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Diversity, Volume 15, Issue 5 (May 2023) – 110 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Caves and groundwater habitats harbor thousands of species adapted and limited to subterranean habitats globally. Several sites have been identified worldwide as local hotspots of subterranean biodiversity, with at least twenty-five cave-limited species documented. The Fern Cave System located on the southern Cumberland Plateau in northeastern Alabama, USA, is one of the most recent cave systems to be identified as a hotspot cave with twenty-seven cave-obligates, including two species endemic to Alabama’s longest cave and nine species of conservation concern, including the federally endangered Alabama Cave Shrimp Palaemonias alabamae (cover image). View this paper
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20 pages, 8305 KiB  
Article
Diversity and Distribution of 18 Cephalopod Species, and Their Link with Some Environmental Factors in the NW Pacific
by Rui Wang, Ran Zhang, Puqing Song, Shigang Liu, Yuan Li and Hai Li
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050694 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1644
Abstract
Some cephalopods are important fishery resources, with some major economic species living in pelagic waters, possessing short life history cycles, and responding strongly to environmental changes. The analysis of cephalopod community species composition, catch distribution, and their relationship with environmental factors in important [...] Read more.
Some cephalopods are important fishery resources, with some major economic species living in pelagic waters, possessing short life history cycles, and responding strongly to environmental changes. The analysis of cephalopod community species composition, catch distribution, and their relationship with environmental factors in important marine areas can provide a basic reference for cephalopod biogeography and resource development and utilization. In this study, based on the cephalopod survey data in the spring of 2015 and summer of 2016 in the Pacific Ocean, we analyzed the cephalopod species composition, diversity index (the Margalef richness index, Shannon–Wiener diversity index, and Pielou uniformity index), main contributing species, and catch distribution in the two seasons of spring and summer in the Pacific Ocean. We also analyzed the relationship between cephalopod catch, each diversity index, and environmental factors in each season using the GAM model. The results show that 18 species of cephalopods were captured in the spring and summer, the Margalef richness index, Shannon–Wiener diversity index, and Pielou uniformity index in summer was higher than that in spring; the average catch biomass in spring was significantly higher than that in summer. The main contributing species in spring was Todarodes pacificus, while the main contributing species in summer was Ommastrephes bartramii. The interaction of the “longitude” and “latitude” has a great impact on cephalopod catch biomass in spring, and “sea surface temperature” has a great impact on cephalopod catch biomass in summer. The results of the study can provide a basic reference for the study of cephalopod diversity and resource development and utilization in the Pacific Ocean. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Spatiotemporal Distribution of Nekton)
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16 pages, 2805 KiB  
Article
Coping with Stress as a Prelude of Naturalization: Different Responses of Lagarosiphon Species to Water Trophy
by Chiara Montagnani, Sarah Caronni, Lara Assunta Quaglini, Nicole Sebesta, Rodolfo Gentili and Sandra Citterio
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050693 - 21 May 2023
Viewed by 1023
Abstract
Horticulture is a major pathway of introduction of aquatic plants. Among traded aquatic plants, we found two species belonging to the genus Lagarosiphon Harv. (Hydrocharitaceae), native to South and Central Africa, L. major (Ridl.) Moss and L. cordofanus Casp. L. major is the [...] Read more.
Horticulture is a major pathway of introduction of aquatic plants. Among traded aquatic plants, we found two species belonging to the genus Lagarosiphon Harv. (Hydrocharitaceae), native to South and Central Africa, L. major (Ridl.) Moss and L. cordofanus Casp. L. major is the main representative of the genus, having already been introduced via horticulture sale beyond its native range, and often becoming invasive. In contrast, L. cordofanus is a lesser-known congener that could be potentially sold as an alternative to L. major. It is relatively understudied, and has yet to be recorded in the wild outside its native range. Many factors can promote the invasiveness of an alien plant; among them, increased nutrient availability often facilitates opportunistic alien species such as L. major. In a horizon-scanning perspective, a manipulative experiment under controlled conditions was performed to test the response of L. cordofanus to different trophy levels using L. major as the tolerant alternative species. According to our results, the naturalization of L. cordofanus in temperate shallow waters does not seem likely, especially if considered in comparison to L. major. Full article
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11 pages, 1702 KiB  
Article
Trypanosomatids in Bloodsucking Diptera Insects (Ceratopogonidae and Simuliidae) Wild-Caught at Raptor Bird Nests in Temperate Forests
by Margarita Kazak, Rasa Bernotienė, Rimgaudas Treinys and Dovilė Bukauskaitė
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050692 - 21 May 2023
Viewed by 1151
Abstract
Trypanosomatids are a huge group of vertebrate, invertebrate and plant parasites that can cause severe illnesses in hosts. Although avian trypanosomes are widely spread throughout the world, information about their transmission and vector–host relationships is still scarce. This study aimed to investigate Trypanosoma [...] Read more.
Trypanosomatids are a huge group of vertebrate, invertebrate and plant parasites that can cause severe illnesses in hosts. Although avian trypanosomes are widely spread throughout the world, information about their transmission and vector–host relationships is still scarce. This study aimed to investigate Trypanosoma prevalence in bloodsucking Diptera collected at tree-nesting raptor birds’ nests. Insects were collected in temperate forests of Eastern-Central Europe, in Lithuania, using UV light traps hung near common buzzard (Buteo buteo) and lesser spotted eagle (Clanga pomarina) nests at about 15 m height above the ground. A total of 1248 Culicoides (Ceratopogonidae) females and 3 blackflies (Simuliidae) were collected and tested for the presence of trypanosomatids using PCR-based methods. The blood of 85 nestlings, belonging to three different species (Buteo buteo, Clanga pomarina and Haliaeetus albicilla) was collected and tested using the same methods. We found that 11.1% of the investigated insects (one Simulium female and Culicoides biting midges belonging to five species) were infected with Trypanosoma parasites (Trypanosoma sp., T. bennetti group, T. avium) and monoxenous trypanosomatids (Crithidia sp., Obscuromonas sp.). Only one common buzzard nestling was found to be infected with Trypanosoma avium. The phylogenetic relationships of detected parasites were determined. Our findings supplement information on the ornithophilic behavior of Culicoides females, potential vector species of avian Trypanosoma, and produce some new information on the detection of monoxenous trypanosomatids (Crithidia sp. and Obscuromonas sp.) in Culicoides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity of Wildlife Pathogens)
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13 pages, 2559 KiB  
Article
Alien Freshwater Turtles in Greece: Citizen Science Reveals the Hydra-Headed Issue of the Pet Turtle Trade
by Konstantinos Kalaentzis, Christos Kazilas, Ilias Strachinis, Elias Tzoras and Petros Lymberakis
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 691; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050691 - 20 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1531
Abstract
Citizen science is emerging as a powerful tool for the early detection of biological invasions. The exotic pet trade has been deemed as the most significant cause of establishment for reptiles, and among them, turtles have the highest number of introduction events. In [...] Read more.
