Biodiversity and Conservation

Article commentary

DNA metabarcoding of littoral hard-bottom communities: high diversity and database gaps revealed by two molecular markers

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Xavier Pochon –– This study developed a novel protocol using DNA metabarcoding for characterizing complex hard-bottom communities within marine protected areas of two Spanish National parks. This work provides a very interesting, novel, timely and thorough comparative analysis of COI and 18S markers in the context of marine biomonitoring, and offer a valuable baseline information for future biodiversity assessment of these complex benthic ecosystems.
Is the future already here? The impact of climate change on the distribution of the eastern coral snake (Micrurus fulvius)

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Mark Costello –– It suggests that sea snakes are already changing their distribution in response to climate change.
Will the California Current lose its nesting Tufted Puffins?

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Agus Santoso –– The vulnerability of Tufted Puffins has recently been raised by the mass mortality in 2016 which appeared to be linked to warming in the North Pacific. This present study projects that the nesting habitat may increasingly become unsuitable by 2050 under global warming, providing quantitative estimates and geographical distribution of the risk.
Conserving relics from ancient underground worlds: assessing the influence of cave and landscape features on obligate iron cave dwellers from the Eastern Amazon

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Jack Stanford –– Great contribution to the conservation of caves and cave faunas.
Evolutionary persistence in Gunnera and the contribution of southern plant groups to the tropical Andes biodiversity hotspot

Editor rating: 9 / 10

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.
Out of Asia: mitochondrial evolutionary history of the globally introduced supralittoral isopod Ligia exotica

Editor rating: 8 / 10

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.
First endemic freshwater Gammarus from Crete and its evolutionary history—an integrative taxonomy approach

Editor rating: 7 / 10

James Reimer –– A taxonomic paper with an interesting story and a solid dataset!
The little shrimp that could: phylogeography of the circumtropical Stenopus hispidus (Crustacea: Decapoda), reveals divergent Atlantic and Pacific lineages

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Xavier Pochon –– This study provides the first range-wide phylogeographic study of the banded coral shrimp S. hispidus, extending across more than 27,000 km of the globe. Coalescence analysis brings evidence that an isolated Indo-Pacific lineage evolved from a rare dispersal event from the Atlantic around South Africa via the Benguela Current, thereby colonizing the Indian and Pacific Oceans, followed by dispersal across the Indo-Pacific in the last 200,000 years. Surprisingly, this benthic coral reef associated shrimp shows a single haplotype dominating the largest continuous tropical oceanic expanse on the planet.
An Indo-Pacific damselfish (Neopomacentrus cyanomos) in the Gulf of Mexico: origin and mode of introduction

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Donald Kramer –– Although only dealing with a single invasive species, it is a very thorough and interesting analysis of the potential for oil rigs to move fish (and potentially other marine species) around the world.
Moving to 3D: relationships between coral planar area, surface area and volume

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Ronaldo Francini-Filho –– Tech tools for coral reef research are emerging fast and boosting science

Discussing these articles

DNA metabarcoding of littoral hard-bottom communities: high diversity and database gaps revealed by two molecular markers. Well done @owenwangensteen and colleagues! https://t.co/yIa32K3DqR

Proud of my first Honors Fellow, Jenny Archis, whose thesis work was publisehd today! https://t.co/iKPqGvi7Fj

Conserving subterranean relics https://t.co/vUjOVTp8xQ via @thePeerJ

The little shrimp that could: phylogeography of the circumtropical Stenopus hispidus (Crustacea: Decapoda), reveals divergent Atlantic and Pacific lineages https://t.co/TXOB7dyxro https://t.co/QkZN9Zfxz0

Will the California Current lose its nesting Tufted Puffins? https://t.co/jeqHAwj8l5 @thePeerJ https://t.co/LpND4QcMkS

Hot off the press – The contribution of southern plant groups to the tropical Andes biodiversity hotspot! https://t.co/5O6fZBPI8M #Biogeography #Evolution #Neotropics @GGBC_GU @thePeerJ

My first publication! On shifting the measurement of corals from 2D to 3D @thePeerJ https://t.co/g99voUOOTv #Biodiversity #Ecology #MarineBiology #StAndrews