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Diversity, Volume 13, Issue 12 (December 2021) – 78 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Mongolia is located in the mid-latitudes, between Russia and China, covering approximately 1.6 million km2, roughly equivalent to the size of western and central Europe. Mongolia constitutes a significant proportion of the temperate grasslands and semi-arid desert, which cover approximately 80% of the country’s area. In this study, we revised and updated the checklist of endemic plants comprising 102 endemic taxa (3% of total flora) from 43 genera and 19 families in Mongolia. The most endemic taxa-rich families were the Fabaceae (29 taxa) and Asteraceae (21 taxa). The majority of endemic taxa were distributed in western and central Mongolia. Furthermore, most of the taxa’s type specimens, including holotype, paratype, and isotype specimens, were accessioned at the herbarium of the Komarov Botanical Institute of RAS (LE) and Moscow State University (MW). View this paper
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Article
The Diversity and Community Assembly Process of Wetland Plants from Lakeshores on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 685; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120685 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 334
Abstract
Unravelling the patterns, potential processes and mechanisms underlying biodiversity has always been a crucial issue in community ecology. It is also a necessary first step for any conservation and restoration to better adapt fragile ecosystems to a changing climate. However, little is known [...] Read more.
Unravelling the patterns, potential processes and mechanisms underlying biodiversity has always been a crucial issue in community ecology. It is also a necessary first step for any conservation and restoration to better adapt fragile ecosystems to a changing climate. However, little is known regarding the structure and maintenance of plant communities in typical high-altitude wetlands. Here, we made a comprehensive analysis of the diversity and composition of wetland plant communities based on the distribution of plants near the shorelines of 19 lakes across the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The latitude, mean annual temperature (MAT) and mean annual precipitation (MAP), along with the edaphic properties, were the dominant predictors affecting the taxonomic and phylogenetic α-diversity. Besides diversification, ecological drift, mixing with weak dispersal and weak selection shaped the community composition of wetland plants in our study. The latitude and MAP predictors, although modest, showed an impact on the community structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women’s Special Issue Series: Diversity)
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Article
Genome-Wide Analysis and Expression Profiling of HD-ZIP III Genes in Three Brassica Species
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 684; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120684 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 306
Abstract
Class III homeodomain-leucine zipper (HD-ZIP III) genes encode plant-specific transcription factors that play pivotal roles in plant growth and development. There is no systematic report on HD-ZIP III members in Brassica plants and their responses to stress are largely unknown. In this study, [...] Read more.
Class III homeodomain-leucine zipper (HD-ZIP III) genes encode plant-specific transcription factors that play pivotal roles in plant growth and development. There is no systematic report on HD-ZIP III members in Brassica plants and their responses to stress are largely unknown. In this study, a total of 10, 9 and 16 HD-ZIP III genes were identified from B. rapa, B. oleracea and B. napus, respectively. The phylogenetic analysis showed that HD-ZIP III proteins were grouped into three clades: PHB/PHV, REV and CNA/HB8. Genes in the same group tended to have similar exon–intron structures. Various phytohormone-responsive elements and stress-responsive elements were detected in the promoter regions of HD-ZIP III genes. Gene expression levels in different tissues, as well as under different stress conditions, were investigated using public transcription profiling data. The HD-ZIP III genes were constitutively expressed among all the tested tissues and were highly accumulated in root and stem. In B. rapa, only one BrREV gene especially responded to heat stress, BrPHB and BrREV members were downregulated upon cold stress and most HD-ZIP III genes exhibited divergent responses to drought stress. In addition, we investigated the genetic variation at known miR165/166 complementary sites of the identified HD-ZIP III genes and found one single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in PHB members and two SNPs in REV members, which were further confirmed using Sanger sequencing. Taken together, these results provide information for the genome-wide characterization of HD-ZIP III genes and their stress response diversity in Brassica species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phylogenetics of Stress Regulators in Plants)
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Article
Morphogenetic Polyvariance in the Colonial Hydroid Dynamena pumila (L.)
