Trends in Ecology & Evolution
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May 01, 2021

Volume 36Issue 5p377-472, e1-e2
Predators are at risk of exposure to pathogens that infect their prey. On pages 411–420, Jennifer Malmberg & colleagues discuss examine the mechanisms that determine frequency and outcome of predator exposure to prey-based pathogens. The cover image shows a young cougar, Puma concolor, at the Triple "D" Wildlife Ranch in Kalispell, MT, USA. Cougar are susceptible to zoonotic spillover following consumption of domestic cats and bobcats. Cover image: Nat White, additional photographs can be viewed at
Predators are at risk of exposure to pathogens that infect their prey. On pages 411–420, Jennifer Malmberg & colleagues discuss examine the mechanisms that determine frequency and outcome of predator exposure to prey-based pathogens. The cover image shows a young cougar, Puma concolor, at the Triple "D" Wildlife Ranch in Kalispell, MT, USA. Cougar are susceptible to zoonotic spillover following consumption of domestic cats and bobcats. Cover image: Nat White, additional photographs can be viewed at

Science & Society

  • Facilitating Policy Responses for Renewable Energy and Biodiversity

    • Alexandros Gasparatos,
    • Abubakari Ahmed,
    • Christina Voigt
    Renewable energy contributes substantially to climate change mitigation, but its expansion can have trade-offs with biodiversity. These trade-offs could be reduced by building a strong evidence base, rationalizing the selection of sites and operational characteristics of renewable energy installations, and coordinating concerted policy efforts at the national and international levels.

Book Review

  • On Sustainable Pollinator Diversity and Pollination Service

    • Shuang-Quan Huang
    In his new book, Pollinators & Pollination: Nature and Society, Jeff Ollerton introduces a PhD project on the impact of city settings on urban bee pollinators like a chat with neighbors in his backyard: ‘It made sense to choose Northampton as a case study and focus on this one area in depth…we developed a sampling strategy (of bees) that encompassed a detailed survey of the centre of the town’. I quote this sentence from Chapter 8: Urban Environments, as an example of his style of telling stories of scientific projects for readers.


  • Current Knowledge Already Justifies Underwater Noise Reduction

    • Denise Risch,
    • Susannah Calderan,
    • Russell Leaper,
    • Lindy Weilgart,
    • Stefanie Werner
    In ‘Taking the Animals’ Perspective Regarding Anthropogenic Underwater Sound’, Popper et al. [1] discuss anthropogenic underwater noise management. We agree with the authors that ‘anthropogenic (man-made) sound has the potential to harm marine biota’ and that ‘regulation and mitigation should always be developed by looking at potential effects from the perspectives of the animals and ecosystems exposed to the sounds’. Their suggestion that ‘regulatory and mitigation decisions should be based on a comprehensive risk assessment of how sounds affect animals using robust analytical methods that help separate where effects are important from where they are not’ would also seem sensible.
  • Sound Impact Studies: A Reply to Risch et al.

    • Frank Thomsen,
    • Arthur N. Popper,
    • Anthony D. Hawkins
    We welcome the response to our paper [1] by Risch et al. [2] and value that they broadly agree with our suggestions on the main approach to sound impact assessments. The primary differences between our views lie with the very purpose of writing our article. That is, while we argue for a science-based approach to mitigation and getting (substantially) more data to decide how to mitigate, Risch et al. argue for mitigation ‘for the sake of mitigation’. At the same time, our perspectives are not that different in that we would agree that until we have more data, it is reasonable to do some mitigation based on extrapolating from other data.
  • The Tarnished Silver Lining of Extreme Climatic Events

    • Jeffrey A. Harvey,
    • Madhav P. Thakur,
    • Jacintha Ellers
    Extreme climate events (ECEs) such as heatwaves, droughts, intense downpours, and attendant events like fires and floods are increasing in frequency, intensity, and duration, threatening biodiversity and ecosystem functioning across the biosphere at all levels of organization [1]. Despite this, a recent forum article [2] attempted to reframe climate extremes positively by suggesting that rapid evolution, driven by ECEs, can facilitate adaptation and climate resilience. We argue that the available evidence suggests that climate extreme impacts posit a more multidimensional ecological and evolutionary problem than directional selection acting on a single species.
  • A Glass Half Full: Solutions-Oriented Management under Climate Change

    • Melinda A. Coleman,
    • Thomas Wernberg
    A ‘silver lining’ is choosing to see a positive aspect of an otherwise negative impact or event. It is akin to choosing to see the glass as half full, rather than half empty. In Coleman and Wernberg [1], we identify what might be considered a silver lining of extreme climate events – the likely occurrence of directional selection and increased tolerance for specific climate stressors that characterise those otherwise destructive events. We acknowledge that this silver lining occurs under specific circumstances, and there remains knowledge gaps that must be addressed before this silver lining can be realised, however, the choice to acknowledge that there is indeed a silver lining is a powerful and potentially transformative approach to enable novel climate interventions.
  • The Importance of Diet Nutrition for Freshwater Invaders

    • Fen Guo,
    • Yuan Zhang,
    • Mark J. Kennard
    A recent review by Shik and Dussutour [1] synthesized predictions of behavioral traits favoring the establishment of invasive species and the evolutionary dynamics promoting their spread from a nutritional perspective. This review highlights that more research is needed to understand the general physiological mechanisms determining invasive success by using nutritional geometry (NG). While NG methods have been widely used to examine mechanisms facilitating invasive success by terrestrial animals [1], this approach has rarely been applied to freshwater invaders.


