Identification of 100 fundamental ecological questions

Sutherland, William J., Freckleton, Robert P., Godfray, H.Charles J., Beissinger, Steven R., Benton, Tim, Cameron, Duncan D., Carmel, Yohay, Coomes, David A., Coulson, Tim, Emmerson, Mark C., Hails, Rosemary S., Hays, Graeme C., Hodgson, Dave J., Hutchings, Michael J., Johnson, David, Jones, Julia P.G., Keeling, Matt J., Kokko, Hanna, Kunin, William E., Lambin, Xavier, Lewis, Owen T., Malhi, Yadvinder, Mieszkowska, Nova, Milner-Gulland, E.J., Norris, Ken, Phillimore, Albert B., Purves, Drew W., Reid, Jane M., Reuman, Daniel C., Thompson, Ken, Travis, Justin M.J., Turnbull, Lindsay A., Wardle, David A. and Wiegand, Thorsten 2013, Identification of 100 fundamental ecological questions, Journal of ecology, vol. 101, no. 1, pp. 58-67, doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.12025.

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Title Identification of 100 fundamental ecological questions
Author(s) Sutherland, William J.
Freckleton, Robert P.
Godfray, H.Charles J.
Beissinger, Steven R.
Benton, Tim
Cameron, Duncan D.
Carmel, Yohay
Coomes, David A.
Coulson, Tim
Emmerson, Mark C.
Hails, Rosemary S.
Hays, Graeme C.ORCID iD for Hays, Graeme C.
Hodgson, Dave J.
Hutchings, Michael J.
Johnson, David
Jones, Julia P.G.
Keeling, Matt J.
Kokko, Hanna
Kunin, William E.
Lambin, Xavier
Lewis, Owen T.
Malhi, Yadvinder
Mieszkowska, Nova
Milner-Gulland, E.J.
Norris, Ken
Phillimore, Albert B.
Purves, Drew W.
Reid, Jane M.
Reuman, Daniel C.
Thompson, Ken
Travis, Justin M.J.
Turnbull, Lindsay A.
Wardle, David A.
Wiegand, Thorsten
Journal name Journal of ecology
Volume number 101
Issue number 1
Start page 58
End page 67
Total pages 10
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2013
ISSN 0022-0477
Keyword(s) community ecology
evolutionary ecology
population ecology
research priorities
Summary Fundamental ecological research is both intrinsically interesting and provides the basic knowledge required to answer applied questions of importance to the management of the natural world. The 100th anniversary of the British Ecological Society in 2013 is an opportune moment to reflect on the current status of ecology as a science and look forward to high-light priorities for future work. To do this, we identified 100 important questions of fundamental importance in pure ecology. We elicited questions from ecologists working across a wide range of systems and disciplines. The 754 questions submitted (listed in the online appendix) from 388 participants were narrowed down to the final 100 through a process of discussion, rewording and repeated rounds of voting. This was done during a two-day workshop and thereafter. The questions reflect many of the important current conceptual and technical pre-occupations of ecology. For example, many questions concerned the dynamics of environmental change and complex ecosystem interactions, as well as the interaction between ecology and evolution. The questions reveal a dynamic science with novel subfields emerging. For example, a group of questions was dedicated to disease and micro-organisms and another on human impacts and global change reflecting the emergence of new subdisciplines that would not have been foreseen a few decades ago. The list also contained a number of questions that have perplexed ecologists for decades and are still seen as crucial to answer, such as the link between population dynamics and life-history evolution. Synthesis. These 100 questions identified reflect the state of ecology today. Using them as an agenda for further research would lead to a substantial enhancement in understanding of the discipline, with practical relevance for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem function.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/1365-2745.12025
Field of Research 070402 Aquatic Ecosystem Studies and Stock Assessment
060299 Ecology not elsewhere classified
060899 Zoology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, WIley
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