Environmental Science

Editors' Picks

Adaptive divergence for rapid adversarial optimization
Charles Elkan –– Generative adversarial networks (GANs) are an exciting development in machine learning, but it is hard to make them work in practice, and they can require a lot of training data. This research is a significant step towards making GANs more usable.
Higher carbon sequestration potential and stability for deep soil compared to surface soil regardless of nitrogen addition in a subtropical forest
Biao Zhu –– This study improves our understanding of top vs. deep soil carbon dynamics under carbon substrate addition (i.e. priming effect).
Understanding PM2.5 concentration and removal efficiency variation in urban forest park—Observation at human breathing height
Kalliat Valsaraj –– The data on particulate matter in an urban forest park site in China may find relevance in many other parts of the developing world
Anthropocene geochemistry of metals in sediment cores from the Laurentian Great Lakes
James Latimer –– Because of the spatial scope (i.e., all great lakes) of the analysis for heavy metals, it advances the science significantly.
Linking diffuse radiation and ecosystem productivity of a desert steppe ecosystem
Leonardo Montagnani –– Studies on diffuse radiation effects on photosynthsis are relevant in all vegetation types, and of particular relevance in the studied arid ecosystem.
Potential of the economic valuation of soil-based ecosystem services to inform sustainable soil management and policy
Xavier Le Roux –– The concept of ecosystem services, especially in combination with economic valuation, can illuminate trade-offs involved in soil management, policy and governance, and thus support decision making. The authors investigated the potential and limitations of the economic valuation of soil-based ecosystem services to inform sustainable soil management and policy. Based on a clear typology soil-based ecosystem services, they conducted a review of existing soil valuation studies including different ecosystem services. They show that so far, economic valuation of soil-based ecosystem services has covered only a small number of services and most studies have employed cost-based methods rather than preference-based valuation methods, even though the latter would better acknowledge the public good character of soil-related services. Therefore, the authors conclude that the relevance of existing valuation studies for political processes is low. Broadening the spectrum of analyzed ecosystem services and using preference-based methods would increase the informational quality and policy relevance of valuation results.
The impact of pesticides used at the agricultural land of the Puck commune on the environment of the Puck Bay
Marcia Marques –– The paper includes valuable data about a large number of pesticides and other active substances in different environmental compartments of a bay impacted by agriculture.
Differences of soil enzyme activities and its influencing factors under different flooding conditions in Ili Valley, Xinjiang
Gabriela Nardoto –– It brings a good contribution to the association between abiotic and biotic factors affecting the interface between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems
Restored freshwater flow and estuarine benthic communities in the northern Gulf of Mexico: research trends and future needs
Craig Moyer –– There appears to be an effort to divert river flow that will deliver sediment downstream to rebuild wetland habitats, and this study provides a review of the potential effects on benthic communities. This is well justified and mentions many previous studies including those that describe wetland loss rates. The authors have done a good job of thinking through all the potential confounding factors (such as salinity change, food-web alterations, and habitat alterations) and demonstrating how each might cause unanticipated consequences. This manuscript is unique and tackles a problem that is not often studied. There will be a lot of focus on restoring Gulf of Mexico habitats over the next 30 years because of the restore funding made available by the Deepwater Horizon settlement, so the review is also timely.
Multidimensional evaluation of the TRMM 3B43V7 satellite-based precipitation product in mainland China from 1998–2016
Richard Becker –– This is useful information assessing the quality of TRMM 3B43V7 over mainland China and will be be beneficial to researchers in the region.
Environmental Science

Section discussions

It is hard to name new species! Even for bacteria! Debbie Brock valiantly guided this one to publication today in @thePeerJ https://t.co/U3rrHn3Oou #Ecology #EvolutionaryStudies #Microbiology #Taxonomy

Our article has been published today in @thePeerJ https://t.co/TicLtr6MJQ #Biodiversity #Ecology #EcosystemScience #Entomology #Paleontology

Distribution of the acoustic occurrence of dolphins during the summers 2011 to 2015 in the Upper Gulf of California, Mexico https://t.co/8GwDMaOcOT @thePeerJ https://t.co/fubMuXHUim

Impact of cost distance and habitat fragmentation on the daily path length of Rhinopithecus bieti https://t.co/8DFsGjqSNc @thePeerJ https://t.co/XTd9jqj6Wl