Editor's Choice JanuarySubmitted by editor on 3 February 2017.
2017, a new year of Oikos to kick-off with two selected contributions as editor’s choices for the January issue. The first EC is the forum by Houlahan and colleagues on the priority of prediction in ecological understanding. The authors provide series of argument to revitalise predictive approaches, and testing accuracies of predictions, as fundaments of ecological science. This can only be achieved by collective efforts to improve our models in terms of model variables, functional relationships among these variables and, of course, in parameter estimates. The general claim that without prediction there is no evidence of understanding, is a strong and valid point. This forum paper is a must read for every ecologist!
The meta-analysis by Gruner and colleagues is our second EC. The authors use data from nearly 200 published studies to quantitatively test to which degree warming affects diversity in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. This first meta-analysis shows a consistent decline of species richness with warming, but very weak and variable responses in eveness. The latter were thus much more sensitive to local conditions. The local pool of species thus constrains changes in relative species abundances in response to warming. Local species interactions are consequently both consequence and cause of community change under climate change.
Dries Bonte, Editor in Chief