Citizen science is emerging as a powerful tool for the early detection of biological invasions. The exotic pet trade has been deemed as the most significant cause of establishment for reptiles, and among them, turtles have the highest number of introduction events. In Europe, at least 13 species of alien freshwater turtles have been recorded in the wild. In Greece, only two species of alien turtles have been reported, namely the American pond slider Trachemys scripta and the Florida cooter Pseudemys floridana. In this study, we provide an updated checklist of the alien freshwater turtles recorded in Greece, using citizen science, personal observations, and literature. Our results provide the first records for the country of five species, namely the Florida red-bellied cooter Pseudemys nelsoni, the Eastern river cooter Pseudemys concinna, the Chinese stripe-necked turtle Mauremys sinensis, the Chinese soft-shelled turtle Pelodiscus sinensis, and the Common snapping turtle Chelydra serpentina and new localities for T. scripta. Similar to the myth of the Lernaean Hydra (i.e., for every head chopped off, more would regrow), the pet turtle trade has been proven to have multiple heads. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Alien Species and Their Invasion Processes)
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9 pages, 1237 KiB  
Communication
Seasonal and Nocturnal Activity of Culicoides spp. (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) Adapted to Different Environments in the Balearic Islands
by Carlos Barceló, Ricardo del Río and Miguel A. Miranda
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 690; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050690 - 20 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1070
Abstract
Several pathogens are known to be transmitted by arthropods. One of the most relevant, in economic terms, affecting animals is bluetongue virus. Its known vectors are several species of Culicoides midges. In Europe, the considered main vector species are Culicoides imicola and Culicoides [...] Read more.
Several pathogens are known to be transmitted by arthropods. One of the most relevant, in economic terms, affecting animals is bluetongue virus. Its known vectors are several species of Culicoides midges. In Europe, the considered main vector species are Culicoides imicola and Culicoides obsoletus, though other species may be implicated at different levels. In the present work, the activity of these vector species between sunset and sunrise from May to November is analyzed according to their captures in a rotator bottle collector adapted to a light trap. Additionally, the Culicoides populations of two areas in Mallorca (Spain) with different characteristics (rural vs. urban) are compared. The results indicated that June is the month of higher abundance of C. obsoletus in our climatic conditions—being active during the first three hours after sunset. Conversely, C. imicola reached the maximum level of captures during October, and captures were more evenly distributed during the night. Collections from the two areas revealed that Culicoides populations were composed by the same species; however, abundance and sex ratio presented marked differences. These results add valuable insight into the ecology of Culicoides and may be used to design more accurate strategies to control diseases associated with Culicoides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity, Distribution and Phylogeny of Vector Insects)
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13 pages, 3895 KiB  
Article
InDel DNA Markers Potentially Unique to Kaluga Sturgeon Huso dauricus Based on Whole-Genome Resequencing Data
by Xiaoyu Yan, Ying Dong, Tian Dong, Hailiang Song, Wei Wang and Hongxia Hu
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 689; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050689 - 19 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1073
Abstract
Sturgeons are ancient and endangered species whose populations have been greatly reduced over the past few centuries due to habitat destruction and overfishing for the production of expensive caviar. All sturgeon species are listed in CITES Appendix II to limit their trade; therefore, [...] Read more.
Sturgeons are ancient and endangered species whose populations have been greatly reduced over the past few centuries due to habitat destruction and overfishing for the production of expensive caviar. All sturgeon species are listed in CITES Appendix II to limit their trade; therefore, accurate species identification is crucial. In this study, we performed whole-genome resequencing of five sturgeon species, including Kaluga sturgeon (H. dauricus), Siberian sturgeon (A. baerii), Sterlet sturgeon (A. ruthenus), Russian sturgeon (A. gueldenstaedtii), and Amur sturgeon (A. schrenckii), to obtain species-specific InDel-based nucleotide sequences for Kaluga sturgeon. Through whole-genome screening within these five sturgeon species, we developed methods for the rapid identification of Kaluga sturgeon germplasm. Using dominant/co-dominant molecular markers designed for Huso dauricus, purebred or hybrid samples can be identified through a PCR reaction. These markers allow for the precise identification of Kaluga sturgeon lineages from at least seven sturgeon species (H. dauricus, A. schrenckii, A. ruthenus, A. baerii, A. gueldenstaedtii, A. stellatus, and H. huso) and their hybrids. This development is expected to have a positive effect on both the sturgeon trade and the conservation of sturgeon germplasm resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation Genetics of Sturgeons)
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12 pages, 2310 KiB  
Article
Importance of Bark Physicochemical Properties in an Epiphytic Bryophyte Community within a Temperate Deciduous Broadleaf Forest
by Yizhen Shao, Senlin Wang, Yushan Li, Yun Chen, He Zhao, Jing Wang, Fengqin Liu and Zhiliang Yuan
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050688 - 19 May 2023
Viewed by 1073
Abstract
Epiphytic bryophytes are important components of forest ecosystems and play important roles in maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function. However, the main factors driving epiphytic bryophyte diversity remain unclear. We collected the tree epiphytic bryophytes from a one-hectare plot within a temperate deciduous broadleaf [...] Read more.
Epiphytic bryophytes are important components of forest ecosystems and play important roles in maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function. However, the main factors driving epiphytic bryophyte diversity remain unclear. We collected the tree epiphytic bryophytes from a one-hectare plot within a temperate deciduous broadleaf forest (China). Canonical correspondence analyses and Mantel tests were used to establish linear regression models and thus dissect the effects of environmental variables (topography, light and bark physicochemical properties) on the species diversity, functional diversity, and phylogenetic diversity of epiphytic bryophytes. The relationship between environmental variables and epiphytic bryophyte diversity was analyzed using piecewise structural equation modeling. Results showed that the physicochemical properties of the bark directly influenced the species diversity and phylogenetic diversity of the epiphytic bryophytes. The physical and chemical properties of bark also indirectly affected the functional diversity of the epiphytic bryophytes. Elucidation of the factors driving epiphytic bryophyte diversity provides insights into their conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity, Systematics and Evolution of Bryophytes)
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17 pages, 2324 KiB  
Article
The mtDNA D-Loop Legacy of Cattle: Fluctuations in Diversity from the Neolithic to Early Medieval Times in Switzerland
by José Granado, Elizabeth Wright, Robert Blatter, Jürg Lange, Meral Turgay, Laura Bañuelos, Sabine Deschler-Erb, Barbara Stopp, Elisabeth Marti-Grädel, Marguerita Schäfer, Idoia Grau-Sologestoa, Sandra Ammann, Debora Schmid, Alex R. Furger, Reto Marti, Jörg Schibler and Angela Schlumbaum
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 687; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050687 - 19 May 2023
Viewed by 1514
Abstract
Fluctuations in the size of taurine cattle (Bos taurus) have been regularly demonstrated using archaeozoological data from across time and space in Europe, and have been linked to cultural, social and economic changes, but little is known about whether phenotypic change [...] Read more.
