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Diversity, Volume 15, Issue 3 (March 2023) – 160 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Serpulidae Rafinesque, 1815 is a polychaete family that inhabits calcareous tubes. Traditionally, the family was subdivided into Serpulinae, Filograninae and Spirorbinae, but recent phylogenetic analyses suggested that both Filograninae and Serpulinae are paraphyletic. This is the first phylogenetic analysis of Serpulidae based on a comprehensive sampling of genera, using both morphological and molecular data. We analysed 18S, 28S, histone H3 ribosomal nuclear DNA and cytochrome b mitochondrial sequences. The new classification includes the re-formulated Serpulinae (with tribes Serpulini and Ficopomatini), Spirorbinae, and Filograninae, with apomorphies highlighted for major taxa. View this paper
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17 pages, 3241 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Population Trends and Diversity Shifts among Shorebirds: A Predictor of Biodiversity Loss along the Arabian Gulf Coasts
by H. Shamna, K. A. Rubeena, Humood A. Naser, T. R. Athira, Ajay Kumar Singh, Ali H. Almusabeh, Stamatis Zogaris, Omar F. Al-Sheikhly, Yanjie Xu, Aymen Nefla, Durga Rao Gijjappu, Sabir Bin Muzaffar and K. M. Aarif
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 468; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030468 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2332
Abstract
Bahrain is a cluster of islands in the mid-section of the Arabian Gulf that serves as an important wintering and stop-over ground for many migratory shorebirds in the Central Asian Flyway (CAF). However, natural and anthropogenic factors have had a significant impact on [...] Read more.
Bahrain is a cluster of islands in the mid-section of the Arabian Gulf that serves as an important wintering and stop-over ground for many migratory shorebirds in the Central Asian Flyway (CAF). However, natural and anthropogenic factors have had a significant impact on these ecosystems over the last few decades. Long-term, systematic studies based on standardized survey observations are needed to understand the population dynamics and diversity changes of shorebirds in these critical sites. We systematically surveyed the shorebird population and community in Bahrain between 2010 January to 2021 December. This is the first comprehensive study from the entire Kingdom of Bahrain, and covered 13 sites over 12 years to establish the results. A total of 39 species were encountered during the study period from all 13 sites in Bahrain, of which 27 species were common and regular migrants to all the study sites; these were selected to analyze the population trend. Five species represented 77% or more of the total wintering shorebird population. All the shorebird species assessed exhibited significant declining trends over the years, and majority of them had over 1% relative abundance. Shorebirds in Bahrain were severely threatened at these sites, indicating that their population trend in the area could be crucially affected. Further conservation efforts are needed, aided by an understanding of the mechanisms driving the decline and diversity changes of shorebirds in the most stressed coastal regions of Bahrain. Further studies organized throughout the country’s coasts may aid in establishing improved conservation measures to protect the shorebirds of the CAF in Bahrain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatiotemporal Bird Distribution and Conservation)
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20 pages, 2524 KiB  
Review
Some European Gentiana Species Are Used Traditionally to Cure Wounds: Bioactivity and Conservation Issues
by Ardalan Pasdaran, Zheko Naychov, Daniela Batovska, Philip Kerr, Adrien Favre, Vladimir Dimitrov, Ina Aneva, Azadeh Hamedi and Ekaterina Kozuharova
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030467 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2920
Abstract
Wound care will always be among the main tasks in all surgical specialties. Several medicinal plants have proven efficacy to cure wounds. Ethnobotanical research and ethnopharmacological research have virtually endless potential to find new lead compounds. The aim of this research review is [...] Read more.
Wound care will always be among the main tasks in all surgical specialties. Several medicinal plants have proven efficacy to cure wounds. Ethnobotanical research and ethnopharmacological research have virtually endless potential to find new lead compounds. The aim of this research review is to assess the potential of some Gentiana species as sources of promising active compounds to support wound healing. Gentians are among the most popular medicinal plants used in many countries for a wide spectrum of health conditions. Traditionally, those used to cure wounds are Gentiana lutea, G. punctata, G. asclepiadea, G. cruciata, G. oliverii, G. septemphida, and G. gelida. Candidate compounds with skin regeneration and wound-healing potential isolated from gentians are isogentisin, isoorientin, mangiferin, lupeol, pinoresinol, syringaresinol, eustomoside, and sweroside. Based on the rich source of traditional knowledge on the properties of gentians to cure various skin and soft tissue complications; only very few modern pharmacological studies have been performed to test this potential. Our review demonstrates that this field deserves further investigation. Many gentians are declining in number and have high IUCN conservation status, and cultivation and micropropagation methods are the only solution for the development of new drugs based on gentian extracts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethnobotany, Medicinal Plants and Biodiversity Conservation)
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21 pages, 3500 KiB  
Article
Seasonality and Long-Term Effect of Environmental Variables on the Orb Weaver Spider Community of a Tropical Dry Forest in the Balsas Basin, Mexico
by Miguel Menéndez-Acuña, Mónica Salas-Rodríguez, Griselda Montiel-Parra, Solange Sotuyo and Ma Ventura Rosas-Echeverría
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030466 - 21 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1824
Abstract
Spiders are significant predators in terrestrial habitats, with the highest diversity found in tropical ecosystems, but it is also where they are studied least. In this study, we analyzed the effect of seasonality and three environmental variables (precipitation, evaporation, and temperature) in the [...] Read more.
Spiders are significant predators in terrestrial habitats, with the highest diversity found in tropical ecosystems, but it is also where they are studied least. In this study, we analyzed the effect of seasonality and three environmental variables (precipitation, evaporation, and temperature) in the orb-weaver composition, richness, abundance, dominance, and diversity. In addition, the species turnover between three localities with differences in the vegetation composition and maintenance in the Sierra de Huautla, Morelos, Mexico, were evaluated. The collection methods used included beating vegetation and direct searches conducted over seven hours during daylight, once per month, between April 2013 and March 2014. A total of 17 species from 14 genera were registered. With the records, we compiled the first species inventory of araneids for the three localities, adding eight new species records for the state of Morelos. The predominant species were Neoscona oaxacensis (Keyserling, 1864) and Trichonephila clavipes (Linnaeus, 1767), but over 50% of the species that we recorded corresponded to a single individual. The Araneid community changed between the dry and rainy seasons in all three localities, with each locality responding differently to changes in environmental variables, with most variables maintaining a long-term effect on the spider community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Spider Communities Diversity)
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17 pages, 2435 KiB  
Review
Aliens and Returnees: Review of Neobiotic Species of Freshwater Mollusks in Siberia from the Kazakhstan Steppe to the Arctic Tundra
by Evgeny S. Babushkin, Ivan O. Nekhaev, Maxim V. Vinarski and Liubov V. Yanygina
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030465 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1778
Abstract
This article reviews all available information on the species composition, current distribution, and origins of the neobiotic (non-indigenous and restoring the lost range) freshwater mollusks in Siberia. An extensive literary search has been carried out, and virtually all existing publications of recent decades [...] Read more.
