Journal of Vegetation Science Editors’ Award winner for 2022 is Florencia Yannelli and the team of IAVS Young Scientists for the article:
Yannelli, F.A., Bazzichetto, M., Conradi, T., Pattison, Z., Andrade, B.O., Anibaba, Q.A., Bonari, G., Chelli, S., Ćuk, M., Damasceno, G., Fantinato, E., Geange, S.R., Guuroh, R.T., Holle, M.J.M., Küzmič, F., Lembrechts, J.J., Mosyaftiani, A., Šikuljak, T., Teixeira, J., Tordoni, E., Pérez-Valladares, C.X., Sperandii, M.G. (2022) Fifteen emerging challenges and opportunities for vegetation science: A horizon scan by early career researchers. Journal of Vegetation Science, 33, e13119.
The group of early-career researchers performed a horizon scan for vegetation science by opening a call for topic submission and ranking the importance of suggested topics based on voting among group members. The 15 highest-ranking topics included, for example, using next-generation sequencing and metabarcoding to advance vegetation science, and developing predictive models of restoration outcomes under different scenarios of intervention and environmental change. Other examples included enhanced engagement between vegetation scientists and the public, and the incorporation of traditional ecological knowledge into vegetation management. In an era of rapid technological advancement and societal challenges, the horizon scan by Yannelli et al. (2022) is a creative approach to highlighting potential growth areas for vegetation science. It is also interesting to compare the perspectives of the young generation of vegetation scientists with a brief horizon scan by current and past Chief Editors of the Journal of Vegetation Science and Applied Vegetation Science published three years earlier (Chytrý et al., 2019).
Applied Vegetation Science Editors’ Award winner for 2022 is Leonie Mazalla for the article:
Mazalla, L., Diekmann, M. & Duprè, C. (2022) Microclimate shapes vegetation response to drought in calcareous grasslands. Applied Vegetation Science, 25, e12672.
This article, co-authored by Martin Diekmann and Cecilia Duprè, focuses on the effects of the 2015–2018 drought events in Europe, which were extreme on the millennial scale. They resurveyed dry grassland vegetation in northwestern Germany before and after the series of dry years. They observed contrasting responses due to topoclimatic differences between steep, south-facing slopes and flat or north-facing slopes. On south-facing slopes, characteristic species of dry grasslands were favoured by dry conditions before droughts but declined after several dry years. In contrast, ruderal species increased on these slopes after droughts. On flat or north-facing slopes, characteristic species of dry grasslands increased, but nutrient-demanding species also increased there. An important message from this study is that even dry grassland specialists will not be supported by future droughts. They could escape local extinction by moving to topoclimatically suitable sites on nearby flat or north-facing slopes. However, in agricultural landscapes affected by eutrophication, these slopes are likely to be colonized by nutrient-demanding species that could outcompete most dry grassland specialists.