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Diversity, Volume 14, Issue 8 (August 2022) – 111 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Although trophic diversification is one of the main mechanisms of adaptive radiation, it is still little known how novel feeding strategies evolve. Studying the trophic diversity of Garra elucidates this issue. Generally, Garra is a highly specialized periphyton feeder with widened jaws modified as scrapers. However, it could give rise to six sympatric ecomorphs that are strikingly diverse in mouth morphology in a river of the White Nile basin (East Africa). Our study revealed three feeding modes, with a transition from periphytonophagy to zoophagy. It appears to be the case that Garra could re-specialize out of its ancestral specialization despite narrow trophic adaptation. This does not support the generalists-to-specialists hypothesis on the origin of specializations, and provides an insight into the feeding novelty origin. View this paper
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10 pages, 1294 KiB  
Article
The Test of the Availability Hypothesis Reveals the Needs for Ex-Situ Conservation for Some Protected Area-Restricted Species
by Kowiyou Yessoufou, Isidore Muleba and Isaac T. Rampedi
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080693 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1654
Abstract
In ethnobotany, the availability hypothesis predicts that plants that are abundant and easily accessible to people are more likely to be medicinal than not. By protecting species diversity away from people, protected areas (PAs) may act as a limiting factor to a sustainable [...] Read more.
In ethnobotany, the availability hypothesis predicts that plants that are abundant and easily accessible to people are more likely to be medicinal than not. By protecting species diversity away from people, protected areas (PAs) may act as a limiting factor to a sustainable development of traditional knowledge concerning medicinal uses, and in so doing, PAs provide opportunity to prioritize ex-situ conservation for species that are PAs-restricted. In this scenario, ex-situ conservation becomes the only chance for people to develop traditional knowledge on plants which otherwise wouldn’t be documented as traditionally useful to people. To test these expectations, we used data collected for almost 20 years of fieldworks on plant medicinal uses and their abundance inside and outside the Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa. We fitted four different scenarios of structural equation models (SEMs) to the data collected. We found that total plant abundance (abundance outside + inside KNP) is a significant positive predictor of medicinal status, and so is abundance outside KNP, thus supporting the availability hypothesis. However, not only is abundance inside KNP not a direct significant correlate of medicinal status, but the relationship between both is also negative. The lack of predictive power of inside-abundance is most likely because some species are exclusively found inside KNP and local communities do not have access to them. It also shows that the positive and direct correlation of total abundance with medicinal status is driven by outside-abundance. In addition, the negative relationships between inside abundance and medicinal status implies that abundant plants inside KNP tend to be not-medicinal, further providing evidence that PAs hinder the development of medicinal knowledge. Furthermore, when inside and outside abundance were included simultaneously in one metamodel as two distinct variables, inside abundance was never a direct significant predictor of medicinal status, but it was so, via an indirect path mediated by outside abundance. This suggests that outside abundance is the key variable driving the development of medicinal plant knowledge. Cumulatively, our findings suggest that anything that favors the establishment of PA-restricted plants outside the naturally realized niches of these plants (ex-situ conservation), such as in botanical gardens, private gardens, in agroforestry systems, etc., is to be promoted so that people-plant interactions may continue for the benefits of ethnobotanical knowledge development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Human-Environment Interactions)
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9 pages, 1122 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Screening for SNPs Associated with Stature in Diverse Cattle Breeds
by Alexandra S. Abdelmanova, Alexander A. Sermyagin, Arsen V. Dotsev, Nikolay V. Bardukov, Margaret S. Fornara, Gottfried Brem and Natalia A. Zinovieva
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080692 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1522
Abstract
Cattle breeds used in industrial production tend to be larger than local cattle, as increased dairy and beef productivity is closely related to stature. This study aimed to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) significantly associated with stature in diverse cattle breeds. Thirteen local [...] Read more.
Cattle breeds used in industrial production tend to be larger than local cattle, as increased dairy and beef productivity is closely related to stature. This study aimed to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) significantly associated with stature in diverse cattle breeds. Thirteen local and transboundary cattle breeds (n = 670) were divided into two groups according to their stature. The high-stature group included the Angus, Ayrshire, Black-and-White, Holstein, Kholmogor, Yaroslavl, Tagil, and Istoben breeds. The low-stature group included Jersey, Kalmyk, Kyrgyz, Mongolian, and Yakut. The average height at withers was 136.3 ± 1.6 and 121.6 ± 2.8 cm in the high- and low-stature groups, respectively. The samples of the 11 breeds were genotyped using high-density DNA arrays. Genotypes of the two remaining breeds were downloaded from the publicly available WIDDE database. Genome-wide association studies revealed seven SNPs strongly associated with stature, including three at 77.3–77.8 cM on BTA4 and four at 24.5–25.2 cM on BTA14. Functional annotation showed the localization within identified regions of genes responsible for growth, exterior characteristics, protein and lipid metabolism, and feed intake. The identified SNPs can be considered useful DNA markers for marker-assisted cattle breeding aimed at increasing stature. Full article
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16 pages, 2304 KiB  
Article
Phylogeography of Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems: Squirrelfish and Soldierfish (Holocentriformes: Holocentridae)
by Joshua M. Copus, Cameron A. J. Walsh, Mykle L. Hoban, Anne M. Lee, Richard L. Pyle, Randall K. Kosaki, Robert J. Toonen and Brian W. Bowen
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 691; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080691 - 21 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2077
Abstract
Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs: ~30 to 100+ m depth) may be older and more stable than shallow coral ecosystems that are more prone to disturbances in both the long term (glacial sea level cycles) and short term (heavy weather and anthropogenic activities). Here, [...] Read more.
Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs: ~30 to 100+ m depth) may be older and more stable than shallow coral ecosystems that are more prone to disturbances in both the long term (glacial sea level cycles) and short term (heavy weather and anthropogenic activities). Here, we assess the phylogeography of two MCE fishes, the soldierfish Myripristis chryseres (N = 85) and the squirrelfish Neoniphon aurolineatus (N = 74), with mtDNA cytochrome oxidase C subunit I. Our goal is to resolve population genetic diversity across the Central and West Pacific and compare these patterns to three shallow-reef species in the same taxonomic family (Holocentridae). Significant population structure (ΦST = 0.148, p = 0.01) was observed in N. aurolineatus, while no structure was detected in M. chryseresST = −0.031, p = 0.83), a finding that matches the shallow-water congener M. berndtiST = −0.007, p = 0.63) across the same range. Nucleotide diversity in the MCE fishes was low (π = 0.0024–0.0028) compared to shallow counterparts (π = 0.003–0.006). Coalescence times calculated for M. chryseres (~272,000 years) and N. aurolineatus (~284,000 years) are more recent or comparable to the shallow-water holocentrids (~220,000–916,000 years). We conclude that the shallow genetic coalescence characteristic of shallow-water marine fishes cannot be attributed to frequent disturbance. We see no evidence from holocentrid species that MCEs are older or more stable habitats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Mesophotic Ecosystems)
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11 pages, 3562 KiB  
Article
Tracking the Effects of Climate Change on the Distribution of Plecia nearctica (Diptera, Bibionidae) in the USA Using MaxEnt and GIS
by Hossam F. Abou-Shaara, Esmaeil Amiri and Katherine A. Parys
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 690; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080690 - 21 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2339
Abstract
Plecia nearctica Hardy, commonly referred to as lovebugs, is a species of march fly with a subtropical American distribution. The northern range limits of P. nearctica could alter due to climate change, which is a worldwide issue. It has been reported that flowers [...] Read more.
