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Volume 5 Issue 7, July 2022

Tuna trash

Nearly half of the debris from the tuna fishing industry in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans ends up being abandoned, lost or discarded at sea. By taking into account regional currents, Imzilen and colleagues find that a substantial portion of this pollution passes near major ports that can be staging grounds for coastal debris recovery.

See Imzilen et al.

Image: Michele Ursi / Alamy Stock Photo. Cover Design: Valentina Monaco.


  • The anniversary of a historic publication provides the chance to reflect on how we consider limits and on the value of cross-fertilization between research traditions.



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Comment & Opinion

  • We need consensus to accurately evaluate the performance and potential of emerging water production technologies, such as solar evaporation and atmospheric water harvesting. Here we recommend practices that would allow a fair basis to compare different studies, and help to align research input with actual demand.

    • Yaoxin Zhang
    • Swee Ching Tan
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News & Views

  • COVID-19 lockdowns stalled protected area management in many countries. New research examines how fire and on-site protected area management are interlinked, demonstrating the novel use of satellite data and statistical modelling.

    • Anupam Anand
    News & Views
  • Sustainable recycling is necessary for wood to maintain its capacity to store CO2 and to smooth the transition towards a circular economy. Now, an innovative approach offers a promising perspective on second- and third-life applications for ‘waste’ wood.

    • Guido Panzarasa
    • Ingo Burgert
    News & Views
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Research Briefings

  • A global analysis of stream gauges reveals that they are predominantly installed on large, perennially flowing and human-impacted rivers. The current placement of stream gauges does not provide observations that represent the wide variety of global rivers, resulting in a biased dataset, which has broad implications for ecology, hydrology, and freshwater management.

    Research Briefing
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  • Renewable electricity-powered CO2 electroreduction offers a sustainable route to transform the chemical industry. Here the authors overview four CO2 electrolysis pathways that could be immune from carbonate formation, a major technological barrier.

    • Adnan Ozden
    • F. Pelayo García de Arquer
    • David Sinton
    Review Article
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  • Punishment to enforce cooperation is common in human societies, but attitudes towards punishment might not survive natural selection as punishers do not seem to gain from the process. This study shows that, when the institution-choice process and the scale of the goods being preserved are aligned, costly punishment institutions can be adopted and maintained.

    • Vítor V. Vasconcelos
    • Astrid Dannenberg
    • Simon A. Levin
  • Hydrologic data collected from river gauges inform critical decisions for allocating water resources, conserving ecosystems and predicting the occurrence of droughts and floods. The current global river gauge network is biased towards large, perennial rivers, and strategic adaptations are needed to capture the full scope of rivers on Earth.

    • Corey A. Krabbenhoft
    • George H. Allen
    • Julian D. Olden
  • Nearly half of drifting fish aggregating devices in the Indian and Atlantic oceans becomes abandoned, lost or discarded. However, a substantial portion of this pollution passes near major ports, hence port-based recovery presents a promising strategy to reduce fishing-related marine pollution.

    • Taha Imzilen
    • Christophe Lett
    • David M. Kaplan
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has affected a range of human activities, but its effect on land management is less clear. This study finds an increase in fires inside Madagascar’s protected areas during periods when management stopped due to COVID-19 lockdowns.

    • Johanna Eklund
    • Julia P. G. Jones
    • Andrew Balmford
  • The 2016 peace agreement in Colombia led to agricultural expansion to the detriment of biodiversity. Using Colombia as a case study, this work shows how to maximize the biodiversity benefits from limited conservation funding while landowners maintain economic returns equivalent to those from agriculture.

    • Camila Guerrero-Pineda
    • Gwenllian D. Iacona
    • Leah R. Gerber
  • Wood is one of the most renewable materials with applications in construction and other industries. The authors show a process that gives low-value wood and biomass residuals a new life by transforming them into materials with mechanical properties comparable to metals and other structural elements.

    • Xiaofei Dong
    • Wentao Gan
    • Orlando J. Rojas
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