What were the topics of research that dominated ecology in 2011, and where is ecology likely to head in 2012?
A brief answer can be found by looking at the most common keywords found in ecology papers published during 2011*. "Abundance" proved the most common keyword. Interestingly, "climate change" and "global warming" appeared less common as keywords compared to last year. In contrast, words tying research to places ("Great Barrier Reef") and systems ("rainforest") seemed more common. Although it's hard to draw any specific conclusions from this kind of thing, it's notable that many of the most common words are related to community ecology, lending credence to Marc Cadotte's assertion that community ecology is flourishing as a discipline.
*Although hardly rigorous, I analyzed the keywords from 4000 randomly selected ecology papers published in 2011 found using a Web of Science search. The most common 150 terms are represented in the word cloud, where text size represents the frequency with which a word appears on the list.