Plecia nearctica Hardy, commonly referred to as lovebugs, is a species of march fly with a subtropical American distribution. The northern range limits of P. nearctica could alter due to climate change, which is a worldwide issue. It has been reported that flowers utilized by P. nearctica are not visited by pollinators, which may negatively impact foraging activity particularly when resources are limited. This study used 933 occurrence records of P. nearctica in the USA to predict its potential range expansion by 2050. To predict potential habitat change we applied well-established modeling procedures using both MaxEnt and geographical information system (GIS). Six environmental variables, two climate models, and two Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSP126 and SSP585) were used in the analysis. The model performance was excellent with a high True Skilled Statistic (=0.75) value. The predicted potential distribution and range expansion of P. nearctica in 2050 includes the Gulf Coast and the Southeastern and Western regions of the USA. However, results suggest that most of the Central and Northern USA are unlikely to provide suitable habitat for this pest and have no reason for concern about interactions between pollinators and P. nearctica. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity of Terrestrial Invertebrate Communities)
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16 pages, 3235 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Trophic Niche Position, Size, and Overlap in an Assemblage of Pacific Rockfish (Genus Sebastes) for Testing Community Composition Models
by Andrew D. Suchomel and Mark C. Belk
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 689; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080689 - 21 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1700
Abstract
Rockfish (genus Sebastes) assemblages can inform mechanisms of coexistence and maintenance of diversity in ecological communities. Coexistence theory characterizes ecological assemblages as following either a deterministic niche differentiation model, or a stochastic lottery model. We used natural abundances of carbon and nitrogen [...] Read more.
Rockfish (genus Sebastes) assemblages can inform mechanisms of coexistence and maintenance of diversity in ecological communities. Coexistence theory characterizes ecological assemblages as following either a deterministic niche differentiation model, or a stochastic lottery model. We used natural abundances of carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes from the tissues of ten co-occurring species of rockfish to assess position, size, and overlap of trophic niches in this diverse assemblage. We created a stochastic null model and compared observed values against the null model to determine if patterns were consistent with a deterministic or a stochastic model. We classified rockfish species as either demersal or pelagic. Mean δ13C and δ15N values differed among pelagic and demersal rockfish species and mean position was more variable than what was predicted by our null model. All species had relatively small trophic niches compared to occupied trophic niche space for the entire assemblage and trophic niche size was smaller than what was predicted by our null model. Trophic niche overlaps varied from 32% to 189% but were substantially lower than predicted by our null mode. All observed trophic niche metrics were different than the stochastic null model. This rockfish assemblage follows a deterministic model of community composition. Full article
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31 pages, 13374 KiB  
Article
Cladocera (Crustacea: Branchiopoda) of Man-Made Lakes at the Northeast Part of the United Arab Emirates with a Hypothesis on Their Origin
by Alexey A. Kotov, Anna N. Neretina, Shamma Eisa Salem Al Neyadi, Dmitry P. Karabanov and Waleed Hamza
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080688 - 21 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2670
Abstract
A study of the water fleas (Crustacea: Cladocera) in man-made lakes in the northeast part of the United Arab Emirates revealed five species: Ceriodaphnia cf. cornuta Sars, 1885; Daphnia (Ctenodaphnia) arabica Neretina, Al Neyadi et Hamza, 2022; Moina cf. micrura Kurz, 1875; Anthalona [...] Read more.
A study of the water fleas (Crustacea: Cladocera) in man-made lakes in the northeast part of the United Arab Emirates revealed five species: Ceriodaphnia cf. cornuta Sars, 1885; Daphnia (Ctenodaphnia) arabica Neretina, Al Neyadi et Hamza, 2022; Moina cf. micrura Kurz, 1875; Anthalona mediterranea (Yalim, 2005); Coronatella anemae Van Damme et Dumont, 2008. The morphologies of the four taxa are described in detail, except that of D. Arabica, which has been described previously. The phylogenies of the C. cornuta and M. micrura species groups were reconstructed based on sequences of the COI mitochondrial gene and the possible divergence age of the Arabian clades was estimated based on molecular clocks with paleontological calibration. We concluded that the C. cornuta complex was differentiated in the Upper Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous. The splitting off of clades containing the Arabian population took place during the Oligocene to Miocene. The M. micrura species group was differentiated in the Upper Cretaceous, and the splitting off of clades including Arabian populations took place around the Oligocene. Therefore, the clades (of different hierarchical orders) in the Arabian Peninsula are very old compared to clades of similar rank in northern Eurasia, which usually have Late Pleistocene history. Most of our sampled water bodies were newly constructed man-made reservoirs. As revealed, the phylogroups are locally distributed, and we hypothesized that they are colonists from surrounding natural water bodies inhabited by the relicts of older fauna that survived after the great climate aridization and then occupied newly available (man-made) biotopes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Ecology of Zooplankton in Lake Subhabitats)
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16 pages, 2424 KiB  
Article
Alien Travel Companies: The Case of Two Sea Slugs and One Bryozoan in the Mediterranean Sea
by Erika Mioni and Giulia Furfaro
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 687; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080687 - 21 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1916
Abstract
Mediterranean marine fauna is constantly changing due to the entry of non-indigenous (NI) species and the loss of endemic biodiversity. In this framework, it is very important to monitor this constant change and investigate possible new pathways of dispersion. Marinas and ports are [...] Read more.
Mediterranean marine fauna is constantly changing due to the entry of non-indigenous (NI) species and the loss of endemic biodiversity. In this framework, it is very important to monitor this constant change and investigate possible new pathways of dispersion. Marinas and ports are considered key stations to detect and study some important ecological aspects, such as NI and invasive species, the effects of climate change, and pollution. Here, we reported the case of a group of NI species that presumably reached the Mediterranean Sea together, each of them being ecologically associated with one another. The bryozoan Amathia verticillate and the sea slugs Favorinus ghanensis and Polycerella emertoni were found in the shallow waters of Fezzano’s marina in the gulf of La Spezia (Ligurian Sea, Mediterranean Sea). Molecular analyses were carried out to exclude cryptic diversity and to investigate the phylogenetic relationships occurring between closely related taxa. The spreading of these two NI sea slugs into the Mediterranean Sea was confirmed and the first record of P. emertoni from the Ligurian Sea reported. These findings shed some light on the poorly known ecology of these species that could be useful for future monitoring and conservation strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systematics and Evolution of Gastropods)
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23 pages, 11663 KiB  
Article
Ethnobotanical and Ethnopharmacological Study in the Bulgarian Rhodopes Mountains—Part _I
by Irena Mincheva, Zheko Naychov, Christo Radev, Ina Aneva, Luca Rastrelli and Ekaterina Kozuharova
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 686; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080686 - 21 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2506
Abstract
Traditional knowledge of medicinal plants and their uses has been well documented in Bulgaria in the past. However, we know little about the contemporary traditional application of medicinal plants. Rhodopes Mountain is an ethnobotanically poorly studied region. This region is suitable for conducting [...] Read more.
