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Diversity, Volume 15, Issue 12 (December 2023) – 69 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Ocinebrellus inornatus and Rapana venosa, two exotic marine gastropods of the family Muricidae originating from the northwest Pacific, are reported in Galician waters (NW Spain). Live specimens of O. inornatus were found on Illa de Arousa, in the Ría de Arousa, southern Galicia. Two new specimens of R. venosa are recorded in Galicia, one of them for the first time out of the Ría de Arousa, representing a range expansion for the species. The DNA barcoding analysis confirms the previous morphological identifications. The importation of clams and oysters for further cultivation seems to be the most likely route of introduction. The continuous arrival of marine exotic species strongly supports the need to establish a monitoring program in Galician waters. View this paper
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1 pages, 199 KiB  
Correction
Correction: López-Fuerte et al. Floristics and Biogeographical Affinity of Diatoms Attached to Sargassum fluitans (Børgesen) Børgesen and Sargassum natans (Linnaeus) Gaillon Arriving on Mexico’s Caribbean Coasts. Diversity 2022, 14, 758
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1225; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121225 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 595
Abstract
The authors would like to make the following corrections to the published paper [...] Full article
15 pages, 3187 KiB  
Article
Urban Beetle Diversity in Natural History Collections—A Hundred-Year Perspective
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1224; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121224 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 999
Abstract
Natural history museum collections are essential for understanding biodiversity and environmental changes, especially in large cities with rapid urbanization. While the collaboration between curators and taxonomists with ecologists becomes more frequent, the museum collections still are not used to their full potential. This [...] Read more.
Natural history museum collections are essential for understanding biodiversity and environmental changes, especially in large cities with rapid urbanization. While the collaboration between curators and taxonomists with ecologists becomes more frequent, the museum collections still are not used to their full potential. This study aimed to digitize beetle specimens from Zagreb, which are kept in the Croatian Natural History Museum collections, provide recent nomenclature, analyse the proportion of currently endangered species, georeference, and compare the sampling locations with today’s iNaturalist citizen science records, as well as land cover changes between the time of collection creation and now. Comparing the sampling locations of collection specimens and citizen science records, it is possible to track the city’s expansion. Beetle family composition is more similar in the city centre than on the outskirts of Zagreb, where land cover changes are more pronounced. The districts in the northern part of Zagreb held higher numbers of threatened saproxylic beetles in both museum collections and citizen science records, highlighting the importance of urban parks and forests and providing insights into potential conservation threats. Museum collections have proved to be a valuable source of biodiversity records frozen in time, helping us track the urban beetle fauna decline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Do We Still Need Natural History Collections?)
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19 pages, 2606 KiB  
Article
Functional Morphology as an Indicator of European Eel Population Status
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1223; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121223 - 17 Dec 2023
Viewed by 922
Abstract
In the area of the Neretva delta in the eastern Adriatic, where the European eel, Anguilla anguilla (Linnaeus, 1758) has been traditionally fished for centuries, a decline in its population has been observed, as in most of Europe. Despite several studies, systematic monitoring [...] Read more.
In the area of the Neretva delta in the eastern Adriatic, where the European eel, Anguilla anguilla (Linnaeus, 1758) has been traditionally fished for centuries, a decline in its population has been observed, as in most of Europe. Despite several studies, systematic monitoring was not performed, and the causes of population decline are attributed to anthropogenic stressors, mainly overfishing and interventions that disrupt the migration. With the stock at a low level, there is a need for a detailed assessment of biological data and the determination of the “zero state” of the eel population in the areas where monitoring was not previously performed, such as the Neretva delta. This data would serve as a basis for the development of an appropriate monitoring and eel management plan. One of the under-researched aspects is still the eel’s morphology, which is closely related to all basic life functions. The aim of this work was to analyze in detail the morphological parameters of yellow and silver eels from the mouth of the Neretva River in different seasons and the relationships between the measured morphometric parameters and physiological indicators and to compare them with previously published results for different life stages across Europe. The samples were collected during spring, summer and autumn of 2021, and winter of 2022. Yellow eels were present in the catch throughout the sampling period, while silver eels were caught in the autumn and winter. Yellow and silver eels were significantly different regarding 22 morphometric measures that were analyzed. Isometric growth was recorded for yellow eels in the spring and autumn of 2021, and positive allometric growth was recorded for yellow eels in the summer and silver eels in the autumn of 2021 and winter of 2022. PCA showed that the main factor that separates the eels grouped by life stage in different seasons is the intestine length (IL), whereas the rest of the factors (weight—W; intestine weight—IW; liver weight—LW; and total length—TL) affect the groupings almost equally. Seasonal averages of the condition factor (CF) for yellow and silver eels did not differ statistically. Three indicators were used to describe intestine morphology: relative gut weight (RGW), relative gut length (RGL), and Zihler’s index (ZHI); and the only statistically significant difference between yellow and silver eels was recorded for the RGW. The hepatosomatic index (HSI) was significantly different between silver eels in winter and yellow eels in spring. In addition to supplementing the already known facts, this paper provides new information on the functional morphology of the European eel. Monitoring of these characteristics is crucial for management of the European eel fisheries as they are directly related to functional performance and affect the ability to maintain sustainable populations in anthropogenically altered environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Aspects in Freshwater Fauna Conservation)
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25 pages, 19292 KiB  
Article
Integrative Taxonomy of Turcinoemacheilus Bănărescu & Nalbant, 1964 in West Asia with the Description of Three New Species (Teleostei: Nemacheilidae)
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1222; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121222 - 17 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1383
Abstract
Nemacheilid fishes in the genus Turcinoemacheilus are physically small members of the ichthyofauna communities of high-altitude and mountainous freshwater ecosystems. They are all distributed in Western Asia apart from a single species, described in the Himalayas. They are usually very similar in appearance, [...] Read more.
