Pressing questions in palaeoecology

Happy to announce a new paper out this month:

Seddon et al. 2014. Looking forward through the past: identification of 50 priority research questions in palaeoecology. Journal of Ecology 102:256–267

This comes out of a workshop that I attended last year in Oxford; Paco, formerly of David Coomes’ group, attended as well.  The workshop brought together academics interested in identifying priority research questions in palaeoecology using the horizon scanning approach developed by Bill Sutherland et al.  I acted as the scribe for the “Ecosystem processes and biogeochemical cycling” group, which saw a lot of heated debate in whittling down the hundreds of questions we were tasked to review.

Overall, I think all the groups have come up with a targeted set of priority research areas.  I especially like the growing appreciation for the role that mechanistic-based models can play in the field and the need to strengthen causal inferences.  We briefly touch on the latter point in the Introduction of our 2013 Ecological Applications paper.

Give the final list of 50 questions a scan.  I’m sure they will stir up at least some new debate!

AJT

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