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Diversity, Volume 14, Issue 11 (November 2022) – 115 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Bird ringing is a citizen science research tool that can provide long-term data to assess population dynamics and trends over a large geographic area. Analysis of ringing data from 74 passerine birds during autumn migration over a 17-year period revealed a sharp decline in the European bird fauna in almost all species guilds, depending on geographic location, ecological, migratory, breeding, and life history traits. Declines were most severe among low-productivity wetland specialists such as Moustached Warbler (Acrocephalus melanopogon). This suggests widespread environmental change in Europe, with recent trends toward ecosystem homogeneity. A few increasing species with high productivity and flexible behaviour have a chance of becoming established in the recently rapidly changing environment. View this paper
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17 pages, 971 KiB  
Article
Anianabacter salinae gen. nov., sp. nov. ASV31T, a Facultative Alkaliphilic and Extremely Halotolerant Bacterium Isolated from Brine of a Millennial Continental Saltern
by Maia Azpiazu-Muniozguren, Minerva García, Lorena Laorden, Irati Martinez-Malaxetxebarria, Sergio Seoane, Joseba Bikandi, Javier Garaizar and Ilargi Martínez-Ballesteros
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 1009; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14111009 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1491
Abstract
During a prokaryotic diversity study in Añana Salt Valley, a new Rhodobacteraceae member, designated ASV31T, was isolated from Santa Engracia spring water. It was extremely halotolerant, tolerating up to 23% NaCl, and facultatively alkaliphilic, growing at pH 6.5–9.5 (optimum at 7.0–9.5). [...] Read more.
During a prokaryotic diversity study in Añana Salt Valley, a new Rhodobacteraceae member, designated ASV31T, was isolated from Santa Engracia spring water. It was extremely halotolerant, tolerating up to 23% NaCl, and facultatively alkaliphilic, growing at pH 6.5–9.5 (optimum at 7.0–9.5). The isolate was a Gram-negative, rod-shaped, aerobic and non-motile bacterium that formed beige-to-pink colonies on marine agar. According to a 16S rRNA gene-based phylogenetic analysis, strain ASV31T forms a distinct branch of the family Rhodobacteraceae, with Thioclava pacifica DSM 10166T being its closest type strain (95.3%). This was confirmed with a phylogenomic tree and the values of ANI (73.9%), dDDH (19.3%), AAI (63.5%) and POCP (56.0%), which were below the genus/species level boundary. Additionally, an ability to degrade aromatic compounds and biosynthesise secondary metabolites was suggested by the genome of strain ASV31T. Distinguishing fatty acid profiles and polar lipid content were also observed. The genome size was 3.6 Mbp, with a DNA G+C content of 65.7%. Based on the data obtained, it was considered that strain ASV31T (=CECT 30309T = LMG 32242T) represents a new species of a new genus in the family Rhodobacteraceae, for which the name Anianabacter salinae gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Diversity and Culture Collections)
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10 pages, 1994 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Diversity of Elopidae (Teleostei; Elopiformes) Using DNA Barcoding Analysis
by Rodrigo Petry Corrêa de Sousa, Carla Denise Bessa-Brito, Auryceia Guimarães-Costa, Grazielle Evangelista-Gomes, Iracilda Sampaio, Edivaldo Herculano Corrêa de Oliveira and Marcelo Vallinoto
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 1008; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14111008 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1627
Abstract
Elopidae is the most speciose family within the Elopiformes, comprising seven valid species. Despite this reduced number of species, the family presents poorly resolved systematics, mainly owing to its wide distribution and highly conserved anatomic features. Therefore, we aimed to explore the species [...] Read more.
Elopidae is the most speciose family within the Elopiformes, comprising seven valid species. Despite this reduced number of species, the family presents poorly resolved systematics, mainly owing to its wide distribution and highly conserved anatomic features. Therefore, we aimed to explore the species diversity of the Elopidae using species delimitation, genetic diversity, and phylogenetic analysis combined with DNA barcoding of the COI gene. The results from the delimitation analysis grouped the species into a single cluster, while the genetic diversity analysis among the groups showed a distance ranging between 1.29 and 2.78%. Both phylogenetic and haplotype network analysis grouped the species into four clades, associated with the distribution of the organisms. The lack of resolution in the species delimitation analysis might be directly associated with the recent radiation of the group, a hypothesis corroborated by both the low genetic diversity (close to the 2% threshold) and the few mutations that separate the haplotypes observed among the species. Interestingly, our data supported a new arrangement for the Elops species. In addition, the data available in public databases present taxonomic errors at several levels. Although some issues remain unsolved, our results can be used in the identification of taxa and provide information to assist taxonomic revisions of the Elopidae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Ecology and Evolution of Fishes)
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16 pages, 3201 KiB  
Article
Pterosaur Tracks from the Upper Cretaceous Anacleto Formation (Neuquén Basin), Northern Patagonia, Argentina: Insights into Campanian Pterosaur Diversity in Gondwana
by Ignacio Díaz-Martínez, Arturo M. Heredia, Santiago N. González, Nerina Canale, Silvina de Valais, Carlos A. Cónsole-Gonella, Romina M. Montes, Martina Caratelli, Sofía Urzagasti-Torres, Geraldine Fischer, Agustina Lecuona, Pablo Paniceres, Leonardo Salgado and Paolo Citton
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 1007; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14111007 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3225
Abstract
The Campanian Anacleto Formation holds an abundant and diverse ichnofossil and body-fossil vertebrate record. Despite the striking diversity of this record, pterosaur fossils had never been described from the unit. Here, we report four pterosaur manus tracks from fluvial red beds cropping out [...] Read more.
The Campanian Anacleto Formation holds an abundant and diverse ichnofossil and body-fossil vertebrate record. Despite the striking diversity of this record, pterosaur fossils had never been described from the unit. Here, we report four pterosaur manus tracks from fluvial red beds cropping out in the Área Natural Protegida Municipal Paso Córdoba (Río Negro Province, northern Patagonia, Argentina). Tracks are longer than wide, tridactyl with digit impressions of different lengths (I < II < III), anteriorly directed and laterally asymmetrical. Being on loose slabs and lacking direct examination of pes morphology, the material is classified as undetermined pterosaur tracks. The new find represents the first occurrence of pterosaurs from the lower–middle Campanian of Argentina and one of the few evidences from South America for this time interval. In addition, it is one of the few ichnological pterosaur records from Gondwana, thus shedding light on the palaeobiogeography of this clade during the latest Cretaceous. Pterosaur tracks from the Anacleto Formation allow us to integrate the body-fossil record from the unit and to add a new component, along with birds, to the flying archosaur fauna coexisting with non-avian dinosaurs, notosuchians, chelonians, squamates and mammals in the Campanian of northern Patagonia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fossil Reptiles and Associated Faunal Record)
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25 pages, 7668 KiB  
Article
Phylogenetic Relationships in Earthworm Megascolex Species (Oligochaeta: Megascolecidae) with Addition of Two New Species
by Azhar Rashid Lone, Samrendra Singh Thakur, Pooja Tiwari, Samuel Wooster James and Shweta Yadav
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 1006; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14111006 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2043
Abstract
Megascolex (Oligochaeta: Megascolecidae) are endemic species to India and Sri Lanka, however, to date their molecular taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships have not been reported. We applied the first integrative approach using morpho-anatomical features and a COI dataset to unveil species delimitation (SD), molecular [...] Read more.
