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Diversity, Volume 16, Issue 2 (February 2024) – 56 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Following an historic reintroduction in 2022, the formerly extinct-in-the-wild Spix’s Macaws (Cyanopsitta spixii) once again fly free in their native Caatinga habitat in eastern Brazil. The captive-reared macaws not only quickly adjusted to their native habitat following release, but also began to successfully breed and raise chicks in the wild, a highly encouraging series of events that bodes well for the future of this critically endangered avian species. View this paper
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14 pages, 883 KiB  
Article
Wind Farms and Power Lines Reduced the Territory Status and Probability of Fledgling Production in the Eurasian Goshawk Accipiter gentilis
by Magne Husby
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020128 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1081
Abstract
Wind power is commonly used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but often has negative effects on biodiversity. In this study, I investigated the effects of wind farm and power line construction on the territory status of the Eurasian goshawk Accipiter gentilis, whether [...] Read more.
Wind power is commonly used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but often has negative effects on biodiversity. In this study, I investigated the effects of wind farm and power line construction on the territory status of the Eurasian goshawk Accipiter gentilis, whether fledglings were produced or not, and the number of fledglings. Included were 55 goshawk territories investigated before and after the construction period. I found that the territory status declined significantly in the influence area within 3 km from the disturbance compared to the control area more than 7 km away. Interestingly, the decline in territory status was similar in the distance categories 0–1 km, 1–2 km, and 2–3 km, while there was nearly no change in territory status in the control area, thus indicating that the influence area from this kind of disturbance was minimum 3 km from the nest. The number of breeding pairs declined significantly during the construction period only in the influence area. Possible reasons might be higher mortality caused by collisions with power lines, desertion, avoidance of the areas with noise and disturbance from the constructions, and possible indirect effects caused by reductions in prey species. I found no effects of the construction on the number of fledglings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation and Ecology of Raptors—2nd Edition)
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28 pages, 3114 KiB  
Article
Disentangling the Anacondas: Revealing a New Green Species and Rethinking Yellows
by Jesús A. Rivas, Paola De La Quintana, Marco Mancuso, Luis F. Pacheco, Gilson A. Rivas, Sandra Mariotto, David Salazar-Valenzuela, Marcelo Tepeña Baihua, Penti Baihua, Gordon M. Burghardt, Freek J. Vonk, Emil Hernandez, Juán Elías García-Pérez, Bryan G. Fry and Sarah Corey-Rivas
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020127 - 16 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 66452
Abstract
Anacondas, genus Eunectes, are a group of aquatic snakes with a wide distribution in South America. The taxonomic status of several species has been uncertain and/or controversial. Using genetic data from four recognized anaconda species across nine countries, this study investigates the [...] Read more.
Anacondas, genus Eunectes, are a group of aquatic snakes with a wide distribution in South America. The taxonomic status of several species has been uncertain and/or controversial. Using genetic data from four recognized anaconda species across nine countries, this study investigates the phylogenetic relationships within the genus Eunectes. A key finding was the identification of two distinct clades within Eunectes murinus, revealing two species as cryptic yet genetically deeply divergent. This has led to the recognition of the Northern Green Anaconda as a separate species (Eunectes akayima sp. nov), distinct from its southern counterpart (E. murinus), the Southern Green Anaconda. Additionally, our data challenge the current understanding of Yellow Anaconda species by proposing the unification of Eunectes deschauenseei and Eunectes beniensis into a single species with Eunectes notaeus. This reclassification is based on comprehensive genetic and phylogeographic analyses, suggesting closer relationships than previously recognized and the realization that our understanding of their geographic ranges is insufficient to justify its use as a separation criterion. We also present a phylogeographic hypothesis that traces the Miocene diversification of anacondas in western South America. Beyond its academic significance, this study has vital implications for the conservation of these iconic reptile species, highlighting our lack of knowledge about the diversity of the South American fauna and the need for revised strategies to conserve the newly identified and reclassified species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Barcoding for Biodiversity Conservation and Restoration)
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16 pages, 43442 KiB  
Article
Unrecognised Ant Megadiversity in the Australian Monsoonal Tropics III: The Meranoplus ajax Forel Complex
by Alan N. Andersen, François Brassard and Benjamin D. Hoffmann
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020126 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1035
Abstract
Australia’s monsoonal (seasonal) tropics are a global centre of ant diversity, but are largely unrecognised as such because the vast majority of its species are undescribed. Here we document another case of undescribed hyper-diversity within a taxon that is formally recognised as a [...] Read more.
Australia’s monsoonal (seasonal) tropics are a global centre of ant diversity, but are largely unrecognised as such because the vast majority of its species are undescribed. Here we document another case of undescribed hyper-diversity within a taxon that is formally recognised as a single, widespread species, Meranoplus ajax Forel. We recognise 50 species among 125 specimens of M. ‘ajax’ that we CO1-barcoded, integrating CO1 clustering and divergence, morphological differentiation and geographic distribution. A large proportion (44%) of these species are represented by single records, indicating that very many additional species are yet to be collected in this extremely remote and sparsely populated region. Sampling has been concentrated in the Northern Territory, where 27 of the 50 species occur. If diversity in Western Australia and Queensland were similar to that in the Northern Territory, as appears likely, then the M. ajax complex would comprise >100 species. In 2000, when Australia’s monsoonal ant fauna was estimated to contain 1500 species, Meranoplus ajax was considered to represent a single species. Our previous analyses of a range of other taxa have shown that their diversity has been similarly under-appreciated in this estimate. Our findings suggest that the total number of ant species in monsoonal Australia is several thousand, which would make the region by far the world’s richest known. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2024 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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12 pages, 2074 KiB  
Communication
Predicting the Future Distribution of Leucobryum aduncum under Climate Change
by Puwadol Chawengkul, Patsakorn Tiwutanon, Nuttha Sanevas and Ekaphan Kraichak
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020125 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1665
Abstract
Leucobryum aduncum is a moss species reported in many Southeast Asian regions, often found in forests with a high humidity. Climate change may impact the future distribution of this species. This study aimed to model the current distribution and predict the impact of [...] Read more.
