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Diversity, Volume 14, Issue 6 (June 2022) – 87 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The islands of the Aegean Sea harbor globally important seabird communities, and resident breeding seabirds are key determinants of an island's ecosystem function. Understanding how anthropogenic activities impact such populations is not only essential for seabird conservation but also critically important for the management of small insular ecosystems. In two Greek archipelagos, we find that presence of invasive rats and feral grazing mammals has a clear negative effect on the nesting density of Yellow-legged Gulls, while access to landfills and fishing vessels both had positive impacts. Our results suggest approaches to managing seabird populations in the Mediterranean Basin by taking into consideration the role of introduced mammals, fishing activities, and open-air landfills. View this paper
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13 pages, 1899 KiB  
Article
Assessment Potential of Zooplankton to Establish Reference Conditions in Lowland Temperate Lakes
by Agnieszka Ochocka and Maciej Karpowicz
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060501 - 20 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1514
Abstract
Zooplankton community data from 45 dimictic lakes, representing homogenous abiotic conditions, were used to distinguish indicator taxa of near-pristine, reference lakes with low anthropopression. Reference conditions were selected based on natural land use in the catchment, lack of or low human activity, and [...] Read more.
Zooplankton community data from 45 dimictic lakes, representing homogenous abiotic conditions, were used to distinguish indicator taxa of near-pristine, reference lakes with low anthropopression. Reference conditions were selected based on natural land use in the catchment, lack of or low human activity, and the absence of point sources of pollution, as well as good water quality. According to these criteria, six lakes were designated references and all represent mesotrophic conditions. Reference lakes had a low abundance of Cyclopoida and Rotifera, and significantly lower biomass compared to non-reference lakes. We have found that species characteristic of the reference lake were: Bosmina (Eubosmina) coregoni, Ascomorpha ecaudis, Collotheca pelagica, and Gastropus stylifer. The species responsible for differences among reference and non-reference lakes were Keratella tecta, Pompholyx sulcata, and Ascomorpha saltans, which are considered typical for eutrophic waters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Ecology of Zooplankton in Lake Subhabitats)
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10 pages, 485 KiB  
Article
Large- and Small-Scale Climate Influences Spring Migration Departure Probability of American White Pelicans
by D. Tommy King, Guiming Wang and Frederick L. Cunningham
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060500 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1635
Abstract
Endogenous (e.g., age and sex) and exogenous (e.g., climate and resource availability) factors influence avian migration phenology. However, little is known regarding the migration ecology of birds at the non-breeding grounds, including the American white pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos). We used Global [...] Read more.
Endogenous (e.g., age and sex) and exogenous (e.g., climate and resource availability) factors influence avian migration phenology. However, little is known regarding the migration ecology of birds at the non-breeding grounds, including the American white pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos). We used Global Positioning System transmitters to track the movements and migration of 51 pelicans from 2002 to 2012. We used the Kaplan–Meier model to estimate pelican spring migration probabilities to quantify partial migration with 94 spring migration events and used the Cox proportional hazards model to evaluate the effects of the North Atlantic Oscillation index (NAOI), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), and spring daily precipitation on the propensity of pelican spring migration departures. Increases in the NAOI and SOI enhanced the propensity of pelican spring departure. The propensity of spring departure was also positively related to daily precipitation. Male pelicans have greater spring migration probabilities than female pelicans. Spring migration departure probabilities of adult pelicans are greater than those of immature pelicans. Therefore, both large-scale and local climatic conditions affect pelican spring departure probabilities. Advanced migratory phenology of pelicans caused by climate changes with warming temperature and increased precipitation may result in the mismatch of pelican spring arrival with food resource availability of breeding grounds and subsequent pelican population declines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Population Ecology and Spatial Ecology under Global Change)
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13 pages, 1713 KiB  
Article
Effects of the Climatic Region on Richness Correlations between Vascular Plants and Vertebrates in Nature Reserves of China
by Sha Jiang, Fanhua Kong, Rui Hu, Jiaxin Zhang and Minhua Zhang
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060499 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1563
Abstract
Identifying indicator taxa is a solution to the problem of a lack of diverse data. However, the variation between studies on richness correlations (RCs) among taxa from different climate regions makes the application value of indicator taxa questionable. Few studies have compared the [...] Read more.
Identifying indicator taxa is a solution to the problem of a lack of diverse data. However, the variation between studies on richness correlations (RCs) among taxa from different climate regions makes the application value of indicator taxa questionable. Few studies have compared the RCs among climatic regions in a single study, leaving the variation in RCs and the underlying ecological drivers among climatic regions unknown. In this study, data were compiled on vascular plants, vertebrates (including mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians), and environmental factors across 219 nature reserves located in subtropical and temperate regions of China to examine RCs among taxonomic groups and underlying ecological mechanisms. Results showed that the climatic region could affect between-taxon correlations in species richness and that the effectiveness of vascular plants as suitable indicator taxa for vertebrates varied with the climatic region and target taxa. Energy (temperature and evapotranspiration) and habitat heterogeneity (area and elevation range) were ecological drivers of RCs among taxonomic groups in the subtropical and temperate regions. The differences in the effect of abiotic factors on RCs among taxonomic groups caused the difference in RCs between subtropical and temperate regions. Our findings provide new evidence for understanding the variation of RCs and the underlying mechanisms and highlight the positive role of climatic variables and habitat heterogeneity in determining RCs between vascular plants and vertebrates. Full article
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19 pages, 7436 KiB  
Article
Diversity and Distribution of Mayflies from Morocco (Ephemeroptera, Insecta)
by Majida El Alami, Sara El Yaagoubi, Jean-Luc Gattolliat, Michel Sartori and Mohamed Dakki
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060498 - 19 Jun 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2673
Abstract
Recent research in various Moroccan areas allowed an update and a revision of the Moroccan Ephemeroptera checklist. In this case, 54 species are now listed, belonging to 10 families and 26 genera. The distribution of all studied species is discussed, as well as [...] Read more.
Recent research in various Moroccan areas allowed an update and a revision of the Moroccan Ephemeroptera checklist. In this case, 54 species are now listed, belonging to 10 families and 26 genera. The distribution of all studied species is discussed, as well as their biogeographical affinities. Moroccan Mayflies are characterized by a clear dominance of Mediterranean elements with a strong rate of endemism (33.4%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Insects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation Challenges)
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9 pages, 3899 KiB  
Article
MolMarker: A Simple Tool for DNA Fingerprinting Studies and Polymorphic Information Content Calculation
by Gizella Jahnke, József Smidla and Peter Poczai
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060497 - 19 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2913
Abstract
Molecular markers and mapping are used to analyze an organism’s genes. They allow the selection of target genetic areas based on marker genotype (and not trait phenotype), facilitate the study of genetic variability and diversity, create linkage maps, and follow individuals or lines [...] Read more.