Megascolex (Oligochaeta: Megascolecidae) are endemic species to India and Sri Lanka, however, to date their molecular taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships have not been reported. We applied the first integrative approach using morpho-anatomical features and a COI dataset to unveil species delimitation (SD), molecular taxonomy, and phylogenetic relationships in Megascolex species. Our morpho-anatomical results revealed nine Megascolex species, namely, M. auriculata, M. cochinensis cochinensis, M. filiciseta, M. ratus, M. travancorensis travancorensis, M. triangularis, M. konkanensis konkanensis, M. polytheca polytheca, and M. polytheca zonatus. We also reported the occurrence of two new species, namely, M. papparensis sp. nov, and M. vazhichlensis sp. nov. Such findings were also supported by the analysed COI dataset, in which these new species appeared distinct on the phylogenetic trees with strong support. The studied Megascolex species appeared paraphyletic and formed three subclades on Bayesian inference (BI) and Maximum Likelihood (ML) phylogenetic trees. The first clade consisted of six species: M. cochinensis cochinensis, M. polytheca polytheca, M. polytheca zonatus, M. konkanensis konkanensis, M. filiciseta, and M. auriculata with strong posterior probability support. The second clade consisted of M. travancorensis travancorensis, M. papparensis sp. nov, and M. vazhichlensis sp. nov with strong support. The third clade consisted of M. ratus and M. triangularis with good support. In addition, the validation of species was confirmed by SD methods, in which the congruence among OTUs was observed with the clear barcode gap of 12–14% suggested by ABGD analysis. However, the species M. ratus and M. travancorensis travancorensis show deep intraspecific divergence and, therefore, require more sampling data. Such findings are essential to study the phylogenetics and evolution of the genus and, nonetheless, demand larger COI datasets to make concrete conclusions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Earthworms)
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17 pages, 3780 KiB  
Article
High-Resolution Mapping of Seagrass Biomass Dynamics Suggests Differential Response of Seagrasses to Fluctuating Environments
by Kuan-Yu Chen and Hsing-Juh Lin
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 999; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14110999 - 19 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1489
Abstract
Seagrass beds are major blue carbon ecosystems. Climate change-associated factors may change the seagrass community and affect the capacity of carbon sequestration. To explore the possible effects of warming, higher precipitation levels and/or sea level rise on seagrasses, the spatial and seasonal dynamics [...] Read more.
Seagrass beds are major blue carbon ecosystems. Climate change-associated factors may change the seagrass community and affect the capacity of carbon sequestration. To explore the possible effects of warming, higher precipitation levels and/or sea level rise on seagrasses, the spatial and seasonal dynamics in shallow seagrass beds comprising the late-successional seagrass Thalassia hemprichii and the early-successional seagrass Halodule uninervis were tracked. The high-resolution mapping of seagrass biomass dynamics showed that T. hemprichii was the dominant species in the study sites year round, as the space occupation by the larger seagrass T. hemprichii was more efficient than that by the smaller seagrass H. uninervis. The space occupation by both species in the low-elevation site was more efficient than in the high-elevation site. In the low-elevation site, while the dominance of the faster growing seagrass H. uninervis was increasing, the dominance of T. hemprichii was decreasing. This suggested that the carbon sequestration capacity of the seagrass beds will decrease, as T. hemprichii was capable of storing more carbon in the sediments. In the high-elevation site, however, the distribution of both species was distinct and showed a clear seasonal succession. The dominance of H. uninervis moved to shallower water in the wet season and then moved back to deeper water in the dry season. Our observations suggested that four possible mechanisms might be involved in the dominance shift in the shallow seagrass beds: (1) the deeper water in the low-elevation site or the higher precipitation levels in the wet season might reduce the drought stress of H. uninervis at low tide and enhance the competition of H. uninervis over T. hemprichii; (2) the growth of H. uninervis might be stimulated more by the flushing of land-based nutrients caused by the higher precipitation rates in the wet season; (3) in the high-elevation site, the faster flow velocity and frequently disturbed sediments in the dry season might constrain the further expansion of H. uninervis to shallower water; (4) the faster flow velocity in the high-elevation site might reduce the impacts of periphyton overgrowth on T. hemprichii and maintain the dominance of T. hemprichii in the community. Our results suggest seagrasses will not necessarily respond to fluctuating environments in the same way in the coming decades. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology, Diversity and Conservation of Seagrass)
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20 pages, 5827 KiB  
Article
A New Genus and Two New Species of Fireflies from South America (Lampyridae: Lampyrinae: Photinini)
by André Silva Roza, José Ricardo Miras Mermudes and Luiz Felipe Lima da Silveira
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 1005; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14111005 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1846
Abstract
Lampyridae taxonomy has traditionally relied on a few characters now deemed to be highly homoplastic, and their classification—especially at the genus level—is yet to be consolidated based on rigorous phylogenetic analyses. Recent studies highlighted the value of genitalic trait variation in the evolution [...] Read more.
Lampyridae taxonomy has traditionally relied on a few characters now deemed to be highly homoplastic, and their classification—especially at the genus level—is yet to be consolidated based on rigorous phylogenetic analyses. Recent studies highlighted the value of genitalic trait variation in the evolution in Lampyridae, particularly for the rich and poorly known South American Photinini fauna. Here, we describe a new genus, with a new species from the Cerrado and another one from the Atlantic Forest. Phylogenetic analyses based on Bayesian and Maximum Parsimony approaches recovered these two species as sister to each other, which we place here in Zoiudo gen. nov. Males of this new lineage of fireflies are overall strikingly similar to Photinus Laporte 1833, but can be readily distinguished by traits heretofore neglected, including the structure of tibial spurs and many genitalic traits. Instead, Zoiudo gen. nov. is strongly supported as sister to Ybytyramoan Silveira and Mermudes, 2014, supported by eight synapomorphies, the most conspicuous being the sternum VIII with lateral margins divergent up to basal 1/5, then convergent posteriorly, and the rudimentary ventral plate of phallus. Our study confirms the value of extensive character and taxon sampling towards a revised classification of Photinini taxa and highlights the need for a continued sampling and protection of South American biomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Ecology of Coleoptera)
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11 pages, 1217 KiB  
Article
Spatial Variation in the Frequency of Left-Sided Morph in European Flounder Platichthys flesus (Linnaeus, 1758) from the Marginal Arctic (the White Sea)
by Peter N. Yershov, Gennadiy V. Fuks and Vadim M. Khaitov
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 1004; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14111004 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1200
Abstract
The European flounder, Platichthys flesus, is a polymorphic flatfish, which has a large population variation in the proportion of left-sided and right-sided morphs across its geographic range. We compared the frequencies of these morphs in the White Sea (Kandalaksha, Onega, Dvina, and [...] Read more.
