News & Comment

  • Editorial |

    The IPBES global assessment has brought biodiversity prominently to the attention of policymakers and the public, and researchers should seize this critical opportunity to engender change towards sustainability.

  • Editorial |

    The editors of Nature Ecology & Evolution are always keen to hear about your research and answer your questions, and you can approach us at conferences or contact us via e-mail at any time.

  • 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
  • Comment |

    Current mangrove planting schemes aimed at reversing global losses are prioritising short-term increases in area over long-term establishment. Without sound, evidence-based restoration policies, this approach could accelerate the demise of mangrove forests and the ecosystem services they provide.

    • Shing Yip Lee
    • , Stu Hamilton
    • , Edward B. Barbier
    • , Jurgenne Primavera
    •  & Roy R. Lewis III
  • 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
  • Correspondence |

    • Miguel Cortés-Sánchez
    • , Francisco J. Jiménez-Espejo
    • , María D. Simón-Vallejo
    • , Chris Stringer
    • , María Carmen Lozano Francisco
    • , Antonio García-Alix
    • , José L. Vera Peláez
    • , Carlos P. Odriozola
    • , José A. Riquelme-Cantal
    • , Rubén Parrilla-Giráldez
    • , Adolfo Maestro González
    • , Naohiko Ohkouchi
    •  & Arturo Morales-Muñiz
  • 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 |

    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
  • 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
  • Editorial |

    The development of essential biodiversity variables offers the prospect of large-scale data synthesis and a smoother path from science to policy.

  • News & Views |

    Analysis of Phanerozoic vertebrate community richness suggests there have been constraints on tetrapod diversity dynamics over much of their evolutionary history.

    • Linda C. Ivany
    •  & Jesse Czekanski-Moir
  • Comment |

    The inauguration of Jair Bolsonaro as Brazil’s new president has heralded a rapid acceleration of the erosion of environmental protection measures in the country. Brazil’s scientific community should rally to provide evidence that this is economically and socially unwise.

    • Denis Abessa
    • , Ana Famá
    •  & Lucas Buruaem
  • Comment |

    New antibiotics are urgently needed to combat rising rates of resistance against all existing classes of antimicrobials. We highlight key issues that complicate the prediction of resistance evolution in the real world and outline the ways in which these can be overcome.

    • Michael A. Brockhurst
    • , Freya Harrison
    • , Jan-Willem Veening
    • , Ellie Harrison
    • , Grace Blackwell
    • , Zamin Iqbal
    •  & Craig Maclean
  • World View |

    More, not less, international cooperation on conservation is in the interest of Brazilian farmers and wider Brazilian society, argues Bernardo B. N. Strassburg.

    • Bernardo B. N. Strassburg
  • News & Views |

    Analysis of genomes, transcriptomes and proteomes from recently diverged rice species provides mechanistic insight into the process of de novo gene origination.

    • Erich Bornberg-Bauer
    •  & Brennen Heames
  • News & Views |

    Comparative analysis of microexons across bilaterians identifies a new protein domain associated with the evolutionary origin of microexon inclusion in neural tissues.

    • Rupert Faraway
    •  & Jernej Ule
  • News & Views |

    A study of habitat loss associated with global trade reveals growing impacts on bird biodiversity and carbon sequestration. Overall increases in impacts are driven by changing consumption patterns and human population increases — and may be even greater if land-use intensification is considered.

    • Tim Newbold
  • Obituary |

    Pioneer of evolutionary developmental biology and supportive mentor.

    • Gregory A. Wray
    •  & Eric S. Haag
  • Editorial |

    Despite on-going habitat loss caused by the advance of urbanisation, there are reasons to feel hopeful that cities can be spaces that benefit both biodiversity and human well-being — but it will require cross-sector engagement among ecologists, policymakers and the public.

  • News & Views |

    A game theory study supported by in vitro experimental data shows that drug treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer cells causes the cells to switch between evolutionary games they play among each other. Moreover, the work calls into question standard assumptions on the fitness costs of drug resistance to cancer cells.