Nemacheilid fishes in the genus Turcinoemacheilus are physically small members of the ichthyofauna communities of high-altitude and mountainous freshwater ecosystems. They are all distributed in Western Asia apart from a single species, described in the Himalayas. They are usually very similar in appearance, which complicates their proper identification and/or description. This is why it is important to use multidisciplinary and integrative taxonomical approaches in order to study their true diversity. In this study, three new species of Turcinoemacheilus are described from Iran, raising the total number of valid species to nine. Turcinoemacheilus ansari new species, is distinguished by the anus being situated behind the midpoint of the pelvic-fin and anal-fin origins and the short anal-fin base length. Turcinoemacheilus christofferi new species, differs by the anus being situated behind the midpoint of the pelvic-fin and anal-fin origins, with a complete lateral line reaching to the anterior part of the caudal fin. Turcinoemacheilus moghbeli new species, is distinguished by the anus being situated at or in front of the midpoint of the pelvic-fin and anal-fin origins, with a great pre-pelvic distance and a caudal peduncle length 1.5–2.3 times its length. In Western Asia, all Turcinoemacheilus species are well separated by molecular characters, showing between 3.6 and 14.1% uncorrected p genetic distances in the COI barcode region. This work shows the importance of studying the hidden diversity of under-sampled and understudied groups of organisms to have a clear image of true biodiversity in order to effectively conserve and protect it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biodiversity of Freshwater Fishes)
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16 pages, 4734 KiB  
Article
Plant Diversity Responses of Ulmus pumila L. Communities to Grazing Management in Hunshandak Sandy Land, China
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1221; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121221 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 800
Abstract
Biodiversity is sensitive to climate change and human activity. Grazing management practices have a profound impact on plant species–genetic diversity in grassland and woodland communities. In this study, we explored the responses of species and genetic diversity to grazing in Ulmus pumila L. [...] Read more.
Biodiversity is sensitive to climate change and human activity. Grazing management practices have a profound impact on plant species–genetic diversity in grassland and woodland communities. In this study, we explored the responses of species and genetic diversity to grazing in Ulmus pumila L. communities in the Hunshandak Sandy Land, analyzed the relationship between species and genetic diversity, and revealed the effects of climate factors on them. We found that the dominant species were Spiraea trilobata, Caragana microphylla and Artemisia intramongolica in U. pumila communities. Plant species richness in the banned grazing (BG) and seasonal grazing (SG) communities was significantly higher than that in the delayed grazing (DG) community. Plant Simpson’s diversity index showed a downward trend with increasing grazing duration. There was no difference in allelic richness in nuclear DNA (nrDNA) of U (U. pumila) and chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) of NU (other dominant species besides U. pumila) among grazing management types. The expected heterozygosity of U in nrDNA and cpDNA was significantly affected by grazing management, and the trend was BG > SG > DG. The genetic diversity of U was lower than that of NU. The genetic diversity characteristics of U in cpDNA were lower than those in nrDNA. The analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed that 98.08% of the variation in U and 95.25% of the variation in NU was attributed within populations and the differences within grazing management types were 13.35% in U and 24.08% in NU (p < 0.001). The species richness of communities was positively correlated with the genetic diversity of U, NU and all dominant species (U + NU) in communities. The nineteen climatic variables together explained 94.24% and 79.08% of the total variation in U and NU genetic and species diversity. The mean temperature of the warmest quarter and temperature seasonality were the main factors affecting genetic diversity (p = 0.046; 0.01), while the maximum temperature of the warmest month was the main factor affecting species diversity (p = 0.05). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Diversity)
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23 pages, 6406 KiB  
Article
Land Use and Land Cover Trends and Their Impact on Streamflow and Sediment Yield in a Humid Basin of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest Biome
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1220; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121220 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1010
Abstract
Understanding the trends in land use and land cover (LULC) is crucial for modeling streamflow and sediment yield, particularly in hydrological basins. This study examined the impact of LULC on the dynamics of streamflow and sediment yield within a humid tropical basin of [...] Read more.
Understanding the trends in land use and land cover (LULC) is crucial for modeling streamflow and sediment yield, particularly in hydrological basins. This study examined the impact of LULC on the dynamics of streamflow and sediment yield within a humid tropical basin of the Atlantic Forest biome in Brazil, focusing on the period from 2000 to 2016. Changes in LULC were analyzed using annual MapBiomas data products for the same period. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was deployed to simulate streamflow and sediment yield based on LULC changes. To investigate temporal trends in LULC, a suite of non-parametric statistical tests, including the Mann–Kendall, Pettitt, and Sen’s slope estimator tests, was employed. Ecological diversity indices such as Shannon–Weaver, Simpson, and Pielou were applied to assess forest fragmentation, along with the Forest Fragmentation Index. The results revealed a growing trend in urban and sugarcane areas, coupled with a decline in dense vegetation, mangroves, and other forms of dense vegetation. With regard to the correlation between land uses and hydrological variables, the findings indicate minor variations in hydrological balance, attributable to the not-so-significant changes among the studied land-use scenarios, except for sediment yield estimates, which showed more considerable alterations. Notably, the estimates for 2000 and 2013–2016 were the most divergent. In a broader scientific context, this research conclusively establishes that the incorporation of dynamic LULC data into the SWAT model augments the precision and robustness of simulations pertaining to agricultural watersheds, thereby enabling a more comprehensive hydrological characterization of the study area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change: Vegetation Diversity Monitoring)
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48 pages, 18111 KiB  
Article
The Diversity of Larvae with Multi-Toothed Stylets from About 100 Million Years Ago Illuminates the Early Diversification of Antlion-like Lacewings
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1219; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121219 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1581
Abstract
Neuroptera, the group of lacewings, is well known to have been more diverse in the past, offering to study patterns of biodiversity loss over time. This loss of diversity has been quantitatively established by the morphological diversity of lacewing larvae. Here, we explore [...] Read more.
Neuroptera, the group of lacewings, is well known to have been more diverse in the past, offering to study patterns of biodiversity loss over time. This loss of diversity has been quantitatively established by the morphological diversity of lacewing larvae. Here, we explore in more detail the diversity of lacewing larvae with tooth-bearing mouthparts. All these larvae are representatives of Myrmeleontiformia, the group of antlion-like lacewings. Today, larvae of several major ingroups bear teeth on their mouthparts: (1) owllions (formerly Ascalaphidae and Myrmeleontidae; taxonomic status is currently unclear); (2) Nymphidae; (3) Crocinae (mostly in younger larvae); and (4) Nemopterinae (only micro teeth). In addition, there are several now extinct larval types with teeth known from Cretaceous ambers (about 100 million years old). These larvae also possess several plesiomorphic characters, indicating that they were part of the early diversification of Myrmeleontiformia. We report numerous new specimens of these now extinct forms and provide a quantitative morphological comparison of head and mouthpart shapes, demonstrating that some of these Cretaceous larvae possessed morphologies not represented in the extant fauna. The resulting pattern is complex, indicating that at least some extinct morphologies have been later replaced by modern-day antlions due to convergent evolution. Full article
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13 pages, 10929 KiB  
Article
Identification of Floral Resources Used by the Stingless Bee Melipona beecheii for Honey Production in Different Regions of the State of Campeche, Mexico
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1218; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121218 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 998
Abstract
The stingless bee Melipona beecheii is experiencing colony decline due to floral resource scarcity caused by deforestation. A study was conducted to identify the floral resources used by M. beecheii using honey samples collected in four regions of the state of Campeche, [...] Read more.
