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Diversity, Volume 13, Issue 1 (January 2021) – 35 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Parrots are one of most threatened and rapidly declining bird groups. One reason for this is the global demand for pet parrots. Wild parrots are frequently trapped to fulfil this demand, and trapping pressure is likely to vary across a species range depending on factors such as demand, accessibility, and availability. Amazona lilacina is a newly described critically endangered species endemic to coastal Ecuador. Together with Ecuadorian researchers and rural communities, we quantified the level of A. lilacina ownership and trapping throughout its range and developed a trapping pressure index to highlight the areas of greatest risk to the wild population. View this paper.
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Open AccessArticle
Occupancy of the American Three-Toed Woodpecker in a Heavily-Managed Boreal Forest of Eastern Canada
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 35; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010035 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 377
Abstract
The southern extent of the boreal forest in North America has experienced intensive human disturbance in recent decades. Among these, forest harvesting leads to the substantial loss of late-successional stands that include key habitat attributes for several avian species. The American Three-toed Woodpecker, [...] Read more.
The southern extent of the boreal forest in North America has experienced intensive human disturbance in recent decades. Among these, forest harvesting leads to the substantial loss of late-successional stands that include key habitat attributes for several avian species. The American Three-toed Woodpecker, Picoides dorsalis, is associated with continuous old spruce forests in the eastern part of its range. In this study, we assessed the influence of habitat characteristics at different scales on the occupancy of American Three-toed Woodpecker in a heavily-managed boreal landscape of northeastern Canada, and we inferred species occupancy at the regional scale. We conducted 185 playback stations over two breeding seasons and modelled the occupancy of the species while taking into account the probability of detection. American Three-toed Woodpecker occupancy was lower in stands with large areas recently clear-cut, and higher in landscapes with large extents of old-growth forest dominated by black spruce. At the regional scale, areas with high probability of occupancy were scarce and mostly within protected areas. Habitat requirements of the American Three-toed Woodpecker during the breeding season, coupled with overall low occupancy rate in our study area, challenge its long-term sustainability in such heavily managed landscapes. Additionally, the scarcity of areas of high probability of occupancy in the region suggests that the ecological role of old forest outside protected areas could be compromised. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Boreal Bird Ecology, Management and Conservation)
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Open AccessArticle
Ethanol eDNA Reveals Unique Community Composition of Aquatic Macroinvertebrates Compared to Bulk Tissue Metabarcoding in a Biomonitoring Sampling Scheme
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 34; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010034 - 17 Jan 2021
Viewed by 510
Abstract
Freshwater ecosystems provide essential ecosystem services and support biodiversity; however, their water quality and biological communities are influenced by adjacent agricultural land use. Aquatic macroinvertebrates are commonly used as bioindicators of stream conditions in freshwater biomonitoring programs. Sorting benthic samples for molecular identification [...] Read more.
Freshwater ecosystems provide essential ecosystem services and support biodiversity; however, their water quality and biological communities are influenced by adjacent agricultural land use. Aquatic macroinvertebrates are commonly used as bioindicators of stream conditions in freshwater biomonitoring programs. Sorting benthic samples for molecular identification is a time-consuming process, and this study investigates the potential of ethanol-collected environmental DNA (eDNA) for metabarcoding macroinvertebrates, especially for common bioindicator groups. The objective of this study was to compare macroinvertebrate composition between paired bulk tissue and ethanol eDNA samples, as eDNA could provide a less time-consuming and non-destructive method of sampling macroinvertebrates. We collected benthic samples from streams in Ontario, Canada, and found that community composition varied greatly between sampling methods and that few taxa were shared between paired tissue and ethanol samples, suggesting that ethanol eDNA is not an acceptable substitute. It is unclear why we did not detect all the organisms that were preserved in the ethanol, or the origin of the DNA we did detect. Furthermore, we also detected no difference in community composition for bioindicator taxa due to surrounding land use or water chemistry, suggesting sites were similar in ecological condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Using Environmental DNA as a Tool for Biomonitoring)
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Open AccessArticle
Threats Posed to the Rediscovered and Rare Salvia ceratophylloides Ard. (Lamiaceae) by Borer and Seed Feeder Insect Species
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 33; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010033 - 16 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 333
Abstract
The effects of herbivorous insects on a plant population are not always well tolerated. This is especially true if the herbivorous actions are directed toward rare plant species. Salvia ceratophylloides Ard. is a rare endemism of southern Italy. Observations of the plants in [...] Read more.
The effects of herbivorous insects on a plant population are not always well tolerated. This is especially true if the herbivorous actions are directed toward rare plant species. Salvia ceratophylloides Ard. is a rare endemism of southern Italy. Observations of the plants in situ revealed that many of them were under severe stress and did not produce seeds. Therefore, to find out which factors affect the reproductive activity as a whole, an observational study was carried out. We found bottom-up and top-down effects on plant health and reproduction associated with herbivorous action. Squamapion elongatum (Coleoptera, Curculionoidea, Apionidae), in all monitored sites, infested plants non-uniformly but was able to threaten the health condition, flowering, and seed production of sage by digging tunnels into the sage branches (bottom-up action), and then secondarily by seed feeder Systole salvia Zerova (Hymenoptera, Eurytomidae) predating sage seeds (top-down action). Mainly, chalcid parasitoid wasps such as Trichomalus spp. (Hymenoptera, Pteromalidae), as well as Eupelmus vesicularis and E. muellneri (Hymenoptera, Eupelmidae), limited the herbivorous S. elongatum population and the seed herbivore S. salviae emerged with its parasitoid Ormyrus diffinis (Hymenoptera, Ormyridae). Overall, this study showed how ecological interactions among herbivores, their host, and their natural enemies act on this sage species in all sites investigated. Among the herbivores, mainly S. elongatum affected this rare sage species, which should be taken into consideration, especially in the formulation of biological control solutions and for improving operating practice aimed at reproducing the species. This study provides the molecular characterization of the herbivorous species involved, in order to support future projects to evaluate the intra- and interspecific genetic variability of insects, their evolutionary relationships, and phylogeny studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Insect)
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Open AccessArticle
Can We Share? Feeding Strategy in Three Syntopic Newts in Artificial Habitats
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 32; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010032 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 374
Abstract
Natural aquatic sites are disappearing worldwide, especially in the Mediterranean region where amphibians are frequently forced to move for reproduction to artificial sites designed for irrigation and cattle watering (i.e., wells, tanks and drinking troughs). In artificial aquatic sites, where resources (space and [...] Read more.
