Volume 3 Issue 9, September 2019

Volume 3 Issue 9

By the light of the moon

Ventral plumage coloration in barn owls (Tyto alba) varies from immaculate white to dark red. Analysis of how the moon cycle affects foraging and reproduction shows that moonlight impairs performance of the reddest but not the whitest owls, whose more reflective plumage might exploit light aversion in prey to improve hunting success under full-moon conditions. An adult female barn owl is depicted.

See San-Jose et al.

Image: Valérie Ducret. Cover Design: Tulsi Voralia.

Editorial

  • Editorial |

    Explorer-naturalist Alexander von Humboldt’s contributions to the fields of ecology, global change and geoscience fundamentally altered the way we view the natural world and our place in it. On the 250th anniversary of his birth, we look back over his life and compile a collection of articles inspired by his legacy.

Correspondence

Comment & Opinion

  • World View |

    We face interconnected planetary emergencies threatening our climate and ecosystems. Charlie J. Gardner and Claire F. R. Wordley argue that scientists should join civil disobedience movements to fight these unprecedented crises.

    • Charlie J. Gardner
    •  & Claire F. R. Wordley
  • Comment |

    States at the United Nations have begun negotiating a new treaty to strengthen the legal regime for marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Failure to ensure the full scope of fish biodiversity is covered could result in thousands of species continuing to slip through the cracks of a fragmented global ocean governance framework.

    • Guillermo Ortuño Crespo
    • , Daniel C. Dunn
    • , Matthew Gianni
    • , Kristina Gjerde
    • , Glen Wright
    •  & Patrick N. Halpin

News & Views

  • 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 |

    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 |

    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 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

Research

  • Brief Communication |

    The conservation of ancient metazoan gene order is remarkable, yet the functionality of conserved regions is unclear. Using single-cell expression data for many metazoans, the authors identify conserved genomic regions conferring ancient cell type identity.

    • Bob Zimmermann
    • , Nicolas S. M. Robert
    • , Ulrich Technau
    •  & Oleg Simakov
  • Brief Communication |

    Sampling colonies of social spiders before and after a tropical cyclone strike, the authors find evidence of selection for aggressive phenotypes, and that regional variation in this trait may be influenced by the historical frequency of extreme events.

    • Alexander G. Little
    • , David N. Fisher
    • , Thomas W. Schoener
    •  & Jonathan N. Pruitt
  • Article |

    Analysing functional traits among plants, bacteria and fungi along a latitudinal gradient, the authors find evidence that microbial processes are tightly coupled to variation in plant traits via temperature.

    • Vanessa Buzzard
    • , Sean T. Michaletz
    • , Ye Deng
    • , Zhili He
    • , Daliang Ning
    • , Lina Shen
    • , Qichao Tu
    • , Joy D. Van Nostrand
    • , James W. Voordeckers
    • , Jianjun Wang
    • , Michael D. Weiser
    • , Michael Kaspari
    • , Robert B. Waide
    • , Jizhong Zhou
    •  & Brian J. Enquist
  • Article |

    A synthesis of global change experiments that manipulated temperature, precipitation, carbon dioxide or nitrogen identifies a need to consider site-specific factors and interactions in Earth system models.

    • Jian Song
    • , Shiqiang Wan
    • , Shilong Piao
    • , Alan K. Knapp
    • , Aimée T. Classen
    • , Sara Vicca
    • , Philippe Ciais
    • , Mark J. Hovenden
    • , Sebastian Leuzinger
    • , Claus Beier
    • , Paul Kardol
    • , Jianyang Xia
    • , Qiang Liu
    • , Jingyi Ru
    • , Zhenxing Zhou
    • , Yiqi Luo
    • , Dali Guo
    • , J. Adam Langley
    • , Jakob Zscheischler
    • , Jeffrey S. Dukes
    • , Jianwu Tang
    • , Jiquan Chen
    • , Kirsten S. Hofmockel
    • , Lara M. Kueppers
    • , Lindsey Rustad
    • , Lingli Liu
    • , Melinda D. Smith
    • , Pamela H. Templer
    • , R. Quinn Thomas
    • , Richard J. Norby
    • , Richard P. Phillips
    • , Shuli Niu
    • , Simone Fatichi
    • , Yingping Wang
    • , Pengshuai Shao
    • , Hongyan Han
    • , Dandan Wang
    • , Lingjie Lei
    • , Jiali Wang
    • , Xiaona Li
    • , Qian Zhang
    • , Xiaoming Li
    • , Fanglong Su
    • , Bin Liu
    • , Fan Yang
    • , Gaigai Ma
    • , Guoyong Li
    • , Yanchun Liu
    • , Yinzhan Liu
    • , Zhongling Yang
    • , Kesheng Zhang
    • , Yuan Miao
    • , Mengjun Hu
    • , Chuang Yan
    • , Ang Zhang
    • , Mingxing Zhong
    • , Yan Hui
    • , Ying Li
    •  & Mengmei Zheng
  • Article |

    On moonlit nights, barn owls with white plumage are more successful hunters than those with red plumage. White owls trigger longer freezing times in their prey by exploiting their aversion to bright light, despite the fact that they can be more easily detected.

