
   The course contents are based on a book written by the course lecturers, Jan Leps and Petr Smilauer. (2003. Multivariate Analysis of Ecological Data Using CANOCO. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.)
Additional details about the course can be found at the web page:
http://regent.bf.jcu.cz› or contact the course manager, Petr Smilauer
(E-mail: [email protected]).

Applied Plant Conservation Training Program

   Denver Botanic Gardens and the United States Botanic Garden announce a new Applied Plant Conservation Training Program coming in June 2005. The program will feature seminars and workshops taught in part by members of the Center for Plant Conservation, who join national leaders in the fields of plant conservation, ecology, and botanic garden management. The hands-on program explores the principles and techniques used in research, documentation, study, conservation, and reintroduction of threatened plants. A research internship will follow for selected participants. Admission is limited and competitive with an application deadline of 1 March 2005.
   Visit the program’s web site at ‹www.usbg.gov/education/Certificate_Plant_Conservation.cfm› for more details and contact information.

Eighth National Mitigation and Conservation Banking Conference: Environmental Banking and Beyond

   The conference will be held 18–21 April 2005 at Charlotte, North Carolina, and will offer sessions on emerging markets (stream mitigation, conservation banking, multicredit banks, water quality trading, agriculture), sessions on standards and sustainability, tracking progress, case studies, sales and marketing, and more.
   There will be field trips (urban and rural), a new Banking Primer Workshop, the Regulators’ Forum facilitated by the Corps, and Bankers’ Forum by NMBA. Highlights include a Federal Update, special guests, and the inside track on what’s happening with the EEP in North Carolina. Enjoy exhibits, posters, networking opportunities, and much more. Register early and save! To view the program and for more information, go to ‹http://www.mitigationbankingconference.com/› or call (703) 548-5473.

Resolution of Respect

Ramón Margalef


Ramón Margalef, Professor Emeritus of Ecology at the University of Barcelona, Spain, passed away on 23 May 2004, four days after his 85th birthday. His wife, María Mir, whom he had met at the university and married in 1952, died suddenly on 30 May 2004, just one week after her husband. They had four children. Ramón Margalef was Spain’s most important ecologist, and one of the world’s prominent limnologists, marine biologists, and theoretical ecologists of the 20th century. He was a pioneer in his own right, and made outstanding contributions to these and other fields (e.g., biogeography, geology, animal behavior, human evolution, and human ecology), leaving us an enormous body of scientific literature consisting of about 400 articles and 20 books and monographs. Taken together, this formidable scientific production laid the foundations of a comprehensive, coherent ecological theory. His scientific ideas have had a significant influence on several generations of ecologists, both through teaching (in Spain and elsewhere) and scientific publication.
Margalef’s limnological work dealt with both algal and animal populations, and included contributions to methodology, taxonomy, ecology, paleolimnology, and biogeography. His studies on the comparative ecology of the reservoirs and lakes of Spain are one of the most comprehensive investigations of its kind in the world. In the field of biological oceanography, his major achievements centered on the quantification of plankton diversity, the study of the small-scale spatial distribution of phytoplankton, the analysis of upwelling ecosystems, the unification of physical and biological oceanography, and the relations between succession, production, and structural organization in ecosystems. Margalef’s contributions to theoretical ecology were highly influential and earned him international recognition. In his seminal publication, La teoría de la información en ecología (1957), first published in Spanish in the Memoirs of the Real Academia de Ciencias y Artes de Barcelona and then translated into English (General Systems 3, 1958), he advocated the application of information theoretical methods to the study of species diversity in ecosystems. This work marked a turning point and significant breakthrough in the study of communities and ecosystems. Other major theoretical works focused on the significance of species diversity and connectivity as measures of ecosystem organization and complexity, and on ecological succession as an evolutionary framework of ecosystem development. His 1968 book, Perspectives in Ecological Theory, represented one important effort to endow ecology with a high-level conceptual framework based on a comprehensive system of first principles. Margalef’s scientific contributions were based on a combination of careful observation of the natural world, detailed and extensive laboratory work, a desire to find general rules, and an ability to discover hidden regularities among apparently disparate observations.
Ramón Margalef was born in Barcelona on 16 May 1919. He had early interests in limnology and botany, but personal and social circumstances precluded him from immediately following those inclinations. The Spanish Civil War (which Margalef referred to as the “uncivil war”) interrupted his education, and in 1938 he was drafted into the Republican (i.e., loyalist) army and sent to the Ebro River front. He was captured by Franco’s fascist troops after the Ebro battle, but escaped while he was being taken to a concentration camp. After the end of the war in 1939, he had to serve in Franco’s army for an additional period, until 1943.
In the years following discharge from the army, he attended the Botanical Institute of Barcelona as a volunteer student, while making a living as a clerk in an insurance company. Margalef’s earliest publications can be traced back to that precarious period. Between 1943 and 1946, without academic or institutional support, he published 19 natural history accounts, ecological studies, and contributions to the knowledge of the biology of an astoundingly broad range of aquatic organisms, including culicid larvae, chironomids, epibionts, diaptomid crustaceans, green and blue-green algae, and ostracods (to mention but a few). This tremendous early productivity, together with his breadth of biological interests, were to become two of the most distinctive hallmarks of Margalef’s career.

Thanks to a grant from the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) that allowed him to attend the University of Barcelona, he obtained a degree in natural sciences in 1949 and a doctoral degree at the University of Madrid in 1951, with a thesis on temperature and morphology of living beings, one of his most cherished career topics. By about that time (1950), Margalef began working at the Instituto de Investigaciones Pesqueras (IIP) in Barcelona, one of CSIC’s several laboratories in different coastal regions in Spain. During those earlier years, Margalef spent most of his time in the Barcelona laboratory (currently Institut de Ciències del Mar) but also worked in Galicia, northwest Spain, where he was involved in research on the ecology of the Rías Baixas, a complex system of fjord-like estuaries on the Atlantic coast. In 1965 he was appointed Director of the IIP, a post he resigned in 1967 to become the first Chair in Ecology in Spain, at the University of Barcelona. He worked simultaneously at the IIP and the University of Barcelona until the late seventies. From his positions at these two institutions he led an outstanding series of studies on the hydrography, phytoplankton, and primary production dynamics of the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts of Spain, the Caribbean, and the Northwest African upwelling region. These investigations made a considerable contribution to the consolidation of oceanography in Spain and to its international recognition.
At the University of Barcelona, he established the Department of Ecology. There he trained several generations of ecologists, limnologists, oceanographers, and zoologists. As noted by ornithologist Xavier Ferrer, from the University of Barcelona, “the Department of Ecology then became the refugium pecatorum of many zoologists, and quite a few theses on dipterans, rotiferans, briozoans, molluscs, crustaceans, and other organisms originated there, even though they were more genuinely zoological than ecological in scope ... from the sixties to the mid-eighties, there were more interesting and modern zoological books in the Department of Ecology’s library than in the Department of Zoology.” Margalef was deeply interested in any concept related to nature, and always supported all initiatives aimed at advancing knowledge in any branch of natural history. In 1954, he was one of the founders of the Spanish Ornithological Society, just a small example of his broad biological interests and naturalistic open-mindedness.
Margalef took pride in considering himself a naturalist before being an ecologist, and in his last published interview he emphasized that “the main quality of a good naturalist lies in the ability to watch nature ... contemplation leads one to admiration and knowledge, and the knowledge generated by admiration is quite different from that obtained from assimilating the pages of a book.” The central role he assigned to open-minded, unprejudiced observation of nature in ecological research had been vividly expressed much earlier, when in his book Comunidades Naturales (1962), he stated that “ecology demands from us to look and look again at nature with a child’s eyes, and nothing is more opposed to a child than a pedant.” To him, one distinctive symptom of pedantry was the excess of mathematical formulations (“any ecological formula that is longer than 10 cm is necessarily wrong”), and he considered that “a good way to conceal ignorance is to invent some beautiful names with a Greek sound.” Humility and militant antipedantry were two distinctive characteristics of Margalef’s personality, and he persistently fled from any sort of pompousness (“Any reference to ‘new ecology’ would be as uselessly pompous as the name ‘new systematics’ has been,” he wrote with irony in the Foreword to Perspectives in Ecological Theory).
Historians of Spanish science have often resorted to the appealing legend of the “isolated Spanish genius,” the lonely autodidact scholar who, arising in a society that traditionally not only does not value, but is overtly hostile towards science or knowledge in general, eventually succeeds in the scientific enterprise and gains international recognition after a long struggle against countless hardships. Margalef would fit this archetypal figure in some respects, including of course autodidactism and the harsh circumstances of an early career amid the depressing intellectual desolation of the Spanish post-Civil War. But Margalef certainly was no isolated genius. Early in his career, he visited for brief periods European laboratories in Naples, Pallanza, and Plymouth, and several United States universities and research centers. On different occasions, he also acknowledged the influence on his own work of scientists like A. Thieneman, A. Buzzati, L. L. Cavalli-Sforza, H. W. Harvey, M. Parke, G. Evelyn Hutchinson, Richard Lewontin, Monte Lloyd, and Thomas Park. The last, “an inspiring figure for any ecologist” in Margalef’s own words, was the promoter of possibly the most consequential of Margalef’s overseas trips. In 1966, he accepted Park’s invitation to visit the Department of Zoology of the University of Chicago and deliver a series of four lectures, aimed, with charming understatement, at “expressing the conviction that some aspects of the solid ecology of yesterday and of today allow us to build a theoretical superstructure that, perhaps, is not irrelevant after all.” The substance of these lectures was later published in his 1968 book, Perspectives in Ecological Theory. This book had an immediate and revolutionary impact on the ecologists of the day, out of proportion to its size (111 rather small pages). Many English-speaking academics and students of ecology were to meet Margalef’s provocative thinking for the first time in this book. By the early seventies, ecology students in Spain (I was one of them) and Latin America were privileged to use his massive treatise Ecología (1974) as a textbook. Later on (1983), he published Limnología, another important and widely used university textbook.    Although this facet of Margalef’s activity was less known outside Spain and Latin American countries, it is important to note that he was also a great popularizer of ecology and wrote several books aimed at general audiences. These include Ecología (1981), L’Ecologia (1985, published in Catalan), and Planeta azul, planeta verde (1992). He also was a contributor to encyclopaedias of natural history, particularly Història natural dels Països Catalans (in Catalan, 1984–1992) and Biosfera (1993–1998). His university textbooks and popular writings probably served more than anything else to spread Margalef’s ideas in Spain and to elevate him to the category of intellectual hero in the minds of my generation of Spanish ecologists and subsequent ones.

    An endless list of awards, distinctions, honorary memberships in learned societies, and Honoris Causa doctorates from universities all over the world, clearly speaks of the magnitude and unusual duration of Margalef’s international recognition. Among other distinctions, he received the Prince Albert Medal of the Institute Océanographique de Paris (1972), the Huntsman Award for Excellence in Marine Research bestowed by the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (1980), the Santiago Ramón y Cajal Prize of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science (1984), the Naumann-Thienemann Medal of the International Association of Theoretical and Applied Limnology (1985), International Ecology Institute Prize from the Ecological Institute (Germany, 1997), the American Society for Limnology and Oceanography’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2000), and the Spanish Council for Research (CSIC) Gold Medal Award (2003). He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 1985, and in 1987 became the first Spanish ecologist to be awarded Honorary Membership in the Ecological Society of America.
Margalef combined his astounding intellectual capacity with a high human quality. He was generous in sharing ideas, and had a fine sense of humor. As a teacher, he freely communicated his knowledge and admiration for nature to students, and was quite effective at encouraging and conveying enthusiasm to young students. My greatest personal debt to Margalef can be traced back to the fall of 1975, when, as an anonymous 22-year-old student struggling to make an early start in science, I mailed him a poorly written manuscript draft. Only 6 days after my request I got in the mail a kind letter encouraging me to publish that little piece of youthful work. A teacher can never tell where his influence stops, to borrow Henry B. Adams’ apt words, and I suspect that similar positive feedback marked the professional life of many other Spanish ecologists, who, like myself, approached Margalef for advice early in their careers.
Margalef remained a vibrant person and professionally active practically until his death. After official retirement, he continued to attend regularly the Department of Ecology of the University of Barcelona, where he was appointed Professor Emeritus. He also continued to publish (his last scientific publication dates from 2001) and to give invited lectures in symposia and special events. He was also happy to accept invitations for delivering seminars at Spanish universities, both small and large, and with characteristic humility heartily appreciated those invitations because “these are a sign that people still remember me and appreciate my work despite my age.” It was at one of these events, held at the University of Jaén in 1998, that I met him for the last time. At 79, he still astonished us all with a lucid one-hour talk made up of a nicely interwoven, definitely unbeatable combination of abstract concepts and empirical observations. After the talk he disappeared from the campus, which caused great concern among the organizers of the seminar cycle. But the “old” guest Professor had left us behind, to explore at his own leisurely pace the beautiful old quarters of a city dating back to Roman times and the Middle Ages. In retrospect, I like to interpret that solo foray into the labyrinthine streets of a city where he was a stranger, as a metaphor of survival into old age of the childlike curiosity that initially sparked young Margalef’s adventurous entry into ecological science and subsequently guided his whole career.


I thank Carlos M. Duarte, Xavier Ferrer, and Carlos Montes for assistance in locating biographical sources, X. Ferrer for supplying Margalef’s photographs, and Cala Castellanos for suggestions.

Selected publications of Ramón Margalef
A full bibliography may be found in:

   Margalef, R. 1957. La teoría de la información en ecología. [Translated into English and published in 1958 in General Systems 3:36–71.] Memorias de la Real Academia de Ciencias y Artes de Barcelona 32:373–449.
   Margalef, R. 1962. Comunidades naturales. Instituto de Biología Marina de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, USA.
   Margalef, R. 1962. On certain unifying principles in ecology. American Naturalist 97:357–374.
   Margalef, R. 1968. Perspectives in ecological theory. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
   Margalef, R. 1974. Ecología. Editorial Omega, Barcelona, Spain.
   Margalef, R. 1980. La biosfera: entre la termodinámica y el juego. Editorial Omega, Barcelona, Spain.
   Margalef, R. 1983. Limnología. Editorial Omega, Barcelona, Spain.
   Margalef, R. 1991. Teoría de los sistemas ecológicos. Publicacions de la Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
   Margalef, R. 1992. Planeta azul, planeta verde. Biblioteca Scientific American, Barcelona, Spain.
   Margalef, R. 1997. Our biosphere. Ecology Institute, Oldendorf/Luhe, Germany.

Carlos M. Herrera
Estación Biológica de Doñana,
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas,
E-41013 Sevilla, Spain




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Society Actions

Minutes of the 31 July–1 August
Governing Board Meeting

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board
31 July–1 August 2004
Portland, Oregon

The 31 July–1 August 2004 Governing Board meeting was attended by President Bill Schlesinger, Past-President Ann Bartuska, President-Elect Jerry Melillo, Members-at-Large Ed Johnson, Oswaldo Sala, and Margaret Palmer, Vice President for Science Jim Clark, Vice President for Education and Human Resources Carol Brewer, Vice President for Public Affairs Sonny Power, Secretary Jill Baron, and incoming board members Nancy Grimm (President-Elect), Gus Shaver (Vice President for Science), David Inouye (Secretary), Shahid Naeem and Dee Boersma (Members-at-Large). Vice President for Finance Norm Christensen was not present. ESA staff members present included Executive Director Katherine McCarter, Director for Public Affairs Nadine Lymn, Director of Finance Elizabeth Biggs, Director for Science Cliff Duke, Director for Education Jason Taylor, Managing Editor for Ecology and Ecological Applications David Baldwin, Editor-in-Chief for the ESA Bulletin Allen Solomon, Editor-in-Chief for Frontiers Sue Silver, and Associate Managing Editor David Gooding.


A. Adopt Agenda

1) The agenda was adopted

B. Ratification of Votes

1) Peer Review Statement
A voice vote approved the statement, with one abstention from Past-President Bartuska.

C. Adopt minutes from May 2004 GB meeting

Minutes unanimously approved, and thanks to David Inouye for serving as Secretary for the May meeting.


A. Report of the President

President Schlesinger reported he has had an easy job since May thanks to HQ staff.

B. Report of the Executive Director

1) Update: Portland will be the largest meeting ever. Abstracts will be available on CD only in future. Executive Director McCarter will be in Australia through August; Lymn will be Acting Executive Director. Several ESA staff are leaving, including Lori Hidinger and Maggie Smith. Applications for Smith’s replacement are arriving.

2) Science

   a) Science Director Duke reported Karen Dalles, from the National Parks Foundation, accepted the ESA offer to become Science Program Manager, replacing Lori Hidinger.
   b) Phase 1 of the Visions Report is complete; four posters are to be presented at the meeting.
   c) A report from the NOAA-sponsored National Harmful Algal Bloom workshop (March 2004) will be published in fall 2004. ESA organized and ran this workshop, but the report will not be an Ecological Society of America publication. ESA will get an acknowledgment.
   d) Issues in Ecology No. 12 is available. Member-at-Large Sala suggested the 12 issues now available be bundled for sale. Executive Director McCarter and Managing Editor Baldwin will report back at the October GB meeting.
   e) There will be a multisociety summit in September on general data-sharing issues with a goal of deriving a consensus statement with 11 other societies. Canada, EU, BES, Chile will participate, among others. Past President Bartuska strongly suggests the summit organizers become aware of and involve the Federal Committee on Environment and Natural Resources subtask on data management. Similarly, the summit should include and acknowledge efforts by NCEAS and the ESA Publications Committee.
   f) ESA has been approached to develop an advisory body for the Marine Mammal Commission. ESA will work to broaden the community participating in the workshops sponsored by MMC, and MMC will provide full-time funding for a staffer.

3) Public Affairs

   a) Local media are giving continuous coverage to the ESA Annual Meeting, including the Oregonian newspaper and Oregon Public Broadcasting.
   b) Amy Carrel, staff member with the House Subcommittee on Environment and Science, will be the guest of ESA at the Annual Meeting. Her specific interests include climate change and ecological restoration of the Great Lakes.

4) Publications

   a) Submissions to the journals are way up (10% increase in 2003, almost 20% increase in submissions in 2004 to date). The success is possibly related to the reduced turnaround time to publication, the on-line submission capability, and calls for shorter papers. Managing Editor Baldwin suggests this could provoke future GB action to consider increasing page numbers or staff. Ecological Archives increasingly publishes tables and appendices that help authors reduce page length.
   b) The LBA supplement is published in Ecological Applications. NASA ordered 1000 reprints, as well as paying for production costs.
   c) Membership marketing: Plan to stuff a flyer for membership in the front of supplemental issues.
   d) Copies of supplements (especially the LBA studies and the one on marine reserves) should be sent to members of the Federation of the Americas. Future supplements should routinely be forwarded to Federation members.

