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Diversity, Volume 15, Issue 6 (June 2023) – 100 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Scopoli’s shearwaters nest colonially, usually inside individual burrows on small islands. Choosing an appropriate nesting site is crucial for protecting eggs and chicks. Additionally, a high-quality burrow may enhance breeding performance. We used long-term capture-recapture data to address the fitness consequences of nest change regarding survival and reproductive success. Our analyses show that moving to a different site improves breeding performance, and nest failure may trigger females’ breeding dispersal towards alternative sites. View this paper
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14 pages, 16616 KiB  
Article
Morphological Characteristics and DNA Barcoding of the Rare Blanket Octopus Tremoctopus violaceus (Cephalopoda: Tremoctopodidae) in the Adriatic Sea
by Mirela Petrić, Branko Dragičević, Rino Stanić and Željka Trumbić
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 794; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060794 - 20 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1278
Abstract
Tremoctopods are epipelagic argonautoid octopods characterized by their expanded dorsal webs and strong sexual size dimorphism, with dwarfed males. The scarcity of taxonomic features attributed to this genus presents a challenge, and there is growing evidence of species misidentification in Tremoctopus genus on [...] Read more.
Tremoctopods are epipelagic argonautoid octopods characterized by their expanded dorsal webs and strong sexual size dimorphism, with dwarfed males. The scarcity of taxonomic features attributed to this genus presents a challenge, and there is growing evidence of species misidentification in Tremoctopus genus on a molecular level. In this study, we investigated four female specimens of blanket octopus Tremoctopus violaceus caught by purse seine fishing in the Central Eastern Adriatic Sea in 2019. Individuals had smooth, firm and muscular bodies, dark bluish purple on the dorsal and iridescent silvery on the ventral side, with dorsal mantle lengths of 113, 82, 80 and 78 mm. The constructed phylogenetic trees based on the 16S ribosomal RNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I sequences of investigated Adriatic specimens and publicly available sequences showed strong support for the T. violaceus clade, consisting of individuals collected from the Adriatic Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, with the exclusion of Indo-Pacific clade most probably corresponding to T. gracilis. To fully understand the life-history traits of Tremoctopus species, future research should focus on DNA-based methods for correct species identification combined with morphological characters, geographic distribution and ecological information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Taxonomy, Biology and Evolution of Cephalopods)
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22 pages, 8427 KiB  
Article
Influence of Distance from Forest Edges on Spontaneous Vegetation Succession Following Small-Scale Gold Mining in the Southeast Peruvian Amazon
by Jorge Garate-Quispe, Manuel Velásquez Ramírez, Edwin Becerra-Lira, Sufer Baez-Quispe, Milagro Abril-Surichaqui, Liset Rodriguez-Achata, Adenka Muñoz-Ushñahua, Pedro Nascimento Herbay, Yoni Fernandez-Mamani, Gabriel Alarcon-Aguirre, Marx Herrera-Machaca, Litcely Hilares Vargas, Ronald Corvera Gomringer and Dennis del Castillo Torres
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 793; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060793 - 19 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1801
Abstract
Few studies describe the factors that influence the natural regeneration in abandoned gold mining areas in the Amazon. Here we focus on the influence of the distance to the forest edge and abandonment time in a spontaneous succession of degraded areas by gold [...] Read more.
Few studies describe the factors that influence the natural regeneration in abandoned gold mining areas in the Amazon. Here we focus on the influence of the distance to the forest edge and abandonment time in a spontaneous succession of degraded areas by gold mining in the southeastern Peruvian Amazon. We assessed woody species composition (DBH ≥ 1 cm) and forest stand structure across a chronosequence (2–23 years). A total of 79 species belonging to 30 families were identified. The natural regeneration was dominated by Fabaceae, Malvaceae, and Urticaceae. Together, they represented 60% of the importance index. Cecropia membranacea and Ochroma pyramidale were the dominant pioneer species at the initial successional stage. The basal area and species diversity were directly related to time after abandonment and inversely related to the distance to forest edges. The distance-based redundancy analysis showed that more of the variation in species composition was explained by distance to the forest edge than the abandonment time. Our study revealed that regeneration was relatively slow and provided evidence that the distance to the forest edge is important for natural regeneration in areas degraded by gold mining. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Succession and Vegetation Dynamics)
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29 pages, 4430 KiB  
Article
Comparative Phylogeography, Historical Demography, and Population Genetics of Three Common Coastal Fauna in Spartina Marshes of the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico
by Gloria Janelle Espinoza and Jaime R. Alvarado Bremer
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 792; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060792 - 19 Jun 2023
Viewed by 999
Abstract
Coastal wetlands worldwide are experiencing high rates of loss and degradation that may lead to a reduction in diversity in faunal populations. Since salt marsh habitats are subject to a multitude of stressors, evaluations of the genetic diversity, connectivity, and potential resilience of [...] Read more.
Coastal wetlands worldwide are experiencing high rates of loss and degradation that may lead to a reduction in diversity in faunal populations. Since salt marsh habitats are subject to a multitude of stressors, evaluations of the genetic diversity, connectivity, and potential resilience of faunal communities within salt marsh habitats are relevant. This study characterizes mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diversity for three common faunal residents of salt marshes along the northern Gulf of Mexico. Gulf Killifish (Fundulus grandis) samples were characterized for 1077 bp of the concatenated nucleotide sequence corresponding to the Control Region and Nitrogen Dehydrogenase, Subunits 2 and 5. Daggerblade grass shrimp (Palaemon pugio) samples were characterized using 466 bp of 16sRNA sequence, and phloem-feeding planthoppers (Prokelisia marginata) were characterized using 372 bp of Cytochrome c Oxidase Subunit I (COI) sequence. For F. grandis, our data revealed high levels of haplotypic diversity, evidence of isolation by distance (IBD), and regional population structuring associated with the distribution of two distinct phylogroups and distinct historical demography signatures. P. pugio and P. marginata displayed low levels of haplotypic diversity and evidence of population structure, but both appear to contain only snapshots of the total potential diversity for these species in the Gulf of Mexico. Greater resolution of the patterns of historical demography of Gulf Killifish may be obtained in future studies by including localities from Florida and Mexico. For both P. pugio and planthoppers, future studies would benefit from the characterization of genetic markers with a higher degree of polymorphism. We conclude that despite these three species inhabiting the same habitats along the same stretch of coast, each is subject to a different combination of evolutionary forces, and this study was able to reconstruct differences in how the genetic variation in each of these species emerged, and how it is maintained. Full article
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13 pages, 8820 KiB  
Article
A New Species of Vampirolepis (Cestoda: Cyclophyllidea: Hymenolepididae) from the Bat Artibeus lituratus (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae) in the Amazon Rainforest, Brazil
by Michele Maria dos Santos, Raquel de Oliveira Simões, Paulo Sérgio D’Andrea, Rair de Sousa Verde, Arnaldo Maldonado Júnior, Reina Isabel Argueta Cartagena, Daniel Guimarães Ubiali and José Luis Luque
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 791; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060791 - 19 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1213
Abstract
The Amazon biome has a great diversity of bat species. In the state of Acre, Brazil, there is an estimated occurrence of 64 bat species with the species of the genus Artibeus as one of the most abundant. Despite their abundance and widespread [...] Read more.
