Brief Communications

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  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Sheng Li
    • , William J. McShea
    • , Dajun Wang
    • , Xiaodong Gu
    • , Xiaofeng Zhang
    • , Li Zhang
    •  & Xiaoli Shen
  • Brief Communication |

    An assessment of the habitat of native vertebrate species burnt by the 2019–2020 Australian mega-fires shows that 70 taxa were severely affected.

    • Michelle Ward
    • , Ayesha I. T. Tulloch
    • , James Q. Radford
    • , Brooke A. Williams
    • , April E. Reside
    • , Stewart L. Macdonald
    • , Helen J. Mayfield
    • , Martine Maron
    • , Hugh P. Possingham
    • , Samantha J. Vine
    • , James L. O’Connor
    • , Emily J. Massingham
    • , Aaron C. Greenville
    • , John C. Z. Woinarski
    • , Stephen T. Garnett
    • , Mark Lintermans
    • , Ben C. Scheele
    • , Josie Carwardine
    • , Dale G. Nimmo
    • , David B. Lindenmayer
    • , Robert M. Kooyman
    • , Jeremy S. Simmonds
    • , Laura J. Sonter
    •  & James E. M. Watson
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Shannon E. Currie
    • , Arjan Boonman
    • , Sara Troxell
    • , Yossi Yovel
    •  & Christian C. Voigt
  • Brief Communication |

    A framework is presented for achieving global no net loss of biodiversity that accounts for inequity among countries in both pressures and ability to act.

    • Martine Maron
    • , Jeremy S. Simmonds
    • , James E. M. Watson
    • , Laura J. Sonter
    • , Leon Bennun
    • , Victoria F. Griffiths
    • , Fabien Quétier
    • , Amrei von Hase
    • , Stephen Edwards
    • , Hugo Rainey
    • , Joseph W. Bull
    • , Conrad E. Savy
    • , Ray Victurine
    • , Joseph Kiesecker
    • , Philippe Puydarrieux
    • , Todd Stevens
    • , Naïg Cozannet
    •  & Julia P. G. Jones
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Joaquín Calatayud
    • , Enrique Andivia
    • , Adrián Escudero
    • , Carlos J. Melián
    • , Rubén Bernardo-Madrid
    • , Markus Stoffel
    • , Cristina Aponte
    • , Nagore G. Medina
    • , Rafael Molina-Venegas
    • , Xavier Arnan
    • , Martin Rosvall
    • , Magnus Neuman
    • , Jorge Ari Noriega
    • , Fernanda Alves-Martins
    • , Isabel Draper
    • , Arantzazu Luzuriaga
    • , Juan Antonio Ballesteros-Cánovas
    • , César Morales-Molino
    • , Pablo Ferrandis
    • , Asier Herrero
    • , Luciano Pataro
    • , Leandro Juen
    • , Alex Cea
    •  & Jaime Madrigal-González
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • An Nguyen
    • , Van Bang Tran
    • , Duc Minh Hoang
    • , Thi Anh Minh Nguyen
    • , Dinh Thang Nguyen
    • , Van Tiep Tran
    • , Barney Long
    • , Erik Meijaard
    • , Jeff Holland
    • , Andreas Wilting
    •  & Andrew Tilker
  • Brief Communication |

    Analysing data from the world’s longest-running insect population database, the authors find that recent declines in UK moth biomass were preceded by a larger increase.

    • Callum J. Macgregor
    • , Jonathan H. Williams
    • , James R. Bell
    •  & Chris D. Thomas
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Angela Hayward
    • , Katherine Beadle
    • , Kumar Saurabh Singh
    • , Nina Exeler
    • , Marion Zaworra
    • , Maria-Teresa Almanza
    • , Alexander Nikolakis
    • , Christina Garside
    • , Johannes Glaubitz
    • , Chris Bass
    •  & Ralf Nauen
  • Brief Communication |

    Microscopic analysis of backed stone pieces from the Uluzzian technocomplex of Italy (45–40 thousand years ago) identifies them as hafted armatures, probably used as projectiles.