This article reviews all available information on the species composition, current distribution, and origins of the neobiotic (non-indigenous and restoring the lost range) freshwater mollusks in Siberia. An extensive literary search has been carried out, and virtually all existing publications of recent decades on the findings of freshwater mollusk species new to Siberia were taken into account. We examined extensive malacological collections of some of Russia’s and Kazakhstan’s scientific organizations. The core of the examined material is our own observations and collections made in various parts of Siberia and adjacent areas. An annotated checklist of neobiotic species of mollusks reliably recorded in Siberia is presented, and probable mechanisms and “corridors” of infiltration of these species into the region are discussed. Most of the discovered snail species belong to a group popular among aquarists, and their source of introduction is obvious. Another large portion of species infiltrate into the region with the development of fish farming. A classification of species of neobiotic freshwater mollusks of Siberia was proposed and a forecast was made for changes in the Siberian freshwater malacofauna for the coming decades. In our opinion, at present it is possible to accept the newest stage in the genesis of the freshwater malacofauna of Siberia, occurring in conditions specific to the Anthropocene. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continental Mollusca under Global Change)
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12 pages, 1518 KiB  
Article
How Common Are Lesions on the Tails of Sauropods? Two New Pathologies in Titanosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of Argentine Patagonia
by Penélope Cruzado-Caballero, Leonardo Sebastián Filippi, Javier González-Dionis and José Ignacio Canudo
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030464 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2109
Abstract
Studies of the paleopathology of the vertebrae provide an interesting, oblique approach to their paleobiology and even paleoethology. They tell us about possible ethological causes such as accidental blows with objects, social interactions within a group, and defense against predators, etc. There are [...] Read more.
Studies of the paleopathology of the vertebrae provide an interesting, oblique approach to their paleobiology and even paleoethology. They tell us about possible ethological causes such as accidental blows with objects, social interactions within a group, and defense against predators, etc. There are numerous works on the anatomical and phylogenetic aspects of sauropod dinosaurs, and in recent years paleopathological studies have also increased. Here, we describe the injuries recorded in the caudal vertebrae of two indeterminate titanosaurids, and undertake a compilation and analysis of the pathological fossil record worldwide, focusing on the tails of sauropods. Two pathologies have been identified as present in the indeterminate titanosaurids under study: a possible case of spondyloarthropathy in MAU-Pv-LI-601, and a case of suppurative spinal osteomyelitis in MAU-Pv-LJ-472/1. Both titanosaurids are from Gondwana. In the world registry of pathologies associated with the tails of sauropod dinosaurs, it is observed that titanosaurs are the sauropods with the highest percentage of diagnosed pathologies (69% including the two new records from the province of Neuquén) and that all of these have been described in Gondwanan specimens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fossil Reptiles and Associated Faunal Record)
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14 pages, 2794 KiB  
Article
Microbiome Profile of the Mediterranean Mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) from Northern Aegean Sea (Greece) Culture Areas, Based on a 16S rRNA Next Generation Sequencing Approach
by Konstantinos Schoinas, Vasiliki Konstantou, Emmanouela Bompou, George Floros, Dimitrios Chatziplis, Anastasia Imsiridou and Dimitrios Loukovitis
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030463 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2137
Abstract
Mediterranean mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis), due to their nutritional mechanisms which involve filtering huge amounts of water, are affected by seawater pollution and can host microbial diversity of environmental origin, as well as pathogenic bacteria that must be constantly monitored. Herein, we [...] Read more.
Mediterranean mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis), due to their nutritional mechanisms which involve filtering huge amounts of water, are affected by seawater pollution and can host microbial diversity of environmental origin, as well as pathogenic bacteria that must be constantly monitored. Herein, we applied a Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) metabarcoding approach in order to study the M. galloprovincialis microbiota. Collection of samples was conducted during winter and summer months from various mussel farm zones located in specific farm regions in the Thermaikos gulf, the northern Aegean Sea, Greece. A microbiological test was performed for the enumeration of Escherichia coli and the presence of Salmonella sp. DNA extraction and amplification of the whole bacterial 16S rRNA gene, followed by NGS amplicon sequencing and taxonomic classification, were carried out. Statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) in the abundance of the most dominant bacterial phyla, families and genera between winter and summer time periods, regions, as well as zones within each region of sampling, were evaluated with z-score computation. According to the obtained results, the most prevalent taxa at the genus level were Mycoplasma (12.2%), Anaplasma (5.8%), Ruegeria (5.2%) and Mariniblastus (2.1%). Significant differences in the abundance of the most dominant genera were found at all levels of comparison (seasons, regions and zones within each region), highlighting the dynamic character of microorganisms, which might be affected by microenvironmental, temporal and spatial changes. The present research contributes to the characterization of M. galloprovincialis microbiome in areas that have not been studied previously, setting the baseline for future, more thorough investigations of the specific bivalve species and its bacterial profile in the above geographic regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology of Microbes in Marine and Estuarine Ecosystems)
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12 pages, 956 KiB  
Review
A Review of Research on the Mustard Hill Coral, Porites astreoides
by Ryan G. Eagleson, Lorenzo Álvarez-Filip and John S. Lumsden
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030462 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2182
Abstract
Coral reefs are the most diverse habitat per unit area in the world’s oceans, supporting an estimated 1–3 million species in only 0.2% of its area. These ecosystems have suffered severe declines since the 1970s, largely as a result of climate change, ocean [...] Read more.
Coral reefs are the most diverse habitat per unit area in the world’s oceans, supporting an estimated 1–3 million species in only 0.2% of its area. These ecosystems have suffered severe declines since the 1970s, largely as a result of climate change, ocean acidification, pollution, disease, and overfishing. Porites astreoides is a shallow species that is able to thrive in a variety of environmental conditions and has been a clear ‘winner’ on Atlantic reefs in the last decades. This, coupled with its ease of identification and wide distribution, has caused P. astreoides to become a focal species in many scientific studies. Given the current and increasing significance of P. astreoides, this review sought to (i) identify the key life history traits that allowed this species to thrive under stressful conditions; (ii) compile aspects of its biology and ecology to understand its future contribution to Atlantic reefs, and (iii) identify knowledge gaps. To date, no comprehensive overview of the literature exists for P. astreoides. All articles available on Google Scholar up to the time of submission containing the terms ‘Mustard Hill Coral’, ‘Porites astreoides’, or ‘P. astreoides’ were examined for potential inclusion in this review. Papers were assessed based on whether they captured the most influential or widespread theories, represented an important trend in the research, or contained novel findings relevant to the understanding of this species. This review provides a scholarly resource and wide-ranging synthesis of P. astreoides on Atlantic reefs of today and the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Conservation of Coral Reefs)
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13 pages, 3529 KiB  
Article
Geographically Isolated Wetlands as a Reserve for the Conservation of Amphibian Biodiversity at the Edge of Their Range
by Mihails Pupins, Oksana Nekrasova, Volodymyr Tytar, Alberts Garkajs, Iurii Petrov, Aleksandra Morozova, Kathrin Theissinger, Andris Čeirāns, Arturs Skute and Jean-Yves Georges
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030461 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1307
Abstract
Wetlands are of great importance for biodiversity and nature conservation, especially geographically isolated wetlands (GIW). Yet literature about the ecological value of such GIW is missing, especially at the edge of the distribution of endangered species such as amphibians. In 2018 and 2022, [...] Read more.
