Editor rating: 8 / 10Andrew Farke –– This study presents data applicable for many paleontologists in trying to establish life history information for snakes extant and extinct.
Editor rating: 7 / 10Kenneth De Baets –– Oldest best-preserved representatives of chalcid wasps which is relevant for entomologists, evolutionary biologist and paleontologists. The authors run a phylogenetic analysis to place them among their extant relatives.
Section Editor rating: 8 / 10Andrew Farke –– Excellent imagery and descriptions of an important taxon.
Editor rating: 7 / 10Laura Wilson –– Evaluates the impact of autapomorphies on the behaviour of tip-dating methods. The results are relevant for all future studies that employ tip-dating analyses.
Editor rating: 9 / 10Luis 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.
Editor rating: 8 / 10Curtis 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.
Editor rating: 7 / 10James Reimer –– A taxonomic paper with an interesting story and a solid dataset!
Editor rating: 7 / 10Dany Garant –– Nice overview of published literature on the topic.
Editor rating: 7 / 10Andrew Farke –– Describes a new fossil species from a group of turtles that are ecologically important in North America today.
Editor rating: 8 / 10Xavier Pochon –– This study developed a simple and cost-effective assay that quickly allows for discrimination amongst coral species in the genus Pocillopora using simple PCR amplification followed by digestion with widely available restriction enzymes. Pocilloporid corals exhibit extreme phenotypic plasticity, making morphological identification of species very challenging. The assay was tested on 691 coral samples collected from across the Hawaiian Archipelago and successfully characterised all six Pocillopora species occurring in Hawaii. Compared to sequence-based identification, this method is simple, rapid and represents a cost saving of nearly 95%. This work will benefit future studies of population structure, ecology, biodiversity, evolution and conservation in this challenging coral genus.
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