Fluctuations in the size of taurine cattle (Bos taurus) have been regularly demonstrated using archaeozoological data from across time and space in Europe, and have been linked to cultural, social and economic changes, but little is known about whether phenotypic change is accompanied by changes in genetic diversity. Here, we performed PCR-typed analysis of the partial mtDNA d-loop fragments of 99 cattle from the Neolithic to Early Medieval times from a number of different sites across Switzerland, combining newly presented data with previously published data (n = 20). We found that most cattle included (84) were members of the common European macro-haplogroup T3. However, cattle belonging to the haplogroups T1, T2, Q and P were identified as early as the Neolithic period, before 2690 cal. BCE. The highest diversity was found in the Neolithic period, during the 1st century CE and during the 7th–8th centuries CE. Bottleneck phases with low genetic diversity were detected during the Late Iron Age and from the fifth to the seventh century CE. Based on the FST values, Horgen, Corded Ware and cattle populations from the seventh to the ninth century CE were plotted away from the clusters of all other populations. The periods with larger-sized cattle correspond with those of high mtDNA d-loop diversity. Phenotype and genotype both appear to respond to the same socio-economic and cultural processes. Full article
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19 pages, 4013 KiB  
Article
Formica gagatoides Ruzsky, 1904, and Siberian F. kozlovi Dlussky, 1965 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae); Two or One Species?
by Svetlana V. Chesnokova, Oleg V. Vaulin, Zoya A. Zhigulskaya and Tatiana A. Novgorodova
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 686; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050686 - 19 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 891
Abstract
Ants of the genus Formica play an important role in biogenesis by participating in various processes, including the formation of complex trophic networks. The role of ants in an ecosystem depends on their species and geographic population, which can be difficult to identify. [...] Read more.
Ants of the genus Formica play an important role in biogenesis by participating in various processes, including the formation of complex trophic networks. The role of ants in an ecosystem depends on their species and geographic population, which can be difficult to identify. Formica gagatoides with a wide range and F. kozlovi are among some examples. The question is whether the Siberian populations of F. kozlovi really belong to this species or are local populations of F. gagatoides. Based on the materials collected in Russia (Murmansk Region, the north of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, Altai, Far East), a morphological analysis (key diagnostic features) and molecular genetic analysis (COI, ITS1, D2 28S) were carried out. In all localities, there were individuals with pure (gagatoides, kozlovi) and mixed (gagatoides/kozlovi) morphotypes, with the exception of the Magadan Region, where the kozlovi morphotype was absent. According to the phylogenetic trees, F. gagatoides formed separate geographical branches, with the Siberian F. kozlovi being close and clearly conspecific to the Asian branch of F. gagatoides. A relatively high COI divergence, along with some differences in the ITS1 sequences, between the Asian and European F. gagatoides raises the question about the conspecificity of the Asian and European branches of this species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity of Fossil and Recent Insect Faunae)
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12 pages, 2168 KiB  
Article
How Many Azores Bullfinches (Pyrrhula murina) Are There in the World? Case Study of a Threatened Species
by Tarso de M. M. Costa, Artur Gil, Sergio Timóteo, Ricardo S. Ceia, Rúben Coelho and Azucena de la Cruz Martin
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 685; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050685 - 19 May 2023
Viewed by 1345
Abstract
The Azores bullfinch (Pyrrhula murina Godman, 1866) is a rare Passeriformes endemic from the eastern part of São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal. This bird was almost considered extinct in the first half of the 20th century, but due to recent conservation measures, [...] Read more.
The Azores bullfinch (Pyrrhula murina Godman, 1866) is a rare Passeriformes endemic from the eastern part of São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal. This bird was almost considered extinct in the first half of the 20th century, but due to recent conservation measures, it has experienced a recovery since the beginning of the 2000s. Despite the attention given to this bird, the size of its population is still controversial, and the most recent studies present significant divergences on this behalf. The purpose of the present study is to present data from the long-term monitoring and results of the third single-morning survey of the Azores bullfinch to update information about the population size and range of this species. In addition, we performed a literature review to highlight the limitations and advantages of the different approaches for monitoring this species. The Azores Bullfinch records during the single-morning survey indicated a reduction in the extent of occurrence and area of occupancy of this species in comparison with the previous studies, despite the increase in bird detection. However, we suggest that the distribution range of this species needs further analysis concerning its area to exclude non suitable habitats from this analysis. In this study, we conclude that the most likely size of the Azores bullfinch population is 500 to 800 couples, with a slow population growth tendency and an area of distribution of 136.5 km2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Biodiversity in the Azores: A Whole Biota Assessment)
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13 pages, 3099 KiB  
Article
Limobrevibacterium gyesilva gen. nov., sp. nov., Isolated from Forest Soil
by Nhan Le Thi Tuyet and Jaisoo Kim
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050684 - 19 May 2023
Viewed by 1028
Abstract
An aerobic, oxidase-positive, catalase-negative, non-motile, oval/rod-shaped, and Gram-negative strain RN2-1T was isolated from a Korean forest soil sample. Cells grew in a pH range of 6–9 (optimum range: 7–8), in a temperature range of 20–40 °C (optimum range: 30–35 °C), and in [...] Read more.
An aerobic, oxidase-positive, catalase-negative, non-motile, oval/rod-shaped, and Gram-negative strain RN2-1T was isolated from a Korean forest soil sample. Cells grew in a pH range of 6–9 (optimum range: 7–8), in a temperature range of 20–40 °C (optimum range: 30–35 °C), and in the presence of 0–1% (w/v) NaCl. The major polar lipid profile consisted of phosphatidylglycerol, diphosphatidyl glycerol, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylcholine, and a group of phospholipids, aminolipids, and polar lipids with unidentified structures. The major quinone was ubiquinone 10. The main fatty acids were summed feature 8 (C18:1 ω7c/C18:1 ω6c), C16:0, Cyclo-C17:0, cyclo C19:0 ω8c, and C18:1 2OH. Phylogenetic similarities based on 16S rDNA sequences showed that strain RN2-1T grouped in the family Acetobacteraceae included the genera Rhodovastum, Acidisoma, Acidisphaera, and Acidibrevibacterium. The aerobic phototrophic bacterium Rhodovastum atsumiense G2-11T was the closest relative to RN2-1T (96.04% sequence similarity). Genomic DNA revealed 68.7% G+C content. Whole genome analysis and phenotypic data of the strain RN2-1T confirmed its distinctive phylogenetic location within the family Acetobacteraceae. Because of these results, strain RN2-1T represents the novel species of a new genus for which the name Limobrevibacterium gyesilva gen. nov., sp. nov. was proposed. The type of strain was strain RN2-1T (KACC 23001 = JCM 35944). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Microbial Diversity and Culture Collections)
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14 pages, 1854 KiB  
Article
A Theoretical Thermal Tolerance Function for Ectothermic Animals and Its Implications for Identifying Thermal Vulnerability across Large Geographic Scales
by Agustín Camacho, Michael J. Angilletta, Jr. and Ofir Levy
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 680; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050680 - 19 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1295
Abstract
The time-to-thermal-death curve, or thermal death curve, seeks to represent all the combinations of exposure time and temperature that kill individuals of a species. We present a new theoretical function to describe that time in lizards based on traditional measures of thermal tolerance [...] Read more.