The Amazon biome has a great diversity of bat species. In the state of Acre, Brazil, there is an estimated occurrence of 64 bat species with the species of the genus Artibeus as one of the most abundant. Despite their abundance and widespread distribution within the biome, the helminth fauna from Amazonian bats is still poorly known. In this way, the objective of this study is to describe a new species of cestode from the genus Vampirolepis found in A. lituratus, collected at the Parque Estadual do Chandless, a natural preserved area, located in the Purus River Basin, Southwest Amazon, the state of Acre. The new species of Vampirolepis is distinguished from the others by the number and size of hooks, testes disposition, size of the cirrus sac, ovaries and internal and external seminal vesicles. Additionally, molecular study showed that this forms a paraphyletic clade with Vampirolepis elongatus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Parasites in Vertebrates in the Wildlife)
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18 pages, 2283 KiB  
Article
Signals of Pig Ancestry in Wild Boar, Sus scrofa, from Eastern Austria: Current Hybridisation or Incomplete Gene Pool Differentiation and Historical Introgressions?
by Denise Böheim, Felix Knauer, Milomir Stefanović, Richard Zink, Anna Kübber-Heiss, Annika Posautz, Christoph Beiglböck, Andrea Dressler, Verena Strauss, Helmut Dier, Mihajla Djan, Nevena Veličković, Chavdar Dinev Zhelev, Steve Smith and Franz Suchentrunk
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 790; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060790 - 19 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1927
Abstract
In wild boar, Sus scrofa, from Europe, domestic pig-typical ancestry is traced at varying levels. We hypothesised wild boar with pig-typical gene pool characteristics, i.e., “introgression”, congregate more in peri-urban habitats, because of less shyness and better adaptation to anthropogenic stress. We [...] Read more.
In wild boar, Sus scrofa, from Europe, domestic pig-typical ancestry is traced at varying levels. We hypothesised wild boar with pig-typical gene pool characteristics, i.e., “introgression”, congregate more in peri-urban habitats, because of less shyness and better adaptation to anthropogenic stress. We used 16 microsatellites to study introgression levels of 375 wild boar from peri-urban Vienna, Austria, and rural regions in comparison to commercial slaughter pigs, Mangaliza, and Turopolje pigs. We also expected more introgression in locations of warmer climates and lower precipitation. Despite discrimination of wild boar and pigs with 99.73% and 97.87% probability, respectively, all wild boars exhibited pig-typical gene pool characteristics, mostly at a very low level. Recent hybridisation was suspected in only 0.53% of wild boar, corresponding to the current largely indoor pig breeding/rearing in the region, with no chance of natural gene exchange between pigs and wild boar. Rather, pig ancestry in wild boar stems from incomplete gene pool differentiation during domestication and/or historical introgressions, when free-ranging pig farming was common. Individual introgression levels were lower in wild boar from peri-urban habitats, possibly reflecting the largely historical absence of pig farms there. Moreover, a marginal precipitation effect, but no temperature effect on introgression was observed. The latter, however, needs to be explored further by a more comprehensive data set. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology, Diversity, Conservation and Management of Ungulates)
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13 pages, 5563 KiB  
Article
Host Range Expansion of Nest-Parasitic Moths Pyralis regalis and Hypsopygia mauritialis in Social Wasp Nests: New Findings and Implications for Biological Control
by Young-Min Shin, Heung Sik Lee, Il-Kwon Kim, Chang-Jun Kim and Moon Bo Choi
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 789; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060789 - 19 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1369
Abstract
Parasitic moths are common in social wasp (Hymenoptera) nests, attacking many species of Polistinae and a few species of Vespinae. In the Republic of Korea, two moth species are known to parasitize the brood of Polistes rothneyi koreanus: Pyralis regalis (Pyralidae) and [...] Read more.
Parasitic moths are common in social wasp (Hymenoptera) nests, attacking many species of Polistinae and a few species of Vespinae. In the Republic of Korea, two moth species are known to parasitize the brood of Polistes rothneyi koreanus: Pyralis regalis (Pyralidae) and Anatrachyntis japonica (Cosmopterigidae). Although previously reported elsewhere, a novel case of parasitization was recently documented in the Republic of Korea, in which Hypsopygia mauritialis (Pyralidae) was identified in the nests of social wasps. Pyralis regalis is the most common parasitic moth in the Republic of Korea, feeding on the nests of 11 species of social wasps, mostly the Korean Vespa species. To that list of hosts, we add a species of Dolichovespula and two species of Polistes. Parasitism of Vespa velutina nigrithorax, an invasive alien hornet, by both P. regalis and H. mauritialis, was observed for the first time. However, their potential to control invasive alien hornets is expected to be low. This study provides new insights into the diversity of nest-parasitic moths in social wasp nests and their hosts in the Republic of Korea, and highlights the potential for these moths to impact pest populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Management of Invasive Vespidae)
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16 pages, 3516 KiB  
Article
Dead Shells Bring to Life Baselines for Conservation: Case Studies from The Bahamas, Southern California, and Wisconsin, USA
by Andrew V. Michelson, Julian J. Spergel, Katalina C. Kimball, Lisa Park Boush and Jill S. Leonard-Pingel
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 788; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060788 - 19 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1533
Abstract
We are living in a time of rapid biodiversity loss. Numerous studies have shown that modern extinction rates are higher than pre-human background rates. However, these studies of biodiversity decline almost exclusively focus on large vertebrates. The scientific community lacks the sufficient long-term [...] Read more.
We are living in a time of rapid biodiversity loss. Numerous studies have shown that modern extinction rates are higher than pre-human background rates. However, these studies of biodiversity decline almost exclusively focus on large vertebrates. The scientific community lacks the sufficient long-term records necessary to track biodiversity loss for many invertebrate taxa. However, aquatic, benthic, and skeletonized invertebrates have the advantage of leaving a long-term record that can readily be sampled in conjunction with living communities because the mineralized skeletons accumulate in the very same sediments in which the animals that produced them once lived. These not-quite-fossil “death assemblages” contain an underutilized record for long-term monitoring. Here, we leverage three case studies of calcareous micro- and macro-faunal remains from three aquatic environments spanning two gradients: freshwater to fully marine and polluted to pristine and remediated. We compared the death assemblages to living assemblages in these case studies using Spearman’s rho and the Jaccard–Chao agreement to determine the degree of fidelity. Death assemblages of lacustrine, calcareous microcrustaceans (Ostracoda), collected from lakes in The Bahamas and Wisconsin, USA, faithfully record human impacts, both for degradation and remediation, as determined by a mismatch in the live–dead comparisons. Likewise, the live–dead comparisons of calcareous marine macrofauna (Bivalvia) from the southern California shelf also indicate human impact, including pollution and remediation. These case studies demonstrate how death assemblages can be used to gauge the changes in community assembly and population structures at local and regional scales, even in the absence of a systemic monitoring program. Conservation, restoration, and biomonitoring efforts would benefit from the inclusion of live–dead comparisons of taxa with easily fossilized, identifiable parts. Live–dead studies, such as those presented in these case studies, can be used as tools for recognizing targets and establishing baselines for conservation, tracking community responses to remediation efforts, and identifying local species extinctions. Full article
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15 pages, 1408 KiB  
Article
The Acoustic Repertoire of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Cres-Lošinj Archipelago (Croatia): Site Dependent Diel and Seasonal Changes
by Raffaela Falkner, Marta Picciulin, Grgur Pleslić and Nikolina Rako-Gospić
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 787; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060787 - 18 Jun 2023
Viewed by 2284
Abstract
Describing the acoustic repertoire of cetaceans is necessary to understand the functionality of their sounds and the effect anthropogenic pressures have on animals living in a marine environment. This study provides a description of the acoustic repertoire of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus [...] Read more.
