2024 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2024 | Viewed by 16611

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Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld 329, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Interests: phytochemistry; molecular pharmacology of medicinal and toxic plants; alkaloids; evolution; chemical ecology; ornithology; phylogeny and evolution
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We have launched a Special Issue titled “2024 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members”. This Special Issue aims to solicit primary research articles and reviews on hot topics from scholars.

This is a Special Issue of high-quality papers in open access form by the Editorial Board Members of Diversity, or those recommended and invited by the Editorial Board Members and the Editor-in-Chief. Authors can submit their manuscripts through the Manuscript Tracking System at https://susy.mdpi.com/user/manuscripts/upload?journal=diversity.

We sincerely hope that scholars from all over the world will publish high quality papers based on their research over recent years.

Prof. Dr. Michael Wink
Guest Editor

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biodiversity concepts and applications
  • biodiversity assessment
  • biodiversity preservation

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

10 pages, 1855 KiB  
Article
An Overlooked Group of Citizen Scientists in Non-Indigenous Species (NIS) Information: Shell Collectors and Their Contribution to Molluscan NIS Xenodiversity
by Argyro Zenetos, Christiane Delongueville and Roland Scaillet
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16050299 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 200
Abstract
This work reports on 60 marine alien mollusks from nine countries across the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Marmara collected by two Belgian citizen scientists. Some of their published observations concerning collection dates are compared with the year of first publication for [...] Read more.
This work reports on 60 marine alien mollusks from nine countries across the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Marmara collected by two Belgian citizen scientists. Some of their published observations concerning collection dates are compared with the year of first publication for these alien mollusks reported in the literature, which enable us to backdate some of their introductions and set new first Mediterranean records for two species. This underlines the importance of collaboration between volunteers and institutional scientists in tracing variations and changes in the environment and biodiversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2024 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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10 pages, 1874 KiB  
Article
A Rather Unusual ”Pearl”: Biological Observations of the Hidden Pearlfish Carapus acus (Brünnich, 1768) and Its First Report from Apulian Waters (Salento Peninsula, Southern Italy)
by Alessandra Martines, Michele Solca, Egidio Trainito, Stefano Piraino and Giulia Furfaro
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16050296 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 239
Abstract
The Salento peninsula in southern Italy (Mediterranean Sea) is a strip of land between the Adriatic and the Ionian Seas, both characterized by local regimes of currents, different geological and physical backgrounds, and quite diversified fauna. In this area, specimens of the sea [...] Read more.
The Salento peninsula in southern Italy (Mediterranean Sea) is a strip of land between the Adriatic and the Ionian Seas, both characterized by local regimes of currents, different geological and physical backgrounds, and quite diversified fauna. In this area, specimens of the sea cucumber Holothuria tubulosa (Brünnich, 1768) (Echinodermata) were collected at four stations in the spring and autumn of 2020 to investigate a possible symbiotic association with the inquiline fish Carapus acus (Brünnich, 1768). Among the collected holothurians, five pearlfish specimens were found in the body cavity of four H. tubulosa collected at 10 m of depth, in autumn, at “Grotta Verde” in Marina di Andrano, Lecce (Ionian Sea). More than half of the sea cucumbers from the latter station hosted the symbiont, suggesting the presence of a shallow population of C. acus inhabiting this coastal area. Furthermore, morphometric analysis carried out on the collected fish helped to shed light on the population dynamics characterizing this neglected species. This is the first report of C. acus from Apulian waters, allowing us to unite previously disjoined areas and providing essential baseline knowledge for planning future in-depth analysis of this difficult-to-study fish in a geographical area that is strategic in terms of the conservation of Mediterranean biodiversity. Furthermore, the range of preferred host species is extended, as C. acus was previously known to prefer other sea cucumber species such as Parastichopus regalis (Cuvier, 1817) instead of H. tubulosa. Finally, the finding of C. acus in a single station and in only one season is not trivial and delivers baseline useful information for future conservation purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2024 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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29 pages, 7447 KiB  
Article
Tracing Geographic and Molecular Footprints of Copepod Crustaceans Causing Multifocal Purple Spots Syndrome in the Caribbean Sea Fan Gorgonia ventalina
by Oksana A. Korzhavina, Mikhail A. Nikitin, Bert W. Hoeksema, Maickel Armenteros, James D. Reimer and Viatcheslav N. Ivanenko
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16050280 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 871
Abstract