Leucobryum aduncum is a moss species reported in many Southeast Asian regions, often found in forests with a high humidity. Climate change may impact the future distribution of this species. This study aimed to model the current distribution and predict the impact of climate change on L. aduncum distribution in the next 50 years across Southeast Asia. In the process, relevant climate variables in the distribution of the species were also identified. The occurrence data of this species with current and future climate models from CMIP6 under moderate (SSP2) scenarios were used to predict current and future L. aduncum distributions. Under the current climate, the predicted suitable areas for L. aduncum included most mountainous areas. However, many Southeast Asian areas showed a lower probability of finding this species in the next 50 years. The distribution area of this species will dramatically decrease by 50.16% in the current area. The most important ecological variables included the “mean temperature of the driest quarter” and the “annual temperature range”. This study suggests the possible impacts of an increased temperature and the scale of climate change on the distribution of sensitive plants like bryophytes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distribution of Bryophytes in a Changing World)
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11 pages, 10108 KiB  
Article
Status of Marine Debris Damage to Adult and Young Black-Tailed Gulls (Larus crassirostris) in Their Breeding Colonies in South Korea
by Mi-Jin Hong, Seongho Yun, Min-Seung Yang, Hye-Jeong Jeon, Jeong-Chil Yoo and Who-Seung Lee
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020124 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 880
Abstract
Marine debris from fishing-related paraphernalia poses a threat to the survival of marine organisms, especially seabirds. Although the detrimental effects of marine debris on seabirds have been documented, studies on the extent of damage inflicted by marine debris on the seabird breeding population [...] Read more.
Marine debris from fishing-related paraphernalia poses a threat to the survival of marine organisms, especially seabirds. Although the detrimental effects of marine debris on seabirds have been documented, studies on the extent of damage inflicted by marine debris on the seabird breeding population are scarce. Here, marine debris ingestion and entanglement damage to black-tailed gulls (Larus crassirostris) residing in South Korea were quantified. The five breeding colonies of black-tailed gulls were visited, and the frequency of ingestion and entanglement damage in adults and young were recorded. A total of 25 cases of marine debris damage were confirmed. As a result, damage by marine debris to gulls varied depending on breeding colonies. More adults suffered from entanglement damage than the young, and their most damaged parts were usually their legs. Fishing lines and hooks caused the most damage. We suggest that marine debris damage acquired in breeding colonies could affect breeding success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology, Diversity and Conservation of Seabirds)
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12 pages, 2996 KiB  
Article
Habitat Impacts on the Golden Eagle’s Foraging Ecology and Nest Site Selection in Poland
by Marian Stój, Robert Kruszyk, Dorota Zawadzka and Grzegorz Zawadzki
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020123 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1567
Abstract
The Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos (hereafter GE) is one of Europe’s largest avian top predators. The present study recognizes the habitat characteristics and food composition of the GE in Poland. The research was carried out in the Polish part of the Carpathian Mountains. [...] Read more.
The Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos (hereafter GE) is one of Europe’s largest avian top predators. The present study recognizes the habitat characteristics and food composition of the GE in Poland. The research was carried out in the Polish part of the Carpathian Mountains. The GEs built nests mainly on old coniferous trees and strongly preferred the Silver Fir Abies alba. On average, within a 5 km buffer around the nest, forests covered about 2/3 of the area, while open land with villages was at 31% and water was about 1%. Birds preferred areas with less forest cover than in the random points, but the nests were significantly further from the countryside than the distance measured for the drawn points distributed in the GEs’ range in Poland. Their diet during the breeding season was assessed by analyzing pellets and food remains. The proportion of birds was 55.7%, mammals was 43.4%, and reptiles was 0.9%. The ten most common prey species included the Domestic Pigeon Columba livia, the Ural Owl Strix uralensis, the Tawny Owl Strix aluco, the Buzzard Buteo buteo, the Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus, the Martens Martes sp., and the Red Fox Vulpes vulpes, which composed 70% of food items. Our results showed that the GE is a top predator, as evidenced by the high share of other predators—both mammal and bird species—in its diet, which constituted about 34% of identified preys. The diet of the studied GE population showed geographical variation, suggesting local adaptations to available prey species. The share of Roe Deer increased from west to east, indicating a higher availability in the less urbanized eastern part of the country. An analysis of general food categories showed that, as latitude increased, the share of captured birds among prey of the GEs declined, while the percentage of forest prey increased. Pigeons were prey of the GEs mainly in the western part of their range. The GEs often captured species with nocturnal activity—owls and martens, which were identified in most of the GEs’ territories. The proportion of mammals in the diet of the GE increased with an increase in the proportion of open areas, while the abundance of birds of prey and owls in the diet correlated with a higher proportion of forests. The greatest threat to Poland’s GE population is the reduction in semi-open areas with low human activity and low human population densities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Diversity)
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13 pages, 5083 KiB  
Article
Identification, Antimicrobial and Plant Growth Promoting Activities of Endophytic Fungi Associated with Cynomorium songaricum Rupr., a Traditional Medicinal Plant in Mongolia
by Enkh-Amgalan Jigjiddorj, Amarbayasgalan Maidarjav, Bumtsend Byambasuren and Daritsogzol Nyamgerel
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020122 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1137
Abstract
Endophytic fungi colonize the inner tissues and provide direct and indirect benefits to plants. Although Mongolia is rich in medicinal plants, due to climatic and anthropogenic reasons, the resources are being depleted, and many species are under threat of gradual extinction, while the [...] Read more.
Endophytic fungi colonize the inner tissues and provide direct and indirect benefits to plants. Although Mongolia is rich in medicinal plants, due to climatic and anthropogenic reasons, the resources are being depleted, and many species are under threat of gradual extinction, while the endophytic fungi of Mongolian plants are largely unknown. In this study, a total of 24 culturable endophytic fungal strains were isolated from Cynomorium songaricum (Rupr.), a medicinal and vulnerable plant species of Mongolia. Based on the morphological characteristics and the sequences of the rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region, the isolates were identified into six genera: Fusarium (8), Clonostachys (7), Penicillium (6), Alternaria (1), Aspergillus (1), and Madurella (1). The antimicrobial activity was assessed by the agar-diffusion method, revealing that 15 strains were able to inhibit the growth of at least one of the test organisms. Among them, 1 strain showed inhibitory activity against Escherichia coli, 12 against Bacillus subtilis, 13 against Staphylococcus aureus, and 8 against Aspergillus niger, respectively. The ability to solubilize complex phosphorus and zinc minerals was observed in 3 and 21 strains, respectively, and the production of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) was detected in nine strains in the presence of tryptophan. Our study provides the first insight into the cultivable endophytic fungal composition of C. songaricum, parasitizing the roots of Nitraria sibirica growing in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. The resulting fungi, which have antimicrobial and plant growth-promoting properties, were preserved in the national culture collection and can be used to further exploit their biotechnological potential, as well as for the propagation of endangered and vulnerable medicinal plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Microbial Diversity and Culture Collections)
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12 pages, 1562 KiB  
Article
Detection of Avian Haemosporidian Parasites in Wild Birds in Slovakia
by Lenka Minichová, Vladimír Slobodník, Roman Slobodník, Milan Olekšák, Zuzana Hamšíková, Ľudovít Škultéty and Eva Špitalská
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020121 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 945
Abstract
Haemosporidians are a group of vector-borne parasites belonging to the order Haemosporida. These parasites infect avian hosts and require blood-sucking insects (Diptera) for transmission. The occurrence and diversity of haemosporidian parasites are shaped primarily by the specificity of the parasite and the susceptibility [...] Read more.