    • Kateřina Staňková
  • News & Views |

    A survey of 16S rRNA sequences of the skin microbiomes of amphibians across the globe reveals links between climate and species richness as well as potential bacterial gene functions. The work paves the way for mechanistic studies of how the environment affects microbial community assembly.

    • Andrea J. Jani
  • News & Views |

    A modelling study suggests that the ecology of host co-colonisation may play a key role in shaping population-level frequencies of antibiotic resistance in commensal bacteria.

    • Sonja Lehtinen
  • Comment |

    Macroscopic organisms from the late Ediacaran period have often been described as failed experiments in the history of life. We argue that the field of Ediacaran palaeobiology should dispense with unhelpful historical classification schemes and embrace phylogenetic systematics if we are to establish the evolutionary relevance of these fossils.

    • Frances S. Dunn
    •  & Alexander G. Liu
  • Comment |

    Since its inception, the East African Association for Palaeoanthropology and Palaeontology has brought together scholars and researchers who conduct research in palaeoanthropology, archaeology and palaeontology, creating a balanced forum for the study of human heritage in Africa.

    • Zeresenay Alemseged
    • , Jackson Njau
    • , Briana Pobiner
    •  & Emmanuel Ndiema
  • Comment |

    Researchers in various contexts have long struggled with an apparent disconnect between an individual’s level of understanding of biological evolution and their acceptance of it as an explanation for the history and diversity of life. Here, we discuss the main factors associated with acceptance of evolution and chart a path forward for evolution education research.

    • Ryan D. P. Dunk
    • , M. Elizabeth Barnes
    • , Michael J. Reiss
    • , Brian Alters
    • , Anila Asghar
    • , B. Elijah Carter
    • , Sehoya Cotner
    • , Amanda L. Glaze
    • , Patricia H. Hawley
    • , Jamie L. Jensen
    • , Louise S. Mead
    • , Louis S. Nadelson
    • , Craig E. Nelson
    • , Briana Pobiner
    • , Eugenie C. Scott
    • , Andrew Shtulman
    • , Gale M. Sinatra
    • , Sherry A. Southerland
    • , Emily M. Walter
    • , Sara E. Brownell
    •  & Jason R. Wiles
  • Editorial |

    One of the most visible impacts of current climate change is the catastrophic bleaching and death of corals in reefs around the world. This issue of Nature Ecology & Evolution and an online Focus highlight recent research documenting the transformation of these systems.

  • News & Views |

    Radiocarbon dates from Spain put anatomically modern humans in southernmost Europe 10,000 years earlier than previously thought, diminishing the case for late survival of Neanderthals in the region.

    • Katerina Douka
  • News & Views |

    The importance of biodiversity for productive community functioning is emerging as one of a very few general rules in ecology, but evidence has been sparse that it applies in tropical coral reefs—until now.

    • J. Emmett Duffy
  • News & Views |

    Two soil respiration studies conducted at different spatial and temporal extents each find evidence that thermal adaptation of microbial communities compensates for loss of soil carbon under idealized conditions.

    • Charlotte J. Alster
  • Obituary |

    Primatologist who gave voice to animal communication and cognition.

    • Jacinta Beehner
    • , Thore Bergman
    • , Julia Fischer
    •  & Joan B. Silk
  • News & Views |

    Influenza viruses undergo rapid antigenic evolution. Analysis of a large dataset of influenza virus sequences, using host age as a proxy for immune experience, shows no evidence for immune positive selection driving antigenic evolution in individual infected humans.

    • Katarina M. Braun
    •  & Thomas C. Friedrich
  • Editorial |

    Our annual report of the journal’s statistics shows little overall change on gender and geographical diversity, and highlights areas where our editors want to redouble efforts — with help from you.

  • Comment |

    Sociocultural transitions and medical advancements can disrupt evolutionary equilibriums underlying modern human anatomy, physiology and life history. Disentangling such complex biosocial evolutionary dynamics poses serious ethical questions but has strong potential for guiding public health policies.

    • Philipp Mitteroecker