Structure and Evolution of Mediterranean Forest Research: A Science Mapping ApproachReportar como inadecuado

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This study aims at conducting the first science mapping analysis of the Mediterranean forest research in order to elucidate its research structure and evolution. We applied a science mapping approach based on co-term and citation analyses to a set of scientific publications retrieved from the Elsevier’s Scopus database over the period 1980–2014. The Scopus search retrieved 2,698 research papers and reviews published by 159 peer-reviewed journals. The total number of publications was around 1% N = 17 during the period 1980–1989 and they reached 3% N = 69 in the time slice 1990–1994. Since 1995, the number of publications increased exponentially, thus reaching 55% N = 1,476 during the period 2010–2014. Within the thirty-four years considered, the retrieved publications were published by 88 countries. Among them, Spain was the most productive country, publishing 44% N = 1,178 of total publications followed by Italy 18%, N = 482 and France 12%, N = 336. These countries also host the ten most productive scientific institutions in terms of number of publications in Mediterranean forest subjects. Forest Ecology and Management and Annals of Forest Science were the most active journals in publishing research in Mediterranean forest. During the period 1980–1994, the research topics were poorly characterized, but they become better defined during the time slice 1995–1999. Since 2000s, the clusters become well defined by research topics. Current status of Mediterranean forest research 20092014 was represented by four clusters, in which different research topics such as biodiversity and conservation, land-use and degradation, climate change effects on ecophysiological responses and soil were identified. Basic research in Mediterranean forest ecosystems is mainly conducted by ecophysiological research. Applied research was mainly represented by land-use and degradation, biodiversity and conservation and fire research topics. The citation analyses revealed highly cited terms in the Mediterranean forest research as they were represented by fire, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, climate change and global warming. Finally, our analysis also revealed the multidisciplinary role of climate change research. This study provides a first holistic view of the Mediterranean forest research that could be useful for researchers and policy makers as they may evaluate and analyze its historical evolution, as well as its structure and scientific production. We concluded that Mediterranean forest research represents an active scientific field.

Autor: Pierfrancesco Nardi , Giovanni Di Matteo, Marc Palahi, Giuseppe Scarascia Mugnozza



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