Wetlands are of great importance for biodiversity and nature conservation, especially geographically isolated wetlands (GIW). Yet literature about the ecological value of such GIW is missing, especially at the edge of the distribution of endangered species such as amphibians. In 2018 and 2022, we monitored amphibian communities in 15 isolated (GIW) and 12 non-isolated (nGIW) ponds by counting individuals using three methods: (1) capturing with hand nets, (2) visual counting, and (3) capturing with fyke traps. The three methods provided similar results, showing the great importance of GIW for amphibians, especially newts, whose abundance was 5–13 times greater in GIW compared to nGIW. The largest numbers of species and individuals (adults and larvae) were found in isolated wetlands (GIW). In non-isolated water bodies (nGIW) where more than 10 individuals of the Chinese sleeper Perccottus glenii, an alien invasive fish, were found, amphibians were not found at all. Importantly, between 2018 and 2022, the northern crested newt, T. cristatus, dramatically decreased in the nGIW. As a result of our work, it was revealed that the reconstruction of geographically isolated wetlands is very important for the conservation of amphibian biodiversity in a changing climate. One of the most effective measures aimed at protecting amphibians from negative factors—the spread of alien invasive fish species and diseases—is the reconstruction of wetlands in historically exploited landscapes with the creation of a wide range of water bodies yet broadly dominated by geographically isolated ponds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amphibian Ecology in Geographically Isolated Wetlands)
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22 pages, 7133 KiB  
Article
Application of the Vegetation Condition Index in the Diagnosis of Spatiotemporal Distribution of Agricultural Droughts: A Case Study Concerning the State of Espírito Santo, Southeastern Brazil
by Adriano Posse Senhorelo, Elias Fernandes de Sousa, Alexandre Rosa dos Santos, Jéferson Luiz Ferrari, João Batista Esteves Peluzio, Sidney Sara Zanetti, Rita de Cássia Freire Carvalho, Cláudio Barberini Camargo Filho, Kaíse Barbosa de Souza, Taís Rizzo Moreira, Gizely Azevedo Costa, Sustanis Horn Kunz and Henrique Machado Dias
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030460 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1647
Abstract
We applied a robust framework for agricultural drought identification in the State of Espírito Santo, Brazil, by employing the Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) based on data obtained through the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI). By doing so, we analyzed the interrelationships between the VCI [...] Read more.
We applied a robust framework for agricultural drought identification in the State of Espírito Santo, Brazil, by employing the Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) based on data obtained through the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI). By doing so, we analyzed the interrelationships between the VCI and anomalies in the Land Surface Temperature (LST), along with connections between the VCI and data considering water deficits in vulnerable areas. When it came to image processing, we focused on the use of analytics and GIS algorithms, while the Scott–Knott method elucidated the statistical analyses. Consequently, we identified drought areas followed by periods susceptible to their occurrence, indicating 2016 as the driest year. The North macroregion presented the lowest average values regarding VCI values in the most vulnerable periods, followed by the Central one. We also call attention to the highest LST averages observed in 2015 and 2016, as strong El Niño events marked the same timeframe periods. The methodological approach was efficient for the identification, analysis, and characterization of agricultural drought occurrences, enabling mitigation actions, as well as the management of the exploitation and protection of water resources. Moreover, further research should be conducted by incorporating other indices to enhance the understanding of agricultural drought and its effects on vegetation. Full article
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11 pages, 1591 KiB  
Article
Use of Formalin-Preserved Collections to Infer Trophic Indicators of Marine Zooplankton from Stable Isotopes
by Antonio Bode, Jaime Otero, Ángel F. Lamas and Carmen Mompeán
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 459; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030459 - 20 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1140
Abstract
Formalin preservation affects the stable isotope composition of zooplankton samples, thus limiting the analysis of valuable collections covering large time intervals. Here, we compare different procedures for correcting the bias caused by formalin in δ13C and δ15N of zooplankton [...] Read more.
Formalin preservation affects the stable isotope composition of zooplankton samples, thus limiting the analysis of valuable collections covering large time intervals. Here, we compare different procedures for correcting the bias caused by formalin in δ13C and δ15N of zooplankton community samples. Zooplankton samples representative of seasonal variations in the period 2000–2009 were collected off A Coruña (NW Spain). Part of the sample was immediately dried and analysed for δ13C, δ15N, and elemental composition within 3 years of collection. These values were used as the unpreserved reference. The remaining sample was preserved in 4% formaldehyde and aliquots obtained after a period ranging from 3 years to more than 10 years of storage were analysed as the originally dried samples. Additionally, the copepod fraction of total biomass was determined in the preserved samples. Corrections of formalin effects based on ordinary least squares regression had large uncertainties, while mass balance corrections based on the change in C:N ratio (only possible for δ13C) overestimated reference values. However, either simple corrections based on the mean difference between values in dry and preserved samples or more complex generalised additive models considering seasonality, copepod biomass, and time of sample storage, produced estimations with relatively low uncertainty. Our results highlight the importance of determining specific correction solutions for each preserved collection before reconstructing stable isotope time series. Furthermore, the uncertainties associated with the estimates can be used in sensitivity analysis to assess their potential impact on the interpretation of the series. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Diversity and Ecology of Zooplankton)
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10 pages, 2056 KiB  
Article
Effect of Enriched Substrate on the Growth of the Sea Cucumber Holothuria arguinensis Koehler and Vaney, 1906 Juveniles
by Tiago Rodrigues, Francisco Azevedo e Silva, João Sousa, Pedro M. Félix and Ana Pombo
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030458 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1690
Abstract
The sea cucumber Holothuria arguinensis (Koehler and Vaney, 1906) presents an increasing commercial value in Asian markets and its exportation depends exclusively on wild stock harvesting. Production through aquaculture has been acknowledged as an alternative to supply demand and reduce pressure on natural [...] Read more.
