Aquatic Biology

Effects of sandfish (Holothuria scabra) removal on shallow-water sediments in Fiji
James Reimer –– Just as the reviewers and AE stated, loss of sea cucumbers is a global problem - and this study shows just how important these ecosystem engineers can be in ecosystem function.
Citizen science data suggest that a novel rig improves landing rate and reduces injury and handling time in recreational angling with artificial lures in Baltic pike (Esox lucius)
James Reimer –– Completely agree with the AE on this assessment - and thus this article could be important to a wide readership including companies making fishing lures, as well as anglers and scientists.
Shifting reef fish assemblages along a depth gradient in Pohnpei, Micronesia
Robert Toonen –– This one of the only studies on mesophotic marine habitats is this part of the world, and will be a critical study for anyone trying to make generalizations from their own local region across the Pacific. To quote the most critical reviewer, this is "groundbreaking research" of an understudied ecosystem in rarely studied region of the globe.
Infection by Parorchis acanthus (Trematoda) decreases grazing by the keystone gastropod, Littoraria irrorata
James Reimer –– This work examines the ecological importance of parasites, a topic that could be on great significance yet has received little research attention.
Necessity of electrically conductive pili for methanogenesis with magnetite stimulation
Xiaomin Li –– The topic of direct interspecies electron transfer (DIET) between iron-reducing bacteria and methanogens has been paid more and more attraction these years, and iron oxides such as magnetite may function like e-pili to facilitate electron transfer. This study, however, demonstrates that e-pili are still necessary for the DIET between between Geobacter and Methanosarcina species, though the presence of magnetite can promote the methane production in this coculture.
Conserving relics from ancient underground worlds: assessing the influence of cave and landscape features on obligate iron cave dwellers from the Eastern Amazon
Jack Stanford –– Great contribution to the conservation of caves and cave faunas.
The effect of tides on nearshore environmental DNA
Robert Toonen –– There is considerable interest in eDNA, and concurrent debate about the utility, reliability and temporal resolution of the approach. This paper contributes an important understanding of the reliability and temporal scale over which this technique can resolve community differences for tidally-influenced nearshore waters.
Evolutionary persistence in Gunnera and the contribution of southern plant groups to the tropical Andes biodiversity hotspot
Luis Eguiarte –– Gunnera is a genus of plants that have fascinated scientist for a long time, in particular for the very large leaves of some species and because its symbiotic relationship with the nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria Nostoc. For a many years, some botanists suspected it to be a very old, primitive genus, perhaps basal in the phylogeny of the Angiosperms. While latter molecular phylogenies did not support this position, this paper shows that indeed Gunnera is an old genus, with a complex evolutionary and phylogeographic history, and a recent radiation in the Andes. All these new results are relevant for understanding why the Neotropics have so many plant species, more than any other similar region in the planet.
The impact of different agroecological conditions on the nutritional composition of quinoa seeds
Alberto Davalos –– Quinoa is a relevant seed for human consumption. Understanding the agronomical characteristics from different varieties cultivated in different places of the world is important in order to promote their widespread cultivation.
Out of Asia: mitochondrial evolutionary history of the globally introduced supralittoral isopod Ligia exotica
Curtis Daehler –– This work provides genetic evidence suggesting the native range of a widely distributed animal that was accidentally spread by humans starting hundreds of years ago.
Aquatic Biology

Section discussions

Temporal genetic monitoring in fish vía @thePeerJ

Moonlighting from my day job again, sequenced microsatellites are the future! #microsatellitesnotdead. Thank you @olepais for allowing me to contribute! Fast SSRseq development via @thePeerJ

On the importance of spatial scales on beta diversity of coral assemblages: a study from Venezuelan coral reefs @thePeerJ

Migratory #behavior and survival of Great Egrets after range expansion in Central Europe @thePeerJ

A new paper with my favorite spider, the spiny orb weaver

Fear and stressing in predator–prey ecology: considering the twin stressors of predators and people on mammals @thePeerJ