Natural aquatic sites are disappearing worldwide, especially in the Mediterranean region where amphibians are frequently forced to move for reproduction to artificial sites designed for irrigation and cattle watering (i.e., wells, tanks and drinking troughs). In artificial aquatic sites, where resources (space and food) are usually limited, trophic niche information can be particularly useful to infer the suitability of habitats for amphibian conservation especially when more than one species co-occurs. In this paper, we focused on three newt species: The Italian newt (Lissotriton italicus), the Italian smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris meridionalis) and the Italian crested newt (Triturus carnifex) inhabiting man-made wells widespread in an area in Central Italy characterized by few available natural aquatic sites. Specifically, we analyzed the trophic spectrum of the species, their interactions and overlap, and discussed the potential role of wells in amphibian conservation. Overall, 550 newt individuals occurring in 16 distinct wells were sampled. The study species consumed similar resources, mainly of aquatic origin, with Diptera larvae and Cladocera representing the most important preys. The high degree of diet overlap observed may be due to site oligotrophy and high availability of small-sized prey, and it does not necessarily lead to competition. Newts had similar narrow niche width values and a generalist feeding pattern with high diversity among individuals. Lissotriton italicus and T. carnifex showed wider niche width in isolation than in syntopy condition, probably as a result of interspecific competition and/or intraguild predation. We showed that artificial aquatic sites are important for newt ecology and conservation since they allow up to three species to cohabit, thus representing a good surrogate of natural habitats. The study wells apparently provided suitable trophic conditions for newts in terms of prey availability and catchability. To date, just a few studies have contributed to a greater understanding of newts’ diet in artificial aquatic sites and this gap of knowledge has to be filled to clarify their role in amphibian ecology and conservation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Diversity and Origin of the Central Mexican Alpine Flora
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 31; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010031 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1539
Abstract
Alpine vegetation is scarce in central Mexico (≈150 km2) and occurs on the 11 highest peaks of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB). Timberline occurs at (3700) 3900 m, and at 4750 m vascular plants cease to exist. The alpine vascular flora [...] Read more.
Alpine vegetation is scarce in central Mexico (≈150 km2) and occurs on the 11 highest peaks of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB). Timberline occurs at (3700) 3900 m, and at 4750 m vascular plants cease to exist. The alpine vascular flora comprises 237 species from 46 families and 130 genera. Asteraceae (44), Poaceae (42), and Caryophyllaceae (21) possess 45% of the species; none of the remaining families have more than 10 species. Four species are strict endemics, and eight others are near endemics. Thirteen species are restricted to alpine vegetation but also occur outside the study area. Seventy-seven species are endemic to Mexico, 35 of which are endemic to the TMVB. In terms of biogeography, the strongest affinities are with Central or South America. Fifteen species are also native to the Old World. Size of the alpine area seems to not be the determining factor for its floristic diversity. Instead, the time since and extent of the last volcanic activity, in addition to the distance from other alpine islands, appear to be important factors affecting diversity. There is evidence for upward vegetational shifts having occurred during the last century. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity, Ecology and Conservation of Alpine Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental and Management Control over the Submontane Grassland Plant Communities in Central Slovakia
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 30; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010030 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 394
Abstract
In Central Europe, submontane grassland plant biodiversity is currently threatened by management intensification as well as by the cessation and abandonment of management activities (extensive grazing and mowing). Although the vegetation of Central European grasslands has been well described by phytosociological papers, there [...] Read more.
In Central Europe, submontane grassland plant biodiversity is currently threatened by management intensification as well as by the cessation and abandonment of management activities (extensive grazing and mowing). Although the vegetation of Central European grasslands has been well described by phytosociological papers, there is still a need to improve our understanding of the effect of both management and environment on species richness and community composition. We studied submontane grassland communities in Central Slovakia. Our study showed that both environmental variables and management were important for shaping the submontane grassland species richness and floristic composition. Plant species richness showed a weak negative relationship with soil pH. When grassland management types were analyzed individually, the amount of phosphorus, nitrogen, pH, and altitude were all found to be significantly correlated with plant species richness or diversity. Management type and local environmental factors (i.e., incoming solar radiation) both determined community composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Diversity)
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Open AccessArticle
A Global Assessment of Parasite Diversity in Galaxiid Fishes
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 27; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010027 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 536
Abstract
Free-living species often receive greater conservation attention than the parasites they support, with parasite conservation often being hindered by a lack of parasite biodiversity knowledge. This study aimed to determine the current state of knowledge regarding parasites of the Southern Hemisphere freshwater fish [...] Read more.
Free-living species often receive greater conservation attention than the parasites they support, with parasite conservation often being hindered by a lack of parasite biodiversity knowledge. This study aimed to determine the current state of knowledge regarding parasites of the Southern Hemisphere freshwater fish family Galaxiidae, in order to identify knowledge gaps to focus future research attention. Specifically, we assessed how galaxiid–parasite knowledge differs among geographic regions in relation to research effort (i.e., number of studies or fish individuals examined, extent of tissue examination, taxonomic resolution), in addition to ecological traits known to influence parasite richness. To date, ~50% of galaxiid species have been examined for parasites, though the majority of studies have focused on single parasite taxa rather than assessing the full diversity of macro- and microparasites. The highest number of parasites were observed from Argentinean galaxiids, and studies in all geographic regions were biased towards the highly abundant and most widely distributed galaxiid species, Galaxias maculatus. Parasite diversity generally increased with the number of studies and individual fish examined, however studies which examined parasites from all body tissues could overcome the effects of low study effort. In order to promote further understanding of galaxiid–parasite biodiversity, we provide a series of recommendations, including the use of molecular techniques to verify parasite identity, and highlight the future roles both fish biologists and parasitologists can play. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolutionary Genetics and Biogeography of Galaxiid Fishes)
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Open AccessReview
The Early Branching Group of Orbiniida Sensu Struck et al., 2015: Parergodrilidae and Orbiniidae
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 29; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010029 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 720
Abstract
This review addresses the state of the art of the systematics and the improvements in the biology, ecology and species diversity of the two annelid taxa Parergodrilidae and Orbiniidae, the early branching group of Orbiniida sensu Struck et al., 2015 according to molecular [...] Read more.