The recent rise in ocean temperatures, accompanied by other environmental changes, has notably increased the occurrence and spread of diseases in Octocorallia, many species of which are integral to shallow tropical and subtropical coral reef ecosystems. This study focuses on the understanding of [...] Read more.
The recent rise in ocean temperatures, accompanied by other environmental changes, has notably increased the occurrence and spread of diseases in Octocorallia, many species of which are integral to shallow tropical and subtropical coral reef ecosystems. This study focuses on the understanding of these diseases, which has been largely limited to symptomatic descriptions, with clear etiological factors identified in only a fraction of cases. A key example is the multifocal purple spots syndrome (MFPS) affecting the common Caribbean octocoral sea fan Gorgonia ventalina, linked to the gall-forming copepods of the genus Sphaerippe, a member of the widespread family, Lamippidae. The specialized nature of these copepods as endoparasites in octocorals suggests the potential for the discovery of similar diseases across this host spectrum. Our investigation employed four molecular markers to study disease hotspots in Saint Eustatius, Curaçao, northwest and southwest Cuba, and Bonaire. This led to the discovery of a group of copepod species in these varied Caribbean locations. Importantly, these species are morphologically indistinguishable through traditional methods, challenging established taxonomic approaches. The observed diversity of symbionts, despite the host species’ genetic uniformity, is likely due to variations in larval dispersal mechanisms. Our phylogenetic analyses confirmed that the Lamippidae copepods belong to the order, Poecilostomatoida (Copepoda), and revealed their sister group relationship with the Anchimolgidae, Rhynchomolgidae, and Xarifiidae clades, known for their symbiotic relationships with scleractinian corals. These results add to our understanding of the evolutionary and ecological interactions of copepods and their hosts, and the diseases that they cause, and are important data in a changing climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2024 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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11 pages, 5854 KiB  
Article
The Taurus Mountains, the Hotspot of Western Palearctic Biodiversity, Is in Danger: Marble Quarries Affect Wildlife
by Tamer Albayrak and Tamer Yılmaz
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16050267 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 495
Abstract
The Taurus Mountains in the Mediterranean Coastal Basin, considered a biodiversity hotspot, have a rich biodiversity in the Western Palearctic. The number of marble quarries in the Taurus Mountains has dramatically expanded over the past ten years. The objectives of this study are [...] Read more.
The Taurus Mountains in the Mediterranean Coastal Basin, considered a biodiversity hotspot, have a rich biodiversity in the Western Palearctic. The number of marble quarries in the Taurus Mountains has dramatically expanded over the past ten years. The objectives of this study are to (i) determine the impacts of quarrying on wildlife and (ii) determine the potential impacts of quarrying on the future of Taurus. A total of 57,547 photos and video images were analyzed on 5447 photo-trap days in two areas, the marble quarries and the control areas. Using 97 randomly selected marble quarries, the area they cover and their annual growth rates were determined. The most commonly seen animals were the wolf (Canis lupus), fox (Vulpes vulpes), lynx (Lynx lynx), and wild boar (Sus scrofa) in the control area, and the jackal (Canis aureus) and hare (Lepus europaeus) in the marble quarries (p < 0.001). Additionally, we found a significant positive correlation between the distance from the geographical center of the marble quarries and the number of dates of wolf, fox and wild boar sightings, with a significant negative correlation for hares (p < 0.05). A positive correlation was found between the area of marble quarries and the duration of operation (R = 0.89, p < 0.00). The waste from quarries, which makes up 79.7% of the total land used for this purpose, is the greatest cause of habitat degradation. According to calculations, even if no new marble quarries are built as of right now, 7.14% of the Taurus Mountains may have disappeared by the year 2027, and by the year 2032, 8.25% of the Taurus ecosystems may have disappeared completely. The Taurus Mountains, a center of Western Palearctic biodiversity, are being threatened by marble quarries. This study advances our knowledge of how marble quarries may affect wildlife. New strategies must be developed as soon as possible to protect the Taurus Mountains, the hotspot of the Mediterranean basin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2024 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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15 pages, 1465 KiB  
Article
Terrestrial Tardigrada (Water Bears) of the Słowiński National Park (Northern Poland)
by Tomasz Bartylak, Pushpalata Kayastha, Anastasiia Polishchuk, Milena Roszkowska, Magdalena Maria Bartylak, Tomasz Rutkowski, Michał Zacharyasiewicz and Łukasz Kaczmarek
Diversity 2024, 16(4), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16040239 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 531
Abstract
In this paper, samples of mosses, lichens and cryptogams (mosses mixed with lichens) collected from Słowiński National Park (northern Poland) were studied for water bears (Tardigrada). In total, 27 tardigrade taxa were identified: 21 to the species level, one identified as „cf. [...] Read more.