The time-to-thermal-death curve, or thermal death curve, seeks to represent all the combinations of exposure time and temperature that kill individuals of a species. We present a new theoretical function to describe that time in lizards based on traditional measures of thermal tolerance (i.e., preferred body temperatures, voluntary thermal maximum, and the critical thermal maximum). We evaluated the utility of this function in two ways. Firstly, we compared thermal death curves among four species of lizards for which enough data are available. Secondly, we compared the geography of predicted thermal vulnerability based on the thermal death curve. We found that the time to loss of function or death may evolve independently from the critical thermal limits. Moreover, the traditional parameters predicted fewer deleterious sites, systematically situated at lower latitudes and closer to large water bodies (lakes or the coast). Our results highlight the urgency of accurately characterizing thermal tolerance across species to reach a less biased perception of the geography of climatic vulnerability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity in 2023)
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22 pages, 2354 KiB  
Article
Wildlife Emergency Response Services Data Provide Insights into Human and Non-Human Threats to Wildlife and the Response to Those Threats
by Elodie C. M. Camprasse, Matthias Klapperstueck and Adam P. A. Cardilini
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 683; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050683 - 18 May 2023
Viewed by 1689
Abstract
Our transformation of global environments into human-dominated landscapes has important consequences for wildlife. Globally, wildlife is interacting with humans or impacted by human activities, which often results in negative outcomes such as population declines, disruption of social bonds, biodiversity loss, imperilment of threatened [...] Read more.
Our transformation of global environments into human-dominated landscapes has important consequences for wildlife. Globally, wildlife is interacting with humans or impacted by human activities, which often results in negative outcomes such as population declines, disruption of social bonds, biodiversity loss, imperilment of threatened species, and harm to individual animals. Human and non-human threats to wildlife can be challenging to quantify and tend to be poorly understood especially over large spatial scales and in urban environments. The extent to which such damage is mitigated by reactive approaches (e.g., wildlife rescue) is also not well understood. We used data from the main state-based Wildlife Emergency Response Services (WERS) in Victoria, Australia to address these issues. The data, which describe tens of thousands of cases of threats to wildlife annually over a ten-year period, allowed a detailed characterisation of the type and extent of threats in the state. We identified the main common and threatened species impacted by various threats and showed that the vast majority of them were anthropogenic (e.g., vehicle collisions, cat attacks, and entanglements). The extent to which different taxonomic groups and species were impacted by various threats differed and threats were dependent on locations. The Greater Melbourne area was identified as a hotspot for threats to wildlife. The WERS was able to source service providers for thousands of animals annually, facilitating their assessment, release into the wild and rehabilitation. However, every year, thousands of animals died or were euthanased and thousands more were left unattended. WERS case reports are increasing and there is a growing service–demand gap. Whilst studies reporting on the demand and response of WERS are rare, situations in other parts of Australia and the world might be similar. This highlights the urgent need to understand and mitigate human and non-human threats to wildlife, particularly in urban environments, where the rate of biodiversity loss is high. We discuss opportunities and barriers to doing so. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Welfare)
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27 pages, 33137 KiB  
Article
Insights on the Existence of Ancient Glacial Refugee in the Northern Black/Azov Sea Lowland, with the Description of the First Stygobiotic Microcrustacean Species of the Genus Niphargus Schiödte, 1849 from the Mouth of the Don River
by Ivan N. Marin and Dmitry M. Palatov
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050682 - 18 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1077
Abstract
A new species of the genus Niphargus Schiödte, 1849 (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Niphargidae), co-existing with other stygobiotic amphipods, Diasynurella kiwi Marin and Palatov, 2023 and Pontonyx donensis (Martynov, 1919) (Crangonyctidae), is described from a small spring on a shore of Kiziterinka River in Rostov-on-Don [...] Read more.
A new species of the genus Niphargus Schiödte, 1849 (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Niphargidae), co-existing with other stygobiotic amphipods, Diasynurella kiwi Marin and Palatov, 2023 and Pontonyx donensis (Martynov, 1919) (Crangonyctidae), is described from a small spring on a shore of Kiziterinka River in Rostov-on-Don City in the mouth of the Don River. Two of the three species in the studied spring, D. kiwi and the discovered Niphargus, belong to microcrustaceans not exceeding the total body size of 3 mm. The new species, Niphargus rostovi sp. nov., represents one of the smallest species within the genus and is mostly related to the Greek Niphargus karkabounasi Ntakis, Anastasiadou, Zakšek and Fišer, 2015, which is also not reaching the body size of 3 mm. One more related undescribed species is found on the Crete Island by the molecular genetic data. These species represent a separate phylogenetic lineage within the “carpathicus” species complex, which diverged from the congeners in the Late Miocene for more than 10 Mya. At the same time, the speciation within the ingroup started about 5–6 Mya, obviously correlating with the drainage of the Euxinian basin of the Eastern Paratethys, connecting the lower Don and southern Greece areas. Niphargus potamophilus Birštein, 1954 is also first recorded from the mouth of the Belbek River in the Crimean Peninsula, closing the known area from the Kuban River delta to Rostov-on-Don area and further along the western coast of the Black Sea to Bulgaria. Analysis of the recent records of long-time lineages of endemic/subterranean/stygobiotic animals unable to disperse for long distances assumed that glacial refugium existed at the mouth of the Don River, along with the South Caucasus (Colchis) and the southern Caspian (Hyrcania), where many species have survived several periods of glaciation since the late Miocene. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Biogeography of Microcrustaceans in Continental Waters)
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21 pages, 7656 KiB  
Article
Comparing the Utility of Microsatellites and Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Conservation Genetics: Insights from a Study on Two Freshwater Fish Species in France
by Jérôme G. Prunier, Charlotte Veyssière, Géraldine Loot and Simon Blanchet
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 681; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050681 - 18 May 2023
Viewed by 1122
Abstract
Biodiversity is facing an unprecedented crisis and substantial efforts are needed to conserve natural populations, especially in river ecosystems. The use of molecular tools to guide conservation practices in rivers has grown in popularity over the last decades, but the amount of precision [...] Read more.