Molecular markers and mapping are used to analyze an organism’s genes. They allow the selection of target genetic areas based on marker genotype (and not trait phenotype), facilitate the study of genetic variability and diversity, create linkage maps, and follow individuals or lines carrying certain genes. They may be used to select parental genotypes, remove linkage drag in back-crossing, and choose difficult-to-measure characteristics. Due to a lack of genetic variety in crops, the gene pools of wild crop relatives for future agricultural production have been examined. The invention of RFLP (Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism) for linkage mapping allowed for the creation of other traditional approaches such as RAPD (Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA) and AFLP (Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism). Accordingly, the need to describe the polymorphic information content (PIC) of the ideal marker has been raised. Marker selection reliability depends on the marker’s relationship to the genomic area of interest. Although informativeness must be estimated for genetic study design, there are no readily available tools. Earlier, PICcalc was developed to calculate heterozygosity (H) and PIC to simplify molecular investigations. These two values were corrected for dominant and co-dominant markers (binary and allelic data) to determine polymorphism quality. Due to the popularity of PICcalc web, we developed a downloadable version called MolMarker with extra functionality to reduce server maintenance. Full article
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10 pages, 511 KiB  
Article
Dramatic Declines of Evening Grosbeak Numbers at a Spring Migration Stop-Over Site
by W. Douglas Robinson, Jessica Greer, Juliana Masseloux, Tyler A. Hallman and Jenna R. Curtis
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060496 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2027
Abstract
Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus) populations have been hypothesized to be in steep decline across North America. Data characterizing long-term changes are needed to quantify the magnitude of the declines. We surveyed grosbeaks at a spring migratory stop-over site in Corvallis, Oregon, [...] Read more.
Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus) populations have been hypothesized to be in steep decline across North America. Data characterizing long-term changes are needed to quantify the magnitude of the declines. We surveyed grosbeaks at a spring migratory stop-over site in Corvallis, Oregon, USA, where birds gather annually during April and May to feast on elm (Ulmus spp.) seeds before departing to breeding sites. An estimate produced by a statistics professor in the 1970s indicated peak numbers were 150,000 to 250,000 birds. Our surveys in 2013–2015 found annually variable numbers, from a few hundred grosbeaks in the lowest year to less than five thousand birds in the highest year. If the original estimate is approximately true, Evening Grosbeak numbers have experienced dramatic declines, averaging −2.6%/year, over the last four decades. Our local observation of declines during spring aligns with declines documented in winter across North America by bird feeder studies and in summer by the Breeding Bird Survey. We explore potential explanations for the changes in population size, such as influences of spruce budworm outbreaks, disease, and decreased structural diversity of forests owing to harvest practices. We also consider the challenges of interpreting changes in abundance of species with exceptionally variable populations, especially if population fluctuations or cycles may have long periodicities. Finally, we call for additional planned surveys to track the numbers of this enigmatic and charismatic species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity in 2022)
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12 pages, 2130 KiB  
Article
DNA Barcoding of the Market Samples of Single-Drug Herbal Powders Reveals Adulteration with Taxonomically Unrelated Plant Species
by Raju Balaji and Madasamy Parani
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 495; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060495 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2896
Abstract
Herbal drugs are increasingly becoming a viable alternative to allopathic medicine. Since powdered herbal drugs are more prone to adulteration than intact plant parts, their authentication becomes essential to ensure the safety and efficacy of herbal drugs. This study authenticated 107 single-drug herbal [...] Read more.
Herbal drugs are increasingly becoming a viable alternative to allopathic medicine. Since powdered herbal drugs are more prone to adulteration than intact plant parts, their authentication becomes essential to ensure the safety and efficacy of herbal drugs. This study authenticated 107 single-drug herbal powders, representing 65 species from 60 genera and 35 families, collected from the markets in Tamil Nadu, India. DNA barcoding using the rbcL marker revealed that 58 samples (54%) were authentic, and 49 (46%) were adulterant. About 41% of the adulterant samples were a mixture of more than one species, possibly due to unintentional cross-contamination during processing. In 59% of the adulterant samples, the authentic species was entirely substituted with taxonomically and medicinally unrelated species, 72% of which belonged to different orders and families, while 28% were from other genera. Despite the taxonomic diversity, 20% of adulterant spe, cies had a morphological resemblance to the authentic species. It is not known whether their use as adulterants is intentional. In a detailed study on DNA barcoding of 17 powder samples from Ocimum tenuiflorum, 88% of the samples were authentic. These results indicate that the extent of adulteration is not high in all the species. Approximately, 95% of the samples collected for this study were produced by companies with limited resources and expertise in the unorganized sector. Hence, training them on species identification and providing simple and cost-effective authentication tools will likely reduce adulteration in the market samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Barcodes for Evolution and Biodiversity)
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23 pages, 4580 KiB  
Article
Eight New Records of Siphonophores (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa) in Korean Waters
by Nayeon Park and Wonchoel Lee
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 494; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060494 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2132
Abstract
Taxonomical research on siphonophores is lacking despite their high biodiversity. We collected siphonophores in Jeju and the southern coasts of Korea and conducted morphological redescriptions using multi-focus stacked digital images. As a result, we revealed eight unrecorded siphonophores (Abyla haeckeli, Ceratocymba [...] Read more.
Taxonomical research on siphonophores is lacking despite their high biodiversity. We collected siphonophores in Jeju and the southern coasts of Korea and conducted morphological redescriptions using multi-focus stacked digital images. As a result, we revealed eight unrecorded siphonophores (Abyla haeckeli, Ceratocymba leuckartii, Bassia bassensis, Dimophyes arctica, Lensia subtilis, Lensia subtiloides, Muggiaea atlantica, and Nanomia bijuga). Six genera, excluding Muggiaea, were reported for the first time in Korean waters, and subfamily Abylinae, to which Abyla haeckeli and Ceratocymba leuckartii belong, was also first recorded in Korea. The distributions and habitats of these species were summarized, with most of the species having cosmopolitan distributions but variations in individual size depending on environmental conditions. Phylogenetic analysis based on mtCOI was conducted for each family. Finally, we updated the species list of siphonophores in Korean waters to include 3 suborders, 5 families, 3 subfamilies, 14 genera, and 21 species. Our findings constitute baseline data for further research on Korean siphonophores. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Collection of Experts’ Researches on Aquatic Life (CEREAL))
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16 pages, 5752 KiB  
Article
Distribution, Biogeography and Characteristics of the Threatened and Data-Deficient Flora in the Southwest Australian Floristic Region
by Carl R. Gosper, Julia M. Percy-Bower, Margaret Byrne, Tanya M. Llorens and Colin J. Yates
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 493; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060493 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2148
Abstract
The Southwest Australian Floristic Region (SWAFR) supports an exceptional number of threatened and data-deficient flora. In this study, we: (i) collated statistics on the number, listing criteria and tenure of occurrence of threatened and data-deficient flora; (ii) conducted spatial and biogeographic analyses to [...] Read more.