The stingless bee Melipona beecheii is experiencing colony decline due to floral resource scarcity caused by deforestation. A study was conducted to identify the floral resources used by M. beecheii using honey samples collected in four regions of the state of Campeche, Mexico. A melissopalynological analysis of sixteen collected honey samples identified 69 plant species from 24 families, and established that Fabaceae was the main plant family visited. Based on botanical origin, seven samples were classified as monofloral and nine as multifloral. The predominant species were Bursera simaruba, Lonchocarpus longistylus, Piscidia piscipula, Senna pallida and Senna racemosa. Shannon diversity index values (2.06–2.55) indicated moderate diversity in floral resources and Simpson diversity index values (0.82–0.89) indicated a moderate dominance of plant species in the studied regions. The results suggest M. beecheii is polylectic with some degree of specialization. The plant species identified as predominant in the studied honey samples are candidates for use in strategies intended to conserve the food resources used by M. beecheii on the Yucatan Peninsula. Full article
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13 pages, 1554 KiB  
Article
Effects of Clothianidin Pesticide Application on the Strength of Honey Bee Colonies and Stress-Related Genes in the Vicinity of Rice Fields in the Republic of Korea
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1217; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121217 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 765
Abstract
The honey bee, a crucial organism that provides ecological and economic value to humans, is currently facing threats from various environmental factors including pesticides. Numerous studies have been conducted to demonstrate the risks associated with neonicotinoid pesticides, but research on their occurrence in [...] Read more.
The honey bee, a crucial organism that provides ecological and economic value to humans, is currently facing threats from various environmental factors including pesticides. Numerous studies have been conducted to demonstrate the risks associated with neonicotinoid pesticides, but research on their occurrence in actual field conditions has not been identified. Therefore, in this study, we observed changes in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies located near rice cultivation areas as they progressed beyond the rice pesticide application period. Furthermore, we collected honey bees exposed to the clothianidin and analyzed their stress-related gene expression. The results showed that the foraging behavior of honey bee colonies located near rice cultivation areas did not exhibit significant differences between the treatment sites (Cheongyang and Gimje) and the control site (Wanju) during the experimental period. However, it was observed that the expression levels of stress-related genes in honey bees collected from the treatment group were significantly higher than those in the control. Most of the stress-related genes were associated with detoxification processes in response to pesticides. As a result, pesticide treatment in proximity to rice cultivation areas did not cause direct damage to honey bees but had an indirect impact, suggesting the potential for ongoing chronic damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aspects of Honey Bee Colonies Losses)
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14 pages, 2957 KiB  
Article
Mapping Potential Regions of Human Interaction with Acuminate Horseshoe Bats (Rhinolophus acuminatus) in Thailand
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1216; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121216 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1069
Abstract
Bats are reservoirs for various pathogens, including SARS-like coronaviruses (CoVs). Understanding the distribution of bat species is crucial to identifying areas where viral spillover from bats to other animals or humans might occur. In this study, we performed species distribution modeling to predict [...] Read more.
Bats are reservoirs for various pathogens, including SARS-like coronaviruses (CoVs). Understanding the distribution of bat species is crucial to identifying areas where viral spillover from bats to other animals or humans might occur. In this study, we performed species distribution modeling to predict suitable habitats within Thailand under current and predicted future climate conditions for Rhinolophus acuminatus, a bat species that has been found to host SARS-CoV-2-related viruses. Our assessment of current conditions revealed that temperature seasonality had the greatest impact on habitat suitability and that suitable habitats were primarily restricted to the southern and eastern regions of Thailand. Over time, the projections indicate a diminishing availability of suitable habitats, suggesting a potential trend toward migration into neighboring areas. We next combined modeled bat distribution with urbanization data to estimate regions in Thailand where bat–human interactions might occur. The resulting map highlighted regions of heightened interaction risk, encompassing approximately 46,053.94 km2 across 58 provinces and representing approximately 9.24% of Thailand’s total area. These risk concentrations are prominently situated in the southern, central, and eastern Thai regions, with extensions into neighboring border areas. Our findings will significantly aid future risk surveillance efforts and enhance the effectiveness of monitoring and managing emerging diseases within the country and in contiguous regions. Full article
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8 pages, 1767 KiB  
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Beyond Expectations: Recent Discovery of New Cave-Restricted Species Elevates the Água Clara Cave System to the Richest Hotspot of Subterranean Biodiversity in the Neotropics
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1215; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121215 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 842
Abstract
The Água Clara Cave System was previously recognized as a prominent hotspot of subterranean biodiversity in South America, harboring 31 cave-restricted species. However, a recent expedition conducted in September 2023, coinciding with an exceptionally dry period in the region, provided access to previously [...] Read more.
The Água Clara Cave System was previously recognized as a prominent hotspot of subterranean biodiversity in South America, harboring 31 cave-restricted species. However, a recent expedition conducted in September 2023, coinciding with an exceptionally dry period in the region, provided access to previously unexplored areas. Therefore, the objective of this research was to investigate the cave-restricted invertebrate species, extending the findings from a previous article on the Agua Clara Cave System published in June 2023, and emphasizing the significance of this system as one of the most crucial tropical biodiversity hotspots. This survey unveiled an additional 10 species, raising the count of cave-restricted species within the system to an impressive 41. This remarkable diversity not only solidifies the Água Clara Cave System’s position as a paramount hotspot of subterranean biodiversity in the tropics but also serves as a stark warning about the imminent risks faced by these species. The escalating human-induced alterations in the region, notably deforestation, pose a significant risk to the survival of many of these unique and endemic species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hotspots of Subterranean Biodiversity-2nd Edition)
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55 pages, 7312 KiB  
Article
Diversity, Composition and Environmental Relations of Periphytic Rotifer Assemblages in Lentic Freshwater Bodies (Flanders, Lower Belgium)
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1214; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121214 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 878
Abstract
Periphytic rotifer assemblages from lentic habitats are understudied. To improve knowledge on the principal environmental determinants of their structure and composition, we examined summer periphyton from 184 freshwater bodies from a taxonomic and multi-trait-based perspective. Only the latter allowed consideration of all bdelloids. [...] Read more.
