Latest Research

  • Matters Arising |

    • Zixiao Yang
    • , Baoyu Jiang
    • , Maria E. McNamara
    • , Stuart L. Kearns
    • , Michael Pittman
    • , Thomas G. Kaye
    • , Patrick J. Orr
    • , Xing Xu
    •  & Michael J. Benton
  • Article |

    Quantitative trait loci mapping of a cross between red junglefowl and domestic chickens provides evidence for the role of methylation in regulating gene expression in the domestication process.

    • Andrey Höglund
    • , Rie Henriksen
    • , Jesper Fogelholm
    • , Allison M. Churcher
    • , Carlos M. Guerrero-Bosagna
    • , Alvaro Martinez-Barrio
    • , Martin Johnsson
    • , Per Jensen
    •  & Dominic Wright
  • Review Article |

    Ecological management strategies — from conservation to fisheries — require ecosystem-level thinking. This Review describes the main types of ecosystem model, how to select an appropriate model for a given application, and how to manage complexity and uncertainty.

    • William L. Geary
    • , Michael Bode
    • , Tim S. Doherty
    • , Elizabeth A. Fulton
    • , Dale G. Nimmo
    • , Ayesha I. T. Tulloch
    • , Vivitskaia J. D. Tulloch
    •  & Euan G. Ritchie
  • Article |

    The causes of epistasis in nature are poorly understood. Measuring the genetic basis of cryptic colouration and survival in a field experiment with stick insects, the authors show that epistasis results from ecological variation in natural selection.

    • Patrik Nosil
    • , Romain Villoutreix
    • , Clarissa F. de Carvalho
    • , Jeffrey L. Feder
    • , Thomas L. Parchman
    •  & Zach Gompert
  • Article |

    Analysing a global metagenomic data set from the Tara Oceans expeditions, the authors find that the distribution of marine giant virus communities is tightly coupled to that of eukaryotic microorganisms, that these communities are particularly distinct in polar biomes, and that they may sometimes be highly similar both on the surface and at depth.

    • Hisashi Endo
    • , Romain Blanc-Mathieu
    • , Yanze Li
    • , Guillem Salazar
    • , Nicolas Henry
    • , Karine Labadie
    • , Colomban de Vargas
    • , Matthew B. Sullivan
    • , Chris Bowler
    • , Patrick Wincker
    • , Lee Karp-Boss
    • , Shinichi Sunagawa
    •  & Hiroyuki Ogata
  • Article |

    Minjinia turgenensis, an Early Devonian fish, preserves anatomical details consistent with it being a stem gnathostome, but also endochondral bone similar to that of osteichthyans. These findings suggest that endochondral bone is an ancestral condition subsequently lost in chondrichthyans.

    • Martin D. Brazeau
    • , Sam Giles
    • , Richard P. Dearden
    • , Anna Jerve
    • , Ya. Ariunchimeg
    • , E. Zorig
    • , Robert Sansom
    • , Thomas Guillerme
    •  & Marco Castiello
  • Article |

    By combining an analysis of common garden and field experiments, together with a survey of wild hosts, the authors show that prior infection by a plant fungal parasite increases susceptibility to infection by other strains and that this priming effect influences the assembly of the parasite community.

    • Fletcher W. Halliday
    • , Rachel M. Penczykowski
    • , Benoit Barrès
    • , Jenalle L. Eck
    • , Elina Numminen
    •  & Anna-Liisa Laine
  • Article |

    Using a food systems approach, the authors show that scientifically guided insect biological control mitigated 43 pest targets between 1918 and 2018 in the Asia–Pacific region, allowing for yield-loss recoveries of up to 73–100% in non-rice critical crops, with strong impacts on rural economies.

    • Kris A. G. Wyckhuys
    • , Yanhui Lu
    • , Wenwu Zhou
    • , Matthew J. W. Cock
    • , Steven E. Naranjo
    • , Atumurirava Fereti
    • , Frances E. Williams
    •  & Michael J. Furlong
  • Article |

    Examining skeletal traits within a time-calibrated phylogeny, the authors find that ocean geochemistry (particularly aragonite–calcite seas) has driven patterns of morphological evolution in anthozoans (corals, sea anemones) over time.

    • Andrea M. Quattrini
    • , Estefanía Rodríguez
    • , Brant C. Faircloth
    • , Peter F. Cowman
    • , Mercer R. Brugler
    • , Gabriela A. Farfan
    • , Michael E. Hellberg
    • , Marcelo V. Kitahara
    • , Cheryl L. Morrison
    • , David A. Paz-García
    • , James D. Reimer
    •  & Catherine S. McFadden
  • Brief Communication |

    An analysis of the overlap between tropical forest restoration, human populations, development and national policies for community forest ownership shows that 294.5 million people live within forest restoration opportunity land in the Global South.

