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    Review of 'Research priorities for maintaining biodiversity’s contributions to people in Latin America'

    Research priorities for maintaining biodiversity’s contributions to people in Latin AmericaCrossref
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    Research priorities for maintaining biodiversity’s contributions to people in Latin America

    Maintaining biodiversity is crucial for ensuring human well-being. We participated in a workshop held in Palenque, Mexico, in August 2018, that brought together thirty mostly early-career scientists working in different disciplines (natural, social and economic sciences) with the aim of identifying research priorities for studying the contributions of biodiversity to people and how these contributions might be impacted by environmental change. Five main groups of questions emerged: (1) Enhancing the quantity, quality, and availability of biodiversity data; (2) Integrating different knowledge systems; (3) Improved methods for integrating diverse data; (4) Fundamental questions in ecology and evolution; and (5) Multi-level governance across boundaries. We discuss the need for increased capacity building and investment in research programs to address these challenges.

      Review information

      This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com.

      Earth & Environmental sciences,Environmental change,Ecology,General environmental science,Life sciences
      Investment in research,Capacity building,Ecosystem services,Environmental science,Knowledge systems,Environmental change,Biodiversity,Conservation,People and their environment,Data availability,Governance

      Review text

      The manuscript aims to summarize the results of a workshop held in Mexico, by a group of early-career scientists from Latin America and the United Kingdom, aiming to identify research priorities for studying the contributions of diversity to people and how these contributions might be impacted by environmental change. The authors list five main research topics that needs to be thoroughly addressed in order to advance and improve ecological research and governmental strategies in the region. Three of them are related to acquiring, integrating and disseminating data and knowledge, while two of them are concerned with the evaluation and application of those resources for ecological studies and governmental policies.


      However, the topics could benefit from a more in-depth discussion, especially considering that potential implementation scenarios are seldom explored in the text, with a lack of direction to readers that are eager to understand how those strategies can be implemented on a regional scale.


      Although the process of sharing ideas can be beneficial for implementing strategies on the long-run, exploring potential scenarios for those implementations can enhance success rate on future projects.  


      We thank the reviewer for carefully reading our manuscript and for constructive comments. As stated in our response to reviewer José R. Ferrer-Paris, we acknowledge that our manuscript does not deliver in-depth discussion of the diverse and complex issues raised; instead, our goal in this short article is to provide a consensus summary of the research priorities that were discussed at our workshop. We hope that our article will spur further, more in-depth analyses by members of our workshop and the broader community, and we have added an additional statement to this effect at the end of the second paragraph of our revised manuscript (sentence in red). We have also added an important new citation to the recently published IPBES Global Assessment (also in red).

      2019-06-13 12:33 UTC

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