Periphytic rotifer assemblages from lentic habitats are understudied. To improve knowledge on the principal environmental determinants of their structure and composition, we examined summer periphyton from 184 freshwater bodies from a taxonomic and multi-trait-based perspective. Only the latter allowed consideration of all bdelloids. Alpha diversity decreased with electrolyte and aluminium concentration but increased with macrophyte richness, pointing at salinization, metal toxicity and loss of structural niche heterogeneity as potential threats for rotifer diversity. Replacement was the prominent component of beta diversity, with acidified sites showing the highest local contributions. Variation partitioning indicated that local conditions explained variation in species composition best, but general setting (soil type, land cover, connectivity) and spatial context were also not insignificant. Redundancy analysis related species composition more particularly to gradients of pH and trophic status, whereas the representation of functional groups was structured mainly by phytoplankton productivity. Mirroring shifts observed in the plankton, high phytoplankton productivity associated with larger size and more detritibacterivory. Dominance of collectors constrained variation in guild ratios, underlining the need for more refined functional approaches. To aid the use of periphytic rotifers in regional water quality assessment, we identified indicators and community thresholds for pH and trophic variables and determined optima and tolerances for individual taxa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Rotifers-2nd Edition)
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75 pages, 27568 KiB  
Article
The Indo-Pacific Stingray Genus Brevitrygon (Myliobatiformes: Dasyatidae): Clarification of Historical Names and Description of a New Species, B. manjajiae sp. nov., from the Western Indian Ocean
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1213; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121213 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 3037
Abstract
Members of the genus Brevitrygon are small, locally abundant tropical stingrays (family Dasyatidae) occurring in soft sedimentary habitats of inner continental shelves of the Indo-West Pacific from the Red Sea to Indonesia. Formerly members of the genus Himantura, whose members lack dorsal [...] Read more.
Members of the genus Brevitrygon are small, locally abundant tropical stingrays (family Dasyatidae) occurring in soft sedimentary habitats of inner continental shelves of the Indo-West Pacific from the Red Sea to Indonesia. Formerly members of the genus Himantura, whose members lack dorsal and ventral skin folds on the tail (typical of most dasyatid genera), folds are present or rudimentary in some Brevitrygon. Important to artisanal fisheries and known to consist of at least five species, these fishes are possibly the most frequently misidentified of all stingrays. Most were inadequately described in the 19th century, and they are often taxonomically confused due to morphological similarity, ontogenetic variability, and sexual dimorphism. Their nomenclatural history is complex with four of the known species represented within the type series of one species, B. walga (Müller & Henle). Also, the type of the species with which B. walga is most often confused, B. imbricata (Bloch & Schneider) from off southern India and Sri Lanka, is in very poor condition. A lectotype has been designated for B. walga (confined to the Bay of Bengal). The genus also contains B. heterura (Bleeker) from the Indo-Malay Archipelago, B. javaensis (Last & White) from off southern Indonesia, and a new species, B. manjajiae sp. nov., from the western Indian Ocean. The former species are redescribed and redefined based largely on a combination of morphometrics, tail morphology, squamation, and molecular data. Molecular divergences were detected within lineages of B. heterura, B. walga and B. manjajiae sp. nov., requiring further investigation. Full article
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21 pages, 15625 KiB  
Article
Xyloplax princealberti (Asteroidea, Echinodermata): A New Species That Is Not Always Associated with Wood Falls
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1212; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121212 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1638
Abstract
Xyloplax is a genus of three species of sea stars previously found only on sunken wood in the deep ocean. Their circular and petaloid bodies, which lend them their common name “sea daisy”, and their presumed exclusive diet of wood make them an [...] Read more.
Xyloplax is a genus of three species of sea stars previously found only on sunken wood in the deep ocean. Their circular and petaloid bodies, which lend them their common name “sea daisy”, and their presumed exclusive diet of wood make them an unusual and rare element of deep-sea ecosystems. We describe here the fourth species of Xyloplax from the eastern Pacific Ocean, Xyloplax princealberti n. sp., which ranges from offshore Canada to the Gulf of California (Mexico) and Costa Rica. Though sampled geographically close to another described species of Xyloplax from the northeastern Pacific, X. janetae, this new species is unique morphologically and according to available DNA data. The short abactinal spines are the most obvious feature that distinguishes X. princealberti n. sp. from other Xyloplax. The minimum distance for mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I from Xyloplax princealberti n. sp. to the only other available Xyloplax, X. janetae, was 13.5%. We also describe Ridgeia vestimentiferan tubeworm bushes from active hydrothermal vents as a new Xyloplax habitat, the first record of a non-wood substrate, and a new reproductive strategy, simultaneous hermaphroditism, for this genus. We generated the first mitochondrial genome for a member of Xyloplax and analyzed it with other available asteroid data using nucleotide-coding or amino acid (for protein-coding genes) plus nucleotide coding (for rRNA genes). The nucleotide-coding results place Xylopax as part of the clade Velatida, consistent with a previous phylogenomic analysis that included Xyloplax princealberti n. sp. (as Xyloplax sp.), though the placement of Velatida within Asteroidea differed. The amino acid plus nucleotide coding recovered Velatida to be a grade with X. princealberti n. sp. as sister group to all other Asteroidea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Biogeography of Sea Stars (Echinodermata, Asteroidea))
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14 pages, 3393 KiB  
Article
Insights into Daily Dynamics of Fish Migration during Spring in the Konda River
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1211; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121211 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 881
Abstract
Hydrology and temperature are known as key drivers for fish migration in floodplain-channel systems of large rivers. The Lower Irtysh contains valuable species of whitefish and sturgeon. Thus, along the Konda River, a complex study was carried out in order to investigate fish [...] Read more.
Hydrology and temperature are known as key drivers for fish migration in floodplain-channel systems of large rivers. The Lower Irtysh contains valuable species of whitefish and sturgeon. Thus, along the Konda River, a complex study was carried out in order to investigate fish migration in spring, with a focus on daily and monthly dynamics. To estimate the number of fish passing up- and downstream, a hydroacoustic system with a scanning beam frequency of 455 kHz was deployed in May 2017. The survey revealed the presence of three peaks in migration activity, as well as differences between a location close to the shore and another in the main channel. Regression analysis revealed a high degree of reliability of the influence of water temperature on the number of migrating fish (p < 0.001). The dataset also showed a daily rhythm of fish migration. An analysis of the daily variation in the illumination index and the intensity of fish migration revealed the presence of noticeable and high correlations for upstream (RS = 0.55; p < 0.05) and downstream migration (RS = 0.71; p < 0.001), respectively. Our data underline the importance of temperature as a trigger for fish migration and reveal diurnal patterns related to illumination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Freshwater Biodiversity)
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25 pages, 2890 KiB  
Article
Seasonal and Interannual Variability in the Phenolic Content of the Seagrass Nanozostera noltei: Characterization of Suitable Candidates for the Monitoring of Seagrass Health
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1210; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121210 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 759
Abstract
Developing early warning indicators to accurately detect ecosystem disturbances is vital for enhancing ecosystem management. The seasonal and interannual variability of the phenolic content of Nanozostera noltei from Arcachon Bay, France, was explored over 47 consecutive months to identify suitable early indicators of [...] Read more.