The Southwest Australian Floristic Region (SWAFR) supports an exceptional number of threatened and data-deficient flora. In this study, we: (i) collated statistics on the number, listing criteria and tenure of occurrence of threatened and data-deficient flora; (ii) conducted spatial and biogeographic analyses to address questions concerning patterns of diversity of threatened and data-deficient flora relative to the whole flora and evolutionary and threat drivers; and (iii) examined whether threatened and data-deficient flora richness is evenly distributed across plant lineages. We found that although threatened and data-deficient flora occurred across the breadth of the SWAFR, high richness was concentrated in a limited number of locations, which were not always strongly aligned with areas of higher land transformation. Data-deficient flora demonstrated different spatial patterns of occurrence to threatened flora. Approximately 70% of the populations of threatened and data-deficient flora occurred outside of lands managed primarily for conservation. Both evolutionary history and contemporary threats contribute to the current status and distribution of diversity of the threatened and data-deficient flora, with evolutionary history playing a significant role in predisposing a portion of the flora to having population traits that result in those flora meeting IUCN Red List criteria, along with ecological traits that predispose some to specific novel threats. An understanding of the distribution of species and threats, flora traits, and how these traits mediate susceptibility to threats, offers one potential way forward for an initial assessment of which of the 1819 data-deficient flora may be most at risk of extinction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation and Phylogeography of Threatened and Endemic Plants)
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22 pages, 2286 KiB  
Article
Assemblages of Meiobenthic and Planktonic Microcrustaceans (Cladocera and Copepoda) from Small Water Bodies of Mountain Subarctic (Putorana Plateau, Middle Siberia)
by Elena S. Chertoprud, Anna A. Novichkova, Aleksandr A. Novikov, Elena B. Fefilova, Lada V. Vorobjeva, Dmitry S. Pechenkin and Aleksandr I. Glubokov
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060492 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1981
Abstract
The Putorana Plateau (Krasnoyarsk Territory, Russia) is one of the largest mountainous regions of subarctic Eurasia. Studies of aquatic ecosystems of this are far from complete. In particular, microcrustaceans (Cladocera и Copepoda) of the Putorana Plateau are poorly investigated, although they are one [...] Read more.
The Putorana Plateau (Krasnoyarsk Territory, Russia) is one of the largest mountainous regions of subarctic Eurasia. Studies of aquatic ecosystems of this are far from complete. In particular, microcrustaceans (Cladocera и Copepoda) of the Putorana Plateau are poorly investigated, although they are one of the main components of meiobenthic and zooplanktonic communities and a target for monitoring of the anthropogenic influence and climate change. An open question is a biogeographical status of the crustacean fauna of the plateau. Additionally, it is unknown which environmental factors significantly affect benthic and planktonic crustacean assemblages? Based on the samples collected in tundra and forest tundra ponds in the western and central parts of the plateau, analysis of the composition of crustacean fauna and factors regulating the assemblage structure was performed. In total, 36 Cladocera and 24 Copepoda species were found. Of these, 23 taxa are new for the region, and four are new to science. Species richness of Copepoda is higher in the central part and on the western slopes of the plateau than in foothills, while number of the Cladocera species in contrast decreases in mountainous areas. Variations in meiobenthic assemblages are due to the research area, type of water supply and less affected by altitude above sea level. For planktonic assemblages the size of the water body and, to a lesser degree, by macrophytes species composition was significant. Almost 12.8% of microcrustacean species of the Putorana Plateau can be attributed to glacial relics. Crustacean fauna of the Putorana Plateau has a high species richness and distinguishes significantly from the fauna of both western and eastern regions of the Arctic. The specifics of faunal composition of the region are connected to the climatic features of Middle Siberia and the retaining of the Pleistocene fauna in some glacial refugia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meiofauna: Biodiversity, Ecology and Role in Ecosystems)
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13 pages, 3331 KiB  
Article
Effects of Sediment Types on the Distribution and Diversity of Plant Communities in the Poyang Lake Wetlands
by Jie Li, Yizhen Liu, Ying Liu, Huicai Guo, Gang Chen, Zhuoting Fu, Yvying Fu and Gang Ge
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 491; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060491 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1894
Abstract
At small scales, sedimentary deposition types mediate hydrological changes to drive wetland vegetation distribution patterns and species diversity. To examine the effects of sediment types on the distribution and diversity of plant communities in a wetland region, 150 quadrats were investigated (elevation range [...] Read more.
At small scales, sedimentary deposition types mediate hydrological changes to drive wetland vegetation distribution patterns and species diversity. To examine the effects of sediment types on the distribution and diversity of plant communities in a wetland region, 150 quadrats were investigated (elevation range of 10.5–12.5 m) in the lake basin areas of Poyang Lake. We divided the surface soil into three sediment types (lacustrine sediments, fluvio-lacustrine sediments, and fluvial sediments), and then compared and analyzed the distribution and species diversity of the wetland plants among them. The results revealed the following findings: (i) within this elevation range, Carex cinerascens, Carex cinerascens–Polygonum criopolitanum, Polygonum criopolitanum, and Phalaris arundinacea communities exist; (ii) from lacustrine sediments to fluvial sediments, the distribution of plant communities showed a transition trend—with the Carex cinerascens and Phalaris arundinacea communities shifting into the Polygonum criopolitanum community; (iii) detrended correspondence analysis and redundancy analysis demonstrated that the soil particle composition and flood duration in 2017 generated a differential wetland plant distribution under the conditions of three sediment types along the littoral zones of Poyang Lake; and (iv) the plant communities on the lacustrine sediments had a higher species diversity than those established on the fluvio-lacustrine sediments and fluvial sediments. Full article
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15 pages, 1624 KiB  
Article
Diversity Loss of Epigeic Collembola after Grassland Conversion into Eucalyptus Forestry in Brazilian Pampa Domain
by Clécio Danilo Dias da Silva, Bruno Cavalcante Bellini, Vitor Mateus Rigotti, Rudy Camilo Nunes, Luciana da Silva Menezes and Bruna Raquel Winck
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060490 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2567
Abstract
The Brazilian Pampa is a rich domain mainly represented by grasslands. Conversion of native vegetation into Eucalyptus plantation leads to soil degradation and losses on local fauna and flora. The objectives of this study were to compare the taxonomic structure and abundance of [...] Read more.
The Brazilian Pampa is a rich domain mainly represented by grasslands. Conversion of native vegetation into Eucalyptus plantation leads to soil degradation and losses on local fauna and flora. The objectives of this study were to compare the taxonomic structure and abundance of epigeic springtails (Collembola) in two different types of land-use in the Brazilian Pampa, native grassland and Eucalyptus plantation, as well as to understand the processes that may cause species loss after grassland afforestation. Specimens were sampled in 10 paired plots of grasslands and Eucalyptus in southern Brazil. After sampling, all specimens were sorted, counted and identified. We evaluated the taxonomic composition, alpha and beta diversity, and used Random Forest Analysis to understand the influence of environmental factors on the structure and composition of Collembola communities. We sampled 1249 specimens in 26 morphospecies, and our data support there are significant losses in native Collembola communities after the conversion of grasslands into Eucalyptus plantations regarding abundance, species composition, richness, and alpha diversity. Species turnover better explained the beta diversity, and plant richness and dominance were the main environmental factors driving the Collembola diversity. These results deepen the knowledge of the impacts of native grassland conversion on soil fauna. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systematics, Ecology and Taxonomy of Collembola)
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15 pages, 3257 KiB  
Article
Wild Apples Are Not That Wild: Conservation Status and Potential Threats of Malus sieversii in the Mountains of Central Asia Biodiversity Hotspot
by Zhongping Tian, Houjuan Song, Yuzhuo Wang, Jin Li, Mierkamili Maimaiti, Zhongquan Liu, Hongxiang Zhang and Jian Zhang
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060489 - 15 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2696
Abstract
As one of the global biodiversity hotspots, the mountains of Central Asia are home to a large number of wild fruit species. Although the hotspots are constantly being seriously affected by climate and land-use changes, effective assessments of the impacts of these changes [...] Read more.
