Biodiversity and Conservation

Article commentary

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
Molecular phylogenetics of swimming crabs (Portunoidea Rafinesque, 1815) supports a revised family-level classification and suggests a single derived origin of symbiotic taxa

Editor rating: 9 / 10

Mohammad Shamsur Rahman –– very much fantastic work in the field of taxonomy, both in classical and molecular approach!
Annual and spatial variation in composition and activity of terrestrial mammals on two replicate plots in lowland forest of eastern Ecuador

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Jose Maria Cardoso da Silva –– Good quantitative data about the distribution and abundance of terrestrial mammals in South America and their relationships with environmental variables are still scarce. This paper adds valuable information on the subject and advance some hypotheses that can be tested in other sites across the region.
Boundaries in ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) and environmental variables at the edges of forest patches with residential developments

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Scott Ferrenberg –– This article introduces, in a tangible way, methods for combining biological data with environmental data to identify boundaries and edge effects free of bias from the human point of view. This set of techniques could substantially improve our understanding of why species are affected by some edge conditions but go seemingly unaffected by others. The potential use of this approach in conservation and protected area delineation is clear, but I also see other possible applications such as determining the factors that influence spatial patterns in plant productivity and biogeochemical processes.
Simulations indicate that scores of lionfish (Pterois volitans) colonized the Atlantic Ocean

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Mark Hixon –– This study provides insight on the size of the founding introduced population that gave rise to one of the worst marine invasions in history.

Discussing these articles

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

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

294 days ago
Portunoid crab molecular phylogenetics https://t.co/27iDHwJL4z @thePeerJさんから

Terrestrial mammals in lowland forest of eastern Ecuador: https://t.co/Kqyb7h49lN

An article I handled as editor has been published today @thePeerJ https://t.co/6YlbJ7SYQS #Biodiversity #Biogeography #ConservationBiology

Ever wonder how many lionfish spawned the invasion in the Atlantic? Probably over 100! https://t.co/XHpPpH52ud

Discover Magazine: Dozens—Perhaps Even Hundreds—of Lionfish Likely Launched the Atlantic Invasion
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/science-sushi/2017/12/27/dozens-perhaps-even-hundreds-of-lionfish-likely-launched-the-atlantic-invasion/