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  • News & Views |

    An in-depth analysis of how pathogen prevalence among both bees and flowers changes over the course of a growing season reveals the complex dynamics of how infection risk changes with species diversity, abundance and phenology.

    • Marla Spivak
    •  & Daniel P. Cariveau
  • News & Views |

    Tree ring records show that sensitivity of conifer trees to drought has generally increased during the last century, but so has post-drought recovery.

    • Timothy J. Brodribb
  • News & Views |

    Freshwaters are subject to a multitude of threats, but complex interactions among stressors are context-dependant and less common than expected.

    • Peter R. Leavitt
  • News & Views |

    Homo sapiens remains, molecular data and a revised chronology for the Bulgarian site of Bacho Kiro document the earliest known presence of our species in Europe, representing an important jigsaw piece in the Middle-to-Upper Palaeolithic transition.

    • William E. Banks
  • News & Views |

    A global analysis of biodiversity time series across temperate zones shows contrasting fingerprints of contemporary climate warming on species assemblages over land and sea. A net increase in the number of species is evident in the warmest temperate oceans but no systematic biodiversity trend is detected in the terrestrial realm.

    • Lise Comte
    •  & Jonathan Lenoir
  • News & Views |

    A comparative analysis of developmental transcriptomes across Metazoa provides a quantitative approach to test scenarios of life-cycle evolution and supports an ancestral adult form with later intercalation of larval stages.

    • Konstantin Khalturin
  • News & Views |

    A large-scale field experiment in a prey–enemy system demonstrates that spatial and temporal variation in population dynamics can both drive and respond to evolution. This is a crucial step in scaling up our understanding of how ecology and evolution are intertwined in mosaic landscapes.

    • Jason M. Tylianakis
    •  & Lais F. Maia
  • News & Views |

    A new model suggests that energetic costs of development are minimized within narrow ranges of temperature. Temperatures below an optimum raise costs by extending development times more than metabolic rates are depressed, whereas temperatures above the optimum cause development rates to stall even as metabolic rates rise.

    • H. Arthur Woods
  • News & Views |

    Proteomic analysis of human dental calculus finds evidence that ruminant dairying was accompanied with eastward human migration into Central Mongolia about 5,000 years ago and horse milk consumption was a part of the economic transformation in Mongolia around 1200 bc.

    • Yimin Yang
  • News & Views |

    Ancient Salmonella enterica genomes from humans beginning to adopt farming lifestyles reveal insight into how epidemiological pathways were affected by human cultural transitions.

    • Anne C. Stone
  • News & Views |

    Slow ecological cycles, resulting in the recurrent dispersal of cells between resource patches, can drive the evolution of collectivity.

    • Jordi van Gestel
  • 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
  • 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
  • News & Views |

    The physical linkage of the first self-replicating molecules is likely to have been selected based on their capacity to perform cooperative catalysis.

    • Joana C. Xavier
  • News & Views |

    Data from hundreds of natural communities show that rare species share more positive associations with each other than abundant species, which tend to be more segregated. These patterns are consistent with facilitation for rare species and competition for abundant ones, and hold true across taxa and biogeographic regions.

    • Jes Hines
    •  & Petr Keil
  • News & Views |

    A phylogenomic re-analysis of sequence data strongly supports the emergence of eukaryotes from within the archaeal radiation and underlines the importance of using the most accurate approaches to reconstruct ancient divergences in the tree of life.

    • Simonetta Gribaldo
    •  & Céline Brochier-Armanet
  • News & Views |

    Comparative analyses of egg colouration and experimental data suggest that variation in egg colours between species is shaped by thermoregulatory needs.

    • Kaspar Delhey
  • News & Views |

    A new modelling study highlights the importance of the search process in predator–prey interactions. When predators act on information related to prey location, the dynamics and stability of populations are more realistic.

    • James P. O’Dwyer
  • News & Views |

    A field test suggests that orally ingestible, spreadable vaccines to combat rabies will transmit widely among vampire bats in the wild, offering a more humane — and effective — alternative to the bat culling practiced throughout Latin America today.

    • Cara E. Brook
  • News & Views |

    Analysis of the world’s longest-running insect monitoring programme finds little evidence to support steep declines in biomass across the United Kingdom over the past 50 years. Moth biomass showed a net increase, but a gradual post-1982 decline was found in certain land uses and for some moth families.

    • Manu E. Saunders
  • News & Views |

    Temperature differences between cities and the countryside have been regarded as useful surrogates for ecological responses to climate warming. However, research reveals mismatch between the phenological responses to spatial and temporal temperature gradients as well as complex interactions between urbanization and climate.

    • Constantin M. Zohner
  • News & Views |

    The recently evolved Y chromosome of Drosophila miranda shows a massive increase in gene number and signatures of antagonistic coevolution of the Y and X.

    • Erica L. Larson
  • News & Views |

    The pools of the geothermal Dallol Dome and surrounding area (in the Danakil Depression of Ethiopia) are an extreme example of complex brines: many lack evidence of life, but others are habitats for archaea and other extremophiles, prompting questions about the biophysical limits for microbial function.

    • John E. Hallsworth
  • News & Views |

    The existence of trade-offs between traits under selection is a fundamental concept in evolutionary biology. Analysis of a densely sampled collection of adaptive mutations in yeast reveals that no single mutation can allow it to overcome detected trade-offs between key traits under selection.