This review addresses the state of the art of the systematics and the improvements in the biology, ecology and species diversity of the two annelid taxa Parergodrilidae and Orbiniidae, the early branching group of Orbiniida sensu Struck et al., 2015 according to molecular studies. An effort to identify gaps of knowledge is given to understand the distribution, dispersal and the diversity Parergodrilidae and Orbiniidae hold, as well as to give several directions for future research. Parergodrilidae is a taxon of interstitial annelids constituted by the terrestrial Parergodrilus heideri (monotypic genus up to date), reported throughout Europe but also in Korea and North America, and the genus Stygocapitella, which includes eleven species from the upper shore of sandy beaches distributed along Europe and other regions of the world. Orbiniidae contains more than 200 described species spread over 20 valid genera, varying in size from a few millimeters up to 30 cm, distributed globally and living in a wide variety of soft bottoms. Improving the knowledge on these two sister-taxa is crucial for the understanding of the evolution to interstitial forms by progenesis in Annelida. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systematics and Biodiversity of Annelids)
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Open AccessReview
The Role of Carrion in the Landscapes of Fear and Disgust: A Review and Prospects
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 28; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010028 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 467
Abstract
Animal behavior is greatly shaped by the ‘landscape of fear’, induced by predation risk, and the equivalent ‘landscape of disgust’, induced by parasitism or infection risk. However, the role that carrion may play in these landscapes of peril has been largely overlooked. Here, [...] Read more.
Animal behavior is greatly shaped by the ‘landscape of fear’, induced by predation risk, and the equivalent ‘landscape of disgust’, induced by parasitism or infection risk. However, the role that carrion may play in these landscapes of peril has been largely overlooked. Here, we aim to emphasize that animal carcasses likely represent ubiquitous hotspots for both predation and infection risk, thus being an outstanding paradigm of how predation and parasitism pressures can concur in space and time. By conducting a literature review, we highlight the manifold inter- and intra-specific interactions linked to carrion via predation and parasitism risks, which may affect not only scavengers, but also non-scavengers. However, we identified major knowledge gaps, as reviewed articles were highly biased towards fear, terrestrial environments, vertebrates, and behavioral responses. Based on the reviewed literature, we provide a conceptual framework on the main fear- and disgust-based interaction pathways associated with carrion resources. This framework may be used to formulate predictions about how the landscape of fear and disgust around carcasses might influence animals’ individual behavior and ecological processes, from population to ecosystem functioning. We encourage ecologists, evolutionary biologists, epidemiologists, forensic scientists, and conservation biologists to explore the promising research avenues associated with the scary and disgusting facets of carrion. Acknowledging the multiple trophic and non-trophic interactions among dead and live animals, including both herbivores and carnivores, will notably improve our understanding of the overlapping pressures that shape the landscape of fear and disgust. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology of Predation and Scavenging and the Interface)
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Open AccessReview
Reduced Oxygen as an Environmental Pressure in the Evolution of the Blind Mexican Cavefish
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 26; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010026 - 12 Jan 2021
Viewed by 466
Abstract
Extreme environmental features can drive the evolution of extreme phenotypes. Over the course of evolution, certain environmental changes may be so drastic that they lead to extinction. Conversely, if an organism adapts to harsh environmental changes, the adaptations may permit expansion of a [...] Read more.
Extreme environmental features can drive the evolution of extreme phenotypes. Over the course of evolution, certain environmental changes may be so drastic that they lead to extinction. Conversely, if an organism adapts to harsh environmental changes, the adaptations may permit expansion of a novel niche. The interaction between environmental stressors and adaptive changes is well-illustrated by the blind Mexican cavefish, Astyanaxmexicanus, which has recurrently adapted to the stark subterranean environment. The transition from terrestrial rivers and streams (occupied by extant surface morphs of the same species) to the cave has been accompanied by the resorption of eyes, diminished pigmentation and reduced metabolism in cave-dwelling morphs. The principal features of caves most often associated with evolution of these common cave features are the absence of light and limited nutrition. However, a putatively essential cave feature that has received less attention is the frequently low concentration of oxygen within natural karst environments. Here, we review the potential role of limited oxygen as a critical environmental feature of caves in the Sierra de El Abra. Additionally, we review evidence that Astyanax cavefish may have evolved adaptive features enabling them to thrive in lower oxygen compared to their surface-dwelling counterparts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cave Communities: From the Surface Border to the Deep Darkness)
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Open AccessArticle
Deer Exclusion Changes Vegetation Structure and Hunting Guilds of Spiders, but Not Multitrophic Understory Biodiversity
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 25; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010025 - 12 Jan 2021
Viewed by 335
Abstract
Ungulate herbivores modify plant community compositions, which can modulate biodiversity at higher trophic levels. However, these cascading effects on herbivorous and predatory arthropods in forest ecosystems remain poorly understood. We compared plant and arthropod communities between fenced exclosures and unfenced control plots in [...] Read more.
Ungulate herbivores modify plant community compositions, which can modulate biodiversity at higher trophic levels. However, these cascading effects on herbivorous and predatory arthropods in forest ecosystems remain poorly understood. We compared plant and arthropod communities between fenced exclosures and unfenced control plots in a permanent forest in Germany. After five years of deer exclusion, we quantified plant diversity and vegetation structure as well as the diversity of insects and spiders in 32 pair-wise plots. In addition, we compared spider communities with respect to different hunting guilds because they are expected to have different requirements for vegetation structure. Although we did not find differences in plant communities, vegetation height and heterogeneity were higher in exclosures compared to control plots. The diversity of insects and spiders was not affected by deer presence. However, the abundance of sheet-web weavers and ambush hunters was lower in exclosures whereas ground hunters were more common in exclosure plots. Structural changes in the vegetation changed predator hunting guilds even though mere abundance and biodiversity indices were not affected. We therefore suggest that monitoring of vegetation structure and associated functional groups seems more sensitive to assess the impact of ungulate herbivores compared to taxonomic metrics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Spider Communities Diversity)
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Open AccessArticle
Genome Insights into the Novel Species Jejubacter calystegiae, a Plant Growth-Promoting Bacterium in Saline Conditions
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 24; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010024 - 11 Jan 2021
Viewed by 300
Abstract
Jejubacter calystegiae KSNA2T, a moderately halophilic, endophytic bacterium isolated from beach morning glory (Calystegia soldanella), was determined to be a novel species in a new genus in the family Enterobacteriaceae. To gain insights into the genetic basis of [...] Read more.
