Environment Magazine

Influential Conservation Ecology Papers of 2016

Posted on the 15 December 2016 by Bradshaw @conservbytes

Influential conservation ecology papers of 2016As I have done for the last three years (2015, 2014, 2013), here’s another retrospective list of the top 20 influential conservation papers of 2016 as assessed by experts in F1000 Prime.

  • Estimating local biodiversity change: a critique of papers claiming no net loss of local diversityThrough their focused critique of previous meta-analytic approaches, [the authors] reaffirm that Earth’s ongoing biodiversity crisis is likely both global in extent and local in impact
  • Historical nectar assessment reveals the fall and rise of floral resources in Britain — … historical changes in nectar resources parallel the population trends of pollinators … evidence-based advice for habitat conservation and management
  • Nutrient loading alters the performance of key nutrient exchange mutualisms — … demonstrates that excessive use of fertilisers, or other nutrient inputs, might have unintended consequences in the face of global change, including increased probability of drought or outbreaks of pests or pathogens
  • Catch reconstructions reveal that global marine fisheries catches are higher than reported and declining — … points out different catch trajectories and data from those previously submitted to the FAO. The authors underline the urgent need for improved monitoring of marine activities, formulating better policies for governing the world’s marine fisheries
  • Extrapolating multi-decadal plant community changes based on medium-term experiments can be risky: evidence from high-latitude tundra — … just because an experimental system appears to approach a steady state, one must not be lured to terminate the experiment
  • Towards an ecosystem services approach that addresses social power relations — … power relationships … have, until recently, been largely ignored in ecosystem services research
  • Geomorphic controls on elevational gradients of species richness — … the geomorphological template does have a large influence upon biodiversity patterns and dynamics … could have important consequences for conservation planning in complex landscapes and to better predict species response to climate change
  • The Anthropocene is functionally and stratigraphically distinct from the HoloceneStupidity is the trademark of the Anthropocene. It is not a physical entity, but what the authors of this fine paper see in their strata is the outcome of this ‘cultural’ product
  • Negative plant-soil feedback predicts tree-species relative abundance in a tropical forest — … tropical systems may have many species with negative neighbourhood effects due to impacts of pathogens and other enemies on seedlings near conspecific adult trees
  • Ecological impacts of deer overabundance — …. over-abundant deer could eliminate the seedling layer. This is crucial to positive overstory-understory effects and could destabilise the hemlock and maple mosaics common in eastern North America that were maintained by positive neighbourhood effects
  • A keystone mutualism underpins resilience of a coastal ecosystem to drought — … a very nice example of how local to regional scale management can contribute to mitigate climate stressors
  • Social-ecological resilience and biosphere-based sustainability science — … an ethic of biosphere stewardship is put forward as a unifying approach to sustainable development, with the aim to improve justice and human well-being, but in a way that is embedded within and connected to the fundamental limits of the biosphere
  • Impacts of neonicotinoid use on long-term population changes in wild bees in England — … the sub-lethal effects attributed to neonicotinoid use have the potential to contribute to long-term population declines and this evidence has an important role to play in the ongoing debate over pesticide use
  • Ecological constraints increase the climatic debt in forestsBaseline temperatures had a large amplifying effect on climate debt [lag in response of plant communities to changing climate], possibly because of the distance new species would have to migrate … to reach the warmest areas …
  • Defaunation affects carbon storage in tropical forests — … demonstrates the fragility of a crucially important ecosystem service (i.e., carbon storage)

CJA Bradshaw

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