Haemosporidians are a group of vector-borne parasites belonging to the order Haemosporida. These parasites infect avian hosts and require blood-sucking insects (Diptera) for transmission. The occurrence and diversity of haemosporidian parasites are shaped primarily by the specificity of the parasite and the susceptibility of the host/vector. In this study, the presence and distribution of haemosporidians in blood samples from birds in urbanized and natural habitats were estimated using microscopic and molecular approaches. Birds in urbanized habitats were infected with four different species of Plasmodium, P. relictum, P. vaughani, P. matutinum, and P. circumflexum, and one species of Haemoproteus, H. parabelopolskyi, and Leucocytozoon sp. The species H. attenuatus, H. concavocentralis, H. minutus, H. pallidus, H. noctuae, and H. tartakovskyi were additionally identified in birds in natural habitats. Typically, juvenile birds are essential markers of parasite species transmitted in the study area. The juveniles in the urbanized habitats carried P. relictum, P. vaughani, P. circumflexum, H. parabelopolskyi, and Leucocytozoon species. The most abundant parasite was H. parabelopolskyi, which was found in both habitat types. The prevalence of Haemoproteus/Plasmodium species determined by nested PCR in birds in natural habitats (43.80%; 53/121) was significantly greater than that in birds in urbanized habitats (21.94%; 43/196) (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the infection rate of Leucocytozoon sp. between the habitat types (p > 0.05; 10/121 vs. 19/196). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Diversity and Culture Collections)
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9 pages, 10709 KiB  
Interesting Images
A Tale of Two Sisters: The Southerner Pinna rudis Is Getting North after the Regional Extinction of the Congeneric P. nobilis (Mollusca: Bivalvia)
by Alice Oprandi, Stefano Aicardi, Annalisa Azzola, Fabio Benelli, Marco Bertolino, Carlo Nike Bianchi, Mariachiara Chiantore, Maria Paola Ferranti, Ilaria Mancini, Andrea Molinari, Carla Morri and Monica Montefalcone
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020120 - 13 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 973
Abstract
In the Mediterranean Sea, the bivalve genus Pinna is represented by two species: the endemic Pinna nobilis and the (sub)tropical Atlantic Pinna rudis. P. rudis is generally less common and mostly restricted to the warmer regions of the western Mediterranean. However, since [...] Read more.
In the Mediterranean Sea, the bivalve genus Pinna is represented by two species: the endemic Pinna nobilis and the (sub)tropical Atlantic Pinna rudis. P. rudis is generally less common and mostly restricted to the warmer regions of the western Mediterranean. However, since a mass mortality event, caused by a pathogen infection, has brought P. nobilis to the brink of extinction, records of P. rudis have increased in several Mediterranean regions, where it had not been previously observed. This paper reports on the presence of several P. rudis individuals in the Ligurian Sea, the northernmost reach of this species in the western Mediterranean. P. rudis has become increasingly common between 2021 and 2023, with a total of 28 new records from seven localities along the Ligurian coast. The size of the individuals and their estimated growth rate (3.6 cm·a−1) indicated that a recruitment event most likely took place in summer 2020, when P. nobilis was no longer present in the area. Our observations suggest that the recruitment success of P. rudis increased following the decline of P. nobilis. However, considering the thermophilic nature of P. rudis, in all likelihood, the ongoing water warming is playing a crucial role in the successful establishment of this species in the Ligurian Sea. A full understanding of the recent range expansion of P. rudis in the Mediterranean is far from being achieved, and whether P. rudis will be able to fulfil the ecological role of P. nobilis is difficult to predict. Large scale monitoring remains the only effective way to know about the future of Pinnids in the Mediterranean Sea. Full article
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15 pages, 3357 KiB  
Article
The Bee Communities of Young Living Lavender Farm, Mona, Utah, USA
by Joseph S. Wilson, Jacob G. Young and Lindsey Topham Wilson
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020119 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 3948
Abstract
It is now widely recognized that bees are among the most important pollinators worldwide, yet the bee faunas of many regions and habitats remain inadequately documented. The Great Basin Desert in North America is thought to host some of the richest bee communities [...] Read more.
It is now widely recognized that bees are among the most important pollinators worldwide, yet the bee faunas of many regions and habitats remain inadequately documented. The Great Basin Desert in North America is thought to host some of the richest bee communities in the world, as indicated by several studies documenting diverse bee faunas in the region’s natural habitats. However, limited attention has been given to the bee communities present on agricultural lands within the Great Basin Desert. Here, we describe a rich bee community housed at the Young Living Lavender Farm in Juab County, Utah, near the eastern edge of the Great Basin Desert. Our survey of bees on this farm identified 68 bee species across 22 genera. This represents 34% of the bee species known from the county, including 34 new county records. Among the numerous flower species cultivated at the farm, we found that lavender supported the richest bee community, with 32 species collected from cultivated lavender fields. While lavender is frequently recommended for homeowners to plant in support of pollinators, our study is among the first to provide a list of bee species that visit lavender in western North America. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that agricultural lands, particularly those implementing pollinator-friendly farming practices, can support rich bee communities in the Great Basin Desert. Full article
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8 pages, 1173 KiB  
Communication
Nigrospora humicola (Apiosporaceae, Amphisphaeriales), a New Fungus from Soil in China
by Ying-Ying Zhang, Ting Zhang, Hai-Yan Li, Ran Zheng, Jie Ren, Qin Yang and Ning Jiang
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020118 - 12 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1090
Abstract
The fungal genus Nigrospora is known to be a plant pathogen, endophyte, and saprobe, and it is usually isolated from various substrates like soil and air. During the surveys of soil fungi in Hebei Province of China, two isolates of Nigrospora were obtained. [...] Read more.