    • Katsuhiro Sano
    • , Simona Arrighi
    • , Chiaramaria Stani
    • , Daniele Aureli
    • , Francesco Boschin
    • , Ivana Fiore
    • , Vincenzo Spagnolo
    • , Stefano Ricci
    • , Jacopo Crezzini
    • , Paolo Boscato
    • , Monica Gala
    • , Antonio Tagliacozzo
    • , Giovanni Birarda
    • , Lisa Vaccari
    • , Annamaria Ronchitelli
    • , Adriana Moroni
    •  & Stefano Benazzi
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Tsuneo Nakajima
    • , Mark J. Hudson
    • , Junzo Uchiyama
    • , Keisuke Makibayashi
    •  & Juzhong Zhang
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Alexander G. Little
    • , David N. Fisher
    • , Thomas W. Schoener
    •  & Jonathan N. Pruitt
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Bob Zimmermann
    • , Nicolas S. M. Robert
    • , Ulrich Technau
    •  & Oleg Simakov
  • Brief Communication |

    A 3,000-year record of capuchin monkey stone tool use shows long-term variability in technology outside of the human lineage.

    • Tiago Falótico
    • , Tomos Proffitt
    • , Eduardo B. Ottoni
    • , Richard A. Staff
    •  & Michael Haslam
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Aelys M. Humphreys
    • , Rafaël Govaerts
    • , Sarah Z. Ficinski
    • , Eimear Nic Lughadha
    •  & Maria S. Vorontsova
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Miguel F. Jimenez
    • , Theresa M. Laverty
    • , Sara P. Bombaci
    • , Kate Wilkins
    • , Drew E. Bennett
    •  & Liba Pejchar
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • C. David L. Orme
    • , Sarah Mayor
    • , Luiz dos Anjos
    • , Pedro F. Develey
    • , Jack H. Hatfield
    • , José Carlos Morante-Filho
    • , Jason M. Tylianakis
    • , Alexandre Uezu
    •  & Cristina Banks-Leite
  • Brief Communication |

    DNA metabarcoding is used to survey the spatial and temporal distribution of airborne grass pollen genera over the summer grass pollen season across Great Britain.

    • Georgina L. Brennan
    • , Caitlin Potter
    • , Natasha de Vere
    • , Gareth W. Griffith
    • , Carsten A. Skjøth
    • , Nicholas J. Osborne
    • , Benedict W. Wheeler
    • , Rachel N. McInnes
    • , Yolanda Clewlow
    • , Adam Barber
    • , Helen M. Hanlon
    • , Matthew Hegarty
    • , Laura Jones
    • , Alexander Kurganskiy
    • , Francis M. Rowney
    • , Charlotte Armitage
    • , Beverley Adams-Groom
    • , Col R. Ford
    • , Geoff M. Petch
    • , Angela Elliot
    • , Carl A. Frisk
    • , Roy Neilson
    • , Stephen Potter
    • , Abdullah M. Rafiq
    • , David B. Roy
    • , Katherine Selby
    • , Natascha Steinberg
    •  & Simon Creer
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Pieter De Frenne
    • , Florian Zellweger
    • , Francisco Rodríguez-Sánchez
    • , Brett R. Scheffers
    • , Kristoffer Hylander
    • , Miska Luoto
    • , Mark Vellend
    • , Kris Verheyen
    •  & Jonathan Lenoir
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Ulrich Knief
    • , Christen M. Bossu
    • , Nicola Saino
    • , Bengt Hansson
    • , Jelmer Poelstra
    • , Nagarjun Vijay
    • , Matthias Weissensteiner
    •  & Jochen B. W. Wolf
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Dolors Armenteras
    • , Laura Schneider
    •  & Liliana María Dávalos
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Emanuel A. Fronhofer
    • , Delphine Legrand
    • , Florian Altermatt
    • , Armelle Ansart
    • , Simon Blanchet
    • , Dries Bonte
    • , Alexis Chaine
    • , Maxime Dahirel
    • , Frederik De Laender
    • , Jonathan De Raedt
    • , Lucie di Gesu
    • , Staffan Jacob
    • , Oliver Kaltz
    • , Estelle Laurent
    • , Chelsea J. Little
    • , Luc Madec
    • , Florent Manzi
    • , Stefano Masier
    • , Felix Pellerin
    • , Frank Pennekamp
    • , Nicolas Schtickzelle
    • , Lieven Therry
    • , Alexandre Vong
    • , Laurane Winandy
    •  & Julien Cote
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Maria Thaker
    • , Amod Zambre
    •  & Harshal Bhosale
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Po-Ju Ke
    •  & Andrew D. Letten
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Josh A. Firth
    • , Ella F. Cole
    • , Christos C. Ioannou
    • , John L. Quinn
    • , Lucy M. Aplin
    • , Antica Culina
    • , Keith McMahon
    •  & Ben C. Sheldon
  • Brief Communication |

    Whole genome data for 221 geo-referenced cultivated and wild accessions of pearl millet reveals their domestication centre in the western Sahara, 4,900 years ago.