The sea cucumber Holothuria arguinensis (Koehler and Vaney, 1906) presents an increasing commercial value in Asian markets and its exportation depends exclusively on wild stock harvesting. Production through aquaculture has been acknowledged as an alternative to supply demand and reduce pressure on natural stocks, but there are still bottlenecks to overcome, such as low growth rate and survival. This study focuses on the evaluation of the growth of juveniles of H. arguinensis through substrate enrichment—direct mixing of Sargassum vulgare with sediment—in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), for 4 months, with a baseline diet of Saccorhiza polyschides. Compared to the control (no enrichment), sea cucumbers fed with enriched sediment showed the highest specific growth rate (SGR), the highest growth rate (GR) and the lowest size heterogeneity. The results obtained in this study showed a favorable growth of sea cucumbers when in the presence of a substrate enriched with Sargassum vulgare, representing an important step towards the viability of large-scale sea cucumber rearing in Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Marine Diversity)
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29 pages, 884 KiB  
Review
Microbial Biopesticides: Diversity, Scope, and Mechanisms Involved in Plant Disease Control
by Silvana Vero, Gabriela Garmendia, Enzo Allori, José María Sanz, Mariana Gonda, Teresa Alconada, Ivana Cavello, Julián Rafael Dib, Mariana Andrea Diaz, Cristina Nally, Raphael Sanzio Pimenta, Juliana Fonseca Moreira da Silva, Marisol Vargas, Fernanda Zaccari and Michael Wisniewski
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030457 - 19 Mar 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 7038
Abstract
Food losses, defined as a reduction in the quantity and quality of food during production and storage, impact food safety and security. Losses caused by plant pathogens are among the most significant. Chemical pesticides have been extensively used to prevent microbial diseases. Their [...] Read more.
Food losses, defined as a reduction in the quantity and quality of food during production and storage, impact food safety and security. Losses caused by plant pathogens are among the most significant. Chemical pesticides have been extensively used to prevent microbial diseases. Their toxicity and reduced efficacy, however, have encouraged investigators to develop alternatives. Alternatives based on microbial biopesticides tend to be safer and more environmentally benign than conventional pesticides. In recent years, formulations based on biopesticides have progressively increased in number and diversity and have attracted commercial interest. Understanding the mechanisms by which biopesticides control the disease is fundamental to achieving optimal disease control. Biocontrol mechanisms can be divided into two main categories: those related to the ability to inhibit pathogens or their virulence factors, and those that enhance host plant fitness and induce disease resistance. Here, the first type of strategy is reviewed, which is directly mediated by physical contact between biocontrol agents and pathogens or indirectly by exposure of a pathogen to antimicrobial or microbial-inhibiting compounds produced by the microbial antagonist. Mechanisms involving physical contact include mycophagy, destruction of pathogenic bacteria by bacteriophages or predation, and disease inhibition by topical applications of specific dsRNA. Indirect mechanisms that do not involve direct contact with a pathogen include the production of antimicrobial compounds, competition, and virulence factor suppression by quorum quenching. These topics are reviewed and discussed. Full article
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12 pages, 2325 KiB  
Article
Density and Bleaching of Corals and Their Relationship to the Coral Symbiotic Community
by Temir A. Britayev, Roman A. Petrochenko, Yulia A. Burmistrova, Thanh Hai Nguyen and Fedor V. Lishchenko
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 456; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030456 - 19 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1957
Abstract
Corals provide an important habitat for diverse fauna. The habitat is especially rich in branching species. Each colony harbors several species and dozens of individuals, forming an integrated symbiotic community. Factors affecting the diversity and abundance of coral symbionts are poorly understood. The [...] Read more.
Corals provide an important habitat for diverse fauna. The habitat is especially rich in branching species. Each colony harbors several species and dozens of individuals, forming an integrated symbiotic community. Factors affecting the diversity and abundance of coral symbionts are poorly understood. The present study tested experimentally the relationship between the population density of coral Pocillopora verrucosa and the diversity and abundance of symbionts in planted coral fragments exposed for three months. Colony size and bleaching were also considered as two additional factors. We demonstrated that, even at the early stage of colony formation, the diversity of obligate symbionts on planted corals in Nha Trang Bay was higher than the diversity of any other studied local faunas of the world’s ocean. Species richness and the abundance of symbionts were positively related to colony size and density, while no impact of bleaching was found. Species richness and the abundance of obligate symbionts increased with host population density, while in facultative symbionts, these indices decreased. We hypothesized that the negative effect of host population density on species richness and the abundance of facultative symbionts is caused by the competitive pressure of obligates, which increases with their abundance. The reasons for the different responses of obligate and facultative symbionts to host density were considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symbiotic Invertebrates in Coral Reef Communities)
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19 pages, 4780 KiB  
Article
Reproductive Biology of the Golden Cuttlefish Sepia esculenta (Cephalopoda, Sepiida)
by Elizaveta V. Vlasova, Rushan M. Sabirov and Alexey V. Golikov
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030455 - 18 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3134
Abstract
The golden cuttlefish Sepia esculenta is the one of most abundant cuttlefish species around south-east Asia and has a high commercial value. Despite its wide distribution and high commercial value, its reproductive biology is still poorly understood. This study was based on 25 [...] Read more.
The golden cuttlefish Sepia esculenta is the one of most abundant cuttlefish species around south-east Asia and has a high commercial value. Despite its wide distribution and high commercial value, its reproductive biology is still poorly understood. This study was based on 25 males and 6 females. The potential fecundity (PF) of females was 1701–3719 oocytes, which was an increase, as compared to the previously known values. The oocyte resorption reached up to 13.2% of fecundity. The ovulation pattern was group-synchronous, with a predominance of previtellogenic oocytes. The pre-meiotic and primary growth oocyte phases were absent in mature females. The number of spermatophores carried by an individual male was 146–1698 (length 9–20 mm). The spermatophores were characterised by a cement body consisting of conical oral and cylindrical aboral parts. The ontogenetic changes in the spermatophores and their parts were recorded for the first time in the order of Sepiida. Their sperm content and their adhesive abilities also increased during ontogenesis. The data obtained in the present study significantly increased and corrected the existing knowledge of S. esculenta biology. Moreover, these data help to explain the general patterns of reproductive biology in cuttlefish, as well as in Cephalopoda as a whole. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systematics, Phylogeography, Evolution and Conservation of Molluscs)
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21 pages, 2580 KiB  
Article
Microeukaryotic Communities of the Long-Term Ice-Covered Freshwater Lakes in the Subarctic Region of Yakutia, Russia
by Yuri Galachyants, Yulia Zakharova, Maria Bashenkhaeva, Darya Petrova, Liubov Kopyrina and Yelena Likhoshway
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030454 - 18 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1253
Abstract
Currently, microeukaryotic communities of the freshwater arctic and subarctic ecosystems are poorly studied. Still, these are of considerable interest due to the species biogeography and autecology as well as global climate change. Here, we used high-throughput 18S rRNA amplicon sequencing to study the [...] Read more.