The fungal genus Nigrospora is known to be a plant pathogen, endophyte, and saprobe, and it is usually isolated from various substrates like soil and air. During the surveys of soil fungi in Hebei Province of China, two isolates of Nigrospora were obtained. A multi-locus phylogeny of combined loci of the 5.8S nuclear ribosomal gene with the two flanking transcribed spacers (ITS), part of the translation elongation factor 1-alpha (tef1), and the beta-tubulin (tub2) loci, in conjunction with morphological characters were used to identify the newly collected isolates. Nigrospora humicola sp. Nov. is described and proposed herein, which differs from its phylogenetically close species N. chinensis and N. globosa by the sequences of ITS, tef1, and tub2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Ecology of Soil Fungal Communities)
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6 pages, 504 KiB  
Editorial
A Special Issue on the Diversity, Ecology and Evolution of Dragonflies and Damselflies (Insecta: Odonata)
by M. Olalla Lorenzo-Carballa and Ricardo Koroiva
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020117 - 12 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1112
Abstract
The Odonata is an order of insects commonly known as dragonflies and damselflies, with a worldwide distribution except in Antarctica [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity, Ecology and Evolution of Odonata)
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16 pages, 4958 KiB  
Article
Microbiological Collections in Brazil: Current Status and Perspectives
by Chirlei Glienke, Desirrê Alexia Lourenço Petters-Vandresen, Aline da Silva Soares Souto, Luciane Marinoni and Manuela da Silva
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020116 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1091
Abstract
As part of a Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation initiative, the Brazilian Societies of Botany, Microbiology, Virology, and Zoology conducted a comprehensive evaluation of biological collections in Brazil. This assessment aimed to gather insights into the current state of these collections, with [...] Read more.
As part of a Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation initiative, the Brazilian Societies of Botany, Microbiology, Virology, and Zoology conducted a comprehensive evaluation of biological collections in Brazil. This assessment aimed to gather insights into the current state of these collections, with the goal of providing support for future public policies, including financial subsidies and prioritization policies. In this context, we present the findings related to microbiological collections, essential to ex situ biodiversity conservation and crucial in supporting research, development, and innovation. A survey was distributed to public and private institutions across Brazil, yielding responses from 168 microbiological collections representing 79 different entities. Notably, 73 of these collections are affiliated with public research institutions and universities, underscoring the State’s pivotal role in preserving and safeguarding Brazilian microbial diversity. The primary taxonomic groups encompass bacteria (found in 70.24% of collections) and fungi (comprising 52.98% of collections), sourced from diverse Brazilian ecosystems and biomes, including those that contain several type strains. Furthermore, the collections preserve microorganisms harboring biotechnological potential applicable to environmental protection, public health, industry, and agribusiness. Despite these promising economic and biotechnological prospects, our meticulous data analysis has revealed significant limitations and vulnerabilities, especially regarding physical infrastructure and human resources, emphasizing the urgent need for interventions to guarantee their sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Microbial Diversity and Culture Collections)
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21 pages, 4418 KiB  
Article
Effects of Non-Native Annual Plant Removal on Native Species in Mediterranean-Climate Shrub Communities
by Priscilla M. Ta, Emily Griffoul, Quinn Sorenson, Katharina T. Schmidt, Isaac Ostmann, Travis E. Huxman, Jennifer J. Long, Kathleen R. Balazs, Jutta C. Burger, Megan Lulow and Sarah Kimball
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020115 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1749
Abstract
Removal of non-native plants is known to increase overall native cover within degraded communities that contain at least a small percentage of native plant cover. We investigated the mechanisms behind this pattern, asking whether removal of non-native annual species increases the density and [...] Read more.
Removal of non-native plants is known to increase overall native cover within degraded communities that contain at least a small percentage of native plant cover. We investigated the mechanisms behind this pattern, asking whether removal of non-native annual species increases the density and species richness of the native community through increased seedling recruitment or through the growth of established native shrubs. We also investigated whether the effectiveness of non-native removal was influenced by region (coastal versus inland) and whether there was a threshold of native cover required for invasive removal to be effective. We established 13 study sites (7 coastal and 6 inland) located throughout the Nature Reserve of Orange County, CA, USA. Each degraded site contained four paired plots corresponding to a range of existing native plant cover: low 20–29%, medium-low 30–39%, medium-high 40–49%, and high cover 50–59% with one plot per pair subjected to non-native removal. We collected plant density, species richness, and established native shrub volume measurements to clarify the effectiveness of non-native removal. Non-native plant removal reduced non-native annual recruitment, increased that of native shrub seedlings, but had no impact on native forb recruitment. Non-native removal increased the number and reduced mortality of established native shrubs but did not influence shrub size. Native seedling density, species richness, and established native shrub number were highest inland, but coastal sites had larger adult shrubs. We found that non-native removal was most effective for increasing native density and species richness for degraded inland sites with less than 40% of existing native cover. The initial native cover did not affect established shrub volume or number. Our results confirm the importance of non-native plant removal in areas with medium-low or low native cover to increase native recruitment, species richness, adult shrub number, and to reduce established shrub mortality, especially during extreme drought. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biodiversity Conservation)
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11 pages, 935 KiB  
Article
Type of Material, Not Tree Hole Characteristics Shapes Uropodina Mites’ Species Composition in Excavated Tree Holes
by Grzegorz Hebda and Jerzy Błoszyk
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020114 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1016
Abstract
Uropodina mites are organisms regularly found in the breeding sites of vertebrates. However, studies devoted to the nest dwellers of hole-nesting birds have been performed nearly exclusively in artificial places, i.e., nest boxes. Here, we describe an assemblage of mites from the Uropodina [...] Read more.
