A new release of the NicheMapR package is now available at releases, which includes a correction and some additional features.
The correction is to the soil moisture algorithm. The value in Campbell’s program 11.1 for VP (saturation vapour density) is fixed at the value for 20 degrees C and this was copied into the microclimate model code. However, it should vary with temperature and this correction has now been made (using the WETAIR function internal to the microclimate model). It will affect near surface (<5 cm) soil moisture calculations in particular.
The additional features are to make the following parameters from the soil moisture model available to the user to alter: root radius, resistance per unit length of root and leaf, critical leaf water potential for stomatal closure, stability parameter for stomatal closure equation, maximum allowable mass balance error for soil moisture, maximum iterations for mass balance of soil moisture.
Also, the wavelength-specific solar radiation can now be outputted if required, with the option to undertake a more intensive calculation of the UV wavelengths if desired.
The model output now includes the snow temperature profiles in the sun and the shade (sunsnow and shadsnow) as well as plant outputs from Campbell’s Program 11.1 (transpiration rate, leaf and root water potentials in the output matrices plant and shadplant).
Finally, thanks to Rafael Schouten we now have an operational compilation for Linux (you can get this from github).
I just became aware (thanks Scott Jarvie) that there’s a recording of a talk I gave earlier this year at the Species on the Move conference introducing the NicheMapR package. You can view it here.
This week a software note came out on the microclimate model of NicheMapR, in the journal Ecography. You can find it here. The article describes the all the equations behind the calculations and also provides illustrations of how to customise the system to run with your own input data.
The first version of NicheMapR is now available from Mike’s github site, with a finalised version of the microclimate model and a partly documented but operational version of the ectotherm model (plus a few other biophysical resources).
See the Resources page for instructions on how to install it.
Roger Nisbet, Tiago Domingos and I recently published a response to Marquet et al.’s paper in BioScience last year where they called for more theory in ecology, and in particular more ‘efficient’ theories. They used Dynamic Energy Budget theory as an example of an ‘inefficient’ theory. We argue why this is an unfair and incorrect characterisation.
It is presently on the early view page of BioScience.
Samantha Walker’s paper came out on the apparent loss of the Tawny Dragon from the north of the Flinders Ranges and the possible role that contemporary climate change had in its demise.
Here is the link.
Nat Briscoe’s recent paper describes the pattern for koalas up north to be small, short-haired creatures while down south they are big fur-balls. She shows how these patterns vary between males and females and how they relate to climatic gradients in the context of Bergmann’s ideas on size and Scholanders ideas on fur depth.
You can find it here.