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Diversity, Volume 8, Issue 3 (September 2016) – 3 articles

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Review
Australian Tropical Marine Micromolluscs: An Overwhelming Bias
by Peter U. Middelfart, Lisa A. Kirkendale and Nerida G. Wilson
Diversity 2016, 8(3), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/d8030017 - 02 Aug 2016
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 11227
Abstract
Assessing the marine biodiversity of the tropics can be overwhelming, especially for the Mollusca, one of the largest marine phyla in the sea. With a diversity that can exceed macrofaunal richness in many groups, the micro/meiofaunal component is one of most overlooked biotas [...] Read more.
Assessing the marine biodiversity of the tropics can be overwhelming, especially for the Mollusca, one of the largest marine phyla in the sea. With a diversity that can exceed macrofaunal richness in many groups, the micro/meiofaunal component is one of most overlooked biotas in surveys due to the time-consuming nature of collecting, sorting, and identifying this assemblage. We review trends in micromollusc research highlighting the Australian perspective that reveals a dwindling taxonomic effort through time and discuss pervasive obstacles of relevance to the taxonomy of micromolluscs globally. Since a high during the 1970s, followed by a smaller peak in 2000, in 2010 we observe a low in micromolluscan collection activity in Australia not seen since the 1930s. Although challenging, considered planning at each step of the species identification pathway can reduce barriers to micromolluscan research (e.g., role of types, dedicated sampling, integration of microscopy and genetic methods). We discuss new initiatives to trial these methods in Western Australia, an understudied region with high biodiversity, and highlight why micromolluscs are worth the effort. A number of important fields that would benefit from increased focus on this group (e.g., ecological gaps) are considered. The methods and strategies for resolving systematic problems in micromolluscan taxonomy are available, only the desire and support to reverse the decline in knowledge remains to be found. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coral Reef Biodiversity and Conservation)
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1185 KiB  
Article
Tropical Range Extension for the Temperate, Endemic South-Eastern Australian Nudibranch Goniobranchus splendidus (Angas, 1864)
by Nerida G. Wilson, Anne E. Winters and Karen L. Cheney
Diversity 2016, 8(3), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/d8030016 - 22 Jul 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 5108 | Correction
Abstract
In contrast to many tropical animals expanding southwards on the Australian coast concomitant with climate change, here we report a temperate endemic newly found in the tropics. Chromodorid nudibranchs are bright, colourful animals that rarely go unnoticed by divers and underwater photographers. The [...] Read more.
In contrast to many tropical animals expanding southwards on the Australian coast concomitant with climate change, here we report a temperate endemic newly found in the tropics. Chromodorid nudibranchs are bright, colourful animals that rarely go unnoticed by divers and underwater photographers. The discovery of a new population, with divergent colouration is therefore significant. DNA sequencing confirms that despite departures from the known phenotypic variation, the specimen represents northern Goniobranchus splendidus and not an unknown close relative. Goniobranchus tinctorius represents the sister taxa to G. splendidus. With regard to secondary defences, the oxygenated terpenes found previously in this specimen are partially unique but also overlap with other G. splendidus from southern Queensland (QLD) and New South Wales (NSW). The tropical specimen from Mackay contains extracapsular yolk like other G. splendidus. This previously unknown tropical population may contribute selectively advantageous genes to cold-water species threatened by climate change. Competitive exclusion may explain why G. splendidus does not strongly overlap with its widespread sister taxon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coral Reef Biodiversity and Conservation)
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Article
Chemical Composition of the Essential Oil from Aerial Parts of Javanian Pimpinella pruatjan Molk. and Its Molecular Phylogeny
by Agustina D. R. Nurcahyanti, Issam J. Nasser, Frank Sporer, Jürgen Graf, Nurliani Bermawie, Jürgen Reichling and Michael Wink
Diversity 2016, 8(3), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/d8030015 - 14 Jul 2016
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4887
Abstract
The species-rich and diverse genus Pimpinella is mainly distributed in Europe and Asia; a few species occur in Africa. Yet, the Javanian Pimpinella, P. pruatjan, which has been used as an aphrodisiac in Indonesian traditional medicine, was studied for the first time [...] Read more.
The species-rich and diverse genus Pimpinella is mainly distributed in Europe and Asia; a few species occur in Africa. Yet, the Javanian Pimpinella, P. pruatjan, which has been used as an aphrodisiac in Indonesian traditional medicine, was studied for the first time in the context of chemical composition, as well as phylogeny analysis and antimicrobial activity. We examined the chemical composition of the essential oil (EO) from aerial parts of P. pruatjan by gas liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (GLC-MS). The main component of EO was (Z)-γ-bisabolene. Several oxygenated monoterpenes, oxygenated sesquiterpenes, and sesquiterpenes were also detected. The genetic relationship of Pimpinella pruatjan Molk. to other Pimpinella species was reconstructed using nucleotide sequences of the nuclear DNA marker ITS (Internal Transcribed Spacer). P. pruatjan clusters as a sister group to the African Pimpinella species. The EO did not exhibit an apparent antimicrobial activity. Full article
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