Relationship between conservation biology and ecology shown through machine reading of 32,000 articles

Rogier E Hintzen, Marina Papadopoulou, Ross Mounce, Cristina Banks‐leite, Robert D. Holt, Morena Mills, Andrew Knight, Armand M. Leroi, James Rosindell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
71 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Conservation biology was founded on the idea that efforts to save nature depend on a scientific understanding of how it works. It sought to apply ecological principles to conservation problems. We investigated whether the relationship between these fields has changed over time through machine reading the full texts of 32,000 research articles published in 16 ecology and conservation biology journals. We examined changes in research topics in both fields and how the fields have evolved from 2000 to 2014. As conservation biology matured, its focus shifted from ecology to social and political aspects of conservation. The 2 fields diverged and now occupy distinct niches in modern science. We hypothesize this pattern resulted from increasing recognition that social, economic, and political factors are critical for successful conservation and possibly from rising skepticism about the relevance of contemporary ecological theory to practical conservation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-732
Number of pages12
JournalConservation Biology
Volume34
Issue number3
Early online date8-Nov-2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2020

Keywords

  • Bibliometrics
  • Ecological applications
  • Ecological theory
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Latent Dirichlet allocation
  • Aplicaciones ecologicas
  • Asignacion latente Dirichlet
  • Bibliometria
  • Interdisciplinario
  • Teoria ecologica
  • OVERESTIMATE EXTINCTION RATES
  • HABITAT LOSS
  • COEXISTENCE
  • SCIENCE
  • BIODIVERSITY
  • DYNAMICS
  • DESIGN

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