Uropodina mites are organisms regularly found in the breeding sites of vertebrates. However, studies devoted to the nest dwellers of hole-nesting birds have been performed nearly exclusively in artificial places, i.e., nest boxes. Here, we describe an assemblage of mites from the Uropodina group living in excavated tree holes. We performed this study in western Poland, sampling material from 49 tree holes excavated by great spotted and black woodpeckers. We divided the material extracted from the tree holes into three categories: wood debris, remnants of bird nests, and remnants of insects. In total, we found 12 species from the Uropodina group. The two most numerous species, Leiodinychus orbicularis and Chiropturopoda nidiphila, constituted ca. 93% of the assemblage. Two other species, Apionoseius infirmus and Uroobovella obovata, were also relatively frequent. Among the assessed factors (woodpecker species, tree hole characteristics, and type of material), only the presence of insect remains, predominantly bat guano, affected species diversity and mite abundance the most. Our study is the first to describe an assemblage of Uropodina species in excavated tree holes and discover two extremely rare mite species, Ch. nidiphila and Nanteria banatica, related to the presence of bat guano in these cavities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Ecology of the Acari)
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52 pages, 18448 KiB  
Article
A Taxonomic Review of South African Indigenous Meliaceae Using Molecular Systematics and Anatomical Data
by Mariam Oyefunke Oyedeji Amusa, Ross Dylan Stewart, Michelle van der Bank and Ben-Erik van Wyk
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020113 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 2140
Abstract
The Meliaceae are broadly distributed worldwide, with about 50 genera and over 1400 species. There are 11 genera in South Africa, with 13 indigenous and three naturalized species. Considering the diversity of the indigenous species of this family in South Africa and the [...] Read more.
The Meliaceae are broadly distributed worldwide, with about 50 genera and over 1400 species. There are 11 genera in South Africa, with 13 indigenous and three naturalized species. Considering the diversity of the indigenous species of this family in South Africa and the lack of recent studies encompassing these species, a taxonomic revision of the South African indigenous species of Meliaceae is presented here. Phylogenetic analysis, anatomical data, herbarium collections, and online data sources were used in this study. The results confirm the monophyly of Melioideae and Swietenioideae. The incongruence of Turraea previously reported was resolved in this study. Most representative genera of South African Meliaceae were recovered monophyletic with strong support. However, multiple samplings of species and including more markers could provide a better understanding of the relationships among South African species of Meliaceae. The review of the taxonomy of the South African Meliaceae, and especially the study of diagnostic characters and hitherto recorded natural distributions, have value in providing an up-to-date inventory of the indigenous genera and species and an easy means of identifying the taxa. Anatomical characters may be of systematic value to explore higher-level relationships in the family. This study is a contribution to tropical botany and to a more comprehensive database for the Meliaceae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2024 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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16 pages, 2089 KiB  
Article
First Report on Three Lesser-Known Magelona Species from Korean Waters: Details of All Thoracic Chaetigers and Methyl Green Staining Patterns
by Dae-Hun Kim, In-Yeong Kwon, Ho-Young Soh and Man-Ki Jeong
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020112 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 827
Abstract
This study assessed the taxonomic statuses of three lesser-known Magelona F. Müller, 1858 species collected from intertidal to sublittoral habitats in Korean coastal waters, basing identification on morphological features and comparing them with their closest congeners. We present a comprehensive description and illustration [...] Read more.
This study assessed the taxonomic statuses of three lesser-known Magelona F. Müller, 1858 species collected from intertidal to sublittoral habitats in Korean coastal waters, basing identification on morphological features and comparing them with their closest congeners. We present a comprehensive description and illustration of taxonomically significant and standardized characters, covering all thoracic chaetigers of three newly discovered Magelona species from Korea. Within the documented Korean Magelona species, these three species exhibit the following distinctive characteristics. Magelona sachalinensis Buzhinskaja, 1985, possess diminutive superior dorsal lobes in the initial four chaetigers and specialized chaetae on chaetiger 9; Magelona lenticulata Gallardo, 1968, is characterized by foliaceous postchaetal superior dorsal lobes in chaetigers 1–8; and Magelona cf. longicornis Johnson, 1901, is distinguished by notably elongated noto- and neuropodial postchaetal lamellae on chaetiger 9. Methyl green staining patterns showed species-specific characteristics and were confirmed to be effective in distinguishing the examined Korean species from each other and useful for making comparisons with previously reported Magelona species. Our study suggests that further comprehensive research on the morphological and genetic characteristics of Magelona species will enhance our understanding of their diversity. Full article
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15 pages, 8240 KiB  
Article
The Complete Mitochondrial Genomes of Aelia sibirica and A. fieberi (Hemiptera, Pentatomidae), and Phylogenetic Implications
by Dajun Liu, Hufang Zhang, Shuhui Fu, Yating Wang, Wanqing Zhao and Qing Zhao
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020111 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 895
Abstract
Species of genus Aelia are important pests of wheat crops in arid areas. In this study, the mitogenomes of A. sibirica and A. fieberi were sequenced using high-throughput sequencing technology. The mitochondrial genome characteristics of both Aelia species were compared and analyzed, and [...] Read more.
Species of genus Aelia are important pests of wheat crops in arid areas. In this study, the mitogenomes of A. sibirica and A. fieberi were sequenced using high-throughput sequencing technology. The mitochondrial genome characteristics of both Aelia species were compared and analyzed, and the phylogenetic relationships of Pentatomidae were constructed based on protein-coding genes. In addition, the taxonomic status of the genus Aelia was confirmed. The results showed that the total length of the mitogenome sequences of A. sibirica and A. fieberi were 15,372 bp and 15,450 bp, respectively, including 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, 2 rRNA genes, and a control region. By comparing the mitochondrial genome structure, base composition, codon usage, RNA secondary structure, and other characteristics, it was found that the mitochondrial genome characteristics of the two species were similar. Phylogenetic analysis showed that Phyllocephalinae and Asopinae both formed monophyletic groups, but the relationship between Podopinae and Pentatominae was not resolved. Within the subfamily Pentatominae, (Nezarini + Antestiini), (Aeliini + Carpocorini), and (Strachiini + Pentatoma) formed stable clades. Aelia sibirica and A. fieberi were found to be a stable sibling pair, and the clade was closely related to Dolycoris baccarum. Full article
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18 pages, 10868 KiB  
Article
The Role of Vegetation in Elevational Diversity Patterns of Tenebrionid Beetles in Central Italy
by Simone Fattorini
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020110 - 08 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 946
Abstract
Vegetation tends to vary in a systematic fashion along elevational gradients, leading to the possibility of recognizing distinct vegetational belts, which are frequently used to describe and interpret elevational variations in biodiversity. However, anthropogenic changes can create landscapes dominated by secondary grasslands in [...] Read more.