Currently, microeukaryotic communities of the freshwater arctic and subarctic ecosystems are poorly studied. Still, these are of considerable interest due to the species biogeography and autecology as well as global climate change. Here, we used high-throughput 18S rRNA amplicon sequencing to study the microeukaryotic communities of the large subarctic freshwater lakes Labynkyr and Vorota in Yakutia, Russia, during the end of the ice cover period, from April to June. By applying the statistical methods, we coupled the microeukaryotic community structure profiles with available discrete factor variables and hydrophysical, hydrochemical, and environmental parameters. The sub-ice layer and the water column communities were differentiated due to the temporal change in environmental conditions, particularly temperature regime and electric conductivity. Additionally, the community composition of unicellular eukaryotes in lakes Labynkyr and Vorota was changing due to seasonal environmental factors, with these alterations having similar patterns in both sites. We suggest the community developed in the sub-ice layer in April serves as a primer for summer freshwater microeukaryotes. Our results extend the current knowledge on the community composition and seasonal succession of unicellular eukaryotes within subarctic freshwater ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Ecology of Freshwater Lake Microbial Communities)
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11 pages, 1599 KiB  
Article
Space Use and Movements of Southeastern Breeding Double-Crested Cormorants (Nannopterum auritum) in the United States
by Leah L. K. Moran, Brian S. Dorr, Katie C. Hanson-Dorr, R. J. Moore and Scott A. Rush
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030453 - 18 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1308
Abstract
Seasonal movements of Double-crested Cormorants (Nannopterum auritum) have been studied at breeding and wintering sites in the southeastern United States, but little information exists on the movements of these birds within and from their southern breeding sites in lacustrine systems. Since [...] Read more.
Seasonal movements of Double-crested Cormorants (Nannopterum auritum) have been studied at breeding and wintering sites in the southeastern United States, but little information exists on the movements of these birds within and from their southern breeding sites in lacustrine systems. Since 2001, cormorants have established nesting colonies on islands in Guntersville Reservoir in Alabama, USA. Following the movements of tagged cormorants using satellite telemetry, we found that the mean home range during the 2017 breeding season (May–August) was 41.76 km2, with a core use area of 6.36 km2. The mean home range used by these birds was largest during the period coinciding with incubation: 9–30 May: (98.86 ± 80.64 km2) compared with the chick-rearing 31 May–4 July: 18.30 ± 22.56 km2), and the post-fledge periods (5 July–15 August: 42.04 ± 30.95 km2). There was no significant difference in the metrics of movement and space use between male and female cormorants assessed in this study. Differences in space used by cormorants breeding in Alabama relative to their northern breeding grounds may be explained by landscape characteristics and availability of prey. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Wildlife Conflict across Landscapes)
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7 pages, 2309 KiB  
Interesting Images
Entrapped in Olive-Harvesting Nets: A Case of a Grass Snake Natrix natrix from an Olive-Growing Greek Aegean Island
by Yiannis G. Zevgolis and Apostolos Christopoulos
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030452 - 18 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2019
Abstract
Despite a recent shift towards sustainable practices to support the conservation of traditional olive groves, little is known about their potential threats to herpetofauna species. On the island of Lesvos, one of the main olive-growing islands in the Mediterranean, olive cultivation often prioritizes [...] Read more.
Despite a recent shift towards sustainable practices to support the conservation of traditional olive groves, little is known about their potential threats to herpetofauna species. On the island of Lesvos, one of the main olive-growing islands in the Mediterranean, olive cultivation often prioritizes the expeditious harvesting of olives with minimal or no supplementary intervention, resulting in their generally suboptimal management, a component of which also pertains to the olive nets that, in many cases, remain dispersed and unfurled throughout the groves. This particular practice affects the species living in the olive groves, making them more prone to risks related to their accidental trapping. In this study, we report the first case of a Grass snake being inadvertently trapped in an olive net laid out on an olive grove. The position of the snake under the net, within a folded tipping, made it difficult for it to escape, and it became increasingly entangled. Based on this incident, it is plausible to assume that similar cases may occur in areas where nets are used in olive groves, both in Greece and other olive-growing countries. Further systematic research is necessary to determine the extent of this issue. Full article
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17 pages, 1557 KiB  
Systematic Review
Elephants Not in the Room: Systematic Review Shows Major Geographic Publication Bias in African Elephant Ecological Research
by Rachael B. Gross and Robert Heinsohn
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030451 - 17 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2899
Abstract
African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana) are a keystone species in African ecosystems. As a result of increasing anthropogenic pressure, elephant populations have declined significantly in the last two centuries. Research on a broad sample of these populations is necessary to inform [...] Read more.
African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana) are a keystone species in African ecosystems. As a result of increasing anthropogenic pressure, elephant populations have declined significantly in the last two centuries. Research on a broad sample of these populations is necessary to inform management strategies over a range of environmental and socio-political conditions. In order to evaluate the current state of literature that is informing evidence-based management and conservation of elephants, we systematically reviewed all research published on the ecology of African elephants from the last 20 years (492 publications). We contrasted the geographic distribution of published research against the 2016 IUCN elephant census. We found several statistically significant biases in the geographic distribution of elephant research. South Africa has 4.54% of the total elephant population and accounted for 28.28% of all research publications. Kenya has 5.49% the total elephant population but accounts for 20.6% of the research. Conversely, Botswana has 31.68% of the total elephant population but accounts for only 9.29% of the research and Zimbabwe has 19.89% of the total elephant population with only 10.50% of research. We also found that 41.85% of areas with ~60,100 elephants have not had any research published on their populations in the last 20 years. This publication imbalance may encourage management strategies that are overly dependent on misrepresentative information from a small subset of the elephant population. We recommend that (1) marginalised areas with large elephant populations (e.g., Botswana and Zimbabwe) should receive higher priority for future research, (2) new research and proposals should design theoretical frameworks to account for and overcome the present biases, and (3) local community-based management approaches should be prioritised and amplified in order to overcome the barriers to conducting research in priority areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity in 2023)
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63 pages, 23492 KiB  
Article
Revealing the Stygobiotic and Crenobiotic Molluscan Diversity in the Caucasus: Part IV—Crenobiotic Belgrandiellinae Radoman, 1983 (Mollusca, Hydrobiidae) from Georgia
by Elizaveta Chertoprud, Jozef Grego, Levan Mumladze, Sebastian Hofman, Dmitry Palatov, Artur Osikowski, Aleksandra Jaszczyńska and Andrzej Falniowski
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 450; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030450 - 17 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2059
Abstract
Since 2020, the south-western Caucasus has been recognized as a hotspot of stygobiotic Mollusca diversity after revealing a large number of new, range-restricted species within the spring snail family Hydrobiidae, subfamily Sadlerianinae sensu Szarowska. Meantime, based on extensive material collected in the south-western [...] Read more.
