Environmental Science

Editors' Picks

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
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.
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.
Aerosols chemical composition, light extinction, and source apportionment near a desert margin city, Yulin, China
Xinfeng Wang –– This article focuses on the region of West China, which is important but only receives a few attentions at present, and provides comprehensive undersdandings on the chemical composition, optcal properties, and dominant sources.
Assessment of crusting effects on interrill erosion by laser scanning
Marco Cavalli –– In this study changes in microtopography of two soils were monitored through laser scanning. This work suggests a quantitative approach to investigate interrill erosion processes helping to shed light on the crusting effect on soil erosional responses.
Basic and target eco-environment water requirements of a dry inland river under typical flow frequencies in China
Jianhua Xu –– This article has certain reference significance for ecological hydrology research.
Unprofessional peer reviews disproportionately harm underrepresented groups in STEM
Robert Toonen –– This study provides empirical evidence that unprofessional reviews can negatively impact career advancement and discourage researchers. As pointed out by the referees, it confirms what many have long suspected. This work highlights the importance of training researchers on how to conduct professional reviews and for editors to take responsibility for unprofessional peer reviewer comments that are passed along to authors.
A Sparse-Modeling Based Approach for Class Specific Feature Selection
Tzung-Pei Hong –– It is a good paper and may provide some reference values to the scholars in this field.
Mercuric pollution of surface water, superficial sediments, Nile tilapia (Oreochromis nilotica Linnaeus 1758 [Cichlidae]) and yams (Dioscorea alata) in auriferous areas of Namukombe stream, Syanyonja, Busia, Uganda
Rachel Ann Hauser-Davis –– The ecotoxicology discipline is extremely important for environmental and public health risk assessments, and multidisciplinary.
Expanding walls and shrinking beaches: loss of natural coastline in Okinawa Island, Japan
Xavier Pochon –– This innovative study used GIS and remote sensing technologies to measure the extension of coastline alterations in Okinawa, Japan, over the last 50 years. This approach offers great values for conservation efforts and coastal planning.
Environmental Science
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Section discussions

Studying the impacts of wheat spatial position and phenology on cereal aphid abundance @MeravSeifan https://t.co/mopyQUZJ95 https://t.co/F4BrCE2PZF

An article I handled as editor has been published today @thePeerJ https://t.co/bhGZ3d455L #AnimalBehavior #Ecology #EcosystemScience

Herbicide applications increase greenhouse gas emissions of alfalfa pasture in the inland arid region of northwest China https://t.co/BiF0FYOOCB @thePeerJ https://t.co/pK4hzxm1BU

New Scientist: "Harsh peer reviewer comments disproportionately affect minorities"
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2231559-harsh-peer-reviewer-comments-disproportionately-affect-minorities/

‘Rude’ peer reviews inflict most damage on women and minorities
https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/rude-peer-reviews-inflict-most-damage-women-and-minorities

Science Magazine: "Rude paper reviews are pervasive and sometimes harmful, study finds"
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/12/rude-paper-reviews-are-pervasive-and-sometimes-harmful-study-finds