Vegetation tends to vary in a systematic fashion along elevational gradients, leading to the possibility of recognizing distinct vegetational belts, which are frequently used to describe and interpret elevational variations in biodiversity. However, anthropogenic changes can create landscapes dominated by secondary grasslands in areas formerly occupied by forests, thus altering the natural sequence of vegetation types. The present research illustrates how the distribution of tenebrionid beetles in central Italy is influenced by secondary vegetation. Classical schemes of vegetational belts were modified into a scheme of main vegetation types that include secondary vegetations. Tenebrionid species presence/absence in each vegetation type was then assessed. Species richness tended to decrease with elevation in both natural and secondary vegetations. Geophilous (ground-dwelling) species (which include many endemics) prevailed in natural and secondary grasslands, while xylophilous species (associated with trees) prevailed in the natural forests. Similarities in tenebrionid composition indicated the presence of two main groups: one associated with forests and the other with natural and secondary grasslands. Geophilous species prevailed among tenebrionids with Mediterranean distributions, whereas xylophilous species prevailed among species distributed mainly in Europe and the Palearctic. High values of richness, biogeographical complexity and proportion of endemics make secondary vegetations of high conservation concern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity in 2023)
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19 pages, 9192 KiB  
Article
The Forest Refugium of the Bükk Mountains, Hungary—Vegetation Change and Human Impact from the Late Pleistocene
by Katalin Náfrádi and Pál Sümegi
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020109 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1378
Abstract
The Rejtek I. Rock Shelter in the Bükk Mountains of the inner Western Carpathian region plays an important role in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene environmental historical analyses. The investigations of the cave sediment accumulated from the end of the Pleistocene and the [...] Read more.
The Rejtek I. Rock Shelter in the Bükk Mountains of the inner Western Carpathian region plays an important role in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene environmental historical analyses. The investigations of the cave sediment accumulated from the end of the Pleistocene and the recovered paleontological finds, together with the archaeological artefacts, provided an opportunity to develop stratigraphic classifications. In addition, by comparing archaeostratigraphic, lithostratigraphic and biostratigraphic data, it was possible to link environmental and prehistoric events. The importance of the site is shown by both the mollusc and floral cold- and warm-tolerant species that were present in the area during the Late Pleistocene. The early expansion of thermophilous species indicates the presence of a refuge already during the Late Pleistocene. Based on the documents of the excavation, the previous works, the sediment sequence, as well as the sediment samples and the filling material of the mollusc shells, together with the new chronology, we were able to clarify the relative order of the excavated layers and the description of the sediment types in the Rejtek I. Rock Shelter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Phylogeny and Evolution)
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9 pages, 1669 KiB  
Communication
The Diversity of Metazoan Parasites of South American Stromateidae (Pisces: Teleostei) Is Related to Marine Biogeography
by Marcelo E. Oliva, Luis A. Ñacari, Ruben Escribano and José L. Luque
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020108 - 07 Feb 2024
Viewed by 890
Abstract
The diversity of parasite communities is mainly driven by evolutionary history, as well as the ecology of the host species. To test whether the diversity of the parasite community of four related Stromateidae (Pisces: Scombriformes) is related to evolutionary history (the host phylogeny) [...] Read more.
The diversity of parasite communities is mainly driven by evolutionary history, as well as the ecology of the host species. To test whether the diversity of the parasite community of four related Stromateidae (Pisces: Scombriformes) is related to evolutionary history (the host phylogeny) or the host’s geographical distribution, we analyzed the metazoan parasite fauna of four species of fishes of this family, from the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of South America. Studied species were Peprilus snyderi (samples from Callao, Perú, and Antofagasta, Chile), Peprilus medius (Chorrillos, Perú), Peprilus paru (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Stromateus stellatus (Talcahuano, Chile). Our multivariate analysis strongly suggests that the diversity of the parasite fauna of the studied fishes is driven mainly by the host’s geographical distribution and not the host phylogeny. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity, Taxonomy and Systematics of Fish Parasites)
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13 pages, 3208 KiB  
Article
Effects of Land Cover on the Taxonomic and Functional Diversity of the Bird Communities on an Urban Subtropical Mountain
by Wenwen Zhang, Shengjun Zhao, Xiao Yang, Jing Tian, Xue Wang, Ding Chen, Yuan Yu, Jie Shi, Peng Cui and Chunlin Li
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020107 - 07 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1007
Abstract
Mountain ecosystems are crucial for global biodiversity conservation. However, their landscape features are constantly changing owing to urban expansion. Understanding the relationships between biotic communities and landscape features is essential for biodiversity conservation. This study aimed to examine the effect of land cover [...] Read more.
Mountain ecosystems are crucial for global biodiversity conservation. However, their landscape features are constantly changing owing to urban expansion. Understanding the relationships between biotic communities and landscape features is essential for biodiversity conservation. This study aimed to examine the effect of land cover type on avian communities in Lishui, a mountainous urban area in eastern China. Avian surveys were conducted using 168 line transects in total across different land cover types once per season from December 2019 to January 2021. We assessed the diversity of bird communities by calculating various metrics at both taxonomic and functional levels. Among the land cover types measured, woodland, built-up land, cultivated land, and water bodies significantly influenced bird community diversity and composition. Species richness, species abundance, and functional richness were negatively correlated with the proportion of woodland but were positively correlated with the proportion of non-natural land cover, such as built-up and cultivated land. In contrast, functional evenness was positively correlated with the proportion of woodland and grassland but negatively correlated with the proportion of non-natural land cover. Land cover type also exhibited significant correlations with avian functional characteristics such as diet, foraging strata, and body mass, thereby influencing the overall community structure. Our results indicated that mountainous landscape patterns substantially affect avian communities. Different land cover types possess varying resource endowments that affect the distribution of avian species. Therefore, urban landscape planning in mountainous areas should carefully consider the various functions provided to organisms by different types of land cover to promote biodiversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biodiversity Conservation)
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19 pages, 5577 KiB  
Article
How Elongated? The Pattern of Elongation of Cervical Centra of Elasmosaurus platyurus with Comments on Cervical Elongation Patterns among Plesiosauromorphs
by José Patricio O’Gorman
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020106 - 07 Feb 2024
Viewed by 2469
Abstract
Elasmosaurids comprise some of the most extreme morphotypes of plesiosaurs. Thus, the study of their neck and vertebrae elongation patterns plays a crucial role in understanding the anatomy of elasmosaurids. In this study, the taphonomic distortion of the holotype of Elasmosaurus platyurus and its [...] Read more.