The European flounder, Platichthys flesus, is a polymorphic flatfish, which has a large population variation in the proportion of left-sided and right-sided morphs across its geographic range. We compared the frequencies of these morphs in the White Sea (Kandalaksha, Onega, Dvina, and Mezen bays), the region in the northeastern part of species’ range adjacent to the Arctic. The proportion of the two morphs in the populations of White Sea flounders showed high variability and specific regional characteristics. The highest frequency of left-sided individuals was observed in the northwestern (Kandalaksha Bay) and southwestern (Onega Bay) parts of the White Sea. Flounders living in the eastern part of the White Sea (Dvina and Mezen bays) showed a much lower frequency of this trait. No consistent pattern of geographic variation in the proportion of the morphs was found in the geographic range of P. flesus. The lowest frequencies of left-sided individuals were recorded in the flounder populations living at the eastern and western margins of the geographic range. Geographic variation in the proportion of left-sided individuals in flounder populations is likely to be determined by a set of biotic and abiotic factors. Selective influence of the latter, acting through the trophic relationships of this species with other marine organisms, can differ in different parts of flounder’s geographic range. Full article
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17 pages, 2788 KiB  
Article
Application of Phytoplankton Taxonomic α-Diversity Indices to Assess Trophic States in Barrier Lake: A Case of Jingpo Lake
by Yang Cai, Lin Qi, Tao Shan, Yan Liu, Nannan Zhang, Xinxin Lu and Yawen Fan
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 1003; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14111003 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1723
Abstract
Phytoplankton taxonomic α-diversity indices are useful tools to characterize the trophic states in freshwater ecosystems. However, the application of these indices to assess trophic states in large barrier lakes is rare, especially in China. To test the usefulness of phytoplankton taxonomic α-diversity indices [...] Read more.
Phytoplankton taxonomic α-diversity indices are useful tools to characterize the trophic states in freshwater ecosystems. However, the application of these indices to assess trophic states in large barrier lakes is rare, especially in China. To test the usefulness of phytoplankton taxonomic α-diversity indices in trophic state assessments, we investigated the taxonomic α-diversity-Comprehensive Trophic Level Index (TLI) relationships in the second largest alpine lava barrier lake (Jingpo Lake, China) in the rainy and dry season from 2017 to 2018. Based on a two-year dataset, we found that there was a significant difference in the phytoplankton community, α-diversity indices, and TLI dynamic between the rainy season and the dry season. First, there was significant variation in phytoplankton abundance, the Margalef index, and the Shannon-Wiener index in different hydrological periods (p < 0.05). Second, the mean TLI in the rainy season (44 ± 5) was higher than in the dry season (41 ± 5) (p < 0.05). Lastly, the response characteristics of the Margalef and Shannon-Wiener index with TLI were different in different hydrological periods, and the relationship between the Pielou evenness index and TLI was weak. This study highlights that phytoplankton taxonomic α-diversity indices are relevant tools in water quality assessments but selecting the fit index is necessary. The current study provides key information about phytoplankton community, α-diversity, and trophic states in the largest alpine lava barrier lake, and the results of the study will benefit water quality management and biodiversity conservation in barrier lakes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Ecology of Algae in China)
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12 pages, 2879 KiB  
Article
Relationship between Biomass and Biodiversity of Degraded Grassland in the Sanjiangyuan Region of Qinghai–Tibet Plateau
by Kai Shu, Xue Gao, Dawen Qian, Lei Zhao, Qian Li and Licong Dai
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 1002; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14111002 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1764
Abstract
Understanding the mechanisms of diversity–productivity relationships is a central question in community ecology. Grazing is the main driving force affecting biodiversity, function, and stability of grassland ecosystems, and thus should play an important role in mediating diversity-productivity relationships. In this study, we examined [...] Read more.
Understanding the mechanisms of diversity–productivity relationships is a central question in community ecology. Grazing is the main driving force affecting biodiversity, function, and stability of grassland ecosystems, and thus should play an important role in mediating diversity-productivity relationships. In this study, we examined the effect of grazing intensity on both aboveground biomass and biodiversity and explored the relationship between them in alpine meadow ecosystems in Sanjiangyuan, which is the source of the Yangtze, Yellow, and Lancang rivers. The results showed that the aboveground biomass and species richness decreased significantly due to multi-state succession in alpine meadows caused by long-term grazing, while the Shannon–Wiener index and Pielou evenness index decreased and then increased with increasing grazing intensity. The relationship between the aboveground biomass and biodiversity was U-shaped. Our results highlighted the opposite pattern of the diversity–productivity relationship under low and medium grazing intensity versus an extremely high grazing intensity; evenness contributed largely to this pattern. This study provided a new perspective on grassland management and the relationship between productivity and biodiversity. Attention should be paid to rational grazing to restore biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services in alpine meadows. Full article
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13 pages, 1956 KiB  
Article
Description of a New Species of the Genus Cryptomonas (Cryptophyceae: Cryptomonadales), Isolated from Soils in a Tropical Forest
by Nikita Martynenko, Elena Kezlya and Evgeniy Gusev
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 1001; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14111001 - 19 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1765
Abstract
A new species, Cryptomonas tropica sp. nov., is described from Cat Tien National Park (Vietnam) based on morphological and molecular data. Strains of the new species were isolated from soil, which is an unusual environment for photosynthetic cryptomonads. This species has elliptical cells [...] Read more.
A new species, Cryptomonas tropica sp. nov., is described from Cat Tien National Park (Vietnam) based on morphological and molecular data. Strains of the new species were isolated from soil, which is an unusual environment for photosynthetic cryptomonads. This species has elliptical cells in ventral view and a single plastid notched into several irregular lobes without microscopically visible pyrenoids. Phylogenetic relationships inferred from nuclear-encoded SSU, LSU, ITS2 rDNA and psbA cpDNA show that the new species forms an independent branch on the phylogenetic tree of the genus Cryptomonas. In all phylogenetic analyses, this lineage was sister to clades containing other small-celled, pyrenoid-less species: Cryptomonas erosa, C. parmana, C. macilenta, C. obovoidea and C. commutata. C. tropica has been observed in two distant localities in Cat Tien National Park. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Biogeography of Terrestrial Algae and Cyanobacteria)
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18 pages, 1958 KiB  
Article
Does Temporal and Spatial Diet Alteration Lead to Successful Adaptation of the Eastern Imperial Eagle, a Top Predator?
by Dimitar Demerdzhiev, Zlatozar Boev, Dobromir Dobrev, Nedko Nedyalkov and Tseno Petrov
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 1000; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14111000 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1398
Abstract
Predator–prey interactions may be linked to different temporal or spatial patterns, including dynamics in prey populations. Therefore, understanding the adaptive capacity and how top predators respond to shifts in prey abundance and availability is crucial for their conservation. In this study, we investigated [...] Read more.