5) Education

   a) TIEE Volume 2 is now available.
   b) The SEEDS program is strong, and has received funding for 2 more years from Mellon Foundation with the expectation of one additional 2-year grant in the future. The program supports field trips, postgrad experiences, fellowships, and SEEDS Chapters. Enrollment is increasing yearly. A suggestion was made to better publicize SEEDS activities with press releases, and also to better integrate SEEDS activities with the rest of ESA.

6) Administration

   a) ESA has more than 8000 members. An E-version of the ESA membership database will be added, allowing members to make their own updates and corrections, in 2004.
   b) The Millennium Fund is bringing in about $25,000–30,000 each year, but not increasing greatly in numbers of supporters or dollar amount. The GB allocates about $18,000–20,000 yearly to various projects deemed important to the Society.

7) Frontiers

   a) A bundled set of the Ethical Issues articles in book form is now available.
   b) An Education series for college level will replace Ethical Issues.


A. Visions Priorities Updates

   1) Rapid Response Teams (RRTs)

A list of possible teams and team members was distributed and commented upon. The teams themselves should be organized creatively so that potential users will be able to readily find pertinent topics. Keywords, grand challenges, and a cross-referenced index were all suggested as ways to advertise the appropriate topics. Issues of biotech, GMOs, nanotechnology, ecosystem services, environmental credit trading are currently topics of interest; that kind of list needs to be cross-referenced with the teams. It was suggested that no RRT member serve on more than one team; ESA should take advantage of having 8000 members. Team members should be drawn from more than just academia, and could serve a fixed term, or be called on some number of times before rotating off. Team members will get Leopold-like training and other opportunities to reward their effort. The Public Affairs Office will need to advertise to policy makers that a one-phone-call request for information to ESA gets a quick response. ESA will use RRTs in a proactive mode as well as reacting to requests. Future plans may include linking the RRTs with other societies whose topics overlap.

   2) International efforts

A meeting on the Ecology and Globalization will be held in Merida, Mexico, 9–12 January 2006, for 300–500 participants. Suggestions for financial sponsors include OAS, corporations with interest in globalization, TNC, Conservation International, USDA. Note that the 2005 Montreal meeting is also international.

   3) Frontiers international expansion

Submissions from international scientists come primarily from talking with authors at conferences. Requests for manuscripts should be solicited from the Chinese Ecological Society, Sino-Eco Society, and the new Mexico Chapter.

   4) Other

   a) The Federation of the Americas welcomes Bolivia as a new member. There will be a Federation activity in Montreal in 2005. ESA will try to raise funds to bring Federation members together in Montreal. Vice President Power will appoint Member-at-large Sala to become Chairman of the International Affairs committee in order to continue to promote the Federation.
   b) Public Information Campaign: Communicate basic principles of ecology, elevate the status of ecological issues that affect people’s daily lives, bring the concept of ecosystem services into public understanding, emphasize how environment affects human health. How to be most effective? A business plan from HQ is necessary to figure out how to make this happen. SeaWeb was introduced as an example and a marketing resource. President-elect Melillo suggested a four-pronged approach:

   1) Start the cycle by articulating a goal for the ad campaign.

A goal for the campaign was articulated as Desired Future Conditions. What do we want the public to do differently 20 years from now? What needs to be done now so that people will demand certain activities and behaviors from their peers, corporations, government? Where are there opportunities for environment to perform services Society now pays for? How can we capitalize on the way people like the idea of clean, healthy environment by teaching them enough basic ecology that they know how to weigh trade-offs and then act on them?

   2) Hold a meeting of like-minded people (experienced ad groups or advocacy groups) to get a message honed. NGOs involved with Visions may want to help.
   3) Identify a small group of communications firms to work with. These will be invited to each present a prospectus for the major Public Information Campaign.
   4) The successful communication firm helps ESA draft a fundraising plan.

B. Report of the Vice President for Finance (presented by Biggs and McCarter)

   1) Fourth quarter unaudited finances show subscriptions bounced back after the problem with Rowecom. There is a budget surplus of ~$116,000, which is within 2% of estimated budget for the year. Staff and the GB are commended for being fiscally wise and conservative. The ESA budget has been positive for the past 9 years. The reserve fund, however, is only 5% of operating expenses, and GB may want to increase this proportion.
   2) Investment update. Did not occur owing to Christensen’s absence.

C. FY 2004–2005 ESA budget

   1) The budget was presented, and a motion to approve the budget for presentation to the Council was seconded. The motion was unanimously approved.
   2) Committee funds: There was a motion that the committee funds be allocated for meetings of Public Affairs, EHR, and Science/SB committees. The remaining $5600 should be kept available for unanticipated meetings at the discretion of President and Executive Director, but the GB should be told how the money is spent. Approved by GB.
   3) Long-Range Planning Grants Review Committee. A motion was made, seconded, and unanimously approved that the Secretary, Members-at-Large, and Vice Presidents without conflicts of interest make up the review committee.
   4) Discussion of Council Budget presentation: occurred.

D. Nominations for the 2005 GB Ballot

Past President Bartuska presented the following slate of candidates who have been contacted and agreed to serve:

   President: Alan Covich, Bill Murdoch
   VP-Public Affairs: Rich Pouyat, Paul Ringold
   VP-Finance: Bill Parton, Tom Swetnam
   Member-at-Large: Dennis Ojima, Peter Groffman
   Board of Professional Certification: Rebecca Sharitz, Kevin Erwin, Geoffrey Henebry, Bill Michener.

The slate was moved, seconded, and unanimously approved.

Bartuska noted the difficulty in getting international scientists and women to agree to serve. There was discussion that future boards might include corporate members, NGOs, and an agreement to hold a discussion with the Nominating Committee as to what kind of expertise is needed on the board. A motion was made, seconded, and approved to: (a) alter the statement of nominees to include a candidate statement along with a brief biography, describing why they are interested in serving ESA; and (b) have entire statement not to exceed 400 words.

E. Yearly public policy priorities

The suggested list of Forest Management, Endangered Species Act, Marine Issues, and Invasive Species was moved, seconded, and approved by the GB. Other topics brought up included water issues and climate change. GB will revisit the list of priorities in January.

F. Women and Minorities in Ecology (WAMIE) Report

A draft report will be finalized for the fall GB meeting. Preliminary results show there has been a change in ESA leadership to include more women, but ethnic membership still lags. Other activities suggested in the first 1994 WAMIE report are now routine: childcare and facilities for disabled at ESA meetings, more women in leadership (but not symposia sponsorship), SEEDS. The EHR committee will update profiles of ecologists. A suggestion was made that Corporate Award winners be tapped for expertise and advice. Tangentially related to this topic, the GB suggested future student breakfast bagels meetings be free of charge.

H. Annual Meeting Leadership Appointments

The nominations of Kerry Woods to be program chair for 2007 and Lou Gross for 2008 were moved, seconded, unanimously accepted. The nomination of Gretchen Meyer as local host for Milwaukee was moved, seconded and unanimously approved.

I. Update on Portland Annual Meeting from Tom Swetnam

The largest meeting ever has 2722 abstracts, up 975 from 2003. There were 60 proposals for symposia, and section chairs were involved in symposia review. In addition there are showcase sessions, 36 organized oral sessions (OOS), 142 contributed paper sessions. The OOS may have boosted attendance, since these are 300 invited, mid-level speakers who might not otherwise have come. Special sessions are scheduled. The 950 contributed posters marks another record. There is a record number of exhibits, a Jobmart, abstract kiosks. As in previous years, ~49–50% of meeting participants are attending their first meeting. With a new program chair each year it is essential to have an assistant. David Grow, who will continue to work for Paul Ringold for next year, has been terrific, and has offered good judgment and stability for the past two years. GB may need to budget for an assistant in future years to ensure the same type of continuity. Ellen Cardwell has done a phenomenal job building relationships with AV specialists, travel operators, etc., in order to build continuity, lower costs. There was a suggestion the 100th Annual Meeting be held in Washington. (This is now the 89th Annual Meeting.)

J. Meeting with E-I-C Don Strong

Strong has transformed Ecology and addressed issues related to overly long papers, overloaded editors, editor retention, and declining submissions over the past 3 years. Some papers now come out in less than a year. Papers are clear, concise, exciting. Monographs are still truly complex, special, accompanied by digital material. There is a formal process for reconsideration of rejection. Editors now number ~100 who agree to review only as much as they want to, ranging from 2 to 20 papers per year. There are three Associate E-I-Cs. Unlike in the past, Ecology now publishes deep-time papers, paleo-ecology, global oceanic marine ecology, statistical ecology, mathematical ecology, and fosters gender and geographical diversity among editors.

Future directions include shorter publications and shorter time to publish in the future in order to keep up with some of the fastest publications. Since there are a fixed number of pages, other options include electronic Monographs and Ecology. A proposed model for Ecology journals could be three publications: Ecology Reports, Ecological Monographs, Ecology (which becomes very slim). Recall the Brown report made this same suggestion years ago. There is a need to build in better communication between E-I-C and GB, maybe through review committee. Need for continued appreciation, awareness of challenges, discussion of direction.

A fiscal consideration is that the products need to look like something a library will pay for, so as not to lose the revenue. But we need to keep current with how people now read manuscripts. Strong analogy here to outdated General Motors technology when confronted with Hondas and hybrids. Geophysical Research Letters—quick concept papers that “mark the territory” followed up by longer papers. The process of reviewing Ecology Letters is similar to Science/Nature in that everything is fast. If we had a journal that was short, fast, and all ecology, the content would be appealing to ecologists. Make Ecology Reports like Science. Frontiers could become the AMBIO analog. President Schlesinger suggests the topic of what the ESA journals look like be revisited in future meetings.

L. Certification—Emeritus Status Proposal

The GB moved and seconded a motion to adopt a recommendation from the Board of Professional Certification to allow senior certified ecologists to move into an emeritus status. The motion was unanimously declined.

M. Meeting with E-I-C Allen Solomon

There is a need to make sure the Bulletin stays in the loop of information for members, and in particular, the E-I-C of the Bulletin must be kept informed of Society affairs. The records of the Society are kept in the Bulletin. Electronic archives of old Bulletin papers are still very popular. The GB greatly appreciates the 12 years of editorial service provided by Solomon, and welcomes Ed Johnson as the new E-I-C in 2005.

N. Meeting with E-I-C Sue Silver

The journal provides cross-disciplinary reading for ecologists and educational tools. Frontiers does not yet have the circulation that attracts advertising to meet advertising targets, but a new marketing manager has been hired. ESA’s marketing consultant, Barbara Myers, is making lists of potential advertisers and potential institutional subscribers (such as libraries). In order to achieve financial solvency, Frontiers will need to become self-sufficient. The GB will want to address the content within the next couple of years. Is there a mechanism after two years of issues to review and see how effective the journal is, including an external evaluation and comprehensive readership survey? (There were 330 respondents from the first survey.) The GB suggests the Publication Committee examine Frontiers in the context of the other ESA publications. Institutional subscriptions will be vital to making the journal viable.

O. Meeting with E-I-C Dave Schimel

Citations of Ecological Applications are high, submissions are high, feedback is excellent. First-rate publications on actual applications are coming in. Future Introductions and Abstracts of new papers will explicitly address the usefulness of the research.

President-Elect Melillo asks that the editors, the GB, and the Publications Committee update and develop very concise mission statements for all journals.


A. The Council on Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP) is asking for names to replace retiring NSF DEB Director Mary Clutter

ESA GB is to discuss the nature of its response on Friday — do we submit names or do we describe the kind of person we think appropriate? Once we decide we will respond directly to NSF.

B. Dates for the Fall GB meeting: 25–26 October for fall meeting, 24 October for New Board Member orientation.

Respectfully submitted,
Jill Baron, Secretary

Minutes of the ESA Council
1 August 2004
Portland, Oregon

The Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America Council convened at 2:00 pm on 1 August, in Portland OR. Council members present included:

David Baldwin, ESA Managing Editor; Jill Baron, Secretary; Ann Bartuska, Past President; Elizabeth Biggs, ESA Finance Director; Dee Boersma, Member-at-Large elect; Carol Brewer, VP Education and Human Resources; Judie Bronstein, Awards Committee Chair; Jacoby Carter, International Affairs Section Chair; Margaret Carreiro, Urban Ecosystem Ecology Chair; Norm Christensen, VP for Finance; Steve Chaplin, Meetings Committee Chair; Jim Clark, VP for Science; Beverly Collins, Vegetation Section Chair; Rodolfo Dirzo, Mexican Chapter Chair; Laurie Drinkwater, Agroecology Section Chair; Cliff Duke, ESA Science Director; Kevin Erwin, Board of Professional Certification Chair; David Gooding, Associate Managing Editor; Nancy Grimm, incoming President-elect; David Inouye, Secretary-elect; Rebecca Irwin, Plant Population Ecology Section Chair; Ed Johnson, Member-at-Large; Jeff Lake, Student Section Chair; Harbin Li, Asian Ecology Section Chair; Jim Lukin, Southeast Chapter Chair-elect; Nadine Lymn, ESA Public Affairs Director; Katherine McCarter, ESA Executive Director; Jerry Melillo, President-elect; Shaheed Naeem, Member-at-Large elect; Charlie Nilon, Education Section Past-Chair; Margaret Palmer, Member-at-large; Sonny Power, VP for Public Affairs; Jim Reichman, Publications Committee Chair; Oswaldo Sala, Member-at-Large; David Schimel, E-I-C Ecological Applications; Bill Schlesinger, President; Paul Schmalzer, Southeast Chapter Chair; Gus Shaver, VP-elect for Science; Bryan Shuman, Paleoecology Section Chair; Sue Silver, E-I-C of Frontiers in Ecology and Environment; Allen Solomon, E-I-C, Bulletin of the ESA; Jason Taylor, ESA Education Director; Julie Whitbeck, Soil Ecology Section Chair


President Schlesinger talked about the Visions Report and the activities sponsored by ESA over the past year.


President-elect Melillo introduced the idea of a major Public Information Campaign and led a discussion with Council on their ideas and suggestions. Melillo raised the question of what infrastructure is needed to conduct such a campaign. Suggestions include:
   1) The Public Affairs Office is the logical office to take the lead in helping members and chapters become involved in the campaign.
   2) Nonacademic practitioners are ideal members to include in such an effort. Need to figure out ways to include them.
   3) State, federal, and regional governments are important to contact. How does one identify regional issues? Maybe need a clearing house for who is doing what?
   4) Regional Governors’ Associations are good centers for information on issues.
   5) A regional pilot study is a good idea before moving to national coverage.
   6) Fact sheets are a useful way of disseminating objective information.
   7) ESA publications present a valuable database of peer-reviewed literature that can be used as an information base for speaking as an honest broker of information. It would be useful to have a database with key words to retrieve documentation on particular issues.
   8) The Bulletin is a good venue for communication on progress made on this topic.
   9) The regional climate change reports put together by ESA and UCS might serve as a model for presenting issues.


The FY 2004–2005 ESA budget was presented. It was moved, seconded, and unanimously approved to accept the budget.


The new Canada Chapter was moved, seconded, and unanimously voted into existence.


    1) The Education Section reported they are conducting a survey of ESA members to update the women and minority in ecology report. The purpose of this survey is to follow up on the 1992 survey and try to get back into a 10-year cycle to see membership trends.
   2) The Public Affairs Section sponsored a staff member of the House Science Committee to attend the ESA Annual Meeting.
   3) The Professional Board of Certification is developing a mobile display about professional certification that will promote ethics and describe the reasons for professional certification. The display will be taken to many professional society meetings, in addition to being displayed at ESA meetings.


President Schlesinger thanked Past-President Bartuska, Vice President for Science Clark, Secretary Baron, Members-at-Large Sala and Johnson, for their contributions to the Governing Board.

Respectfully submitted,
Jill Baron, Secretary

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board
6 August 2004
Portland, Oregon

Members Present: Jerry Melillo (President), Bill Schlesinger (Past-President), Nancy Grimm (President-Elect), Gus Shaver (Vice President for Science), Norm Christensen (Vice President for Finance), Carol Brewer (Vice President for Education and Human Resources), David Inouye (Secretary), Shahid Naeem (Member at Large).

Staff Present: Katherine McCarter (Executive Director), Cliff Duke (Director of Science), Elizabeth Biggs (Director of Finance), Sue Silver (Editor), Jason Taylor (Director of Education), Nadine Lymn (Director of Public Affairs), David Baldwin (Managing Editor).

8:40 am. Discussion of the SEEDS program, and how successful the Diversity in Ecology lunch was, with testimonials from the SEEDS students about how valuable the program was for them.


A. The GB unanimously adopted the proposed agenda.


Report of meeting between Nancy Grimm and Jerry Mellilo about tasks for the coming year.

   1) Publications (for October meeting): Get mission statements for each journal to define the uniqueness of each. Board members are asked to review the Brown report and Frontiers business plan that will be distributed before the October Board meeting.
   2) A review of core activities ongoing in each of the following major programs:
      a) Science—Fall 2004
      b) Finance/Fundraising (development officer)—Spring 2005
      c) Publication policies writ large (e.g., digital publications, open access)—Summer 2005
      d) Public policy—Fall 2005
      e) Education—Fall 2006
   3) Rapid response teams
      a) Suggestions have been made for other categories. Invitations to participate on teams will go out beginning in September. Public Affairs Committee and Public Affairs staff will refine the list of names.
   4) Public information campaign. Six goals were identified at the meeting held Sunday, 1 August 2004:
      a) Goals statement—develop some measures of success for the October meeting.
      b) Meet with other organizations; set up some meetings before the spring Board meeting for a subset of the Board.
      c) Identify communication specialists and solicit plans/bids
      d) Select one
      e) Develop a fund-raising campaign
      f) Start the campaign

At the October meeting: Take up the idea of an advisory committee and what we would want them to do.
   5) Establish a Business Council as a sounding board for the public information campaign and for help and advice on fund raising
      a) The Corporate award winners might be a good group to start with. A goal might be to have them contribute financially as well as with advice. Maybe have a reception each year for the Council at the Annual Meeting.
   6) INTECOL planning
      a) Nothing new to report at this time; planning for the joint meeting is ongoing. Any profits (or deficit) from the meeting will be split according to the number of people who register from each Society (only one can be designated on the registration form). Other ecological societies will be encouraged to submit symposium proposals and to participate in the meeting.
   7) International connections
      a) The committee for the Mexico meeting had a long meeting, and plans are progressing. “Ecology in the context of globalization” is a possible meeting theme, with four subthemes being considered.


