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
  • Comment |

    Insecticide use could be reduced if dose recommendations move from a toxicological perspective (how much is needed to kill an insect pest) to an ecological perspective (how much is needed to protect a crop).

    • Théotime Colin
    • , Coline Monchanin
    • , Mathieu Lihoreau
    •  & Andrew B. Barron
  • News & Views |

    The discovery of Minjinia turgenensis, a Palaeozoic stem-group jawed vertebrate with endochondral bone — a character long regarded as exclusive for bony fish and land vertebrates — changes our perception of bone formation evolution. It may also provide the first evidence for endochondral bone loss in cartilaginous fishes.

    • Valéria Vaškaninová
  • Comment |

    Recent engineered expansions of the Panama and Suez canals have accelerated the introduction of non-native marine fishes and other organisms between their adjacent waters. Measures to prevent further invasions through canals should be incorporated into global shipping policies, as well as through local efforts.

    • Gustavo A. Castellanos-Galindo
    • , D. Ross Robertson
    •  & Mark E. Torchin
  • Editorial |

    The importance of biodiversity protection for disease prevention is now obvious from evolutionary, ecological and economic angles.

  • Comment |

    Efforts by conservation scientists to draw public attention to the biodiversity crisis are increasingly met with denialist rhetoric. We summarize some of the methods used by denialists to undermine scientific evidence on biodiversity loss, and outline pathways forward for the scientific community to counter misinformation.

    • Alexander C. Lees
    • , Simon Attwood
    • , Jos Barlow
    •  & Ben Phalan
  • News & Views |

    New evidence from over 4,600 studies calls into question the universal application of critical threshold values, or tipping points, along gradients of environmental stress. Identifying never-to-exceed environmental targets may prove elusive for environmental policy and management.

    • Joan Dudney
    •  & Katharine N. Suding
  • Obituary |

    Founder of conservation biology, expansive thinker and inspiring mentor.

    • M. Sanjayan
    • , Kevin R. Crooks
    •  & L. Scott Mills
  • Editorial |

    We are now publishing details of the review process for published manuscripts.

  • Comment |

    Our non-Black colleagues must fight anti-Black racism and white supremacy within the academy to authentically promote Black excellence. Amplifying Black excellence in ecology and evolution is the antidote for white supremacy in the academy.

    • Christopher J. Schell
    • , Cylita Guy
    • , Delia S. Shelton
    • , Shane C. Campbell-Staton
    • , Briana A. Sealey
    • , Danielle N. Lee
    •  & Nyeema C. Harris
  • 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
  • Editorial |

    Prompted by the Black Lives Matter and Shutdown STEM movements, Nature Ecology & Evolution acknowledges the systemic racism in scientific research, and the part we play in this. Here we outline our commitment to fight this racism.

  • Comment |

    Reduced human mobility during the pandemic will reveal critical aspects of our impact on animals, providing important guidance on how best to share space on this crowded planet.

    • Christian Rutz
    • , Matthias-Claudio Loretto
    • , Amanda E. Bates
    • , Sarah C. Davidson
    • , Carlos M. Duarte
    • , Walter Jetz
    • , Mark Johnson
    • , Akiko Kato
    • , Roland Kays
    • , Thomas Mueller
    • , Richard B. Primack
    • , Yan Ropert-Coudert
    • , Marlee A. Tucker
    • , Martin Wikelski
    •  & Francesca Cagnacci
  • 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
  • Obituary |

    Bat biologist and inspirational mentor who developed the concept of aeroecology.

    • M. Brock Fenton
    •  & Sharon Swartz
  • Editorial |

    A celebration of experimental evolution studies published in this journal.

  • Correspondence
    | Open Access

    • Bea Maas
    • , Kathleen E. Grogan
    • , Yolanda Chirango
    • , Nyeema Harris
    • , Luisa Fernanda Liévano-Latorre
    • , Krista L. McGuire
    • , Alexandria C. Moore
    • , Carolina Ocampo-Ariza
    • , Monica Marie Palta
    • , Ivette Perfecto
    • , Richard B. Primack
    • , Kirsten Rowell
    • , Lilian Sales
    • , Rejane Santos-Silva
    • , Rafaela Aparecida Silva
    • , Eleanor J. Sterling
    • , Raísa R. S. Vieira
    • , Carina Wyborn
    •  & Anne Toomey
  • 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
  • Comment |

    Species distribution models are a powerful tool for ecological inference, but not every use is biologically justified. Applying these tools to the COVID-19 pandemic is unlikely to yield new insights, and could mislead policymakers at a critical moment.

    • Colin J. Carlson
    • , Joseph D. Chipperfield
    • , Blas M. Benito
    • , Richard J. Telford
    •  & Robert B. O’Hara
  • Comment |

    The recent fires in southern Australia were unprecedented in scale and severity. Much commentary has rightly focused on the role of climate change in exacerbating the risk of fire. Here, we contend that policy makers must recognize that historical and contemporary logging of forests has had profound effects on these fires’ severity and frequency.

    • David B. Lindenmayer
    • , Robert M. Kooyman
    • , Chris Taylor
    • , Michelle Ward
    •  & James E. M. Watson
  • Comment |

    Genomic regions conserved during evolution are important, but they have been ignored in conservation genetics. Managing deleterious mutations in such ultraconserved elements by genomics-informed conservation would make populations more resilient to future genetic drift.

    • Cock van Oosterhout
  • 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
  • Editorial |

    The COVID-19 crisis could change the way we conduct our scientific lives, for better and for worse.

  • Comment |

    The ABCD conference format (All continents, Balanced gender, low Carbon transport, Diverse backgrounds) mixes live-streamed and pre-recorded talks with in-person ones to reflect a diverse range of viewpoints and reduce the environmental footprint of meetings while also lowering barriers to inclusiveness.

    • Rosetta C. Blackman
    • , Andreas Bruder
    • , Francis J. Burdon
    • , Peter Convey
    • , W. Chris Funk
    • , Sonja C. Jähnig
    • , Mary Alphonce Kishe
    • , Marcelo S. Moretti
    • , Vianny Natugonza
    • , Jan Pawlowski
    • , Rachel Stubbington
    • , Xiaowei Zhang
    • , Ole Seehausen
    •  & Florian Altermatt
  • 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
  • Comment |

    Nationwide citizen science data show the importance of farmland outside protected areas for China’s avifauna. We urge the government of China to develop a national strategy for policy and research to protect biodiversity and traditional knowledge of sustainable agriculture to meet the post-2020 goal of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

    • Li Li
    • , Ruocheng Hu
    • , Jikun Huang
    • , Matthias Bürgi
    • , Ziyun Zhu
    • , Jia Zhong
    •  & Zhi Lü
  • Editorial |

    Evidence synthesis facilitates a more robust understanding of generalities in ecology and evolution, as well as the effectiveness of conservation interventions. However, as synthesis methods become embedded in research workflows, it is imperative that the next generation of researchers receives sufficient training.