Predator–prey interactions may be linked to different temporal or spatial patterns, including dynamics in prey populations. Therefore, understanding the adaptive capacity and how top predators respond to shifts in prey abundance and availability is crucial for their conservation. In this study, we investigated the diet pattern of the endangered Eastern Imperial Eagle facing long-term and large-scale changes. We studied the abundance variation of its profitable prey, sousliks, and how it reflected on eagle population trajectories in a regional and temporal context. We found a significant diet alteration expressed in large decrease of brown hare (β2 = −0.83), poultry (β2 = −0.81), gulls (β2 = −0.71), and water birds (β2 = −0.57), and an obvious increase of northern white-breasted hedgehog (β2 = 0.61) and doves (β2 = 0.60). Raptors and owls raised their participation (β2 = 0.44), but white stork and different reptiles supplied more biomass. Abundance of European souslik decreased through the studied periods (adjusted R2 = 0.25, p < 0.001) which accounted for the lower proportion of this prey in the eagle’s diet. Nevertheless, the eagle population successfully adapted and significantly increased (β2 = 0.97) in most of the distribution area. The trophic strategy used by this top predator related to opportunistic foraging represents an ecological advantage that allows the species to adapt to different habitats and guarantees its future. The observed prolonged diet alteration could result in a significant negative attitude among different groups such as hunters, pigeon fanciers, and poultry keepers towards eagles. Therefore, enhanced communication with key stakeholders is needed. Conservation efforts should be focused also on the preservation of the species’ main foraging habitats and the restoration of damaged ones so as to maintain the good conditions of both primary food source and subsequent prey. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation and Ecology of Raptors)
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17 pages, 4157 KiB  
Article
Resilience and Species Accumulation across Seafloor Habitat Transitions in a Northern New Zealand Harbour
by Stephanie Mangan, Richard H. Bulmer, Barry L. Greenfield, Sarah F. Hailes, Kelly Carter, Judi E. Hewitt and Andrew M. Lohrer
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 998; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14110998 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1324
Abstract
Biodiversity is crucial for maintaining ecosystem stability and functionality under increasing anthropogenic stress. Part of this resilience comes from having many species performing the same function (functional redundancy) leading to the quantification of community composition and functional redundancy in relation to increasing stress. [...] Read more.
Biodiversity is crucial for maintaining ecosystem stability and functionality under increasing anthropogenic stress. Part of this resilience comes from having many species performing the same function (functional redundancy) leading to the quantification of community composition and functional redundancy in relation to increasing stress. However, much of the research within coastal ecosystems focuses on distinct areas, rather than whole ecosystems. Here, we investigate the relationship between biodiversity and functional redundancy across two environmental gradients (sediment mud content and water column depth) and different habitat types following a survey of benthic macrofauna and sediment characteristics at 24 sites within Whangārei Harbour, New Zealand. We observed strong gradients in biodiversity which fragmented communities into fewer species that were a subset of the wider community. The lowest biodiversity was observed at muddy, intertidal and shallow subtidal sites which also had the lowest predicted functional redundancy. We show the stronger influence of water column depth on predicted functional redundancy than sediment mud content, highlighting the importance of subtidal regions. Overall, our study highlights the importance of studying the individual contributions of different areas in a landscape to characterise effective colonist pool size and how this can be used to predict recovery potential following disturbance. Full article
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20 pages, 9851 KiB  
Article
The Inland Cladocera and Copepoda Fauna in Greece
by Georgia Stamou, Polyxeni Kourkoutmani and Evangelia Michaloudi
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 997; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14110997 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1783
Abstract
Greece is situated in the East Mediterranean region and in the Balkan peninsula, i.e., a European biodiversity hotspot with high endemism in subterranean and freshwater fauna, highlighting the need to understand its biodiversity. A literature search was undertaken to present a checklist of [...] Read more.
Greece is situated in the East Mediterranean region and in the Balkan peninsula, i.e., a European biodiversity hotspot with high endemism in subterranean and freshwater fauna, highlighting the need to understand its biodiversity. A literature search was undertaken to present a checklist of cladocerans and copepods based on a compilation of published and current data, from 1892 up to 2022 from inland surfaces and subterranean water bodies from different regions of Greece. For Cladocera, 80 species were recorded (9 families with 35 genera). The most diverse families were Chydoridae (20 genera with 33 species) and Daphniidae (5 genera with 27 species). For copepoda, 134 taxa were recorded, in surface water bodies (12 families with 34 genera), subterranean water bodies (7 families with 27 genera), and parasitic copepods (3 families with 3 genera). The most diverse families in surface waters were Cyclopidae (15 genera with 41 taxa) and Diaptomidae (5 genera with 17 species), while those in subterranean waters were Cyclopidae (11 genera with 35 taxa) and Canthocamptidae (6 genera with 17 taxa). More species are expected to be discovered after sampling understudied regions, especially islands, as well as water bodies such as temporary pools, swamps, ditches, puddles, and the littoral parts of lakes, while molecular studies are needed to clarify various cases of complex taxonomy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Freshwater Biodiversity)
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10 pages, 1382 KiB  
Article
Biodiversity and Phylogeny of North Atlantic Euphrosinidae (Annelida)
by Rowan A. Batts, Karsyn N. Whitman, Karin Meißner and Kevin M. Kocot
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 996; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14110996 - 18 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1521
Abstract
Euphrosinidae (Amphinomida) is a clade of generally small, short but stout annelids characterized by long, calcareous chaetae that may be distally forked or ringent. Little is known about the diversity of Euphrosinidae from the North Atlantic and the phylogeny of the group has [...] Read more.
Euphrosinidae (Amphinomida) is a clade of generally small, short but stout annelids characterized by long, calcareous chaetae that may be distally forked or ringent. Little is known about the diversity of Euphrosinidae from the North Atlantic and the phylogeny of the group has received little attention. Here, we examined 59 specimens of Euphrosinidae (primarily from the IceAGE I and II cruises) and sequenced fragments of the mitochondrial 16S rDNA and nuclear 28S rDNA genes to improve understanding of euphrosinid diversity in the North Atlantic and gain insights into euphrosinid phylogeny. Maximum likelihood analysis of 28S + 16S recovered Euphrosine as a ‘basal’ paraphyletic grade; a clade containing E. armadillo (plus other unidentified specimens) was sister to Euphrosinopsis + Euphrosinella while a clade containing E. aurantiaca and E. foliosa (plus three unidentified species) was recovered sister to all other sampled Euphrosinidae species. Species delimitation analyses based on 16S sequences identified between 14 and 11 species of Euphrosinidae with as many as ten distinct species from the North Atlantic. The IceAGE material investigated includes one new species of Euphrosinopsis and at least one new species of Euphrosinella. Unfortunately, because most of this material was preserved in ethanol, we were unable to characterize key features needed for adequate species descriptions. Additionally, PCR contaminants from presumed gut contents suggest that some euphrosinids eat other annelids, namely Cirratulidae and Syllidae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Marine Diversity)
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12 pages, 13247 KiB  
Article
Reproductive Ecology and Nesting Site Characteristics of Four-Toed Salamanders (Hemidactylium scutatum) in Natural and Constructed Upland-Embedded Wetlands on the Appalachian Plateau, Kentucky
by Susan K. King and Stephen C. Richter
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 995; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14110995 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1279
Abstract
Many forested freshwater wetlands have been altered or destroyed, and wetlands are constructed to offset loss. However, they do not always replace the function of natural wetlands. It is important to understand how features of the habitat differ between types of wetlands and [...] Read more.