Developing early warning indicators to accurately detect ecosystem disturbances is vital for enhancing ecosystem management. The seasonal and interannual variability of the phenolic content of Nanozostera noltei from Arcachon Bay, France, was explored over 47 consecutive months to identify suitable early indicators of the state of seagrass beds. Five phenolic acid derivatives and eight flavonoids were fully characterized using chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques; a caffeic tetramer was described for the first time as a metabolite of N. noltei and of the genus Nanozostera. The individual phenolic concentrations in each of the 47 collections were determined by quantitative HPLC and analyzed as a function of year and season. The variability of the phenolic content in the rhizomes of N. noltei from Arcachon Bay was also determined over one year, as well as rhizomes of N. noltei from three other locations in the Atlantic and Mediterranean for comparison purposes. In addition, the phenolic fingerprints of Z. marina rhizomes were also characterized for the first time. The results show that leaf phenolic chemistry could be used to signify changes in the ecological health of N. noltei. In particular, it appears that diosmetin 7-sulfate, rosmarinic acid and zosteranoic acid could be reliable and easy-to-use indicators for monitoring N. noltei meadows. From a phytochemical point of view, this work is the first report of zosteranoic acid in the leaves and the rhizomes of N. noltei and in the rhizomes of Z. marina. Full article
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15 pages, 2822 KiB  
Article
The Characterization and Phylogenetic Implications of the Mitochondrial Genomes of Antheminia varicornis and Carpocoris purpureipennis (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae)
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1209; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121209 - 09 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1036
Abstract
The mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) has been widely used for structural comparisons and phylogenetic analyses of Hemiptera groups at different taxonomic levels. However, little is known about the mitogenomic characteristics of species from Antheminia and Carpocoris, two morphologically similar genera in the Pentatomidae [...] Read more.
The mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) has been widely used for structural comparisons and phylogenetic analyses of Hemiptera groups at different taxonomic levels. However, little is known about the mitogenomic characteristics of species from Antheminia and Carpocoris, two morphologically similar genera in the Pentatomidae family, and their phylogenetic relationships need to be further confirmed. In this study, the mitogenomes of Antheminia varicornis (Jakovlev, 1874) and Carpocoris purpureipennis (De Geer, 1773) were sequenced and analyzed. Coupled with previously published mitogenomes of Pentatomidae, we performed a phylogenetic analysis. The mitogenomes of A. varicornis and C. purpureipennis are conserved in terms of genomic structure, base composition, codon usage, and tRNA secondary structure. Each mitogenome contains the typical 37 genes and a control region and all genes are arranged in the same order as in the ancestral insect mitogenome. Nucleotide composition is highly biased with the third codon in PCGs displaying the highest A + T content. Phylogenetic analysis strongly supports the sister relationship between A. varicornis and C. purpureipennis. The phylogenetic trees show a strong support for the monophyly of Asopinae and Phyllocephalinae, while the monophyly of Pentatominae and Podopinae was rejected. Our study enriches the mitochondrial genome database of the genera Antheminia and Carpocoris and provides a valuable resource for further phylogenetic and evolutionary analyses of the Pentatomidae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Phylogeny and Evolution)
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14 pages, 3982 KiB  
Article
Ranging Behavior of Non-Breeding and Breeding Adult White-Tailed Eagles
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1208; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121208 - 08 Dec 2023
Viewed by 755
Abstract
Space utilization by animals is vital for species ecology but also a valuable predictor of habitat conditions and environment capacity for a given species. We investigated the ranging behavior of the white-tailed eagle, an apex predator experiencing a significant population increase and saturation. [...] Read more.
Space utilization by animals is vital for species ecology but also a valuable predictor of habitat conditions and environment capacity for a given species. We investigated the ranging behavior of the white-tailed eagle, an apex predator experiencing a significant population increase and saturation. Comparing five adult floaters and two breeding males tracked with GPS loggers in Poland for 1–5 years, we observed substantial differences in space utilization. Breeding males occupied approximately 63 to 122 km2 (using 90% kernel density), while floaters ranged over roughly 6000 to 60,000 km2. Breeding males expanded their home ranges during successful breeding, with one male frequently flying 29 km to a foraging site when raising chicks but hardly doing so in other seasons. Both breeding males revisited nests more frequently in April and May (up to seven times daily, typically two to four), exhibiting distinct seasonal daily movement patterns. Floaters had slightly higher daily movement rates with a weak seasonal pattern. We conclude that breeding males’ ranging behavior depended on proximity to optimal foraging sites, while adult floaters engaged in prolonged wandering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Conservation of the White-Tailed Eagle and Golden Eagle)
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10 pages, 742 KiB  
Article
Population Size, Non-Breeding Fraction, and Productivity in a Large Urban Population of Burrowing Parrots (Cyanoliseus patagonus)
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1207; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121207 - 08 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1153
Abstract
Psittaciformes are one of the bird orders with the highest number of threatened species and the most marked declining population trends. At present, the lack of information on the population size, reproductive fraction, and productivity of most parrot populations makes it difficult to [...] Read more.