Biodiversity is facing an unprecedented crisis and substantial efforts are needed to conserve natural populations, especially in river ecosystems. The use of molecular tools to guide conservation practices in rivers has grown in popularity over the last decades, but the amount of precision and/or biological information that would be gained by switching from the traditional short tandem repeats (STRs) to the increasingly used single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) is still debated. Here, we compared the usefulness of STRs and SNPs to study spatial patterns of genetic variability in two freshwater fish species (Phoxinus dragarum and Gobio occitaniae) in southern France. SNPs were obtained from a pool-seq procedure and mapped to new genome assemblies. They provided much more precise estimates of genetic diversity and genetic differentiation than STRs, but both markers allowed the detection of very similar genetic structures in each species, which could be useful for delineating conservation units. While both markers provided similar outcomes, there were two discrepancies in genetic structures that could, nonetheless, be explained by unrecorded stocking events. Overall, we demonstrated that SNPs are not unconditionally superior to STRs in the context of large-scale riverscape genetic conservation, and that the choice of marker should primarily be based on research questions and resources available. Full article
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12 pages, 6538 KiB  
Article
New Records of Callinectes sapidus (Crustacea, Portunidae) from Malta and the San Leonardo River Estuary in Sicily (Central Mediterranean)
by Adriana Vella, Enrico Giarrusso, Clara Monaco, Clare Marie Mifsud, Sandra Agius Darmanin, Alessandra Raffa, Carla Tumino, Iuri Peri and Noel Vella
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050679 - 18 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1427
Abstract
The current study provides new data on the known records of the Atlantic blue crab, Callinectes sapidus Rathbun, 1896, from the Maltese Islands through two ovigerous female specimens collected from Salini (Malta), a Natura 2000 site, in August 2020. Additional new records of [...] Read more.
The current study provides new data on the known records of the Atlantic blue crab, Callinectes sapidus Rathbun, 1896, from the Maltese Islands through two ovigerous female specimens collected from Salini (Malta), a Natura 2000 site, in August 2020. Additional new records of the species were also presented from the San Leonardo River estuary, Syracuse (Sicily, Italy), in August 2022. The specimens collected from both Malta and Sicily were identified using both morphological and molecular analyses. The latter has shown that all the specimens analysed share their mitochondrial DNA barcode region with the most recorded haplotype of the same species from the Mediterranean Sea. Knowing the new distribution and range expansion records of alien species is important for the continuous monitoring of marine alien species, which is essential for the implementation of the best possible mitigation measures. This is especially relevant for C. sapidus, as it is considered one of the worst invaders of the Mediterranean Sea. Therefore, given that this alien species is edible, fishing for it may allow some control over its population size and further expansion. Knowing its distribution is crucial to inform fishers about its exact location, making such a mitigation measure more effective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Marine Diversity)
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25 pages, 5603 KiB  
Article
Vanilla planifolia Andrews (Orchidaceae): Labellum Variation and Potential Distribution in Hidalgo, Mexico
by Agustín Maceda, Adriana Delgado-Alvarado, Víctor M. Salazar-Rojas and B. Edgar Herrera-Cabrera
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050678 - 18 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1550
Abstract
Vanilla planifolia is a species of commercial importance. However, vanilla presents gene erosion problems due to its clonal reproduction. In the Huasteca of Hidalgo, there is no information on vanilla populations. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to identify the current populations [...] Read more.
Vanilla planifolia is a species of commercial importance. However, vanilla presents gene erosion problems due to its clonal reproduction. In the Huasteca of Hidalgo, there is no information on vanilla populations. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to identify the current populations and the potential distribution of, and the morphological variation in, the labellum of V. planifolia in the Huasteca of Hidalgo. Twenty-two accessions were located and selected. Based on 21 environmental variables, the niche modeling of the potential distribution was carried out with the MaxEnt program; with the Jackknife test being used to identify the variables that contributed to the model. Flowers from 22 accessions were collected and the labellum of each flower was dissected. Subsequently, 64 morphological variables were obtained and various multivariate analyses were performed. The results showed three regions, defined by the highest to the lowest probability that V. planifolia was distributed. The precipitation of the driest month, altitude, and vegetation cover delimited the distribution. Five different morphotypes were distinguished, and the main differences were associated with the middle part of the labellum as well as the entrance of pollinators to the flower; therefore, the characterization of the labellum showed an infraspecific variation in V. planifolia in populations of the Huasteca of Hidalgo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Orchid Conservation and Associated Fungal Diversity)
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11 pages, 1550 KiB  
Article
Metabarcoding Extends the Distribution of Porphyra corallicola (Bangiales) into the Arctic While Revealing Novel Species and Patterns for Conchocelis Stages in the Canadian Flora
by Gary W. Saunders and Cody M. Brooks
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 677; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050677 - 18 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1108
Abstract
Porphyra corallicola was described based on a filamentous red alga inadvertently introduced into culture from a crustose coralline alga. This species is known only in its sporophyte (Conchocelis) stage, being possibly asexual and lacking the charismatic and “collectable” gametophyte stage. Consequently, little is [...] Read more.
Porphyra corallicola was described based on a filamentous red alga inadvertently introduced into culture from a crustose coralline alga. This species is known only in its sporophyte (Conchocelis) stage, being possibly asexual and lacking the charismatic and “collectable” gametophyte stage. Consequently, little is known of its range and distribution. Taxon-targeted metabarcoding was explored as a pathway to gain insights into the vertical (intertidal versus subtidal) and biogeographical distribution of this species, as well as to assess host diversity. We also wanted to ascertain if other species occur in only the Conchocelis stage in the Canadian flora. Primers targeting a short (521 bp) region of the plastid rbcL gene in the Bangiales were used to screen DNA from 285 coralline crusts collected throughout Canada and adjacent waters. In addition to confirming the presence of P. corallicola in the Bay of Fundy, this species was recovered from coralline crusts along the coast of Nova Scotia (n = 1) and in the low Arctic (Labrador; n = 2), greatly extending its range and suggesting it is a cold-water taxon. We have confirmed its presence in both the low intertidal and subtidal (to 10 m), and its occurrence in three different coralline species, suggesting that it lacks host specificity. In total, nine genetic groups of Bangiales were uncovered in our survey, six matching entries currently in GenBank and three apparently novel genetic groups—two from the northeast Pacific and one from the low Arctic. Notable host and ecological patterns are discussed. This method, when further developed, will facilitate the study of Conchocelis stages in nature, which will greatly enhance ecological knowledge of bangialean species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Nearshore Biodiversity)
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17 pages, 11487 KiB  
Article
Plant Compartments Shape the Assembly and Network of Vallisneria natans-Associated Microorganisms
by Linqiang Wan, Siyong Zhang, Zhongze Zhou and Shuyi Chen
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050676 - 18 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 961
Abstract
The submerged plant Vallisneria natans can provide an attachment matrix and habitat for diverse microorganisms and plays an important role in maintaining the structure and function of the shallow lake ecosystem. However, little is known about how V. natans-related microorganism components, especially [...] Read more.