Elasmosaurids comprise some of the most extreme morphotypes of plesiosaurs. Thus, the study of their neck and vertebrae elongation patterns plays a crucial role in understanding the anatomy of elasmosaurids. In this study, the taphonomic distortion of the holotype of Elasmosaurus platyurus and its effects on the vertebral length index (VLI) values are evaluated, and a new index to describe the neck is proposed (MAVLI = mean value of the vertebral elongation index of the anterior two-thirds of neck vertebrae). The results provide a strong foundation for a new scheme of neck elongation patterns that divide the diversity of the neck elongation of plesiosauriomorphs into three categories: not-elongate (MAVLI < 95 and Max VLI < 100), elongate (125 > MAVLI > 95 and 100 < Max VLI < 135), and extremely elongated (MAVLI > 125 and Max VLI > 135). Full article
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29 pages, 7045 KiB  
Article
The Trèmols Herbarium: A European Herbarium from the End of the 19th Century
by Laura Gavioli, Neus Nualart, Jordi López-Pujol and Neus Ibáñez
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020105 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1133
Abstract
The herbarium Trèmols, preserved in the Botanical Institute of Barcelona (IBB), was created during the second half of the 19th century by the Catalan chemist and botanist Frederic Trèmols Borrell (Cadaqués 1831–1900). He was a member of important scientific institutions, including the Real [...] Read more.
The herbarium Trèmols, preserved in the Botanical Institute of Barcelona (IBB), was created during the second half of the 19th century by the Catalan chemist and botanist Frederic Trèmols Borrell (Cadaqués 1831–1900). He was a member of important scientific institutions, including the Real Acadèmia de Ciències i Arts de Barcelona, the Societat Botànica Barcelonesa, the Société Botanique de France, and the Société Helvétique pour l’Échange des Plantes. The value of this herbarium lies in the large volume of specimens that it preserves (12,953) and the high percentage (61.9%) of material of foreign origin that it contains. The Trèmols herbarium was completely digitised in 2019 as part of a wider study that is aimed to classify, digitise, document, review, and, finally, make the IBB historical herbaria available to the scientific community. Herein, we provide a general overview of the almost 13,000 specimens of this collection, which can give valuable insight into the flora that existed more than 100 years ago. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herbaria: A Key Resource for Plant Diversity Exploration)
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16 pages, 2044 KiB  
Article
Mining NCBI Sequence Read Archive Database: An Untapped Source of Organelle Genomes for Taxonomic and Comparative Genomics Research
by Vahap Eldem and Mehmet Ali Balcı
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020104 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1139
Abstract
The NCBI SRA database is constantly expanding due to the large amount of genomic and transcriptomic data from various organisms generated by next-generation sequencing, and re-searchers worldwide regularly deposit new data into the database. This high-coverage genomic and transcriptomic information can be re-evaluated [...] Read more.
The NCBI SRA database is constantly expanding due to the large amount of genomic and transcriptomic data from various organisms generated by next-generation sequencing, and re-searchers worldwide regularly deposit new data into the database. This high-coverage genomic and transcriptomic information can be re-evaluated regardless of the original research subject. The database-deposited NGS data can offer valuable insights into the genomes of organelles, particularly for non-model organisms. Here, we developed an automated bioinformatics workflow called “OrgaMiner”, designed to unveil high-quality mitochondrial and chloroplast genomes by data mining the NCBI SRA database. OrgaMiner, a Python-based pipeline, automatically orchestrates various tools to extract, assemble, and annotate organelle genomes for non-model organisms without available organelle genome sequences but with data in the NCBI SRA. To test the usability and feasibility of the pipeline, “mollusca” was selected as a keyword, and 76 new mitochondrial genomes were de novo assembled and annotated automatically without writing one single code. The applicability of the pipeline can be expanded to identify organelles in diverse invertebrate, vertebrate, and plant species by simply specifying the taxonomic name. OrgaMiner provides an easy-to-use, end-to-end solution for biologists mainly working with taxonomy and population genetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genome Sequence and Analysis for Animal Ecology and Evolution)
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21 pages, 25795 KiB  
Article
Diversity of Freshwater Macroinvertebrate Communities in Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico
by Francisco José Gómez-Marín, Jesús Montoya-Mendoza, Guillermo Salgado-Maldonado, Fabiola Lango-Reynoso, María del Refugio Castañeda-Chávez and Benigno Ortiz-Muñiz
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020103 - 05 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1209
Abstract
The objective of this work is to contribute to the knowledge of the freshwater macroinvertebrate communities of Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico. For this region, there is only limited knowledge of its aquatic crustaceans and mollusks. A total of 13,399 freshwater macroinvertebrates were collected [...] Read more.
The objective of this work is to contribute to the knowledge of the freshwater macroinvertebrate communities of Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico. For this region, there is only limited knowledge of its aquatic crustaceans and mollusks. A total of 13,399 freshwater macroinvertebrates were collected from four river sections in each of the three sub-basins of the region using the Surber network in four seasons of an annual cycle (2021–2022) and were preserved in 70° alcohol. Organisms belonging to seven phyla, nine (sub)classes, 21 (sub)orders and 65 families were identified. The most abundant orders were Ephemeroptera (42.03%), with greatest abundance of the family Baetidae, and the orders Trichoptera (19.11%), Diptera (15.43%), and Coleoptera (3.98%). Four families exceeded 10% relative abundance, and together they total 61.02%: Baetidae (23.84%), Hydroptilidae (13.58%), Leptohyphidae (13.03%), Chironomidae (10.57%), and Elmidae (3.23%). The order Plecoptera was recorded for the first time in Los Tuxtlas, with three families. The orders Hydrachnidae and Ostracoda, as well as six families of the order Ephemeroptera, with only one previously recorded family, and six more families of the order Diptera, were also documented. Two species of invasive aquatic mollusks were found in several rivers and basins. In this work, a high diversity of freshwater macroinvertebrates occurred compared to other sites studied in Veracruz and Mexico, and new records of these taxa are provided for the region of Los Tuxtlas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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12 pages, 1131 KiB  
Article
Effects of Hemiparasites in Grassland Restorations Are Not Universal
by Anna Scheidel and Victoria Borowicz
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020102 - 03 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1227
Abstract
Root hemiparasites infiltrate the vascular tissue of host roots to acquire water and nutrients, which often reduces host growth. Hemiparasites are postulated to be keystone species in grassland communities if they suppress dominant species and increase plant community biodiversity, and ecosystem engineers if [...] Read more.