Describing the acoustic repertoire of cetaceans is necessary to understand the functionality of their sounds and the effect anthropogenic pressures have on animals living in a marine environment. This study provides a description of the acoustic repertoire of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Cres-Lošinj archipelago based on continuous 24-h recordings collected from two monitoring stations, both inside and outside the Natura 2000 Site of Community Importance, during an 8-day period in March/April 2020 and a 13-day period in July/August 2020. A total of 1008 h were visually and aurally analyzed to identify vocalizations and investigate diel and seasonal patterns in their parameters. Furthermore, sound pressure levels were calculated for the low (63 Hz–2 kHz) and high (2 kHz–20 kHz) frequency range. Bottlenose dolphins in the Cres-Lošinj archipelago were found to produce whistles, chirps, low frequency narrow-band sounds, burst pulse sounds, and echolocation clicks showing that dolphins are present at both monitoring stations, during both diel and seasonal periods, in a comparable manner. This paper also provides evidence that whistles, chirps, and low frequency narrow-band sounds change their parameters in relation to the background noise in the area, that varies according to diel and seasonal patterns. This suggests a vocal plasticity in the species and a coping strategy to avoid masking of relevant acoustic signals for the local population in the Cres-Lošinj archipelago. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Marine Diversity)
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14 pages, 1921 KiB  
Article
Nutrient Supplementation to Arboreal Ants: Effects on Trophic Position, Thermal Tolerance, Community Structure and the Interaction with the Host-Tree
by Lino A. Zuanon, Ruthe E. O. S. Leão, Adilson Quero, Karen C. Neves and Heraldo L. Vasconcelos
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 786; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060786 - 18 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1113
Abstract
Carbohydrates and proteins are essential to maintain the basic functions of animals. Over the course of one year we conducted a factorial experiment to determine the influence of carbohydrate (sucrose) and protein supplementation on the thermal tolerance, trophic position, overall abundance, species richness [...] Read more.
Carbohydrates and proteins are essential to maintain the basic functions of animals. Over the course of one year we conducted a factorial experiment to determine the influence of carbohydrate (sucrose) and protein supplementation on the thermal tolerance, trophic position, overall abundance, species richness and composition, and on the strength of the protective effects of arboreal ants on their host tree (Caryocar brasiliense). Using Azteca ants as a model we found evidence of dietary and thermal plasticity among arboreal ants as colonies supplied with protein increased their trophic level relative to colonies that received no protein. Colonies that received sucrose increased their thermal tolerance on average by 1.5 °C over a six-month period, whereas those that did not receive sucrose did not change their thermal tolerance. Overall ant abundance was lower in control trees than in those that received any nutrient addition treatment. Species richness was also lower in control trees, but those receiving sucrose presented more species than those receiving only protein. There was greater similarity in species composition between the trees that received sucrose than between these and those receiving only protein or just water as control. Trees whose ant colonies received sucrose presented lower levels of leaf damage than those that did not. Overall, these results indicate that food resources can modulate the population and community ecology of arboreal ants as well as their interaction with the host trees. Interestingly, although arboreal ants are thought to be N-limited, it was the supplementation of sucrose—not protein—that elicited most of the responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity, Biogeography and Community Ecology of Ants II)
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13 pages, 2587 KiB  
Article
Back to Linnaeus: Proper Botanical Naming of the Tetraploid Indian Acorus (Acoraceae), an Important Medicinal Plant
by Dmitry D. Sokoloff, Margarita V. Remizowa, Mikhail V. Skaptsov, Shrirang R. Yadav and Alexander N. Sennikov
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 785; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060785 - 18 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1049
Abstract
The basal monocot genus Acorus comprises essential oil-producing plants widely used in traditional medicine in various countries, including India. Acorus calamus sensu lato is a polyploid complex where the essential oil composition, to some extent, depends on the ploidy level. The literature recognizes [...] Read more.
The basal monocot genus Acorus comprises essential oil-producing plants widely used in traditional medicine in various countries, including India. Acorus calamus sensu lato is a polyploid complex where the essential oil composition, to some extent, depends on the ploidy level. The literature recognizes diploids (in temperate Asia and North America), triploids (Asian in origin, naturalized elsewhere) and tetraploids (temperate to tropical Asia) at the rank of varieties of A. calamus. We show that the current use of the name A. calamus var. angustatus for the tetraploids is not properly justified. The earliest name based on the Asian material is A. calamus var. verus published in 1753 by Linnaeus. We justify the use of the Linnaean variety for tetraploids by selecting an epitype based on the material cultivated in Peninsular India, for which direct chromosome counts are provided. The name A. verus is available if the tetraploid cytotype is recognized at the species rank. We support earlier data on the importance of leaf anatomy for cytotype diagnostics in Acorus, but also show the limitations of the use of this approach. The growth pattern of the tropical Indian tetraploid material is discussed, and the evergreen nature of the accession studied here is documented. The exact chromosome number of the tetraploid Acorus requires further clarification. All metaphase plates examined here showed at least 44 chromosomes, but plates apparently showing more than 44 chromosomes were found as well. They may be explained by technical difficulties in counting chromosomes in Acorus. Alternatively, our data may indicate the occurrence of aneuploid mixoploidy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Systematics and Taxonomy)
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16 pages, 3403 KiB  
Article
Spatial Patterns of Neutral and Functional Genetic Variations along Dendritic Networks of Riverscape in Brown Trout Populations
by Laurine Gouthier, Eloïse Duval, Simon Blanchet, Géraldine Loot, Charlotte Veyssière, Maxime Galan, Erwan Quéméré and Lisa Jacquin
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060784 - 17 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1104
Abstract
Understanding how environmental gradients shape the spatial patterns of intraspecific genetic diversity is a central issue in ecological and evolutionary sciences. In riverine ecosystems, there is generally an increase in neutral genetic diversity downstream, as well as an increase in genetic differentiation among [...] Read more.
