Thursday, 8 March 2018

Paper of the year 2017

The competition for paper of the year 2017 was heated, with the ecostatistician proposing the winning paper scoring the coveted "free coffee for a year" prize, The nominations were diverse, all the way from pure ecology to very fancy stats. After much debate, the winner was:

Hallmann CA, Sorg M, Jongejans E, Siepel H, Hofland N, et al. (2017) More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas. PLOS ONE 12(10)

This paper was nominated by John Wilshire, who summarises it as follows:

Flying insects play a very important role in ecosystems, both as pollinators and as food sources for other animals. This paper shows that their populations have massively declined over a relatively short period of time  (at least in protected areas in Germany). I like this paper as it presents the results of a long term study, and it is a pretty scary example of the impacts we are having on ecosystems. Plus it is open access and has data and code available, and the statistical analysis is presented in a clear and easy to follow manner.

Other nominees were (in no particular order):