In this paper, samples of mosses, lichens and cryptogams (mosses mixed with lichens) collected from Słowiński National Park (northern Poland) were studied for water bears (Tardigrada). In total, 27 tardigrade taxa were identified: 21 to the species level, one identified as „cf.” and three to the genus level, with six species (Eremobiotus ginevrae, Hypsibius dujardini, Hypsibius scabropygus, Milnesium beasleyi, Minibiotus intermedius and Notahypsibius pallidoides) being new records for Poland. Two possibly new for science species were also found, belonging to genera Diphascon and Mesobiotus. Additionally, a very rare eutardigrade Pseudohexapodibius degenerans has been found in the samples analyzed in the present study for the first time outside of the type locality. The effects of habitat and substrate on species richness were also investigated and showed no significant differences between mosses and lichens, as well as all substrates except for concrete walls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2024 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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37 pages, 8918 KiB  
Article
The Phyloperiodic Approach Removes the “Cryptic Species” and Puts forward Multilevel Organismal Diversity
by Tatiana Korshunova and Alexander Martynov
Diversity 2024, 16(4), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16040220 - 6 Apr 2024
Viewed by 2004
Abstract
The notion of the “cryptic species” has recently become an important agenda in biodiversity research. In this study, we show, by applying a periodic-like morphological and molecular framework to the nudibranch genus Cadlina from the world’s least explored locations in the Kuril Islands [...] Read more.
The notion of the “cryptic species” has recently become an important agenda in biodiversity research. In this study, we show, by applying a periodic-like morphological and molecular framework to the nudibranch genus Cadlina from the world’s least explored locations in the Kuril Islands in the northwestern Pacific, including a description of six new species, that the term “cryptic species” should be removed from biodiversity research terminology. We explicitly show that different species of this complex have various degrees of molecular phylogenetic distances and morphological distinctness, revealing a truly multilevel system of fine-scale differences and similarities. Therefore, to designate any of these species as “cryptic” or “non-cryptic” would be completely arbitrary, non-operational, and generally meaningless. By this, we finally strongly propose to remove the notion of “crypticity” and the term “cryptic species” (in the sense of an “indistinguishable species”) from the arsenal of modern biology, including phylogeny and taxonomy. The importance of fine-scale species differentiation in the multilevel framework is shown for addressing conservation and global warming challenges. Six new species are named after scientists who have not always received the honours they deserve, including two women who did not receive their respective Nobel Prizes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2024 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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13 pages, 4938 KiB  
Article
Revealing the Diversity of Thin Filamentous Cyanobacteria, with the Discovery of a Novel Species, Pegethrix qiandaoensis sp. nov. (Oculatellaceae, Oculatellales), in a Freshwater Lake in China
by Kaihui Gao, Yao Cheng, Rouzhen Geng, Peng Xiao, He Zhang, Zhixu Wu, Fangfang Cai and Renhui Li
Diversity 2024, 16(3), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16030161 - 5 Mar 2024
Viewed by 928
Abstract
During the study of diversity in filamentous cyanobacteria in China, two strains (WZU0719 and WZU0723) with the form of thin filaments were isolated from the surface of Qiandao Lake, a large freshwater lake in Zhejiang Province, China. A comprehensive analysis was conducted, incorporating [...] Read more.
During the study of diversity in filamentous cyanobacteria in China, two strains (WZU0719 and WZU0723) with the form of thin filaments were isolated from the surface of Qiandao Lake, a large freshwater lake in Zhejiang Province, China. A comprehensive analysis was conducted, incorporating morphological, ecological, and molecular data. The morphological examination provided an initial identification as a Leptolyngbya-like cyanobacterium. Genetic characterization was also performed by amplifying the 16S rRNA gene and the 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. The phylogenetic grouping based on the 16S rRNA gene demonstrates that the examined strain is unequivocally assigned to the Pegethrix genus. However, it possesses distinct phylogenetic divergence from the six described Pegethrix species. Additionally, discrepancies in habitat further differentiate it from other members of this genus. Employing the polyphasic approach, we present a comprehensive account of the newly discovered taxa: Pegethrix qiandaoensis sp. nov. The novel taxonomic finding in this research significantly contributes to enhancing the comprehension of Pegethrix diversity across various habitats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2024 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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10 pages, 4624 KiB  
Communication
Millepora spp. as Substrates of Their Hydrozoan Counterparts Stylaster sp. in the Pacific Ocean
by Chloé Julie Loïs Fourreau, Daniela Pica, Emmeline A. Jamodiong, Guillermo Mironenko Castelló, Iori Mizukami and James Davis Reimer
Diversity 2024, 16(3), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16030142 - 23 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1391
Abstract
The association between two hydrozoans, Stylaster sp. and Millepora spp., has been described as a case of pseudo-auto-epizoism, and has only been reported from the Caribbean region of the Atlantic Ocean. Here, we report on the occurrence of this association in the Pacific [...] Read more.