As one of the global biodiversity hotspots, the mountains of Central Asia are home to a large number of wild fruit species. Although the hotspots are constantly being seriously affected by climate and land-use changes, effective assessments of the impacts of these changes for the dominant species of wild fruit forests, wild apple (Malus sieversii), have been limited. We compiled 8344 occurrence records for wild apple across its whole distribution ranges from field surveys and herbarium and literature records. After data thinning to reduce sampling bias, we used ensemble niche models to project current and future suitable habitats, examined the importance of environmental factors, and assessed whether current national protected areas (PAs) are effective in protecting the suitable habitats. We found that the distribution of wild apple is currently fragmented. Under future scenarios, it would shift 118–227 km towards high latitudes and ~200 m towards high elevations, losing nearly 27–56% of suitable habitats in the south, and gaining some habitats in the north. The increased temperature and expansion of cropland contributed to these shifts. Nevertheless, about 13% of the suitable habitats are covered by existing PAs and less than 25% of suitable habitats will be protected in the future. The cold spots for protecting intact wild fruit forests are located in Xinjiang, China and Kyrgyzstan. Overall, we provide a detailed evaluation of the impacts of climate and land-use changes on current and future distributions of wild apple in Central Asia. Considering that this species faces a greater risk of habitat loss in the south of Central Asia, we advocate developing effective in situ conservation strategies with long-term monitoring that will provide deep insights into the fate of wild fruit forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Diversity and Conservation of Economic Plants)
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18 pages, 1363 KiB  
Article
Soil Seed Bank of Alien and Native Cornus (Cornaceae) Taxa in Lithuania: What Determines Seed Density and Vertical Distribution in Soil?
by Lukas Petrulaitis, Valerijus Rašomavičius, Domas Uogintas and Zigmantas Gudžinskas
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 488; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060488 - 15 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1696
Abstract
Soil seed banks of alien plant species are sources of propagules that play a crucial role in plant population dynamics. Studies on seed banks of woody alien species are crucial for understanding mechanisms of their encroachment on natural habitats. This study aimed to [...] Read more.
Soil seed banks of alien plant species are sources of propagules that play a crucial role in plant population dynamics. Studies on seed banks of woody alien species are crucial for understanding mechanisms of their encroachment on natural habitats. This study aimed to compare vertical distribution, density and composition of seed banks formed by native Cornus sanguinea subsp. sanguinea and alien C. alba, C. sericea and C. sanguinea subsp. australis in the Southern Hemiboreal zone of Europe. Five sites for each of four taxa were selected for the study, and seeds were sampled using the soil core method (400 samples in two soil layers: the upper, 0–5 cm, and the lower, 5–10 cm). Extracted seeds were tested with tetrazolium chloride stain to assess their viability. Differences in the seed banks among taxa were compared using generalised linear mixed models (GLMM). The GLMM analysis revealed significant differences in soil seed bank densities in the upper soil between the studied taxa (p < 0.001). We found that two of the alien taxa (C. alba and C. sanguinea subsp. australis) formed a much denser seed bank containing more viable seeds than the native Cornus sanguinea subsp. sanguinea. All three alien species contained more viable seeds (from 40.7% to 45.2% in the upper soil layer) than the native C. sanguinea subsp. sanguinea (19.4% in the upper and 18.2% in the lower soil layer). The cover of Cornus and habitat type had no significant effect on the density of the seed bank, according to GLMM. This study supports the hypothesis that seed banks of alien C. alba and C. sanguinea subsp. australis are denser than those of native C. sanguinea subsp. sanguinea. Furthermore, the seed bank of alien taxa contained more viable seeds than the seed bank of C. sanguinea subsp. sanguinea. Results of this study contribute to the understanding of the invasiveness of alien Cornus taxa. Full article
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9 pages, 1629 KiB  
Article
How Trophic Conditions Affect Development of Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra) Larvae: Two Extreme Cases
by Paola Cogliati, Benedetta Barzaghi, Andrea Melotto, Gentile Francesco Ficetola and Raoul Manenti
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 487; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060487 - 15 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1853
Abstract
Reduced trophic resources can pose relevant constraints to the development of freshwater animals with complex life cycles. For amphibians, food deprived environments, such as high-altitude ponds and springs and groundwaters are frequently used for breeding. The aim of this study is to outline [...] Read more.
Reduced trophic resources can pose relevant constraints to the development of freshwater animals with complex life cycles. For amphibians, food deprived environments, such as high-altitude ponds and springs and groundwaters are frequently used for breeding. The aim of this study is to outline trophic conditions leading to extreme cases of delayed larval development and increased size at metamorphosis of a European widespread amphibian, the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra). We collected 150 fire salamander larvae, split them in two groups, one with high and one with low trophic resource availability. We then observed the effects of nutritional conditions on larval development recording time to metamorphosis and average day growth. Moreover, in the field, we surveyed larvae growth and size at metamorphosis in two artificial subterranean sites with low prey availability. Trophic conditions strongly affected larval development and under low food treatment time to metamorphosis reached up to 416 days. In the subterranean environments we observed a similar pattern, with larvae requiring more than one year to attain metamorphosis but reaching unexpected large sizes. Environmental trophic conditions experienced during early stages can induce strong delay in metamorphosis of the fire salamander; this plasticity makes fire salamander larvae optimal models for comparative studies and cross-environment experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity in 2022)
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12 pages, 1818 KiB  
Article
DNA Identification and Diversity of the Vector Mosquitoes Culex pipiens s.s. and Culex torrentium in Belgium (Diptera: Culicidae)
by Ann Vanderheyden, Nathalie Smitz, Katrien De Wolf, Isra Deblauwe, Wouter Dekoninck, Kenny Meganck, Sophie Gombeer, Adwine Vanslembrouck, Jacobus De Witte, Anna Schneider, Ingrid Verlé, Marc De Meyer, Thierry Backeljau, Ruth Müller and Wim Van Bortel
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060486 - 15 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2438
Abstract
This survey reports on the DNA identification and occurrence of Culex torrentium and Cx. pipiens s.s. in Belgium. These native disease-vector mosquito species are morphologically difficult to separate, and the biotypes of Cx. pipiens s.s. are morphologically indistinguishable. Culex torrentium and Cx. pipiens [...] Read more.
