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Nature Plants – Celebrating our 3rd Anniversary

It doesn’t feel like three years since the first papers were published in Nature Plants in January 2015. However, as Nature Plants embarks on its 4th volume this seems like a good time to look back on the research we have published in the last three years. It is always difficult choosing the ‘highlights’ from such a wide-ranging collection of research. For this anniversary collection we have looked to see which have been the highest performers by a few measures: 

  • The most read papers as judged by the number of times that they have been downloaded from our site.
  • The most cited papers from each of our first three years.
  • The most discussed papers as judged by the Altmetric scores that they have accrued.

Interestingly the top papers by each measure are not the same! 



Most read

The desert moss Syntrichia caninervis maximizes water collection in dry environments by collecting water droplets from fog using the tiny hairs on the end of its leaves and passing them down through the plant, rather than taking water up through the roots.

Article | | Nature Plants

Maize originated in southern Mexico from domestication of the wild grass teosinte, and diffused throughout the Americas. Sequenced DNA from archaeological samples spanning 6,000 years, documents the diffusion route and reveals the genes that were specifically selected for climatic and cultural adaptation to the US Southwest.

Article | | Nature Plants

Most cited

The frequency of severe droughts is increasing in many regions around the world as a result of climate change. An analysis of tree growth and mortality data from forests worldwide suggests that large trees fare worse under drought than small trees.

Article | | Nature Plants

The genetic diversity of wild relatives of domesticated crops can be useful for developing more productive, nutritious and resilient crop varieties. A comparison of the modelled diversity of crop wild relatives with their representation in gene banks suggests that a systematic effort is needed to improve their conservation and availability for use in plant breeding.

Article | | Nature Plants

Most discussed

Mutualisms are common in nature. In Fiji, a species of ant selects, disperses and fertilizes an epiphytic plant in an exclusive symbiosis. This represents a novel example of plant farming by ants.

Brief Communication | | Nature Plants

Fossil plants preserved in amber can give detailed palaeoevolutionary and biogeographical insights; the same degree of preservation can be found for vascular plant remains as for arthropods. This paper presents the earliest member of the highly diverse and widespread asterid clade of angiosperms preserved in mid-Tertiary Dominican amber, Strychnos electri sp. nov.

Letter | | Nature Plants