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Comparing historical records with contemporary camera trap surveys, the authors report widespread declines in the occurrence of four large carnivore species from protected areas within the distributional range of the giant panda.
The costs of echolocation during flight were thought to be negligible for bats, but here it is shown that this is true only below a certain intensity threshold. Above 130 dB, the costs of sound production become too expensive for small bats.
The German site of Schöningen preserves rare examples of Palaeolithic wooden artefacts. Here, a 300,000-year-old spruce wood implement is interpreted as a throwing stick on the basis of microscopic use-wear analysis.
Analysing spatial association networks among >300 terrestrial and aquatic assemblages, the authors find that the majority of negative associations involve abundant species. In contrast, rare species form mostly positive associations, potentially explaining their persistence in natural communities.
Interviews with local people and camera-trap surveys have led to the first scientifically confirmed sightings of the silver-backed chevrotain for more than 25 years. The news that this species is not extinct is tempered by major threats of habitat loss and poaching in the region.
Phylogenetic analysis reveals that the managed bee Megachile rotundata lacks the specific P450 enzymes that confer tolerance to some insecticides in other bee species, rendering M. rotundata substantially more sensitive to these insecticides in acute contact assays.
Comparing body-length distributions of modern and archaeological specimens of common carp, the authors find evidence consistent with fish management in the Early Neolithic site of Jiahu in China, representing the earliest identified form of aquaculture.
Sampling colonies of social spiders before and after a tropical cyclone strike, the authors find evidence of selection for aggressive phenotypes, and that regional variation in this trait may be influenced by the historical frequency of extreme events.
The conservation of ancient metazoan gene order is remarkable, yet the functionality of conserved regions is unclear. Using single-cell expression data for many metazoans, the authors identify conserved genomic regions conferring ancient cell type identity.
An assessment of global extinction in plants shows almost 600 species have become extinct, at a rate higher than background extinction levels, with the highest rates on islands, in the tropics and for shrubs, trees or species with narrow ranges.
A survey of 469 faculty members from ecology and evolutionary biology doctoral programmes across the United States finds that, although most respondents report engaging in diversity and inclusion activities at their institution, respondents who identified themselves as non-white, non-male and the first generation in their family to attend college engaged disproportionately more.
Drone flights observed by West African green monkeys (Chlorocebus sabaeus) elicited responses distinct from those for known predators, but which were similar to their East African congenerics, suggesting such responses are conserved.
Analysing responses of 378 bird species to deforestation in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, the authors show that sensitivity to habitat loss is dependent on where a population is located within its range.
Comparing temperatures in the forest understory versus open habitat across boreal, temperate and tropical biomes, the authors show that tree canopies act as thermal insulators that buffer the understory against temperature extremes.
Analysis of crow admixed genomes in a European hybrid zone shows that variation in hybrid colour phenotypes is explained by recessive epistasis between two pigmentation genes, which are targets of divergent selection.
Signing of peace agreements in Colombia has brought armed conflict to an end, but has also led to encroachment, development and deforestation of previously disputed forested areas, as revealed by remote sensing data.
In a coordinated distributed dispersal experiment involving seven laboratories, the authors show that both top-down predation risk and bottom-up resource limitation increase emigration rates across 21 species ranging from protozoa to vertebrates.
In the Western Ghats of India, the presence of wind farms is found to reduce the abundance and activity of predatory birds, with the associated effect of increasing the density of lizard prey and altering lizard behaviour and physiology.
Priority effects refer to changes in the diversity, composition or function of a community according to the arrival order of species. Here, the authors show that only effects that are compatible with coexistence theory are characterized by positive frequency-dependence.
How and why individuals of the same species may differ in the way they form pair bonds is not well understood. The authors show that the individual personalities of male great tits (Parus major) regulate how quickly they meet their future partner, and the rate at which they bond with them.
More diverse plant communities show increasing productivity through time. Here, the authors show that evolutionary selection for facilitative interactions occurs only in mixtures, whereas selection for reduced competition occurs in both monocultures and mixtures.
Damselfish ‘farm' plots of algae through weeding, territorial defence and fertilization. Here, the authors show that some damselfish populations take advantage of natural CO2 vents to enhance their crop productivity and abundance.
Experimental removal of corallivorous snails from corals in the Caribbean Sea shows that this local management action can improve coral resilience to severe warming through reducing bleaching severity and post-bleaching tissue mortality.
Although New Caledonian crows are known to create hooked foraging tools in the wild, here the authors show that this allows them to forage more efficiently compared with when they use non-hooked tools.
Genome-wide nucleotide composition varies greatly among species. Here, the authors show that genomic G + C composition is driven by mutation bias but is also modified by natural selection or biased gene conversion.
Despite recent IUCN downgrading of the giant panda’s conservation status from ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’, new GIS and remote sensing data reveal panda habitats to cover less area and be more fragmented than previously.
Theory predicts that gene flow hinders local adaptation, unless it is coupled with habitat choice. Here, the authors show that dispersal with habitat choice favours local adaptation in ciliate microcosms.
Plants can induce anti-herbivore defences through the synthesis of proteins that reduce feeding. Induction of these defences in tomato plants also reduces herbivore damage by promoting cannibalism among insect larvae.
In rangeomorphs of the Ediacaran period, first appearing 571 million years ago, growth of branch internodes declined as their surface area decreased relative to volume, suggesting nutrient-dependent growth.
Co-mapping the incidence of worker reproduction and queen pheromone chemical composition on a phylogeny of stingless bees reveals no association between queen hydrocarbon profiles and worker reproduction.
Humans and great apes show left-cradling bias but it is unclear how widespread this bias is. Here, the authors show lateralization in interactions between an infant and its mother in 11 marine and terrestrial mammals, which suggests that lateralization has an ancient evolutionary history.