Despite the pandemic striking the world in 2020, a number of excellent first-author student publications from Czech institutions were published that year. Therefore, it was not easy to choose the winners among the students and graduates who applied for the Vojtěch Jarošík Award.
In the seventh year of the competition, altogether eighteen first-author student papers published in 2020 in respected peer-reviewed journals were submitted for the competition. In comparison with the previous record-breaking year, there were two papers less but their overall quality was as high. As usual, the publications were evaluated by ten referees representing the Czech Society for Ecology or the Department of Ecology, Charles University. The task of each of them was to select three most outstanding papers based on the originality and contribution to ecological knowledge. The fact that two thirds of the entries were shortlisted by at least one of the evaluators clearly shows that the choice was not easy, and that many papers published by students were outstanding.
From the gender point of view, the submitted works formed a perfectly balanced group (half of the works were written by females). When the institute of origin was considered, however, the balance was gone. Ten papers resulted from works of the doctoral students from Charles University, Prague, six from the University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, and two from University of Ostrava. In many cases (including all three awarded papers), the first authors had a shared affiliation with one of the institutes of the Czech Academy of Science. Despite the above-mentioned “geographic bias”, the three awarded papers formed a balanced set, each coming from a different institution.
The winning publication “Ant-termite interactions: an important but under-explored ecological linkage” was published in Biological Reviews by Jiří Tůma, a graduate of the Faculty of Science of University of South Bohemia, affiliated to the Biology Centre CAS. The other two awarded papers shared the same score. One was a paleobotanical study “Abrupt vegetation and environmental change since the MIS 2: A unique paleorecord from Slovakia (Central Europe)” published in Quaternary Science Reviews by Anna Šolcová, a doctoral student at the Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Charles University, affiliated also to the Laboratory of Paleoecology, Institute of Botany CAS. The other was the Molecular Ecology paper “No evidence for accumulation of deleterious mutations and fitness degradation in clonal fish hybrids: Abandoning sex without regrets” by Jan Kočí from the Faculty of Science, University of Ostrava and the Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics CAS.
All three awardees will be invited as speakers at the next conference of the Czech Society for Ecology, and one of them will be then sent to present to a selected intentional ecological conference abroad as a representative of the Society and early-career Czech ecologists in general. Let us hope that the scientific meetings won’t be restricted to cyberspace due the ongoing pandemics… Until the of April 2022, it will be possible to submit for the Vojtěch Jarošík Award first-author papers published in their final form during 2021. We hope that we will see also contributions from campuses absent this year (e.g., those in Brno, Olomouc, Suchdol or Vodňany…).
Top-rated publications nominated for the Vojtěch Jarošík Award for 2020
1. Tuma J., Eggleton P., Fayle T.M. (2020): Ant-termite interactions: an important but under-explored ecological linkage. Biological Reviews 95: 555-572. DOI: 10.1111/brv.12577
2.–3. Šolcová A., Jamrichová E., Horsák M., Pařil P., Petr L., Heiri O., Květoň J., Křížek M., Hartvich F., Hájek M., Hájková P. (2020): Abrupt vegetation and environmental change since the MIS 2: A unique paleorecord from Slovakia (Central Europe). Quaternary Science Reviews 230: 106170. DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106170
2.–3. Kočí J., Röslein J., Pačes J., Kotusz J., Halačka K., Koščo J., Fedorčák J., Iakovenko N., Janko K. (2020): No evidence for accumulation of deleterious mutations and fitness degradation in clonal fish hybrids: Abandoning sex without regrets. Molecular Ecology 29: 3038-3055. DOI: 10.1111/mec.15539