    • Concetta Burgarella
    • , Philippe Cubry
    • , Ndjido A. Kane
    • , Rajeev K. Varshney
    • , Cedric Mariac
    • , Xin Liu
    • , Chengcheng Shi
    • , Mahendar Thudi
    • , Marie Couderc
    • , Xun Xu
    • , Annapurna Chitikineni
    • , Nora Scarcelli
    • , Adeline Barnaud
    • , Bénédicte Rhoné
    • , Christian Dupuy
    • , Olivier François
    • , Cécile Berthouly-Salazar
    •  & Yves Vigouroux
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Christian Schöb
    • , Rob W. Brooker
    •  & Debra Zuppinger-Dingley
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Camilo M. Ferreira
    • , Ivan Nagelkerken
    • , Silvan U. Goldenberg
    •  & Sean D. Connell
  • Brief Communication |

    An evidence map of global biodiversity loss research over the past decade suggests foci do not match predicted severity and impact, and that research and policy need to be realigned.

    • Tessa Mazor
    • , Christopher Doropoulos
    • , Florian Schwarzmueller
    • , Daniel W. Gladish
    • , Nagalingam Kumaran
    • , Katharina Merkel
    • , Moreno Di Marco
    •  & Vesna Gagic
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • James J. H. St Clair
    • , Barbara C. Klump
    • , Shoko Sugasawa
    • , Caitlin G. Higgott
    • , Nick Colegrave
    •  & Christian Rutz
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Hongan Long
    • , Way Sung
    • , Sibel Kucukyildirim
    • , Emily Williams
    • , Samuel F. Miller
    • , Wanfeng Guo
    • , Caitlyn Patterson
    • , Colin Gregory
    • , Chloe Strauss
    • , Casey Stone
    • , Cécile Berne
    • , David Kysela
    • , William R. Shoemaker
    • , Mario E. Muscarella
    • , Haiwei Luo
    • , Jay T. Lennon
    • , Yves V. Brun
    •  & Michael Lynch
  • Brief Communication |

    Long-term grassland and forest experiments reveal that temporal strengthening in biodiversity functioning relationships is mainly driven by increases in functioning in high-diversity communities.

    • Nathaly R. Guerrero-Ramírez
    • , Dylan Craven
    • , Peter B. Reich
    • , John J. Ewel
    • , Forest Isbell
    • , Julia Koricheva
    • , John A. Parrotta
    • , Harald Auge
    • , Heather E. Erickson
    • , David I. Forrester
    • , Andy Hector
    • , Jasmin Joshi
    • , Florencia Montagnini
    • , Cecilia Palmborg
    • , Daniel Piotto
    • , Catherine Potvin
    • , Christiane Roscher
    • , Jasper van Ruijven
    • , David Tilman
    • , Brian Wilsey
    •  & Nico Eisenhauer
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Weihua Xu
    • , Andrés Viña
    • , Lingqiao Kong
    • , Stuart L. Pimm
    • , Jingjing Zhang
    • , Wu Yang
    • , Yi Xiao
    • , Lu Zhang
    • , Xiaodong Chen
    • , Jianguo Liu
    •  & Zhiyun Ouyang
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Staffan Jacob
    • , Delphine Legrand
    • , Alexis S. Chaine
    • , Dries Bonte
    • , Nicolas Schtickzelle
    • , Michèle Huet
    •  & Jean Clobert
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • John Orrock
    • , Brian Connolly
    •  & Anthony Kitchen
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Túlio M. Nunes
    • , Benjamin P. Oldroyd
    • , Larissa G. Elias
    • , Sidnei Mateus
    • , Izabel C. Turatti
    •  & Norberto P. Lopes
  • Brief Communication |

    In a semi-naturalistic ‘Metatron’ experiment, a rise of 2–3 °C causes a reduction in gut microbiome diversity of over one-third in an ectotherm, the common lizard (Zootoca vivipara).

    • Elvire Bestion
    • , Staffan Jacob
    • , Lucie Zinger
    • , Lucie Di Gesu
    • , Murielle Richard
    • , Joël White
    •  & Julien Cote
  • Brief Communication |

    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.

    • Karina Karenina
    • , Andrey Giljov
    • , Janeane Ingram
    • , Victoria J. Rowntree
    •  & Yegor Malashichev