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Arising from: Bai, Y., Han, X., Wu, J., Chen, Z. & Li, L. Nature, 431, 181–184 (2004); see also communication from Wang et al.; Bai, Y., Han, X., Wu, J., Chen, Z. & Li, L. reply.The effect of maturity, or successional stage, on ecosystem performance (measured as productivity or stability, for example) is important for both basic ecology and ecosystem management. On the basis of the results of a long-term study of two different plant communities at two sites in the Inner Mongolia grassland1, Bai et al. claim that these communities simultaneously achieve high species richness, productivity and ecosystem stability at the late successional stage1. However, I question their interpretation of the data and suggest that...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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Successful delivery of the United Nations sustainable development goals and implementation of the Paris Agreement requires technologies that utilize a wide range of minerals in vast quantities. Metal recycling and technological change will contribute to sustaining supply, but mining must continue and grow for the foreseeable future to ensure that such minerals remain available to industry. New links are needed between existing institutional frameworks to oversee responsible sourcing of minerals, trajectories for mineral exploration, environmental practices, and consumer awareness of the effects of consumption. Here we present, through analysis of a comprehensive set of data and demand forecasts, an interdisciplinary...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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Haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) require a specific microenvironment, the haematopoietic niche, which regulates HSPC behaviour. The location of this niche varies across species, but the evolutionary pressures that drive HSPCs to different microenvironments remain unknown. The niche is located in the bone marrow in adult mammals, whereas it is found in other locations in non-mammalian vertebrates, for example, in the kidney marrow in teleost fish. Here we show that a melanocyte umbrella above the kidney marrow protects HSPCs against ultraviolet light in zebrafish. Because mutants that lack melanocytes have normal steady-state haematopoiesis under standard laboratory conditions, we hypothesized that...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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Covington states in his Commentary1 that the open ponderosa pine forests of the western United States are "in widespread collapse" because fire suppression by humans has eliminated the low-intensity surface fire regime that maintained the open, park-like structure of these forests. He fears this will lead to an "unprecedented" crown fire regime that will eliminate forests.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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Thirty years after oxygen isotope records from microfossils deposited in ocean sediments confirmed the hypothesis that variations in the Earth's orbital geometry control the ice ages1, fundamental questions remain over the response of the Antarctic ice sheets to orbital cycles2. Furthermore, an understanding of the behaviour of the marine-based West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) during the 'warmer-than-present' early-Pliocene epoch (5–3 Myr ago) is needed to better constrain the possible range of ice-sheet behaviour in the context of future global warming3. Here we present a marine glacial record from the upper 600 m of the AND-1B sediment core recovered from beneath the northwest part of the Ross ice shelf by the...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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Water availability on the continents is important for human health, economic activity, ecosystem function and geophysical processes. Because the saturation vapour pressure of water in air is highly sensitive to temperature, perturbations in the global water cycle are expected to accompany climate warming. Regional patterns of warming-induced changes in surface hydroclimate are complex and less certain than those in temperature, however, with both regional increases and decreases expected in precipitation and runoff. Here we show that an ensemble of 12 climate models exhibits qualitative and statistically significant skill in simulating observed regional patterns of twentieth-century multidecadal changes in streamflow....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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On the basis of projected losses of their essential sea-ice habitats, a United States Geological Survey research team concluded in 2007 that two-thirds of the worlds polar bears (Ursus maritimus) could disappear by mid-century if business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions continue. That projection, however, did not consider the possible benefits of greenhouse gas mitigation. A key question is whether temperature increases lead to proportional losses of sea-ice habitat, or whether sea-ice cover crosses a tipping point and irreversibly collapses when temperature reaches a critical threshold. Such a tipping point would mean future greenhouse gas mitigation would confer no conservation benefits to polar bears. Here...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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White-nose syndrome (WNS) has caused recent catastrophic declines among multiple species of bats in eastern North America. The disease's name derives from a visually apparent white growth of the newly discovered fungus Geomyces destructans on the skin (including the muzzle) of hibernating bats. Colonization of skin by this fungus is associated with characteristic cutaneous lesions that are the only consistent pathological finding related to WNS. However, the role of G. destructans in WNS remains controversial because evidence to implicate the fungus as the primary cause of this disease is lacking. The debate is fuelled, in part, by the assumption that fungal infections in mammals are most commonly associated with...