Many forested freshwater wetlands have been altered or destroyed, and wetlands are constructed to offset loss. However, they do not always replace the function of natural wetlands. It is important to understand how features of the habitat differ between types of wetlands and whether constructed wetlands provide an adequate habitat for species adapted to natural wetlands. Our objectives were to measure the characteristics of Four-toed Salamanders’ nesting habitat and determine which factors contribute to the abundance of eggs and nests in natural and constructed upland-embedded wetlands within a ridgetop ecosystem in eastern Kentucky. We located and examined characteristics for 207 nests in twelve wetlands and measured variables at the nest level and at the wetland level. The best predictor of the number of eggs and number of nests was amount of moss at the wetland. These measures of reproductive effort were similar between types of wetlands, but the number of eggs per nest was higher in constructed wetlands and inversely related to amount of moss, highlighting a deficit in nesting habitat. Research of embryonic and larval survival is needed but based on data from other amphibian species in this system, we predict that the survival of Four-toed Salamanders’ larvae is low in constructed wetlands with permanent hydrology. Restoration of constructed wetlands should address the need for moss as nesting substrate and drying of the wetland to reduce the abundance and diversity of predators of larvae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amphibian Ecology in Geographically Isolated Wetlands)
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17 pages, 2317 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Assemblages of Two Groups of Collembola (Strong Furca and Weak Furca) under Different Agricultural Management Systems, Northeastern China
by Tayyiba Habib, Shuchen Liu, Liang Chang, Yunga Wu, Cao Hao and Donghui Wu
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 994; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14110994 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1342
Abstract
Agriculture itself has been considered one of the leading reasons for biodiversity loss because of the huge quantity of land dedicated to just this activity, and agricultural intensification has impacted soil organisms at several taxonomic levels. Soil biota is a vital component of [...] Read more.
Agriculture itself has been considered one of the leading reasons for biodiversity loss because of the huge quantity of land dedicated to just this activity, and agricultural intensification has impacted soil organisms at several taxonomic levels. Soil biota is a vital component of the agricultural system, providing essential ecosystem services while also having synergistic impacts on crop yield. Preservation of their diversity becomes a major element of an agricultural sustainability strategy. Many studies focused on agricultural activities’ effects on soil organisms, but few of them have focused on their effects on the co-occurrence patterns of their communities. Collembola communities are frequently employed as a substitute for soil organisms; thus, as a surface-dwelling arthropods representative, we investigated assemblages of soil Collembola in reaction to the arrangement of 6 treatments varying in crop rotation (MC: monoculture (corn) vs. CS: corn–soybean rotation) and tillage types (MP: mould ploughing; RT: ridge tillage; and NT: no-tillage). We hypothesized that Collembola communities with strong furca would respond well to the agricultural practices than those with weak furca, and there would be strong co-occurrence between species of Collembola communities belonging to the treatments with less intensity of soil disturbance and more variation in crop rotation. Our study found no clear evidence of a beneficial effect of crop rotation on Collembola communities. Although Collembola with strong furca shows higher abundances in plots with mold plowing, weak furca abundances were not showing any difference (differences in abilities to move fast from harsh habitats could be the reason for different responses of these two groups). Network analysis revealed that Collembola assemblages seem to occur more responsive to tillage intensity than crop rotation. Network graphs of treatments with ridge tillage are significantly more clustered than all others. For the first time, we can show that assemblages of springtails in agriculture were distinguished by a pattern of co-occurrence alongside agricultural practices (crop rotation, soil tillage), showing variations in the disturbance of soil and soil nutrients. Our results, contrary to our expectations, demonstrated that the effects of agricultural activities on Collembola abundance and diversity could be weak after long-term application of the same treatment, but still, they will clearly affect the bonds between Collembola species by affecting their co-occurrence pattern in Collembola communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Fauna Diversity under Global Change)
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11 pages, 2732 KiB  
Article
Ice Cod Arctogadus glacialis (Peters, 1874) in Northeast Greenland—A First Sketch of Spatial Occurrence and Abundance
by Oleg V. Karamushko, Arve Lynghammar and Jørgen S. Christiansen
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 993; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14110993 - 17 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1069
Abstract
Based on bottom trawl catches during the years 2002–2017, we present the first large-scale baseline on the spatial distribution and abundance of ice cod Arctogadus glacialis (Peters, 1874) in the fjords and on the shelf in Northeast Greenland (latitudes 70 °N–78 °N). Ice [...] Read more.
Based on bottom trawl catches during the years 2002–2017, we present the first large-scale baseline on the spatial distribution and abundance of ice cod Arctogadus glacialis (Peters, 1874) in the fjords and on the shelf in Northeast Greenland (latitudes 70 °N–78 °N). Ice cod abundance peaked in the secluded sill fjords such as Bessel Fjord, Brede Fjord, Clavering Ø fjord system and Kong Oscar Fjord as compared to the offshore shelf. The mean biomass was estimated as 3.9 kg/km2 on the shelf and 49.3 kg/km2 in the fjords. Nearly 45% of the biomass was restricted to temperatures < −1.0 °C and almost 90 % of the biomass occurred within 200–600 m depth. This corresponds well with the deep, subzero fjords along the Northeast Greenland coast which, thus, appear the most suitable habitat for ice cod. Moreover, there was a gradual decrease in ice cod biomass on the shelf over the years 2002–2017. This apparent relocation of ice cod matches the ongoing warming of the Northeast Greenland shelf waters. Given that the overall temperature space of ice cod spans less than 4 ºC in Northeast Greenland, it is likely that the species is particularly vulnerable to climate change as warmer waters before long enter the fjords, i.e., the main habitat for ice cod. Full article
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18 pages, 2265 KiB  
Article
Effects of Invasive Plant Diversity on Soil Microbial Communities
by Xiaoyan Wang, Xue Wang, Wei Wang, Jiang Wang and Feihai Yu
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 992; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14110992 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2345
Abstract
Native plant communities can be invaded by different numbers of alien plant species or by the same number of alien plant species with different levels of evenness. However, little is known about how alien invasive plant species richness and evenness affect soil microbial [...] Read more.
Native plant communities can be invaded by different numbers of alien plant species or by the same number of alien plant species with different levels of evenness. However, little is known about how alien invasive plant species richness and evenness affect soil microbial communities. We constructed native herbaceous plant communities invaded by exotic plants with different richness (1, 2, 4 and 8 species) and evenness (high and low) and analyzed soil physico-chemical properties and the diversity and composition of soil fungal and bacterial communities by high-throughput Illumina sequencing. Overall, the species richness and evenness of invasive plants had no significant effect on bacterial and fungal alpha diversity (OTUs, Shannon, Simpson, Chao1 and ACE) or the soil physico-chemical properties. However, invasive species richness had a significant impact on the relative abundance of the most dominant fungi, Ascomycota and Bipolaris, and the dominant bacteria, Actinobacteriota, which increased with increasing invasive species richness. The relative abundance of the dominant microbial groups was significantly correlated with the relative abundance of some specific invasive plants in the community. This study sheds new light on the effects of plant co-invasion on soil microbial communities, which may help us understand the underlying mechanisms of multiple alien plant invasion processes from the perspective of soil microorganisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Invasion)
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9 pages, 862 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Biodiversity of a European NATURA 2000 Mediterranean Lagoon through eDNA Metabarcoding
by Valeria Specchia, Benedetta Saccomanno, Francesco Zangaro, Eftychia Tzafesta and Maurizio Pinna
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 991; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14110991 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2650
Abstract
Coastal lagoons are considered important habitats both for ecological functions and biodiversity worldwide. Thus, they provide relevant ecosystem services and valuable natural resources. However, coastal lagoons are highly susceptible to anthropogenic pressures that can cause biodiversity losses and require specific biomonitoring programs as [...] Read more.
