Editors' Choice Paper of the fourth quarter of 2022

10 January 2023

Is it feasible to establish a classification of large biotic units of the world related to climatic types?”

-  asked the international trio Javier Loidi (University of the Basque Country, Spain), Gonzalo Navarro-Sánchez (Bolivian Catholic University, Bolivia) and Denys Vynokurov (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine) in a recent paper, titled “Climatic definitions of the world’s terrestrial biomes”, which was recognised as the Editors' Choice Paper for the fourth quarter of 2022.

In their study, the team propose a hierarchical classification for the biotic units within four main domains: Cryocratic, Mesocratic, Xerocratic and Thermocratic, divided into 7 ecozones, 9 biomes and 20 sub-biomes linked to climatically defined territories. Furthermore, the scientists use 7 ombrotypes and 7 thermotypes to frame the climatic variation within each climatic territory due to terrain ruggedness.

Having used climatic data from a total of 616 localities from around the globe, the researchers present a comprehensive bioclimatic scheme for all world vegetation and categorise it into a small number of units with their distributions explained by climatic factors. The data are openly available as supplementary materials.

To communicate their research, the authors selected to publish it as a Review and Synthesis: an article type available at the Vegetation Classification and Survey journal. This type of publications provides scientists with the opportunity to publish critical reviews of the existing knowledge on a particular topic, in order to derive new ideas and conclusions without necessarily providing (pleny of) new data or analyses. You can find more about the article types accepted at VCS on the journal website.


Image caption: A scheme of the main vegetation formations of the world. Credit: Loidi et al. Image DOI: 10.3897/VCS.86102.figure1 (displayed image has been cropped from the original figure).


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