Evan Notman was associated with Senator Harkin’s staff on the Senate Agriculture Committee. Issues have included the Healthy Forests initiative, tax incentives for wind power, peer review. Evan is moving on to another policy fellowship.


We should try to map what we are now doing (SEEDS, support for NEON, etc.) to the advertised goals of the Visions statement. Jerry will work with Nadine, Cliff, and Jason on a list for an editorial/letter for Frontiers (the special issue on Visions).


   1) The Board discussed making a response to NSF from ESA about the Associate Director’s position. They agreed not send in a list of names, but a list of characteristics that we would like to see in an appointee. Individual ESA members could then send in suggestions of particular people. Nancy Grimm agreed to write an initial draft, to be run by Jerry and Bill for submission later this month.
   2) The awards committee seeks Board approval to stop rotating every year among the six categories for the Corporate Award, because they don’t always get nominations for that year’s category. They also would like to institute a pre-application process for the nominations for Honorary Member and the Odum Education Award. The committee suspects that the reason for the small number of nominations for these awards now is because of the onerous nomination procedure. Motion: The Board approves these two suggestions from the Awards Committee. Seconded, approved unanimously. The new procedure will be announced in the October Bulletin.


1) NEON; ESA needs to play an important role; some past-Presidents are on the committee.
2) Leveraging of the SEEDS program.
3) Expanding solicitation of donations to the Millenium Fund.

Carol Brewer did well soliciting at the Education Committee meeting. Board members are encouraged to do more to contact potential donors; ideas for recognizing donors and facilitating donations were discussed.


A report from Ellen Cardwell: 4,077 people registered. About 164 were staff, VIP, or exhibitors (152 guests). General consensus is that the meeting has been a big success. Logistics worked well, the facility worked well.


Respectfully submitted,
David Inouye


2004 Edward S. Deevey Award

Edward S. Deevey, a founder of modern paleoecology, was a dedicated student advisor who mentored many investigators active in the field today. To honor his memory and encourage high-quality research by graduate students, the Paleoecology Section presents an award to the student or recent graduate making the best oral or poster presentation in paleoecology at the ESA Annual Meeting. Jason McLachlan, a recent Ph.D recipient from the Biology Department at Duke University, won the 2004 Deevey Award for his talk titled “The importance of small populations in the postglacial dynamics of eastern forests.” Dr. McLachlan’s presentation, which he conducted with coauthors James S. Clark and Paul S. Manos, used patterns of genetic variation in modern tree populations and fossil pollen data to reconstruct patterns of postglacial migration in eastern North America.

Both data sources provided important information about past range dynamics, but results suggested that previous estimates of rapid migration based on pollen data alone may be unreliable.

The presentation synthesized results recently published in Forest Ecology and Management and currently in review in Ecology. The judges’ committee was particularly impressed with his innovative methodology and the significance of his work to future paleoecological research. Dr. McLachlan has a B.A. in Geography from Columbia University and an M.S. in Forest Ecology from the University of Washington. This fall, he is starting a postdoctoral appointment at the Harvard Forest, where he will continue to integrate fossil pollen data with molecular markers and statistical models to understand the historical population dynamics of forests. Philip Higuera received honorable mention for his presentation titled “When does a charcoal peak represent a fire? Insights from a simple statistical model.” Mr. Higuera is a graduate student in the College of Forest Resources at the University of Washington. Coauthors Daniel G. Gavin and Matthew E. Peters assisted Mr. Higuera with this research. The Paleoecology Section thanks students who competed for this year’s Deevey Award and encourages others to participate in the 2005 competition, to be held at the Annual Meeting in Montréal, Canada. The Section also appreciates the efforts of the 2004 Deevey Award Selection Committee: Jason Lynch (Chair), Lisa Carlson, Allen Solomon, Bob Booth, Don Falk, and Bryan Shuman.

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Photo Gallery

The importance of conspecific cues for territory establishment


Photographs by F. Sergio, V. Penteriani and C. Scandolara
(all rights reserved, used by permission)

click on a photo below for a larger image

Territory quality is a multifaceted concept, incorporating various components ultimately related to fitness potential, such as predation risk and availability of essential resources like food, suitable foraging habitats, and breeding sites. Gathering information on all such components may be a difficult task, especially for inexperienced individuals choosing a territory for the first time. The wrong choice may have severe consequences, including death. Evidence is increasing that individuals may employ comprehensive indirect cues to assess habitat and territory quality, including risk of predation.

We examined the “decision rules” employed by a medium-sized opportunistic raptor, the Black Kite (Milvus migrans), to establish territories. Kites were studied for 12 years in various study plots scattered through the Alps.

There, the diet is dominated by fish and Black Kites mainly breed in loose colonies on cliffs facing large lakes, their optimal habitat for foraging.

Such habitat is also favored by Eagle Owls (Bubo bubo), which may prey on kite adults and nestlings, especially when the two species nest within one to two kilometers of each other.

We found that Black Kites employed a mixture of direct and indirect cues to establish new territories. Independently of phylopatry and coloniality, new territories were typically near to already occupied ones that had higher than average breeding performance in the previous year, implying that the owners of the new territory watched their conspecifics in previous years to collect information on which to base their future decisions. Such exploitation of public information affected nest spacing and population trend. On one hand, as colonies grew, the distribution of nests within them became more clumped, while on the other hand, higher colony and population-level productivity in one year were followed by higher recruitment of new breeders in the following year. Finally, the establishment of new territories near conspecifics was not a peaceful process. There was much fighting between the new neighbors and a breeding cost for the previous residents, suggesting that conspecific cuing may be a form of information parasitism, at least in our study system.

Look for the article by F. Sergio and V. Penteriani, “Public information and territory establishment in a loosely colonial raptor,” to be published in Ecology Volume 86, February 2005.

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Grazing effects

photograph by F. Louault


Sheep grazing on one of the experimental plots at Theix (France) in September 2001.
Photo © F. Louault, used by permission, all rights reserved.
lick on photo for a larger image.


Enhancement of soil nitrogen (N) cycling by grazing has been observed in many grassland ecosystems. However, whether grazing affects the activity only of the key microbial functional groups driving soil N dynamics, or also affects the size (cell number) and/or composition of these groups remains largely unknown. We studied the enzyme activity, size, and composition of five soil microbial communities (total microbial and total bacterial communities, and three functional groups driving N dynamics: nitrifiers, denitrifiers, and free N2 fixers) in grassland sites experiencing contrasting sheep grazing regimes (one light grazing [LG] site and one intensive grazing [IG] site) at two topographical locations. Greater enzyme activities, particularly for nitrification, were observed in IG than in LG sites at both topographical locations. The numbers of heterotrophs, nitrifiers, and denitrifiers were higher in IG than LG sites at both topographical locations. Phospholipid and nucleic acid analyses showed that the composition of all the communities, except nitrate reducers, differed between IG and LG sites at both locations. For each community, changes in activity were correlated to changes in the occurrence of a few individual PLFAs (phospholipid fatty acids) or DNA fragments. Our results thus indicate that grazing enhances the activity of soil microbial communities, but also concurrently induces changes in the size and composition/structure of these communities on the sites studied.

Look for the article by A. K. Patra et al., “Effects of grazing on microbal functional, groups involved in soil N dynamics,” in the February 2005 issue of Ecological Monographs 75(1).

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The problem with the messages of plant–herbivore interactions in ecology textbooks

Plant–herbivore interaction is one of two parts of the first trophic transfer of energy and nutrients between organisms in ecosystems (the other part being the dead plant–detritivore path). Despite its importance in understanding life on Earth, students in general seem to have limited knowledge of what we have learned about plant–herbivore interaction (Stamp 2004). That can translate into the public not having adequate background to evaluate government policy, for instance, relative to effects of global warming on agriculture and forestry, genetic modification of crops, insect pest and weed control, range management, or zoonotic diseases reflecting human disturbance of plant–herbivore systems (e.g., Lyme disease).

The purpose of this review of ecology textbooks was to see how the community of plant–herbivore researchers is doing in terms of getting our messages across to the authors of ecology textbooks, and therefore, by implication, to students and, in turn, the college-educated public. About 10 years ago, a survey of seven current ecology texts revealed that there was relatively little coverage of plant–herbivore interactions, which led to my trying to organize what the key messages might be (Stamp 1996). Using those messages of plant–herbivore interactions as a basis, I developed a list of what I thought were the current key messages, concepts, terms, and case studies, and then broadened that somewhat as I began reviewing ecology textbooks. This time I surveyed ecology textbooks published from the 1960s through 2003, for a total of 54 texts, including multiple editions. I was somewhat generous in giving texts credit for including the messages. That is, if there was strong inference, even though not an explicit statement, then I gave the text credit for it. So I chose to err in favor of the authors. This means that while some students would probably have gotten the message, no doubt others did not. Overall, this review indicated not only that we need to improve the presentation of plant–herbivore interactions in ecology textbooks, but also the presentation of ecological concepts in general.

Historical perspective

Given its era, each text had information, presentation, and features to recommend it. In the 1970s, there was an average of 0.4% of the text devoted to plant–herbivore interactions and plant–herbivore population dynamics, and another 0.2% on plant defense. The emphasis was on “predator–prey” interactions, especially conspicuous patterns of consumption of and damage to plants. In the 1980s, there was an average of 0.6% on plant–herbivore interactions and dynamics, with another 0.6% on plant defense. The descriptions tended toward the “arms-race” view of plant–herbivore interactions. In the 1990s, there was an average of 0.7% on plant–herbivore interactions and dynamics, with another 0.5% on plant defense, but the messages tended to be diluted by the emphasis on specific examples. In the 2000s, there was an average of 0.7% on plant–herbivore interactions and dynamics, with another 0.8% on plant defense, but the messages still weren’t coming across as clearly as needed.

Messages in recent ecology textbooks

Below are some key messages of plant–herbivore interactions and how they are (or are not) presented in ecology textbooks published in the last 10 years.

Defensive chemicals are widespread among plant species (rather than the impression that this or that species has a particular chemical or morphological defense). This message was present in 67% of the texts, but more importantly, not in 33% of the texts! Related to this idea, only 22% of the current texts mentioned the role of fruit chemistry (in terms of change in defense, color, and nutrients) as fruits ripen, which affects herbivory and frugivory (i.e., fruit eating that facilitates seed dispersal). Yet that is key to understanding how the mutualism of frugivory evolves from herbivory of seeds (Stiles 1980, 1984).

Individual plants or species have an array of defenses (rather than one or a few chemicals, or a morphological defense such as thorns). Of the current texts, 74% had that message, but 26% did not! This is important because such misunderstanding makes it difficult for people to appreciate how we humans have had to work with plant defenses—how, in agricultural crops, we have modified them either deliberately or inadvertently, which in turn has consequences for pest control.

Plants have dynamic defense against herbivores, for example, induction of defenses. In the current texts, 59% had this message, but 41% did not! Also, only 19% said anything about plants having the ability to respond to specific pathogens. This is significant because people tend to think that plants are at the mercy of herbivores and pathogens (Stamp 2004).

The environment (or resource availability) affects plant defenses. Only 30% of the current texts had this message, although usually not this explicitly, and 70% did not carry the message! If students don’t have an appreciation for environmental effects on plant defense, how can they have a sophisticated understanding of what we can and cannot expect of future agriculture, forestry, horticulture, and pest control?

There is geographic variation in the interactions within a plant–herbivore system. For example, the geographic pattern of cyanide defense in bird’s-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) correlates to herbivore pressure, which correlates to climate effects on herbivore populations (Jones 1973, Jones et al. 1978). Only 30% had this message of geographic variation.

Plant diversity and feeding specialization by herbivore species reflect their intimate evolutionary history.
Only 30% had this message, and it was almost always a diffuse or “buried” message. Related to this, while most texts dealt with the evolution of ecosystems, usually in limited terms of pollen samples from sediment since the last glaciation and/or plate tectonics, there was little to nothing in between the temporal scales of thousands of years and hundreds of millions of years, to indicate evolutionary changes in plant species and in the corresponding herbivore communities. The closest any texts came to this idea dealt with the evolution of grasslands, but none described the concept effectively.

Plant–herbivore interactions can have long-term, complex ecosystem-level consequences (e.g., Naiman and Rogers 1997). A few texts touched on this, but usually it was a diffuse message at best. For instance, none wove together sets of studies that now give us considerable insight into the complexity of such interactions and the numerous important feedback processes in any one system. There are many excellent examples that could be used, such as the prairie dog–bison–antelope studies, the Serengeti ungulates and their predators, beavers as ecosystem modifiers, the desert rodent–ant–plant studies, the gypsy moth–deer tick–oak story and the tree–moose–wolf studies on Isle Royale. In general, these kinds of stories were either absent from the texts or presented sparsely. More sets of studies on particular systems would better illustrate the messages of plant–herbivore interactions than the many short examples used now. Furthermore, the larger stories could be used to illustrate or tie in other ecological concepts (e.g., energy flow, nutrient cycling, population dynamics, competition, mutualisms, succession). But we cannot expect textbook authors to pore through research and review articles to assemble the “stories.” It would be very helpful if those writing summary reviews of such studies, in addition, posted an “educational” summary on a web site. In lieu of that, a brief synopsis of a “starter set” of these stories and key references is available at: ‹http://ecomisconceptions.binghamton.edu/index.htm


In terms of presentation of plant defense theory, 50% of the ecology textbooks published in the last 10 years mentioned some of the plant defense ideas. When there was any significant space allocated to plant defense, “apparency” and categorizing plants as having “qualitative” vs. “quantitative” defenses, as outlined by Feeny (1976), was often presented. But the other plant defense hypotheses (e.g., carbon:nutrient balance of Bryant et al. [1983], growth rate hypothesis of Coley et al. [1985], growth-differentiation balance hypothesis as applied to plant–herbivore interactions by Herms and Mattson [1992]) were seldom presented. For some time now, it has been clear that plant defense is much more complicated than the “apparency/qualitative–quantitative” idea (Stamp 2003a). Its continued presence in textbooks may reflect that this idea allows for a “simple” explanation that fits with people’s perceptions of plants and their ecology. However, now it has become a misconception that is perpetuated by textbooks. From an historical perspective, it makes sense to discuss the hypothesis, but only if it is evaluated and subsequent hypotheses are presented. The hypothesis development in the area of plant defense is a particularly nice example of how science works (Stamp 2003a), but such a perspective seldom occurs in the ecology texts.
Another topic that in several instances came across as “misinformation” in these ecology texts was the effect of grazing or browsing on plants, in particular whether such damage can have a positive effect or not. Some texts presented somewhat of a summary of the data, whereas others presented it as a controversy. Several texts presented one example species (Ipomopsis aggregata) where herbivory can have a positive effect. Few attempted to frame the issue scientifically. For instance, the results of tests were not evaluated relative to the scale of observation (e.g., short-term vs. long-term, aboveground or total biomass) (Milchunas and Lauenroth 1993), nor was there discussion of how in ecological studies the systems chosen for study and the tests designed are never a perfect fit to the abstract hypothesis (Stamp 2003b). In almost all cases, due to the presentation, a student would end up being confused about the controversy and what we know and don’t know about the effect of herbivory on plants, and that is worrisome since the controversy can influence range management policy and decisions. Range or grassland management is an extremely important issue worldwide since humans are now using almost all grassland for, either farming or livestock, and a significant portion of grassland has been overgrazed.

How to engage students’ minds when text space is limited

For ecology texts published in the years 2000–2003, the average number of text pages was about 500, with about 8 pages devoted to plant–herbivore interactions. The plant–herbivore pages typically had about 1.5 pages of illustrations and 4,400 words. Given that authors are pressed to cover all of ecology (including current global issues), it is probably unrealistic to expect more coverage than that. The question then is how to use the limited space effectively to convey the key messages. Due to the problems of zoochauvinsim and “plant blindness” (Hershey 2002), authors of ecology textbooks probably feel that it is a challenge to interest students in plants and herbivores, especially insects. So it is not simply a matter of presenting concepts, messages and examples concisely; first, students’ minds have to be engaged in the material (Dreyfus et al. 1990).

One way to engage students about plant–herbivore interactions is to convey how knowledge (or lack thereof) about plant–herbivore interactions affects agriculture. For example, only 4% of the recent texts mentioned that domesticated plants are more vulnerable to pests for various reasons, including that we humans, in domesticating plants over the last 10,000 years, have selected for traits that result in plants being less well defended (Johns 1996, Schoonhoven et al. 1998). Another example to engage students is with the idea of biological control of pests. While 85% of these texts mentioned biocontrol of pests, they did not convey the role of plant chemistry, and therefore the intricacy of successful biocontrol (control of the target without disruption of the rest of the food web through use of specialists that handle plant chemistry). Parasitoids are an important part of the story, but parasitoids were usually defined somewhere else in the text, with no mention of the relative number of species, importance of parasitoids, or parasitoids’ use of plant and host odors. This lack of attention to parasitoids and, in general, outdated presentation of biocontrol was surprising. It is estimated that there are 5–6 parasitoid species per insect herbivore (Price 1994). Plants, insect herbivores, and parasitoids make up ~75% of the macrospecies on Earth. The importance of host plant cues to parasitoids in finding and recognizing hosts is now clear (e.g., air around plants may contain 50+ plant chemicals, profile changes with damage, and insect herbivores and parasitoids respond to these; Schoonhoven et al. 1998). Study of these plant–insect herbivore–parasitoid interactions indicates how parasitoid guilds can be used to control pests (Mills 1994). But instead of this level of sophisticated ecology, the textbooks continue to focus mainly on a few old but successful, biocontrol cases (e.g., lady beetles and scale on citrus in California, cactus and cactus-eating moth in Australia). One result of this is that overall the textbooks give the impression that mammalian top predators, such as wolves and lynx, are the key to any control of herbivores. Certainly students would not understand the role of insect predators and parasitoids in natural and managed ecosystems from these texts.

Given that authors have limited space to present information and ideas, one approach is to use the power of story, because stories engage students’ emotion and imagination. Research in cognition shows that “Storytelling is not something we just happen to do. It is something we virtually have to do if we want to remember anything at all.” (Wilson 2002:10). A few stories that are presented in detail, tied to other ecological concepts and framed clearly as examples that illustrate common themes, would be more effective than short examples for each concept.

