Biodiversity and Conservation

Article commentary

Phylogenetic climatic niche conservatism and evolution of climatic suitability in Neotropical Angraecinae (Vandeae, Orchidaceae) and their closest African relatives

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Sara Varela –– It adds new data about species niche conservatism while diversification occur
Mitochondrial diversity in Gonionemus (Trachylina:Hydrozoa) and its implications for understanding the origins of clinging jellyfish in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean

Editor rating: 7 / 10

James Reimer –– A genetic approach to the first examination of invasion history of a harmful (to humans) group of jellyfish; this work will form the basis for future detailed examinations.
Metagenomic analysis exploring taxonomic and functional diversity of soil microbial communities in Chilean vineyards and surrounding native forests

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Keith Crandall –– For all of us interested in Chilean wines and keeping the industry healthy and strong as well as for those who would like to do some comparative metagenomics across vineyards around the world, this study represents a great step in building an appropriate database for monitoring the impact of soil microbiome on wine quality.
The adaptive value of habitat preferences from a multi-scale spatial perspective: insights from marsh-nesting avian species

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Donald Kramer –– The reviewers agree with the authors that studies attempting to relate habitat selection to fitness components at a multi-scale level are important and rare in the published literature. The authors have carried out a well designed field study accompanied by a robust analysis.
Neogene amphibians and reptiles (Caudata, Anura, Gekkota, Lacertilia, and Testudines) from the south of Western Siberia, Russia, and Northeastern Kazakhstan

Editor rating: 9 / 10

Graciela Piñeiro –– This manuscript is an important contribution to the knowledge of the almost unknown Siberian Neogene herpetofauna. It deals not solely with detailed anatomical descriptions and taxonomic identification of the specimens, but provides interesting paleobiogeographic hypotheses concerning the origin and dispersion of the taxa, including newly paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental aspects spanning mostly the Oligocene to Pliocene periods. Studied environmental parameters include precipitation rates in the Miocene which are compared to current rainfall values for the region.
Sympathy for the devil: a conservation strategy for devil and manta rays

Editor rating: 8 / 10

James Reimer –– This is a large-scale, multi-author work combining a review of ray conservation with suggestions for future conservation strategy.
Spatial distribution of environmental DNA in a nearshore marine habitat

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Magnus Johnson –– The use of e-DNA for ecological surveys is an important development of interest to a broad range of scientists.
Facilitating permeability of landscapes impacted by roads for protected amphibians: patterns of movement for the great crested newt

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Stephen Wratten –– vital work on amphibian movement dynamics
Counting complete? Finalising the plant inventory of a global biodiversity hotspot

Editor rating: 8 / 10

Richard Cowling –– This article is important because it focuses on an area that is both well known and extraordinarily species-rich. So there are lots of insights useful for estimating species numbers in other hotspots, a currently "hot" topic.
Vascular plant biodiversity of the lower Coppermine River valley and vicinity (Nunavut, Canada): an annotated checklist of an Arctic flora

Editor rating: 7 / 10

Richard Cowling –– The paper represents a comprehensive inventory in a remote area vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. It will form the basis for a monitoring programme that will likely reveal important trends in biotic change.

Discussing these articles

Botrychium minganense (Mingan moonwort - botryche de Mingan) [L] and Botrychium tunux (Tunux moonwort - botryche de Tunux) [R]. Kugluk/Bloody Falls Territorial Park, Kugluktuk, Nunavut. July 19, 2014. #PlantPerDay. Originally collected as one number (

not cited, but 100 downloads of 'Counting complete? Finalising the inventory of a hotspot' #OpenAccess @onnohuyser

346 days ago
New #roadecology research describes tunnel-fencing system for mitigating road impacts on newts

422 days ago
#Christians need some sympathy for the devil – devil rays that is. #sharkweek #creationcare @arochaint #saveourseas

An article I handled as editor has been published today @thePeerJ #Biodiversity #Biogeography #Ecology #PlantScience

520 days ago
New work w/ Annette Govindarajan @thePeerJ #Biodiversity #Biogeography #MarineBiology

Clinging to a jellyfish link

Stinging clinging jellyfish on the move

WHOI researchers find link between local jellyfish and Russian species

Tracing the puzzling origins of clinging jellyfish

Beautiful Science

Clinging Jellyfish History: Biologist Govindarajan Found The Puzzling Origins

Tracing the puzzling origins of clinging jellyfish