Volume 4 Issue 9, September 2020

Volume 4 Issue 9

Welcome to the anthropause

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a drastic global reduction in modern human activity. This ‘anthropause’ could enable unprecedented insights into human–wildlife interactions. While this photograph was taken in a deer park, it captures the promise of a research opportunity tragically afforded by the pandemic. The Greta Thunberg mural in the background serves as a reminder that urgent action is required to shape a sustainable future.

See Rutz et al.

Image: Sam Binding. Cover Design: Lauren Heslop.

Editorial

  • Editorial |

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

Correspondence

Comment & Opinion

  • 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

Reviews

  • 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
  • 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

Research

  • 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 |

    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
  • Article |

    Unstable and harsh climates have been implicated as partial causes of Neanderthal demise. Here a speleothem palaeoenvironmental record spanning the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition attests to stable and moderate conditions in the Mediterranean during this time suggesting a more complicated picture than previously thought.

    • Andrea Columbu
    • , Veronica Chiarini
    • , Christoph Spötl
    • , Stefano Benazzi
    • , John Hellstrom
    • , Hai Cheng
    •  & Jo De Waele
  • 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 |

    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 | | Open Access

    Genome analysis of the pico-eukaryotic marine green alga Prasinoderma coloniale CCMP 1413 unveils the existence of a novel phylum within green plants (Viridiplantae), the Prasinodermophyta, which diverged before the split of Chlorophyta and Streptophyta.

    • Linzhou Li
    • , Sibo Wang
    • , Hongli Wang
    • , Sunil Kumar Sahu
    • , Birger Marin
    • , Haoyuan Li
    • , Yan Xu
    • , Hongping Liang
    • , Zhen Li
    • , Shifeng Cheng
    • , Tanja Reder
    • , Zehra Çebi
    • , Sebastian Wittek
    • , Morten Petersen
    • , Barbara Melkonian
    • , Hongli Du
    • , Huanming Yang
    • , Jian Wang
    • , Gane Ka-Shu Wong
    • , Xun Xu
    • , Xin Liu
    • , Yves Van de Peer
    • , Michael Melkonian
    •  & Huan Liu
  • Article |

    A new study of the divergence time of angiosperm families shows that although most angiosperm families originated during the middle Cretaceous (~100–90 million years ago), the diversification of families into extant diversity was delayed until the Palaeocene (~66–56 million years ago), this time lag being geographically heterogeneous, and longer in tropical than in temperate and arid biomes.

    • Santiago Ramírez-Barahona
    • , Hervé Sauquet
    •  & Susana Magallón
  • Article |

    Invasion of land required changes of vertebrate metabolism. Here, the authors report a pathway for sulfur metabolism present in chick embryos but not in mammals, which originated around 300 million years ago in a proto-reptile.

    • Marco Malatesta
    • , Giulia Mori
    • , Domenico Acquotti
    • , Barbara Campanini
    • , Alessio Peracchi
    • , Parker B. Antin
    •  & Riccardo Percudani
  • 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 |

    Discovery cohorts from three continents, plus experiments in mouse models, are used to identify microbial species and mechanisms involved in post-antibiotic gut community recovery.

    • Kern Rei Chng
    • , Tarini Shankar Ghosh
    • , Yi Han Tan
    • , Tannistha Nandi
    • , Ivor Russel Lee
    • , Amanda Hui Qi Ng
    • , Chenhao Li
    • , Aarthi Ravikrishnan
    • , Kar Mun Lim
    • , David Lye
    • , Timothy Barkham
    • , Karthik Raman
    • , Swaine L. Chen
    • , Louis Chai
    • , Barnaby Young
    • , Yunn-Hwen Gan
    •  & Niranjan Nagarajan

Amendments & Corrections

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