This survey reports on the DNA identification and occurrence of Culex torrentium and Cx. pipiens s.s. in Belgium. These native disease-vector mosquito species are morphologically difficult to separate, and the biotypes of Cx. pipiens s.s. are morphologically indistinguishable. Culex torrentium and Cx. pipiens s.s. were identified using the COI and ACE2 loci. We recorded 1248 Cx. pipiens s.s. and 401 Cx. torrentium specimens from 24 locations in Belgium (collected between 2017 and 2019). Culex pipiens biotypes pipiens and molestus, and their hybrids, were differentiated using fragment-size analysis of the CQ11 locus (956 pipiens and 227 molestus biotype specimens, 29 hybrids). Hybrids were observed at 13 out of 16 sympatric sites. These results confirm that both species are widespread in Belgium, but while Cx. torrentium revealed many COI haplotypes, Cx. pipiens s.s. showed only one abundant haplotype. This latter observation may either reflect a recent population-wide demographic or range expansion, or a recent bottleneck, possibly linked to a Wolbachia infection. Finally, new evidence is provided for the asymmetric but limited introgression of the molestus biotype into the pipiens biotype. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity, Distribution and Phylogeny of Vector Insects)
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18 pages, 7263 KiB  
Article
Spatial-Temporal Change for Ecological Intactness of Giant Panda National Park and Its Adjacent Areas in Sichuan Province, China
by Chuan Luo, Hao Yang, Peng Luo, Shiliang Liu, Jun Wang, Xu Wang, Honglin Li, Chengxiang Mou, Li Mo, Honghong Jia, Sujuan Wu, Yue Cheng, Yu Huang and Wenwen Xie
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060485 - 15 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2179
Abstract
Human activities change the natural ecosystem and cause the decline of the intact ecosystem. Establishing an applicable and efficient human activity monitoring indicator system benefits China’s ambitious national park system construction. In this study, we established a refined technique for ecological intactness scores [...] Read more.
Human activities change the natural ecosystem and cause the decline of the intact ecosystem. Establishing an applicable and efficient human activity monitoring indicator system benefits China’s ambitious national park system construction. In this study, we established a refined technique for ecological intactness scores (EIS) and applied it in the area of Giant Panda National Park (GPNP) from 1980 to 2020 by quantifying four types of human interferences including land use and cover change (LUCC), road construction, water reservoir and hydropower construction, and mining. The results show the following: (1) Under the ecological intactness score range of 0–10, the GPNP with about 92.6% area of the EIS was above 6.0, and the mean baseline level of intactness was 7.1 when it was established in 2018. (2) The EIS in the east of Qionglaishan and south of Minshan were relatively lower than the rest of the study area. (3) During the past 40 years, 80% of the GPNP’s ecological intactness has remained stable. (4) In total, 14% of the GPNP was degraded mainly in the areas below 1200 m with severe human activities. (5) LUCC and road construction were the main driving factors for the decrease of ecological intactness in the GPNP. (6) The habitat of the giant panda is mainly distributed in the areas with an EIS above 6.0, and this is a key link between ecological intactness and habitat suitability. Our research proved that the ecological intactness score (EIS) is an effective indicator for monitoring and assessing the impact of human activities on the regional natural ecosystem and could be helpful for ecological restoration and human activities management GPNP in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mountain Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning and Services)
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13 pages, 3282 KiB  
Article
Effect of Pine Forest Management on the Diversity of Ambrosia Beetles (Curculionidae: Platypodinae and Scolytinae) in East Java, Indonesia
by Hagus Tarno, Yogo Setiawan, Rafika Andini Alvin Putri, Alvin Nardo, Fauziah Ghina Tsamarah, Jenica Asri and Jianguo Wang
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060484 - 15 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2517
Abstract
In Indonesia, Pinus merkusii, the Sumatran pine, is the most important forest tree in the industry. This study aimed to determine the effects of pine forest types and sites on the abundance of ambrosia beetles in four pine forest types and sites, [...] Read more.
In Indonesia, Pinus merkusii, the Sumatran pine, is the most important forest tree in the industry. This study aimed to determine the effects of pine forest types and sites on the abundance of ambrosia beetles in four pine forest types and sites, i.e., the protected pine forest (PF1 & PF2), the pine forests-based agroforestry (PA1 & PA2), the tapped-pine forests (TP1 & TP2), and the non-tapped pine forests (NP1 & NP2). The environmental variables and the stand-ages were also studied related to the number of ambrosia beetle individuals and species. Twenty ethanol baited traps were installed to attract and collect the ambrosia beetles in each pine forest site. The descriptive analysis, the nested analysis of variance, and correlation analysis were applied to determine the differences in ambrosia beetle abundance between the pine forest sites, the relationship between the stand-age, humidity, elevation, and temperature to the number of individuals and species of ambrosia beetle, and species diversity of ambrosia beetles in each pine forest type. The Jaccard distance was calculated to investigate the dissimilarity between each pine forest site based on the ambrosia beetle species composition and abundance. The 999 ambrosia beetles (15 species) were reported in this study. Two were Platypodinae, and 13 were Scolytinae subfamilies. Xyleborinus andrewesi was the most abundant ambrosia beetle. The abundance of ambrosia beetles was significantly different between pine forest types (F = 89.23, p < 0.001). The population of ambrosia beetles was the highest in the protected pine forest, and the lowest one was identified in the non-tapped pine forest and the pine forest-based agroforestry. Based on the pine forest types, the highest number of ambrosia beetle species was in the protected pine forest (13 species), and the lowest one was in the pine forest-based agroforestry (7 species). The highest and the lowest numbers of ambrosia beetles were in the protected pine forest site 2 (11 species) and in the pine forest–based agroforestry site 2 & the non-tapped pine forest site 1 (3 species). The highest dissimilarity was shown by the highest distances between the pine forest-based agroforestry site 1 and the non-tapped pine forest site 1 based on the Jaccard distance. The stand-age, humidity, and temperature potentially effected the number of ambrosia beetle individuals and species. The elevation also indicated to influence the number of ambrosia beetle individuals however it isn’t happened on the number of ambrosia beetle species. This study contributes to identify the suitable pine forest types related to the ambrosia beetle management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Diversity)
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11 pages, 4554 KiB  
Article
Temporal Partitioning of Fungal Sporophores in a Temperate Deciduous Broad-Leaved Forest
by Ziyu Zhou, Man Xiao, Senlin Wang, Xueying Wang, Wang Li, Yun Chen, Zhiliang Yuan and Erhui Guo
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060483 - 14 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1373
Abstract
The temporal partitioning hypothesis refers to the promotion of stable species’ coexistence by reducing the likelihood of competitive exclusion, such as when species are active at different months of the year. However, the studies confirming the mechanisms of species’ coexistence focus on spatial [...] Read more.