Traditional knowledge of medicinal plants and their uses has been well documented in Bulgaria in the past. However, we know little about the contemporary traditional application of medicinal plants. Rhodopes Mountain is an ethnobotanically poorly studied region. This region is suitable for conducting field research in ethnobotany for several reasons: (i) our preliminary observation in a number of settlements revealed that the local population, in particular, relies solely on previously collected medicinal plants in winter months even in modern times; (ii) due to the relative isolation of the area, considerable authenticity of traditional methods of medicinal plant use is retained there. The aim of this study is ethnopharmacological and ethnobotanical research among the population of the Rhodopes to evaluate the contemporary use of medicinal plants. The field ethnobotanical data were collected through the in-depth method in combination with a semi-structured face-to-face interviews, adapted with modifications to the objectives of this study. The quantitative ethnobotanical index Use Value (UV) was calculated. Here we suggested a new approach in ethnobotanical research. We used nomograms to present a large volume of medicinal plants’ application data, classified by the degree of their UV. This allows for a much broader view of collected and processed data. Data analyses from our filed research showed that the 92 informants mentioned utilization of a total of 114 plant species belonging to 52 families and 110 genera. The most common plants were from the families Asteraceae (16.7%), Lamiaceae (12.3%), Rosaceae (9.6%) and Amrillydaceae (3.5%), followed by Crassulaceae, Plantaginacea, Oleaceae and Solanaceae. The data presented in six nomograms revealed the most popular plants, the way of application and the corresponding medical indications in the Central and East Rhodopes, and the differences between the two sub-regions. Sempervivum tectorum, Tussilago farfara and Plantago major are the most often reported plants in the Central Rhodopes while these are Cotinus coggygria, Prunus spinosa and Teucrium polium in the East Rhodopes. The results of the study show that in the Rhodopes, the contemporary application of traditional medicinal plants is pretty much vivid. The locals in the Rhodopes still use the traditional knowledge and rely on plants to treat various health problems. They use common plants in a sustainable manner and are open to the cultivation of Sideritis scardica—a species which became rare after overexploitation. Full article
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11 pages, 1036 KiB  
Article
Phylogenetic Study of Alternaria Potato and Tomato Pathogens in Russia
by Lyudmila Yu. Kokaeva, Maria M. Yarmeeva, Zarema G. Kokaeva, Elena M. Chudinova, Petr N. Balabko and Sergey N. Elansky
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 685; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080685 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1798
Abstract
Early blight (EB) is a destructive disease affecting potato and tomato plants in Russia, caused by a heterogeneous group of plant pathogenic Alternaria fungi. The current species delimitation in Alternaria sect. Porri with medium to large conidia and a long (filamentous) beak is [...] Read more.
Early blight (EB) is a destructive disease affecting potato and tomato plants in Russia, caused by a heterogeneous group of plant pathogenic Alternaria fungi. The current species delimitation in Alternaria sect. Porri with medium to large conidia and a long (filamentous) beak is based on molecular data. In this study, the ITS, GAPDH, RPB2, TEF1, and Alt a 1 gene regions were analyzed in 41 large-spored Alternaria isolates obtained from diseased potato and tomato plants collected from 13 regions in Russia. Our data revealed five pathogenic species (A. alternariacida, A. grandis, A. linariae, A. protenta, and A. solani). Two species (A. solani and A. linariae) were found to be associated with early blight of tomato. Alternaria linariae and A. protenta were confirmed as the major causal agents of tomato and potato early blight, respectively. There were no phylogenetic groupings among tested Russian Alternaria isolates associated with their locality. Full article
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15 pages, 2251 KiB  
Article
Genetic Diversity and Fine-Scale Spatial Genetic Structure of the Endangered Shrub Birch (Betula humilis Schrk.) Populations in Protected and Unprotected Areas
by Agnieszka Bona, Damian Brzeziński and Katarzyna A. Jadwiszczak
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080684 - 20 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1634
Abstract
The genetic diversity of natural populations is a key factor in the success of long-term ecosystem protection. We studied the genetic diversity and spatial genetic structure (SGS) in three endangered shrub birch (Betula humilis) populations using seven nuclear microsatellite loci. The [...] Read more.
The genetic diversity of natural populations is a key factor in the success of long-term ecosystem protection. We studied the genetic diversity and spatial genetic structure (SGS) in three endangered shrub birch (Betula humilis) populations using seven nuclear microsatellite loci. The highest genetic variation was found in the restored Szuszalewo population in Biebrza National Park, where active prevention of thicket forest succession was recently conducted. The results of bottleneck tests were not statistically significant in each locality, although a genetic indication for population reduction was detected in the Rospuda stand, which is not actively protected. The Bayesian clustering, principal coordinates analysis, and FST estimates revealed the greatest difference between Magdzie Bagno and Rospuda samples. SGS was found in all B. humilis stands; however, it was the strongest in the Rospuda locality, where pollen and seed dispersal was limited by dense clusters of shrub birch ramets scattered among forest and brushwood plants. The weakest SGS, also supported by finding some sibling pairs in distant locations, was observed in the Szuszalewo population. The aforementioned results indicate that the active protection practices may impose an immediate beneficial effect on the restoration and maintenance of the B. humilis populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Biodiversity Research in Poland)
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33 pages, 16462 KiB  
Review
Carica papaya L.: A Tropical Fruit with Benefits beyond the Tropics
by Bhupendra Koul, Baveesh Pudhuvai, Chelsi Sharma, Arvind Kumar, Vinay Sharma, Dhananjay Yadav and Jun-O Jin
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 683; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080683 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 20706
Abstract
Carica papaya L. (family: Caricaceae), also known as ‘papaya,’ is a tropical American fruit tree. Due to the bioactive components (carpaines, BITC, benzyl glucosinolates, latex, papain, zeaxanthin, choline, etc.) in its seeds, leaves, and fruits, it is revered for its excellent [...] Read more.