For example, here is a story that is based on many studies (and so also illustrates how our understanding of plant–herbivore interactions develops). Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) has been around for at least the last 55 million years and is found worldwide except in Antarctica (Alonso-Amelot 1997). Bracken fern is one of the most common plants, with coverage increasing due to human disturbance of the landscape (Rasmussen et al. 2003). It has a long history of value to humans, with the fiddleheads used for food; leaves used for livestock bedding, roof thatch and fuel; rhizomes used for flour, tanning, yellow dye, and medicine; and the ash used for making soap and glass (Rook 2002). However, it also is poisonous to livestock (e.g., hematuria, tumors, and liver and kidney degradation), and the toxins (in particular ptaquiloside, which is a carcinogenic sesquiterpene) pass into cow’s milk (Alonso-Amelot 1997). In bracken fern areas, farmers using untreated milk (e.g., in Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Wales) have a high incidence of gastric carcinoma. Bracken fern is considered a weed by farmers, and it is resistant to many herbicides and tolerant of physical damage (Fowler 1993). In areas dominated by bracken fern, fuel-load may be quite high due to buildup of the highly flammable dead fern litter. Specialist insect herbivores may provide the control needed in areas where the fern is invasive. Of further interest to students is the folklore about bracken fern. The myths are that the smoke from burning ferns will cause rain, and the spores, if gathered on St. John’s Eve, can make a person invisible (Rook 2002).

Research has shown that bracken fern has a complex and large array of plant defenses and that levels of particular defenses change over the growing season, with some increasing and others decreasing (Jones 1983). Bracken fern produces leaf nectaries that attract foraging ants; cyanogenic glycosides that transform to hydrogen cyanide with leaf damage; phytosterols similar to insect molting hormone; and flavonols, tannins, and terpenes implicated in deterring feeding or reducing growth of insect herbivores. In addition to the toxic effect of some of these substances on vertebrate herbivores, silicate levels probably also limit herbivory, and decline in thiaminase over the growing season reduces utilization of B vitamins in herbivores eating the plants. Studies of insect herbivore guilds on this fern show what plant parts are used by different herbivores and when, but also by comparison, that different assemblages of insects and guilds utilize this fern in different parts of the world (Lawton et al. 1993). One message is that, as well defended as bracken fern is, it still has a large number and variety of insects feeding on it, mainly via specialization relative to host plant chemistry, morphology, and phenology. An array of dynamic defenses with different effects, different guilds of herbivores using different plant parts, geographic variation in these patterns, and the complex nature of human–bracken interactions are all messages with generality for plant–herbivore interactions.

General conclusions

In sum, the key messages of plant–herbivore interactions are not presented well in most recent ecology texts. But it is impractical to expect greater coverage. The key messages of plant–herbivore interactions are tied to fundamental ecological concepts (e.g., energy flow, nutrient cycling, population dynamics, trophic interactions). Therefore, it is imperative to present the messages in a way that both engages students and explicitly addresses the integration of concepts.

Although it was not my intention to evaluate the presentation of other research areas in these ecology texts, it was apparent that the sophistication of our current understanding about ecology is not apparent in these textbooks. For instance, even though it can be explained clearly (Sinclair 2003), students would not see the ties among population regulation, keystone processes, ecosystem dynamics, and life history traits. Ideally we want college (and even high school) students to understand the issues of ecology with a level of sophistication such that the explanations presented, for example in Odum’s (1992) “great ideas in ecology,” and Sinclair’s (2003) conceptual mapping across populations, ecosystems, and life history traits, make sense to them, and they can recall at least the key detail to support these ideas. But the power of story was not used well in these textbooks; the consequence is that students are inundated with terms and detail to such an extent that they cannot tie things together well, fail to grasp our level of understanding of the complexities, and easily miss the big picture. Ecology textbooks play an important part in students’ conceptual development, but the textbooks need to be designed with that bigger picture in mind.


I thank Mike Armstrong and Tracy Curtis for comments on the manuscript and Ellen Simms and Rick Lindroth for the opportunity to discuss some of these ideas at the 2004 Gordon Conference on Plant–Herbivore Interactions. This work was supported in part by National Science Foundation grant DUE-0226897.

Literature cited

   Alonso-Amelot, M. E. 1997. The link between bracken fern and stomach cancer: milk. Nutrition 13:694–696.
   Bryant, J. P., F. S. Chapin, III, and D. R. Klein. 1983. Carbon/nutrient balance of boreal plants in relation to vertebrate herbivory. Oikos 40:357–368.
   Coley, P. D., J. P. Bryant, and F. S. Chapin, III. 1985. Resource availability and plant antiherbivore defense. Science 230:895–899.
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   Fowler, S. V. 1993. The potential for control of bracken in the UK using introduced herbivorous insects. Pesticide Science 37:393–397
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   Johns, T. 1996. The origins of human diet and medicine: chemical ecology. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona, USA.
   Jones, C. G. 1983. Phytochemical variation, colonization, and insect communities: the case of bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum). Pages 513–558 in R. F. Denno and M. McClure, editors. Variable plants and herbivores in natural and managed systems. Academic Press, New York, New York, USA.
   Jones, D. A. 1973. Coevolution and cyanogenesis. Pages 213–242 in V. H. Heywood, editor. Taxonomy and ecology. Academic Press, London, UK.
   Jones, D. A., R. J. Keymer, and W. M. Ellis. 1978. Cyanogenesis in plant and animal feeding. Pages 21–24 in J. B. Harborne, editor. Academic Press, London, UK.
   Lawton, J. H., T. M. Lewinsohn, and S. G. Compton. 1993. Patterns of diversity for insect herbivores on bracken. Pages 178–184 in R. E. Ricklefs and D. Schluter, editors. Species diversity in ecological communities. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
   Milchunas, D. G., and W. K. Lauenroth. 1993. Quantitative effects of grazing on vegetation and soils over a global range of environments. Ecological Monographs 63:327–366.
   Mills, N. J. 1994. The structure and complexity of parasitoid communities in relation to biological control. Pages 397–417 in B. A. Hawkins and W. Sheehan, editors. Parasitoid community ecology. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
   Naiman, R. J., and K. H. Rogers. 1997. Large animals and system-level characteristics in river corridors. BioScience 47:521–529.
   Odum, E. P. 1992. Great ideas in ecology for the 1990s. BioScience 42:542–545.
   Price, P. W. 1994. Evolution of parasitoid communities. Pages 472–491 in B. A. Hawkins and W. Sheehan, editors. Parasitoid community ecology. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
   Rasmussen, L. H., S. Kroghsbo, J. C. Frisvad, and H. C. B. Hansen. 2003. Occurrence of the carcinogenic bracken constituent ptaquiloside in fronds, topsoils and organic soil layers in Denmark. Chemosphere 51:117–127.
   Rook, E .J. S. 2002. Pteridium aquilinum: Bracken fern. ‹http://www.rook.org/earl/bwca/nature/ferns/pteridiumaqui.html
   Schoonhoven, L. M., T. Jermy, and J. J. A. van Loon. 1998. Insect–plant biology: from physiology to evolution. Chapman and Hall, London, UK.
   Sinclair, A. R. E. 2003. Mammal population regulation, keystone processes and ecosystem dynamics. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B 358:1729–1740.
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N. Stamp
Department of Biological Sciences
Binghamton University–SUNY
Binghamton, NY 13902-6000
E-mail: [email protected]

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A History of the Ecological Sciences, Part 15: The Precocious Origins of Human and Animal Demography and Statistics in the 1600s

In antiquity there had been a slight interest in human demography and a more definite interest in animal demography, but no continuous tradition of investigation developed (Egerton 1968, 1975, 2001a, b). During the 1600s interest in human demography arose, and that revived interest in animal demography. The first theoretical problem came from the Old Testament and concerned the longevity and consequent population growth of the Biblical patriarchs (Egerton 1966). Genesis 5 claims that the early descendants of Adam lived over 500 years, and later, according to Genesis 6, God reduced human age to 120 years, and still later to about 70 years (Psalm 90:10). There was some wonderment about why the ages had first been so long and later reduced, but the question that provoked calculations was the rate at which the earth had been populated by the descendants of Adam and Eve, and then later by the descendants of Noah.

A French Jesuit theologian, Denis Petau (1583–1652), discussed this puzzle in his widely reprinted work, Opus de doctrina temporum (1627). The Assyrian civilization supposedly began only about 153 years after the Flood of Noah, and yet they had a large and populous empire shortly thereafter, and they encountered other populous nations in war. Apparently some of Petau’s predecessors had not had his confidence in human reproductive capacity, for they had resorted to the postulations that early people began procreating at age 13 or younger, and that twin or triplet births were frequent. While rejecting these assumptions, his own arbitrary assumptions were that one or two lines of Noah’s descendants would be all males and that another line would produce enough females to provide them with mates. He also postulated that procreation began at age 17 and that each man would have eight sons by age 24. Since he also assumed there would be no mortality before age 24, he increased the number of children every generation by a multiple of 8. His computation of the number of children born every 23 years after the Flood (but beginning in the eighth year after it) for 285 years totaled 623,612,358,728. His calculation for year 215 is incorrect, which throws off the subsequent calculations, but the correct figures would not have altered his conclusion that the potential for human population growth could have rapidly filled the earth if there was no mortality before age 24, and if everyone had children (Petau 1757:Book .9, Chapter 14, Volume 2, p.18, Egerton 1967:46).

Petau’s discussion impressed Sir Thomas Browne (1605–1682), whom we previously met in Parts 13 and 14 (Egerton 2004a, b; see also Robbins 2004). In his Pseudodoxia Epidemica (1646) he attempted to refute the “vulgar opinion” that “the earth was slenderly peopled before the floud” (Brown 1964:Book 6, Chapter 6). His postulations were not identical with Petau’s, but he nevertheless followed Petau’s methodology, and it is unclear exactly what his final figure represents (Egerton 1967:47). Nevertheless, he brought together human and animal demography and drew new conclusions. His preoccupation with the longevity of the patriarchs led him to introduce age as a factor in the balance of nature (Egerton 1966), and age was also one of the two factors controlling the size of populations, the other being numbers of offspring (Browne 1964:II, 428):

… there are two maine causes of numerosity in any kind or species, that is, a frequent and multiparous way of breeding, whereby they fill the world with others, though they exist not long themselves; or a long duration and subsistence, whereby they doe not only replinish the world with a new annumeration of others, but also maintaine the former account in themselves. From the first cause we may observe examples in creatures oviparous, as birds and fishes; in vermiparous, as Flies, Locusts, and Gnats; in animals also viviparous, as Swine and Conies; of the first there is the great example in the heard of Swine in Galilee, although it were an uncleane beast, and forbidden unto the Jews. Of the other a very remarkable one in Atheneus, in [his account of] the Isle Astipalea, one of the Cyclades now called Spampalia, wherein from two [conies] that were imported, the number so encreased, that the Inhabitants were constrained to have recourse unto the Oracle of Delphos, for an invention to destroy them.

Others there are which make good the paucity of their breed with the length and duration of their days, whereof there want not examples in animals uniparous: First in bisulous or cloven hooft, as Camels, and Beeves, whereof there is above a million annually slain in England . . . .

In this passage Brown introduced into the English language the terms multiparous, uniparous, oviparous, vermiparous, and viviparous. He emphasized that a slow rate of reproduction did not deter increase in population when individuals of a species are long lived, with a long period of fertility. He compared in this respect the two digitated animals that are uniparous, humans and elephants. The latter carries the embryo for two years, but it also lives 100 years (according to Aristotle). Browne accepted both the balance of nature (long-lived species have few offspring; short-lived species have many) and the possibility of animal plagues, but he did not pursue the question of when the balance breaks down and there is such a plague. If asked, he might have mentioned that the conies lacked predators on Isle Astipalea.

    Fig. 1. Part of a panorama of London before and after the Great Fire of 1666. Wenceslaus Hollar. A catastrophe of this magnitude was not part of the statistical regularity Graunt found for London.

Speculations about populating the world, whether by animals or humans, were not enough to found a new discipline of study. In 1662 a successful London haberdasher, John Graunt (1620–1674), who also held several city offices, published Natural and Political Observations Mentioned in a following Index, and Made upon the Bills of Mortality: with Reference to the Government, Religion, Trade, Growth, Ayre, Diseases, and the several Changes of the said City. This first statistical treatise, which went through five editions by 1676 (fifth edition reprinted in Hull 1899:II, 314–435) demonstrated the usefulness of demographic statistics for government, medicine, and other purposes, and he aroused the interest of scholars and government officials throughout Europe (Glass 1964, Egerton 1972, Lewin 2004). London published weekly its number of deaths and their probable causes (a sample of these bills of mortality are reproduced in Wolf 1950:589–593). Graunt stated in his preface that he felt the bills of mortality should have a greater use than merely warning people when the plague was increasing, or satisfying idle curiosity. Besides the stimulus of Graunt’s civic spirit, it seems likely that his book was encouraged and guided by his friend, Sir William Petty (1623–1687), one of the original members of the Royal Society of London (Greenwood 1948:36–39, Egerton 1974, Barnard 2004). He explained that the London data had several defects that affected their accuracy: the frequency and geographical area covered in the reports vary through the years; there was a lack of standardized terminology to describe causes of death; and christening records only indicated numbers of births within the state religion. Yet these data could still be used to make important discoveries. One of his most important discoveries was the regularity of phenomena when there is extensive data. The numbers dying from most causes—excluding epidemic diseases, but including chronic diseases, suicides, murders, and various accidents—remained about the same from year to year. The records indicated that a few more boys were born than girls, and that the sex ratio remained about equal. He tried to deduce from the data the size of the population, distribution of ages within the population, and the differences in mortality between city and country. Although his book was eye-opening, his procedures were sometimes difficult to understand, and his degree of accuracy was not easily assessed. He calculated the population of London as follows (Graunt 1662: Chapter 11):

…the number of Child-bearing women might be about double to the Births: forasmuch as such women, and with another, have scarce more than one Childe in two years. The number of Births I found, by those years, wherein the Registries were well kept, to have been somewhat less than the Burials. The Burials in these late years at a Medium are about 13000, and consequently the Christenings not above 12000. I therefore esteemed the number of Teeming women to be 24000: then I imagined, that there might be twice as many Families, as of such women; for that there might be twice as many women Aged between 16 and 76, as between 16 and 40, or between 20 and 44; and that there were about eight Persons in a Family, one with another, viz. The Man, and his Wife, three Children, and three Servants, or Lodgers: now 8 times 48000 makes 384000.

This procedure might not inspire confidence in a modern statistician, but it was adequate at the birth of statistics. Furthermore, Graunt also attempted to estimate the population by three other methods. In addition to the weekly London bills of mortality, Graunt used christening records and statistics from the country parish of Romsey, which he compared to London statistics. When he compared the birth, marriage, and death statistics of London and Romsey, he learned that one in 50 die per year in Romsey, but in London it is one in 32. He concluded that life expectancy was greater in the country than in the city, and that the smoke of London was the factor causing shorter life spans.

Graunt may have calculated the population of England and Wales before he calculated the population of London, since the former calculation is in Chapter 7 and the latter in Chapter 11. In Chapter 7, he used the figure of 460,000 for the population of London, and by a very circuitous route he calculated the population of England and Wales as 6,440,000, which was more than a million too high (McEvedy and Jones 1978:43). If he had used his 384,000 figure for the size of London he would have come closer.

A modern ecologist listed the factors essential for adequate study of population as: “a biological unit at the level of ecological integration where it is meaningful to speak of a birth rate, a death rate, a sex ratio, and an age structure in describing the properties of the unit” (Cole 1957). This statement might have been a summary of Graunt’s endeavor, because he made very good attempts to establish figures for each of these factors and to show their relationships in the biological unit of London. Because of the importance of his book, Graunt was voted a member of the Royal Society of London, and at the meeting of 19 August 1663 he contributed two brief notes on fish populations (Birch 1756–1757:Volume I, 294):

A pond new digged at Deptford for horses and other cattle to water in the year 1658, two male and two female carps being then put in, with intention to breed; in the year 1662 the pond being tainted with fish, so that the cattle refused to drink, there were then taken out of this pond eight hundred seventy and odd carps, of about nine inches in length, some more, some less; a great number of smaller fish being left for breeders.

And in the Severne
[River] and elsewhere it hath been experimented, by fastening of small pieces of tape or silk through the gills of young salmon, that in two years they have advanced to near three foot in length.

Brief though these reports are, Graunt pointed out two simple but useful methods to study fish populations.

It seems likely that Graunt’s rather brief extrapolation from his calculations on London to calculations on the world (Graunt 1662:Chapter 11): “Adam and Eve, doubling themselves every 64 years of the 5610 years, which is the age of the World according to the Scriptures, shall produce far more People, then are now in it. Wherefore the World is not above what the Scripture makes it”— may have inspired a synthesis of human and animal demography by an unlikely source, Sir Matthew Hale (1609–1676), Lord Chief Justice of England (Burnett 1682, Cromartie 1995, 2004). His History and Analysis of the Common Law of England was highly regarded and went through six editions by 1820, but Hale also had both a deep interest in religion and an amateur’s interest in science, and those interests coalesced in The Primitive Origination of Mankind, Considered and Examined According to the Light of Nature (1677). He wanted to bolster the historical validity of the Book of Genesis with demographic evidence. After spending a lifetime in the law, he placed a high value on having as much evidence as possible to prove a point, especially when all the evidence was circumstantial. Consequently, he wrote a full synthesis of demography.

Fig. 2. Sir Matthew Hale. Burnett 1682.

Hale wanted to prove that the rate of human population growth since the Flood of Noah, supposedly about 5000 years ago, would yield the estimated contemporary world population. Graunt’s research had been too restricted to actually prove his assertion to this effect. Hale attempted to answer four questions: (1) whether mankind would gradually increase if there were no environmental checks; (2) what environmental checks existed; (3) whether these checks have prevented an increase in human numbers during historical times; and (4) whether humanity had an origin in the not-too-distant past (Hale 1677:203–204). No one doubted a positive answer to his first question, but no one before Graunt had statistical data with which to reason. Hale used figures which he thought were more conservative than were likely true. He assumed that: a couple would be fertile for 20 years, they would live 60 years, the sex ratio of their children would be approximately equal, they would have six children but only two would reach maturity, these two would marry and produce two children of their own before their own parents died. When each generation died at age 60, there had been a net increase of four. This seemed to be a simple calculation, yet it was wrong; when the average couple produces only two maturing offspring, the population usually remains stable rather than increasing. (Hale’s personal experience was as follows: he had 10 children, four of whom died in childhood; although the other six married, only two survived him; he had 18 grandchildren.) Hale then introduced figures from Aristotle concerning the age of reproduction, numbers of offspring, and longevity of commonly known animals.