    • J. T. Erbaugh
    • , N. Pradhan
    • , J. Adams
    • , J. A. Oldekop
    • , A. Agrawal
    • , D. Brockington
    • , R. Pritchard
    •  & A. Chhatre
  • Article |

    The authors infer that pelvic skeleton reduction in a fossil sequence of the Miocene stickleback fish, Gasterosteus doryssus, proceeds through the same gene of large effect and a similar suite of genes of small effect as in a closely related extant species, Gasterosteus aculeatus.

    • Yoel E. Stuart
    • , Matthew P. Travis
    •  & Michael A. Bell
  • Article |

    This study reports the depletion of young Neandertal and Denisovan introgressed SNPs from gene regulatory enhancers in modern human genomes, as well as an association of enhancer pleiotropy with both the magnitude of archaic SNP depletion and the degree of intolerance to new mutations.

    • Natalie Telis
    • , Robin Aguilar
    •  & Kelley Harris
  • Article |

    A scale-independent theory of habitat complexity based on three key surface descriptors explains substantial variation in coral reef biodiversity.

    • Damaris Torres-Pulliza
    • , Maria A. Dornelas
    • , Oscar Pizarro
    • , Michael Bewley
    • , Shane A. Blowes
    • , Nader Boutros
    • , Viviana Brambilla
    • , Tory J. Chase
    • , Grace Frank
    • , Ariell Friedman
    • , Mia O. Hoogenboom
    • , Stefan Williams
    • , Kyle J. A. Zawada
    •  & Joshua S. Madin
  • Article |

    By comparing data from real-world grassland communities with data from two of the longest-running grassland biodiversity–ecosystem functioning experiments, the authors show that conclusions derived from experimental systems are robust to the removal of unrealistic experimental communities.

    • Malte Jochum
    • , Markus Fischer
    • , Forest Isbell
    • , Christiane Roscher
    • , Fons van der Plas
    • , Steffen Boch
    • , Gerhard Boenisch
    • , Nina Buchmann
    • , Jane A. Catford
    • , Jeannine Cavender-Bares
    • , Anne Ebeling
    • , Nico Eisenhauer
    • , Gerd Gleixner
    • , Norbert Hölzel
    • , Jens Kattge
    • , Valentin H. Klaus
    • , Till Kleinebecker
    • , Markus Lange
    • , Gaëtane Le Provost
    • , Sebastian T. Meyer
    • , Rafael Molina-Venegas
    • , Liesje Mommer
    • , Yvonne Oelmann
    • , Caterina Penone
    • , Daniel Prati
    • , Peter B. Reich
    • , Abiel Rindisbacher
    • , Deborah Schäfer
    • , Stefan Scheu
    • , Bernhard Schmid
    • , David Tilman
    • , Teja Tscharntke
    • , Anja Vogel
    • , Cameron Wagg
    • , Alexandra Weigelt
    • , Wolfgang W. Weisser
    • , Wolfgang Wilcke
    •  & Peter Manning
  • Article |

    The utility of the threshold paradigm, such that relatively small perturbations drive abrupt ecosystem changes, is challenged by a synthesis of 36 meta-analyses, which detected few signatures of thresholds from over 4,600 global change impacts on natural ecological communities.

    • Helmut Hillebrand
    • , Ian Donohue
    • , W. Stanley Harpole
    • , Dorothee Hodapp
    • , Michal Kucera
    • , Aleksandra M. Lewandowska
    • , Julian Merder
    • , Jose M. Montoya
    •  & Jan A. Freund
  • Perspective |

    There is an urgent need to ensure that marine ecosystems are able to support biodiversity and the services they sustain in the face of rapid global change. Here, the authors argue that a holistic approach of integrated ocean management can ensure a sustainable and resilient ocean economy.

    • Jan-Gunnar Winther
    • , Minhan Dai
    • , Therese Rist
    • , Alf Håkon Hoel
    • , Yangfan Li
    • , Amy Trice
    • , Karyn Morrissey
    • , Marie Antonette Juinio-Meñez
    • , Leanne Fernandes
    • , Sebastian Unger
    • , Fabio Rubio Scarano
    • , Patrick Halpin
    •  & Sandra Whitehouse
  • Article |

    Analysing global high-resolution three-dimensional maps of forest structure, the authors show that only half of the world’s remaining moist tropical forest has both high structural integrity and low human pressure, and they outline a framework for its conservation and restoration.