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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Damage caused by introduced species results from the high population densities and large body sizes that they attain in their new location. Escape from the effects of natural enemies is a frequent explanation given for the success of introduced species. Because some parasites can reduce host density and decrease body size, an invader that leaves parasites behind and encounters few new parasites can experience a demographic release and become a pest. To test whether introduced species are less parasitized, we have compared the parasites of exotic species in their native and introduced ranges, using 26 host species of molluscs, crustaceans, fishes, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles. Here we report that the number...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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The cause of warming in the Southern Hemisphere during the most recent deglaciation remains a matter of debate. Hypotheses for a Northern Hemisphere trigger, through oceanic redistributions of heat, are based in part on the abrupt onset of warming seen in East Antarctic ice cores and dated to 18,000 years ago, which is several thousand years after high-latitude Northern Hemisphere summer insolation intensity began increasing from its minimum, approximately 24,000 years ago. An alternative explanation is that local solar insolation changes cause the Southern Hemisphere to warm independently. Here we present results from a new, annually resolved ice-core record from West Antarctica that reconciles these two views....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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Warming experiments are increasingly relied on to estimate plant responses to global climate change. For experiments to provide meaningful predictions of future responses, they should reflect the empirical record of responses to temperature variability and recent warming, including advances in the timing of flowering and leafing. We compared phenology (the timing of recurring life history events) in observational studies and warming experiments spanning four continents and 1,634 plant species using a common measure of temperature sensitivity (change in days per degree Celsius). We show that warming experiments underpredict advances in the timing of flowering and leafing by 8.5-fold and 4.0-fold, respectively, compared...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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After the 1987 Whittier Narrows and 1994 Northridge earthquakes revealed that blind thrust faults represent a significant threat to metropolitan Los Angeles, a network of 250 continuously recording global positioning system (GPS) stations was deployed to monitor displacements associated with deep slip on both blind and surface faults. Here we augment this GPS data with interferometric synthetic aperture radar imagery to take into account the deformation associated with groundwater pumping and strike-slip faulting. After removing these non-tectonic signals, we are left with 4.4 mm yr-1 of uniaxial contraction across the Los Angeles basin, oriented N 36° E (perpendicular to the major strike-slip faults in the area)....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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The San Andreas fault is one of the most extensively studied faults in the world, yet its physical character and deformation mode beneath the relatively shallow earthquake-generating portion remain largely unconstrained. Tectonic ‘non-volcanic’ tremor, a recently discovered seismic signal probably generated by shear slip on the deep extension of some major faults, can provide new insight into the deep fate of such faults, including that of the San Andreas fault near Parkfield, California. Here I examine continuous seismic data from mid-2001 to 2008, identifying tremor and decomposing the signal into different families of activity based on the shape and timing of the waveforms at multiple stations. This approach...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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The polar layered deposits of Mars contain the planet’s largest known reservoir of water ice1,2 and the prospect of revealing a detailed Martian palaeoclimate record3,4, but the mechanisms responsible for the formation of the dominant features of the north polar layered deposits (NPLD) are unclear, despite decades of debate. Stratigraphic analyses of the exposed portions of Chasma Boreale—a large canyon 500 km long, up to 100 km wide, and nearly 2 km deep—have led most researchers to favour an erosional process for its formation following initial NPLD accumulation. Candidate mechanisms include the catastrophic outburst of water5, protracted basal melting6, erosional undercutting7, aeolian downcutting7,8,9 and a...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity discovered sulphate-rich sedimentary rocks at Meridiani Planum on Mars, which are interpreted by McCollom and Hynek as altered volcanic rocks. However, their conclusions are derived from an incorrect representation of our depositional model, which is upheld by more recent Rover data. We contend that all the available data still support an aeolian and aqueous sedimentary origin for Meridiani bedrock.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature
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Carbon dioxide (CO2) transfer from inland waters to the atmosphere, known as CO2 evasion, is a component of the global carbon cycle. Global estimates of CO2 evasion have been hampered, however, by the lack of a framework for estimating the inland water surface area and gas transfer velocity and by the absence of a global CO2 database. Here we report regional variations in global inland water surface area, dissolved CO2 and gas transfer velocity. We obtain global CO2 evasion rates of 1.8  petagrams of carbon (Pg C) per year from streams and rivers and 0.32  Pg C yr−1 from lakes and reservoirs, where the upper and lower limits are respectively the 5th and 95th confidence interval percentiles. The resulting global...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature


    map background search result map search result map Onset of deglacial warming in West Antarctica driven by local orbital forcing Onset of deglacial warming in West Antarctica driven by local orbital forcing