Jejubacter calystegiae KSNA2T, a moderately halophilic, endophytic bacterium isolated from beach morning glory (Calystegia soldanella), was determined to be a novel species in a new genus in the family Enterobacteriaceae. To gain insights into the genetic basis of the salinity stress response of strain KSNA2T, we sequenced its genome using two complementary sequencing platforms (Illumina HiSeq and PacBio RSII). The genome contains a repertoire of metabolic pathways, such as those for nitrogen, phosphorus, and some amino acid metabolism pathways. Functional annotation of the KSNA2T genome revealed several genes involved in salt tolerance pathways, such as those encoding sodium transporters, potassium transporters, and osmoprotectant enzymes. Plant growth-promoting bacteria-based experiments indicated that strain KSNA2T promotes the germination of vegetable seeds in saline conditions. Overall, the genetic and biological analyses of strain KSNA2T provide valuable insights into bacteria-mediated salt tolerance in agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Diversity Associated with Photosynthetic Organisms)
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Open AccessArticle
Dynamics of a Predator–Prey Model with the Effect of Oscillation of Immigration of the Prey
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 23; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010023 - 10 Jan 2021
Viewed by 308
Abstract
In this article, the use of predator-dependent functional and numerical responses is proposed to form an autonomous predator–prey model. The dynamic behaviors of this model were analytically studied. The boundedness of the proposed model was proven; then, the Kolmogorov analysis was used for [...] Read more.
In this article, the use of predator-dependent functional and numerical responses is proposed to form an autonomous predator–prey model. The dynamic behaviors of this model were analytically studied. The boundedness of the proposed model was proven; then, the Kolmogorov analysis was used for validating and identifying the coexistence and extinction conditions of the model. In addition, the local and global stability conditions of the model were determined. Moreover, a novel idea was introduced by adding the oscillation of the immigration of the prey into the model which forms a non-autonomous model. The numerically obtained results display that the dynamic behaviors of the model exhibit increasingly stable fluctuations and an increased likelihood of coexistence compared to the autonomous model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Predator–Prey Ecology and Conservation in ‘Novel’ Environments)
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Open AccessArticle
Altitudinal Vascular Plant Richness and Climate Change in the Alpine Zone of the Lefka Ori, Crete
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 22; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010022 - 09 Jan 2021
Viewed by 446
Abstract
High mountain zones in the Mediterranean area are considered more vulnerable in comparison to lower altitudes zones. Lefka Ori massif, a global biodiversity hotspot on the island of Crete is part of the Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments (GLORIA) monitoring network. [...] Read more.
High mountain zones in the Mediterranean area are considered more vulnerable in comparison to lower altitudes zones. Lefka Ori massif, a global biodiversity hotspot on the island of Crete is part of the Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments (GLORIA) monitoring network. The paper examines species and vegetation changes with respect to climate and altitude over a seven-year period (2001–2008) at a range of spatial scales (10 m Summit Area Section-SAS, 5 m SAS, 1 m2) using the GLORIA protocol in a re-survey of four mountain summits (1664 m–2339 m). The absolute species loss between 2001–2008 was 4, among which were 2 endemics. At the scale of individual summits, the highest changes were recorded at the lower summits with absolute species loss 4 in both cases. Paired t-tests for the total species richness at 1 m2 between 2001–2008, showed no significant differences. No significant differences were found at the individual summit level neither at the 5 m SAS or the 10 m SAS. Time series analysis reveals that soil mean annual temperature is increasing at all summits. Linear regressions with the climatic variables show a positive effect on species richness at the 5 m and 10 m SAS as well as species changes at the 5 m SAS. In particular, June mean temperature has the highest predictive power for species changes at the 5 m SAS. Recorded changes in species richness point more towards fluctuations within a plant community’s normal range, although there seem to be more significant diversity changes in higher summits related to aspects. Our work provides additional evidence to assess the effects of climate change on plant diversity in Mediterranean mountains and particularly those of islands which remain understudied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity, Ecology and Conservation of Alpine Plants)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Characteristics of Eukaryotic Plankton Communities in the Cold Water Masses and Nearshore Waters of the South Yellow Sea
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 21; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010021 - 08 Jan 2021
Viewed by 310
Abstract
Eukaryotic plankton are important parts of the marine biome and play an important role in maintaining the stability of marine ecosystems. In order to characterize the eukaryotic plankton communities in the South Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass (CWM) and the South Yellow Sea [...] Read more.