Carica papaya L. (family: Caricaceae), also known as ‘papaya,’ is a tropical American fruit tree. Due to the bioactive components (carpaines, BITC, benzyl glucosinolates, latex, papain, zeaxanthin, choline, etc.) in its seeds, leaves, and fruits, it is revered for its excellent antioxidant, digestive, and nutraceutical benefits. Papayas are high in vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, folate, pantothenic acid, zeaxanthin, lycopene, lutein, magnesium, copper, calcium, and potassium. Being rich in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C, it lowers the cholesterol in the arteries; prevents arthritis; reduces aging, cancer, macular degradation, risk of cardiovascular diseases, and stress; increases platelet count; controls dengue fever; facilitates digestion, and lowers body weight. Papaya leaf extract, with many in vitro and case studies in combination therapies with modern medicine, especially for cancers and many other viral diseases, has been found to be an efficient cure. Humans have cultivated papaya cultivars for millions of years because of their significant commercial, medicinal, and agronomic value. Several reports have been published on the genetic modification of papaya for resistance to abiotic (herbicide, Al toxicity, etc.) and biotic stressors (PRSV, mites, Phytophthora, etc.), delaying ripening, and improving shelf life. However, most of these traits have not been introduced globally to all commercial papaya varieties. Unraveling the genetics of papaya has shed light on various domestication impacts, evolutionary patterns, and sex determination in fruit tree crops. It also serves as a potential step toward developing new cultivars to fight climate-oriented stress. Furthermore, extensive research on the stability of the ‘transgene’ across generations, and the ‘yield-penalty’ caused by the transgene, is required. Thus, meticulous crop improvement research on commercial papaya cultivars is necessary for long-term food and health security. This review article encompasses information on the traditional and modern medicinal uses, nutritional properties, phytochemistry, diseases and etiology, post-harvest measures, genomics, biotechnological strategies (for papaya improvement), and value-added products of papaya for food and health security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity of Plants with Phytochemical Activity)
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16 pages, 3646 KiB  
Article
The Relationship between Population Density and Body Size of the Giant Mountain Crab Indochinamon bhumibol (Naiyanetr, 2001), an Endangered Species of Freshwater Crab from Northeastern Thailand (Potamoidea: Potamidae)
by Sirikorn Sripho and Rattanawat Chaiyarat
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080682 - 20 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1720
Abstract
The giant mountain crab (Indochinamon bhumibol) is endemic to Loei Province in north-eastern Thailand. Although, little knowledge is available on the factors affecting population dynamics and individual fitness. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the population density and body [...] Read more.
The giant mountain crab (Indochinamon bhumibol) is endemic to Loei Province in north-eastern Thailand. Although, little knowledge is available on the factors affecting population dynamics and individual fitness. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the population density and body size of the crab. The mark–recapture method was conducted in Phu Ruea National Park (PR, small area) and Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary (PL, large area) between February 2018 and January 2019. The crabs inhabited mountain streams at 400–1100 m. The average water depth and width were 0.6 m and 8.3 m, respectively. In total, 879 individuals were caught from PL compared to 583 individuals from PR. Male were more abundant than female in both areas. Male were also larger and heavier, with a mean weight of 145 g, mean carapace width of 76 mm and mean carapace length of 75.7 mm. The average number of crabs caught was higher in the rainy season (66.3 individuals). The crab population was larger in PL (256.7 individuals), which is bigger in size than PR and is located farther from urban areas. The average crab density in PL and PR were 1.7 and 1.6 crabs/m2, respectively. Population density was significantly correlated with body size parameters: body weight (r2 = 0.066, df = 1196, p < 0.001), carapace width (r2 = 0.053, df = 1196, p < 0.001) and carapace length (r2 = 0.067, df = 1196, p < 0.001). The findings of this study suggest that a large area size and high population density are important to the conservation of the giant mountain crab in mountainous forests. Full article
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13 pages, 1664 KiB  
Article
Using Global Red List Data to Inform Localised Research and Conservation Priorities—A Case Study in the Republic of Seychelles
by Robert W. Bullock, Henriette M. V. Grimmel, Ellie E. Moulinie, Dillys K. Pouponeau and James S. E. Lea
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 681; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080681 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2159
Abstract
Global Red List assessments are powerful tools for informing large-scale conservation decision-making processes, however, they can also be used to inform more localised research and conservation priorities. Here, a conservation status assessment was conducted for the marine vertebrate biodiversity of two recently designated [...] Read more.
Global Red List assessments are powerful tools for informing large-scale conservation decision-making processes, however, they can also be used to inform more localised research and conservation priorities. Here, a conservation status assessment was conducted for the marine vertebrate biodiversity of two recently designated marine protected areas in the Republic of Seychelles. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assessments were compiled and trends in data analysed for the 524 species recorded locally. Findings suggest that 5.5–23.1% of all marine vertebrate biodiversity at the site is threatened or near-threatened with extinction (combined as ‘elevated risk’), and highlights sharks and rays as contributing two thirds (67.9%) to the ‘elevated risk’ biodiversity of the site. Fishing activities constitute the largest threat to every ‘elevated risk’ species using the site, with sharks and rays being most impacted. Species richness analysis across major habitat types evidence the high value of coral reef areas to almost all species and the importance of adjacent deep-water areas for ‘elevated risk’ species. Theoretical national assessments showed that the majority of globally ER species remained in the same Red List category in their respective national assessment. This study demonstrates the value of global Red List data for optimising research efforts and conservation practices on a localised scale and for informing the design and zonation of marine protected areas. Full article
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16 pages, 1182 KiB  
Review
Assessment of the Potential of the Invasive Arboreal Plant Ailanthus altissima (Simaroubaceae) as an Economically Prospective Source of Natural Pesticides
by Ekaterina Kozuharova, Ardalan Pasdaran, Abdel Rahman Al Tawaha, Teodora Todorova, Zheko Naychov and Iliana Ionkova
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 680; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080680 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2495
Abstract
The extensive use of pesticides may negatively affect human health. Additionally, it is one of the main reasons for the decline of pollinators and is thus a hazard for most crops and biodiversity as a whole. Good candidates for the replacement of pesticides [...] Read more.
The extensive use of pesticides may negatively affect human health. Additionally, it is one of the main reasons for the decline of pollinators and is thus a hazard for most crops and biodiversity as a whole. Good candidates for the replacement of pesticides with ones less toxic to humans and pollinators are natural products (bioactive compounds extracted from plants), even though it should be kept in mind that some of them can be toxic too. Ailanthus altissima (Mill.), swingle, known also as tree of heaven, (Simaroubaceae) is one of the most aggressive alien invasive plants. It demonstrates a high tolerance to various habitat conditions and a potent propagation ability. This plant has a prominent ability to suppress the seed development of local vegetation. The aim of this review study is to summarize the potential of this plant for use as a natural pesticide, starting with ethnobotanical information. The essential oils extracted from A. altissima with its main components α-curcumene α-gurjunene, γ-cadinene, α-humulene, β-caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, germacrene D, etc., have been reported to possess different activities such as insect repellent, insecticidal, and herbicidal activity. Additionally, polar extracts and particularly quassinoids, the phenolic constituents of A. altissima leaves, are potent phytotoxins and fumigants. The basic extraction protocols are also summarized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethnobotany, Medicinal Plants and Biodiversity Conservation)
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15 pages, 5713 KiB  
Article
Mapping Ecological Units in Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems of San Andrés Island (Southwestern Caribbean)
by Katherine Mejía-Quintero, Cristina Cedeño-Posso, Santiago Millán and Luis Chasqui
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080679 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1513
Abstract
To map ecological units in mesophotic coral ecosystems on the western side of San Andrés Island (Colombia) considering biotic components and geomorphic zonation among 30–140 m deep, 27 video transects were done using an ROV. In total, 14 h of video were recorded [...] Read more.