    • Andrew J. Hansen
    • , Patrick Burns
    • , Jamison Ervin
    • , Scott J. Goetz
    • , Matthew Hansen
    • , Oscar Venter
    • , James E. M. Watson
    • , Patrick A. Jantz
    • , Anne L. S. Virnig
    • , Kevin Barnett
    • , Rajeev Pillay
    • , Scott Atkinson
    • , Christina Supples
    • , Susana Rodríguez-Buritica
    •  & Dolors Armenteras
  • Article |

    An automation-enabled evolution experiment in which genes from across the tree of life are introduced into Escherichia coli shows that mutations that upregulate the introduced gene can mitigate fitness defects without the need for coding changes.

    • Troy E. Sandberg
    • , Richard Szubin
    • , Patrick V. Phaneuf
    •  & Bernhard O. Palsson
  • Article |

    Analysing >5,000 population abundance time series for insects and other arthropods from 68 sites within the US Long Term Ecological Research network, the authors find high variation but no overall trend in abundance and diversity among sites and taxa.

    • Michael S. Crossley
    • , Amanda R. Meier
    • , Emily M. Baldwin
    • , Lauren L. Berry
    • , Leah C. Crenshaw
    • , Glen L. Hartman
    • , Doris Lagos-Kutz
    • , David H. Nichols
    • , Krishna Patel
    • , Sofia Varriano
    • , William E. Snyder
    •  & Matthew D. Moran
  • 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
  • Article |

    Males of the malaria vector species Anopheles arabiensis and Anopheles gambiae produce and release aggregation pheromones that attract individuals to the swarm, enhancing mating success. The authors argue that manipulating such pheromones could increase the efficacy of malaria-vector control programmes.

    • Raimondas Mozūraitis
    • , Melika Hajkazemian
    • , Jacek W. Zawada
    • , Joanna Szymczak
    • , Katinka Pålsson
    • , Vaishnovi Sekar
    • , Inna Biryukova
    • , Marc R. Friedländer
    • , Lizette L. Koekemoer
    • , J. Kevin Baird
    • , Anna-Karin Borg-Karlson
    •  & S. Noushin Emami
  • Article |

    Combining global eddy covariance observations and photosynthesis estimates from terrestrial biosphere models, the authors demonstrate widespread acclimation of photosynthesis to light in natural environments, with croplands showing stronger acclimation rates than forests or grasslands.

    • Xiangzhong Luo
    •  & Trevor F. Keenan
  • Author Correction |

    • Lea Heidrich
    • , Soyeon Bae
    • , Shaun Levick
    • , Sebastian Seibold
    • , Wolfgang Weisser
    • , Peter Krzystek
    • , Paul Magdon
    • , Thomas Nauss
    • , Peter Schall
    • , Alla Serebryanyk
    • , Stephan Wöllauer
    • , Christian Ammer
    • , Claus Bässler
    • , Inken Doerfler
    • , Markus Fischer
    • , Martin M. Gossner
    • , Marco Heurich
    • , Torsten Hothorn
    • , Kirsten Jung
    • , Holger Kreft
    • , Ernst-Detlef Schulze
    • , Nadja Simons
    • , Simon Thorn
    •  & Jörg Müller
  • Perspective |

    In Africa, COVID-19 has created a perfect storm of reduced funding, restrictions on the operations of conservation agencies, and elevated human threats to nature. This Perspective discusses solutions to move beyond this immediate crisis.

    • Peter Lindsey
    • , James Allan
    • , Peadar Brehony
    • , Amy Dickman
    • , Ashley Robson
    • , Colleen Begg
    • , Hasita Bhammar
    • , Lisa Blanken
    • , Thomas Breuer
    • , Kathleen Fitzgerald
    • , Michael Flyman
    • , Patience Gandiwa
    • , Nicia Giva
    • , Dickson Kaelo
    • , Simon Nampindo
    • , Nyambe Nyambe
    • , Kurt Steiner
    • , Andrew Parker
    • , Dilys Roe
    • , Paul Thomson
    • , Morgan Trimble
    • , Alexandre Caron
    •  & Peter Tyrrell
  • Perspective |

    Vaccines that can spread autonomously through animal populations could help to prevent zoonoses before they spillover into humans. This Perspective discusses the epidemiological theory and the practical challenges associated with transmissible and transferable vaccines.

    • Scott L. Nuismer
    •  & James J. Bull
  • Article |

    Analysing archaic and modern human genomes, the authors show that Neanderthal introgression reintroduced thousands of lost ancestral variants with gene regulatory activity and that these reintroduced alleles are more tolerated by modern humans than introgressed Neanderthal-derived alleles.