Psittaciformes are one of the bird orders with the highest number of threatened species and the most marked declining population trends. At present, the lack of information on the population size, reproductive fraction, and productivity of most parrot populations makes it difficult to design effective conservation actions. In this study, we monitored a population of Burrowing Parrots (Cyanoliseus patagonus) breeding in urbanized habitats in the southwest of Buenos Aires province, Argentina. Every December and February from 2018 to 2023, we counted the individuals arriving at a single communal roost, located in the main park of Bahía Blanca city, which gathers all the parrots breeding in 18–22 colonies within a radius of 20 km. Censuses were conducted before (December) and immediately after the incorporation of juveniles into the flocks (February). Breeding pairs were also counted annually in the colonies, and the average annual productivity and the proportion of juveniles were estimated from surveys in pre-roosting and feeding areas in February. The non-breeding fraction approached half of the population with no statistically significant differences among years (range: 37–53%), and the breeding population showed little annual variation, with a minimum of 1363 and a maximum of 1612 breeding pairs. The proportion of juveniles in the flocks and the estimated productivity showed larger variations among breeding seasons. Our results add insight to the scarce information available on the breeding-to-non-breeding-population ratios in parrots, and birds in general, and show key breeding parameters for a species that is thriving well in urban habitats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity in 2023)
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19 pages, 5240 KiB  
Article
Spatial Distribution and Potential Impact of Drifted Thalli of the Invasive Alga Rugulopteryx okamurae in Circalittoral and Bathyal Habitats of the Northern Strait of Gibraltar and the Alboran Sea
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1206; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121206 - 07 Dec 2023
Viewed by 990
Abstract
The arrival of a new invasive alga, Rugulopteryx okamurae, in the Strait of Gibraltar (SoG) in 2015 marked an unprecedented milestone in the North African and, later, in the European marine ecosystems. Nowadays, it is colonising vast infralittoral areas and significantly modifying [...] Read more.
The arrival of a new invasive alga, Rugulopteryx okamurae, in the Strait of Gibraltar (SoG) in 2015 marked an unprecedented milestone in the North African and, later, in the European marine ecosystems. Nowadays, it is colonising vast infralittoral areas and significantly modifying some habitats and associated communities of the southern Iberian Peninsula. In recent expeditions, a high amount of free drifted thalli of this alga has been detected in different circalittoral and bathyal habitats of the northern SoG and the Alboran Sea. The present study combines quantitative data of this alga obtained with the use of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and a bottom otter trawl. The coverage–entanglement level of the drifted thalli on circalittoral and bathyal benthic invertebrates (e.g., not covering, covering only the basal part, covering one-third of the invertebrate, etc.) was also annotated from picture frames taken in locations with abundant drifted thalli. In underwater images, drifted thalli were mainly detected in circalittoral and bathyal bottoms of the northern SoG and the north-western Alboran Sea, between 50 to ca. 450 m depth. Nevertheless, abundant drifted thalli were also detected in bottom otter trawl samples from circalittoral bottoms of the north-central and north-eastern Alboran Sea. Small benthic organisms (e.g., encrusting sponges, hydrozoans, etc.) generally displayed low coverage–entanglement levels of drifted thalli. Nevertheless, large sessile and colonial benthic organisms with a complex three-dimensional morphology (e.g., gorgonians, colonial scleractinians) reached high levels of R. okamurae thalli entangled in different parts of their colonies. The drifted R. okamurae thalli entangled in these colonial suspension feeding organisms may hinder their feeding capability in the long term, resulting in habitat deterioration in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Ecology of Marine Benthic Communities)
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14 pages, 4106 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Potential Seed Dispersal Effectiveness of Malus sieversii (Lebed.) M. Roem. by Cattle
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1205; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121205 - 07 Dec 2023
Viewed by 762
Abstract
The success of plant reproduction is highly dependent on effective seed dispersal. This study aimed to evaluate the potential seed dispersal effectiveness of cattle for Malus sieversii. The impact of cattle on the dispersal quantity and dispersal quality of M. sieversii seeds [...] Read more.
The success of plant reproduction is highly dependent on effective seed dispersal. This study aimed to evaluate the potential seed dispersal effectiveness of cattle for Malus sieversii. The impact of cattle on the dispersal quantity and dispersal quality of M. sieversii seeds was explored based on camera trapping, GPS tracking, and germination trials. The results showed that, on average, cattle visited M. sieversii trees 477.33 times during a two-month observation period. Out of these visits, 315 were specifically for fruit removal. The fruit removal rate per cattle visit was as high as 96.67%. Additionally, cattle were able to disperse M. sieversii seeds up to a maximum distance of 533.67 m, with an average dispersal distance of 134.62 m. The average distance of cattle movement was recorded as 176.95 m/h, with peak activity observed during 11:00–13:00 and 19:00–21:00. The germination rate of M. sieversii seeds that passed through the digestive tract of cattle was significantly higher than that of control seeds. Finally, the emergence rate and survival rate of seeds dispersed by cattle to forest edges and gaps were significantly higher than those dispersed to understory. These findings suggest that cattle can serve as effective long-distance dispersers of M. sieversii seeds and may play a crucial role in the regeneration and expansion of M. sieversii populations in the Ili Botanical Garden. Full article
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18 pages, 1946 KiB  
Article
Phytoplankton Diversity and Blooms in Ephemeral Saline Lakes of Cyprus
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1204; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121204 - 07 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1272
Abstract
The ephemeral saline lakes of Cyprus in the Mediterranean, situated in close proximity to each other, demonstrate pronounced seasonal and interannual fluctuations in their environmental conditions. Despite their extreme saline conditions, these lakes support phytoplankton diversity and bloom-forming species. Anthropogenic activities, particularly urban [...] Read more.
The ephemeral saline lakes of Cyprus in the Mediterranean, situated in close proximity to each other, demonstrate pronounced seasonal and interannual fluctuations in their environmental conditions. Despite their extreme saline conditions, these lakes support phytoplankton diversity and bloom-forming species. Anthropogenic activities, particularly urban and artificial land uses within their catchments, contribute to eutrophication, warranting conservation attention within the context of European legislation. Over two years (2018–2019), we examined phytoplankton abundance and diversity alongside salinity in six lakes, with samples collected every three weeks. Chlorophytes were the dominant and most diverse group, followed by cyanobacteria and diatoms. Increasing salinity correlated with reduced compositional diversity and species richness. The proximity of lakes to each other suggested airborne microbe colonization from one lake to another as a significant factor in shaping these communities, while similar land use within each lake’s catchment impacted bloom formation. The highly halotolerant chlorophyte Dunaliella frequently dominated phytoplankton blooms, occasionally coexisting with other taxa in less saline lakes. Our findings provide insight into the phytoplankton community dynamics in temporal saline lakes, essential for developing effective conservation strategies and sustainable management practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Freshwater Biodiversity)
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17 pages, 1967 KiB  
Article
Not a Silent Invasion: The Reaction of European Naturalists to the Spread of Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) in the 19th—Early 20th Century
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1203; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121203 - 07 Dec 2023
Viewed by 892
Abstract
The case of naturalization of the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas, 1771), in countries lying beyond its native Ponto–Caspian range is remarkable as one of the first instances when the scientific community as early as the mid-19th century was fully aware of the [...] Read more.