Eukaryotic plankton are important parts of the marine biome and play an important role in maintaining the stability of marine ecosystems. In order to characterize the eukaryotic plankton communities in the South Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass (CWM) and the South Yellow Sea nearshore waters (NW) in October 2019, Illumina high–throughput sequencing was performed using the 18S rDNA V9 region as the target gene. Environmental factors (depth, pH, salinity, temperature, Chl a, nitrate, nitrite, ammonium, silicate, phosphate) in two sea areas were measured, and their correlations with abundance and diversity of eukaryotic plankton were analyzed. A total of 807 species of plankton were identified, of which 663 species in 24 categories were from the CWM area, and 614 species in 26 categories were from NW. The total phytoplankton abundance in CWM waters was higher than that in NW. Dinophyta and Bacillariophyta were the most abundant phyla of phytoplankton in the two areas. Arthropoda and Cnidaria were the major zooplankton taxa. The dominant fungal population was mainly Basidiomycota. Both the CWM and NW have effects on dissolved inorganic nutrient concentrations and plankton abundance. Environmental factor correlation analysis showed that the concentration of dissolved inorganic nutrients within the CWM increased with water depth and the abundance of plankton gradually increased. Ammonium salts, nitrates, phosphates, silicates and water depth were important factors affecting phytoplankton growth. Phytoplankton abundance increased with increasing concentrations of inorganic nutrients. Bacillariophyta showed a strong positive correlation with silicates and depth. Depth and microscopic phytoplankton abundance were important factors influencing the structure of the zooplankton community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Linking Plankton Diversity with Ecosystem Functioning and Services)
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Open AccessArticle
Incidence of Galls on Sympatric California Oaks: Ecological and Physiological Perspectives
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 20; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010020 - 06 Jan 2021
Viewed by 332
Abstract
Galls are abnormal outgrowths on the external tissues of plants caused by a restricted group of organisms. In this study, we surveyed the incidence and diversity of galling structures in sympatric oak species of a biological preserve (Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, NC, USA). [...] Read more.
Galls are abnormal outgrowths on the external tissues of plants caused by a restricted group of organisms. In this study, we surveyed the incidence and diversity of galling structures in sympatric oak species of a biological preserve (Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, NC, USA). We also measured different physiological parameters (SLA-specific leaf area, chlorophyll, nitrogen, flavonol, anthocyanin, and water content) in galled and ungalled leaves on the same individuals of the most abundant oak species (Quercus agrifolia, Q. lobata, and Q. douglasii). Overall, Q. lobata showed the highest gall incidence, with 64.5% of the sampled leaves affected by galls, followed by Q. douglasii, Q. agrifolia, Q. durata, and Q. kelloggii. The proportion of stems with galls was considerably lower than for leaves in all oak species, ranging from 0% incidence in Q. kelloggii to 27.4% in Q. lobata. The highly schlerophyllous Q. agrifolia supported the most diverse galling community at Jasper Ridge, with ten species, mostly belonging to the Cynipidae family. Our results show that leaf galling had no significant impact on the studied ecophysiological variables. The lack of differences between galled and ungalled leaves under controlled conditions (same tree and position in the tree) suggests that the ecophysiological variables measured are not significantly affected by galling agents or that our data collected for fully-developed galls (end of summer) are not sensitive enough to detect differences. However, there were some trends in plant responses to galling. Changes in galled vs. ungalled leaves were greater in flavonols, followed by chlorophyll, nitrogen, anthocyanin, SLA, and water content, indicating a nutrient deficiency in the plant nutrients. Our findings underscore the complexity of the gall-plant interaction and suggest some promising lines of future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Oaks and Insects)
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Open AccessArticle
Trait-Based Investigation Reveals Patterns of Community Response to Nutrient Enrichment in Coastal Mesic Grassland
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 19; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010019 - 06 Jan 2021
Viewed by 377
Abstract
Despite recent advances, we still do not understand how chronic nutrient enrichment impacts coastal plant community structure and function. We aimed to clarify such impacts by testing for differences in ecosystem productivity and multiple community metrics in response to fertilization. We established plots [...] Read more.
Despite recent advances, we still do not understand how chronic nutrient enrichment impacts coastal plant community structure and function. We aimed to clarify such impacts by testing for differences in ecosystem productivity and multiple community metrics in response to fertilization. We established plots in 2015 consisting of control (C), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and nitrogen + phosphorus (NP) treatments in a mid-Atlantic coastal grassland. In 2017 we collected aboveground biomass, functional traits, and species abundance for each plot. Our findings indicate a synergistic co-limitation, such that NP plots were more productive than all other treatments. A combination of traits responsible for competition and nutrient uptake (i.e., height and δ15N) caused trait-based divergence of N and NP plots from C and P plots. Functional trait-based composition patterns differed from species composition and lifeform abundance patterns, highlighting complexities of community response to nutrient enrichment. While trait-based functional alpha-diversity did not differ among nutrient treatments, it was positively correlated with biomass production, suggesting nutrients may impact functional alpha-diversity indirectly through increased productivity. Increased functional alpha-diversity could be a mechanism of co-existence emerging as productivity increases. These results have important implications for understanding how plant communities in low-productivity coastal systems are altered by fertilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity in Coastal Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Description of Echolocation Call Parameters for Urban Bats in Vietnam as a Step Towards a More Integrated Acoustic Monitoring of Urban Wildlife in Southeast Asia
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 18; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010018 - 06 Jan 2021
Viewed by 529
Abstract
This study is the first step towards more systematic monitoring of urban bat fauna in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries by collecting bat echolocation call parameters in Ho Chi Minh and Tra Vinh cities. We captured urban bats and then recorded echolocation [...] Read more.
This study is the first step towards more systematic monitoring of urban bat fauna in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries by collecting bat echolocation call parameters in Ho Chi Minh and Tra Vinh cities. We captured urban bats and then recorded echolocation calls after releasing in a tent. Additional bat’s echolocation calls from the free-flying bats were recorded at the site where we captured bat. We used the obtained echolocation call parameters for a discriminant function analysis to test the accuracy of classifying these species based on their echolocation call parameters. Data from this pilot work revealed a low level of diversity for the studied bat assemblages. Additionally, the discriminant function analysis successfully classified bats to four bat species with an accuracy of >87.4%. On average, species assignments were correct for all calls from Taphozous melanopogon (100% success rate), for 70% of calls from Pipistrellus javanicus, for 80.8% of calls from Myotis hasseltii and 67.3% of calls from Scotophilus kuhlii. Our study comprises the first quantitative description of echolocation call parameters for urban bats of Vietnam. The success in classifying urban bats based on their echolocation call parameters provides a promising baseline for monitoring the effect of urbanization on bat assemblages in Vietnam and potentially also other Southeast Asian countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity Aspects in Bats: Genetics, Morphology, Community Structure)
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Open AccessEditorial
Advances in the Biology and Conservation of Turtles
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 17; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010017 - 06 Jan 2021
Viewed by 518
Abstract
The approximately 356 species of testudines (turtles) are remarkable for their blend of phylogenetic conservatism and diversity [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Biology and Conservation of Turtles)
Open AccessAddendum
Addendum: Anderson, M., et al. Grassland Management Affects Vegetation Structure, Bats and Their Beetle Prey. Diversity 2020, 12, 406
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 16; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010016 - 06 Jan 2021
Viewed by 332
Abstract
There was an error in the original article [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biodiversity Conservation)
Open AccessArticle
Parrot Ownership and Capture in Coastal Ecuador: Developing a Trapping Pressure Index
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 15; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010015 - 05 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1364
Abstract
We located rural communities with pet parrots and used these locations to predict the probability of illegal parrot ownership across coastal Ecuador, using variables related to demand for pets, parrot availability, and trapping accessibility. In 12 pet keeping communities, we carried out in-depth [...] Read more.