Coastal lagoons are considered important habitats both for ecological functions and biodiversity worldwide. Thus, they provide relevant ecosystem services and valuable natural resources. However, coastal lagoons are highly susceptible to anthropogenic pressures that can cause biodiversity losses and require specific biomonitoring programs as well as management measures. In this research, we applied environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding to investigate the biodiversity of a poorly known Mediterranean lagoon included in the European Natura 2000 Network. We used the cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene marker to capture the entire biodiversity of this highly diversified aquatic coastal environment. With a low sampling effort and rapid laboratory practices, a large amount of valuable biodiversity data was generated and analyzed. Interestingly, this straightforward and broad molecular surveying of biodiversity unveiled a wide variety of taxonomic groups, such as benthic macroinvertebrates, zooplankton, phytoplankton, and macroalgae, which are frequently used as ecological indicators. We were able to detect species that were previously morphologically identified, as well as species never identified before. This research underlines the validity of eDNA metabarcoding in assessing the biodiversity in a poorly known and protected Mediterranean lagoon ecosystem, as well as in identifying the early warnings of environmental stressors. Finally, the research highlights the need to investigate multiple target genes and primers set for a larger analysis of specific species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Freshwater Biodiversity)
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16 pages, 2743 KiB  
Article
Pseudocercospora rizhaoensis sp. nov. Causing Leaf Spot Disease of Ligustrum japonicum in China
by Yun Liu, Shumei Guo, Jin Liu and Xiangli Yang
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 990; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14110990 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2101
Abstract
Ligustrum japonicum is a common ornamental tree species in China. However, leaf spot disease has emerged in Rizhao City, Shandong Province of China in recent years. Members of Pseudocercospora are usually known as plant pathogens, mainly causing leaf spots and blights. Species of [...] Read more.
Ligustrum japonicum is a common ornamental tree species in China. However, leaf spot disease has emerged in Rizhao City, Shandong Province of China in recent years. Members of Pseudocercospora are usually known as plant pathogens, mainly causing leaf spots and blights. Species of this genus are distinguished mainly based on morphological differences on the host plants, as well as the molecular data. A new species named Pseudocercospora rizhaoensis on Ligustrum japonicum is introduced herein based on morphology and molecular data of combined ITS, LSU, act, tef1 and rpb2 sequences. Koch’s postulates were confirmed by a pathogenicity test, re-isolation and identification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Evolution of Fungi)
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16 pages, 1337 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Genetic Structure of Slovak Holstein Cattle Using Seven Candidate Genes Related to Milk Quality
by Martina Miluchová, Michal Gábor and Juraj Gašper
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 989; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14110989 - 16 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1668
Abstract
Milk is an important component of human nutrition, and its composition and milk yield fundamentally affect the economy of dairy farms. Genetic variability is a fundamental premise for livestock breeding and is commonly used in the identification of individual animals and in selection [...] Read more.
Milk is an important component of human nutrition, and its composition and milk yield fundamentally affect the economy of dairy farms. Genetic variability is a fundamental premise for livestock breeding and is commonly used in the identification of individual animals and in selection to improve performance. The aims of this study were to propose a rapid detection method for genes affecting the nutritional value and technological properties of bovine milk (FADS1, FADS2, FASN, SCD, DGAT1, CSN2 and CSN3) and to analyze Slovak Holstein cattle to widen knowledge on their genetic structure for these candidate genes. Genotyping was performed by the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and artificially created restriction site-polymerase chain reaction (ACRS-PCR) methods. Heterozygosity is an important factor for estimating genetic variation in domestic animals and represents the genetic potential and ability to adapt to the natural environment. In this study, Holstein cattle showed high heterozygosity values for markers FADS1-07 and CSN2-H67P. In contrast, they showed high homozygosity values for markers FADS1-01, FADS2-23, FASN-16024, SCD-T878C, DGAT1-K232A and CSN3-D148A. These results suggest that genetic diversity has been reduced, which may be due to breeding effects. Full article
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17 pages, 27153 KiB  
Article
Ecological Distribution Patterns and Indicator Species Analysis of Climber Plants in Changa Manga Forest Plantation
by Muhammad Waheed, Shiekh Marifatul Haq, Kaniz Fatima, Fahim Arshad, Rainer W. Bussmann, Farhat Rass Masood, Abed Alataway, Ahmed Z. Dewidar, Khalid F. Almutairi, Hosam O. Elansary, Hazem S. Kassem, Mohamed Al-Yafrasi and Kowiyou Yessoufou
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 988; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14110988 - 16 Nov 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2594
Abstract
Climbing plants have an important role in forest communities and ecosystems. Despite the significance of the climbers in ecosystems, most of the previous research work in Pakistan has been concentrated on trees, shrubs, and herbs, with little attention paid to climbing plants. The [...] Read more.
Climbing plants have an important role in forest communities and ecosystems. Despite the significance of the climbers in ecosystems, most of the previous research work in Pakistan has been concentrated on trees, shrubs, and herbs, with little attention paid to climbing plants. The current study investigated the ecology of climbers and the influence of soil characteristics on diversity, richness, and indicator species distribution in the Changa Manga Forest Plantation, Punjab, Pakistan. Field surveys were carried out between 2020 and 2021, with the data gathered using a random sample approach for ordination and cluster analysis of each plant species and edaphic data from sample plots. We reported a total of 29 climber species belonging to 23 genera and 9 families from the area. The Convolvulaceae family was the most prevalent, followed by Apocynaceae and Cucurbitaceae. Herbaceous climbers were the typical life form (70% species) and species showed peak flowering during the months of August and September. The multivariate analysis and cluster analysis grouped the climbers into four distinct communities based on the indicator species, representing filtering of the species pool in the studied area. Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) results showed that soil factors had a significant influence (p ≤ 0.002) on the climbers’ diversity and distribution pattern. Our research contributes to a deeper understanding of climbing plant ecology in response to soil variables, with immediate consequences for policy and practice in this Himalayan region, as well as research insights for neighboring Himalayan regions and elsewhere in the world. Full article
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12 pages, 2406 KiB  
Article
Geographical Patterns in Functional Diversity of Chinese Terrestrial Vertebrates
by Xinyuan Sun, Na Huang and Weiwei Zhou
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 987; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14110987 - 16 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1580
Abstract
Identifying priority regions is essential for effectively protecting biodiversity. China is one of the world’s megabiodiversity countries, but its biodiversity is seriously threatened by anthropogenic forces. Many studies have identified priority regions in China for conserving biodiversity. However, most of these studies focused [...] Read more.