To map ecological units in mesophotic coral ecosystems on the western side of San Andrés Island (Colombia) considering biotic components and geomorphic zonation among 30–140 m deep, 27 video transects were done using an ROV. In total, 14 h of video were recorded and 5742 still images were extracted from them, from which 753 met quality criteria for bottom coverage and organisms’ abundance estimations. These estimates were calculated from images through the Planar-Point Intercept method (PPI) using a 1 m × 0.5 m quadrant gridded 0.1 m × 0.1 m. CLUSTER, SIMPROF, and SIMPER analysis of benthic composition considering depth ranges in the group’s formation were done. The clusters formed were simplified and generalized using a color matrix to support the mapping process. Two geomorphological units were found, the deep reef terrace (30–60 m) and the reef slope (60–357 m), overlapping with five ecological units spanning 268 ha. The units Bioturbed sediments–Calcareous algae, Octocorals–Mixed corals, and Octocorals–Sponges sited on the deep reef terrace have been previously described in the shallow waters of the island, and the units Octocorals–Sponges–Antipatharians and Encrusting Sponges sited on the reef slope are described as new here. These findings contribute to the knowledge of Caribbean mesophotic coral ecosystems and are useful to update the Colombian coral reef atlas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Mesophotic Ecosystems)
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28 pages, 6070 KiB  
Article
Deep Troglomorphy: New Arrhopalitidae (Collembola: Symphypleona) of Different Life Forms from the Snezhnaya Cave System in the Caucasus
by Robert S. Vargovitsh
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080678 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1662
Abstract
The Snezhnaya (=Snow) Cave System (depth −1760 m; total length 40.8 km), located in the West Caucasus, is inhabited by distinctly troglomorphic collembolan species from several families. Two new species of the family Arrhopalitidae occur in the deep parts of the system. Both [...] Read more.
The Snezhnaya (=Snow) Cave System (depth −1760 m; total length 40.8 km), located in the West Caucasus, is inhabited by distinctly troglomorphic collembolan species from several families. Two new species of the family Arrhopalitidae occur in the deep parts of the system. Both are highly morphologically specialized; however, they evolved into different troglobiont life forms. Arrhopalites profundus sp. nov. with extremely long claws, lamellate mucro, and an enlarged sensory organ of third antennal segment lives exclusively in hygropetric and epineustonic habitats, whereas Pygmarrhopalites rystsovi sp. nov., with greatly elongated and multi-subsegmentated antennae and long legs, prefers open terrestrial spaces. The troglomorphy, as well as ecological life forms of the obligate cave-dwelling Arrhopalitidae, in general, are discussed and classified as neustonic-hygropetric, atmobiont, intrasubstrate, and intermediate troglomorphs. Full article
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16 pages, 6566 KiB  
Article
Morphology, Palynology and Molecular Phylogeny of Barleria cristata L. (Acanthaceae) Morphotypes from India
by Asif S. Tamboli, Suraj S. Patil, Suhas K. Kadam, Yeon-Sik Choo, Manoj M. Lekhak and Jae Hong Pak
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 677; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080677 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 2406
Abstract
Barleria cristata L., commonly known as the Philippine violet, is native to South Asia. It is an ornamental plant and is also used for the treatment of a variety of diseases. In India, it is found throughout the country in many forms, varying [...] Read more.
Barleria cristata L., commonly known as the Philippine violet, is native to South Asia. It is an ornamental plant and is also used for the treatment of a variety of diseases. In India, it is found throughout the country in many forms, varying in its floral attributes (calyx and corolla) and habitat. In order to understand the species limits in B. cristata, we studied morphological as well as palynological variation and assessed the phylogenetic relationships among five different morphotypes. The studied morphotypes (populations) came from three phytogeographical regions, namely the Western Ghats, the Deccan Peninsula and the Western Himalaya. The naturally occurring populations from the Deccan Peninsula and the Western Himalaya showed conspicuous differences in their morphology. All the morphotypes had oblate spheroidal, tri-brevicolporate and honey-combed pollen grains which differed only in their quantitative parameters. The distinct-looking morphotypes, namely, Nandi Hills, Uttarakhand and cultivated morphotypes, could not be separated based on pollen characters. Phylogenetic analyses based on chloroplast DNA sequences revealed that our samples formed a clade sister to the B. cristata specimen used in the previous study. The genetic variation within morphotypes was not enough for the genomic regions investigated; however, it revealed among morphotype genealogies in detail. Phylogenetic analyses showed that there were three monophyletic groups within the B. cristata complex that exhibited some morphological differences. Nevertheless, based on the present sampling, it is not possible to delimit these morphotypes at specific or infraspecific level. To reach such conclusions, further investigations like sampling this species across its distribution range in India and assessment of intraspecific relationships, and their cytogenetical characterization should be done. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Diversity)
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21 pages, 3727 KiB  
Article
Semicryptic Diversity around Chaetoceros elegans (Bacillariophyta, Mediophyceae), and the Description of Two New Species
by Xiumei Chen, Zuoyi Chen, Nina Lundholm, Sing Tung Teng, Xiaojing Xu and Yang Li
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080676 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1688
Abstract
The globally distributed Chaetoceros elegans belongs to the Chaetoceros lorenzianus (C. lorenzianus) complex and is characterized by having tear-shaped setae poroids. Several strains of C. elegans were established from Chinese coastal waters. The vegetative cells and the resting spores were observed [...] Read more.
