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Volume 4 Issue 1, January 2020

Volume 4 Issue 1

Lost worlds

A celebration of some of the extinct species that have featured in our pages since our launch. Top, left to right: Suskityrannus hazelae and Mansourasaurus shahinae; middle, left to right: Ingentia prima, Elasmotherium sibiricum, Caelestiventus hanseni, Inquicus fellatus and Chimerarachne yingi; bottom, left to right: an anurognathid pterosaur and Ursus spelaeus.

Image: Owen Davey – Folio Art. Cover Design: Lauren Heslop.


  • Editorial |

    This year will see the finalization of a global framework for biodiversity for the next decade and beyond. We look at the reasons to be optimistic and call for increased engagement in the process.


Comment & Opinion

  • Comment |

    Much research and policy effort is being expended on ways to conserve living nature while enabling the economic and social development needed to increase equity and end poverty. We propose this will only be possible if policy shifts away from conservation targets that focus on avoiding losses towards processes that consider net outcomes for biodiversity.

    • Joseph W. Bull
    • E. J. Milner-Gulland
    • James E. M. Watson

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Data from hundreds of natural communities show that rare species share more positive associations with each other than abundant species, which tend to be more segregated. These patterns are consistent with facilitation for rare species and competition for abundant ones, and hold true across taxa and biogeographic regions.

    • Jes Hines
    • Petr Keil
  • News & Views |

    A group of early terrestrial vertebrates called varanopids, long regarded as mammal-line amniotes, is placed wholesale with reptiles in a new analysis of early amniote relationships. Meanwhile, a new species of varanopid from Canada provides the oldest evidence for extended parental care in terrestrial vertebrates.

    • Sean P. Modesto
  • News & Views |

    A large-scale, cross-taxa analysis reveals high nonlinearity and limited long-term predictability in the dynamics of animal populations.

    • Vasilis Dakos
  • News & Views |

    A new modelling study highlights the importance of the search process in predator–prey interactions. When predators act on information related to prey location, the dynamics and stability of populations are more realistic.

    • James P. O’Dwyer
  • News & Views |

    Climate warming is driving a global redistribution of marine life as species shift their distribution to accommodate temperature changes. This is often analysed at the ocean surface, but a global analysis of temperature vertical migration provides a new perspective of the challenges and opportunities for marine life under future warming.

    • Jorge García Molinos
  • News & Views |

    The physical linkage of the first self-replicating molecules is likely to have been selected based on their capacity to perform cooperative catalysis.

    • Joana C. Xavier
  • News & Views |

    A phylogenomic re-analysis of sequence data strongly supports the emergence of eukaryotes from within the archaeal radiation and underlines the importance of using the most accurate approaches to reconstruct ancient divergences in the tree of life.

    • Simonetta Gribaldo
    • Céline Brochier-Armanet
  • News & Views |

    Comparative analyses of egg colouration and experimental data suggest that variation in egg colours between species is shaped by thermoregulatory needs.

    • Kaspar Delhey


  • Review Article |

    There has been intense debate as to whether biodiversity increases or reduces the risk of infectious disease. This Review is the result of researchers from both sides of the debate attempting to reach a consensus.

    • Jason R. Rohr
    • David J. Civitello
    • Erin A. Mordecai


Amendments & Corrections


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