The temporal partitioning hypothesis refers to the promotion of stable species’ coexistence by reducing the likelihood of competitive exclusion, such as when species are active at different months of the year. However, the studies confirming the mechanisms of species’ coexistence focus on spatial scale, and temporal partitioning hypothesis for species’ coexistence remains underexplored. Fungal sporophores that are sensitive to seasonality change are ideal candidates for studying the role of temporal differentiation hypothesis in species’ coexistence. In this study, a field survey of fungal sporocarps was conducted from May to October, and the entity and abundance of different species of fungal sporocarps in a 5-hectare forest dynamic plot in a temperate, deciduous broad-leaved forest were recorded. The results showed that the emergence of fungal sporocarps based on month was highly specialized and uneven. The torus-translation test showed that 56 species exhibited ecological habitat preferences for different months (47/100, 47%). The distribution of soil fungal sporocarps (35/75, 46.67%) based on months showed higher specialization compared with that of rotten-wood fungal sporocarps (9/22, 40.90%). The findings suggest the importance of temporal partitioning in maintaining local diversity in the fungal community. Full article
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13 pages, 2502 KiB  
Article
Consequences of Evolving Limbless, Burrowing Forms for the Behavior and Population Density of Tropical Lizards
by Agustín Camacho, Carlos A. Navas, Adriana Tiemi Yamanouchi and Miguel Trefaut Rodrigues
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060482 - 14 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1836
Abstract
We quantified functional traits (escape strategy, sprint speed and predatory performance) and population density across 10 lizard species representing morphotype stages in the acquisition of burrowing snake-like morphotypes (BSLM), from Brazil. We used phylogenetic mixed models to test if: (a) morphotype and substrate [...] Read more.
We quantified functional traits (escape strategy, sprint speed and predatory performance) and population density across 10 lizard species representing morphotype stages in the acquisition of burrowing snake-like morphotypes (BSLM), from Brazil. We used phylogenetic mixed models to test if: (a) morphotype and substrate affects flight strategy and speed, (b) BSLM species more effectively access different potential prey types than lacertoid species, when in syntopy, and (c) morphotype is correlated with population abundance and habitat use in a way expected from the output of the previous experiments. BSLM rigidly relied on burrowing as flight strategy, while syntopic lacertoid species changed their strategy according to the substrate. In addition, sand had opposing effects on sprint speed depending on morphotype, making lacertoids run more slowly and BSLM faster. Even though BSLM were overall slower than lacertoids, they were equally effective hunters of challengingly fast prey, and better hunters of underground prey. In their shared habitats, prey is most abundant in the superficial layer of leaf litter, although a large fraction is found beneath this layer, under bushes. Experimental results support the observed higher importance of sand for BSLM’s density and the higher importance of vegetation for lacertoids’ density. Finally, although BSLM species reached the highest population densities among the studied species, a systematic effect of morphological evolution on the abundance of limbless lizards remains elusive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Diversity)
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15 pages, 8625 KiB  
Article
Description of Limnomonas gen. nov., L. gaiensis sp. nov. and L. spitsbergensis sp. nov. (Chlamydomonadales, Chlorophyta)
by Sylvie V. M. Tesson and Thomas Pröschold
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060481 - 14 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2146
Abstract
Two novel Chlamydomonas-like species, belonging to the Moewusii clade, have been described. The first species inhabits eutrophic and neutral to basic pH waters in Sweden and England. It is easily recognizable under a light microscope due to its morphology (a small green [...] Read more.
Two novel Chlamydomonas-like species, belonging to the Moewusii clade, have been described. The first species inhabits eutrophic and neutral to basic pH waters in Sweden and England. It is easily recognizable under a light microscope due to its morphology (a small green prolate spheroidal shape with a large and truncated papilla at its anterior end, two equal flagella, a single lateral eyespot, a basal nucleus, and a well-defined pyrenoid) and to its peculiar whole-body pendulum movement while resting on surfaces or attached to floating particles. The species occurs as free-living individuals and is able to gather temporarily into groups of individual cells. No particular binding structures or palmelloid cells were observed in cultures. The second species, previously assigned to Chlamydomonas cf. proboscigera, was collected from persistent snow in Svalbard, Norway. Its morphology is revised herein. Using SSU rDNA sequence analyses, these two species formed a well-supported clade. Moreover, ITS-2 secondary structure analyses confirmed sexual incompatibility between these biological species. Considering these results, a new genus Limnomonas and its type species L. gaiensis and L. spitsbergensis are proposed. Full article
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18 pages, 2047 KiB  
Article
Spatial Occupancy, Local Abundance and Activity Rhythm of Three Ground Dwelling Columbid Species in the Forests of Guadeloupe in Relation to Environmental Factors
by Aurélie Jean-Pierre, Gladys Loranger-Merciris and Frank Cézilly
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 480; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060480 - 14 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3123
Abstract
Although forest-dependent, tropical island endemic birds are particularly at risk of extinction, they remain largely understudied. In this context, we assessed the spatial occupancy, local abundance, and diel activity in three forest columbid species of hunting interest, the Ruddy Quail-Dove (RQD), Geotrygon montana [...] Read more.
Although forest-dependent, tropical island endemic birds are particularly at risk of extinction, they remain largely understudied. In this context, we assessed the spatial occupancy, local abundance, and diel activity in three forest columbid species of hunting interest, the Ruddy Quail-Dove (RQD), Geotrygon montana; the Bridled Quail-Dove (BQD), Geotrygon mystacea; and the Zenaida Dove (ZD), Zenaida aurita, in Guadeloupe (French West Indies), using 5 camera-traps over 14 days on 24 survey stations, resulting in 1680 trap days. The number of observed RQD was too small to allow for a statistical comparison between habitats. BQD were more frequently observed at camera-trap stations that were dominated by tropical rainforest than those that were dominated by flooded forest. Conversely, ZD were more frequently observed at stations that were dominated by flooded forest and dry forest than at those that were dominated by tropical rainforest. High temperatures negatively affected the abundance of BQD, while the abundance of ZD was significantly lower in tropical rainforests compared to dry and flooded forests and tended to increase with canopy openness. The three species were diurnal. BQD significantly positively co-occurred spatially and temporally with small Indian mongooses, Urva auropunctata, whereas the temporal and spatial distribution of ZD overlapped significantly with that of domestic dogs, Canis familiaris, and domestic cats, Felis catus. Our results provide firm evidence that RQD remains scarce and is largely outnumbered by BQD in Guadeloupe which is in contrast with has been reported for other Caribbean islands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Birds in Temperate and Tropical Forests)
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10 pages, 1672 KiB  
Article
Morphological and Molecular Phylogenetic Analysis of a Lemanea Specimen (Batrachospermales, Rhodophyta) from China
by Fangru Nan, Yiding Zhao, Jia Feng, Junping Lv, Qi Liu, Xudong Liu and Shulian Xie
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060479 - 13 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1784
Abstract
The genus Lemanea is an evolutionally derived lineage of freshwater Rhodophyta which has a rare distribution. Morphological characterization and molecular phylogenetic analyses were conducted for a Lemanea specimen collected from Guilin, China, in this study. The results based on morphological observation and molecular [...] Read more.