The association between two hydrozoans, Stylaster sp. and Millepora spp., has been described as a case of pseudo-auto-epizoism, and has only been reported from the Caribbean region of the Atlantic Ocean. Here, we report on the occurrence of this association in the Pacific Ocean on coral reefs around Iriomote-jima Island, Japan, suggesting the association to be more widespread than had previously been thought. Moreover, Stylaster sp. colonies were observed living healthily on bleached and dead branches of Millepora spp., indicating that this interaction is facultative. The interaction reported here differs from the relationship between the Caribbean Stylaster roseus and Millepora alcicornis by the connection points between the two partners, which is made evident by the whitening of the Millepora counterpart in Iriomote-jima Island, while being seamless in the Caribbean association. Further research is necessary to fully understand the nature of these relationships, comprehending under what conditions it occurs, and establishing which species are involved in the interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2024 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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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
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1094
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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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 - 8 Feb 2024
Viewed by 2346
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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13 pages, 906 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Insect–Pollinator Biodiversity in Agrochemical-Contaminated Agricultural Habitats
by Fredrick Ojija and Giovanni Bacaro
Diversity 2024, 16(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16010033 - 3 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1403
Abstract
The extensive application of agrochemicals in agricultural habitats in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania (SHOT) is supposed to negatively impact the biodiversity community of insect–pollinators (INPOs). However, in light of existing knowledge, there are no studies to back up this claim. We carried [...] Read more.
The extensive application of agrochemicals in agricultural habitats in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania (SHOT) is supposed to negatively impact the biodiversity community of insect–pollinators (INPOs). However, in light of existing knowledge, there are no studies to back up this claim. We carried out field surveys in the SHOT to assess and characterize the INPO biodiversity community in agricultural habitats and compare it with protected habitats. Direct observations, transect counts, sweep netting, and pan trap techniques were used for sampling the INPOs. Overall, the INPOs’ relative abundance (57.14%) and species diversity index in protected habitats were significantly higher compared to agricultural habitats. Similarly, we recorded a higher number of plant–INPO interactions in protected habitats than agricultural habitats. Our results suggest that, in contrast to protected habitats, agrochemicals might have driven out or discouraged INPOs from agricultural habitats, resulting in dwindling species richness, diversity, and abundance. This could be due to agrochemical contamination that impairs the quantity and quality of floral resources (nectar and pollen) required by INPOs. Alternatively, protected habitats seemed healthy and devoid of agrochemical contamination, which attracted many INPOs for foraging and nesting. Thus, in order to maintain healthy agricultural habitats and support INPO biodiversity, conservation agriculture is imperative. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2024 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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17 pages, 1850 KiB  
Article
Orthoptera Community Dynamics and Conservation in a Natura 2000 Site (Greece): The Role of Beta Diversity
by Apostolis Stefanidis, Konstantina Zografou, Olga Tzortzakaki and Vassiliki Kati
Diversity 2024, 16(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16010011 - 23 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1331
Abstract
Greece is a European hotspot for Orthoptera (378 species), yet it has been scarcely explored. We investigated the diversity patterns of Orthoptera and the ecological mechanisms shaping them by sampling 15 sites (30 plots of 1ha) across five habitats in Mount Mitsikeli, a [...] Read more.
Greece is a European hotspot for Orthoptera (378 species), yet it has been scarcely explored. We investigated the diversity patterns of Orthoptera and the ecological mechanisms shaping them by sampling 15 sites (30 plots of 1ha) across five habitats in Mount Mitsikeli, a Natura 2000 site. The mountain is deemed rich (0.4 species/km2), hosting 34 species, including a species of European interest (Paracaloptenus caloptenoides). The grassy openings in the beech–fir forest and rural mosaics were found to be important habitats for Orthoptera, while the mountain grasslands were poorer but hosted a greater abundance of grasshoppers. The three main environmental factors shaping diversity patterns (with an explained variance of 51.34%) were grass height, the cover of woody vegetation and the cover of bare ground. Beta diversity was high (with a Bray–Curtis of index 0.45 among habitats). Species turnover prevailed among all sites and within agricultural land, beech–fir forest and Mediterranean scrub, while nested patterns prevailed within mountain grasslands and mixed thermophilous forest. Conservation actions should target sites in ecosystems driven by species turnover, but primarily the most species-rich sites are driven by nestedness. Such actions should include the implementation of biodiversity-inclusive grazing schemes to hamper forest encroachment and the restoration of mountain grassland quality from cattle overgrazing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2024 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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Review