We located rural communities with pet parrots and used these locations to predict the probability of illegal parrot ownership across coastal Ecuador, using variables related to demand for pets, parrot availability, and trapping accessibility. In 12 pet keeping communities, we carried out in-depth interviews with 106 people, to quantify ownership, trapping, and interviewees’ attitudes towards these behaviours. We combined these data to calculate a trapping pressure index for four key roosting, feeding and nesting sites for the Critically Endangered Lilacine or Ecuadorian Amazon Parrot Amazona lilacina. We found that 66% of all communities had pet parrots and 31% had pet Lilacines. Our predictive models showed that pet parrot ownership occurs throughout coastal Ecuador, but ownership of Lilacines by rural communities, is more likely to occur within the natural distribution of the species. The number of people per community who had owned Lilacines in the last three years varied from 0–50%, as did the number of people who had trapped them—from 0–26%. We interviewed 10 people who had captured the species in the last three years who reported motives of either to sell or keep birds as pets. Attitudes towards pet keeping and trapping differed among the 12 communities: 20–52% believed it was acceptable to keep pet parrots, and for 32–74%, it was acceptable to catch parrots to sell. This being said, most people believed that wild parrots were important for nature and that local people had a responsibility to protect them. We conclude that trapping pressure is greatest in the southern part of the Lilacine’s range, and urgent conservation measures such as nest and roost protection, and local community engagement are needed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Reanalysis and Revision of the Complete Mitochondrial Genome of Artemia urmiana Günther, 1899 (Crustacea: Anostraca)
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 14; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010014 - 04 Jan 2021
Viewed by 352
Abstract
In the previously published mitochondrial genome sequence of Artemia urmiana (NC_021382 [JQ975176]), the taxonomic status of the examined Artemia had not been determined, due to parthenogenetic populations coexisting with A. urmiana in Urmia Lake. Additionally, NC_021382 [JQ975176] has been obtained with pooled cysts [...] Read more.
In the previously published mitochondrial genome sequence of Artemia urmiana (NC_021382 [JQ975176]), the taxonomic status of the examined Artemia had not been determined, due to parthenogenetic populations coexisting with A. urmiana in Urmia Lake. Additionally, NC_021382 [JQ975176] has been obtained with pooled cysts of Artemia (0.25 g cysts consists of 20,000–25,000 cysts), not a single specimen. With regard to coexisting populations in Urmia Lake, and intra- and inter-specific variations in the pooled samples, NC_021382 [JQ975176] cannot be recommended as a valid sequence and any attempt to attribute it to A. urmiana or a parthenogenetic population is unreasonable. With the aid of next-generation sequencing methods, we characterized and assembled a complete mitochondrial genome of A. urmiana with defined taxonomic status. Our results reveal that in the previously published mitogenome (NC_021382 [JQ975176]), tRNA-Phe has been erroneously attributed to the heavy strand but it is encoded in the light strand. There was a major problem in the position of the ND5. It was extended over the tRNA-Phe, which is biologically incorrect. We have also identified a partial nucleotide sequence of 311 bp that was probably erroneously duplicated in the assembly of the control region of NC_021382 [JQ975176], which enlarges the control region length by 16%. This partial sequence could not be recognized in our assembled mitogenome as well as in 48 further examined specimens of A. urmiana. Although, only COX1 and 16S genes have been widely used for phylogenetic studies in Artemia, our findings reveal substantial differences in the nucleotide composition of some other genes (including ATP8, ATP6, ND3, ND6, ND1 and COX3) among Artemia species. It is suggested that these markers should be included in future phylogenetic studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Phylogeny and Evolution)
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Open AccessArticle
Minimizing Potential Allee Effects in Psittacine Reintroductions: An Example from Puerto Rico
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 13; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010013 - 02 Jan 2021
Viewed by 758
Abstract
The family Psittacidae is comprised of over 400 species, an ever-increasing number of which are considered threatened with extinction. In recent decades, conservation strategies for these species have increasingly employed reintroduction as a technique for reestablishing populations in previously extirpated areas. Because most [...] Read more.
The family Psittacidae is comprised of over 400 species, an ever-increasing number of which are considered threatened with extinction. In recent decades, conservation strategies for these species have increasingly employed reintroduction as a technique for reestablishing populations in previously extirpated areas. Because most Psittacines are highly social and flocking species, reintroduction efforts may face the numerical and methodological challenge of overcoming initial Allee effects during the critical establishment phase of the reintroduction. These Allee effects can result from failures to achieve adequate site fidelity, survival and flock cohesion of released individuals, thus jeopardizing the success of the reintroduction. Over the past 20 years, efforts to reestablish and augment populations of the critically endangered Puerto Rican parrot (Amazona vittata) have periodically faced the challenge of apparent Allee effects. These challenges have been mitigated via a novel release strategy designed to promote site fidelity, flock cohesion and rapid reproduction of released parrots. Efforts to date have resulted in not only the reestablishment of an additional wild population in Puerto Rico, but also the reestablishment of the species in the El Yunque National Forest following its extirpation there by the Category 5 hurricane Maria in 2017. This promising release strategy has potential applicability in reintroductions of other psittacines and highly social species in general. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial and Temporal Patterns in Macroherbivore Grazing in a Multi-Species Tropical Seagrass Meadow of the Great Barrier Reef
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 12; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010012 - 02 Jan 2021
Viewed by 535
Abstract
Macroherbivory is an important process in seagrass meadows worldwide; however, the impact of macroherbivores on seagrasses in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) has received little attention. We used exclusion cages and seagrass tethering assays to understand how the intensity of macroherbivory varies over [...] Read more.