Understanding how environmental gradients shape the spatial patterns of intraspecific genetic diversity is a central issue in ecological and evolutionary sciences. In riverine ecosystems, there is generally an increase in neutral genetic diversity downstream, as well as an increase in genetic differentiation among upstream populations. However, selective pressures may vary markedly along the upstream–downstream gradient, which could modify these patterns, but this has rarely been tested empirically. Here, we investigated how environmental gradients in a river network could shape the spatial patterns of intraspecific genetic diversity and differentiation in both neutral SNP markers and functional genetic markers putatively under natural selection (candidate SNPs associated with physiological functions and immune Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) loci) in wild brown trout populations. First, we showed that both the distance from the confluence and the centrality on the river network could explain the variation in genetic diversity and differentiation. Second, we found that both neutral and functional markers followed a similar pattern, with a higher genetic diversity and a lower genetic differentiation among populations that were more central and/or near to the confluence. This study highlights the importance of considering both the spatial and hydrological factors of a river network to understand and predict the role of dendritic connectivity in the spatial patterns of genetic diversity and differentiation in wild fish populations. Full article
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12 pages, 2320 KiB  
Article
Macrobenthos of the Tortolì Lagoon: A Peculiar Case of High Benthic Biodiversity among Mediterranean Lagoons
by Jacopo Giampaoletti, Alice Sbrana, Paolo Magni and Maria Flavia Gravina
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 783; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060783 - 16 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 764
Abstract
Coastal lagoons and brackish ponds are extremely dynamic and temporary ecosystems that follow natural changes throughout their geological history. The correct management of the lagoons ensures their integrity and proper functioning. For this reason, their ecological status should be surveyed for assessing the [...] Read more.
Coastal lagoons and brackish ponds are extremely dynamic and temporary ecosystems that follow natural changes throughout their geological history. The correct management of the lagoons ensures their integrity and proper functioning. For this reason, their ecological status should be surveyed for assessing the most appropriate strategies of use. In the present study, historical datasets collected in 2003–2004 are used to investigate the spatiotemporal variation in the species composition and community structure of the macrobenthos of the Tortolì Lagoon (Sardinia, Italy) and to assess their relationship with key environmental variables. Owing to the presence of a riverine runoff at a site and confined areas at some distance from the sea inlet, we hypothesize the marked spatiotemporal changes of the macrobenthic community consistent with the high environmental variability typical of coastal lagoons. The results show a surprisingly high benthic biodiversity for a medium-sized lagoon (250 ha), with 101 species unevenly distributed across the lagoon. The environmental variables did not explain the zonation of the macrobenthic community as that typically found along a lagoonal gradient, due to a marked marine influence. The sampling sites were in fact discriminated by the species distribution according to their ecological affinity; in particular, the most distinctive characteristics of the Tortolì Lagoon emerged from the strictly marine species that represented the most abundant group, consistently with the high marinization of the lagoon. Our results show that the Tortolì Lagoon constitutes a peculiar ecosystem within Mediterranean lagoons, departing from the classic confinement theory. Full article
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12 pages, 297 KiB  
Article
Marine Invertebrate Neoextinctions: An Update and Call for Inventories of Globally Missing Species
by James T. Carlton
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 782; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060782 - 16 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1150
Abstract
The register of global extinctions of marine invertebrates in historical time is updated. Three gastropod and one insect species are removed from the list of extinct marine species, while two gastropods, one echinoderm, and three parasites (a nematode, an amphipod, and a louse) [...] Read more.
The register of global extinctions of marine invertebrates in historical time is updated. Three gastropod and one insect species are removed from the list of extinct marine species, while two gastropods, one echinoderm, and three parasites (a nematode, an amphipod, and a louse) are added. The nine extinct marine invertebrates now recognized likely represent a minute fraction of the actual number of invertebrates that have gone extinct. Urgently needed for evaluation are inventories of globally missing marine invertebrates across a wide range of phyla. Many such species are likely known to systematists, but are either rarely flagged, or if mentioned, are not presented as potentially extinct taxa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Nearshore Biodiversity)
13 pages, 1490 KiB  
Article
A Study on the Perception of African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) Conservation by School Children in Africa and England (UK)
by Katie E. Thompson and Genoveva F. Esteban
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 781; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060781 - 16 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1546
Abstract
Environmental education (EE) applications can support wildlife conservation practices by improving school children’s understanding of environmental issues, including endangered species conservation, such as the African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana). This study aimed to identify and assess school children’s perceptions of elephant conservation [...] Read more.
Environmental education (EE) applications can support wildlife conservation practices by improving school children’s understanding of environmental issues, including endangered species conservation, such as the African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana). This study aimed to identify and assess school children’s perceptions of elephant conservation in three schools: South Africa, Kenya, and England. Questionnaires were completed by students at one school per location, with the age range of 10–16 (n = 364). The responses were then analysed independently and collectively using descriptive statistics (n = 364). School children feared elephants where elephants were native. The importance of elephants was not acknowledged by students in South Africa and England and included a lack of awareness of how elephants benefit other species. There was an unclear understanding of the threats to elephants. Collectively, a wildlife guide as a career choice was not highly valued. The results of this study have reflected key narratives of elephant conservation from selected countries; Kenya leading in anti-poaching and anti-trade campaigns, anti-poaching campaigns by various NGOs in the U.K., and elephant management around expanding populations in South Africa, which have given significant insights into areas of improvement for environmental education practices to support wildlife conservation globally. Furthermore, this new research has identified and compared school children’s awareness of elephant conservation on a greater spatial scale than what is currently understood, compounding the importance of understanding effective wildlife conservation in education. Full article
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20 pages, 5486 KiB  
Article
Mammalian Roadkill in a Semi-Arid Region of Brazil: Species, Landscape Patterns, Seasonality, and Hotspots
by Raul Santos, Ayko Shimabukuro, Itainara Taili, Roberto Muriel, Artur Lupinetti-Cunha, Simone Rodrigues Freitas and Cecilia Calabuig
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 780; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060780 - 16 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1232
Abstract
Roadkill is one of the principal causes of the loss of biodiversity around the world. The effects of roads on mammals are still poorly understood in regions with a semi-arid climate, where many knowledge gaps persist. The present study provides an inventory of [...] Read more.