The genus Lemanea is an evolutionally derived lineage of freshwater Rhodophyta which has a rare distribution. Morphological characterization and molecular phylogenetic analyses were conducted for a Lemanea specimen collected from Guilin, China, in this study. The results based on morphological observation and molecular evidence, including rbcL and SSU sequences, showed it was a new record of L. manipurensis Ganesan, West, Zuccarello et Rout in China. The specimen in this study was morphologically characterized by branches that were positioned in the lower part of the thallus, hair cells absent around the outer cortex, ellipsoidal and single carpospores at the top of the gonimoblast filaments and spermatangia formed in continuous wide rings on the thallus nodes. By comparing the morphology of specimens collected from Guilin, China, and the holotype specimen in India, it was found that the spermatangial shapes were variable among different populations. It was found that the presence or absence of hair cells around the outer cortex was not a reliable characteristic for the identification of the genus Lemanea based on a comparison between L. manipurensis collected in Guangxi and in India and another four Lemanea species previously recorded in China. The results of this study provided molecular evidence and a theoretical basis for molecular phylogenetic research on the genus Lemanea and enriched the species diversity and geographical distribution of Lemanea in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Ecology of Algae in China)
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10 pages, 629 KiB  
Article
Root-Associated Endophytic and Mycorrhizal Fungi from the Epiphytic Orchid Maxillaria acuminata in a Tropical Montane Forest in Southern Ecuador
by Stefania Cevallos, Paulo Herrera, Johanna Vélez and Juan Pablo Suárez
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060478 - 13 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2227
Abstract
In natural environments, it has been shown that orchids interact with multiple microorganisms including various species of fungi that colonize their tissues. The diversity of these fungi associated with orchid roots is still being described along with the ecological role they play when [...] Read more.
In natural environments, it has been shown that orchids interact with multiple microorganisms including various species of fungi that colonize their tissues. The diversity of these fungi associated with orchid roots is still being described along with the ecological role they play when interacting with the orchids. In this study, we evaluated the richness and diversity of the endophytic and mycorrhizal fungi associated with the roots of Maxillaria acuminata, a common epiphytic orchid species from a tropical montane forest in southern Ecuador. We characterized the fungal communities by sequencing the ITS2 region of the nrDNA with Illumina MiSeq technology. In total, 843 fungal OTUs were uncovered using a 97% sequence similarity. The highest percentage of OTUs belonged to the Agaricomycetes class, Basidiomycota. Interestingly, the most frequent trophic guild from the analyzed OTUs was assigned as saprophytic. Also, some groups of orchid mycorrhizal-forming fungi were detected, including members within the families Ceratobasidicaceae, Serendipitaceae, Tulasnellaceae, and in the order Atractiellales. We discuss the potential influence of this diverse group of root-associated endophytic fungi on the development and survival of M. acuminata in the tropical forests of southern Ecuador. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Fungal Diversity)
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18 pages, 1406 KiB  
Article
Postglacial Expansion Routes and Mitochondrial Genetic Diversification of the Freshwater Pearl Mussel in Europe and North America
by Ilya V. Vikhrev, Evgenii P. Ieshko, Alexander V. Kondakov, Nikolai S. Mugue, Galina V. Bovykina, Denis A. Efremov, Andrei G. Bulakhov, Alena A. Tomilova, Olesya A. Yunitsyna and Ivan N. Bolotov
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060477 - 13 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2396
Abstract
The freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritifera is a unionid species distributed across Northwestern Russia, Fennoscandia, Western and Southwestern Europe, and the Atlantic Coast of North America. In this study, we reconstructed the post-glacial expansion routes of this species based on FST genetic distances [...] Read more.
The freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritifera is a unionid species distributed across Northwestern Russia, Fennoscandia, Western and Southwestern Europe, and the Atlantic Coast of North America. In this study, we reconstructed the post-glacial expansion routes of this species based on FST genetic distances and the fact that M. margaritifera distribution is directly connected with salmonid expansion. The freshwater-pearl-mussel populations from North America and Northeastern Europe were the closest groups, judging by FST distances, supporting the concept of the North Atlantic Salmo salar colonization of the Barents and White Sea basins. We also documented that unique haplotypes in the populations of the Baltic and White Sea basins may have originated in isolated glacial refugia in Eastern and Northeastern Europe. The Iberian clade was the most distant group of populations, which is consistent with the previously observed role of the Iberian Peninsula as a glacial refugium. The high genetic diversity in the populations of Northern and Eastern Karelia was facilitated by migrants utilizing complex periglacial hydrological networks and by admixture in the contact zone where the migration flows met. We confirm that this region should be considered as a major center of genetic diversity within the European part of the species’ range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Biodiversity: Evolution, Taxonomy and Conservation)
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13 pages, 2460 KiB  
Article
Dam Construction Impacts Fish Biodiversity in a Subtropical River Network, China
by Xiongjun Liu, Julian D. Olden, Ruiwen Wu, Shan Ouyang and Xiaoping Wu
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060476 - 13 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3410
Abstract
Dams and diversions are a primary threat to freshwater fish biodiversity, including the loss of species and restructuring of communities, often resulting in taxonomic homogenization (increased similarity) over time. Mitigating these impacts requires a strong scientific understanding of both patterns and drivers of [...] Read more.
Dams and diversions are a primary threat to freshwater fish biodiversity, including the loss of species and restructuring of communities, often resulting in taxonomic homogenization (increased similarity) over time. Mitigating these impacts requires a strong scientific understanding of both patterns and drivers of fish diversity. Here, we test whether different components of fish biodiversity have changed in response to major dam construction, and whether these patterns are predictable as a function of key environmental factors in the Gan River Basin, China. The results showed that total and native species alpha diversity have declined from the historical period (pre-dam) to the current period (post-dam). A total of 29 native species are lost, while 6 alien species were gained over time. We found evidence for fish faunal homogenization in the Gan River Basin, with a slight (1%) increase in taxonomic similarity among river basins from the historical period to the current period. Additionally, we revealed significant associations between drainage length, drainage area, and average air temperature, and alpha and beta fish diversity. This study provides new insight into the patterns and drivers of fish biodiversity change in the broader Yangtze River Basin and helps inform management efforts seeking to slow, and even reverse, current trajectories of biodiversity change. Full article
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28 pages, 12316 KiB  
Article
The Interplay of Environment and Biota in Assessing the Freshwater Quality in Karst
by Daniela R. Borda, Ioan Cociuba, Laura Epure, Nicolae Cruceru and Ioana N. Meleg
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060475 - 12 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2569
Abstract
Karst aquifers are both a valuable resource for humankind and a habitat for unique biota. The quality of freshwater sources may be easily affected by natural (e.g., geology, climate, and vegetation) and anthropogenic (e.g., agriculture, livestock, and tourism) changes, particularly in karst landscapes [...] Read more.