Identifying priority regions is essential for effectively protecting biodiversity. China is one of the world’s megabiodiversity countries, but its biodiversity is seriously threatened by anthropogenic forces. Many studies have identified priority regions in China for conserving biodiversity. However, most of these studies focused on plants and mainly relied on metrics such as species richness. A comprehensive assessment of functional diversity hotspots of Chinese terrestrial vertebrates is still lacking. In this study, we collected distribution information and functional traits of terrestrial Chinese vertebrates. We calculated functional richness and identified hotspots. Then, we assessed the overlap between functional hotspots and hotspots identified based on species richness. We found that the mountains in southern China harbor the most hotspots. Southwestern China is the most important region for biodiversity conservation, as it harbors functional diversity and species richness hotspots of multiple taxa. Mismatches between functional diversity and species richness hotspots were found in all taxa. Moreover, the locations of functional hotspots are different among taxa, even within taxonomic units. For example, the functional diversity patterns of Rodentia, Chiroptera and other mammalian taxa are different. These results highlight the importance of considering distinct groups separately in conservative actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biogeography and Macroecology)
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14 pages, 2430 KiB  
Article
Are Iron-Rich Calcareous Mine Sites Easily Invaded by Invasive Plant Species?
by Jin-Hui Liu, Justin S. H. Wan, Susan Rutherford, Ali Al-Namazi, Hui Liu, Zhi-Cong Dai, Jian-Fan Sun, Xiao-Qin Sun and Dao-Lin Du
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 986; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14110986 - 16 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2379
Abstract
Plant diversity in relatively harsh environments, such as metal-polluted areas tends to be relatively low. Invasive plants may invade harsh environments more easily than native plants. However, studies often find fewer invasive species in stressful edaphic habitats (such as serpentine soils). Those examples [...] Read more.
Plant diversity in relatively harsh environments, such as metal-polluted areas tends to be relatively low. Invasive plants may invade harsh environments more easily than native plants. However, studies often find fewer invasive species in stressful edaphic habitats (such as serpentine soils). Those examples may represent relatively extreme conditions. Moderately stressful habitats may be more invaded given the advantages of invasive plants. We surveyed the plant diversity in four site pairs across three seasons. Sites consist of abandoned mines and reference sites. The mine sites have calcareous soils with relatively high iron, basic pH, and lower nutrients than reference sites. Results: There were 153 plant species among the four site pairs. Around 80 and 66% of species in calcareous and reference sites were introduced species respectively. Diversity varied across seasons but tended to be lower in the mine sites. One of the mines was significantly more invaded. Across sites, the number of invasive species and their abundances was not different from that of native species. Invasive plants are as capable of invading moderately stressful calcareous sites as native species, with some sites tending to be even more invaded. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Invasion)
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24 pages, 3335 KiB  
Article
Rediscovering Monogenoids (Platyhelminthes) Parasitizing Pomacentrid and Chaetodontid Fishes from Cayo Arcas Reef, Gulf of Mexico
by Edgar F. Mendoza-Franco, Nuno Simões, Víctor M. Vidal-Martínez and M. Leopoldina Aguirre-Macedo
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 985; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14110985 - 16 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1526
Abstract
During a research of gill ectoparasites on damselfishes (Pomacentridae) and butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae) from the Cayo Arcas reef in the Campeche Bank (Gulf of Mexico), the following monogenoids (Platyhelminthes) were found: Paraeuryhaliotrema pomacentris n. gen., n. sp. (Dactylogyridae) on beaugregory Stegastes xanthurus (Poey, 1860) [...] Read more.
During a research of gill ectoparasites on damselfishes (Pomacentridae) and butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae) from the Cayo Arcas reef in the Campeche Bank (Gulf of Mexico), the following monogenoids (Platyhelminthes) were found: Paraeuryhaliotrema pomacentris n. gen., n. sp. (Dactylogyridae) on beaugregory Stegastes xanthurus (Poey, 1860) (Pomacentridae) that is characterized, in part, by possessing a haptor armed with a dorsal, ventral anchor-bar complexes, seven pairs of similar hooks; two pairs of eyespots; overlapping gonads; a copulatory complex composed of a male copulatory organ (MCO) and an accessory piece; MCO tubular with a bulbous base from which arises a coiled shaft in the clockwise direction; and a dextral vaginal pore; Neohaliotrema variabilis n. sp. on bicolor damselfish Stegastes partitus (Poey, 1868) (type host), beaugregory Stegastes xanthurus (Poey, 1860) and beaugregory Stegastes leucostictus (Müller & Troschel, 1848); Neohaliotrema manubrium n. sp., Neohaliotrema aliamanubrium n. sp. and Neohaliotrema bifidum n. sp., Neohaliotrema bychowskii Zhukov, 1976 and Neohaliotrema macracanthum Zhukov, 1976 on Sergeant-major Abudefduf saxatilis (Linnaeus, 1758) (Pomacentridae); Neohaliotrema similium n. sp. on S. xanthurus; Haliotrema brevicirrus Zhukov 1976 on spotfin butterflyfish Chaetodon ocellatus Bloch 1787 (Chaetodontidae); Microcotyle multilineatus n. sp. (Microcotylidae) on brown chromis Chromis multilineata (Guichenot 1853) (Pomacentridae). The new species are described and illustrated; new illustrations and measurements of the haptoral structures, and new redescription and illustrations are provided for N. bychowskii, N. macracanthum and H. brevicirrus, respectively. The present study represents the first knowledge about ectoparasitic monogenoids of fishes in the Cayo Arcas reef from the Gulf of Mexico. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity of Macroparasites in Marine Fishes)
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13 pages, 928 KiB  
Article
Power Lines and Birds: Drivers of Conflict-Prone Use of Pylons by Nesting White Storks (Ciconia ciconia)
by Evan M. Burdett, Roberto Muriel, Virginia Morandini, Mahmood Kolnegari and Miguel Ferrer
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 984; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14110984 - 16 Nov 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2167
Abstract
Energy infrastructure is expanding at a global scale and can represent a major threat to wildlife populations. Power lines are one of the main sources of human-induced avian mortality due to electrocution or collision, but many species use electricity pylons as a structure [...] Read more.
Energy infrastructure is expanding at a global scale and can represent a major threat to wildlife populations. Power lines are one of the main sources of human-induced avian mortality due to electrocution or collision, but many species use electricity pylons as a structure for nesting. Pylon nesting results in human-wildlife conflict because it can cause power outages and structural damage to power lines. The white stork (Ciconia ciconia) is a large-size semicolonial species that increasingly nests on pylons, causing growing operational and economic issues to power companies and energy consumers. In this study, the likelihood of problematic pylon use by nesting storks was predicted using a suite of explanatory variables related to the availability of foraging habitat and human disturbance. During a five-year period (2015–2019), we assessed the distribution of stork nests removed from the highly-risky top part of transmission pylons (220–400 kV) by power company technicians in South western Spain. A total of 839 nests were removed from 11% of the transmission pylons (n = 1196) during the study period. Pylon use intensified on pylons located near to landfills, surrounded by high proportion of grassland, and when close to freshwater sources (water body or river) and other occupied pylons. Human disturbance was unlikely to deter storks from using pylons and pylon use increased in urban areas. The approach used here to predict pylon use by nesting birds has applications for both human-wildlife conflict mitigation and conservation purposes where endangered species use human infrastructure. Power companies may use this kind of information to install anti-nesting devices (to reduce power outages and avian mortality or nesting platforms on suitable pylons (to promote pylons use by endangered species), and to account for the likelihood of conflict-prone use of pylons when siting future power lines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biodiversity Conservation)
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18 pages, 4028 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Differences between the Baltic Triglopsis quadricornis and White Sea Triglopsis sp. Using Morphological and Genetic Data
by Valentina Sideleva and Zakhar Zhidkov
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 983; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14110983 - 16 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1455
Abstract
According to the modern fish system, one species of fourhorn sculpin Triglopsis quadricornis lives in the Baltic Sea and Arctic waters. In the present study, sculpins from the Baltic and White Seas were studied using different methods: morphological analysis to establish patterns of [...] Read more.