Roadkill is one of the principal causes of the loss of biodiversity around the world. The effects of roads on mammals are still poorly understood in regions with a semi-arid climate, where many knowledge gaps persist. The present study provides an inventory of the mammalian species affected on highways in northeastern Brazil, as well as identifying roadkill hotspots and contributing to the understanding of how seasonality and the landscape may influence the roadkill patterns of wild mammals. A total of 6192.52 km of road were sampled in 53 field surveys conducted between 2013 and 2017. Landsat 8 satellite images and data from the MapBiomas platform were used to classify land use and cover for analysis. Buffers of 1 km, 5 km, and 10 km were created around the study roads to identify the landscape variables associated with roadkill events. Ripley’s 2D K-Statistics and the 2D HotSpot test were used to identify roadkill aggregations and hotspots; GLMMs were generated for the landscape variables and evaluated using the Akaike Information Criterion. The Kruskal–Wallis test was applied to investigate the potential effects of seasonality. A total of 527 wild animal carcasses were recorded as a result of vehicular collision. The species with the highest roadkill records were Cerdocyon thous, Euphractus sexcinctus, and Procyon cancrivorus, while two species—Leopardus emiliae and Herpailurus yagouaroundi—are considered to be under threat of extinction. For mammals in general, the best GLMM indicated an increase in roadkills with increasing density of local vegetation areas, and a decrease as urban areas increased. The model also found that the mammals were less impacted in the vicinity of a protected area. In the specific case of C. thous, the roadkill rate was lower when urban infrastructure was more common than dense vegetation; the rate increased as areas of dense vegetation increased. In the case of P. cancrivorus and E. sexcinctus, the best models of roadkill patterns included an area of exposed soil and sparse vegetation, respectively. Roadkill rates were higher in the rainy season for all the mammals, with the exception of C. thous. These results reflect the ecological characteristics of the species with the highest roadkill rates. The findings of the present study raise concerns with regard to the impact of highways on the populations of C. thous, as well as the region’s most threatened species. They also indicate the potential functionality of the local protected area, as well as identifying roadkill hotspots, which will support the development of effective mitigation measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Linear Infrastructures on Wildlife II)
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8 pages, 8404 KiB  
Interesting Images
Hidden Depths: A Unique Biodiversity Oasis in the Persian Gulf in Need of Further Exploration and Conservation
by Kaveh Samimi-Namin and Bert W. Hoeksema
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 779; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060779 - 15 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2572
Abstract
The Persian Gulf, a young and shallow epicontinental sea, is known for its unique geological and oceanographic characteristics that foster its diverse and productive marine ecosystems. A substantial portion of the Gulf’s seafloor consists of unconsolidated soft sediments, making it unsuitable for colonization [...] Read more.
The Persian Gulf, a young and shallow epicontinental sea, is known for its unique geological and oceanographic characteristics that foster its diverse and productive marine ecosystems. A substantial portion of the Gulf’s seafloor consists of unconsolidated soft sediments, making it unsuitable for colonization by many sessile organisms. Consequently, relatively few hard grounds and submerged banks provide suitable habitats for benthic and substrate dwellers. This study documents a unique marine habitat on an offshore submerged bank, likely a raised salt dome, south of Qeshm Island, Iran. This area is home to a high concentration of ahermatypic coral species and remains relatively sheltered from human activities. The bank’s geographic location allows inflow currents from the Strait of Hormuz to transport larvae and nutrients, providing suitable substrates for various sessile invertebrates. Moreover, it causes the formation of Taylor columns, which affect fluid dynamics and circulation patterns, indirectly enhancing biodiversity. Despite facing risks from large-scale regional and localized threats, the bank’s remoteness from the main coast and its depth provide some protection. This study emphasizes the need for continued exploration and the implementation of effective conservation measures in the region, along with additional research to clarify the ecological and physical parameters supporting its diversity. It also presents the first in situ photographic evidence for the occurrence of some octocoral genera in the Gulf. Future research should investigate how the species compositions of hidden banks and shoals contribute to the overall biodiversity of the Persian Gulf. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Interesting Images from the Sea)
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14 pages, 331 KiB  
Review
Is the Impact of the European Mouflon on Vegetation Influenced by the Allochthonous Nature of the Species?
by Tamás Kárpáti and András Náhlik
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 778; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060778 - 15 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1282
Abstract
The mouflon (Ovis gmelini musimon) is an introduced ungulate in continental Europe. It has adapted well to its occupied habitats over the last 150 years. Its growing population has drawn increasing attention to its impact on autochthonous species, especially in endangered [...] Read more.
The mouflon (Ovis gmelini musimon) is an introduced ungulate in continental Europe. It has adapted well to its occupied habitats over the last 150 years. Its growing population has drawn increasing attention to its impact on autochthonous species, especially in endangered ecosystems. Its allochthonous character, habitat selection, and feeding led scientists to question the raison d’etre of mouflons. The mouflon’s space use and foraging strategies highlighted some pressure elements it exerts on those habitats. Mouflon trampling damage may be behind the degradation of rare, endangered grasslands. We review studies to discuss the results and the limitations of exclusion experiments to evaluate the extent of mouflon-caused damage in the context of population density. We review the forest damage attributed to mouflons considering interspecies competition with other large herbivores such as red deer (Cervus elaphus) and chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra). Climate change makes the mouflon use its space differently when seeking shelter in southern habitats; consequently, the increased trampling and foraging pressures suggest new challenges in managing its impact. We review research results on these direct impacts of the species; however, the long-term effects on herbaceous plant communities, such as rock grasslands, are still unclear. This is true for the mouflon’s influence under changing population dynamics. Our results intend to set directions for future research on long-term experiments with density impact, coexistence with red deer or chamois, and warming-climate-driven behavior change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology, Diversity, Conservation and Management of Ungulates)
13 pages, 1466 KiB  
Article
Sexual Selection and Proteinaceous Diversity in the Femoral Gland Secretions of Lacertid Lizards
by Marco Mangiacotti, Simon Baeckens, Marco Fumagalli, José Martín, Stefano Scali and Roberto Sacchi
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 777; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060777 - 15 Jun 2023
Viewed by 980
Abstract
Sexual selection contributes to the diversity of chemical signals in various animal groups. Lizards are good model species to study how sexual selection shapes signal diversity, as they are a chemically oriented taxonomic group with different levels of social interactions. Many lizard species [...] Read more.
Sexual selection contributes to the diversity of chemical signals in various animal groups. Lizards are good model species to study how sexual selection shapes signal diversity, as they are a chemically oriented taxonomic group with different levels of social interactions. Many lizard species bear epidermal glands secreting a waxy mixture of lipids and proteins, which are used in intraspecific communication. Previous among-species comparative analyses failed to find a relationship between the strength of sexual selection with the composition of the lipid blend in lizards. Here, we extend the investigation to the proteinaceous fraction. By using a phylogenetically informed approach, we correlated the average electrophoretic profiles of the protein from the femoral glands of 36 lacertid lizard species with the level of sexual dimorphism in size and shape, which are proxies for the strength of sexual selection. We found that as sexual size dimorphism advances, five distinct molecular weight regions in the protein profile increased their expression. Using tandem mass spectrometry, we successfully identified one of these five proteins: a carbonic anhydrase—an enzyme catalyzing the reversible hydration of carbon dioxide. Our findings suggest that proteins may be the target of sexual selection, as an active semiochemicals or as a dynamic support to other molecules: sexual selection may act indirectly on semiochemicals (namely lipids) by modifying the matrix (namely proteins). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Evolution of Chemical Communication in Lizards)
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15 pages, 12060 KiB  
Article
Looking at the Expansion of Three Demersal Lessepsian Fish Immigrants in the Greek Seas: What Can We Get from Spatial Distribution Modeling?
by Maria Solanou, Vasilis D. Valavanis, Paraskevi K. Karachle and Marianna Giannoulaki
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 776; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060776 - 15 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1295
Abstract
A big number of Red Sea species have entered the Mediterranean Sea since the opening of the Suez Canal. Some of them quickly establish local populations and increase their abundance, forming a potential threat for local biodiversity and fisheries. Here, we use habitat [...] Read more.