    • Danna R. Gifford
  • News & Views |

    Inferred gene expression differences between modern humans and our extinct archaic relatives suggest potential mechanistic bases for the evolution of hominin phenotypes.

    • Stephanie M. Yan
    •  & Rajiv C. McCoy
  • News & Views |

    A Free Ocean Carbon Enrichment experiment that manipulates seawater pH on a coral reef flat shows that the level of ocean acidification at which net dissolution of corals occurs may arrive much sooner than expected.

    • Jonathan S. Stark
    •  & Chris Langdon
  • News & Views |

    Measurement comparisons of ancient and modern carp push back the initial stages of aquaculture to 6000 bc, raising the possibility that rice paddy and fish co-culture systems are much older than previously thought. This research suggests carp were later independently domesticated twice, once in Europe and once in Asia.

    • Jennifer Harland
  • News & Views |

    A simulation of expansion, fragmentation and extirpation of species ranges over multiple glacial–interglacial cycles matches empirical biodiversity gradients and shows that high levels of biodiversity in the tropics can emerge from temporally variable but spatially patchy precipitation regimes, driven by allopatric speciation.

    • Adam Tomašových
  • News & Views |

    Analysis of barn owl and prey behaviours reveals the importance of moonlight for the evolution of white plumage.

    • Jesús M. Avilés
  • News & Views |

    An assessment of how social spider populations respond to tropical cyclones sheds light on the role that extreme climatic events play in driving trait evolution contributing to local adaptation.

    • Eric I. Ameca
  • News & Views |

    An assessment of coral communities on more than 2,500 reefs across the Indo-Pacific identifies three categories of reef according to their functionality and vulnerability to ocean warming. This categorization reveals a sobering picture of today’s coral reefs, but also provides a foundation for their future management.

    • Simon J. Brandl
  • News & Views |

    Analysis of single-cell gene expression data and genome assemblies of five diverse metazoan species shows a tight link between conserved gene order and its relationship with cell type-specific gene expression.

    • Maja Adamska
  • News & Views |

    Life stages in Bacillus subtilis are controlled by regulatory blocks that can be kept or lost across species in response to selection in different environments.

    • Eric Libby
  • News & Views |

    Exposing wild-caught eggs to audio playbacks in the lab reveals that avian embryos can communicate predation risk to their siblings before hatching. This prenatal communication, which possibly occurs through vibrational cues, coordinates the developmental trajectories of the clutch.

    • Mylene M. Mariette
    •  & Katherine L. Buchanan
  • News & Views |

    A survey of more than 9,000 conservationists in 149 countries reveals that, despite broad diversity in people and ideas, the global conversation community is not divided. Conservation policy will benefit from drawing on this diversity as international negotiations around the post-2020 agenda for conservation proceed.

    • James E. M. Watson
    •  & Julia P. G. Jones
  • News & Views |

    A novel technique based on isotope analysis shows that, compared to ecosystem type, evolutionary history explains more variation in bacterial growth traits along an elevation gradient. This knowledge could help move microbial ecologists toward improved predictive models of soil processes.

    • Steven D. Allison
  • News & Views |

    New research suggests that groups of ~130 modern humans at minimum undertook planned expeditions to colonise Sahul via a northern route. However, the necessity of more evidence to test this model reflects a need for change in the way we investigate the population history of this region.

    • Michael C. Westaway
  • News & Views |

    The adaptive radiation of notothenioid fishes after the Antarctic glaciation was preceded by rapid genomic evolution and reduced bone density.

    • Sarah J. Longo
  • News & Views |

    A model-based approach allows quantification of lineage-specific speciation and extinction rates on the basis of phylogenetic trees.

    • Tanja Stadler
  • News & Views |

    Long-term data on sockeye salmon in Alaska show how warmer temperatures during the juvenile freshwater stage of this species can drive shifts in later life history patterns.

    • Elizabeth A. Marschall
  • News & Views |

    The authors of a new genomic study propose three distinct latitudinal clines of ancestry among modern Inner Eurasians, each built upon successive layers of admixture.

    • Lara M. Cassidy
  • News & Views |

    A global analysis of the relationship between photosynthesis and temperature identifies key similarities and differences when scaling from leaves to ecosystems and suggests that carbon uptake by vegetation may be able to adjust to a warming world.

    • Danielle A. Way
  • News & Views |

    When local crop failures in different regions occur simultaneously, the result can be an amplification of global food production shocks. Better understanding of the role of production synchronicity in historic food system stability is an important step towards anticipating possible future losses.

    • Kirsty Lewis
  • News & Views |

    Three studies presenting genomes and transcriptomes from different life stages of nearly all major lineages of medusozoans present radically different gene expression profiles between life cycle stages and many medusa-specific genes.

    • Christine E. Schnitzler
  • News & Views |

    The EAT-Lancet Commission proposes a universal healthy diet that could help to limit environmental changes within the planetary boundaries, but further work is needed to adapt this diet to local conditions and limit unintended environmental and health impacts of changing diets.

    • Hanna L. Tuomisto
  • News & Views |

    The reduction in biodiversity after the end-Cretaceous mass extinction event did not instantaneously create evolutionary opportunities for planktonic protists. Survivors instead re-diversified in pulses that followed morphological innovations.

    • Anne Weil
    •  & James W. Kirchner
  • News & Views |

    An assessment of the taxonomic composition of airborne pollen using targeted high-throughput sequencing may help in understanding environmental and human drivers of the grass pollen season and in allergy prevention and management.

    • Annette Menzel