Root hemiparasites infiltrate the vascular tissue of host roots to acquire water and nutrients, which often reduces host growth. Hemiparasites are postulated to be keystone species in grassland communities if they suppress dominant species and increase plant community biodiversity, and ecosystem engineers if they increase nutrient accessibility for surrounding species. We examined keystone effects by evaluating species richness and evenness in 1 m2 plots in a recent prairie restoration where Castilleja sessiliflora was naturally present or absent, and in a longer-established prairie restoration with or without Pedicularis canadensis. We examined ecosystem engineer effects by determining nitrate and phosphate concentrations under, 25 cm from, and 50 cm from hemiparasites, and in the center of hemiparasite-free plots. On the C. sessiliflora site, plots with the hemiparasites had higher species richness due to more forbs and higher floristic quality, consistent with the keystone species hypothesis. Soil phosphate levels were also greater in plots with C. sessiliflora present, consistent with the hypothesis of ecosystem engineering by this hemiparasite. In contrast, plots with/without P. canadensis showed no associations of any community metrics with the hemiparasite, and no correspondence between the presence of hemiparasites and soil nutrients. Although hemiparasites can increase grassland community heterogeneity, the effect is not universal, and the direction and strength of effects likely depends on local conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Restoration of Grassland)
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16 pages, 1933 KiB  
Review
Scales of Diversity Affecting Ecosystem Function across Agricultural and Forest Landscapes in Louisiana
by William D. Pitman
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020101 - 03 Feb 2024
Viewed by 968
Abstract
Current land use and extensive modifications of natural ecosystems across the state of Louisiana are generally similar to those across the southeastern USA where rainfall supports forest ecosystems. Both intentional and unintentional consequences of ecosystem modifications from the scales of water and sediment [...] Read more.
Current land use and extensive modifications of natural ecosystems across the state of Louisiana are generally similar to those across the southeastern USA where rainfall supports forest ecosystems. Both intentional and unintentional consequences of ecosystem modifications from the scales of water and sediment movement across a field edge to state-wide loss of functional grasslands are legacies from previous development across the state. While major investments and large-scale, long-term plans are aspects of some continuing ecological issues across the state, small-scale, volunteer-led restoration of native grassland plant communities in the Louisiana Coastal Prairie illustrates the value associated with the restoration of natural ecosystem function in drastically disturbed environments. As is now becoming increasingly recognized, Louisiana grasslands represent less obvious components of forest, woodland, and wetland landscapes across the state, where they have contributed essential wildlife habitat, and ecosystem functions. These are now largely missing from many landscapes across the state and region. The strategic restoration of grassland functions combining novel native grass pastures and fully functional native grassland plant communities as landscape components could provide both economic and ecosystem benefits. Specific native grassland seed resources are needed for various restoration activities to enhance ecosystem function at a range of scales across the state and region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Climate and Landscape Change on Ecosystem Function)
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10 pages, 4226 KiB  
Communication
Herbarium Apenninicum (APP): An Archive of Vascular Plants from Central Italy
by Fabio Conti, Giacomo Cangelmi, Jamila Da Valle and Fabrizio Bartolucci
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020099 - 02 Feb 2024
Viewed by 955
Abstract
The Herbarium Apenninicum (international code: APP), hosted in the Floristic Research Center of the Apennines (Abruzzo, central Italy), is approximately composed of about 80,000 specimens of vascular plants; 66,352 of them are mounted with data labels and entered in a database. The specimens [...] Read more.
The Herbarium Apenninicum (international code: APP), hosted in the Floristic Research Center of the Apennines (Abruzzo, central Italy), is approximately composed of about 80,000 specimens of vascular plants; 66,352 of them are mounted with data labels and entered in a database. The specimens from the Abruzzo administrative region (central Italy) correspond to more than half of the collection (57.8% of the specimens), while immediately afterwards, other neighboring provinces of central Italy follow. Outside of Italy, the most represented areas are Morocco and southern European countries. Most of the specimens were collected between 2001 and 2020; nevertheless, the herbarium also contains two historical collections from the end of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century. The herbarium houses 146 types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herbaria: A Key Resource for Plant Diversity Exploration)
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13 pages, 2383 KiB  
Article
Role of Rare Species on Phytoplankton Size–Abundance Relationships and Size Structure across Different Biogeographical Areas
by Maira Laraib, Jessica Titocci, Antonia Giannakourou, Sofia Reizopoulou and Alberto Basset
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020098 - 02 Feb 2024
Viewed by 903
Abstract
Phytoplankton guilds are commonly characterised by dominance effects, while the main contribution to biological diversity is given by rare species. Here, we analysed the influence of rare species on taxonomic and functional diversity, which is described by taxa richness and composition, cell size, [...] Read more.
Phytoplankton guilds are commonly characterised by dominance effects, while the main contribution to biological diversity is given by rare species. Here, we analysed the influence of rare species on taxonomic and functional diversity, which is described by taxa richness and composition, cell size, and size–abundance relationships in phytoplankton guilds. We explore these relationships at global and regional scales by analysing phytoplankton guilds from five biogeographical regions: the Northern Atlantic Ocean (Scotland), the South-Western Atlantic Ocean (Brazil), the South-Western Pacific Ocean (Australia), the Indo-Pacific Ocean (Maldives), and the Mediterranean Sea (Greece and Turkey). We have comparatively analysed the phytoplankton taxonomic diversity of the whole dataset and with the datasets obtained by progressively subtracting taxa occurring in the last 1%, 5%, 10%, and 25% of both numerical abundance and overall biomass. Globally, 306 taxa were identified across five ecoregions with only 27 taxa accounting for 75% of overall numerical abundance and biomass; almost 50% of taxa were lost on every step. The removal of 1% of most rare taxa significantly affected the phytoplankton size–abundance relationships and body-size structure, strongly impacting on small taxa. The progressive removal of additional rare taxa did not further affect phytoplankton size–abundance relationships and size structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Diversity)
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