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Volume 3 Issue 2, February 2019

Volume 3 Issue 2

Focus on coral reefs

Coral reefs are among Earth’s most biodiverse ecosystems but are dramatically declining worldwide. The lower species richness of corals on degraded reefs can further diminish coral growth and survivorship, suppressing ecosystem function and leading to additional coral reef decline.

See Clements and Hay

Image: Cody Clements, Georgia Institute of Technology. Cover Design: Bethany Vukomanovic.


  • 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.



Comment & Opinion

  • Comment |

    Ash forests in North America and Eurasia are rapidly being lost to two invasive alien species: the emerald ash borer and Chalara ash dieback fungus. We argue that better regulatory policy and science-based intervention can help slow losses, and recommend an international consortium to coordinate science-based intervention.

    • Devrim Semizer-Cuming
    • Konstantin V. Krutovsky
    • Claire G. Williams
  • Comment |

    Debate surrounding the dilution effect hypothesis in disease ecology has reached such intensity that it is stymying further research. Yet collaborative progress is important for human health and biodiversity conservation.

    • Samniqueka Halsey
  • Obituary |

    Primatologist who gave voice to animal communication and cognition.

    • Jacinta Beehner
    • Thore Bergman
    • Joan B. Silk

News & Views

  • 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 |

    An integration of 20 years of data on fisheries catch and reef habitat characteristics shows how bleaching-induced shifts in reefscapes change species abundances but may not impair total catch capacity.

    • Alice Rogers


  • News & Views |

    Rapid evolution of morphological variations is shown to be linked to positions of coral reef fishes at trophic-web extremes. This finding suggests that current fishing practices on coral reefs that target top predators and seaweed-grazing fishes may undermine the potential for future species diversification.

    • Mariana G. Bender
    • Osmar J. Luiz


  • 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
  • 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 |

    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



Amendments & Corrections


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