Image courtesy of Niki Leblans

Read our January issue

Our January issue includes amniote phylogeny, pollinator phenology, human piRNAs, an editorial on the 'super year of biodiversity', and a palaeo cover by Owen Davey.

Latest Research

  • Article |

    The civil war in Mozambique led to the collapse of large-mammal populations and the spread of the invasive plant Mimosa pigra. Experimental exclosures and DNA metabarcoding are used to show how trophic rewilding since the end of the war has reduced the invasive population.

    • Jennifer A. Guyton
    • , Johan Pansu
    • , Matthew C. Hutchinson
    • , Tyler R. Kartzinel
    • , Arjun B. Potter
    • , Tyler C. Coverdale
    • , Joshua H. Daskin
    • , Ana Gledis da Conceição
    • , Mike J. S. Peel
    • , Marc E. Stalmans
    •  & Robert M. Pringle
  • Article |

    Predicting ecological niche space and ecosystem function from morphological traits is challenging. Here, the authors show that avian trophic diversity can be reduced to four dimensions, based on nine key morphological traits, which reflects convergence of trait combinations.

    • Alex L. Pigot
    • , Catherine Sheard
    • , Eliot T. Miller
    • , Tom P. Bregman
    • , Benjamin G. Freeman
    • , Uri Roll
    • , Nathalie Seddon
    • , Christopher H. Trisos
    • , Brian C. Weeks
    •  & Joseph A. Tobias
  • Article |

    Left–right symmetry in vertebrates is established during development by different mechanisms, including motile cilia. Here, the authors show asymmetric expression of a Nodal paralogue in the left–right organizer in two reptilian embryos, which do not have motile cilia.

    • Eriko Kajikawa
    • , Uzuki Horo
    • , Takahiro Ide
    • , Katsutoshi Mizuno
    • , Katsura Minegishi
    • , Yuichiro Hara
    • , Yayoi Ikawa
    • , Hiromi Nishimura
    • , Masanori Uchikawa
    • , Hiroshi Kiyonari
    • , Shigehiro Kuraku
    •  & Hiroshi Hamada
  • Article |

    By analysing phenological shifts among > 2,000 insect pollinator species in Europe, the authors show that flight dates have become earlier and flight lengths shorter over the past 60 years, potentially altering continental-scale pollinator function.

    • F. Duchenne
    • , E. Thébault
    • , D. Michez
    • , M. Elias
    • , M. Drake
    • , M. Persson
    • , J. S. Rousseau-Piot
    • , M. Pollet
    • , P. Vanormelingen
    •  & C. Fontaine
  • Article |

    A projection of ocean surface isotherm deepening under emissions scenarios RCP8.5 and RCP4.5 reveals that the potential habitat of many marine organisms will rapidly become tightly compressed between depth levels imposed by isotherm deepening, the thickness of the photic layer and the seafloor.

    • Gabriel Jorda
    • , Núria Marbà
    • , Scott Bennett
    • , Julia Santana-Garcon
    • , Susana Agusti
    •  & Carlos M. Duarte

News & Comment

  • News & Views |

    Analysis of niche related morphological traits in nearly 10,000 species of birds shows concordance between phenotypic traits and trophic function. Avian trophic niche space can be described by only two to four dimensions, with the occurrence of similar adaptive morphologies primarily driven by convergent evolution.

    • Matthew J. Larcombe
  • Correspondence |

    • Jeffrey A. Harvey
    • , Robin Heinen
    • , Inge Armbrecht
    • , Yves Basset
    • , James H. Baxter-Gilbert
    • , T. Martijn Bezemer
    • , Monika Böhm
    • , Riccardo Bommarco
    • , Paulo A. V. Borges
    • , Pedro Cardoso
    • , Viola Clausnitzer
    • , Tara Cornelisse
    • , Elizabeth E. Crone
    • , Marcel Dicke
    • , Klaas-Douwe B. Dijkstra
    • , Lee Dyer
    • , Jacintha Ellers
    • , Thomas Fartmann
    • , Mathew L. Forister
    • , Michael J. Furlong
    • , Andres Garcia-Aguayo
    • , Justin Gerlach
    • , Rieta Gols
    • , Dave Goulson
    • , Jan-Christian Habel
    • , Nick M. Haddad
    • , Caspar A. Hallmann
    • , Sérgio Henriques
    • , Marie E. Herberstein
    • , Axel Hochkirch
    • , Alice C. Hughes
    • , Sarina Jepsen
    • , T. Hefin Jones
    • , Bora M. Kaydan
    • , David Kleijn
    • , Alexandra-Maria Klein
    • , Tanya Latty
    • , Simon R. Leather
    • , Sara M. Lewis
    • , Bradford C. Lister
    • , John E. Losey
    • , Elizabeth C. Lowe
    • , Craig R. Macadam
    • , James Montoya-Lerma
    • , Christopher D. Nagano
    • , Sophie Ogan
    • , Michael C. Orr
    • , Christina J. Painting
    • , Thai-Hong Pham
    • , Simon G. Potts
    • , Aunu Rauf
    • , Tomas L. Roslin
    • , Michael J. Samways
    • , Francisco Sanchez-Bayo
    • , Sim A. Sar
    • , Cheryl B. Schultz
    • , António O. Soares
    • , Anchana Thancharoen
    • , Teja Tscharntke
    • , Jason M. Tylianakis
    • , Kate D. L. Umbers
    • , Louise E. M. Vet
    • , Marcel E. Visser
    • , Ante Vujic
    • , David L. Wagner
    • , Michiel F. WallisDeVries
    • , Catrin Westphal
    • , Thomas E. White
    • , Vicky L. Wilkins
    • , Paul H. Williams
    • , Kris A. G. Wyckhuys
    • , Zeng-Rong Zhu
    •  & Hans de Kroon
  • Editorial |

    This year will see the finalization of a global framework for biodiversity for the next decade and beyond. We look at the reasons to be optimistic and call for increased engagement in the process.

  • News & Views |

    Climate warming is driving a global redistribution of marine life as species shift their distribution to accommodate temperature changes. This is often analysed at the ocean surface, but a global analysis of temperature vertical migration provides a new perspective of the challenges and opportunities for marine life under future warming.

    • Jorge García Molinos
  • News & Views |

    A group of early terrestrial vertebrates called varanopids, long regarded as mammal-line amniotes, is placed wholesale with reptiles in a new analysis of early amniote relationships. Meanwhile, a new species of varanopid from Canada provides the oldest evidence for extended parental care in terrestrial vertebrates.

    • Sean P. Modesto
  • News & Views |

    A large-scale, cross-taxa analysis reveals high nonlinearity and limited long-term predictability in the dynamics of animal populations.

    • Vasilis Dakos

Videos

  • Researchers have performed the most comprehensive study to date on pollinator feeding habits in cities. They document what plants pollinators prefer and use computer models to predict the best ways to help them thrive.

  • Years before they conquered the Internet, cats colonized our sofas. DNA from over 200 cat remains shows that farmers in the Near East were probably the first people to successfully tame wild cats 9,000 years ago, before a second wave of cat domestication a few thousand years later in ancient Egypt.

  • One of the major threats to biodiversity worldwide is international trade. The maps in this video show how consumers in the US and Japan are endangering animal species in 'threat hotspots' around the world.

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