Jiang Jiang (NIMBioS fellow and Classen Lab postdoc) and Don DeAngelis (adjunct) have received the Ecological Society of America’s 2014 Outstanding Ecological Theory Paper Award. Their winning paper, “Strong species-environment feedback shapes plant community assembly along environmental gradients,” was published in the journal Ecology and Evolution in 2013 (3: 4119–4128).
“In their clearly-written paper, the authors make direct linkages to problems in plant ecology, while building a general theoretical model that addresses a key issue, not just in plant ecology, of feedbacks between organisms and their environment. Through well-designed analyses of an elegant model, they found that “ecological engineers” (species that modify the environment to their own benefit) can affect the diversity of the competitive community they inhabit, and that the direction of this effect depends critically on the extent to which the community is closed to immigration and on the spatial heterogeneity of the environment. These novel results should are likely to foster further theoretical research and generate some fine hypotheses that will motivate experimental and field studies.”
“The Theoretical Ecology Section of the Ecological Society of America sponsors an annual award for an outstanding published paper in ecological theory. Papers with a print or electronic publication date in either of the two years preceding the year of the award are eligible.”