Since 2020, the south-western Caucasus has been recognized as a hotspot of stygobiotic Mollusca diversity after revealing a large number of new, range-restricted species within the spring snail family Hydrobiidae, subfamily Sadlerianinae sensu Szarowska. Meantime, based on extensive material collected in the south-western Caucasus during the last decades, we studied members of another spring snail subfamily Belgrandiellinae Radoman, 1983. Modern integrative taxonomic work revealed hitherto unknown diversity within this subfamily in the region and further proved the importance of the south-western Caucasus as a hotspot of stygobiotic life. In particular, the subterranean environment and springs of Georgia were known to be inhabited by the genus Tschernomorica Vinarski and Palatov, 2019 with four nominal species. Our research, based on a morpho-anatomical study and genetic investigation of COI/H3 mitochondrial/nuclear markers, revealed additionally seven species and three genera new to science—Colchiella lugella gen. et sp. nov., C. nazodelavo gen. et sp. nov., C. shiksa gen. et sp. nov., C. dadiani gen. et sp. nov., Sataplia cavernicola gen. et sp. nov., Aetis starobogatovi gen. et sp. nov., and Tschernomorica kopidophora sp. nov. —to inhabit the Georgian part of south-western Caucasus. The full taxonomic description of each new taxa, along with the review of habitat characteristics and conservation status, is provided. Molecular genetics suggests that the ancestors of Caucasian Belgrandiellinae have migrated from south-western Europe, probably more than once during the late Messinian and early Pliocene periods. Later, Plio-Pleistocene climate oscillations, particularly the repeated rise and fall of the Black Sea water level, resulted in the isolation and radiation of various lineages within the Caucasus and Crimea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity in 2023)
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21 pages, 2681 KiB  
Article
Effects of Organic Enrichment on Bioturbation Attributes: How Does the Macrofauna Community Respond in Two Different Sedimentary Impacted Areas?
by Seyed Ehsan Vesal, Federica Nasi, Rocco Auriemma and Paola Del Negro
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030449 - 17 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1465
Abstract
We assessed the influence of different organic matter (OM) inputs associated with terrigenous/freshwater allochthonous and sewage derive on bioturbation and irrigation potential community indices (BPc and IPc) of the soft-bottom macrofauna community. The macrofauna was sampled from two different sedimentary [...] Read more.
We assessed the influence of different organic matter (OM) inputs associated with terrigenous/freshwater allochthonous and sewage derive on bioturbation and irrigation potential community indices (BPc and IPc) of the soft-bottom macrofauna community. The macrofauna was sampled from two different sedimentary impacted areas, in front of the Po River Delta (northern Adriatic Sea) and sewage discharge diffusion zone (Gulf of Trieste). The highest values of BPc and IPc were observed at the northward sampling stations of the prodelta and the stations 25 m distance in front of the main sewage outfall. Species richness showed high values in the prodelta likely due to the OM positive effect from the delta, and it increased with increasing distance from the pipeline due to the effect of OM from the sewage discharge. The bioturbation indices differed due to the presence of surface deposit feeders and the injection depth (from 2 to 5 cm) with limited movement at the station located northwards in the prodelta and 25 m distance in the diffusion zone. We infer that the difference in bioturbation indices was likely due to the effects of grain-size composition and the degree of organic enrichment in both study areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Biogeography of Marine Benthos)
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22 pages, 5136 KiB  
Article
Multi-Proxy Paleoecological Reconstruction of Peatland Initiation, Development and Restoration in an Urban Area (Moscow, Russia)
by Yuri A. Mazei, Andrey N. Tsyganov, Ekaterina G. Ershova, Natalia G. Mazei, Valery E. Pimenov, Elizaveta V. Kotlyarova, Natalia V. Kuzmenkova, Mikhail S. Paramonov, Artemii D. Chulei, Anastasiya D. Makarova, Ivan A. Zhirov, Anna A. Tsaregorodtseva, Marina V. Zhuravleva, Andrey V. Kitashov, Ping Ding and Stepan N. Kalmykov
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030448 - 17 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2191
Abstract
Peatlands play an important role in the global carbon cycle but have been exploited over many centuries, which reduces their carbon storage capacity. To investigate peatland development during the late Holocene and their restoration after peat extraction, we applied a multi-proxy paleoecological (pollen, [...] Read more.
Peatlands play an important role in the global carbon cycle but have been exploited over many centuries, which reduces their carbon storage capacity. To investigate peatland development during the late Holocene and their restoration after peat extraction, we applied a multi-proxy paleoecological (pollen, plant macrofossils, testate amoebae, loss on ignition, peat humification, etc.) approach to undisturbed and floating vegetation mat deposits of the Gorenki peatland (Meshchera Lowlands, East European Plain). Peatland development started around 2550 before the common era (BCE) as a waterlogged eutrophic birch forest (terrestrial paludification) surrounded by a broadleaf forest. Around 2400 BCE, the peatland turned into an open mire with Sphagnum mosses, sedges, and willows. During 900–800 BCE, the mire transformed into a wet mesotrophic peatland surrounded by a spruce forest. The first human settlements and deforestation around 300–400 CE coincided with oligotrophization of the mire. The growth of the Slavic population in the region in 14th century CE caused transformation of indigenous spruce–broadleaf forests into croplands, and the mire became drier and forested. Since peat extraction was abandoned in the beginning of 20th century CE, the mire has undergone self-restoration starting with the formation of a Sphagnum cuspidatum/obtusum quagmire on the floating peat remains. The Sphagnum mat stabilized during 1960–2000 CE. During the last twenty years, agricultural activity decreased and pine forests were restored in the adjacent area; the floating mat became drier and more oligotrophic, which can lead to the formation of a bog in the absence of considerable anthropogenic impact. Full article
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14 pages, 5088 KiB  
Article
Large-Scale Reduction in the Extent of Agriculture around Stopover Sites of Migratory Geese in European Russia between 1990 and 2015
by Mikhail Grishchenko, Ronald C. Ydenberg and Herbert H. T. Prins
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030447 - 17 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1217
Abstract
Stopover sites are vital to the state of the population of many migratory bird species. The greater white-fronted goose Anser albifrons is the most numerous Eurasian goose species, and migrates on a broad front over European Russia. Stopover and staging sites have specific [...] Read more.
Stopover sites are vital to the state of the population of many migratory bird species. The greater white-fronted goose Anser albifrons is the most numerous Eurasian goose species, and migrates on a broad front over European Russia. Stopover and staging sites have specific habitat requirements. They are located near open water, have nearby (<5 km) foraging areas, must be open, and lie at least 500 m from the nearest woodland. Extensive agricultural land abandonment in European Russia since 1990 is leading to widespread land cover changes, and may be lowering the availability and perhaps the suitability of stopover sites for greater white-fronted geese. To measure the extent of land cover change, we compiled Landsat images of three areas in European Russia over which geese migrate. The images were taken May 1990, 2002 and 2014, and used to create a scene that covered completely each area in each of these years. We classified each pixel into one of six land cover classes (LCCs: urban, water, arable, grass, peat bog and forest), and tallied the number changing LCC between the successive maps. For ground truthing, we made field visits in June 2014 to 150 locations chosen randomly in advance, and among them, 64 identified as stopover sites recently used by geese. At each, we assessed vegetation composition and cover, successional stage and the duration (in years) since agriculture on the site had been abandoned. The extent of arable land that changed to another classification 1990–2014 was 56%, and was matched closely by the increase in the extent of the ‘grassland’ and ‘forest’ categories, as expected if agricultural abandonment allows vegetation succession to proceed. The magnitude of change around identified stopover sites was similar to that in the areas as a whole. The extent of land cover change in the northern part of European Russia is making migration by greater white-fronted geese more challenging, which is consistent with the documented southward shift in stopover site usage. This could lead to abandonment of the route across northern European Russia altogether, in favour of a longer migration around the expanding boreal forest, which is inhospitable for goose species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatiotemporal Bird Distribution and Conservation)
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15 pages, 2342 KiB  
Article
Artificial Waterholes for European Bison as Biodiversity Hotspots in Forest Ecosystems: Ecological Effects of Species Reintroduction Activities
by Katarzyna Anna Thor, Krystian Adam Ołdak, Daniel Klich, Karolina Gajewska, Bartłomiej Popczyk, Krzysztof Klimaszewski and Wanda Olech
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030446 - 17 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1565
Abstract
Despite the growing population of European bison (Bison bonasus), it is necessary to plan the reintroduction of these animals to new areas. Reintroduction of European bison often requires the improvement of natural conditions. Such preparatory activities allow European bison to more [...] Read more.