Environmental checks to the increase of population had been known since antiquity. Dicaearchos, “a learned and eloquent peripatetic,” wrote a book, since lost, on the causes of such checks, and Cicero (106–43 BC) summarized Dicaearchos’ findings (1949: Book 2, Chapter 5, p. 78):

First having reckoned up all other causes of it, such as inundations, pestilences, and famines, and even sudden incursions of furious wild beasts, by which he assures us some whole nations have been devoured; and then placing on the other side, wars, seditions, and such like misfortunes, which men were the occasion of; he endeavours to show … that a great many more have been destroyed by these than by all other accidents or calamities whatsoever.

Graunt was first to give enough statistical data to provide a basis for assessment of checks on population, but since his data was for a single city over a short time period, Hale evaluated other accounts of plagues, famines, wars, internecine conflicts, floods, and conflagrations. He wanted to show that, taken together, they did not prevent population growth, thereby discrediting the ancient Greek notion that there were cycles of calamities which appear periodically and leave only a few people and animals to repopulate the world (Hale 1677:217–225). His main evidence was an impressive analysis of historical records by which he showed that the populations of both Jews and English had increased throughout their recorded history despite epidemics, famines, floods, wars, and other calamities (Hale 1677:230–238).

Moving on to animals, he pointed out that people control the population of livestock by eating them (though not true of horses) and control cats and dogs by destroying unwanted young, as men also do to noxious wolves and foxes. The same cause applied to domestic fowl and noxious birds, while other birds die from winter cold or lack of food. The kinds of animals that produce many offspring also have short lives. Fish inspired Hale to deeper thought because “their Increase seems to be much greater than of Men or Brutes …” (Hale 1677:208). Drawing upon Aristotle’s History of Animals (Book 6, Chapter 13), Thomas Browne, and other English sources, he discussed six limiting factors: (1) eggs not fertilized by males are unfruitful, and other fish also eat fish eggs, (2) people eat many fish, (3) as do predatory fish, and (4) birds of prey, (5) extreme frost kills pond fish by either freezing them or “by the exclusion of the ambient Air” and great heats and droughts also kill fish in lakes, ponds, and rivers. Hale had some skepticism about spontaneous generation, but he was unwilling to reject it completely for smaller creatures. He accepted the balance of nature as a fact and then argued that the same was not true for people (Hale 1677:209–211).

Another question Hale faced was how to account for the populations of humans and animals in America. He accepted the suggestion made by the Spanish Jesuit José de Acosta (1540–1600), who was a missionary in Peru during 1571–1584 and in Mexico during 1585–1586, before becoming rector at the Jesuit college in Salamanca, Spain and publishing Historia natural y moral de las Indias in 1590 (Beddall 2000). Acosta acknowledged that Indians might have come to America by boat, but the only plausible way he could explain how large animals reached America after the Flood of Noah was by a land bridge between Asia and America, and he suspected that people came over it also (De Acosta 1880, Book 1, Chapters 16–21, Jarcho 1959, Petit and Théodoridès 1962:219–222, Browne 1983:12,). Sir Walter Raleigh (1552?–1618) had thought that Noah’s Ark could not have accommodated representatives of all animals, but that this was unnecessary since some are of “mix’d natures” and could be “generated again by others, as the mules, the hyenas, and the like: the one begotten by asses and mares, the other by foxes and wolves …” and still others are changed by transplantation to a different climate (Raleigh 1733:Book 1, Chapter 7, p.57). Hale accepted the speculations of both Acosta and Raleigh and believed there were four ways transmutations might occur: hybridization, mutation, cultivation, and changes in soils and climates (Hale 1677:199–200).

Hale’s Primitive Origination of Mankind was praised by Graunt’s friend, Sir William Petty and mentioned by other English authors; it was also translated into German, and remained on a book list for British theology students until 1792 (Egerton 1967:81–84). However, none of that attention led to further studies, except by Petty. Petty, after Graunt’s death, undertook studies similar to Graunt’s, which Petty called “political arithmetic.” He calculated the population of London as 670,000 in 1682, and that its population had doubled in 40 years (Hull 1899:II, 460). He calculated the population of England and Wales in 1682 as 7,400,000, which was less accurate than Graunt’s estimate in 1662. Petty also projected the growth of population in London and in England and Wales from 1565 to 1842, and he speculated on the growth of the world’s population (Hull 1899:II, 463–472).

A philosopher of science commented that science arises from myth (Popper 962:3–59), and we have seen that demography arose in the 1600s inspired by the Genesis myth of Noah and his ark. However, it was elaborated by real statistical data from England and made good strides toward a new discipline. Yet despite the original work done by Graunt and Petty and the interesting synthesis written by Hale—all of which was much more substantial than anything written in antiquity on these subjects—their publications did not establish a continuous tradition of investigation. Their books were appreciated because these authors had apparently done what needed to be done, and there was no scientific context which impelled others to pursue these subjects further. For anyone to do more, there needed to be available more data on cities and/or animal populations. The collection of such data would have required more foresight than was usual in governments of the time, and the utility of such data was not apparent to governments.

Literature cited

   Barnard, T. 2004. Sir William Petty (1623–1687), natural philosopher and administrator in Ireland. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ‹oxforddnb.com›.
   Beddall, B. B. 2000. José de Acosta (ca. 1540–1600). Page 11 in W. Applelbaum, editor. Encyclopedia of the scientific revolution from Copernicus to Newton. Garland, New York, New York, USA.
   Browne, J. 1983. The secular ark: studies in the history of biogeography. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
   Browne, T. 1964. The works. G. Keynes, editor. Second edition. Four volumes. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
   Burnett, G. 1682. The life and death of Sir Matthew Hale, Kt., sometime Lord Chief Justice of His Majesties Court of Kings Bench. William Shrowsbery, London, UK.
Cicero, M.T. 1949. The offices. T. Cockham, translator. New York, New York, USA.
   Cole, L.C. 1957. Sketches of general and comparative demography in population studies: animal ecology and demography. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology 22:1–15.
   Cromartie, A. 1995. Sir Matthew Hale, 1609–76: law, religion and natural philosophy. Cambridge University Press, London, UK.
   Cromartie, A. 2004. Sir Matthew Hale (1609–1676), judge and writer. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ‹oxforddnb.com›, 10 pages.
   de Acosta, J. 1977. Historia natural y moral de las Indias. B.B. Beddall, introduction. [A facsimile of 1590 edition: Jean de Léon, Seville, Spain.] Albatros, Valencia, Spain.
   de Acosta, J. 1880. The natural and moral history of the Indies. C. R. Markham, editor; E. Grimston, translator. Two volumes. Hakluyt Society, London, UK.
   Egerton, F. N. 1966. The longevity of the patriarchs: a topic in the history of demography. Journal of the History of Ideas 27:575–584.
   Egerton, F. N. 1967. Observations and studies of animal populations before 1860: a study concluding with Darwin’s Origin of species. Dissertation. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
   Egerton, F. N. 1968. Ancient sources for animal demography. Isis 59:175–189.
   Egerton, F. N. 1972. John Graunt (1620–74), demography, statistics. Dictionary of Scientific Biography 5:506–508.
   Egerton, F. N. 1974. William Petty (1623–87), demography, economics. Dictionary of Scientific Biography 10:564–567.
   Egerton, F. N. 1975. Aristotle’s population biology. Arethusa 8:307–330.
   Egerton, F. N. 2001a. A history of the ecological sciences, part 1: Early Greek origins. ESA Bulletin 82:93–97.
   Egerton, F. N. 2001b. A history of the ecological sciences, part 2: Aristotle and Theophrastos. ESA Bulletin 82:149–152.
   Egerton, F. N. 2004a. A history of the ecological sciences, part 13: broadening science in Italy and England. ESA Bulletin 85:110–119.
   Egerton, F.N. 2004b. A history of the ecological sciences, part 14: plant growth studies during the 1600s. ESA Bulletin 85:208–213.
   Glass, D. V. 1964. John Graunt and his Natural and political observations. Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 15:63–100.
   Graunt, J. 1662. Natural and political observations mentioned in a following index, and made upon the bills of mortality. John Martin, London, UK. Reprinted 1973. Peter Laslett, introduction. Gregg International, London, U.K.
   Hale, M. 1677. The primitive origination of mankind, considered and examined according to the light of nature. William Shrowsberry, London, UK.
   Hull, C. H., editor. 1899. The economic writings of Sir William Petty together with the Observations upon the bills of mortality more probably by Captain John Graunt. 2 volumes. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, USA. Reprinted 1963. Augustus M. Kelley, New York, New York, USA.
   Jarcho, S. 1959. Origin of the American Indian as suggested by Fray Joseph de Acosta (1589). Isis 50:430–438.
   Lewin C. 2004. John Graunt (1620–1674), statistician. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ‹oxforddnb.com›.
   McEvedy, C., and R. Jones. 1975. Atlas of world population history. Penguin Books, New York, New York, USA.
   Petau, D. 1757. Opus de doctrina temporum. Two volumes. Paris, France.
   Petit, G., and J. Théodoridès. 1962. Histoire de la zoologie des origines a Linné. Hermann, Paris, France.
   Popper, K. R. 1962. Conjectures and refutations: the growth of scientific knowledge. Basic Books, New York, New York, USA.
   Raleigh, W. 1733. The history of the world. Edition 7. London, UK.
   Robbins, R. H. 2004. Sir Thomas Browne (1605–1682), physician and author. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ‹oxforddnb.com›.
   Wolf, A. 1950. A history of science, technology and philosophy in the 16th and 17th centuries. Second edition. Macmillan, New York, New York, USA.


I thank for their assistance Rev. Pasquale Barletta, Catholic Church, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, Jean-Marc Drouin, Musée Nationale d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, and Anne-Marie Drouin-Hans, Université de Bourgogne, France.

Frank N. Egerton
Department of History
University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Kenosha WI 53141
E-mail: [email protected]

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Peer Review Statement
from the Public Affairs Office

The following position statement was hand delivered to all members of the U.S. Congress this summer, and to our knowledge, is the first such statement from the scientific community on this topic.

The goal of the statement was:

1) To produce a useful tool for Members of Congress and their staff to evaluate proposed peer review regimes using criteria developed by scientists.
2) To produce a document that will be accepted and signed by the larger scientific community (medical sciences, geosciences, etc.).
3) To create a tool that scientific societies can use when offering input to policy makers on peer review regimes. Upon completion of the statement, ESA will work with other interested societies to organize a Capitol Hill briefing on peer review.

Position Statement on Scientific Peer Review

Peer review is an integral component of scientific research and publishing. It allows the scientific community to maintain quality control of research through the review of research proposals, journal manuscripts and other reports. Academic peer review, although far from perfect, is the best tool scientists have to ensure high standards for their professional work.

This idea has been translated into the policy arena through “scientific peer review” the review, by scientific experts, of in-house agency science or the body of science underlying management decisions. These types of reviews are critically important tools for policy makers. They allow experts from both inside and outside the federal government to provide technical advice and analysis, increasing public confidence in federal science, and ensuring that the best quality information is used in decision making.

However, it is critical that scientific peer review programs be carefully designed to maintain objectivity, quality, and thoroughness. While scientific peer review is an important tool for decision makers, a poorly designed process can do more harm than good. It is for this reason that we endorse the following list of important considerations for government scientific peer review of agency-produced science and the body of science underlying management decisions.

American College of Preventive Medicine

American Fisheries Society

American Institute of Biological Sciences

American Public Health Association

American Society of Agronomy

American Society of Limnology and Oceanography

Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine

Crop Science Society of America

Ecological Society of America

Estuarine Research Federation

Institute of Food Technologists

Soil Science Society of America

Society for Conservation Biology

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

• The first priority in choosing reviewers should be to engage the most competent scientists. Therefore, conflict of interest exclusions must be carefully designed to balance barring those with a direct conflict of interest and the reality of a finite pool of suitable reviewers. The key issue in selecting reviewers is whether they bring the necessary scientific knowledge and objectivity to reviewing the matter at hand.

• Scientific peer review should be insulated from politics as much as possible. Oversight of scientific peer review should be vested in scientists and science managers within the agencies. This adds assurance that the composition of panels is not being unduly influenced by politics and constitutes a representative subset of the scientists most competent to review and assess the topic. The agencies must be trusted to perform the task of constituting and overseeing fair and independent scientific peer review efforts, without interference from political entities

• Even the best scientific peer review cannot give policy makers the “right” answer. Scientific peer review can provide assurances that rigorous, conclusions logically follow from the results. However, often more than one interpretation of the data set can be made, and there may be no way to determine which interpretation is ‘best.’ Where data are limited or other uncertainties abound, scientific peer review can point these problems out, but it cannot overcome them.

• Scientific peer review must maintain programmatic flexibility. While guidelines can help to ensure that certain standards are met and maintained, an overly rigid process, particularly for scientific peer review of the body of science underlying policy decisions, will result in inefficient use of time and resources. It may be overly prescriptive to stipulate the number of reviewers, the questions they must answer, or the type of report they must produce for the broad range of agency scientific work.

• All scientific peer review must be based upon an assumption of integrity. While commonsense measures can be taken to weed out direct conflicts of interest, an implementable system can never be fully cleared of all potential conflicts of interest. Instead, fair reviews are the product of professional standards of conduct that are a fundamental component of training in scientific research. Scientific peer review must ultimately rest on the presumed integrity of the reviewers.

• Efforts to revise the process of peer review should acknowledge the differences in professional culture that often divide scientists, policy makers, and the public. The academic model of peer review calls on reviewers to be as critical as possible. This is done so that authors are able to make improvements where they can and so that the weaknesses of the work are understood and acknowledged. Thus, results from scientific peer review that highlight uncertainties, questions, and alternative explanations do not mean that the science was not well done or that its findings are invalid. Science is inherently uncertain and there will always be unanswered questions and areas where more research is needed. However, acknowledging uncertainty should not be equated with an inability to draw conclusions; managers often must act without complete certainty. Scientific peer review, properly carried out by competent peer scientists, can reassure managers, decision makers, and the public that such difficult decisions are based on research that represents the current state of our scientific understanding.

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Emerging Technologies

“Emerging Technologies” will replace Technological Tools

   This new column, to be jointly edited by David Inouye and Sam Scheiner, is aimed at highlighting new or emerging areas of technology and methodology in ecology. Topics may range from hardware to software to statistical analyses, or to technologies that are or could be used in ecology. Some of these will be bleeding-edge developments, but they can include long-standing methods from other fields that have not yet caught on in ecology. Here is your chance to share your little-known favorite method or to show off the secret geek side of your personality.
   Articles should be no longer than a few thousand words. A suggested format for such an article is: (1) a brief depiction of the concepts or ideas addressed by the technology or methodology, (2) a description of that technology or methodology, and (3) references, readings, and commercial or noncommercial sources, perhaps with a few sentences about each.
   Ideas for articles should be directed to David Inouye (301-405-6946; E-mail: [email protected]) and Sam Scheiner (703-292-7175; E-mail: [email protected]).

Improving the Presentation of Results of Logistic Regression
with R


In a recent issue of the ESA Bulletin, Smart et al. (2004) proposed an interesting new means of presenting the results of logistic regression, incorporating frequency histograms for each category of the dependent variable and an associated scale on the right-hand axis of the traditional probability plot. The new method of presentation clearly increases the information of the graph, but as they recognize, the manual production of these figures is time consuming. They suggest that software manufacturers should incorporate this type of combination graph in future updates of statistical packages.

In this note I show that we do not have to wait for software updates because we already have an easy means to produce and improve this kind of graph. I also provide some R functions to produce some variants of the combination graph.

An easy R approach

R is a free, open-source environment for statistical computing and graphics (R Development Core Team 2003). Its potential use for ecologists has only been described briefly (Elner 2001, Kangas 2004). Some of the developers of R were also innovators in statistical graphics (e.g., Chambers et al. 1983), so it is not surprising that R has strong capabilities to implement any kind of graphics. But, like the standard statistics packages, R does not have (or at least, I did not find it in the extensive help documentation) a combination graph for logistic regression. However, it has facilities to produce scatterplots and to produce histograms. The difference from other statistics packages (apart from the fact that R is not a “package” but a system or language) is that we can easily access and manipulate the elements of the scatterplots and the histograms and can combine them in a single graph. R also provides the user with a set of functions (e.g., plot, points, lines, axis, polygon, etc.) to modify built-in graphics or to build them from scratch.

In the case of logistic regression the data would usually have two variables: the dependent variable (e.g., coded 0 and 1) and the observed data for the predictor variable (independent variable). The process to build a combination graph in R could be the following:

1) Set the draw area with function plot.
2) Use function hist to obtain the boundaries and the counts (i.e., the “heights”) of the bins of histograms of the independent variable.
3) Scale the counts to adjust the height of the histograms to the desired height among the 0– 1 scale of the scatterplot. As one of the histograms will be drawn in the top of the graph, subtract from 1 their scaled counts.
4) Use repeatedly the function polygon with the scaled counts and boundaries data to draw the bins of each histogram.
5) Use the function axis and the scaled counts to draw the right-hand frequency axis.
6) Fit a binomial glm model to the data and add the predicted logistic curve to the graph.

These steps produce the graph of Fig.1, using hypothetical data that describe the probability of occurrence of a tree along an altitudinal gradient.

Fig.1. Fitted logistic regression curve and histograms of both categories of dependent variable.

Some improvements

Although we know now how to produce the combination graph, it is worth remembering that histograms are not the best method for visual description of univariate data. Ellison (1993) gives some reasons to prefer presentations other than histograms. For example, the number of bins in a histogram is something arbitrary (in the above example it was the default of function hist). Summary statistics cannot be computed from the data illustrated in the histogram, and because of the arbitrariness of the bins, the distribution of data is to some degree distorted or exaggerated. Also, histograms hide the raw data, and although we can present a frequency scale, with the reduced graphics of scientific papers it is almost impossible to ascertain the exact number of counts in each bin.