Karst aquifers are both a valuable resource for humankind and a habitat for unique biota. The quality of freshwater sources may be easily affected by natural (e.g., geology, climate, and vegetation) and anthropogenic (e.g., agriculture, livestock, and tourism) changes, particularly in karst landscapes with highly vulnerable groundwater reservoirs. We seasonally monitored nine representative freshwater sources (i.e., six springs, a well, a surface stream, and a cave stream resurgence) in the karst system of the Runcuri Plateau (KSRP) (Western Romanian Carpathians) during seven sampling campaigns in 2019–2021. We assessed how these natural and anthropogenic factors influenced the water quality based on the European and national standards for drinking water. The geological structure (i.e., tectonics and lithology) of the KSRP was reassessed, and the environmental variables of the freshwater sites were investigated in order to evaluate their impact on the physicochemical profile, the microbial contamination, and on the meiofauna presence. Multivariate statistics were performed to gain insights into the interplay among all these factors and to evaluate the self-purification capacity of the KSRP for chemical and microbial pollutants. The most relevant drivers shaping the microbial content of the freshwater sources were the altitude of the sampling sites, the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and air temperature, followed by the physicochemical profile of the waters (i.e., calcium hardness, magnesium hardness, nitrites, nitrates, conductivity, phosphates, total dissolved solids, and iron concentrations). The meiofauna presence was influenced mostly by precipitation, air temperature, and NDVI. Our results reflected the effect of the geological structure and environment on water chemistry and biota assemblages. A pollutant attenuation trend was observed in discharging waters, even though the self-purification capacity of the studied karst system was not statistically supported. More investigations are needed to comprehend the processes developed in the black box of the KSRP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Diversity of Freshwater Invertebrates)
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16 pages, 992 KiB  
Article
Subtle Effects of Experimental Grassland Fragmentation on Density, Species Composition and Functional Dispersion of Gastropods
by Brigitte Braschler, Peter Oggier and Bruno Baur
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060474 - 12 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1909
Abstract
The fragmentation of continuous habitats has significant consequences for species and for the functional diversity of plant and animal communities. Fragmentation effects can be indirect, can occur at different spatial scales and may vary over years. Small fragmentation-related effects may only be detected [...] Read more.
The fragmentation of continuous habitats has significant consequences for species and for the functional diversity of plant and animal communities. Fragmentation effects can be indirect, can occur at different spatial scales and may vary over years. Small fragmentation-related effects may only be detected in standardized, controlled field experiments accounting for the natural variation in environmental conditions and in remnants of habitat. Using a non-invasive trapping approach, we examined the responses of terrestrial gastropods (snails and slugs) to small-scale habitat fragmentation in a controlled experiment conducted in three species-rich, nutrient-poor calcareous grasslands in the Jura Mountains, Switzerland, over four years. We found site-specific differences in species richness, individual density, and species composition. Experimental grassland fragmentation did not significantly affect species richness or density, but affected functional dispersion (a measure of functional diversity) in the final year, indicating that fragmentation-related changes may occur with a time delay. Similarly, experimental fragmentation influenced the mean shell size of the snail assemblage and the proportions of individuals with certain life-history traits or habitat preferences in some years. The observed fragmentation effects were subtle and varied over time, underlining the importance of controlled field experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Invertebrate Diversity in Fragmented Habitats)
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15 pages, 1340 KiB  
Article
Macrobenthic Assemblages, Distribution and Functional Guilds from a Freshwater-Dominated Tropical Estuary
by Mohammad Khaled Rahman, Mohammad Belal Hossain, Priyanka Rani Majumdar, M. Golam Mustafa, Mohammad Abu Noman, Mohammed Fahad Albeshr, Eijaz Ahmed Bhat and Takaomi Arai
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060473 - 12 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2442
Abstract
Assessment of benthic diversity and estuarine ecological quality is becoming increasingly important. Estuaries are not only highly productive and variable environments, but they are also areas of high anthropogenic perturbations. In this study, benthic macrofauna were sorted, identified and analyzed from a freshwater-dominated [...] Read more.
Assessment of benthic diversity and estuarine ecological quality is becoming increasingly important. Estuaries are not only highly productive and variable environments, but they are also areas of high anthropogenic perturbations. In this study, benthic macrofauna were sorted, identified and analyzed from a freshwater-dominated tropical estuary along the Bay of Bengal to assess their community structure, distribution and functional guilds, and to uncover the environmental drivers influencing their distributional patterns. Results revealed that the studied physio-chemical variables (DO, pH, alkalinity and temperature) were significantly varied (p < 0.05) among the sites. Capitella sp. was dominant (18%) of the forty morphospecies recorded, indicating organic richness of the area. The ANOVA results revealed that macrobenthic density differed significantly (p < 0.01) between the study locations, and diversity indices (Shannon diversity index, H′) also differed significantly (F4,12 = 5.89; p = 0.02). The benthic density decreased from the head to the mouth, which could be related to salinity fluctuations and large freshwater discharges. Upstream sites were completely segregated from downstream and mid-estuarine sites, according to cluster analysis (CA). The SIMPER results clarified the site grouping pattern, showing that Mysis-1 spp., Capitella spp. and Nephtys-1 were the most significant contributors. From the communities, five functional trophic groups were identified where deposit feeders were the most dominant (66.44%). Most of the macrobenthos had strong positive correlations with DO (r = 0.92) and water temperature (r = 0.86) and a negative correlation with soil pH (r = −0.28), per correlation and CCA analyses. Individually, soil pH (r = 0.88) and alkalinity (r = 0.898) showed strong positive correlation with Capitella sp. and Chironomus sp.2. The above results indicate that macrobenthos of this estuary do not follow the usual pattern of spatial distribution, and they are structured by DO, alkalinity and soil pH. In addition, dominance of some pollution indicator species (Capitella sp. and Chironomus sp.) and deposit feeders indicates a poor ecological condition of the estuary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystems Management)
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6 pages, 972 KiB  
Communication
Distribution and Molecular Diversity of Paranoplocephala kalelai (Tenora, Haukisalmi & Henttonen, 1985) Tenora, Murai & Vaucher, 1986 in Voles (Rodentia: Myodes) in Eurasia
by Anton Krivopalov, Pavel Vlasenko, Sergey Abramov, Lyudmila Akimova, Alina Barkhatova, Nikolai Dokuchaev, Anton Gromov, Sergey Konyaev, Natalia Lopatina, Egor Vlasov and Eugeny Zakharov
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060472 - 12 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1776
Abstract
Cestodes Paranoplocephala kalelai, which parasitizes in the small intestine of Myodes voles and is distributed in northern Fennoscandia, was found in six habitats in the Asian part of Russia and eastern Kazakhstan, which indicates a wider distribution of P. kalelai on the [...] Read more.
Cestodes Paranoplocephala kalelai, which parasitizes in the small intestine of Myodes voles and is distributed in northern Fennoscandia, was found in six habitats in the Asian part of Russia and eastern Kazakhstan, which indicates a wider distribution of P. kalelai on the continent. Analysis of mtDNA showed that P. kalelai is characterized by significant molecular variability in Eurasia. This study complements the data on the distribution of P. kalelai and provides the first molecular data from the territory of Russia and Kazakhstan. The sequence variability of two mitochondrial genes cox1 and nad1 of P. kalelai was studied in two species of voles: gray red-backed Myodes rufocanus and northern red-backed vole Myodes rutilus. Five haplotype groups in the cox1 and nad1 gene networks were identified, and the existence of two mtDNA lines in P. kalelai outside northern Fennoscandia was confirmed. The geographical distribution of the identified haplotypes suggests that the foothills of the Altai-Sayan mountains and southern West Siberia may serve as a refugium for P. kalelai during repeated glaciations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phylogeny and Phylogeography of the Holarctic)
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