During the very successful conference of the Czech Society for Ecology, which took place in September 2017 in the Prague campus of the Czech University of Life Sciences, the winners of the Vojtěch Jarošík Award for outstanding student publications in the field of ecology for 2015 and 2016 were publicly announced. The Award, presented by the Department of Ecology, Charles University in Prague, and the Czech Society for Ecology is associated with a financial reward of 10 thousand CZK, and commemorates Professor Vojtěch Jarošík (1958-2013), the founder of the above-mentioned department, who significantly contributed to the development of ecology not only at Charles University.
We are pleased to say that the papers entered in the competition maintain a high quality and illustrate well that students at Czech and Moravian universities are able to produce publications matching the highest international standards. The lectures of the awarded students at the conferences have also shown that they are able to present their findings to a professional audience.
In the first year when the Award was announced, it was possible to submit publications from two years (for 2013 and 2014) and altogether thirteen arrived. Twelve papers were submitted in the second year (published in 2015) and nine papers to the third year of the competition (for 2016). Despite this slight decrease in the number of submitted works, the evaluators (a total of 13 experts from the Department of Ecology, Charles University and the Czech Society for Ecology) had a hard time narrowing the selection to three publications from each year, because it was a wide array of high-quality publications on various ecological topics, from theoretical studies to whole-community analyses to behavioral or molecular studies focusing on a single model taxon. At the same time, almost the entire tree of life was taxonomically covered: microbes, protists, plants and animals were not missing among the studied organisms.
The awardee for 2015 became Martin Weisser from the Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Charles University with his paper “A simple model for the influence of habitat resource availability on lateral clonal spread” published in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences. In 2016, there were two laureates, with the same score. The first was Ivana Vejříková, a doctoral student of hydrobiology at the University of South Bohemia and the Institute of Hydrobiology of the Biological Centre CAS in České Budějovice, with her paper “Distribution of herbivorous fish is frozen by low temperature” published in Scientific Reports. The second was Petr Čapek, PhD student in Ecosystem Biology at the University of South Bohemia, awarded for the article “Drivers of phosphorus limitation across soil microbial communities” published in the journal Functional Ecology.
The second and third years of the award showed that there is some gender balance among authors submitting the papers to the competition. The dominance of female students from the first-year (F: M 11: 2) was not repeated; in 2015, on the contrary, male students predominated (F: M 4: 8) and in the last years the ratio leveled out (F: M 5: 4). Coincidentally, we also maintained so far a perfect “gender balance” among the winners.
What is changing only slowly is the predominance of works submitted from Vojtěch Jarošík’s alma mater, Charles University in Prague. In 2015 there were only three papers from elsewhere (one each from Brno, České Budějovice and Olomouc), in 2016 three out of nine applicants were students from the University of South Bohemia (but two of them happened to win!), the others were again doctoral students of Charles University. However, it is worth mentioning that many of the applicants work at one of the cooperating institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences, and thus a rather diverse selection of research teams was represented each year.
We firmly hope that high-quality publications are produced also at other academic institutions in Czechia and that this will be reflected in papers submitted for the next year’s Awards.