The globally distributed Chaetoceros elegans belongs to the Chaetoceros lorenzianus (C. lorenzianus) complex and is characterized by having tear-shaped setae poroids. Several strains of C. elegans were established from Chinese coastal waters. The vegetative cells and the resting spores were observed using light and electron microscopy. Phylogenetic analyses of two nuclear ribosomal RNA genes (SSU and the D1–D3 region of LSU) and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) revealed that the C. elegans strains clustered into three clades, corresponding to different morphotypes. Based on the type material, the delineation of C. elegans was amended, and two new taxa, (Chaetoceros macroelegans) C. macroelegans sp. nov. and (Chaetoceros densoelegans) C.densoelegans sp. nov., were described. The two new taxa are featured by the presence of two types of setae poroids, tear-shaped and round-oval setae poroids, whereas only tear-shaped setae poroids are seen in C. elegans. The setae base is distinct in C. elegans, but absent or short in the two new taxa. In C. macroelegans, the tear-shaped poroids on the intercalary setae are larger and less densely spaced than in the other two species. The round-oval setae poroids are more densely spaced in C.densoelegans than in C. macroelegans, although they have more or less the same size. Resting spores characterize the two new taxa, but are unknown in the amended C. elegans. When comparing the ITS2 secondary structure, two and four compensatory base changes (CBCs) distinguish C. elegans from C. macroelegans and C.densoelegans, respectively. Between the two new taxa, no CBC but five hemi-CBCs (HCBCs) are present. The shape, size and density of the setae poroids, as well as the morphology of the resting spores, are important characteristics for species identification among the presently nine known species within the C. lorenzianus complex. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Ecology of Algae in China)
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21 pages, 1405 KiB  
Article
Impacts of Parthenium hysterophorus L. on Plant Species Diversity in Ginir District, Southeastern Ethiopia
by Mesfin Boja, Zerihun Girma and Gemedo Dalle
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 675; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080675 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2145
Abstract
Invasive alien species are considered the second greatest global threat to biodiversity. This study is aimed at determining the impacts of Parthenium hysterophorus on herbaceous and woody plant species diversity in the Ginir district, southeast Ethiopia. Data on vegetation were collected from the [...] Read more.
Invasive alien species are considered the second greatest global threat to biodiversity. This study is aimed at determining the impacts of Parthenium hysterophorus on herbaceous and woody plant species diversity in the Ginir district, southeast Ethiopia. Data on vegetation were collected from the three study sites’ four land use types, with each land use type having invaded and non-invaded land units. A systematic random sampling method was used for establishing sampling plots. To examine the impacts of the invasive on native plant diversity, a total of 160 plots (120 plots of 1 m2 on grazing lands, roadsides, and abandoned agricultural lands and 40 plots of 20 m2 for sampling herbaceous and tree (shrub) species, respectively) were established. The number of plots was equally distributed in both invaded and adjacent non-invaded areas. Plant species from each plot were recorded and identified. In each plot, all the individuals of P. hysterophorus were counted, the heights of the five tallest individuals were measured, and the mean height was calculated. The percentage cover of P. hysterophorus was visually estimated. The data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. A total of 105 plant species (45 trees/shrubs and 60 herbaceous) belonging to 84 genera and 42 families were documented in the study area. The result showed a strong negative relationship between the density of P. hysterophorus and other plant species richness (r = −0.82, p = 0.013) and species abundance (r = −0.917, p = 0.001) per study site of the invaded community. Species richness in the non-invaded site was higher (105 species) than in the invaded area (63 species), demonstrating the negative impact of P. hysterophorus on local biodiversity. Furthermore, the number of plant families was 42 in the non-invaded area, in contrast to only 32 in the invaded areas, a 23.8% decline. Of the plant communities, similarity indices between non-invaded and invaded sites among different land use types were >50%. It was concluded that P. hysterophorus was one of the most dominant invasive alien species in the study area that reduced the species diversity of various plant species. Putting in place a strategy and effective planning for the control and management of this invasive alien species is strongly recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biodiversity Loss & Dynamics)
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19 pages, 20231 KiB  
Article
Spatial Variations of Aquatic Bacterial Community Structure and Co-Occurrence Patterns in a Coal Mining Subsidence Lake
by Tingyu Fan, Wangkai Fang, Yifan Zhao, Akang Lu, Shun Wang, Xingming Wang, Liangji Xu, Xiangping Wei and Lei Zhang
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 674; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080674 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1506
Abstract
Land subsidence caused by underground coal mining critically influences the structure and function of ecosystems in mining areas. However, knowledge on the aquatic bacterial community structure and interspecies interactions in subsidence lakes are still limited. To address this issue, we collected water samples [...] Read more.
Land subsidence caused by underground coal mining critically influences the structure and function of ecosystems in mining areas. However, knowledge on the aquatic bacterial community structure and interspecies interactions in subsidence lakes are still limited. To address this issue, we collected water samples from a coal mining subsidence lake and its connected river and investigated the spatial distribution and co-occurrence patterns of the bacterial community using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. The results revealed that the bacterial α-diversity in the subsidence lake was higher than that in the river. The bacterial community composition was also significantly different between the subsidence lake and its connected river. Total nitrogen explained 21.4% of the bacterial community composition variation, while sulfate explained 38.4% of the bacterial functional composition variation. Co-occurrence network analysis indicated that the modularity indices and stability of the microbial network in the subsidence lake were significantly higher than those in rivers, which presented more resistance to environmental disturbance. Keystone bacterial taxa in the subsidence lake and river included the Clostridiaceae 1 family, and the Shewanella, Flavobacterium, and Limnohabitans genera, which play vital roles in the carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen cycles. Moreover, functional analysis showed that assimilatory sulfate reduction processes had a major role in the sulfur cycle of the subsidence lake and its connected river ecosystem. Overall, our findings provide new insights into the microbial community structure and assembly in subsidence lakes and its connected river ecosystems, with significant implications for the responsible utilization of water resources and the promotion of sustainable development in mining areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Ecology of Freshwater Lake Microbial Communities)
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9 pages, 941 KiB  
Article
Impact of Stump Removal on Communities of Ectomycorrhizal and Other Soil Fungi in Norway Spruce Stands of Latvia
by Natalija Burnevica, Darta Klavina, Kaspars Polmanis, Jurgis Jansons and Talis Gaitnieks
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080673 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1351
Abstract
Heterobasidion root rot is one of the most economically important conifer diseases in the Northern Hemisphere, and stump removal is considered to be one of most effective control methods. However, the impact of stump removal on the diversity of mycorrhizal and soil fungi [...] Read more.
Heterobasidion root rot is one of the most economically important conifer diseases in the Northern Hemisphere, and stump removal is considered to be one of most effective control methods. However, the impact of stump removal on the diversity of mycorrhizal and soil fungi should be evaluated. From 2011 to 2012, a stump removal trial was established in six different sample plots in two regions of Latvia. The stump removal sites and control sites were replanted with spruce seedlings in 2012. Seven years later, soil samples were collected in the stump removal and control sample plots to compare the diversity of mycorrhizal and soil fungi. Fungal communities were analyzed using next-generation sequencing methods. Our results showed that there are no significant differences in mycorrhizal and soil fungal communities between the stump removal area and the clear-felled control area seven years later. The mycorrhizal fungi were the most commonly sequenced fungal ecological group, and their diversity was similar to clear-felled control sites. However, there were some differences in the fungal species composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Fungi Diversity and Their Ecological Significance)
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14 pages, 927 KiB  
Article
Land Uses for Pasture and Cacao Cultivation Modify the Odonata Assemblages in Atlantic Forest Areas
by Laís R. Santos and Marciel E. Rodrigues
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 672; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080672 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1256
Abstract
Tropical forests such as the Atlantic Forest are under constant threats from the impact of human activities, mostly being caused by the loss of native forest areas for other land uses. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of changes in land use [...] Read more.
