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BioScience tip sheet, February 2009

The February 2009 issue of BioScience includes the following peer-reviewed research articles:

Biological Resource Centers and Systems Biology.
Yufeng Wang and Timothy G. Lilburn.

The authors propose leveraging phenotypic data from the few bacteria in resource collections that are well characterized with the larger numbers of bacteria for which there exist genetic sequence data, using ideas from systems biology.

Optimal Function Explains Forest Responses to Global Change.
Roderick C. Dewar, Oskar Franklin, Anniki Mkel, Ross E. McMurtrie, and Harry T. Valentine.

Three relatively simple optimization models of forests explain a remarkable range of forest responses to altered resource availability, and may offer an improvement over more widely used numerical simulation models.

Connectivity of the American Agricultural Landscape: Assessing the National Risk of Crop Pest and Disease Spread.
Margaret L. Margosian, Karen A. Garrett, J. M. Shawn Hutchinson, and Kimberly A. With.

A graphical analysis of the connectivity of four major crops grown in the United States provides insights into how crop pests and diseases might spreadand how prevention of and response to outbreaks might be improved.

Effects of Horseshoe Crab Harvest in Delaware Bay on Red Knots: Are Harvest Restrictions Working?
Lawrence J. Niles, Jonathan Bart, Humphrey P. Sitters, Amanda D. Dey, Kathleen E. Clark, Phillip W. Atkinson, Allan J. Baker, Karen A. Bennett, Kevin S. Kalasz, Nigel A. Clark, Jacquie Clark, Simon Gillings, Albert S. Gates, Patricia M. Gonzlez, Daniel E. Hernandez, Clive D. T. Minton, R. I. Guy Morrison, Ronald R. Porter, R. Ken Ross, and C. Richard Veitch.

The authors present data indicating that the 2007 horseshoe crab harvest in Delaware Bay exceeds that of 1990, despite restrictions imposed in the interim. Moreover, it appears that there has been no recovery in populations of red knots that feed on the eggs of horseshoe crabs.

The Ecological Role of the Mammalian Mesocarnivore.
Gary W. Roemer, Matthew E. Gompper, and Blaire Van Valkenburgh

Mesocarnivores are small to midsized species that are more numerous and diverse than larger carnivores, and they often live close to humans. Their ecological roles can be altogether different from those of their larger brethren, so a fuller assessment is warranted.

Mercury Contamination in Sport Fish in the Northeastern United States: Considerations for Future Data Collection.
Jesse M. Lepak, Hannah A. Shayler, Clifford E. Kraft, and Barbara A. Knuth.

Advice on how much fish can be safely eaten, given existing levels of mercury contamination, can be improved by selection of appropriate target fish species and sizes for monitoring.


Contact: Jennifer Williams
202-628-1500 x209
American Institute of Biological Sciences

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