The case of naturalization of the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas, 1771), in countries lying beyond its native Ponto–Caspian range is remarkable as one of the first instances when the scientific community as early as the mid-19th century was fully aware of the non-indigenous status of a particular species as well as of the need for the study and monitoring of this process. Based on a study of contemporary sources, I reconstruct the early response of European naturalists (including those who today would be called “citizen scientist”) to the invasion of Dreissena and describe their attitudes to the problem, including the divergence in opinion about the origin and the means of dispersal of this bivalve species. An analysis of papers published in English, French, German, and Russian between 1774 and 1920 showed that the invasion of D. polymorpha was by no means “silent”; quite the opposite, it provoked an immediate reaction from naturalists. The scientific agenda for the study of the new invader was proposed in England as early as 1838. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biodiversity Loss & Dynamics)
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11 pages, 2837 KiB  
Article
The Use of R and R Packages in Biodiversity Conservation Research
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1202; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121202 - 07 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1048
Abstract
R is one of the most powerful programming languages for conducting data analysis, modeling, and visualization. Although it is widely utilized in biodiversity conservation research, the comprehensive trends in R and R package usage and patterns in the field still remain unexplored. We [...] Read more.
R is one of the most powerful programming languages for conducting data analysis, modeling, and visualization. Although it is widely utilized in biodiversity conservation research, the comprehensive trends in R and R package usage and patterns in the field still remain unexplored. We conducted a comprehensive analysis of R and R package usage frequencies spanning fifteen years, from 2008 to 2022, encompassing over 24,100 research articles published in eight top biodiversity conservation journals. Within this extensive dataset, 10,220 articles (42.3% of the total) explicitly utilized R for data analysis. The use ratio of R demonstrated a consistent linear growth, escalating from 11.1% in 2008 to an impressive 70.6% in 2022. The ten top utilized R packages were vegan, lme4, MuMIn, nlme, mgcv, raster, MASS, ggplot2, car, and dismo. The frequency of R package utilization varied among journals, underscoring the distinct emphases each journal places on specific focuses of biodiversity conservation research. This analysis highlights the pivotal role of R, with its powerful statistical and data visualization capabilities, in empowering researchers to conduct in-depth analyses and gain comprehensive insights into various dimensions of biodiversity conservation science. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biodiversity Conservation)
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11 pages, 2544 KiB  
Article
Functional Trait Responses of C4 Bunchgrasses to Fire Return Intervals in the Semi-Arid Savanna of South Africa
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1201; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121201 - 07 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1009
Abstract
C4 grasses coevolved with fires, employing specialized adaptive traits to recover from recurrent fires of varying regimes, thereby maintaining plant diversity and plant population stability. However, the knowledge of how C4 bunchgrasses recover from varying fire return intervals (FRIs) is limited. Biomass, tillering, [...] Read more.
C4 grasses coevolved with fires, employing specialized adaptive traits to recover from recurrent fires of varying regimes, thereby maintaining plant diversity and plant population stability. However, the knowledge of how C4 bunchgrasses recover from varying fire return intervals (FRIs) is limited. Biomass, tillering, flowering, and growth-related traits of Digitaria eriantha, Themeda triandra, Sporobolus fimbriatus, and Cymbopogon plurinodis were assessed in 0- (unburned), 1-, 2-, and 4-year FRIs, each applied in two 0.5 ± 0.01 ha plots from 1980–2022 at the University of Fort Hare research farm, South Africa. FRIs and grass species interacted significantly on biomass production, crown size, tiller production, and reproductive tillers, with responses varying interspecifically depending on the FRI. Cymbopogon plurinodis attained higher total biomass in 1-year FRI, whereas T. triandra produced relatively low biomass in all FRIs compared to 0-year FRI. Nonetheless, T. triandra attained nearly two to three-fold more tillers per plant and three to five-fold more reproductive tillers in 2- and 4-year FRIs compared to other FRIs. Similarly, S. fimbriatus had two-fold more reproductive tillers in 2-year FRIs compared to 0- and 1-year FRIs. We deduce that C4 bunchgrasses respond differentially under recurrent fires depending on the fire return interval, with 2- and 4-year FRIs promoting vegetative and sexual regeneration by enhancing tillering and flowering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biodiversity Conservation)
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12 pages, 2637 KiB  
Article
Population Structure, Distribution, and Spatial Characteristics of Alsophila spinulosa in Chishui, China
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1200; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121200 - 07 Dec 2023
Viewed by 821
Abstract
Endangered plants are essential components of most forest ecosystems and reflect the ecological integrity of forests. The study of the population structure and spatial pattern of Alsophila spinulosa is of great significance for its conservation. In the subtropical Chishui Tree fern valley in [...] Read more.
Endangered plants are essential components of most forest ecosystems and reflect the ecological integrity of forests. The study of the population structure and spatial pattern of Alsophila spinulosa is of great significance for its conservation. In the subtropical Chishui Tree fern valley in China, we studied the best structure of A. spinulosa to reflect the environmental change, the range of the most intense spatial aggregation change, and the spatial relationship with the community structure, and explored the survival characteristics of A. spinulosa. Our results showed that the variation in tree height structure was the most obvious response to the change in community type. The spatial aggregation degree of A. spinulosa had the most obvious change in the range of 1–5 m. There was an obvious spatial correlation between the dominant plants, the vertical structure of the community, and the distribution of A. spinulosa. These findings provided a reference for exploring the population structure, distribution pattern, and the influence of community types on A. spinulosa populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Diversity)
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12 pages, 1410 KiB  
Article
An Analysis of the Effectiveness of Mitigation Measures at Roadkill Hotspots in South Korea
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1199; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121199 - 06 Dec 2023
Viewed by 865
Abstract
Collisions between wildlife and vehicles or roadkill remain a persistent issue. This poses a significant threat to the safety of both wildlife and drivers. The lack of systematically managed roadkill records poses challenges for nationwide research and comprehensive assessment in South Korea. Since [...] Read more.
