Biodiversity and Conservation

Article commentary

Taxonomic richness and abundance of cryptic peracarid crustaceans in the Puerto Morelos Reef National Park, Mexico

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Mark Costello –– The fauna living within marine gravel and rubble is very poorly studied because of sampling difficulties and the relative rarity of the habitat (in contrast to gravel in rivers). Yet, it is especially rich in crustaceans which are an important functional role in ecosystems (grazing, fish prey). This study shows their high diversity in a coral reef ecosystem and highlight how this group has been overlooked in coral reef ecology.
Discrimination of Picea chihuahuana Martinez populations on the basis of climatic, edaphic, dendrometric, genetic and population traits

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Robert Winkler –– The article has practical implications in the conservation of tree species.
Eocene Loranthaceae pollen pushes back divergence ages for major splits in the family

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Kenneth De Baets –– The authors document the fossil pollen record of parasitic plants across various continents and use it together with molecular sequences to constrain their evolutionary time-scale . This will be relevant for palynologists, (paleo)botanist and evolutionary biologists in general.
Largest baleen whale mass mortality during strong El Niño event is likely related to harmful toxic algal bloom

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Mark Costello –– Provides evidence of a cause of cetacean mortality in relation to toxic phytoplankton ("harmful alga blooms") which are a concern in many parts of the world. Cetacean deaths are often a source of mystery and this indicates that naturally occurring toxic events can be one possible cause.
Patterns of bleaching and mortality following widespread warming events in 2014 and 2015 at the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Hawai‘i

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Mauricio Rodriguez-Lanetty –– With the increasing frequency of thermal events that coral reefs are facing worldwide, this study is of great importance to understand the bleaching patterns in Hawaiian Reefs and its ecological consequences.
Invasive lionfish had no measurable effect on prey fish community structure across the Belizean Barrier Reef

Editor rating: 9 / 10

Joseph Pawlik –– The conclusions of this paper run contrary to the view that the lionfish invasion of Caribbean reefs has greatly reduced populations of small reef fishes.
Restoring lepidopteran diversity in a tropical dry forest: relative importance of restoration treatment, tree identity and predator pressure

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Curtis Daehler –– Implications of plant restoration for invertebrate diversity have been rarely studied. This study documented diversity of Lepidoptera following different methods of plant restoration, concluding the choice of tree species used in restoration is probably more important than the specific method used to establish the trees.
A novel genus and cryptic species harboured within the monotypic freshwater crayfish genus Tenuibranchiurus Riek, 1951 (Decapoda: Parastacidae)

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Keith Crandall –– This paper demonstrates that there is significant hidden diversity still to be discovered and described in this interesting group of Australian freshwater crayfish.
A genome-wide assessment of stages of elevational parapatry in Bornean passerine birds reveals no introgression: implications for processes and patterns of speciation

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Scott Edwards –– Novel techniques, interesting geographic setting
Quantifying climate change impacts emphasises the importance of managing regional threats in the endangered Yellow-eyed penguin

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Patricia Gandini –– I Think the papaer will not only be of interest to science community but also likely receive considerable attention from policy makers.

Discussing these articles

Taxonomic survey of cryptofauna in the Puerto Morelos Reef National Park, Mexico. #365papers https://t.co/g6okAw0sOX

Fossil pollen push back diversification of parasitic Loranthaceae @thePeerJ https://t.co/tYG9MNz3nw #EvolutionaryStudies #Paleobiology

New paper: #Whale #cetacean mass mortality during #elnino linked to #toxicalgae #harmfulalgalbloom #psp #chile https://t.co/j0rJh8bu3L

#CoralBleaching in popular #Hawaiian tourist destination #HanaumaBay. https://t.co/6DFMTuyCen

Restoring lepidopteran diversity in a tropical dry forest: relative importance of restoration treatment,… https://t.co/9mYjhWJirN @thePeerJ https://t.co/Mdhw6yTAgq

Novel genus/species in Tenuibranchiurus https://t.co/kxfV616r6p via @thePeerJ

New broad-scale, multi-year study showed that lionfish had no effect on prey fish community structure in Belize. https://t.co/gHOOQ28kO6

Our new Bornean birds paper w/ KU, LSU, and Intl. colleagues: https://t.co/SwrVsac6lt @thePeerJ #biodiversity @Peter_Hosner @kunhm @LSU_MNS https://t.co/UjHJKIFTnP

494 days ago
Yellow-eyed penguin population in decline, with changes in adult survival related to sea-surface temperature https://t.co/zUhJNV8xNm

Hakai Magazine: "Death by Killer Algae"
https://www.hakaimagazine.com/features/death-killer-algae/

Corals Are Dying At Hawaii’s Most Popular Snorkeling Spot
http://www.civilbeat.org/2017/06/corals-are-dying-at-hawaiis-most-popular-snorkeling-spot/

Coral Bleaching Threatens One of Hawaii's Most Popular Coral Reefs
https://weather.com/science/environment/news/hanauma-bay-nature-preserve-hawaii-coral-reef-bleaching

Hawaiian Reef in Danger as Bleaching Event Continues
https://www.courthousenews.com/hawaiian-reef-danger-bleaching-event-continues/

Hawaiian corals in peril due to global climate change
http://us.blastingnews.com/news/2017/05/hawaiian-corals-in-peril-due-to-global-climate-change-001739617.html

New Zealand’s star species could be extinct on mainland by 2060
http://www.discoverwildlife.com/news/new-zealand%E2%80%99s-star-species-could-be-extinct-mainland-2060

The Guardian: "Scientists warn US coral reefs are on course to disappear within decades"
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/30/us-coral-reefs-global-warming-climate-change

Huffington Post: "New Zealand’s Iconic Yellow-Eyed Penguins Could Be Extinct Locally In 40 Years"
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-zealand-yellow-eyed-penguin-extinct_us_591e9a4ee4b094cdba52e689

New Zealand’s Yellow-Eyed Penguins May Be in Trouble
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-zealands-yellow-eyed-penguins-may-be-trouble-180963340/

Urgent Action Needed to Slow Penguin’s Slide to Extinction, Study Claims
http://www.courthousenews.com/urgent-action-needed-slow-penguins-slide-extinction-study-claims/