A big number of Red Sea species have entered the Mediterranean Sea since the opening of the Suez Canal. Some of them quickly establish local populations and increase their abundance, forming a potential threat for local biodiversity and fisheries. Here, we use habitat modeling tools to study the expansion of three alien, demersal fish species that entered the Mediterranean basin at different times: Pterois miles, Siganus luridus and Siganus rivulatus. Georeferenced occurrence data from the eastern Mediterranean over the past ten years were compiled using online sources, published scientific literature and questionnaires and were correlated with environmental and topographic variables. The maximum entropy modeling approach was applied to construct habitat suitability maps for the target species over all of the Greek Seas. Results emphasized the three species’ strong coastal nature and their association with the presence of Posidonia oceanica meadows. Probability maps evidenced that for all species there is a higher likelihood of presence along the southeast and central Aegean and Ionian Sea coasts and a lower likelihood throughout the North Aegean Sea. For Siganus spp., predictions in the Thracian Sea were highlighted as highly uncertain, as the environmental conditions in this area partly fall outside the range of values occurring in locations of their current presence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Ecology in the Mediterranean Sea)
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16 pages, 5581 KiB  
Article
Updates on Scleroderma: Four New Species of Section Scleroderma from Southwestern China
by Rui Wu, Lvrong Zhou, Hua Qu and Zai-Wei Ge
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 775; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060775 - 15 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1325
Abstract
The genus Scleroderma contains gasteroid basidiomycetes, which form globose spores with echinulate to reticulate ornamentation on the surface. Based on the morphological observations in combination with molecular data, four new species, S. erubescens, S. separatum, S. squamulosum, and S. vinaceum [...] Read more.
The genus Scleroderma contains gasteroid basidiomycetes, which form globose spores with echinulate to reticulate ornamentation on the surface. Based on the morphological observations in combination with molecular data, four new species, S. erubescens, S. separatum, S. squamulosum, and S. vinaceum, were described from Yunnan, southwestern China. Images of fresh basidiomata and scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of basidiospores are provided. Phylogenetic analyses based on ITS sequences show that these four new taxa belong to the Scleroderma section Scleroderma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity in 2023)
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20 pages, 2685 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Variability in Subarctic Lithothamnion glaciale Rhodolith Bed Structural Complexity and Macrofaunal Diversity
by David Bélanger and Patrick Gagnon
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 774; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060774 - 14 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 941
Abstract
Rhodoliths are non-geniculate, free-living coralline red algae that can accumulate on the seafloor and form structurally complex benthic habitats supporting diverse communities known as rhodolith beds. We combined in situ rhodolith collections and imagery to quantify variability, over 9 months and at two [...] Read more.
Rhodoliths are non-geniculate, free-living coralline red algae that can accumulate on the seafloor and form structurally complex benthic habitats supporting diverse communities known as rhodolith beds. We combined in situ rhodolith collections and imagery to quantify variability, over 9 months and at two sites, in the structural complexity and biodiversity of a subarctic Lithothamnion glaciale rhodolith bed. We show that the unconsolidated rhodolith framework is spatially heterogeneous, yet provides a temporally stable habitat to an abundant and highly diverse macrofauna encompassing 108 taxa dominated by brittle stars, chitons, bivalves, gastropods, polychaetes, sea urchins, and sea stars. Specific habitat components, including large bivalve shells, affect rhodolith morphology and resident macrofauna, with increasingly large, non-nucleated rhodoliths hosting higher macrofaunal density, biomass, and diversity than increasingly large, shell-nucleated rhodoliths. The present study’s fine taxonomic resolution results strongly support the notion that rhodolith beds are biodiversity hotspots. Their spatial and temporal domains provide clear quantitative evidence that rhodolith beds provide a stable framework under the main influence of biological forcing until sporadic and unusually intense physical forcing reworks it. Our findings suggest that shallow (<20 m depth) rhodolith beds are vulnerable to ongoing and predicted increases in the frequency and severity of wave storms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Nearshore Biodiversity)
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38 pages, 18937 KiB  
Article
Fluorescent Anemones in Japan—Comprehensive Revision of Japanese Actinernoidea (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Actiniaria: Anenthemonae) with Rearrangements of the Classification
by Takato Izumi, Takuma Fujii, Kensuke Yanagi and Toshihiko Fujita
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 773; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060773 - 13 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1908
Abstract
Actinernoidea is a superfamily of the suborder Anenthemonae of the order Actiniaria, subclass Hexacorallia. This superfamily has been diagnosed by a peculiar endocoeletic mesenterial arrangement and included two families, Actinernidae and Halcuriidae. Although the monophyly of this superfamily is anticipated based on preceding [...] Read more.
Actinernoidea is a superfamily of the suborder Anenthemonae of the order Actiniaria, subclass Hexacorallia. This superfamily has been diagnosed by a peculiar endocoeletic mesenterial arrangement and included two families, Actinernidae and Halcuriidae. Although the monophyly of this superfamily is anticipated based on preceding molecular phylogenetic works, the relationship between these two families was not certain because of the rarity of actinernoidean anemones. We conducted comprehensive sampling in Japan, where the highest diversity of actinernoideans is known, and conducted phylogenetic analyses using nuclear and mitochondrial gene markers. According to the comprehensive analyses, both Actinernidae and Halcuriidae were not indicated as monophyletic but rather as poly- or paraphyletic. Based on our phylogeny reconstruction, we propose a new classification for Actinernoidea composed of three families, including Isactinernidae fam. nov., and seven genera, including Isohalcurias gen. nov. We also describe four new species, Halcurias hiroomii sp. nov., H. fragum sp. nov., Isohalcurias citreum sp. nov., and I. malum sp. nov.; and propose a new combination, Isohalcurias carlgreni comb. nov. This work is the first study of Actinernoidea that comprehensively analyzes its phylogeny and rearranges its classification, showing that there is highly divergent fauna in the seas around Japan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity, Phylogeny and Evolutionary History of Cnidaria)
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18 pages, 8741 KiB  
Article
Intertidal Gleaning Exclusion as a Trigger for Seagrass Species and Fauna Recovery and Passive Seagrass Rehabilitation
by Tsiaranto Felan-Ratsimba Fanoro, Maria Perpétua Scarlet and Salomão Olinda Bandeira
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 772; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060772 - 13 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1575
Abstract
This study evaluates gleaning exclusion as an approach for the rehabilitation of seagrass ecosystems and as an option for important intertidal resource management that contributes to the social well-being of communities. The monitoring of seagrass plant and invertebrate recovery after the implementation of [...] Read more.