A possible solution to this problem could be to annotate the number of counts in each bin, although it would not solve the problem of the arbitrary bins. From a biological point of view it would sometimes be desirable to summarize the counts in intervals of ecological interest. In R we can both select between a set of algorithms to construct the histogram, and specify the exact sequence of intervals (even of different amplitude). Fig. 2 shows the histograms built for a sequence of intervals of 20 m of altitude.

Fig. 2. Fitted logistic regression curve and histograms with bins every 20 m and counts in each bin.

Fig. 3. Fitted logistic Gaussian regression curve with dit plots and box plots of dependent variable categories.

Ellison (1993) suggests the box-and-whisker plot (also called box plot) as an alternative to histograms. Box plots summarize efficiently the information of the data (median, quartiles, ranges, and outliers) and can even present confidence intervals (notched box plots) so that we can compare the distribution of both dependent variable categories. In R, box plots (notched or not) can easily be added to graphs with function boxplot. Fig. 3 shows the possible use of box plots in a combination graph for logistic regression. Another alternative proposed by Ellison is the dit plot. In dit plots each observation is represented by a point placed along the horizontal scale at the exact location of its value. If there are several observations with the same value, they are stacked up (or down) the y axis.

In R we can combine dit plots with logistic regression curves following the next steps:

1) Get the unique values with function unique.
2) Get the number of repeated observations for each value with functions unique and length. Add (or subtract in the case of the upper dit plot) a sequential increment to the y value of each repeated observation.
3) Represent each observation with function points.
4) Fit a binomial glm model to the data and add the predicted logistic curve to the graph.

With appropriate dit plots we can present the raw data in full; it seems a good alternative (with or without box plots) to histograms in the combined graphs.

It could be even easier than that

Function plot.logi.hist, (Appendix A) is an R function (actually a set of functions) for the naive R user that can be used to produce all the combination graphs mentioned in the text. To produce a combination graph you need only have a working R environment (download it from your nearest mirror site at cran.r-project.org), type or read in your data (you can read your data in several formats, e.g., from a csv or tab-delimited ascii file with read.table; from SAS or SPSS files with library foreign, or from Excel files with library gregmisc), and paste and use function plot.logi.hist. For example, if “tree” is the dependent variable with the presence/absence data and “altitude” the predictor variable with the observational data, typing

plot.logi.hist (altitude, tree)

will produce a combined graph with logistic curve, dit, and box plots. Other plots and combinations can be produced, adding parameters to the function. For example

plot.logi.hist (altitude, tree, type = “hist”, count.hist = TRUE)

will produce the graph with box plot, histograms, and will annotate the counts in each bin.

Graphs can be copied to the clipboard as bitmaps or metafiles or can be saved in a variety of formats, so they can easily be used for papers, presentations, etc.

Like most R functions, plot.logi.hist is a text file; it can be edited with a word processor and customized to accomplish more specific needs of the user.

Literature cited

   Chambers, J. M., W. S. Cleveland, B. Kleiner, and P. A. Tukey. 1983. Graphical methods for data analysis. Wadsworth, Belmont, California, USA.
   Ellison, A. M. 1993. Exploratory data analysis and graphic display. Pages 14–45 in S. M. Scheiner and J. Gurevitch, editors. Design and analysis of ecological experiments. Chapman and Hall, New York, New York, USA.
   Ellner, S. P. Review of R, Version 1.1.1. ESA Bulletin 82:127–128.
Kangas, M. 2004. R: a computational and graphics resource for ecologists. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 5:277.
   Smart, J., W. J. Sutherland, A. R. Watkinson, and J. A. Gill. 2004. A new means of presenting the results of logistic regression. ESA Bulletin 85:100–102.
   R Development Core Team. 2003. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. ‹http://www.R-project.org

Marcelino de la Cruz Rot
Departamento de Biologia Vegetal
E.T.S. Ingenieros Agronomos
Universidad Politecnica de Madrid
28040 Madrid Spain
E-mail: [email protected]

Appendices follow...
Back to Table of Contents

Appendix A

# Function plot.logi.hist is a set of R functions
# to plot combined graphs for logistic regression. Its
# arguments are: independ (explanatory variable), depend
# (dependent variable), logi.mod (type of fitting, 1 =
# logistic; 2 = "gaussian" logistic), type (type of
# representation, "dit" = dit plot; "hist" = histogram),
# boxp (TRUE = with box plots, FALSE = without), rug
# (TRUE = with rug plots, FALSE = without), las.h
# (orientation of axes labels (0 = vertical, 1 =
# horizontal).

plot.logi.hist <- function (independ, depend, logi.mod = 1,
type = "dit", boxp = TRUE, rug = FALSE,
las.h = 1, ...){

# get the label for the x-axis
xlabel <- paste(deparse(substitute(independ)))

# define functions:

# set the draw area if no box plots are to be drawn
logi.scater <- function (independ, depend, scater = "n",
x.lab = xlabel, las =las.h){
plot(independ, depend, cex = 1, type = scater,
ylab = "Predicted probability", xlab = x.lab,
cex.lab = 1.5, las = las)

# add rug plot if desired; you could change pch.rug
# (symbol type) or cex.rug (symbol size)
logi.rug <- function (independ, depend, pch.rug = 16,
cex.rug = 1){
points(independ, depend, pch = pch.rug ,cex = cex.rug)

# set the draw area and add box plots; you could change
# cold.box (color of the boxes)
logi.box <- function(independ, depend, col.box = "gray",
x.lab = xlabel, las = las.h){
plot(independ, depend, cex = 1, type = "n",
ylim = c(-0.1,1.1), ylab = "Predicted probability",
xlab = x.lab, cex.lab = 1.5, las = las)
indep.1 <- independ[depend == 1]
indep.0 <- independ[depend == 0]
boxplot(indep.1, horizontal = TRUE, add = TRUE,
at = 1.05, boxwex = 0.1, col = col.box, notch = T)
boxplot(indep.0, horizontal = TRUE, add = TRUE,
at = -0.05, boxwex = 0.1, col = col.box, notch = T)

# fit binomial glm and add predicted curve; you could
# change col.cur (color of the curve) or lwd.cur(width
# of the curve)
logi.curve <- function(independ, depend, mod = logi.mod,
col.cur = "red", lwd.cur = 4){
if (mod == 1) mod3 <- glm(depend ~ independ,
family = binomial)
if (mod == 2) mod3 <- glm(depend ~ independ +
I(independ^2), family = binomial)
x.new <- seq(min(independ), max(independ), len = 100)
y.new <- predict(mod3, data.frame(independ = x.new),
type = "response")
lines(x.new, y.new, lwd = lwd.cur, col = col.cur)

# add dit plot; you may want to change pch.dit (type of
# points), cex.p (size of points), and incre (space
# between points)
logi.dit <- function (independ, depend, cex.p = 1,
pch.dit = 1, incre = 0.02){

indep.0 <- independ[depend == 0]
indep.1 <- independ[depend == 1]
uni.plot.0 <- function(x) length(which(indep.0 == x))
uni.plot.1 <- function(x) length(which(indep.1 == x))

# get the number of repeated values of "independ":

cosa.0 <- apply(as.matrix(unique(indep.0)), 1, uni.plot.0)
cosa.1 <- apply(as.matrix(unique(indep.1)), 1, uni.plot.1)

# start ploting:
points(independ, depend, pch = pch.dit, cex = cex.p)

for (i in 1:max(cosa.0)){
for (j in 1:i){
points(unique(indep.0)[which(cosa.0 == i+1)],
rep(0 + incre*j, length(which(cosa.0 == i+1))),
pch = pch.dit, cex = cex.p)

for (i in 1:max(cosa.1)){
for (j in 1:i){
points(unique(indep.1)[which(cosa.1 == i+1)],
rep(1 - incre*j, length(which(cosa.1 == i+1))),
pch = pch.dit, cex = cex.p)

# add histograms and frequency axes; you may want to change
# scale.hist (factor to scale histogram height to 0-1
# interval) or col.hist (color of histogram)
logi.hist <- function(independ, depend, scale.hist = 5,
col.hist = gray(0.7), count.hist = FALSE,
intervalo = 0, las.h1 = las.h){

# get the position of bins
h.br <- hist(independ, plot = F)$br
if (intervalo > 0) h.br <- seq(from = range(h.br)[1],
to = range(h.br)[2], by = intervalo)
h.x <- hist(independ[depend == 0], breaks = h.br,
plot = F)$mid

# get counts in each bin
h.y0 <- hist(independ[depend == 0], breaks = h.br,
plot = F)$counts
h.y1 <- hist(independ[depend == 1], breaks = h.br,
plot = F)$counts

# scale the histogram bars to max desired length:
h.y0n <- h.y0/(max(c(h.y0,h.y1))* scale.hist)
h.y1n <- 1 - h.y1/(max(c(h.y0,h.y1))* scale.hist)

# draw bottom histogram:
for (i in 1:length(h.y0n)){
if (h.y0n[i] > 0)
polygon(c(rep(h.br[i], 2), rep(h.br[i+1], 2)),
c(0, rep(h.y0n[i], 2), 0), col = col.hist)

# draw top histogram:
for (i in 1:length(h.y1n)){
if (h.y1n[i] < 1)
polygon(c(rep(h.br[i], 2), rep(h.br[i+1], 2)),
c(h.y1n[i], 1, 1, h.y1n[i]), col = col.hist)

# add counts to bins if required:
if (count.hist == TRUE)
for (i in 1 : length(h.x)){
text(h.x[i], h.y1n[i], h.y1[i], cex = 1, pos = 1)
text(h.x[i], h.y0n[i], h.y0[i], cex = 1, pos = 3)

# plot the axes of histograms:
axis.hist <- function (h.y0, h.y1, scale.hist,
las = las.h1){
tope <- max(c(h.y0, h.y1))
label.down <- c(0, (ceiling(tope/10))*5,
label.up <- c((ceiling(tope/10))*10,
(ceiling(tope/10))*5, 0)
at.down <- label.down/(tope * scale.hist)
at.up <- 1 - (label.up/(tope * scale.hist))
at.hist <- c(at.down, at.up)
label.hist <- c(label.down, label.up)
axis(side = 4, at = at.hist, labels = label.hist,
las = las)
mtext("Frequency", side = 4, line = 2, cex = 1.5)
axis.hist(h.y0, h.y1, scale.hist)
axis (side = 2, las = las.h1)

# set the margins of plot area
old.mar <- par()$mar
par(mar = c(5.1,4.1,4.1,4.1))

# plot the combined graph
if (boxp == TRUE) logi.box(independ, depend)
if (boxp == FALSE) logi.scater(independ, depend)
if (type != "dit") logi.hist(independ, depend,...)
if (rug == TRUE) logi.rug (independ, depend)
logi.curve(independ, depend)
if (type == "dit") logi.dit(independ, depend)

# reset the margins to old margins
par(mar = old.mar)

# Example data, from library gravy of J. Oksanen

altitude <- c(930, 945, 955, 955, 960, 970, 990, 1000, 1000, 1005, 1010, 1010, 1015, 1015, 1020, 1020, 1020, 1030, 1030, 1030, 1030, 1030, 1035, 1045, 1050, 1050, 1050, 1060, 1065, 1065, 1065, 1070, 1070, 1075, 1080, 1080, 1080, 1085, 1090, 1090, 1090, 1090, 1095, 1100, 1100, 1100, 1100, 1100, 1110, 1110, 1110, 1110, 1120, 1120, 1120, 1120, 1120, 1120, 1120, 1125, 1130, 1130, 1130, 1130, 1130, 1130, 1135, 1135, 1140, 1140, 1140, 1140, 1140, 1140, 1140, 1140, 1150, 1150, 1160, 1160, 1160, 1160, 1165, 1170, 1170, 1170, 1175, 1180, 1180, 1180, 1180, 1180, 1185, 1190, 1190, 1190, 1195, 1200, 1200, 1205, 1210, 1210, 1215, 1215, 1215, 1220, 1220, 1220, 1220, 1220, 1220, 1225, 1230, 1230, 1235, 1240, 1240, 1250, 1250, 1250, 1250, 1250, 1250, 1255, 1255, 1255, 1255, 1260, 1260, 1260, 1265, 1265, 1270, 1270, 1270, 1270, 1275, 1275, 1275, 1275, 1275, 1275, 1280, 1285, 1285, 1290, 1290, 1290, 1300, 1300, 1300, 1310, 1310, 1310, 1330, 1350, 1355, 1360, 1365, 1365, 1365, 1365, 1370, 1370, 1370, 1370, 1380)

tree <- c(0, 1, 1, 1, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 1, 1, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 1, 1, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 0, 1, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0, 1, 1, 0, 1, 1, 1, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0, 1, 1, 1, 0, 0, 1, 0, 1, 1, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0)

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Focus on Field Stations

University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS)

Without the sign at the main entrance of the University of Michigan Biological Station UMBS), you might not suspect that this driveway leads to land that has been a research and teaching field station since 1909. And without a map, you might not have realized that during the last two miles of your drive you were already surrounded by the Station’s property. The Biological Station manages 10,000 acres (4050 ha) bounded by undeveloped shoreline, including 9 km on Douglas Lake (15.2 km2 area) and 2.5 km on Burt Lake (69.29 km2) (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1. Location of the University of Michigan Biological Station in northern Michigan. The principal land holdings (~10,000 acres [4050 ha]) of the UMBS are shown in yellow in the first inset. The campus (housing, laboratories, classrooms, laboratories, service buildings) is shown in the second inset. Sugar Island structures and land (~3,200 acres [ ~1300 ha]), about 60 miles [97 km] north) are not shown.

The holdings contain a rich diversity of natural habitats: extensive forests of pine, northern hardwoods, conifer swamps, and successional aspen stands, fields and meadows, pine plains, rivers, streams, and wetlands. Designated as a research and natural area available for use by students, faculty, and visiting researchers, public access is allowed, but off–road motorized vehicles are prohibited. Farther north, UMBS manages another 3200 acres (1300 ha) on Sugar Island in the St. Mary’s River between Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Canada. UMBS researchers also have ready access to extensive areas of surrounding public lands, the shores of Lakes Michigan and Huron within 20 miles (32 km), and Lake Superior, which is less than 2 hours away.

Fig. 2. A 1909 photograph overlooking the engineering camp before cabins were built, with Douglas Lake and Grapevine Point in the background.


Fig. 3. Looking west through the Douglas Lake campus in 1910


Fig. 4. . . . and looking west through the Douglas Lake campus in 2003.

In 1908, when Colonel and Mrs. Charles Bogardus gave the first 1441 acres (580 ha) to the University of Michigan for research and education purposes, it was a worn piece of land. With soil too sandy for successful agriculture, and stripped of saleable lumber, it was a clear-cut, burnt piece of Northern Michigan, 260 miles north of the University’s Ann Arbor campus, and 20 miles south of the Straits of Mackinaw, which divides Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas (Fig. 2).

Now numbering among North America’s oldest continuously operating field stations, UMBS held its first summer session in 1909. The campus was initially shared with the University’s Civil Engineering department for student training in surveying, and the engineers’ legacy of precisely built rows of tin–sided shacks are still used by students—the biologists contented themselves with setting up tents farther down the lake. However, as the land recovered and plants and trees reestablished themselves (Figs. 3 and 4), the property became less useful for teaching surveying methods, and in 1929 the engineers moved to Wyoming. After they left, the biologists happily moved into the empty engineers’ facilities, and have expanded them considerably in the years since.

In its 96 years of operation, UMBS has served more than 8400 students, and research based at this field station is described in >2660 publications, including 202 theses and dissertations, fulfilling the mission of the Biological Station: the integration of research and education in field biology. Fundamental work in parasitology, plant ecology, animal behavior, limnology, global change research, and atmospheric science has been carried out here. Due to a tradition of linked education and research programs, and to the presence of diverse habitats protected within its boundaries, the UMBS is designated as a Biosphere Reserve by the U.N. Man and the Biosphere Program and as an Experimental Ecological Reserve by the National Science Foundation.

Today’s station

The center of UMBS is laid out in the form of a small village on Douglas Lake’s South Fishtail Bay (Fig. 5). About 150 buildings serve the community’s needs for housing, dining, teaching, research, maintenance, and recreation. In the summer, our peak time, with nearly 300 residents, housing is provided by 70 one-room, two-bed cabins, 30 larger two- and six-room cabins, and a 14-room residence hall with 30 beds. These residences can all be used from April through October. The rest of the year, residents and visitors live in 14 winterized cabins or in the 30-bed dormitory. Our dining hall is capable of serving our maximum population in a single sitting, and is open from mid-May through early fall.
Our lecture hall has a 250-seat auditorium, a 100-seat seminar room, and a kitchenette. The LaRue Library, the northernmost shelves in the University of Michigan Library system, holds over 16,000 volumes and is one of the best among inland field stations. It is noted for its collections in limnology, ornithology, ecology, systematics, and natural history. A full-time librarian is present in the summertime.

Fig. 5. An aerial view of the UMBS central “village” on Douglas Lake’s South Fishtail Bay.

Education /outreach

Field-centered coursework is offered in a 4-week spring term (mid-May to mid-June) and an 8-week summer term (mid-June to mid-August). Classes are taught by 15–20 faculty members, most of whom also conduct research at UMBS. Enrolled students typically take a single 5-credit course in spring term and two 5-credit courses in summer term. Classes are small, with 6–18 students per course section. Every summer General Ecology and Natural History and Evolution are taught alongside other upper-level courses such as limnology, entomology, parasitology, mammalogy, behavioral ecology, ornithology, phycology, ichthyology, ethnobotany, and field botany (Fig. 6). We also teach an entry-level course, Introduction to Natural Sciences, during spring term.

Fig. 6. The 1910 plant ecology class doing plane table mapping.

The Station has close links to the University’s Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department where Director Knute Nadelhoffer is a professor. Students and researchers from other UM units, including the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and the College of Engineering, participate in UMBS programs, as do faculty and students from across the United States and around the world (In 2004, 12 of our faculty were from institutions other than the University of Michigan.) In addition to our 15–20 faculty, our field seasons usually include ~100 undergraduate students, 25 principal investigators, 50 graduate student investigators, and 40 research assistants at the Douglas Lake facility. In 2003, Station visitors came from 34 different universities, colleges, and agencies.

Fig. 7. . . . and birding with Dr. James Watson (UMBS alumnus from 1946) during his 2003 visit to give the Pettingill Lecture in Natural History, part of the UMBS summer lecture series.


Fig. 8. The Alfred H. Stockard Lakeside Laboratory is the largest building at UMBS, with 24,000 square feet (2230 m2) of floor space.

