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A recent paper by Lau and Jacobs (2017, PeerJ) negatively contributes to a critical conservation problem in the Gulf of California—better regulation of fisheries in the Upper Gulf of California. The paper’s broader conclusions are not supported by the data presented, and numerous assumptions and claims regarding previous work are misstated or incorrect, including claims of sister-group relationship between Colpichthys hubbsi and C. regis and an implied sister group relationship between Uca monilifera and Uca princeps, claims regarding Colorado River water flow to the Gulf of California, and claims of post-dam “significantly different adaptive regimes on taxa in the [Upper Gulf].”
A research paper that draws broad conclusions, far exceeding what the actual data can say, and risks being utilized in ways that can damage important conservation efforts. I offer a plea for rigor in research papers that can be easily misused.