This study evaluates gleaning exclusion as an approach for the rehabilitation of seagrass ecosystems and as an option for important intertidal resource management that contributes to the social well-being of communities. The monitoring of seagrass plant and invertebrate recovery after the implementation of gleaning exclusion was conducted over 50 plots of 5 m × 5 m each, which were settled in the seagrass meadow of NW Maputo Bay, Mozambique. The exclusion experiment was designed to compensate for the important loss of seagrass in the area due to gleaning activity characterized mainly by digging and revolving sediments to collect mostly clams. Results showed that, in general, seagrass plant shoot density started having significant positive recovery after five months: three months for Halophila ovalis, five months for Halodule uninvervis, and much more time (>six months) for the IUCN Red List endangered Zostera capensis. For invertebrates, 194 individual invertebrates were collected belonging to 13 species. Solen cylindraceus was the most dominant edible invertebrate species in the local community, and Dosinia hepatica for non-edible species. The result of the experiment showed a positive recovery in the abundance and diversity of invertebrates. The results support previous findings, suggesting that the installation of a no-take zone can enhance the health of an ecosystem. Therefore, to limit the violation and conflicts of the no-take zones, the creation of alternative activities for harvesters and the flexibility of restrictions are vital. Further investigation should be considered to obtain an effective management of the zones, including documentation of species, gleaning practices, and an effective restoration of seagrass meadows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Marine Diversity)
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5 pages, 15355 KiB  
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First Record of the Alien and Invasive Polychaete Laonome triangularis Hutchings & Murray, 1984 (Annelida, Sabellidae) in Italian Waters
by Andrea Bonifazi, Marco Felice Lombardo, Salvatore De Bonis, Riccardo Caprioli, Martina Fustolo, Silvia Morgana, Martina Pierdomenico and Emanuele Mancini
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 771; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060771 - 13 Jun 2023
Viewed by 2585
Abstract
In recent years, the introduction of alien and invasive marine species in the Mediterranean Sea has rapidly increased. Laonome triangularis is a sabellid worm, native to the Australian coasts. Its first record in the Mediterranean Sea dates back to 2009 and, in this [...] Read more.
In recent years, the introduction of alien and invasive marine species in the Mediterranean Sea has rapidly increased. Laonome triangularis is a sabellid worm, native to the Australian coasts. Its first record in the Mediterranean Sea dates back to 2009 and, in this area, it is currently labeled as an allochthonous species. In the present work, we report the fìrst record of this polycheate in Italian waters and we provide some diagnostic features that are useful to identify the species. Full article
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33 pages, 24979 KiB  
Article
Immature Stages of Genus Hexatoma (Diptera, Limoniidae) in the Korean Peninsula
by Virginija Podeniene, Sigitas Podenas, Sun-Jae Park, Chang-Hwan Bae, Min-Jeong Baek and Jekaterina Havelka
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 770; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060770 - 12 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1394
Abstract
The genus Hexatoma Latreille, 1809 is a large group of aquatic crane flies, with almost 600 species worldwide. The largest subgenus is Eriocera Macquart, 1838, which includes all nine species known from the Korean Peninsula. Molecular methods were used to associate Hexatoma larvae [...] Read more.
The genus Hexatoma Latreille, 1809 is a large group of aquatic crane flies, with almost 600 species worldwide. The largest subgenus is Eriocera Macquart, 1838, which includes all nine species known from the Korean Peninsula. Molecular methods were used to associate Hexatoma larvae with their putative adult species from South Korea. Mitochondrial Cytochrome c Oxidase Subunit I (COI) gene fragment sequences (DNA barcodes) of recently collected adults of H. (E.) gifuensis, H. (E.) ilwola, H. (E.) pernigrina, and H. (E.) pianigra were compared with twelve sequences of Hexatoma larvae. The larvae of H. (E.) pernigrina, H. (E.) pianigra, and H. (E.) gifuensis were associated with their putative adults. The larvae of H. (E.) gifuensis and H. (E.) pianigra and the larvae and pupae of H. (E.) pernigrina are described and illustrated. The larvae of two species not associated with any adult are described, and their COI gene fragment sequences (DNA barcodes) are presented. This paper presents the morphological characteristics suitable for distinguishing larval species. A key for the identification of larvae of the genus Hexatoma on the Korean Peninsula has been compiled. H (E.) sachalinensis is recorded from the Korean Peninsula for the first time. Our study is the first contribution to the Hexatoma larvae taxonomy using phylogenetic analysis based on mitochondrial COI fragment (DNA barcode) and one of the first attempts to reveal phylogenetic relationships between Hexatoma species using molecular markers. Full article
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23 pages, 8160 KiB  
Article
Anatomical Structure and Phytochemical Composition of a Rare Species Fraxinus sogdiana Bunge (Oleaceae) Growing in Different Soils in Kazakhstan
by Almagul Aldibekova, Meruyert Kurmanbayeva, Ahmet Aksoy, Valeria Permitina, Liliya Dimeyeva and Nikolai Zverev
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 769; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060769 - 12 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1082
Abstract
Fraxinus sogdiana Bunge (family Oleaceae) is a rare, relict species, with a disjunctive distribution range. The species is listed in the Red Book of Kazakhstan. The aim of this study was to determine anatomical features and identify the phytochemical composition of F. sogdiana [...] Read more.
Fraxinus sogdiana Bunge (family Oleaceae) is a rare, relict species, with a disjunctive distribution range. The species is listed in the Red Book of Kazakhstan. The aim of this study was to determine anatomical features and identify the phytochemical composition of F. sogdiana growing in different soils in Kazakhstan. The research objects were vegetative organs collected in the Temirlik River Valley of the Almaty region (the State National Nature Park “Sharyn”) and the Boralday River Valley of the Turkestan region (the Syrdarya–Turkestan Regional Nature Park) in 2020–2022. A comparative anatomical analysis of the vegetative organs of F. sogdiana revealed similarities and differences between the specimens studied. The level of significance was taken at 5%. The main feature identified in the anatomical structure of the F. sogdiana leaves was the presence of large special motor cells in the upper and lower epidermis. A study of the phytochemical composition identified the ten most important biologically active substances with antimicrobial, antitumor, diuretic, and antioxidative properties. In the study areas, soils were different in terms of conditions and time of soil formation. The soil profile of the floodplain terrace of the Temirlik River was found to be stratified with alternating interlayers of light loamy and sandy loam granulometric composition with inclusions of pebbles; differentiation of the soil profile into genetic horizons was poorly pronounced. The soil profile of the floodplain terrace of the Boralday River had a clear differentiation into genetic horizons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity of Plants with Phytochemical Activity)
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18 pages, 1761 KiB  
Article
Elasmobranch Diversity at Reunion Island (Western Indian Ocean) and Catches by Recreational Fishers and a Shark Control Program
by S. Jaquemet, N. Oury, T. Poirout, J. Gadenne, H. Magalon and A. Gauthier
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 768; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060768 - 12 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1911
Abstract
Elasmobranchs are declining worldwide due to overfishing. In developing countries and island states in tropical regions, small-scale and recreational fisheries can significantly impact the dynamics of neritic species. We investigated elasmobranch diversity at Reunion Island, a marine biodiversity hotspot in the Western Indian [...] Read more.
