E4 award winner and runner-up

Submitted by editor on 10 January 2017.

We have the great pleasure to announce the winner and runner-up of the first (2015) Ecography E4 award (The Ecography Award for Excellence in Ecology and Evolution).

First prize nominee (winner): Šímová & Storch “The enigma of terrestrial primary productivity: measurements, models, scales and the diversity–productivity relationship”.

Second prize nominee (runner-up): Lenoir, Hattab & Pierre “Climatic microrefugia under anthropogenic climate change: implications for species redistribution”.

The winners, Šímová and Storch, tackle an important but highly challenging topic, the measurement and, estimation, and biogeographical role of terrestrial primary productivity (NPP) on a global scale. The review is thorough and in-depth in its coverage and remarkably successful in explaining complicated problems. Many readers will come to understand, for the first time, just how wildly approximate and often misleading the commonly-used global maps of terrestrial NPP really are, and how relationships between biological patterns and productivity have been affected by basic errors in the estimation of primary production. The authors, in the text and a box, outline a number of specific ways in which future research could improve NPP estimation. The topic is timely because of the role of carbon fixation rates in global climate change, and timeless because of the longstanding interest in the relation between NPP and species richness.

Lenoir and colleagues aim to assess the role of very-small-scale (down to 1 m2) climatic refugia in range dynamics, including stability, in the face of ongoing climate change. This topic is of great current importance in our efforts to understand the biogeography of the future, informed by processes that have shaped ranges in the past. The authors propose a novel, spatially hierarchical approach to evaluating and understanding microrefugia, and offer a worked example of how it might be applied. They propose a working agenda for further work on microrefugia.

Ecography takes the assessment of the E4 Award very seriously. To reduce systematic biases in the selection process, decisions were adopted by consensus and involved two independent steps. In the first step, the senior editors of Ecography, Catherine Graham, Nate Sanders, Jens-Christian Svenning and Miguel Araújo pre-selected a fraction of the submitted E4 Award articles and sent them for external review. In the second step, the accepted articles (9 out of 45 entries) were sent to review editors, Rob Colwell, Bob Holt and David Nogués Bravo, who examined them and provided the final ranking and selection of the winner and runner up.

The quality of the submitted articles was extremely high and coming up with a shortlist and ranking was not trivial. We thank all contributors that sent their most exciting research to Ecography, and acknowledge the sponsorship of the Nordic Ecological Society (Oikos) to the E4 award winner and of Wiley to the runner-up of the E4 award.

Miguel Araújo,

EiC of Ecography
(on behalf of the selection committee)