For the past 20 summers we have offered adult, noncredit mini-courses at our site. Practicing naturalists, retired biologists, students, alumni, and other interested individuals spend 5 days living at the Station. Our 2004 mini-courses featured studies of mollusks, northern Michigan flora, northern Michigan birds, American nature writing, aquatic vascular plants, art in nature, forest and landscape ecology, northern Michigan fungi, and photography in nature. Each course is taught by a faculty member who is well acquainted with the Biological Station and the northern Michigan region. Beginning last year, we initiated a children’s mini-course, “Be a Biologist: Science Adventure for Kids.”

UMBS hosts many lectures, workshops, symposia, and short visits by classes from the Ann Arbor campus or from other colleges and universities, public school groups, and community organizations. During the summer, we regularly invite to the Station speakers who give evening lectures in the auditorium or seminar room (Fig. 7). In 2004, our various symposia and research meetings, departmental retreats, local elementary, middle, and high school classes, church groups, and open houses for the surrounding community had visitor counts ranging from 50 to 150 people. Additionally, a large number of hikers, birders, snowshoers, and cross-county skiers traverse our lands. Such passive use is encouraged on all but the most sensitive research areas.


The Station’s largest building is the Alfred H. Stockard Lakeside Laboratory (Fig. 8) with 24,000 square feet (2230 m2) of floor space. This laboratory is centrally heated and ventilated and provides electricity, hot and cold water, de-ionized water, lake water, gas, compressed air, and Ethernet throughout. Special features include a computer laboratory, photo darkrooms, a stockroom, a large, enclosed boatwell connected to Douglas Lake, and an analytical chemistry facility. The chemistry facility is managed by a chemist and provides residents with access to special analytical equipment including a Bran and Luebbe autoanalyzer, a CHN analyzer, a Packard liquid scintillation counter, and a Finnigan Delta Plus XL isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS). Other equipment available for general use includes freezers and refrigerators, a lyophilizer, autoclaves, spectrophotometers, ovens, incubators, balances, centrifuges, and microscopes. The stockroom provides consumable chemicals, standard glassware, and a wide variety of field equipment and sampling apparatus (plankton nets, snowshoes, tree ladders …).

Long-term research record

The UMBS has been a center of research on organisms, habitats, and ecosystems of the Upper Great Lakes region since its founding. Data records and ongoing activities include: meteorological records (since 1912), lakewater chemistry (since 1913), parasite–host records (since the 1920s), forest succession on controlled burn plots (since 1936), forest succession (50-year and forestry) plots (since 1938), breeding bird diversity and abundances (since 1941), vegetation responses to lake level changes (since 1971), precipitation chemistry (since 1979), soil temperature recording (since 1987), small-mammal abundances (since 1989), mercury deposition (since 1992), and UV-B monitoring (since 1994). These longitudinal databases and others provide an exceptional opportunity to compare today’s organisms and ecosystems with those of past decades. Specimen collections are available to researchers and are especially extensive in birds, fishes, insects, invertebrates, algae, parasites, vascular plants, mosses, and lichens.

Fig. 9. The 50-m Ameriflux tower, with Douglas Lake in the background. This photograph was taken from the 35-m Prophet tower. Both towers are equipped with sensors for monitoring forest–atmosphere gas exchanges

When visiting investigators or research groups collect data on our permanent plots or historical aquatic sites we request they provide the resulting data for our archives. This might mean, as examples, that another year of tree diameter measurements is added to the Excel file of a permanent vegetation plot, or that another season of bird observation data is added to the long-term census plot data. All investigators, whether students or Ph.D level scientists, are required to submit their research product: a thesis, a dissertation, or a publication. All of these publications are incorporated into a bibliography database, which can then be searched by site (our Gazetteer has presently 530 named sites on our property and across northern and upper Michigan) and by other variables. In addition, the student papers bibliography (presently 3424 project publications) describes use of many of those same sites by students in the courses taught by many of the primary investigators.

Fig. 10. A view along the roof of the underground laboratory space of the UMBS Soil Biotron, a belowground laboratory that provides rare opportunities to view and study roots, fungal hyphae, soil invertebrates, and microbes in situ in the upper 1.2 m of soil.




Fig. 11. During the breeding season, the Great Lakes Piping Plover ecology and conservation team uses UMBS as a research base.

Fig. 12. Experimental streams built at the UMBS Artificial Stream Laboratory, where water can be pumped out of the East Branch of the Maple River to a concrete pad and distributed into artificial streams.

Forest carbon and nitrogen cycles

As a location to investigate atmospheric–ecosystem interactions, the UMBS is outstanding. We operate two towers (within 100 m of each other) with sensors for monitoring forest–atmosphere gas exchanges (Fig. 9). The PROPHET tower (Program for Research on Oxidants: PHotochemistry, Emissions, and Transport) is 35 m tall and was constructed in 1996 to measure above-canopy concentrations and fluxes, in order to study atmospheric, chemical, and meteorological processes linked to tropospheric ozone and oxidant formation, as well as how the atmosphere affects the forest nitrogen budget (Carroll et al. 2001). The UMBS Carbon Flux Study (part of the US DOE AMERIFLUX network) uses a 50-m eddy covariance tower, erected in 1998, to study forest–atmosphere CO2, water, and energy exchanges (Curtis et al. 2002, Schmid et al. 2003). Both towers operate year-round. The UMBS Carbon Flux Study also measures a suite of physical, ecological, and soil data to follow carbon flows into vegetation and belowground.

Soil Biotron

The UM Biological Station also has a belowground laboratory located in a mixed hardwood forest that provides rare opportunities to view and study roots, fungal hyphae, soil invertebrates, and microbes in situ in the upper 1.2 m of soil (Fig. 10). The Soil Biotron was built in 1987 with NSF support to facilitate observations and experiments in soil environments (Teeri 1992). After the building was constructed, soil from a nearby plot was excavated in thin layers and the profiles were carefully reconstructed alongside the Biotron observation windows. It differs from most lysimeter-rhizotrons in having removable windows to allow sampling or manipulation of soil biota. A total of 34 1.2 ´ 1.2 m observation windows, each with 16 0.3 ´ 0.3 m removable panes, yields a total of 544 0.9-m2 sampling areas. Nearly 500 nearby trees (bigtooth aspen, red oak, red maple, beech, red pine, and small white pine) are permanently tagged and their diameters recorded. Roots of these trees, including mycorrhizae, are visible from the windows. The Biotron has enabled studies of carbon flow to roots, root turnover, soil plant–fungal–animal dynamics, mycorrhizal nutrient dynamics, and root turnover in relation to water and nutrient patchiness.

Elevated CO2, trace gas, and other facilities

Specialized research facilities also include a greenhouse, an elevated CO2 facility (open-top chamber arrays for studying the responses of multiple trophic levels of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems to elevated atmospheric CO2), and monitoring stations for measuring precipitation chemistry (NADP), ultraviolet radiation (USDA UV-B), and mercury deposition.

Other important groups based at and using station facilities include the Piping Plover ecology and conservation team (Wemmer et al. 2001) (Fig. 11), the elevated CO2 facility team (Zak et al. 2000), the artificial stream laboratory group, the Michigan gradient plots group, and the ecosystem mappers. Global change biologists have published 51 papers from work done at the elevated CO2 facility. The Artificial Stream Lab group has produced 18 papers at the artificial stream lab facility (Fig. 12), where water can be pumped out of the East Branch of the Maple River to a concrete pad and distributed into artificial streams. Much of that work has focused on chemical communication in crayfish, insect behavior, and benthic algal growth (Adams et al. 2003). In 1987 the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Michigan Technological University began a long-term study of the effects of climate and atmospheric deposition on forest productivity and ecosystem process in the Great Lakes region. The principal objective was to evaluate the role of deposition in producing significant changes in forest ecosystems (Pregitzer et al. 1995). Since 1994 the focus has shifted somewhat to the effects of chronic nitrogen deposition and experimental nitrate additions. By 2000 this group had produced 70 publications. The ecosystem mapping group, headed by UM Professor Burton Barnes, has been working at UMBS since 1988. They have produced ecosystem and cover type maps for our Douglas Lake property (and extensive data from the plots used to make the types) that have proved extremely useful to many other researchers and students on our campus.

The future

As the University of Michigan Biological Station prepares to celebrate its centenary in 2008, we look forward to integrating our research and teaching programs more closely, and to actively involving students at all levels in field studies of organisms, ecological processes, and ecosystem–climate interactions. As we move into the 21st century and towards our second hundred years as a field station, we will increasingly rely on long-term databases and the knowledge of organisms and local ecological communities to define and inform our linked teaching and research activities. Courses are being designed that will incorporate new environmental sensing technologies, modeling tools, natural history information, and crossdisciplinary activities into our field-based curriculum. We aim to provide current and future students with skills and tools that will enable them to identify key ecological questions and to solve environmental problems associated with increased human activities, changes in ecological communities and ecosystems, and climate change.

We invite creative researchers from across the world to visit and work at our field station. We strongly encourage students, both undergraduates and graduates, to consider enrolling in our courses or applying to our research programs. Many possibilities for scholarship and fellowship aid are available to motivated students. Information on opportunities for study and research is available at our web site: ‹www.lsa.umich.edu/umbs/

Literature cited

   Adams, J. A., N. C. Tuchman, and P. A. Moore. 2003. Atmospheric CO2 enrichment alters leaf detritus: impacts on foraging decisions of crayfish (Orconectes virilis). Journal of the North American Benthological Society 22:410–422.
   Carroll, M. A., S. B. Bertman, and P. B. Shepson. 2001. Overview of the Program for Research on Oxidants: PHotochemistry, Emissions, and Transport (PROPHET) summer 1998 measurements intensive. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres 106:24275–24288.
   Curtis, P. S., P. J. Hanson, P. Bolstad, C. Barford, J. C. Randolph, H. P. Schmid, and K. B. Wilson. 2002. Biometric and eddy-covariance based estimates of annual carbon storage in five eastern North American deciduous forests. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 113:3–19.
   Pregitzer, K. S., D. R. Zak, P. S. Curtis, M. E. Kubiske, J. A. Teeri, and C. S. Vogel. 1995. Atmospheric CO2, soil-nitrogen and turnover of fine roots. New Phytologist 129:579–585.
   Schmid, H. P., H. B. Su, C. S. Vogel, and P. S. Curtis. 2003. Ecosystem–atmosphere exchange of carbon dioxide over a mixed hardwood forest in northern lower Michigan. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres 108, No. D14, 4417.
   Teeri, J. A. 1992. The soil biotron: an underground research laboratory. Pages 142–153 in R. J. Weber and D. N. Perkins, editors. Inventive minds; creativity in technology. Oxford University Press, New York, New York, USA.
   Wemmer, L. C., U. Ozesmi, and F. J. Cuthbert. 2001. A habitat-based population model for the Great Lakes population of the piping plover (Charadrius melodus). Biological Conservation 99:169–181.
   Zak, D. R., K. S. Pregitzer, P. S. Curtis, C. S. Vogel, W. E. Holmes, and J. Lussenhop. 2000. Atmospheric CO2, soil-N availability, and allocation of biomass and nitrogen by Populus tremuloides. Ecological Applications 10:34–46.

Alan J. Hogg, Jr., Graduate Student Research Assistant
Robert Vande Kopple, Resident Biologist
Knute Nadelhoffer, Director

University of Michigan Biological Station
9008 Biological Road
Pellston, MI 49769 USA

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Ecological Education: K–12

Ecological Education for
Schools K–12

Welcome to our new column, which is specifically targeted at ecological education in schools. We are starting this column for several reasons. First and foremost, ecological education at all levels is a key mission of the ESA, and while we already have some key initiatives in education, we want to provide a forum that stimulates and shares good practice in schools. Engaging young people in the wonders of ecological science in school can be life changing for them, and can often stimulate interest in further study in ecology. Talented teachers need support and a forum for disseminating activities that work, and beginning teachers need access to this material. There are also many ecological educators working with schools who are not in the school system. We envisage this column as accepting a wide and diverse range of submissions—from a diverse population—we are open to suggestions! However, we would like to encourage material which is critical, science of ecology driven, and related to Junior and Senior High School science curriculum. Because this is an electronic medium, we have huge potential; let’s use it!

We would like to include:

• ideas and lesson plans for science of ecology;
• practical activities for the classroom or field;
• resources to liven up classroom teaching or home study, e.g., downloadable movies, photos, graphs, animations;
• concept introductions for different grade levels;
• teaching evaluation of student learning;
• developments in science education and education research of interest to
• teachers;
• other web material.

It would be very useful if submissions could include web links and a few key references, as well as addressing standard criteria for good practice in teaching, i.e., it should be safe, ethically acceptable, environmentally responsible, and copyright free.

Any queries, suggestions or submissions please contact:

Susan Barker
Department of Secondary Education
350 Education South,
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G5 Canada
E-mail: [email protected]
(780) 492 5415 Fax: (780) 492 9402

Charles W. (Andy) Anderson
319A Erickson Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824 USA
E-mail: [email protected]
(517) 432-4648 Fax: (517) 432-5092

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Society Section and Chapter News

Applied Ecology Section Newsletter

The Applied Ecology section of ESA is the second largest and third oldest of the active sections within this Society. The Section was established in 1971 and has a twofold purpose: (1) to facilitate communication of the application of ecological principles to the solution of practical environmental problems, and (2) to encourage liaison with specialists in policy, administration, planning, health, agriculture, and natural resource management who use ecological principles in resolutions of their problems.

New officers

Ballots are in and our new officers for 2005–2006 are:
Co-Chairs, Deborah Ulinski Potter ‹[email protected]› and Martin A. Spetich ‹[email protected]›;
Vice Chair, Becky Kay Kerns ‹[email protected]›; and Secretary, Neal T. Butt ‹[email protected]›.

Student travel awards

The Applied Ecology Section seeks to support students in their efforts to present their work at the 90th ESA Annual Meeting in Montréal, Canada, 7–12 August 2005. The Section is now calling for nominations for scholarships, with individual awards up to $750. The deadline for receipt of applications is 15 May. Instructions and details for the application process can be found at the Applied Ecology Section web page: ‹http://www.esa.org/applied/›

Rapid response teams

The Applied Ecology Section is helping the Public Affairs Office of ESA develop Rapid Response Teams to assist in responding to environmental policy issues that have an important science component. The Section is looking for members to develop a pool of people with a number of areas of expertise who would comment on legislation, write editorials, give congressional briefings, or provide testimony before Congress. Subject areas for the rapid response teams are: biogeochemical cycling, invasive species, conservation biology, marine ecology, global change, agroecology, aquatic ecology, and forest ecology. If you are interested, or would like to nominate someone, please contact a Section officer.

Canada Chapter Newsletter

The new Canada Chapter was approved by Council at the ESA Annual Meeting in Portland in 2004. An organizational meeting was held in Portland to set an agenda for our first year, based on e-mails that were circulated. The meeting was attended by 45–50 people, with Sina Adl chairing. The Chapter is developing its web site to provide links to ecology in Canada, and to communicate with members. A symposium proposal was submitted jointly with the Biogeosciences Section for the Montreal meeting in 2005. We anticipate a larger than usual number of Canadian graduate students to attend this meeting. One or two prizes will be given for student presentations.

The Chapter will initiate a subcommittee to list important ecological issues in Canada, and to help liaise between ESA and the Canadian Federal government. We hope to have many of these issues presented on our web site. Sina Adl has agreed to continue chairing the Chapter and to initiate work on these tasks.

Sina Adl
Department of Biology
Dalhousie University
Halifax, Nova Scotia
E-mail: [email protected]

Southeastern Chapter Newsletter

Chapter officers

Chair: James Luken (2004–2006) ‹[email protected]
Vice-Chair: Joan Walker (2003–2005) ‹[email protected]
Secretary/Treasurer: Nicole Turrill Welch (2004–2006) ‹[email protected]
Web-Master: Mark Mackenzie ‹[email protected]
Chapter Home page: ‹http://www.auburn.edu/seesa/

2005 ASB Meeting

The 2005 meeting of the Association of Southeastern Biologists will be held 13–16 April 2005 in Florence, Alabama, hosted by the University of North Alabama.

SE-ESA Chapter luncheon

We will have our traditional luncheon on Friday, 15 April 2005, 12:15–1:30 pm, following the ASB Business Meeting

Elsie Quarterman-Catherine Keever Award for best student poster

This award is sponsored by our chapter and will be presented for the first time at the 2005 ASB Meeting. Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible, and the student must be the sole or senior author on a poster clearly dealing with an ecological topic and representing a completed research project. Dr. Howard Neufeld, Department of Biology, Appalachian State University, ‹[email protected]› is the chair of the award committee and is seeking volunteers to judge this year’s nominees. Please contact Dr. Neufeld if you are interested in judging these posters.

Eugene P. Odum Award for best student paper

Our chapter also sponsors this award. Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible, and the student must be the sole or senior author on a paper presentation clearly dealing with an ecological topic and representing a completed research project. Dr. Jake Weltzin, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee, ‹[email protected]› is the chair of this award committee. Volunteers are needed to judge these paper presentations; contact Dr. Weltzin if you are interested.

Membership renewal and award support

Please remember to renew your membership in the SE chapter when you renew your ESA membership. Your donations to the Eugene P. Odum Fund and the new Quarterman-Keever Fund support the student awards mentioned above.

Keeping in touch

Check the Chapter home page: ‹http://www.auburn.edu/seesa/› for updates and additional information. Join the Southeastern Chapter of ESA LISTSERVER: To join the ListServer, send a message to ‹[email protected]› with “subscribe scesa” in the body of the message. Please send news or announcements to ‹[email protected]› for distribution to the listserv, or to ‹[email protected]› for inclusion in the next quarterly newsletter.

Respectfully submitted,

Nicole Turrill Welch

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85th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists

The meeting will be held 15–19 June 2005 at Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri. In addition to contributed oral and poster presentations covering all aspects of mammalian biology, this year’s program will feature “Adaptive Evolution in Mammalian Populations,” a symposium convened by Drs. Hopi Hoekstra and Jay Storz, and “Careers in Mammalogy,” a workshop led by Drs. Deidre Parish and Greg Wilson. Special addresses will be offered by the recipients of the Joseph Grinnell (Dr. Norman A. Slade) and C. Hart Merriam (Dr. O. J. Reichman) awards, as well as by student honorees. Our capstone speaker will be announced at a later date. Also included are the usual ASM socials, ideal for professional interaction.