Elasmobranchs are declining worldwide due to overfishing. In developing countries and island states in tropical regions, small-scale and recreational fisheries can significantly impact the dynamics of neritic species. We investigated elasmobranch diversity at Reunion Island, a marine biodiversity hotspot in the Western Indian Ocean. Combining information from the literature, catches from the local shark control program, results from a survey of local recreational fishing, and through barcoding of some specimens, we updated the list of elasmobranchs to 65 species. However, uncertainties remain about the actual presence of some species, such as the three sawfish species. Results highlight the disappearance of most coral reef-associated species, as already suspected. Results also suggest that local populations of scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini) and bottlenose wedgefish (Rhynchobatus australiae) seem healthy, in contrast with their decline in the region. For some species, such as bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) and scalloped hammerhead sharks, Reunion Island is a site of reproduction, and as such, the species are exploited at both juvenile and adult stages, which likely increases their vulnerability. In the context of global elasmobranch decline, it is urgent to clarify the conservation status and evaluate the degree of isolation of local populations to identify research and conservation priorities. Full article
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15 pages, 4483 KiB  
Article
Evolution of Expending Extra Effort in Making a Dung Mass before Making a Brood Ball in the Nesting Behavior of the Female Dung Beetle Copris acutidens (Coleoptera; Scarabaeoidea)
by Mayumi Akamine and Tatsuya Mishima
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 767; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060767 - 12 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1096
Abstract
Nutrient limitations have often caused the evolution of mechanisms for efficient nutrient acquisition. The mouthparts of adult dung beetles efficiently acquire nutrients from a fiber-rich diet. Conversely, primitive mouthparts force larvae to survive on a low-quality diet despite experiencing the most demanding growth [...] Read more.
Nutrient limitations have often caused the evolution of mechanisms for efficient nutrient acquisition. The mouthparts of adult dung beetles efficiently acquire nutrients from a fiber-rich diet. Conversely, primitive mouthparts force larvae to survive on a low-quality diet despite experiencing the most demanding growth stages. In this study, we investigated the nutritional conditions and microbial community of the larval diet through the nesting behavior of the dung beetle Copris acutidens. We revealed that diet quality (C/N ratio) increased during the process of making the brood ball, irrespective of dung type. The sequencing of the bacterial community based on a partial 16S rRNA gene and the fungal community that targeted ITS2 region revealed that the fungal community in the female gut was the closest to the larval diet, whereas the bacterial community was not. The proportion of fungal Trichosporonaceae tended to increase with a decreasing C/N ratio irrespective of dung type and was alive in the larval gut. We suggest that Trichosporonaceae is a gut symbiont of both the adult female and larvae of C. acutidens, which is transmitted to the dung mass and then to larval gut through the brood ball, and that females have evolved the extra effort processes in their nesting behavior to compensate for larval diet quality, which is likely associated with symbiont fungi within the family Trichosporonaceae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Taxonomy, Systematics and Evolution of Coleoptera)
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22 pages, 6933 KiB  
Article
Inference of Ploidy Level in 19th-Century Historical Herbarium Specimens Reveals the Identity of Five Acorus Species Described by Schott
by Dmitry D. Sokoloff, Margarita V. Remizowa, Elena E. Severova and Alexander N. Sennikov
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 766; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060766 - 12 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1089
Abstract
Heinrich Wilhelm Schott (1794–1865) was one of the pioneering researchers in the taxonomy of the species-rich monocot family Araceae. He described numerous new plant species in various genera, including Acorus, which is currently segregated as a monogeneric family and order occupying a [...] Read more.
Heinrich Wilhelm Schott (1794–1865) was one of the pioneering researchers in the taxonomy of the species-rich monocot family Araceae. He described numerous new plant species in various genera, including Acorus, which is currently segregated as a monogeneric family and order occupying a position sister to the rest of the monocots. While describing his new species of Acorus, Schott mostly used characters that are currently considered of low, if any, taxonomic value. His descriptions lack some key characters including, for obvious reasons, chromosome numbers. Therefore, Schott’s species concepts cannot be properly interpreted according to the current understanding of the taxonomic diversity of Acorus, even though his species names must be examined for implementation of the principle of nomenclatural priority. The only way of resolving the taxonomic identity of Schott’s species names is through the identification of type specimens among historical herbarium collections, by inferring taxonomically significant characters that are missing in Schott’s descriptions. On the basis of herbarium collections of the Komarov Botanical Institute, St. Petersburg (LE), we were able to infer ploidy levels of the materials used by Schott to describe Acorus triqueter (diploid, Siberia), A. tatarinowii (tetraploid, China), A. nilaghirensis (tetraploid, India), A. griffithii (tetraploid, Bhutan), and A. commutatus (tetraploid, Bhutan). Leaf anatomy and pollen stainability were used as cytotype markers. All five species belong to the polymorphic Acorus calamus complex that comprises important medicinal plants. Detailed historical and nomenclatural analyses of Schott’s species names and herbarium collections are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Systematics and Taxonomy)
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15 pages, 1885 KiB  
Article
Oribatid Mites (Oribatida) Associated with Nests of Hollow-Nesting Birds, on the Example of a Model Species, the European Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca), in the Taiga Forests of the European North-East of Russia
by Elena N. Melekhina, Andrey N. Korolev and Natalia P. Selivanova
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 765; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060765 - 12 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 850
Abstract
The authors have obtained original material on the fauna and population structure of oribatid mites inhabiting nests of the European Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca, Passeriformes, hollow-nesting bird) on the territory of the taiga zone of the European North-East of Russia. Long-term research [...] Read more.
The authors have obtained original material on the fauna and population structure of oribatid mites inhabiting nests of the European Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca, Passeriformes, hollow-nesting bird) on the territory of the taiga zone of the European North-East of Russia. Long-term research and the collection of nests were carried out in the green zone of Syktyvkar in 2017–2022. Observations were made for artificial nests (hollows) of a box type with a bottom area of 100 cm2. The material of the tray was collected completely. In 135 studied nests of Pied Flycatchers, 1762 specimens were found and identified for 22 species of oribatid mites from 19 genera and 16 families. In the nests of the Pied Flycatcher, a complex of species was found that is known as an arboricolous species for this region; these are Oribatula (Zygoribatula) propinqua, Oribatula (Z.) exilis, Trichoribates (T.) berlesei, and Ameronothrus oblongus. We suggested that arboricolous species, as well as eurytopic species, can actively inhabit bird nests. Highly numerous in our collections were representatives of the Oribatulidae and Scheloribatidae families; they are Oribatula (Z.) propinqua, Oribatula (Z.) exilis, Oribatula (O.) tibialis, and Scheloribates laevigatus. Epigeic species are dominated by the species number. The fauna of oribatid mites mainly included widespread Holarctic species (54.54%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity of Terrestrial Invertebrate Communities)
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