Collisions between wildlife and vehicles or roadkill remain a persistent issue. This poses a significant threat to the safety of both wildlife and drivers. The lack of systematically managed roadkill records poses challenges for nationwide research and comprehensive assessment in South Korea. Since 2018, the Ministry of Environment (MOE), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT), and National Institute of Ecology (NIE) in South Korea have been implementing roadkill investigations and management. The areas selected for roadkill mitigation measures were determined through hotspot analysis based on nationwide roadkill data collected using the Korean Roadkill Observation System (KROS), an integrated online platform. In this study, the top 50 roadkill hotspots were selected, and appropriate mitigation measures, including wildlife fences, warning signs, and speed enforcement cameras, were implemented. A total of 190.6 km of wildlife fences, 75 warning signs, and 27 speed enforcement cameras were installed. The results of these implementations revealed an average reduction in roadkill incidents of 80.2%. Subsequently, we compared and analyzed roadkill incidents before and after these mitigation measures were implemented. The comparative analysis based on hotspot grades showed that areas with lower grades had relatively lower reductions in roadkill incidents. Moreover, the study showed that the presence of multiple mitigation measures in a single area did not significantly differ from the effects of a single mitigation measure. This research will contribute to an enhanced understanding of roadkill mitigation measures and aid in preventing wildlife accidents on the road. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity Conservation Planning and Assessment)
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21 pages, 1949 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Salinity Gradient and Island Isolation on Fauna Composition and Structure of Aquatic Invertebrate Communities of the Shantar Islands (Khabarovsk Krai)
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1198; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121198 - 06 Dec 2023
Viewed by 935
Abstract
The present study is the first structured attempt to analyze the species composition and distribution of freshwater invertebrates in the lakes, streams, and rivers of the Shantar Islands and to compare the diversity of the hydrobiont fauna of the archipelago and the continental [...] Read more.
The present study is the first structured attempt to analyze the species composition and distribution of freshwater invertebrates in the lakes, streams, and rivers of the Shantar Islands and to compare the diversity of the hydrobiont fauna of the archipelago and the continental part of Khabarovsk Krai on the basis of the original and literature data. The research revealed 57 zooplanktonic, 47 meiobenthic, and 142 macrobenthic taxa in the waters of the island and the adjacent continental areas. Different patterns of variability in the species richness, abundance, and the community structure are observed for different groups of hydrobionts along the salinity gradient in the unique, brackish Lake Bolshoe. Zooplankton show no directional variability, reaching a maximum in a frontal zone where riverine and brackish water mix. Meiobenthos show the highest diversity in the most saline zone of the lake, where marine species are abundant. The characteristics of the macrozoobenthos gradually increase with the salinity of the lake, with a dramatic change in the dominance structure at the critical salinity threshold, where amphibiotic insects, dominant in the desalinated water zone, are replaced by amphipods. Latitudinal variability in species richness and biogeographic structure of the fauna are closely related for different groups of freshwater invertebrates. A smooth decline in species richness from southern to northern areas was observed when comparing the faunas of the Shantar water bodies with those located to the south. This trend is shown for amphibiotic insects and microcrustaceans and is most pronounced for mollusks. The fauna of the Shantar Islands is predominantly represented by species with a wide Palaearctic, Holarctic, and cosmopolitan range, with a small proportion of species restricted to the Arctic zone of Eurasia or specific to Eastern Siberia and the Far East. Only three brackish water species have a Beringian type of distribution. The assemblage structures of the zooplankton and meiobenthos communities of continental coastal and island lakes do not greatly differ. On the contrary, brackish communities are clearly distinct from the others. The taxonomic composition of macroinvertebrates differed significantly between the islands and the mainland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Biogeography of Microcrustaceans in Continental Waters)
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13 pages, 9715 KiB  
Article
Species Diversity and Community Structure of Macrobenthos in the Cosmonaut Sea, East Antarctica
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1197; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121197 - 06 Dec 2023
Viewed by 799
Abstract
The Cosmonaut Sea is an under-studied area and a “white spot” for macrobenthos research. Here, we report on the species diversity and community structure of macrobenthos collected using tringle trawls on the 38th Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition (CHINARE) in the Cosmonaut Sea, [...] Read more.
The Cosmonaut Sea is an under-studied area and a “white spot” for macrobenthos research. Here, we report on the species diversity and community structure of macrobenthos collected using tringle trawls on the 38th Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition (CHINARE) in the Cosmonaut Sea, East Antarctica. A total of 11 tringle trawls were deployed at different depths across the shelf, slope and seamount of the Cosmonaut Sea. A total of 275 macrobenthic species were found from 207 to 1994 m. The species richness per station varied from 23 to 89. Echinoderms (100 species), arthropods (48 species) and mollusks (36 species) were the most dominant groups. Echinoderms and arthropods dominated in abundance at seamount stations, and echinoderms, arthropods and polychaetes dominated in abundance at slope stations, while bryozoans, corals, ascidians and sponges were abundant on the Cosmonaut Sea shelf. Depth was the major driving force influencing the distribution of macrobenthos. The main components were two core communities. One was dominated by sessile suspension feeders and associated fauna. Variants of this community include sponges and bryozoans. The other core community was dominated by mobile deposit feeders, infauna and grazers–epifauna, which included arthropods and echinoderms. The results showed that the slope (40–50° E, 65–67° S) of the Cosmonaut Sea may be an important area with complex ecological processes. The results of this study contribute to the knowledge of species diversity and communities of macrobenthos in the Cosmonaut Sea and provide monitoring data for future ecosystem health assessments and better protection. Full article
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14 pages, 2382 KiB  
Article
Is the Existence of Two Lineages for Hamadryas glauconome (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) True? Molecular and Ecological Evidence
Diversity 2023, 15(12), 1196; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15121196 - 06 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1381
Abstract
The genus Hamadryas has a neotropical distribution. In 1983, the subspecies H. glauconome grisea from Mexico was recognized with subtle and subjective differences in color, size and distribution and limited to the northwest. Since then, there has been a debate about whether it [...] Read more.
The genus Hamadryas has a neotropical distribution. In 1983, the subspecies H. glauconome grisea from Mexico was recognized with subtle and subjective differences in color, size and distribution and limited to the northwest. Since then, there has been a debate about whether it is a different lineage from H. glauconome because adult-stage morphology studies have not found significant differences. This study aims to delimitate H. g. glauconome and H. g. grisea lineages with two sources of evidence: ecological and molecular—the former through ecological niche modeling using the accessible area for the species and estimating the minimum volume ellipsoid overlapping as a fundamental niche using occurrences databases. The molecular evidence is found through the methods of phylogenetic inference and the generalized mixed yule coalescent approach, using sequences of cytochrome oxidase I. Ecological and molecular evidence suggest that H. g. grisea is a different lineage from H. glauconome. Also, molecular evidence of a third lineage from the south of Texas needs further study. This study suggests that different evidence should be provided when morphology is not enough for delimiting species, especially in recently diverged species. Furthermore, the H. g. grisea cytochrome oxidase I sequence (658 bp) is published for the first time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biogeography and Diversity of Butterflies and Moths)
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