2015 was a big year, especially in conservation modeling. The following papers taught me a lot, and will certainly influence my lab’s work:
1) Canessa et al., “When do we need more data? A primer on calculating the value of information for applied ecologists”, in Methods In Ecology and Evolution. This is the most thorough and intuitive explanation of value of information analysis in conservation. It gets the prize as my #1 favourite paper of 2015.
2) Santika et al. “Assessing spatio-temporal priorities for species’ recovery in broad-scale dynamic landscapes”, in Journal of Applied Ecology. It’s a very convincing argument for using a new type of species distribution model that includes multi-year surveys of population dynamics.
3) Hautier et al. “Anthropogenic environmental changes affect ecosystem stability via biodiversity”, in Science. I love Yann Hautier’s work (his 2009 paper on light competition is one of my all-time favourite plant ecology papers). This one is particularly interesting because it suggests that the type of human disturbance doesn’t matter as much for ecosystem stability as the effect of the disturbance on diversity.