Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation
Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation 2017;15:1-2 DOI: 10.1016/j.pecon.2017.02.001
Editorial
New perspectives in ecology and conservation
Jean Paul Metzgera,, , Rafael Loyolab, José Alexandre Felizola Diniz-Filhob, Valério D. Pillarc
a Editor-in-Chief, Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation, São Paulo, Brazil
b Former Editor-in-Chief, Natureza & Conservação, Goiânia, Brazil
c President of the Brazilian Association for Ecological Science and Conservation (ABECO), Porto Alegre, Brazil

Since its establishment in 2003, the scientific journal “Natureza & Conservação” has undergone significant changes, but always preserving its main goal of bringing together scientists with conservationists, as expressed in the first journal's editorial: “the journal's audacious objective is to make possible the rise of an ascendant spiral of information on nature conservation, where knowledge and information generate more conservationist practices that, for their turn, generate more information, debates and knowledge, and so forth” (Milano, 2003). Natureza & Conservação was created by the “Boticário Foundation for Nature Protection”, a non-profit Brazilian nature conservation organization. From 2010 on, it became the official scientific journal of the Brazilian Association for Ecological Science and Conservation (ABECO), and since 2014 Elsevier publishes the journal.

New changes in the journal are taking place in 2017 with the main goal of improving its internationalization. “Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation” replaces now its former Portuguese name (https://www.journals.elsevier.com/perspectives-in-ecology-and-conservation/). The editorial board has been expanded with 13 new associate editors from different countries, including Argentina, Austria, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, France, Mexico, United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay. With these additions, the editorial board is now formed by ca. 42% of editors from outside Brazil. The editorial board composition will be continuously renovated over time to expand the international representation and also to reach a more balanced gender ratio; women now make up 36% of the editors.

The journal's scope will embrace a broader perspective in conservation science (Fig. 1). The journal has been focused on the biological aspects of conservation, such as species distribution modeling (Peterson and Soberón, 2012; Rangel and Loyola, 2012), systematic conservation planning and protected areas (Dobrovolski et al., 2011; Françoso et al., 2015), endangered species conservation (Pimm et al., 2010; Scarano and Martinelli, 2010), invasive species (Pedrosa et al., 2015) or climate change impacts on biodiversity (Vasconcelos, 2014), which continue to be highly relevant topics for publication. However, a wider and interdisciplinary perspective of conservation is now stimulated, including more explicitly the key role of humans modifying and conserving socioecological systems (Kareiva and Marvier, 2012). Thus, in addition to the traditional “biological perspective”, the journal will welcome publications at the interface of ecology and society, on topics such as socioecological resilience, environmental sustainability, ecosystem services and nature's benefits to human wellbeing. This broader perspective should also reinforce the links and fluxes of information (in both directions) between scientists and practitioners (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1.
(0.24MB).

Conservation actions usually require a wide perspective of conservation, integrating information and knowledge coming from biological and human perspectives. The journal Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation will stimulate the publication of manuscripts with any of these perspectives. This approach should facilitate conservation actions by decision and policymakers.

Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation will publish papers with global interest, but without neglecting the importance of local knowledge or case studies, if the messages of those studies go beyond the studied system, allowing generalization that may stimulate readers to rethink their own studied systems. This situation could be particularly the case of Policy forum papers, which usually refer to local or regional problems, but from which suggested solutions or thoughts can be useful for similar problems occurring in other regions (Metzger, 2010). In this way, Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation will stimulate local or regional evidence-based research or practices that are relevant for a wide audience, including decision makers in government and conservationists working for NGOs that could quickly use the ideas published in the journal to support practical actions.

Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation will also be open for relevant research publications coming from low/medium income and non-English speaking countries, which often have low acceptance rates in high impacting journals (Mammides et al., 2016). We expect the journal will continue attracting most submissions from authors of Latin America, considering its Brazilian origin, but we encourage submissions from a wide range of countries, particularly those that hold high biodiversity or endemism levels and experience pressing environmental problems, such as those in Latin America, and others from tropical ecosystems, such as Africa and Australia, where crucial ecological and conservational studies are being developed.

Being one of the few journals focused on ecology and conservation based in the southern hemisphere, Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation can also help to reduce the geographical disconnection between biodiversity hotspots, usually located in tropical regions of the southern hemisphere, and the origin of most authors of papers on conservation concentrated in developed countries from the northern hemisphere (Fazey et al., 2005; Mammides et al., 2016; Habel et al., 2017). Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation has the highest SJR index from all environmental science journals from Latin America according to the Scimago Journal & Country Rank, and is also the top journal for Latin America in “Ecology” and “Biodiversity Conservation” categories from the Journal Citation Reports. Three Latin American countries (Brazil, Mexico and Argentina) appear in the top 25 countries with the highest number of documents and citations in the “nature and landscape conservation” category of Scimago Journal & Country Rank, showing the high potential of the region to provide high-quality publications for the journal. We hope Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation will stimulate the publication of essays, opinions, and policy forums from authors working in highly biodiversity-rich countries and experiencing the day-to-day consequence of environmental degradation, probably facilitating the use of this information by policymakers.

Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation will keep publishing different types of papers, such as Research letters (short research papers, usually based on field data), Essays and perspectives (longer essays, usually combining a literature review with the presentation of new conceptual frameworks or personal opinions), and Policy forums (brief essays related to conservation practices addressed to a general audience). In addition to these more traditional types of papers, we expect the journal will now encourage the dialog between authors and readers through Correspondences, as well as make a more clear bridge between scientists and decision and policymakers through White papers, such as the one recently published on the native vegetation protection law in Brazil (Brancalion et al., 2016).

We also want to stimulate the submission of proposals for Special Issues or Special Features on topical, urgent and challenging questions related to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services provision. The current issue presents an example of a short special feature on functional connectivity, showing how understanding the links between species movement behavior and landscape structure can be useful for landscape planning and biodiversity conservation (Cornelius et al., 2017). Other special issues are being prepared on topics related to conservation in mining regions, and rewilding, and we hope to have many other proposals. These special issues will provide a unique opportunity for contributions from scientists and practitioners on a focal thematic topic, in a more integrative perspective.

From now on, Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation will be published only online, in four issues per year (instead of two as in previous volumes), allowing speeding up the editorial and production process, and faster access to accepted manuscripts. Only issues with White papers will be printed in bilingual editions (Portuguese/English) and distributed to governmental and nongovernmental organizations.

We wish that, with these changes, Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation will continue in the right path as an outstanding journal of ecology and conservation based in the southern hemisphere for publishing high-quality science based on solid, evidence-based research, which we hope will facilitate the communication between scientists, practitioners and policymakers.

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