The submerged plant Vallisneria natans can provide an attachment matrix and habitat for diverse microorganisms and plays an important role in maintaining the structure and function of the shallow lake ecosystem. However, little is known about how V. natans-related microorganism components, especially bacteria, adapt to specific plant compartments. In this study, we investigated the assembly and network of bacterial communities living in different plant compartments (sediment, rhizosphere, rhizoplane, root endosphere, and leaf endosphere) associated with V. natans by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The results showed that the diversity and network complexity of the bacterial community in the sediment was significantly higher than that in other plant compartments. The bacterial community composition showed that the dominant phyla were Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, Desulfobacterota, and Chloroflexi, among which Proteobacteria were extremely abundant in all samples, and there were notable differences in bacterial community composition related to plant compartments. Different networks based on sediment and plant compartments showed distinct co-occurrence patterns and exhibited distinct topological features. Additionally, functional predictions from FAPROTAX indicate that the predominant biogeochemical cycle function of the V. natans-related bacterial community is to participate in the carbon and nitrogen cycle. These results strongly suggested how the microbial community adapted to different plant compartments and provided theoretical and technical data for isolating beneficial bacteria from macrophytes in the future. Full article
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16 pages, 3255 KiB  
Article
What Does “ITS” Say about Hybridization in Lineages of Sarsia (Corynidae, Hydrozoa) from the White Sea?
by Andrey Prudkovsky, Alexandra Vetrova and Stanislav Kremnyov
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 675; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050675 - 17 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1075
Abstract
Hydrozoans are widely known for their complex life cycles. The life cycle usually includes an asexual benthic polyp, which produces a sexual zooid (gonophore). Here, we performed an extensive analysis of 183 specimens of the hydrozoan genus Sarsia from the White Sea and [...] Read more.
Hydrozoans are widely known for their complex life cycles. The life cycle usually includes an asexual benthic polyp, which produces a sexual zooid (gonophore). Here, we performed an extensive analysis of 183 specimens of the hydrozoan genus Sarsia from the White Sea and identified four types of gonophores. We also compared the type of gonophore with haplotypes of the molecular markers COI and ITS. Analysis of COI sequences recovered that the studied specimens related to the species S. tubulosa, S. princeps and S. lovenii, and that the S. lovenii specimens divided into two COI haplogroups. More intraspecific genetic diversity was revealed in the analysis of the ITS sequences. The Sarsia tubulosa specimens divided into two ITS haplotypes, and presumably, hybrid forms between these lineages were found. For S. lovenii, we identified 14 ITS haplotypes as a result of allele separation. Intra-individual genetic polymorphism of the ITS region was most likely associated with intraspecific crossing between the different haplotypes. The diversity of the morphotypes was associated with the genetic diversity of the specimens. Thus, we demonstrated that the morphologically variable species S. lovenii is represented in the White Sea by a network of intensively hybridizing haplotypes. Hybridization affects the morphology and maturation period of gonophores and presumably affects the processes of speciation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Taxonomy, Evolution, and Phylogeography of Marine Invertebrates)
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20 pages, 4363 KiB  
Article
Timing of Ice Retreat Determines Summer State of Zooplankton Community in the Ob Estuary (the Kara Sea, Siberian Arctic)
by Alexander Drits, Anna Pasternak, Elena Arashkevich, Anastasia Amelina and Mikhail Flint
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 674; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050674 - 16 May 2023
Viewed by 974
Abstract
In the estuaries of large Siberian rivers, ice coverage and the timing of ice retreat have varied in recent decades under the ongoing climate change. The seasonal development and functioning of the mesozooplankton community depend to a great extent on the timing of [...] Read more.
In the estuaries of large Siberian rivers, ice coverage and the timing of ice retreat have varied in recent decades under the ongoing climate change. The seasonal development and functioning of the mesozooplankton community depend to a great extent on the timing of ice retreat. In the Arctic estuaries, the response of zooplankton to the timing of ice melt remains unclear. An earlier ice retreat was suggested to result in an advanced seasonal development of zooplankton, and higher biomass and feeding rates. Zooplankton composition, biomass, demography and grazing (assessed with the gut fluorescent approach) were studied in the Ob Estuary in July 2019 (“typical” ice retreat time). The obtained results were compared with the published data for July 2016 (ice retreat three weeks earlier). Zooplankton biomass in 2019 was considerably lower than in 2016, while species composition was similar; dominant populations were at an earlier stage of development. Herbivorous feeding of the dominant copepod, Limnocalanus macrurus, was also lower in 2019. The consequences of an earlier ice melt and increased temperature on seasonal population dynamics of the dominant brackish-water species are discussed. Our findings demonstrate that zooplankton communities in the Arctic estuaries are highly sensitive to the environmental changes associated with early sea-ice reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Estuaries Ecology and Coastal Marine Waters)
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15 pages, 8666 KiB  
Article
Heterochlamydomonas uralensis sp. nov. (Chlorophyta, Chlamydomonadaceae), New Species Described from the Mountain Tundra Community in the Subpolar Urals (Russia)
by Irina Vladimirovna Novakovskaya, Olga Nikolaevna Boldina, Dmitry Mikhailovich Shadrin and Elena Nikolaevna Patova
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050673 - 16 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1107
Abstract
This paper describes a new species from the class Chlorophyceae, Heterochlamydomonas uralensis sp. nov., isolated from the soil of the carex-moss-lichen tundra in the Subpolar Urals Mountains, Russia. The taxon is studied using morphological methods and DNA identification. Heterochlamydomonas uralensis differs from other [...] Read more.
This paper describes a new species from the class Chlorophyceae, Heterochlamydomonas uralensis sp. nov., isolated from the soil of the carex-moss-lichen tundra in the Subpolar Urals Mountains, Russia. The taxon is studied using morphological methods and DNA identification. Heterochlamydomonas uralensis differs from other Heterochlamydomonas spp. by cellular morphology, detected on light and ultrastructural levels, and 18S and ITS2 rDNA sequences. These results support the separation of the species Heterochlamydomonas uralensis sp. nov. This study is important for connecting data from DNA metabarcoding with species described on the basis of morphological characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Biogeography of Terrestrial Algae and Cyanobacteria)
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15 pages, 54254 KiB  
Article
Diversity and Distribution of Helminths in Wild Ruminants of the Russian Arctic: Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), Muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus), and Snow Sheep (Ovis nivicola)
by Olga A. Loginova, Sofya B. Rozenfeld, Taras P. Sipko, Ivan A. Mizin, Danila V. Panchenko, Kasim A. Laishev, Mikhail G. Bondar, Leonid A. Kolpashchikov, Aleksandr R. Gruzdev, Pavel S. Kulemeev, Dennis I. Litovka, Mariia N. Semerikova, Viktor N. Mamontov, Evgeniy G. Mamaev and Sergei E. Spiridonov
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 672; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050672 - 16 May 2023
Viewed by 1866
Abstract
The Russian Arctic supports wild sympatric ruminants and their data-deficient helminths. In this study, we: (1) collected fecal samples of wild and semiwild reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus), and snow sheep (Ovis nivicola) across Palearctic North [...] Read more.