Macroherbivory is an important process in seagrass meadows worldwide; however, the impact of macroherbivores on seagrasses in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) has received little attention. We used exclusion cages and seagrass tethering assays to understand how the intensity of macroherbivory varies over space and time in the seagrass meadows around Green Island (Queensland), and what impact this has on overall meadow structure. Rates of macroherbivory were comparatively low, between 0.25–44% of daily seagrass productivity; however, rates were highly variable over a one-year period, and among sites. Loss of seagrass material to macroherbivory was predominantly due to fish; however, urchin herbivory was also taking place. Macroherbivory rates were of insufficient intensity to impact overall meadow structure. No macroherbivory events were identified on video cameras that filmed in the day, indicating that feeding may be occurring infrequently in large shoals, or at night. While relatively low compared to some meadows, seagrass macroherbivory was still an important process at this site. We suggest that in this highly protected area of the GBR, where the ecosystem and food webs remain largely intact, macroherbivory was maintained at a low level and was unlikely to cause the large-scale meadow structuring influence that can be seen in more modified seagrass systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity in Seagrass Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Endoparasitic Mites (Rhinonyssidae) on Urban Pigeons and Doves: Updating Morphological and Epidemiological Information
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 11; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010011 - 31 Dec 2020
Viewed by 289
Abstract
Rhynonyssidae is a family of endoparasitic hematophagous mites, which are still largely unknown even though they could act as vector or reservoir of different pathogens like dermanyssids. Sampling requirements have prevented deeper analysis. Rhinonyssids have been explored in a few host specimens per [...] Read more.
Rhynonyssidae is a family of endoparasitic hematophagous mites, which are still largely unknown even though they could act as vector or reservoir of different pathogens like dermanyssids. Sampling requirements have prevented deeper analysis. Rhinonyssids have been explored in a few host specimens per species, leading to undetailed morphological descriptions and inaccurate epidemiology. We explore the relationships established between these parasites in two Columbiformes urban birds (domestic pigeon (Columba livia domestica) and Eurasian collared dove (Streptopelia decaocto)), assesing 250 individuals of each type in Seville (Spain). As expected, Mesonyssus melloi (Castro, 1948) and Mesonyssus columbae (Crossley, 1950) were found in domestic pigeons, and Mesonyssus streptopeliae (Fain, 1962) in Eurasian collared doves. However, M. columbae was found for the first time in Eurasian collared doves. This relationship could be common in nature, but sampling methodology or host switching could also account for this result. An additional unknown specimen was found in a Eurasian collared dove, which could be a new species or an aberrant individual. We also provide an epidemiological survey of the three mite species, with M. melloi being the most common one followed by M. streptopeliae and M. columbae. High variation between previous epidemiological measurements and ours highlights the importance of developing deeper studies to uncover the factors regulating mite prevalence and intensities of infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bird Parasites)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Bacterial Composition and Diversity in Deep-Sea Sediments from the Southern Colombian Caribbean Sea
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 10; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010010 - 31 Dec 2020
Viewed by 559
Abstract
Deep-sea sediments are considered an extreme environment due to high atmospheric pressure and low temperatures, harboring novel microorganisms. To explore marine bacterial diversity in the southern Colombian Caribbean Sea, this study used 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequencing to estimate bacterial composition and [...] Read more.
Deep-sea sediments are considered an extreme environment due to high atmospheric pressure and low temperatures, harboring novel microorganisms. To explore marine bacterial diversity in the southern Colombian Caribbean Sea, this study used 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequencing to estimate bacterial composition and diversity of six samples collected at different depths (1681 to 2409 m) in two localities (CCS_A and CCS_B). We found 1842 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) assigned to bacteria. The most abundant phylum was Proteobacteria (54.74%), followed by Bacteroidetes (24.36%) and Firmicutes (9.48%). Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi were also identified, but their dominance varied between samples. At the class-level, Alphaproteobacteria was most abundant (28.4%), followed by Gammaproteobacteria (24.44%) and Flavobacteria (16.97%). The results demonstrated that some bacteria were common to all sample sites, whereas other bacteria were unique to specific samples. The dominant species was Erythrobacter citreus, followed by Gramella sp. Overall, we found that, in deeper marine sediments (e.g., locality CCS_B), the bacterial alpha diversity decreased while the dominance of several genera increased; moreover, for locality CCS_A, our results suggest that the bacterial diversity could be associated with total organic carbon content. We conclude that physicochemical properties (e.g., organic matter content) create a unique environment and play an important role in shaping bacterial communities and their diversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Ecology of Aquatic Habitats)
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Open AccessArticle
Variation in Ectosymbiont Assemblages Associated with Rock Pigeons (Columba livia) from Coast to Coast in Canada
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 9; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010009 - 30 Dec 2020
Viewed by 372
Abstract
When a species colonizes a new area, it has the potential to bring with it an array of smaller-bodied symbionts. Rock Pigeons (Columba livia Gmelin) have colonized most of Canada and are found in almost every urban center. In its native range, [...] Read more.
