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Recently, distributed space-time code designs with high cooperative diversity for wireless communication networks, such as ad hoc and sensor networks, have received much attention. Amplify forward and decoding forward are widely used protocols for the cooperative diversity in the wireless communication networks. In both protocols, the information received by relay terminals are "forwarded" to destination or next relay terminals. Since the signals transmitted by relay terminals and those transmitted from the source terminal are correlated, there is information redundancy. To improve the energy efficiency of cooperative networks, we propose an encoding protocol, which is referred to as a nested cooperative encoding protocol. In our proposed protocol, the received signal at each relay terminal is divided into several sub-signals with the nest lattice structure of source information. Each of the sub-signals contains only a partial information with a smaller size of constellation compared to the original information sent by the source terminal. Do a new encoding or modulation by using these sub-signals before transmitting at relay terminals. It is shown that the proposed new protocols can achieve both high cooperative diversity and high energy efficiency.