Despite the growing population of European bison (Bison bonasus), it is necessary to plan the reintroduction of these animals to new areas. Reintroduction of European bison often requires the improvement of natural conditions. Such preparatory activities allow European bison to more easily adapt to new places, but also impact the functioning of animals from other taxa. The aim of the presented study was to examine the impact of waterholes for European bison on the development of local populations of amphibians and dragonflies (Odonata), as well as the creation of new feeding grounds for bats. We examined 15 reservoirs in the Augustów Forest District located in northeastern Poland, of which five were waterholes for European bison built in 2013–2014, four were semi-natural reservoirs transformed into waterholes for European bison in 2018, and six were natural reservoirs. Dragonflies were studied in 2021–2022; amphibians in 2018 and 2020; and bats in 2018, 2019, and 2020. In total, 24 species of dragonflies (Odonata), 10 species of amphibians, and 13 species of bats were found. The results of the inventory of three taxonomic groups using different comparative variants indicate a significant impact of the construction of waterholes for European bison on the biodiversity of the forest ecosystem. We concluded that the waterholes for European bison present better resistance to drying out than natural reservoirs. In addition, waterholes warm up more quickly, supporting better conditions for amphibians. The surface of the reservoirs and their exposed surroundings are favorable for insects (including dragonflies), and these are a source of food for bats, becoming attractive feeding grounds for them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Bison Populations – Achievements and Problems)
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19 pages, 5120 KiB  
Article
Trophic Structure of the Soil-Dwelling Arthropod Communities at the Border of the Forest and the Steppe in the South of Western Siberia: Isotopic Data
by Ilya I. Lyubechanskii, Alexei N. Bespalov, Alexei V. Tiunov, Galina N. Azarkina, Roman Yu. Dudko, Lyudmila V. Salisch and Vyacheslav G. Mordkovich
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030445 - 17 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1432
Abstract
Epigeic generalist predators play a crucial role in terrestrial ecosystems, connecting aboveground and belowground food webs. Using stable isotope compositions (δ13C and δ15N values), we assessed the trophic niches of the two main groups of generalist predators (ground beetles [...] Read more.
Epigeic generalist predators play a crucial role in terrestrial ecosystems, connecting aboveground and belowground food webs. Using stable isotope compositions (δ13C and δ15N values), we assessed the trophic niches of the two main groups of generalist predators (ground beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) and spiders (Arachnida: Aranei)), as well as their potential prey (phytophagous and saprophagous insects), plants, and soils in the forest, steppe, and transitional ecosystems located in the forest–steppe of southwestern Siberia. We hypothesized that (1) the trophic niche of carabids is wider than that of spiders, because some ground beetles are omnivorous, and (2) the contribution of invertebrates from the detrital food web (saprophages) to the diet of generalist predators is higher in the “detrital” forest ecosystem than in the steppe, which should be reflected in increased δ13C and δ15N values of the predators in the forest. In total, 16 species of carabid and 17 species of spider were analyzed. The δ15N values of ground beetles suggested a wide range of trophic niches corresponding to two or three trophic levels. Omnivorous carabids of the genera Amara and Harpalus had the minimum δ15N values. The carbon isotope compositions of the ground beetles suggests that most predatory species were predominantly involved in grazing food chains. Spiders had on average increased δ15N values compared to ground beetles, and a relatively narrow range of δ15N values. The isotopic niche occupied by spiders hardly overlapped with the isotopic niche of carabids, which may indicate a significant difference in the range of consumed resources. Thus, our data suggest a significant difference in the trophic niches of the key generalist predators, ground beetles and spiders, which was observed both in the forest and the steppe habitats. Spiders appear to be more closely associated with detrital food webs than ground beetles. Contrary to our expectations, we did not find higher δ13C and δ15N values in ground-dwelling generalist predators in the forest compared to the steppe ecosystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Invertebrate Diversity, Ecology and Zoogeographic Structure)
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15 pages, 50844 KiB  
Article
Natal Philopatry in a Long-Lived Species: The Return of Reproductive River Turtles Marked and Released as Hatchlings
by Roy D. Nagle, Travis J. Russell, Christopher J. Grant, Melissa Innerst and Seth J. Strawser
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030444 - 17 Mar 2023
Viewed by 3481
Abstract
Natal philopatry—the return of an animal to its place of birth to reproduce—can shape population genetics and link essential habitats across generations, yet examples from long-term mark-recapture studies are rare. In this study, we observed 136 nests of Northern Map Turtles at Mount [...] Read more.
Natal philopatry—the return of an animal to its place of birth to reproduce—can shape population genetics and link essential habitats across generations, yet examples from long-term mark-recapture studies are rare. In this study, we observed 136 nests of Northern Map Turtles at Mount Union, Pennsylvania, between 2000 and 2008 and then individually marked and released 691 hatchling turtles into the Juniata River. During a recent six-year period (from 2017 to 2022), 46 of the hatchling-marked turtles (6.7%) returned to Mount Union as adult females to nest. The ages of these turtles ranged from 11–22 years at first recapture, and their mean age was 17 years. Forty-one hatchling-marked females came from observed nests with known mothers, and remarkably, just four (of 52) mothers produced over half of the returning females. The minimum ages of the oldest female turtles were estimated at 39 years, with reproductive lifetimes of at least 23 years. Our results indicate that a few long-lived Super Moms have made extraordinary contributions to hatchling recruitment and population viability of Northern Map Turtles of the Juniata River. The timing of release also had a significant influence on the probability of a turtle returning, with hatchlings released in May returning at a higher rate than those released earlier in the spring. In addition, morphological characteristics of hatchling-marked females suggest that factors causing shell shape abnormalities in adult turtles have not abated over the past two decades as previously theorized and likely involve exposure of juveniles to contaminants in the Juniata River rather than any maternal influence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reproductive Biology and Molecular Ecology of Turtles)
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4 pages, 217 KiB  
Editorial
We Know How to Do Conservation—We Just Need to Do More of It!
by Jon Paul Rodríguez, Bibiana Sucre, Kira Mileham, Ada Sánchez-Mercado, Nahomy De Andrade and Rima W. Jabado
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030443 - 17 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1294
Abstract
For decades, even centuries, people have taken deliberate, targeted actions for the conservation and management of species and ecosystems [...] Full article
10 pages, 2533 KiB  
Communication
On the Occurrence of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in a Bryophyte Community of Punta Lara Natural Reserve, Buenos Aires, Argentina
by Fabricio Emanuel Valdés, Denilson Fernandes Peralta, María Silvana Velázquez, Fernanda Covacevich, Alejandra Gabriela Becerra and Marta Noemí Cabello
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030442 - 17 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1565
Abstract
The evolutionary history of the symbiotic association between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and embryophytes dates back to the Devonian period. Previous ecological and physiological studies have described the presence of arbuscules, inter- and intracellular hyphae, vesicles, coils and spores, in liverworts and hornworts, [...] Read more.