When a species colonizes a new area, it has the potential to bring with it an array of smaller-bodied symbionts. Rock Pigeons (Columba livia Gmelin) have colonized most of Canada and are found in almost every urban center. In its native range, C. livia hosts more than a dozen species of ectosymbiotic arthropods, and some of these lice and mites have been reported from Rock Pigeons in the United States. Despite being so abundant and widely distributed, there are only scattered host-symbiont records for rock pigeons in Canada. Here we sample Rock Pigeons from seven locations across Canada from the west to east (a distance of > 4000 km) to increase our knowledge of the distribution of their ectosymbionts. Additionally, because ectosymbiont abundance can be affected by temperature and humidity, we looked at meteorological variables for each location to assess whether they were correlated with ectosymbiont assemblage structure. We found eight species of mites associated with different parts of the host’s integument: the feather dwelling mites Falculifer rostratus (Buchholz), Pterophagus columbae (Sugimoto) and Diplaegidia columbae (Buchholz); the skin mites: Harpyrhynchoides gallowayi Bochkov, OConnor and Klompen, H. columbae (Fain), and Ornithocheyletia hallae Smiley; and the nasal mites Tinaminyssus melloi (Castro) and T. columbae (Crossley). We also found five species of lice: Columbicola columbae (Linnaeus), Campanulotes compar (Burmeister), Coloceras tovornikae Tendeiro, Hohorstiella lata Piaget, and Bonomiella columbae Emerson. All 13 ectosymbiont species were found in the two coastal locations of Vancouver (British Columbia) and Halifax (Nova Scotia). The symbiont species found in all sampling locations were the mites O. hallae, H. gallowayi, T. melloi and T. columbae, and the lice Colu. columbae and Camp. compar. Three local meteorological variables were significantly correlated with mite assemblage structure: annual minimum and maximum temperatures and maximum humidity in the month the pigeon was collected. Two local meteorological variables, annual maximum and average temperatures, were significantly correlated with louse assemblages. Our results suggest that milder climatic conditions may affect richness and assemblage structure of ectosymbiont assemblages associated with Rock Pigeons in Canada. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bird Parasites)
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Open AccessArticle
On the Challenge to Correctly Identify Rasboras (Teleostei: Cyprinidae: Danioninae) Inhabiting the Mesangat Wetlands, East Kalimantan, Indonesia
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 8; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010008 - 30 Dec 2020
Viewed by 459
Abstract
Within the subfamily Danioninae, rasborine cyprinids are known as a ‘catch-all’ group, diagnosed by only a few characteristics. Most species closely resemble each other in morphology. Species identification is therefore often challenging. In this study, we attempted to determine the number of rasborine [...] Read more.
Within the subfamily Danioninae, rasborine cyprinids are known as a ‘catch-all’ group, diagnosed by only a few characteristics. Most species closely resemble each other in morphology. Species identification is therefore often challenging. In this study, we attempted to determine the number of rasborine species occurring in samples from the Mesangat wetlands in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, by using different approaches. Morphological identification resulted in the distinction of five species (Trigonopoma sp., Rasbora cf. hubbsi Brittan, 1954, R. rutteni Weber and de Beaufort, 1916, R. trilineata Steindachner, 1870, and R. vaillantii, Popta 1905). However, genetic species delimitation methods (Poisson tree processes (PTP) and multi-rate PTP (mPTP)) based on DNA barcodes and principal component analysis (PCA) based on homologous geometric morphometric landmarks, revealed a single cluster for Trigonopoma sp. and R. trilineata, respectively, whereas the remaining traditionally identified species were distinguished neither by DNA barcodes nor by the morphometry approach. A k-mean clustering based on the homologous landmarks divided the sample into 13 clusters and was thus found to be inappropriate for landmark data from species extremely resembling each other in morphology. Due to inconsistent results between the applied methods we refer to the traditional identifications and distinguish five rasborine species for the Mesangat wetlands. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Red Imported Fire Ants Reduce Invertebrate Abundance, Richness, and Diversity in Gopher Tortoise Burrows
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 7; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010007 - 29 Dec 2020
Viewed by 550
Abstract
Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) burrows support diverse commensal invertebrate communities that may be of special conservation interest. We investigated the impact of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) on the invertebrate burrow community at 10 study sites in southern [...] Read more.
Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) burrows support diverse commensal invertebrate communities that may be of special conservation interest. We investigated the impact of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) on the invertebrate burrow community at 10 study sites in southern Mississippi, sampling burrows (1998–2000) before and after bait treatments to reduce fire ant populations. We sampled invertebrates using an ant bait attractant for ants and burrow vacuums for the broader invertebrate community and calculated fire ant abundance, invertebrate abundance, species richness, and species diversity. Fire ant abundance in gopher tortoise burrows was reduced by >98% in treated sites. There was a positive treatment effect on invertebrate abundance, diversity, and species richness from burrow vacuum sampling which was not observed in ant sampling from burrow baits. Management of fire ants around burrows may benefit both threatened gopher tortoises by reducing potential fire ant predation on hatchlings, as well as the diverse burrow invertebrate community. Fire-ant management may also benefit other species utilizing tortoise burrows, such as the endangered Dusky Gopher Frog and Schaus swallowtail butterfly. This has implications for more effective biodiversity conservation via targeted control of the invasive fire ant at gopher tortoise burrows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity, Biogeography and Community Ecology of Ants)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Microbial Communities and Pathogen Detection in Domestic Sewage Using Metagenomic Sequencing
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 6; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13010006 - 25 Dec 2020
Viewed by 525
Abstract
Wastewater contains diverse microbes, and regular microbiological screening at wastewater treatment plants is essential for monitoring the wastewater treatment and protecting environmental health. In this study, a metagenomic approach was used to characterize the microbial communities in the influent and effluent of a [...] Read more.
Wastewater contains diverse microbes, and regular microbiological screening at wastewater treatment plants is essential for monitoring the wastewater treatment and protecting environmental health. In this study, a metagenomic approach was used to characterize the microbial communities in the influent and effluent of a conventional domestic sewage treatment plant in the metropolitan city of Jeddah. Bacteria were the prevalent type of microbe in both the influent and effluent, whereas archaea and viruses were each detected at <1% abundance. Greater diversity was observed in effluent bacterial populations compared with influent, despite containing similar major taxa. These taxa consisted primarily of Proteobacteria, followed by Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. Metagenomic analysis provided broad profiles of 87 pathogenic/opportunistic bacteria belonging to 47 distinct genera in the domestic sewage samples, with most having <1% abundance. The archaea community included 20 methanogenic genera. The virus-associated sequences were classified mainly into the families Myoviridae, Siphoviridae, and Podoviridae. Genes related to resistance to antibiotics and toxic compounds, gram-negative cell wall components, and flagellar motility in prokaryotes identified in metagenomes from both types of samples. This study provides a comprehensive understanding of microbial communities in influent and effluent samples of a conventional domestic sewage treatment plant and suggests that metagenomic analysis is a feasible approach for microbiological monitoring of wastewater treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Ecology of Aquatic Habitats)
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