Other submitted papers (sorted alphabetically by authors)
Aldorfová A., Knobová P., Münzbergová Z. (2020): Plant-soil feedback contributes to predicting plant invasiveness of 68 alien plant species differing in invasive status. Oikos 129: 1257-1270. DOI: 10.1111/oik.07186
Brown J.J., Rodríguez-Ruano S.M., Poosakkannu A., Batani G., Schmidt J.O., Roachell W., Zima J. Jr., Hypša V., Nováková E. (2020): Ontogeny, species identity, and environment dominate microbiome dynamics of wild kissing bugs (Triatominae). Microbiome 8: 146. DOI: 10.1186/s40168-020-00921-x
Čertnerová D., Škaloud P. (2020): Substantial intraspecific genome size variation in golden-brown algae and its phenotypic consequences. Annals of Botany 126: 1077–1087. DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcaa133
E‐Vojtkó A., de Bello F., Durka W., Kühn I., Götzenberger L. (2020): The neglected importance of floral traits in trait-based plant community assembly. Journal of Vegetation Science 31: 529–539. DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12877
Hejduková E., Elster J., Nedbalová L. (2020): Annual cycle of freshwater diatoms in the high arctic revealed by multiparameter fluorescent staining. Microbial Ecology 80: 559–572. DOI: 10.1007/s00248-020-01521-w
Kolar V., Boukal D.S. (2020): Habitat preferences of the endangered diving beetle Graphoderus bilineatus: implications for conservation management. Insect Conservation and Diversity 13: 480–494. DOI: 10.1111/icad.12433
Kuťáková E., Meszárošová L., Münzbergová Z., Baldrian P. (2020): Evaluating the role of biotic and chemical components of plant-soil feedback of primary successional plants. Biology and Fertility of Soils 56: 345-358. DOI: 10.1007/s00374-019-01425-z
Maicher V., Sáfián Sz., Murkwe M., Delabye S., Przybyłowicz L., Potocký P., Kobe I.N., Janeček Š., Mertens J.E.J., Fokam E.B., Pyrcz T., Doležal J., Altman J., Hořák D., Fiedler K., Tropek R. (2020): Seasonal shifts of biodiversity patterns and species’ elevation ranges of butterflies and moths along a complete rainforest elevational gradient on Mount Cameroon. Journal of Biogeography 47: 342-354. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.13740
Meter B., Starostová Z., Kubička L., Kratochvíl L. (2020): The limits of the energetical perspective: life-history decisions in lizard growth. Evolutionary Ecology 34: 469–481. DOI: 10.1007/s10682-020-10054-0
Sottas C., Reif J., Kreisinger J., Schmiedová L., Sam K., Osiejuk T.S., Reifová R. (2020): Tracing the early steps of competition-driven eco-morphological divergence in two sister species of passerines. Evolutionary Ecology 34: 501–524. DOI: 10.1007/s10682-020-10050-4
Szefer P., Molem K., Sau A., Novotny V. (2020): Impact of pathogenic fungi, herbivores and predators on secondary succession of tropical rainforest vegetation. Journal of Ecology 108: 1978-1988. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.13374
Veselá A., Dostálek T., Maan R., Münzbergová Z. (2020): Seed mass and plant home site environment interact to determine alpine species germination patterns along an elevation gradient. Alpine Botany 30: 101–113. DOI: 10.1007/s00035-020-00242-7
Višňovská D., Pyszko P., Šigut M., Kostovčík M., Kolařík M., Kotásková N., Drozd P. (2020): Caterpillar gut and host plant phylloplane mycobiomes differ: a new perspective on fungal involvement in insect guts. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 96: fiaa116. DOI: 10.1093/femsec/fiaa116
Vlk L., Tedersoo L., Antl T., Větrovský T., Abarenkov K., Pergl J., Albrechtová J., Vosátka M., Baldrian P., Pyšek P., Kohout P. (2020): Alien ectomycorrhizal plants differ in their ability to interact with co-introduced and native ectomycorrhizal fungi in novel sites. ISME Journal 14: 2336–2346. DOI: 10.1038/s41396-020-0692-5
Vlk L., Tedersoo L., Antl T., Větrovský T., Abarenkov K., Pergl J., Albrechtová J., Vosátka M., Baldrian P., Pyšek P., Kohout P. (2020): Early successional ectomycorrhizal fungi are more likely to become alien than other ectomycorrhizal fungi. New Phytologist 227: 1289–1293. DOI: 10.1111/nph.16557