The evolutionary history of the symbiotic association between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and embryophytes dates back to the Devonian period. Previous ecological and physiological studies have described the presence of arbuscules, inter- and intracellular hyphae, vesicles, coils and spores, in liverworts and hornworts, which are considered absent in mosses. This study aimed to report the presence of AMF in a community of bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) from Punta Lara Natural Reserve, Argentina. Senescent and green sections of gametophytes were stained and, following microscopic observation, revealed AMF structures. We found intracellular hyphae, vesicles, spores and sporocarps associated with thallus and rhizoids of mosses and liverworts and senescent moss caulidia. The morphological characterization of spores resulted in the determination of Rhizophagus intraradices and Dominikia aurea. The species D. aurea is reported for the first time for Argentina. Sequencing of the D1 variable domain of the LSUrDNA from AMF spores mixes plus hyphae resulted in high similitude to the Dominikia sequences available from NCBI. This study reported the presence of AMF associated with declining and senescent gametophytes of bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) in a Natural Reserve in Argentina. These findings open up new lines of study, which should further investigate these associations and their diversity, physiology and significance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity, Systematics and Evolution of Bryophytes)
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13 pages, 2242 KiB  
Article
Navigating Storms: Examining Vultures’ Behavior in Response to Extreme Weather Events
by Adrián Naveda-Rodríguez and Scott A. Rush
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 441; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030441 - 16 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2346
Abstract
Extreme weather events such as hurricanes and tornadoes have been found to change the spatial and temporal abundance of raptors by decreasing survival and forcing the emigration of individuals, or by increasing habitat heterogeneity and facilitating recolonization of disturbed areas. Nonetheless, little is [...] Read more.
Extreme weather events such as hurricanes and tornadoes have been found to change the spatial and temporal abundance of raptors by decreasing survival and forcing the emigration of individuals, or by increasing habitat heterogeneity and facilitating recolonization of disturbed areas. Nonetheless, little is known about how extreme weather events could affect raptors’ movements and their space use in areas disturbed by large-scale weather events. We studied how extreme weather affected the movements of black and turkey vultures (Coragyps atratus and Cathartes aura, respectively) in Mississippi, USA, facing Hurricane Zeta in November 2020, winter storm Viola in February 2021, and tornados MS-43 and MS-44 in May 2021. We GPS-tracked 28 vultures in the paths of these events. We compared movement rates, net-squared displacements, and use of forest cover, before, during, and after the events. Since storm avoidance behavior has been observed in other birds, we expected that vultures would shift their movements out of the path of these events before storms hit. Further, we forecasted that vultures would make greater use of forested areas as protection against harsh conditions such as strong winds and heavy rain. Vultures responded differently to each weather event; they shifted their movements out of the predicted path of the hurricane and tornadoes but not the snowstorm. These findings reveal that both species use avoidance behavior and adjust their navigation and hazard detection accordingly. Avoidance behavior was more pronounced in turkey vultures than in black vultures. In general, vultures did not make greater use of forest areas as we expected, but turkey vultures did select forest areas during the snowstorm. We propose that olfaction and audition may be key in vultures’ response to extreme weather events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Population Ecology and Spatial Ecology under Global Change)
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14 pages, 2577 KiB  
Article
A Qualitative Exploration of Conflicts in Human-Wildlife Interactions in Namibia’s Kunene Region
by Robert Luetkemeier, Ronja Kraus, Meed Mbidzo, Morgan Hauptfleisch, Stefan Liehr and Niels Blaum
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030440 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2193
Abstract
Wildlife numbers are declining globally due to anthropogenic pressures. In Namibia, however, wildlife populations increased with policy instruments that allow private ownership and incentivize their sustainable use. Antithetically, this resulted in increased resource competition between humans and wildlife and triggered conflicts among various [...] Read more.
Wildlife numbers are declining globally due to anthropogenic pressures. In Namibia, however, wildlife populations increased with policy instruments that allow private ownership and incentivize their sustainable use. Antithetically, this resulted in increased resource competition between humans and wildlife and triggered conflicts among various stakeholder groups. This paper summarizes the results of a qualitative exploration of conflicts in wildlife management in Namibia’s Kunene Region, adjacent to Etosha National Park. We conducted a workshop and expert interviews with stakeholders from relevant sectors. Our qualitative research sheds light on societal conflicts over wildlife that originate from diverging interests, livelihood strategies, moral values, knowledge holders, personal relations and views on institutional procedures. We frame our insights into conflicting human–wildlife interactions with theoretical concepts of social-ecological systems, ecosystem services and ecosystem disservices and open the floor for quantitative assessments. Overall, our results may present a suitable way of understanding biodiversity conflicts in a theoretical way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Wildlife Conflict across Landscapes)
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15 pages, 3479 KiB  
Article
An Invisible Boundary between Geographic Ranges of Cryptic Species of Narrow-Headed Voles (Stenocranius, Lasiopodomys, Cricetidae) in Transbaikalia
by Tatyana V. Petrova, Ivan A. Dvoyashov, Yury A. Bazhenov, Ekaterina V. Obolenskaya and Andrey A. Lissovsky
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030439 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1358
Abstract
The narrow-headed vole species complex is represented by Lasiopodomys gregalis and L. raddei, which probably diverged at the beginning of the Middle Pleistocene and came into secondary contact in the Transbaikal region. The current study analyzed mitochondrial gene cytochrome b, nuclear [...] Read more.
The narrow-headed vole species complex is represented by Lasiopodomys gregalis and L. raddei, which probably diverged at the beginning of the Middle Pleistocene and came into secondary contact in the Transbaikal region. The current study analyzed mitochondrial gene cytochrome b, nuclear gene BRCA1, and microsatellite data and was aimed at clarifying geographic ranges of these species and searching for hybrid zones between them. It turned out that the geographic range of L. raddei is almost surrounded by that of L. gregalis; these species are strictly parapatric without a single detected sympatry zone. Although in none of the tested populations did the BRCA1 genotyping contradict the pattern revealed by mitochondrial cytb, microsatellite loci showed traces of hybridization in several populations. Results of species distribution modeling indicated that these species are characterized by quite similar (caused by the same environmental factors), but nevertheless significantly different, ecological preferences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phylogeny and Phylogeography of the Holarctic)
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