Jump to: Research

14 pages, 4320 KiB  
Review
Nanopore Sequencing Technology as an Emerging Tool for Diversity Studies of Plant Organellar Genomes
by Jakub Sawicki, Katarzyna Krawczyk, Łukasz Paukszto, Mateusz Maździarz, Mateusz Kurzyński, Joanna Szablińska-Piernik and Monika Szczecińska
Diversity 2024, 16(3), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16030173 - 7 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1329
Abstract
In this comprehensive review, we explore the significant role that nanopore sequencing technology plays in the study of plant organellar genomes, particularly mitochondrial and chloroplast DNA. To date, the application of nanopore sequencing has led to the successful sequencing of over 100 plant [...] Read more.
In this comprehensive review, we explore the significant role that nanopore sequencing technology plays in the study of plant organellar genomes, particularly mitochondrial and chloroplast DNA. To date, the application of nanopore sequencing has led to the successful sequencing of over 100 plant mitochondrial genomes and around 80 chloroplast genomes. These figures not only demonstrate the technology’s robustness but also mark a substantial advancement in the field, highlighting its efficacy in decoding the complex and dynamic nature of these genomes. Nanopore sequencing, known for its long-read capabilities, significantly surpasses traditional sequencing techniques, especially in addressing challenges like structural complexity and sequence repetitiveness in organellar DNA. This review delves into the nuances of nanopore sequencing, elaborating on its benefits compared to conventional methods and the groundbreaking applications it has fostered in plant organellar genomics. While its transformative impact is clear, the technology’s limitations, including error rates and computational requirements, are discussed, alongside potential solutions and prospects for technological refinement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2024 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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16 pages, 1614 KiB  
Review
A Comprehensive Review of Disease-Causing Agents in Freshwater Turtles: Implications for Conservation and Public Health
by João Rato, Raquel Xavier, D. James Harris, Filipe Banha and Pedro Anastácio
Diversity 2024, 16(3), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16030171 - 7 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1297
Abstract
Freshwater turtles comprise 81% of all chelonian species despite freshwater systems only occupying 1% of the earth’s surface, and they are commonly exploited as pets and food resources. This contact between humans and turtles may put both sides at risk of disease transmission. [...] Read more.
Freshwater turtles comprise 81% of all chelonian species despite freshwater systems only occupying 1% of the earth’s surface, and they are commonly exploited as pets and food resources. This contact between humans and turtles may put both sides at risk of disease transmission. Additionally, human impact on ecosystems can cause disease outbreaks in turtle populations. In this review, we focused on disease agents affecting freshwater turtles, intending to contribute to conservation and public health efforts. We analysed 423 articles and noted a post-SARS-COVID-19 peak, with most research originating from Asia, North America, and Europe. Emydidae was the most frequently studied family, and there was also a bias towards adults, live specimens, and native species. Since most of the studied turtles were wild-caught, we recommend that captive turtles should also be thoroughly studied since they can transmit diseases to other turtles and humans. We registered 2104 potential disease-causing agents, with Platyhelminthes dominating within Animalia, while Proteobacteria dominated bacterial agents. Viruses’ representation was low, highlighting gaps in reptile virology. Fungi, Chromista, and Protozoa were also underrepresented, but this is changing with the development of molecular tools. This synthesis serves as a foundation for targeted health assessments, conservation strategies, and future research, essential to mitigate ecosystem and public health threats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2024 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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