The Russian Arctic supports wild sympatric ruminants and their data-deficient helminths. In this study, we: (1) collected fecal samples of wild and semiwild reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus), and snow sheep (Ovis nivicola) across Palearctic North territories: Arkhangelsk Oblast (including Novaya Zemlya archipelago), Karelia and Sakha Republics, Kola, Yamal, Taimyr, and Chukotka Peninsulas, Bering, Svalbard, and Wrangel Islands; (2) conducted a coprological survey (noninvasive life-time method preferable for protected animals) to obtain eggs and larvae of helminths inhabiting digestive, respiratory, nervous, and muscular systems; (3) identified helminths according to their morphology and DNA sequences; (4) estimated parasite load per host; (5) analyzed our findings. Varestrongylus eleguneniensis (in reindeer) was reported for the Palearctic for the first time, while Orthostrongylus sp. was reported both for R. tarandus and for the Palearctic for the first time. Capillarid-type eggs were reported for snow sheep for the first time. The question of the role of wild Arctic ruminants as vectors for rotifers was raised. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Parasites in Vertebrates in the Wildlife)
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18 pages, 2363 KiB  
Article
Defining Evolutionary Conservation Units in the Macedonian Crested Newt, Triturus macedonicus (Amphibia; Salamandridae), in a Biodiversity Hotspot
by Taxiarchis Danelis, Anagnostis Theodoropoulos, Elisavet-Aspasia Toli, Anastasios Bounas, Athanasios Korakis and Konstantinos Sotiropoulos
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 671; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050671 - 15 May 2023
Viewed by 2116
Abstract
In this study, we used genetic approaches to assess the conservation status of a protected amphibian species, the Macedonian crested newt, Triturus macedonicus, in Northern Pindos National Park (Epirus, Greece). Mitochondrial DNA sequences and multilocus genotypes of individuals from 38 breeding sites [...] Read more.
In this study, we used genetic approaches to assess the conservation status of a protected amphibian species, the Macedonian crested newt, Triturus macedonicus, in Northern Pindos National Park (Epirus, Greece). Mitochondrial DNA sequences and multilocus genotypes of individuals from 38 breeding sites were used to infer their phylogenetic position and to detect and measure genetic variation patterns, population genetic structure, and levels of gene flow. The examined individuals fell within two major clades of the Macedonian crested newt phylogeny, being geographically separated by the Aoos River valley and Vikos Gorge. Both groups constitute separate gene pools, bearing private haplotypes and alleles, and the groups were found to be highly differentiated in both their mitochondrial and microsatellite markers. Thus, they meet all of the criteria needed to be characterized as evolutionary significant units (ESUs) that deserve a separate conservation status. Within each ESU, the particularly high inter-population differentiation and low migration rates imply a lack of connectivity between breeding sites and local isolation in favorable habitats. Our results can inform future programs and actions towards the conservation and management of the Macedonian crested newt in the area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Conservation of Amphibians)
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16 pages, 1660 KiB  
Article
Sex or Fission? Genetics Highlight Differences in Reproductive Strategies of Two Sympatric Fissiparous Sea Cucumber Species in Reunion Island (Southwestern Indian Ocean)
by Joséphine Pierrat, Nicolas Oury, Patrick Frouin and Hélène Magalon
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050670 - 15 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1124
Abstract
Holothuria leucospilota and Stichopus chloronotus are among the most widespread tropical sea cucumber species usually harvested for food and medicine in Asian countries, for which natural stocks have collapsed worldwide. Both species can reproduce sexually and asexually, and a better understanding of their [...] Read more.
Holothuria leucospilota and Stichopus chloronotus are among the most widespread tropical sea cucumber species usually harvested for food and medicine in Asian countries, for which natural stocks have collapsed worldwide. Both species can reproduce sexually and asexually, and a better understanding of their reproductive strategy can provide useful information for conservation purposes. To describe the genetic structure and diversity of sympatric populations from these species in space and time, individuals were sampled over different sites and seasons in Reunion Island (Southwestern Indian Ocean). They were genotyped using 24 and 9 specific microsatellite markers for H. leucospilota and S. chloronotus, respectively. Multi-locus genotypes (MLG) and lineages (MLL) were identified, and analyses of population structure were performed among sites and seasons. No repeated MLG nor MLL were found for H. leucospilota, demonstrating the absence of asexual reproduction. Populations of H. leucospilota were not genetically differentiated, acting as a metapopulation, with larval exchanges within the reef. Contrarily, repeated MLGs were found for S. chloronotus and all populations were genetically differentiated. Asexual reproduction seems to reach a high level for this species (mean clonal richness = 0.24). For both species, genetic structure was stable through seasons. Thus, these sympatric fissiparous sea cucumber species use two different strategies of reproduction, which may allow them to reduce interspecific competition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Marine Diversity)
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16 pages, 3121 KiB  
Article
Spatial and Temporal Variations in Autumn Fish Assemblages in the Offshore Waters of the Yangtze Estuary
by Zhaomin Chen, Cui Liang and Weiwei Xian
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 669; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050669 - 15 May 2023
Viewed by 1078
Abstract
The offshore waters of the Yangtze Estuary are an important fish habitat, and the large gradient of environmental conditions leads to different fish assemblages. We studied the spatial and temporal variations in fish assemblages and their relationships with environmental factors in the offshore [...] Read more.
The offshore waters of the Yangtze Estuary are an important fish habitat, and the large gradient of environmental conditions leads to different fish assemblages. We studied the spatial and temporal variations in fish assemblages and their relationships with environmental factors in the offshore waters of the Yangtze Estuary during the autumns of 2012–2016. The fish assemblage consisted of 64 fish species from 39 families, of which 6 species were dominant. There were significant interannual differences in fish abundance, biomass, and species composition, with the highest abundance and biomass in 2013, the lowest abundance in 2016, and the lowest biomass in 2015. Redundancy analysis revealed that total suspended particles and dissolved oxygen drove interannual variation in fish abundance, biomass, and species composition, and depth drove spatial variation in the fish assemblage. According to the depth, the fish were classified as shallow assemblage and deep assemblage. Understanding the spatial and temporal patterns of fish assemblage in the offshore waters of the Yangtze Estuary is beneficial to the conservation of fish and the sustainable use of fishery resources in the offshore waters of the Yangtze Estuary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Spatiotemporal Distribution of Nekton)
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20 pages, 2417 KiB  
Article
Conservation Genetic Analysis of Blanding’s Turtles across Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan
by Daniel Guinto, Matthew Cross, Gregory Lipps, Jr., Yuman Lee, Bruce Kingsbury, Daniel Earl, Connor Dempsey, Jessica Hinson and Mark Jordan
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 668; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050668 - 14 May 2023
Viewed by 2086
Abstract
The Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) is a species in need of conservation across much of its geographic range. A key aspect to conserving a species is understanding the genetic diversity and population structure across the landscape. Several researchers have focused on [...] Read more.
The Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) is a species in need of conservation across much of its geographic range. A key aspect to conserving a species is understanding the genetic diversity and population structure across the landscape. Several researchers have focused on E. blandingii genetic diversity in the northeastern United States, Canada, and parts of the Midwestern United States; however, little investigation has been carried out on localities within the Great Lakes region of Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. Understanding genetic trends within this region will assist with conservation planning by documenting levels of genetic variation within and among localities and developing hypotheses that have led to the observed patterns. We used 14 microsatellite loci to characterize the genetic diversity of E. blandingii in 16 localities in Indiana, Ohio, and southeast Michigan (with one northwestern locality). Overall, genetic diversity within localities tended to be high and little differentiation was observed among sample localities. No consistent evidence of bottlenecks was detected, and effective population size (Ne) estimates were generally high, but likely biased by sample size. A minimum of two clusters, and as many as seven clusters in a hierarchical analysis, were identified using three methods for grouping individuals (STRUCTURE, TESS3r, and sPCA). A correlation between geographic distance and genetic differentiation (isolation by distance) was observed. The long lifespan and historic gene flow of E. blandingii is likely responsible for the observed genetic diversity and lack of differentiation between localities. This should not suggest that populations are secure in the Great Lakes Region. Modeling aimed at estimating future genetic variation in populations under realistic demographic scenarios indicates that many localities in the region are likely to be vulnerable to genetic loss in the next 200 years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reproductive Biology and Molecular Ecology of Turtles)
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19 pages, 8239 KiB  
Article
Three New Species of Jainus (Monogenea: Dactylogyridae) Parasitizing Gills of Brazilian Freshwater Fishes Supported by Morphological and Molecular Data
by Priscilla de Oliveira Fadel Yamada, Maria Isabel Müller, Aline Cristina Zago, Fabio Hideki Yamada, Mariana Bertholdi Ebert, Lidiane Franceschini and Reinaldo José da Silva
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050667 - 14 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1209
Abstract
The present study describes three new species of monogeneans parasitizing the gills of anostomid fishes from the Upper Paraná River basin, southeastern Brazil: Jainus beccus n. sp. and Jainus radixelongatus n. sp. on Leporinus friderici, Leporinus octofasciatus, Leporinus striatus, and [...] Read more.
The present study describes three new species of monogeneans parasitizing the gills of anostomid fishes from the Upper Paraná River basin, southeastern Brazil: Jainus beccus n. sp. and Jainus radixelongatus n. sp. on Leporinus friderici, Leporinus octofasciatus, Leporinus striatus, and Megaleporinus elongatus; and Jainus ornatus n. sp. on L. friderici. The new species differ from other congeners by the morphology of the accessory piece. There is a semicircular distal portion resembling a “bird’s beak” in Jainus beccus n. sp. It composed of two subunits—one ventral and more sclerotized, sickle-shaped, and another dorsal with three projections—in Jainus radixelongatus n. sp. There are two elongated and sclerotized subunits, both of which have a sickle-shaped distal portion, in Jainus ornatus n. sp. Supplementary observations not reported in the original descriptions of the type-species Jainus piava Karling, Bellay, Takemoto & Pavanelli, 2011 are proposed, as follows: the presence of a thin and delicate ventral bar, which can vary greatly in shape; an accessory piece not articulated with the MCO’s base. This paper provides the first phylogenetic study based on LSU rDNA and COI mtDNA gene sequences for Jainus, improving and clarifying the understanding of host–parasite relationships in neotropical characiforms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity, Taxonomy and Systematics of Fish Parasites)
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11 pages, 16624 KiB  
Article
Population Status of the Globally Threatened Long-Tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis in the Northeast European Tundra
by Oleg Mineev, Yurij Mineev, Sergey Kochanov and Alexander Novakovskiy
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 666; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050666 - 14 May 2023
Viewed by 1091
Abstract
Arctic Russia is home to more than 90% of all Long-tailed Ducks in the Clangula hyemalis species from the Western Siberia/Northern Europe population. The breeding population in European Russia was estimated to be about 5 million birds in the 1960s, while today, estimates [...] Read more.
Arctic Russia is home to more than 90% of all Long-tailed Ducks in the Clangula hyemalis species from the Western Siberia/Northern Europe population. The breeding population in European Russia was estimated to be about 5 million birds in the 1960s, while today, estimates have declined to 1 million birds. Up until now, the main reasons for the overall population decline of the Long-tailed Duck were related to wintering conditions in the Baltic Sea. Our data indicate that the loss or deterioration of key breeding habitats in the Arctic regions of Russia is one important factor influencing the rapid population decline. Many key breeding habitats of the Long-tailed Duck were completely lost in the Bolshezemelskaya tundra, as this area was transformed into major oil and gas extraction sites. The transformation of these sites increased the disturbance and oil pollution of adjacent habitats, leading to the direct loss of certain key nesting sites and a marked and rapid decline of the breeding population of the Long-tailed Duck in the Bolshezemelskaya tundra. Oil-spills during transportation by sea may also be an important factor of decline in the Long-tailed Duck population. Meanwhile, in the Malozemelskaya tundra, which did not experience oil and gas development, the breeding population over the last decades remained stable. Urgent establishment of new protections in key breeding areas in Arctic Russia, sustainable population management, and new research programs are necessary for the conservation and enhancement of this globally threatened species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology, Diversity and Conservation of Seabirds)
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16 pages, 2326 KiB  
Article
Acanthocephalan Diversity and Host Associations Revealed from a Large-Scale Biodiversity Survey
by Jerusha Bennett, Robert Poulin and Bronwen Presswell
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050665 - 14 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1445
Abstract
Acanthocephalans constitute a relatively small phylum of dioecious helminths that infect invertebrate intermediate and vertebrate paratenic and definitive hosts. Like most parasites, acanthocephalans are usually overlooked in biodiversity studies, although they can have significant impacts on their host’s health and the structure of [...] Read more.
Acanthocephalans constitute a relatively small phylum of dioecious helminths that infect invertebrate intermediate and vertebrate paratenic and definitive hosts. Like most parasites, acanthocephalans are usually overlooked in biodiversity studies, although they can have significant impacts on their host’s health and the structure of surrounding communities. In this study, we present morphological and molecular data from an extensive biodiversity survey of acanthocephalans infecting a range of marine animals in a coastal marine ecosystem in New Zealand. We recovered 13 acanthocephalan species infecting 32 of the 168 free-living animal species investigated, 1 of which is a new geographic record for New Zealand (Gorgorhynchoides queenslandensis), 9 of which constitute new host records, and at least 2 that are species new to science. The data presented here provide a baseline dataset to which future assessments of changes in diversity and distribution of acanthocephalans can be compared. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Taxonomy, Biodiversity and Ecology of Parasites of Aquatic Organisms)
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