    • Luis M. San-Jose
    • , Robin Séchaud
    • , Kim Schalcher
    • , Clarisse Judes
    • , Anastasia Questiaux
    • , Aymeric Oliveira-Xavier
    • , Charlène Gémard
    • , Bettina Almasi
    • , Paul Béziers
    • , Almut Kelber
    • , Arjun Amar
    •  & Alexandre Roulin
  • Article |

    Surveys from 2,584 sites across the Indo-Pacific identify key climate, socioeconomic and environmental drivers associated with hard coral assemblages. This informs a strategic approach to protect, recover or transform coral reef management.

    • Emily S. Darling
    • , Tim R. McClanahan
    • , Joseph Maina
    • , Georgina G. Gurney
    • , Nicholas A. J. Graham
    • , Fraser Januchowski-Hartley
    • , Joshua E. Cinner
    • , Camilo Mora
    • , Christina C. Hicks
    • , Eva Maire
    • , Marji Puotinen
    • , William J. Skirving
    • , Mehdi Adjeroud
    • , Gabby Ahmadia
    • , Rohan Arthur
    • , Andrew G. Bauman
    • , Maria Beger
    • , Michael L. Berumen
    • , Lionel Bigot
    • , Jessica Bouwmeester
    • , Ambroise Brenier
    • , Tom C. L. Bridge
    • , Eric Brown
    • , Stuart J. Campbell
    • , Sara Cannon
    • , Bruce Cauvin
    • , Chaolun Allen Chen
    • , Joachim Claudet
    • , Vianney Denis
    • , Simon Donner
    • , Estradivari
    • , Nur Fadli
    • , David A. Feary
    • , Douglas Fenner
    • , Helen Fox
    • , Erik C. Franklin
    • , Alan Friedlander
    • , James Gilmour
    • , Claire Goiran
    • , James Guest
    • , Jean-Paul A. Hobbs
    • , Andrew S. Hoey
    • , Peter Houk
    • , Steven Johnson
    • , Stacy D. Jupiter
    • , Mohsen Kayal
    • , Chao-yang Kuo
    • , Joleah Lamb
    • , Michelle A. C. Lee
    • , Jeffrey Low
    • , Nyawira Muthiga
    • , Efin Muttaqin
    • , Yashika Nand
    • , Kirsty L. Nash
    • , Osamu Nedlic
    • , John M. Pandolfi
    • , Shinta Pardede
    • , Vardhan Patankar
    • , Lucie Penin
    • , Lauriane Ribas-Deulofeu
    • , Zoe Richards
    • , T. Edward Roberts
    • , Ku’ulei S. Rodgers
    • , Che Din Mohd Safuan
    • , Enric Sala
    • , George Shedrawi
    • , Tsai Min Sin
    • , Patrick Smallhorn-West
    • , Jennifer E. Smith
    • , Brigitte Sommer
    • , Peter D. Steinberg
    • , Makamas Sutthacheep
    • , Chun Hong James Tan
    • , Gareth J. Williams
    • , Shaun Wilson
    • , Thamasak Yeemin
    • , John F. Bruno
    • , Marie-Josée Fortin
    • , Martin Krkosek
    •  & David Mouillot
  • Article |

    Changes in the dynamics of freshwater Daphnia populations in relation to their edible and inedible phytoplankton resources reveal rare evidence for eco-evolutionary feedbacks in a natural ecosystem.

    • Lindsay R. Schaffner
    • , Lynn Govaert
    • , Luc De Meester
    • , Stephen P. Ellner
    • , Eliza Fairchild
    • , Brooks E. Miner
    • , Lars G. Rudstam
    • , Piet Spaak
    •  & Nelson G. Hairston Jr
  • Article |

    Long-term data on 26 reintroduced Alpine ibex populations show that inbreeding reduces per capita population growth rates, especially in harsher environmental conditions. These results validate conservation efforts to reduce inbreeding in rare species.

    • Claudio Bozzuto
    • , Iris Biebach
    • , Stefanie Muff
    • , Anthony R. Ives
    •  & Lukas F. Keller

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