Nonmembers who are interested in attending the meetings and/or presenting papers should request material from the Chairman of the Local Program Committee, Dr. Tom Tomasi, Department of Biology, Southwest Missouri State University E-mail: ‹[email protected]›. For additional information, please visit the meeting web site at ‹http://www.asm.smsu.edu›. For more information about ASM, please visit our web site at ‹http://www.mammalsociety.org


90th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) and
IX INTECOL International Congress of Ecology
7-12 August 2005 • Montréal, Canada

Meeting Theme:

One of the dramatic changes in ecological research has been the recognition of an ability to conduct research at multiple scales. These multiple scales are spatial, temporal and biological. As our insights at differing scales grow, so does our capacity to link information across scales. These linkages enable us, on the one hand, to develop a richer understanding of the mechanisms that drive the ecological patterns and processes that we see, and on the other hand, to understand and demonstrate the significance of these patterns and processes. The ultimate result of these linkages will be both greater scientific understanding and greater capacity to communicate ecological results to policy communities from local to regional to global scales. This joint meeting of national and international ecological societies offers a perfect venue to present and evaluate ecological information at multiple scales.

Program Committee Co-chairs:


Paul L. Ringold
Corvallis, OR, USA


Rebecca R. Sharitz
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory
Aiken, SC, USA

Meeting in Montreal

The 2005 ESA~INTECOL scientific program sessions will be held at the Palais de Congrès de Montréal - a spacious modern convention center. A variety of lodging accommodations from full-service hotels, economy hotels, pensions and university residence housing will be available through the conference housing bureau.

Montréal is one of the world's most international and captivating locations with spacious parks, quaint historic districts, renowned cuisine, ethnic and cultural diversity, exceptional shopping and a good infrastructure of surface, air and rail transportation. Montréal and the surrounding Québec landscape combine to make this an ESA~INTECOL meeting you will definitely want to attend.

Important Dates
Accepting proposals for symposia and organized oral sessions: June 1 - September 15, 2004
Accepting proposals for workshop, evening, discussions and special sessions: September 20 - December 1, 2004
Accepting abstracts for contributed oral presentations and posters: November 15, 2004 - March, 1, 2005 2005

Meeting Registration will open early May, 2005
Deadline for Early Bird Registration: June 16, 2005

Proposal Submission
To obtain future information on program development, registration and lodging, please visit the websites of the Ecological Society of America (http://www.esa.org/) and of the International Association for Ecology (http://www.intecol.net/).


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Meeting Review

Society Summit on Data Sharing and Archiving Policies

“An Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology Societies Summit Meeting: Critical Steps Toward a Biological Data Systems Confederation,” a workshop held in Washington, D.C., 27–29 September 2004. The workshop was organized by the Ecological Society of America and sponsored by the National Science Foundation.


Ready access to data is a key concern in both basic research and problem-solving in ecology, as the scale and scope of the questions that researchers ask expand, and as global problems demand data collected from around the world. As computing speeds and data storage capacities have increased and costs have dropped, technology has become less an obstacle to ready data sharing than are the ingrained habits of the scientific community. Changing these habits requires development of technological means, cultural inducements, and training opportunities that make biological data, information, and knowledge available to all potential users, including scientists, resource managers, decision-makers, and students. Such systemic change is far more likely to be successful if scientific societies and funding agencies work together, rather than acting alone.

In order to facilitate the concerted action required, ESA hosted a 3-day workshop of participants invited from the leadership of 12 major scientific societies (including ESA) that publish ecology, evolution, and organismal biology journals. The goals of this “society summit meeting” were to (1) develop a common policy statement on data sharing and archiving, and (2) identify technological, intellectual property, economics, and training issues for discussion in potential future workshops. In addition to ESA, represented by Bill Michener (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA) and David Baldwin (ESA, Ithaca, New York, USA), the following societies participated:

American Society for Limnology and Oceanography
American Society for Microbiology
American Society of Naturalists
American Society of Plant Taxonomists
Animal Behavior Society
Botanical Society of America
Mycological Society of America
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology
Society of Systematic Biologists
Society for the Study of Evolution
Willi Hennig Society

A number of additional organizations and individuals participated to provide an international perspective, represent scientific society confederations, or offer experience on data-sharing policies. These included the American Geophysical Union (AGU), American Institute of Biological Sciences, British Ecological Society, European Society for Evolutionary Biology, Federation of Ecological Societies of the Americas, and the Canada National Research Council (NRC-Canada). Individual participants included Cliff Cunningham (Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA), William Piel (University of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA), Sam Scheiner (National Science Foundation [NSF], USA), Paul Uhlir (National Academy of Science, USA), and Ann Zimmerman (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA).

Setting the stage

In introductory remarks, Sam Scheiner described an increasing emphasis on data sharing within NSF, stressing that data access adds value to research and that NSF is strengthening its language on data sharing for grants from the Division of Environmental Biology. Describing the summit as a first step, Scheiner urged participants not to let the ideal get in the way of the good in developing a set of common policies among the societies.

Following a review of the workshop agenda by facilitator Tim Mealey (Meridian Institute, Washington, DC, USA), Judy Holoviak, AGU Director of Publications, provided an overview of AGU’s data-sharing policy, established in the early 1990’s. Holoviak described three key components of successful data sharing. First, authors need to be rewarded, not penalized (for example, by high cost or onerous procedures) for sharing data. Second, one way to address that concern is to make data citable and available in the same way as published papers. Third, shared data need to be generally accessible at a reasonable cost. Much of the research published in AGU journals is supported by agencies that have established data centers for the large volumes of data generated in such fields as geophysics and atmospheric science. As Holoviak noted, this is not the case for most of the research published by the societies represented at the summit, posing a significant challenge to widespread data sharing.

A variety of perspectives on data sharing were offered by the participants from Canada, Europe, Latin America, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. Carlos Moreno (Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile) discussed the wide range of data availability and supporting infrastructure among different countries, and among different government agencies, in Latin America, which presents both potential obstacles and support to data sharing. Jeff Goldman (American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), Washington, DC, USA) noted that there is no general consensus on data sharing among the 80 societies that are members of AIBS; indeed, the last five-year plan for AIBS does not even mention data sharing. Hazel Norman (British Ecological Society, London, UK) told attendees that while there is a general consensus in the UK about the importance of data sharing, there is no consensus on how to achieve it. Concerns include who pays, enforcement of data-sharing policies, and avoidance of duplicative requirements from journals and funding agencies. Juha Merila (European Society for Evolutionary Biology, Helsinki, Finland) echoed Norman’s comments and raised an additional question about how to address the sharing of long-term data sets before authors have completed all the papers they intend to publish on the data. Bruce Dancik of NRC-Canada described NRC’s nonmandatory data repository, which includes supplemental data for papers, similar to ESA’s Ecological Archives. Dancik noted questions regarding copyright of unpublished data, the lack of standard formats for data sets, and whether data should be peer-reviewed.

Bill Piel and Bill Michener then brought participants up to date on current technology in data sharing. Piel described his experience overseeing the TreeBASE phylogenetic database, while Michener discussed the progress made by the Science Environment for Ecological Knowledge (SEEK) project in developing tools for archiving, processing, and analyzing ecological data.

Forging a vision

These opening presentations were followed by a day and a half of intense discussions in plenary and breakout sessions. Participants agreed broadly on the importance of data sharing to science, but offered differing views on implementation. For example, a “straw man” policy statement circulated to participants included language calling for mandatory sharing of data supporting articles published in the societies’ journals. Some participants supported this idea, while others were concerned about author resistance to making data generally accessible, potential impacts of policy enforcement on the speed of the publishing process, and the lack of data centers to serve as repositories. Participants supported the development of a common set of principles, but there was limited support for a policy mandating data sharing.

Having considered the issue of enforcing vs. encouraging data sharing, participants turned to questions of implementation. For example, what sequence of steps should the community take to move toward generally accessible data? How can the scientific societies contribute to that goal? Who can and should bear the costs of storing data? How do we ensure that data are, in the words of Bill Michener, discoverable, accessible, and understandable? Can societies develop data registries (which describe but do not contain data sets) in common, and if so, what information should those registries contain?

Vision, goals, and strategies

Examining and debating these questions led the 35 participants not to a conclusion that the issue is too complex to resolve, but rather, to a shared vision, common goals, and an agreement on specific near- term strategies, as follows.

Vision statement

Our vision as members of the scientific community is to promote the advancement of science through the process of documenting, archiving, and making available the research information and supporting data of published studies.

Broad goals

A. Research information and data supporting all published studies should be archived in public data centers, which for many disciplines still need to be established.

B. The registration of data and collection of metadata connecting published papers to the archived data are needed to make these data discoverable, accessible, and understandable.

C. These enhanced archiving and data sharing activities should be conducted in a manner that does not place an undue burden on Societies or authors.


Accomplishing this vision and implementing these goals will lead to:

· Scientific discoveries resulting from new interpretation of existing data;
· Enhancing the value of articles and data sets;
· Creating synergies across disciplines that will advance science;
· Improving the basic scientific process;
· Articles being more visible to search engines, thereby increasing the likelihood that they will be read and cited; and
· Encouraging scientists to consider metadata and data access as part of publication.

Specific near-term strategies and actions for participating societies

1. Participate in a Joint Working Group that will work with other institutions to further advance the Vision Statement and begin work to accomplish the broad goals.

2. Establish as editorial policy for scientific journals the following statement:

It is the expectation of the editors and publisher of this journal that authors will make the data underlying published articles available. Any impediments to data sharing should be brought to the attention of the editors at the time of submission.

3. Begin collecting and making available common data descriptors for published articles to provide the basis for a future data registry system [as follows].

Common Data Descriptors for Journal Articles

A. Information currently available:

· Title
· Author(s), including contact information
· Complete citation
· Keywords
· Link to or identifier of article

B. New information to be supplied by author:

· Time extent of data
· Spatial extent of data (e.g., latitude and long- itude, North America, Virginia)
· Taxonomic extent of data (e.g., Kingdom Plantae, Family Roseaceae, Drosophila
· Other, discipline-specific data characteristics
· Data set location, URL, or accession number, as appropriate
· Data set access rules (e.g., data freely avail able, data available upon negotiation with
author, unavailable for specified reasons)

4. Participate in the development of metadata standards.

5. Identify and characterize intellectual property and data access and use concerns particular to that society’s scientific community.

6. Participate in proposals to garner funding to support workshops and send representatives to workshops to implement the vision statement and broad goals outlined above.


The society representatives agreed to ask their respective governing bodies to endorse this agreement, and ESA’s Governing Board became the first to do so in their meeting on 25–26 October 2004. Specifically, the Governing Board endorsed the vision and goals, and proposed a modified version of the editorial policy, as follows: “The editors and publisher of this journal expect authors to make the data underlying published articles available.” This language has been forwarded to the Publications Committee for consideration.
The Governing Board also appointed an ad hoc committee to explore future ESA efforts on data sharing and work with staff to develop a proposal to NSF to support future workshops and the Joint Working Group of scientific society representatives, the first item in the list of specific strategies described previously. These steps continue ESA on a path charted by the leaders of the Publications Committee, the Future of Long-term Ecological Data (FLED) Committee of the 1990s, and the Ecological Visions Committee in advocating and taking responsibility for wide and easy accessibility of ecological data. Further information on the society summit meeting and ESA data-sharing efforts is available from David Baldwin, Managing Editor, or Clifford Duke, Director of Science Programs.

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Call for Papers: 2005 ESA Annual Meeting

The Call for Invited and Contributed Papers and Poster Presentations is now posted on the Montreal meeting web site, ‹www.esa.org/montreal› Abstracts may be submitted until the deadline, 5:00 pm Tuesday, 1 March 2005 Eastern Standard Time. Please read the Call for Abstracts thoroughly before making your submission. In addition to the contact, title, description, and code information required on the Abstract Submission site, please note that payment information for the Cancellation/No Show Fee is also required as an integral part of your submission.

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Instructions for Contributors


DEADLINES: Contributions for publication in the Bulletin must reach the Editor’s office by the deadlines shown below to be published in a particular issue:

January (No. 1)
April (No. 2)
July (No. 3)
October (No. 4)

15 November
15 February
15 May
15 August

Please note that all material for publication in the Bulletin must be sent to the Bulletin Editor. Materials sent to any address except that of the Editor, given below, must then be forwarded to the Editor, resulting in delay in action on the manuscripts. Send all contributions, except those for Emerging Technologies, Ecology 101, Ecological education K–12, and Obituaries/Resolutions of Respect (see addresses below), to E .A. Johnson, Bulletin Editor-in-Chief, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Albert, T2N 1N4 Canada. Phone (403) 220-7635, Fax (403) 289-9311, E-mail: [email protected].

MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION: The manuscript should be submitted as a WordPerfect or Microsoft Word (for Mac or DOS) manuscript, preferably as an e-mail message attachment to [email protected]. E-mailed photographs and diagrams must be in .tiff or .eps format. Other forms of electronic copy (text embedded in e-mail messages, diskettes sent by post) or hard copy can be submitted if absolutely necessary. If formatting could be troublesome (e.g., tables, European alphabet characters, etc.), hard copy also should be sent via fax to E. A. Johnson at (403) 289-9311, or via post. Hard-copy manuscripts should be double-spaced, with ample margins. Plain formatting must be used on hard-copy and electronic manuscripts. PLAIN FORMATTING consists of a single font of a single size, left justification throughout, line spacing the same throughout, and up to three different weights of headings. Other formats will not be accepted for publication. The author should THOROUGHLY PROOF the manuscript for accuracy, paying special attention to phone and fax numbers and web site and e-mail addresses, which are frequently incorrect.

COVER PHOTOGRAPHS: The photo should illustrate ecological processes or an ecological research design. The cover of the July, 2004 issue is a good example. It helps if the colors in the photo are bright, although black and white photos are considered if they are well composed with good contrast.

If you would like to submit a digital file, submissions can be small jpegs (72 dpi) but if the image is selected for a cover the final image must be 300 dpi and at least 7 inches wide and 5 inches high. Email the file as an attachment to the Editor of the ESA Bulletin at [email protected]. Or send a single 5 x 7 or 8 x 10 photo to the Bulletin. On an accompanying photocopy, give your name, address, a photo legend up to 100 words, and, if the photo describes a paper in ESA or in another journal, the literature citation or title of the accepted manuscript. If you wish unused photos to be returned please include a self-addressed return envelope.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR AND COMMENTARIES: Please indicate if letters are intended for publication as this is not always obvious. The Bulletin publishes letters, longer commentaries, and philosophical and methodological items related to the science of Ecology. There are no page limits but authors may be asked to edit their submissions for clarity and precision. Previously published items from other sources can be republished in the Bulletin if the contributor obtains permission of the author and the copyright holder, and clearly identifies the original publication.

MEETING ANNOUNCEMENTS: Submit a brief prose description of the upcoming meeting, including title, a short paragraph on objectives and content, dates, location, registration requirements, and meeting contact person’s name, street address, and phone/fax/e-mail address. Please do not submit meeting brochures in the expectation that the Editor will write the prose description; he won’t. Compare the publication deadlines above with the meeting deadlines to be sure the announcement will appear in time.

MEETING REVIEWS: The Bulletin publishes reviews of symposia and workshops at the annual ESA meeting, as well as important and appropriate meetings that are unrelated to the annual ESA meeting. The reviewer should strive for a synthetic view of the meeting or symposium outcome, i.e., how the various presentations fit or conflict with each other and with current scientific thought on the topic. Review length is open, although about four double-spaced pages should be enough to capture the essence of most meetings.

The following advisory items are provided to help focus your review.
a) Meeting title, organizer, location, sponsoring organizations?
b) What were the meeting objectives, i.e., what scientific problems was the meeting organized to solve? Who cares (i.e., what was the relevance of this scientific problem to related ones under examination)?
c) How well did the meeting meet the objectives? Were there specific papers delivered or roundtables/discussion groups that were exemplary in reaching the objectives? You may concentrate the review on only the outstanding papers to the exclusion of all others, or give a comprehensive view of all presentations/meeting activities, or examine a selection of papers that neither describes all, nor focuses on a very few.
d) What new was discussed? What previously weak hypotheses were strengthened, confirmed or supported? Were any breakthroughs, or new or innovative hypotheses presented, that forced participants to rethink current concepts?
e) Was there anything else important that the meeting accomplished that may not have been part of its explicit objectives?
f) What subjects relevant to the meeting objectives were missing or left out? Did the scientific components of the problem that were included produce a strong slant or serious void by virtue of blind spots by the organizers, failure of invitees to appear, or similar difficulties?
g) Are there plans for a proceedings issue or meeting summary document, and if so who is editing it, who is publishing it, and when is it planned to appear (i.e., where can interested folks learn more about the meeting?)

EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES: Submissions for this section should be sent to the Section Editors in charge of the section: Dr. David Inouye, Department of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. E-mail: [email protected]; or Dr. Sam Scheiner, Div. of Environmental Biology, Natl. Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22230. E-mail: [email protected]

ECOLOGY 101: Submissions should be sent to the Section Editor in charge of this section: Dr. Harold Ornes, College of Sciences, SB 310A, Southern Utah University, Cedar City, UT 84720. E-mail: [email protected]

ECOLOGICAL EDUCATION K–12: Correspondence and discussions about submissions to this section should be sent to Susan Barker, Department of Secondary Education, 350 Education South,, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G5 Canada. E-mail: [email protected]
(780) 492 5415 Fax: (780) 492 9402
Charles W. (Andy) Anderson, 319A Erickson Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824 USA. E-mail: [email protected]
(517) 432-4648 Fax: (517) 432-5092

FOCUS ON FIELD STATIONS: Correspondence and discussions about submissions to this section should be sent to E. A. Johnson, Bulletin Editor-in-Chief, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Albert, T2N 1N4 Canada. Phone (403) 220-7635, Fax (403) 289-9311, E-mail: [email protected].

OBITUARIES AND RESOLUTIONS OF RESPECT: Details of ESA policy are published in the Bulletin, Volume 72(2):157–158, June 1991, and are abstracted below. The death of any deceased member will be acknowledged by the Bulletin in an Obituary upon submission of the information by a colleague to the Historical Records Committee. The Obituary should include a few sentences describing the person’s history (date and place of birth, professional address and title) and professional accomplishments. Longer Resolutions of Respect, up to three printed pages, will be solicited for all former ESA officers and winners of major awards, or for other ecologists on approval by the President. Solicited Resolutions of Respect will take precedence over unsolicited contributions, and either must be submitted to the Historical Records Committee (see ESA website) before publication in the Bulletin.

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