Tropical forests such as the Atlantic Forest are under constant threats from the impact of human activities, mostly being caused by the loss of native forest areas for other land uses. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of changes in land use for pasture and cacao cultivation on the richness and composition of Odonata assemblages in comparison to native forest areas. We also evaluated the species as possible indicators of these different land uses. In total, 64 streams were sampled in southern Bahia, Brazil. A total of 84 species were recorded. The results indicated that changes in land use modify the richness and composition of Odonata assemblages. Regarding composition, our results indicated a difference among the assemblages in the three land use areas and that the native areas maintain more stable assemblages. According to the indicator species analysis, 13 species were recorded as possible bioindicators for different land uses. Changes in aquatic ecosystems and their surroundings caused by different land uses a select group of different species groups, modifying Odonata diversity among these areas. Notably, land uses that maintain a certain integrity of the environment, as in the case of cacao cultivation, are the best alternatives for conserving Odonata biodiversity in comparison with pasture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity, Ecology and Evolution of Odonata)
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13 pages, 3976 KiB  
Article
A Taxonomic Revision of Two Species Complexes Belonging to the Haplotricha Subsection in the Genus Onosma (Boraginaceae): A Realistic Approach to Plant Diversity
by Farzaneh Khajoei Nasab and Ahmad Reza Mehrabian
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 671; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080671 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1486
Abstract
The taxonomy of O. dichroantha, O. nervosa, and their allied species is extremely controversial among authors. The delimitation of these species was extremely confusing, and closely related species were separated by weak and non-diagnostic morphological traits. A taxonomic revision of these taxa [...] Read more.
The taxonomy of O. dichroantha, O. nervosa, and their allied species is extremely controversial among authors. The delimitation of these species was extremely confusing, and closely related species were separated by weak and non-diagnostic morphological traits. A taxonomic revision of these taxa is presented here based on our fieldwork and a thorough study of herbaria specimens. The species O. dichroantha and O. sharifii are regarded as synonyms of O. setosa, and O. maculata is reduced to synonymy with O. nervosa. In addition, the typification of accepted names and relevant synonyms, detailed morphological descriptions and brief comments on the relationships between species are provided. Besides, it is accentuated that the introduction of any new species should be based on complete evidence to avoid systematic complexity. The results of this study play an important role in solving the problems of plant diversity and in the conservation of plant diversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biodiversity Conservation)
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3 pages, 188 KiB  
Editorial
An Introduction to Conservation Biology of Vascular Plants
by Adriano Stinca
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080670 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1383
Abstract
Vascular plants, i.e., plants [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation Biology of Vascular Plants)
12 pages, 1688 KiB  
Article
Effects of Wood Distillate on Seedling Emergence and First-Stage Growth in Five Threatened Arable Plants
by Emanuele Fanfarillo, Riccardo Fedeli, Tiberio Fiaschi, Leopoldo de Simone, Andrea Vannini, Claudia Angiolini, Stefano Loppi and Simona Maccherini
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 669; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080669 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1676
Abstract
Wood distillate (WD) is an environmentally safe bio-based product stimulating plant growth and yield and allowed in Italy in organic farming. To the best of our knowledge, there are no studies on the effects of WD on spontaneous plants growing among crops, including [...] Read more.
Wood distillate (WD) is an environmentally safe bio-based product stimulating plant growth and yield and allowed in Italy in organic farming. To the best of our knowledge, there are no studies on the effects of WD on spontaneous plants growing among crops, including their functional traits such as biomass. To test such effects, we carried out a lab experiment on artificially reconstructed arable plant communities composed of five species of conservation interest, which are specialist winter cereal crops: Bromus secalinus L., Centaurea cyanus L., Lathyrus aphaca L., Legousia speculum-veneris (L.) Chaix, and Scandix pecten-veneris L. After sowing 45 pots under controlled conditions, we applied WD at three concentrations (0%, 0.2%, and 0.5%) six times over 7 weeks. The number of emerged plants in each pot was counted every two weeks. Finally, we harvested all plants and measured the fresh and dry above-ground weight of each species in each pot. The resulting data were analyzed by Permutational Analysis of Variance. The application of 0.2% and 0.5% WD modified the community composition after two weeks, but such differences later disappeared. Both 0.2% and 0.5% WD had a positive effect on the dry weight of S. pecten-veneris and a negative effect on that of L. speculum-veneris. Moreover, 0.2% and 0.5% WD increased seedling emergence in L. aphaca, and 0.5% WD increased seedling emergence in S. pecten-veneris. Both 0.2% and 0.5% WD enhanced seedling emergence in the entire community. We suggest that the use of WD at low concentrations in winter cereals may be a sustainable agricultural practice that benefits crops without harming the associated plant diversity. Full article
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24 pages, 5036 KiB  
Article
Pore Water Chemical Variability and Its Effect on Phenological Production in Three Mangrove Species under Drought Conditions in Southeastern Mexico
by Claudia M. Agraz-Hernández, Carlos A. Chan-Keb, Raquel Muñiz-Salazar, Román A. Pérez-Balan, Gregorio Posada Vanegas, Hector G. Manzanilla, Juan Osti-Sáenz and Rodolfo del Río Rodríguez
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 668; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080668 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1879
Abstract
Mangrove forests have proven to be resilient to most environmental change, surviving catastrophic climate events over time. Our study aimed to evaluate the chemical variability of pore water and its effect on phenological production in three mangrove species (Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia [...] Read more.
Mangrove forests have proven to be resilient to most environmental change, surviving catastrophic climate events over time. Our study aimed to evaluate the chemical variability of pore water and its effect on phenological production in three mangrove species (Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia germinans, and Laguncularia racemosa) along the coast of the state of Campeche during a year of severe drought (2009) and a year of average precipitation (2010). Pore water salinity and redox potential were measured monthly in a mangrove forest in 2009 and 2010. Litterfall production and reproductive phenology was measured monthly. We determined the relationships among litterfall production, reproductive phenology, pore water chemistry and precipitation of three species between years. Precipitation, pore water salinity and redox potential significantly differed among years, seasons and sites, and also showed significant interaction between years and seasons (p < 0.05). Significant variation was observed in litterfall production, propagules, flowers, and leaf litter among sites (p < 0.05). A significant change was observed in propagules and flowers among years, and in total litterfall and leaf litter between seasons and species (p < 0.05). Under severe drought, salinity had the strongest effect on total litterfall and propagules in R. mangle, while A. germinans, had the strongest effect on propagule/flower precipitation. Both A. germinans and L. racemosa showed higher resilience than R. mangle at all sites under severe drought conditions. These findings can support activity allocation for mangrove conservation and restoration by providing the tolerance thresholds of the three species that dominate in the regional area of Campeche state. Likewise, this research provides knowledge to the Intergovernmental Experts Group on climate change about drought intensity and its magnitude of impact on mangrove productivity, reproduction and integrity. Full article
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11 pages, 3482 KiB  
Article
Diversity of Seed Flavan-3-Ols in Croatian Native Grapevine Cultivars (Vitis vinifera L.) Grown in Coastal Region
by Željko Andabaka, Iva Šikuten, Ivana Tomaz, Domagoj Stupić, Zvjezdana Marković, Jasminka Karoglan Kontić, Edi Maletić and Darko Preiner
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080667 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1214
Abstract
Seed extracts are becoming more important due to their beneficial biological activities. The main constituents of seed extracts are flavan-3-ols, compounds important in winemaking. The coastal region in Croatia is rich in native grapevine varieties, which are used in wine production. The aim [...] Read more.