    • David C. Rinker
    • , Corinne N. Simonti
    • , Evonne McArthur
    • , Douglas Shaw
    • , Emily Hodges
    •  & John A. Capra
  • Perspective |

    Recent institutional and vertebrate conservation scientists’ publication data suggest that China has a growing conservation research capacity deficit. Here the authors outline steps China must take to build up this capacity in order to safeguard the country’s exceptionally rich biodiversity.

    • Peng-Fei Fan
    • , Li Yang
    • , Yang Liu
    •  & Tien Ming Lee
  • 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
  • Article |

    Screening >100 bee and >80 flower species for five common microparasites over 26 weeks, the authors show that parasite prevalence increases in bees toward the end of the growing season, but decreases on plants, and is related to bee diversity, abundance and community composition.

    • Peter Graystock
    • , Wee Hao Ng
    • , Kyle Parks
    • , Amber D. Tripodi
    • , Paige A. Muñiz
    • , Ashley A. Fersch
    • , Christopher R. Myers
    • , Quinn S. McFrederick
    •  & Scott H. McArt
  • Article |

    Comparing Mexican cavefish from rivers with those from caves, the authors show increased sensitivity of the innate and adaptive immune system that is accompanied by a reduced investment in the innate immune system as an evolutionary response to lower parasite diversity.

    • Robert Peuß
    • , Andrew C. Box
    • , Shiyuan Chen
    • , Yongfu Wang
    • , Dai Tsuchiya
    • , Jenna L. Persons
    • , Alexander Kenzior
    • , Ernesto Maldonado
    • , Jaya Krishnan
    • , Jörn P. Scharsack
    • , Brian D. Slaughter
    •  & Nicolas Rohner
  • Perspective |

    This Perspective uses a social–ecological systems framework to make recommendations for global targets that capture the interdependencies of biodiversity, ecosystem services and sustainable development to inform the Convention on Biological Diversity post-2020 process and the future of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

    • Belinda Reyers
    •  & Elizabeth R. Selig
  • 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
  • Article |

    Manipulation of Hh and other genes involved in neural development of the chordate amphioxus reveals conservation and differences in neural patterning mechanisms between vertebrates and amphioxus.

    • Qiongqiong Ren
    • , Yanhong Zhong
    • , Xin Huang
    • , Brigid Leung
    • , Chaofan Xing
    • , Hui Wang
    • , Guangwei Hu
    • , Yiquan Wang
    • , Sebastian M. Shimeld
    •  & Guang Li
  • Article |

    An analysis across multiple species groups and different facets of stand-level heterogeneity in temperate forests from Central Europe reveals that heterogeneity–diversity relationships are not generalizable and predictable as modelling approaches suggest, varying even between ecologically similar species groups.

    • Lea Heidrich
    • , Soyeon Bae
    • , Shaun Levick
    • , Sebastian Seibold
    • , Wolfgang Weisser
    • , Peter Krzystek
    • , Paul Magdon
    • , Thomas Nauss
    • , Peter Schall
    • , Alla Serebryanyk
    • , Stephan Wöllauer
    • , Christian Ammer
    • , Claus Bässler
    • , Inken Doerfler
    • , Markus Fischer
    • , Martin M. Gossner
    • , Marco Heurich
    • , Torsten Hothorn
    • , Kirsten Jung
    • , Holger Kreft
    • , Ernst-Detlef Schulze
    • , Nadja Simons
    • , Simon Thorn
    •  & Jörg Müller
  • Article |

    Analysing data on egg size and planktonic duration from >750 marine species with a larval period, the authors show that temperature, life-history and oceanographic processes interact to shape peaks of dispersal at low and high latitudes.

    • Mariana Álvarez-Noriega
    • , Scott C. Burgess
    • , James E. Byers
    • , James M. Pringle
    • , John P. Wares
    •  & Dustin J. Marshall
  • Article |

    Three-dimensional reconstructions of Homo erectus, Homo sapiens and a Neanderthal suggest a recent evolutionary origin for the comparatively shallow modern human thorax.

    • Markus Bastir
    • , Daniel García-Martínez
    • , Nicole Torres-Tamayo
    • , Carlos A. Palancar
    • , Benoît Beyer
    • , Alon Barash
    • , Chiara Villa
    • , Juan Alberto Sanchis-Gimeno
    • , Alberto Riesco-López
    • , Shahed Nalla
    • , Isabel Torres-Sánchez
    • , Francisco García-Río
    • , Ella Been
    • , Asier Gómez-Olivencia
    • , Martin Haeusler
    • , Scott A. Williams
    •  & Fred Spoor