  • Do Reverse Janzen-Connell Effects Reduce Species Diversity?

    • Shafia Zahra,
    • Vojtech Novotny,
    • Tom M. Fayle
    Host-specific natural enemies limit the abundance of common species. This can increase host community diversity, since no single species dominates, and is known as the ‘Janzen-Connell effect.’ Evidence is now accumulating that host-specific mutualists can increase abundances of particular host species, hence reducing community diversity, comprising a ‘reverse Janzen-Connell effect.’


  • On the Interpretations of Joint Modeling in Community Ecology

    • Giovanni Poggiato,
    • Tamara Münkemüller,
    • Daria Bystrova,
    • Julyan Arbel,
    • James S. Clark,
    • Wilfried Thuiller
    Explaining and modeling species communities is more than ever a central goal of ecology. Recently, joint species distribution models (JSDMs), which extend species distribution models (SDMs) by considering correlations among species, have been proposed to improve species community analyses and rare species predictions while potentially inferring species interactions. Here, we illustrate the mathematical links between SDMs and JSDMs and their ecological implications and demonstrate that JSDMs, just like SDMs, cannot separate environmental effects from biotic interactions.
  • The Temporal Dynamics of Multiple Stressor Effects: From Individuals to Ecosystems

    • Michelle C. Jackson,
    • Samraat Pawar,
    • Guy Woodward
    Open Access
    Multiple stressors, such as warming and invasions, often occur together and have nonadditive effects. Most studies to date assume that stressors operate in perfect synchrony, but this will rarely be the case in reality. Stressor sequence and overlap will have implications for ecological memory – the ability of past stressors to influence future responses. Moreover, stressors are usually defined in an anthropocentric context: what we consider a short-term stressor, such as a flood, will span multiple generations of microbes.
  • Bioaccumulation of Pathogen Exposure in Top Predators

    • Jennifer L. Malmberg,
    • Lauren A. White,
    • Sue VandeWoude
    Open Access
    Predator–prey interactions present heightened opportunities for pathogen spillover, as predators are at risk of exposure to infectious agents harbored by prey. Epizootics with high morbidity and mortality have been recorded following prey-to-predator spillover events, which have had significant conservation implications for sensitive species. Using felids as a detailed case study, we have documented both virulent and clinically silent infections in apex predators following transfer of microbes from prey.
  • Emerging contaminants and biological effects in Arctic wildlife

    • Christian Sonne,
    • Rune Dietz,
    • Bjørn Munro Jenssen,
    • Su Shiung Lam,
    • Robert J. Letcher
    Recent advances in environmental analytical chemistry have identified the presence of a large number of chemicals of emerging Arctic concern (CEACs) being transported long range to the region. There has been very limited temporal monitoring of CEACs and it is therefore unknown whether they are of increasing or decreasing concern. Likewise, information on potential biological adverse effects from CEACs on Arctic wildlife is lacking compared with legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) found at levels associated with health effects in marine mammals.


  • Decoding the Evolution of Melanin in Vertebrates

    • M.E. McNamara,
    • V. Rossi,
    • T.S. Slater,
    • C.S. Rogers,
    • A.-L. Ducrest,
    • S. Dubey,
    • A. Roulin
    Open Access
    Melanins are widespread pigments in vertebrates, with important roles in visual signaling, UV protection, and homeostasis. Fossil evidence of melanin and melanin-bearing organelles – melanosomes – in ancient vertebrates may illuminate the evolution of melanin and its functions, but macroevolutionary trends are poorly resolved. Here, we integrate fossil data with current understanding of melanin function, biochemistry, and genetics. Mapping key genes onto phenotypic attributes of fossil vertebrates identifies potential genomic controls on melanin evolution.
  • Predictability of Biotic Stress Structures Plant Defence Evolution

    • Daan Mertens,
    • Karina Boege,
    • André Kessler,
    • Julia Koricheva,
    • Jennifer S. Thaler,
    • Noah K. Whiteman,
    • Erik H. Poelman
    To achieve ecological and reproductive success, plants need to mitigate a multitude of stressors. The stressors encountered by plants are highly dynamic but typically vary predictably due to seasonality or correlations among stressors. As plants face physiological and ecological constraints in responses to stress, it can be beneficial for plants to evolve the ability to incorporate predictable patterns of stress in their life histories. Here, we discuss how plants predict adverse conditions, which plant strategies integrate predictability of biotic stress, and how such strategies can evolve.
  • Waxing and Waning of Wings

    • Kenneth P. Dial,
    • Ashley M. Heers
    A major challenge to Darwinian evolution is explaining 'rudimentary' organs. This is particularly relevant to birds: rudimentary wings occur in fossils, as well as in developing, molting, and flight-impaired birds. Evidence shows that young birds flap small wings to improve locomotion and transition to flight. Although small wings also occur in adults, their potential role in locomotion is rarely considered. Here we describe the prevalence of rudimentary wings in extant birds, and how wings wax and wane on many timescales.


  • Deciphering the Biodiversity–Production Mutualism in the Global Food Security Debate

    (Trends in Ecology and Evolution 35, 1011–1020)

    • Ralf Seppelt,
    • Channing Arndt,
    • Michael Beckmann,
    • Emily A. Martin,
    • Thomas W. Hertel
    The article ‘Deciphering the Biodiversity–Production Mutualism in the Global Food Security Debate’ was published without its accompanying short animated video. This was due to circumstances beyond the control of the authors and publisher, and they apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.