For the first time in the Anthropocene, the global demographic and economic trends that have resulted in unprecedented destruction of the environment are now creating the necessary conditions for a possible renaissance of nature. Drawing reasonable inferences from current patterns, we can predict that 100 years from now, the Earth could be inhabited by between 6 and 8 billion people, with very few remaining in extreme poverty, most living in towns and cities, and nearly all participating in a technologically driven, interconnected market economy.

Farmers, food supply-chain entities, and policymakers need a simple but robust indicator to demonstrate progress toward reducing nitrogen pollution associated with food production. We show that nitrogen balance—the difference between nitrogen inputs and nitrogen outputs in an agricultural production system—is a robust measure of nitrogen losses that is simple to calculate, easily understood, and based on readily available farm data.

Sustainability challenges for nature and people are complex and interconnected, such that effective solutions require approaches and a common theory of change that bridge disparate disciplines and sectors. Causal chains offer promising approaches to achieving an integrated understanding of how actions affect ecosystems, the goods and services they provide, and ultimately, human well-being.

In our recent perspective article,  we noted that most (approximately 60 percent) terrestrial large carnivore and large herbivore species are now threatened with extinction, and we offered a 13-point declaration designed to promote and guide actions to save these iconic mammalian megafauna (Ripple et al. 2016). Some may worry that a focus on saving megafauna might undermine efforts to conserve biodiversity more broadly.

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In May 2014, the Member States of the United Nations adopted Resolution 23/1 on “strengthening a targeted crime prevention and criminal justice response to combat illicit trafficking in forest products, including timber.” The resolution promotes the development of tools and technologies that can be used to combat the illicit trafficking of timber.

From the late Pleistocene to the Holocene and now the so-called Anthropocene, humans have been driving an ongoing series of species declines and extinctions. Large-bodied mammals are typically at a higher risk of extinction than smaller ones. However, in some circumstances, terrestrial megafauna populations have been able to recover some of their lost numbers because of strong conservation and political commitment, as well as human cultural changes. Indeed, many would be in considerably worse predicaments in the absence of conservation action.

Dams impound the majority of rivers and provide important societal benefits, especially daily water releases that enable on-peak hydroelectricity generation. Such “hydropeaking” is common worldwide, but its downstream impacts remain unclear. We evaluated the response of aquatic insects, a cornerstone of river food webs, to hydropeaking using a life history–hydrodynamic model.

Genomic approaches are revolutionizing the biomedical sciences, providing new ways in which to approach the development of therapeutic practices and the understanding of the causal bases of disease. So, too, do genomics approaches have the potential to transform the way in which ecological studies can be conducted by providing powerful tools in which genotype and phenotype data of diverse “wild” populations can be measured with a never-before-possible level of fine-scale resolution.

The proliferation of a number of pressures affecting the ocean is leading to a growing concern that the state of the ocean is compromised, which is driving society into pessimism. Ocean calamities are disruptive changes to ocean ecosystems that have profound impacts and that are widespread or global in scope.

Mangrove ecosystems are found globally along tropical and subtropical coastlines. They exhibit a steep environmental gradient between inland and marine systems, providing a unique, selective environment that shapes local morphological, physiological, and behavioral adaptations.