Seed extracts are becoming more important due to their beneficial biological activities. The main constituents of seed extracts are flavan-3-ols, compounds important in winemaking. The coastal region in Croatia is rich in native grapevine varieties, which are used in wine production. The aim of the research was to analyze the flavan-3-ol profiles of 20 native varieties, and to evaluate the potential use of grape seeds as a source of flavan-3-ols. The flavan-3-ols from seeds were analyzed by HPLC. The predicted yield of flavan-3-ols was calculated using the analyzed profiles. In total, eight compounds were identified, with the most abundant compounds being catechin, epicatechin, and procyanidin B2. In general, the red grape varieties had higher content of flavan-3-ols than the white varieties, which was confirmed by PCA. The coastal region could potentially yield up to 73.97 kg/ha of flavan-3-ols, depending on the variety. The results show the diversity of flavan-3-ol profiles among Croatian varieties and their potential usage as a source of valuable nutraceuticals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Diversity)
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16 pages, 1710 KiB  
Article
Conservation Significance of the Rare and Endangered Tree Species, Trigonobalanus doichangensis (Fagaceae)
by Ling Hu, Xin-Gui Le, Shi-Shun Zhou, Can-Yu Zhang, Yun-Hong Tan, Qiang Ren, Hong-Hu Meng, Yupeng Cun and Jie Li
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 666; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080666 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4498
Abstract
Trigonobalanus doichangensis is a rare and endangered species with important evolutionary value and extremely small populations. We investigated the genetic diversity of T. doichangensis to provide information on its effective preservation. We used genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) technology to assess the genetic diversity, genetic structure [...] Read more.
Trigonobalanus doichangensis is a rare and endangered species with important evolutionary value and extremely small populations. We investigated the genetic diversity of T. doichangensis to provide information on its effective preservation. We used genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) technology to assess the genetic diversity, genetic structure and gene flow of the six populations of T. doichangensis. Analysis of SNPs indicated that there was high genetic diversity in the ML and XSBN populations of T. doichangensis. FST values showed moderate genetic differentiation among the populations of T. doichangensis. Meanwhile, admixture, principal components and gene flow analyses indicated that the populations of T. doichangensis are not genetically separated in accordance with their geographical distributions. Habitat destruction and excessive exploitation may have led to a low gene flow, which has in turn resulted in the differences in seed and seedling morphological traits among populations. Based on these findings, we recommend that T. doichangensis be conserved through in situ approaches and artificial seedlings, including preservation of each extant population. Particularly, the ML and XSBN populations have high diversity and more ancestral information, so these two populations should be considered as conservation priorities, and seeds should be collected to obtain germplasm and increase the genetic diversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology, Evolution and Diversity of Plants)
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23 pages, 3767 KiB  
Article
Do Wildlife Crossings Mitigate the Roadkill Mortality of Tropical Mammals? A Case Study from Costa Rica
by Ronald Villalobos-Hoffman, Jack E. Ewing and Michael S. Mooring
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080665 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3379
Abstract
Although Central America is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world, booming road construction is driving roadkill mortality that threatens to alter the demography, genetic diversity, and viability of wild mammalian populations. Costa Rica has the highest road density in [...] Read more.
Although Central America is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world, booming road construction is driving roadkill mortality that threatens to alter the demography, genetic diversity, and viability of wild mammalian populations. Costa Rica has the highest road density in Central America, but the effectiveness of wildlife crossings in mitigating roadkill mortality has not been assessed with controlled experimental studies. Hacienda Baru National Wildlife Refuge is located along a critical biological corridor bisected by one of the busiest highways in the country. The first wildlife underpasses in Costa Rica were built here in 2010 as part of the expansion of Route 34 and subsequently documented by camera-trap and roadkill surveys. Using a control-impact design, we demonstrate a considerable reduction in wildlife mortality in the presence of the crossing structures compared with controls, with the underpasses and overpasses eventually used by 21 mammalian species. Some species made use of the structures right away, while others took over a year to learn to use them. This is the first controlled study in Central America to document the effectiveness of wildlife crossings and provides evidence that well-designed mitigation structures can contribute to wildlife-friendly roadways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Linear Infrastructures on Wildlife II)
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19 pages, 797 KiB  
Review
Applicable Life-History and Molecular Traits for Studying the Effects of Anhydrobiosis on Aging in Tardigrades
by Amit Kumar Nagwani, Łukasz Kaczmarek and Hanna Kmita
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080664 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2617
Abstract
Anhydrobiosis is induced by loss of water and indicates dehydration tolerance. Survival of dehydration is possible through changes at different levels of organism organization, including a remarkable reduction in metabolic activity at the cellular level. Thus, anhydrobiosis may be regarded as an anti-aging [...] Read more.
Anhydrobiosis is induced by loss of water and indicates dehydration tolerance. Survival of dehydration is possible through changes at different levels of organism organization, including a remarkable reduction in metabolic activity at the cellular level. Thus, anhydrobiosis may be regarded as an anti-aging strategy. Accordingly, two hypotheses named after popular stories, “Sleeping Beauty” and “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, were proposed to explain the effect of anhydrobiosis on aging. The two hypotheses predict the presence (The Picture of Dorian Gray) or absence (Sleeping Beauty) of observable aging symptoms for animals undergoing anhydrobiosis. Predictions of these hypotheses have rarely been tested, and the cellular level has not been addressed. Tardigrades appear to be a useful model for studying the effect of anhydrobiosis on aging, as they are able to enter and survive anhydrobiosis at any stage of life, although not with the same success for all species. In this review, we discuss anhydrobiosis and aging mechanisms as well as tardigrade diversity and indicate possible multilevel markers that can be used to study the impact of anhydrobiosis on tardigrade aging. This review provides data on tardigrade diversity that may also be useful for human aging studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Investigating the Biodiversity of the Tardigrada)
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