Image courtesy of Peter Graystock

Read our October issue

Our October issue includes photosynthetic acclimation, plant-pollinator communities, mosquito mating, Neanderthal introgression and a collection of articles on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion

Latest Research

  • Article |

    Phylogenomic analysis supports a diderm ancestor of the Firmicutes and points to an early origin of two-membraned cells in Bacteria and the derived nature of the Gram-positive envelope following multiple outer membrane losses.

    • Najwa Taib
    • , Daniela Megrian
    • , Jerzy Witwinowski
    • , Panagiotis Adam
    • , Daniel Poppleton
    • , Guillaume Borrel
    • , Christophe Beloin
    •  & Simonetta Gribaldo
  • Article |

    By simulating experimentally the extinction of three key grazer species from an intertidal community, the authors show that the contribution of individual species to different dimensions of ecological stability is highly context dependent, and may simultaneously be positive or negative.

    • Lydia White
    • , Nessa E. O’Connor
    • , Qiang Yang
    • , Mark C. Emmerson
    •  & Ian Donohue
  • Perspective |

    Systematic reviews are a powerful tool to synthesize large volumes of the published literature, but are susceptible to a number of methodological biases. Here, the authors outline mitigation strategies for improving the quality of evidence syntheses.

    • Neal R. Haddaway
    • , Alison Bethel
    • , Lynn V. Dicks
    • , Julia Koricheva
    • , Biljana Macura
    • , Gillian Petrokofsky
    • , Andrew S. Pullin
    • , Sini Savilaakso
    •  & Gavin B. Stewart
  • Article |

    On the basis of a soil-conditioning experiment, the authors show that while alien plant species are not more competitive than natives when growing in other native soil legacies or non-conditioned soils, they outcompete natives under soil legacies from other alien species, their growth being less negatively affected than those of native species. This points to an invasional meltdown as invasive species increase in presence and abundance.

    • Zhijie Zhang
    • , Yanjie Liu
    • , Caroline Brunel
    •  & Mark van Kleunen
  • Article |

    Analysing >40 plant traits and ecosystem properties over 10 years, the authors find moderate evidence for traits being predictors of ecosystem-level properties within years, but limited evidence for any effect across years.

    • Fons van der Plas
    • , Thomas Schröder-Georgi
    • , Alexandra Weigelt
    • , Kathryn Barry
    • , Sebastian Meyer
    • , Adriana Alzate
    • , Romain L. Barnard
    • , Nina Buchmann
    • , Hans de Kroon
    • , Anne Ebeling
    • , Nico Eisenhauer
    • , Christof Engels
    • , Markus Fischer
    • , Gerd Gleixner
    • , Anke Hildebrandt
    • , Eva Koller-France
    • , Sophia Leimer
    • , Alexandru Milcu
    • , Liesje Mommer
    • , Pascal A. Niklaus
    • , Yvonne Oelmann
    • , Christiane Roscher
    • , Christoph Scherber
    • , Michael Scherer-Lorenzen
    • , Stefan Scheu
    • , Bernhard Schmid
    • , Ernst-Detlef Schulze
    • , Vicky Temperton
    • , Teja Tscharntke
    • , Winfried Voigt
    • , Wolfgang Weisser
    • , Wolfgang Wilcke
    •  & Christian Wirth

News & Comment

  • Comment |

    Monoculture plantations have been promoted for the restoration of the world’s forested area, but these have not contained or reversed the loss of biodiversity. More innovative incentive policies should be implemented to shift the planet’s forest restoration policies from increasing the area of forests per se to improving their biodiversity.

    • Junze Zhang
    • , Bojie Fu
    • , Mark Stafford-Smith
    • , Shuai Wang
    •  & Wenwu Zhao
  • Comment |

    As a result of identity prejudice, certain individuals are more vulnerable to conflict and violence when they are in the field. It is paramount that all fieldworkers be informed of the risks some colleagues may face, so that they can define best practice together: here we recommend strategies to minimize risk for all individuals conducting fieldwork.

    • Amelia-Juliette Claire Demery
    •  & Monique Avery Pipkin
  • Editorial |

    In this issue, we focus on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in science.

  • Comment |

    As conservation organizations seek to create inclusive communities, they should reflect on current experiences. Using interview vignettes, we bring to attention the isolation and discrimination experienced by scientists who are Black, Indigenous and people of colour, alongside additional burdens of diversity and inclusion work.

    • Karen Bailey
    • , Nia Morales
    •  & Milton Newberry III
  • Comment |

    The pandemic will allow us to fundamentally remodel the way field-based sciences are taught, conducted and funded — but only if we stop waiting for a ‘return to normal’.

    • Eleanor M. L. Scerri
    • , Denise Kühnert
    • , James Blinkhorn
    • , Huw S. Groucutt
    • , Patrick Roberts
    • , Kathleen Nicoll
    • , Andrea Zerboni
    • , Emuobosa Akpo Orijemie
    • , Huw Barton
    • , Ian Candy
    • , Steven T. Goldstein
    • , John Hawks
    • , Khady Niang
    • , Didier N’Dah
    • , Michael D. Petraglia
    •  & Nicholas C. Vella

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.