The majority of the world's terrestrial large carnivores have undergone substantial range contractions and many of these species are currently threatened with extinction. However, there has been little effort to fully quantify the extent of large carnivore range contractions, which hinders our ability to understand the roles and relative drivers of such trends. Here we present and analyse a newly constructed and comprehensive set of large carnivore range contraction maps.

Although many ecological properties of species respond to climate change, their evolutionary responses are poorly understood. Here, we use data from long-term demographic studies to predict evolutionary responses of three herbaceous perennial orchid species, Cypripedium parviflorum, C. candidum and Ophrys sphegodes, to predicted climate changes in the habitats they occupy. We focus on the evolution of sprouting probability, because all three species exhibit long-term vegetative dormancy, i.e. individual plants may not emerge above-ground, potentially for several consecutive years.

Researchers investigated whether Neogobius melanostomus, an invader of biodiversity ‘hot-spots’ in the Laurentian Great Lakes region, facilitates or inhibits unionid mussel recruitment by serving as a host or sink for their parasitic larvae (glochidia). Infestation and metamorphosis rates of four mussel species with at-risk (conservation) status (Epioblasma torulosa rangiana, Epioblasma triquetra, Lampsilis fasciola and Villosa iris) and one common species (Actinonaias ligamentina) on N. melanostomus were compared with rates on known primary and marginal hosts in the laboratory.

Since the Mid-Holocene, some 5000 years ago, coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean have been vertically constrained by sea level. Contemporary sea-level rise is releasing these constraints, providing accommodation space for vertical reef expansion. Here, the researchers show that Porites microatolls, from reef-flat environments in Palau (western Pacific Ocean), are ‘keeping up’ with contemporary sea-level rise.

Contemporary sea-level rise will inundate coastal habitats with seawater more frequently, disrupting the life cycles of terrestrial fauna well before permanent habitat loss occurs. Sea turtles are reliant on low-lying coastal habitats worldwide for nesting, where eggs buried in the sand remain vulnerable to inundation until hatching. We show that saltwater inundation directly lowers the viability of green turtle eggs (Chelonia mydas) collected from the world's largest green turtle nesting rookery at Raine Island, Australia, which is undergoing enigmatic decline.

Marine debris, mostly consisting of plastic, is a global problem, negatively impacting wildlife, tourism and shipping. However, despite the durability of plastic, and the exponential increase in its production, monitoring data show limited evidence of concomitant increasing concentrations in marine habitats. There appears to be a considerable proportion of the manufactured plastic that is unaccounted for in surveys tracking the fate of environmental plastics.