According to the modern fish system, one species of fourhorn sculpin Triglopsis quadricornis lives in the Baltic Sea and Arctic waters. In the present study, sculpins from the Baltic and White Seas were studied using different methods: morphological analysis to establish patterns of the seismosensory system, tomography for the study of cranial bones, X-ray imaging for the study of the axial skeleton, as well as phylogenetic analysis of two mtDNA markers (control region and CO1) and one nDNA marker (RAG1). The results obtained by these methods were used to prove the existence of two species: T. quadricornis in the Baltic Sea and Triglopsis sp. in the White Sea. These species differ significantly in the unique shape and size of the bony outgrowths on the head, as well as in the number of bony plates on the body. Genetic differences between the species were expressed in the formation of T. quadricornis and Triglopsis sp. independent clusters on Bayesian phylogenetic trees reconstructed based on the sequences of the mtDNA control region and RAG1. Full article
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24 pages, 1508 KiB  
Article
Prioritizing Areas for Primate Conservation in Argentina
by Ilaria Agostini, Santiago José Elías Velazco, Juan Ariel Insaurralde, Romina Pavé, Ingrid Holzmann, Eduardo Fernández-Duque, María Paula Tujague, Silvana Peker, Martín M. Kowalewski and Mario Santiago Di Bitetti
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 982; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14110982 - 15 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3526
Abstract
Argentina lies within the southernmost distributional range of five neotropical primates, the brown howler monkey Alouatta guariba, the black-and-gold howler monkey Alouatta caraya, the black-horned capuchin Sapajus nigritus, the Azara’s capuchin Sapajus cay, and the Azara’s owl monkey Aotus [...] Read more.
Argentina lies within the southernmost distributional range of five neotropical primates, the brown howler monkey Alouatta guariba, the black-and-gold howler monkey Alouatta caraya, the black-horned capuchin Sapajus nigritus, the Azara’s capuchin Sapajus cay, and the Azara’s owl monkey Aotus azarae; the first three of which are globally threatened. These species occupy different ecoregions: the Alto Paraná Atlantic forest, the Araucaria moist forest, the humid Chaco, the Southern Cone Mesopotamian savanna, the Paraná Ffooded savanna, and the Southern Andean Yungas. The recently approved National Primate Conservation Plan of Argentina calls for identifying priority areas to focus conservation actions for these species. We used species distribution models to estimate species ranges and then used the Zonation software to perform a spatial conservation prioritization analysis based on primate habitat quality and connectivity to identify potential areas of importance at national and ecoregional levels. Only 7.2% (19,500 km2) of the area inhabited by primates in Argentina is under protection. Outside the current protected areas, the top-ranked 1% and 5% priority areas identified in our analysis covered 1894 and 7574 km2, respectively. The top 1% areas were in the Atlantic forest of Misiones province, where S. nigritus, A. guariba, and A. caraya are distributed, and in the humid portion of eastern Chaco and Formosa provinces, where A. azarae and A. caraya are present. The top 5% areas included portions of the Yungas, where S. cay is the only primate present. Priority areas in Chaco and Formosa provinces are particularly relevant because of the paucity of protected areas and the high deforestation rate. The endangered A. guariba population will benefit from the better protection of the priority areas of Misiones. The potential priority areas proposed herein, considered within a context of a broad participatory process involving relevant stakeholders and local people, will help guide new and innovative conservation policies and practices while supporting management objectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology, Diversity, and Conservation of Primates)
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10 pages, 4553 KiB  
Article
First Results on Heteroptera (Hemiptera) of Dry Grassland in Malpaga-Basella Nature Reserve (Italy)
by Lidia Limonta, Paolo Gaini and Paride Dioli
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 981; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14110981 - 15 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1305
Abstract
The Nature Reserve Malpaga-Basella, located along the Serio River in Lombardy, was recently established in 2017. It is interesting as it presents plant species typical in dry grassland habitats, not present in the surrounding area. In this study, Heteroptera were surveyed in the [...] Read more.
The Nature Reserve Malpaga-Basella, located along the Serio River in Lombardy, was recently established in 2017. It is interesting as it presents plant species typical in dry grassland habitats, not present in the surrounding area. In this study, Heteroptera were surveyed in the Nature Reserve and in a bordering giant Miscanthus crop in 2019. The biodiversity of the reserve was well characterized by the presence of species linked to arid environments with steppe or Mediterranean characteristics, like Antheminia lunulata. Four species new for Lombardy were collected, Lygus italicus, Drymus pilipes, Ortholomus punctipennis, and Arenocoris waltlii. Giant Miscanthus hosted only a few ubiquitous species, also collected in the Nature Reserve. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Invertebrate Diversity in Fragmented Habitats)
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19 pages, 5635 KiB  
Article
Selection of Elms Tolerant to Dutch Elm Disease in South-West Romania
by Dănuț Chira, Florian G. Borlea, Florentina Chira, Costel Ș. Mantale, Mihnea I. C. Ciocîrlan, Daniel O. Turcu, Nicolae Cadar, Vincenzo Trotta, Ippolito Camele, Carmine Marcone and Ștefania M. Mang
Diversity 2022, 14(11), 980; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14110980 - 15 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1976
Abstract
Ophiostoma novo-ulmi continues to be one of the most dangerous invasive fungi, destroying many autochthonous elm forests and cultures throughout the world. Searching for natural genotypes tolerant to Dutch elm disease (DED) is one of the main objectives of silviculturists all over the [...] Read more.
Ophiostoma novo-ulmi continues to be one of the most dangerous invasive fungi, destroying many autochthonous elm forests and cultures throughout the world. Searching for natural genotypes tolerant to Dutch elm disease (DED) is one of the main objectives of silviculturists all over the northern hemisphere in order to save the susceptible elms and to restore their ecosystem biodiversity. In this regard, the first trial was established between 1991 and 1994, in south-west Romania (Pădurea Verde, Timișoara), using three elm species (Ulmus minor, U. glabra, and U. laevis) with 38 provenances. A local strain of Ophiostoma novo-ulmi was used to artificially inoculate all elm variants and the DED evolution was observed. Furthermore, in 2018–2021 the trial was inventoried to understand the local genotype reaction to DED in the local environmental conditions after almost 30 years. The outcomes of the present study proved the continuous presence of the infections in the comparative culture and its proximity, but the identified pathogen had a new hybrid form (found for the first time in Romania) between O. novo-ulmi ssp. americana x O. novo-ulmi ssp. novo-ulmi. Wych elm (U. glabra) was extremely sensitive to DED: only 12 trees (out of 69 found in 2018) survived in 2021, and only one tree could be selected according to the adopted health criteria (resistance and vigour). The field elm (U. minor) was sensitive to the pathogen, but there were still individuals that showed good health status and growth. In contrast, the European white elm (U. laevis) proved constant tolerance to DED: only 15% had been found dead or presented severe symptoms of dieback. Overall, the results of this study report the diverse reactions of the Romanian regional elm genotypes to DED over the last three decades, providing promising perspectives for improving the presence of elms in the forest ecosystems of the Carpathian basin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Management and Biodiversity Conservation)
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