The top-rated publications nominated in the second and third year of the Vojtěch Jarošík Award
1.-2. Vejříková I., Vejřík L., Syväranta J., Kiljunen M., Čech M., Vašek M., Sajdlová Z., Chung S.H.T., Šmejkal M., Blabolil P., Frouzová J. & Peterka J. (2016): Distribution of herbivorous fish is frozen by low temperature. Scientific Reports 6, 39600. DOI. 10.1038/srep39600
1.-2. Čapek P., Kotas P., Manzoni S. & Šantrůčková H. (2016): Drivers of phosphorus limitation across soil microbial communities. Functional Ecology 30, 1705–1713. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.12650
3. Juračka P., Declerck S.A.J., Vondrák D., Beran L., Černý M. & Petrusek A. (2016): A naturally heterogeneous landscape can effectively slow down the dispersal of aquatic microcrustaceans. Oecologia 180, 785–796. DOI: DOI: 10.1007/s00442-015-3501-5
1. Weiser M. & Smyčka J. (2015). A simple model for the influence of habitat resource availability on lateral clonal spread. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 282, 20150327. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0327
2. Volf M., Hrcek J., Julkunen-Tiitto R. & Novotny V. (2015): To each its own: differential response of specialist and generalist herbivores to plant defence in willows. Journal of Animal Ecology 84, 1123-1132. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12349
3. Ryšánek D., Hrčková K. & Škaloud P. (2015). Global ubiquity and local endemism of free-living terrestrial protists: phylogeographic assessment of the streptophyte alga Klebsormidium. Environmental Microbiology17, 689-698. DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.12501
Other submitted papers (in alphabetical order)
Čuda J., Skálová H., Janovský Z. & Pyšek P. (2016): Juvenile biological traits of Impatiens species are more strongly associated with naturalization in temperate climate than their adult traits. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 20, 1–10. DOI: 10.1016/j.ppees.2016.02.007
Diáková K., Čapek P., Kohoutová I., Mpamah P.A., Bárta J., Biasi C., Martikainen P.J., Šantrůčková H. (2016): Heterogeneity of carbon loss and its temperature sensitivity in East-European subarctic tundra soils. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 92, fiw140. DOI: 10.1093/femsec/fiw140
Husáková I. & Münzbergová Z. (2016): The effect of current and historical landscape structure and species life-history traits on species distribution in dry grassland-like forest openings. Journal of Vegetation Science 27, 545–556. DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12390
Kladivová A. & Münzbergová Z. (2016): Interacting effects of grazing and habitat conditions on seedling recruitment and establishment. Journal of Vegetation Science, 27, 834–843. DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12395
Šulc M., Procházka P., Čapek M., Honza M. (2016): Common cuckoo females are not choosy when removing an egg during parasitism. Behavioral Ecology 27, 1642-1649. DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arw085
Žifčáková L., Větrovský T., Howe A. & Baldrian P. (2016): Microbial activity in forest soil reflects the changes in ecosystem properties between summer and winter. Environmental Microbiology 18, 288–301. DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.13026
Copilaș-Ciocianu D. & Petrusek A. (2015): The southwestern Carpathians as an ancient centre of diversity of freshwater gammarid amphipods: insights from the Gammarus fossarum species complex. Molecular Ecology 24, 3980-3992. DOI: 10.1111/mec.13286
Čuda J., Skálová H., Janovský Z. & Pyšek P.(2015): Competition among native and invasive Impatiens species: the roles of environmental factors, population density and life stage. AoB PLANTS 7, plv033. DOI: 10.1093/aobpla/plv033
Jílková V., Cajthaml T. & Frouz J. (2015). Respiration in wood ant (Formica aquilonia) nests as affected by altitudinal and seasonal changes in temperature. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 86, 50-57. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2015.03.024
Koláčková M., Prokůpková L., Albrecht T. & Hořák D. (2015): Incubation temperature influences trade-off between structural size and energy reserves in Mallard hatchlings. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 88, 1-10. DOI: 10.1086/679602
Kollár J., Fránková M., Hašler P., Letáková M.& Poulickova A. (2015): Epiphytic diatoms in lotic and lentic waters – diversity and representation of species complexes. Fottea 15, 259-271. DOI: 10.5507/fot.2015.022
Mrugała A., Kozubíková-Balcarová E., Chucholl C., Cabanillas Resino S., Viljamaa-Dirks S., Vukić J. & Petrusek A. (2015): Trade of ornamental crayfish in Europe as a possible introduction pathway for important crustacean diseases: crayfish plague and white spot syndrome. Biological Invasions 17, 1313-1326. DOI: 10.1007/s10530-014-0795-x
Djomo Nana E., Sedláček O., Doležal J., Dančák M., Altman J., Svoboda M., Majeský Ľ. & Hořák D. (2015): Relationship between survival rate of avian artificial nests and forest vegetation structure along a tropical altitudinal gradient on Mount Cameroon. Biotropica 47, 758-764. DOI: 10.1111/btp.12262
Palpurina S., Chytrý M., Tzonev R., Danihelka J., Axmanová I., Merunková K., Duchoň M. & Karakiev T. (2015). Patterns of fine-scale plant species richness in dry grasslands across the eastern Balkan Peninsula. Acta Oecologica 63, 36-46. DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2015.02.001
Pipek P., Pyšek P. & Blackburn T.M. (2015): How the Yellowhammer became a Kiwi: the history of an alien bird invasion revealed. NeoBiota 24, 1-31. DOI: 10.3897/neobiota.24.8611