Biodiversity and Conservation

Article commentary

The landscape of fear conceptual framework: definition and review of current applications and misuses

Editor rating: 8 / 10

James Roper –– Over time, the concept that organisms have to avoid predation and agonistic interactions has been studied and examined in ecology. The landscape of fear idea is an attempt to unify these ideas conceptually and bring together commonalities from a variety of areas of ecology. Thus, this concept and its elaboration may be applicable in a wide variety of ecological settings, include both terrestrial and aquatic systems.
Experimental moose reduction lowers wolf density and stops decline of endangered caribou

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Andrew Byrne –– While the study design is not perfect (BACI) due to a lack of replication, given the limitations of this type of intervention and the scale at which it was undertaken, the study remains a significant contribution to the field and could have significant real world impacts. However, the paper may be controversial, as is often the case with large-scale wildlife management projects.
Energetics and evasion dynamics of large predators and prey: pumas vs. hounds

Editor rating: 9 / 10

Donald Kramer –– This article presents a unique perspective on energetics and tactics involved in a type of predator-prey encounter rarely documented at all, much less in this detail. It uses modern technology to full advantage in a study of charismatic animals. Both reviewers are experts in the area and concur that this is a unique and valuable study.
Quid est Clea helena? Evidence for a previously unrecognized radiation of assassin snails (Gastropoda: Buccinoidea: Nassariidae)

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Jean-Lou Justine –– The paper provides new information about accurate identification of a series of invasive carnivorous snails. It is thus of interest to both mollusk taxonomists and researchers involved in the protection of environment.
Identification of ecogeographical gaps in the Spanish Aegilops collections with potential tolerance to drought and salinity

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Gerard Lazo –– Identifying crop diversity is a high-priority concern for being able to cope with our ever-changing environment. This is a noteworthy observation of germplasm collections that may have future impact if the study moves forward.
Climate, soil or both? Which variables are better predictors of the distributions of Australian shrub species?

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Budiman Minasny –– A new analysis looking at the influence of soil on shrubs
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.

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Energetics and evasion dynamics of #pumas vs hounds

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My article published today in @thePeerJ #AgriculturalScience #Biodiversity #Biogeography #Ecology

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