10th Anniversary Volume 11: Climate Change

To celebrate our anniversary, we are highlighting a key article from each of our volumes. For Volume 11 we selected The handbook for standardized field and laboratory measurements in terrestrial climate change experiments and observational studies (ClimEx)’ by Halbritter et al. (2019).

In this post, Jessica Royles, one of our Associate Editors with expertise in climate change, selects her favourite MEE papers in this field.

Jessica Royles University of Cambridge, UK

In almost all climate-related ecological studies it is important, but often difficult, to identify the key weather variables having an impact on a community. In order to address this problem, Van de Pol et al (2016) developed a systematic approach for identifying the key variables, and present ‘climwin’, an associated R package. Interactions between different components of the weather can also be explored, potentially providing an interesting avenue for investigation that can be more widely exploited.

With a great title that initially reeled in this tea-loving scientist, the Tea-Bag Index developed by Keuskamp et al (2013) enables the extent of soil decomposition to be determined in a way that is easy to standardise. Thus this method can be used around the world alongside more traditional methods to help quantify the balance between carbon storage and release. I always like to come across methods through which enthusiastic undergraduates, schools and citizen scientists can generate data that will be meaningful to the scientific community and genuinely contribute to our understanding of Earth Systems.

Continuing with the citizen science theme, Worthington et al (2012) evaluated the success of “Evolution MegaLab”: an interesting experiment in its own right, that used volunteers to survey polymorphism in banded snails which may have changed in response to changes in climate and predation. Crucially, as the use of citizen scientists continues to expand, this paper presents the criteria that are likely to determine whether a citizen science project will be successful, and details the significant planning required.

To find out more about the ClimEx Handbook, read authors’ reflections on the article The handbook for standardized field and laboratory measurements in terrestrial climate change experiments and observational studies (ClimEx)

Find out about the MEE articles selected to celebrate the other volumes and our editors’ favourite papers in this blog series.

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