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 683; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120683 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 325
Abstract
The formation of aberrant modules (internodes) of the shoot was found sporadically in the colonial hydroid Dynamena pumila from the family Sertulariidae, which is distinguished by the symmetrical two-row position of the hydrotheca on the shoot stem. Despite rare significant deviations from the [...] Read more.
The formation of aberrant modules (internodes) of the shoot was found sporadically in the colonial hydroid Dynamena pumila from the family Sertulariidae, which is distinguished by the symmetrical two-row position of the hydrotheca on the shoot stem. Despite rare significant deviations from the norm in the structure of some modules, the following modules in the shoots are formed normally. All variants of deviation from the norm (called morphovariations) are classified and, in general, are represented by four groups according to the possible reasons for their occurrence. The morphotypes are the most interesting morphological variations and look like similar modules in other genera of hydroids. Considering the position of the aberrant modules on the shoots of one colony, we can confidently infer that they were formed at different times, which undermines the assumption that deviations from the norm in morphogenesis were caused by environmental factors. All morphovariations are characterized by certain occurrences. Consequently, the described phenomenon is not limited to phenotypic plasticity, polymorphism, or sequential changes of phenotypes in the life cycle and, therefore, is singled out as a special phenomenon called morphogenetic polyvariance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity, Ecology, and Evolution of Hydrozoans)
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Article
The Influence of Climate Change on Three Dominant Alpine Species under Different Scenarios on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 682; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120682 - 19 Dec 2021
Viewed by 507
Abstract
The Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau (QTP) with high altitude and low temperature is one of the most sensitive areas to climate change and has recently experienced continuous warming. The species distribution on the QTP has undergone significant changes especially an upward shift with global warming [...] Read more.
The Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau (QTP) with high altitude and low temperature is one of the most sensitive areas to climate change and has recently experienced continuous warming. The species distribution on the QTP has undergone significant changes especially an upward shift with global warming in the past decades. In this study, two dominant trees (Picea crassifolia Kom and Sabina przewalskii Kom) and one dominant shrub (Potentilla parvifolia Fisch) were selected and their potential distributions using the MaxEnt model during three periods (current, the 2050s and the 2070s) were predicted. The predictions were based on four shared socio-economic pathway (SSPs) scenarios, namely, SSP2.6, SSP4.5, SSP7.0, SSP8.5. The predicted current potential distribution of three species was basically located in the northeastern of QTP, and the distribution of three species was most impacted by aspect, elevation, temperature seasonality, annual precipitation, precipitation of driest month, Subsoil CEC (clay), Subsoil bulk density and Subsoil CEC (soil). There were significant differences in the potential distribution of three species under four climate scenarios in the 2050s and 2070s including expanding, shifting, and shrinking. The total suitable habitat for Picea crassifolia shrank under SSP2.6, SSP4.5, SSP7.0 and enlarged under SSP8.5 in the 2070s. On the contrary, the total suitable habitat for Sabina przewalskii enlarged under SSP2.6, SSP4.5, SSP7.0 and shrank under SSP8.5 in the 2070s. The total suitable habitat for Potentilla parvifolia continued to increase with SSP2.6 to SSP8.5 in the 2070s. The average elevation in potentially suitable habitat for Potentilla parvifolia all increased except under SSP8.5 in the 2050s. Our study provides an important reference for the conservation of Picea crassifolia, Sabina przewalskii, Potentilla parvifolia and other dominant plant species on the QTP under future climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mountain Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning and Services)
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The Reef Coral Coscinaraea marshae Is Not a High-Latitude Endemic
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 681; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120681 - 19 Dec 2021
Viewed by 432
Abstract
The ‘temperate’ reef coral Coscinaraea marshae Wells, 1962, is reported from Siberut Island (West Sumatra, Indonesia), a near-equatorial locality, 3375 km away from its northernmost range limit in Western Australia, where it is considered a high-latitude endemic. This tropical record suggests that the [...] Read more.
The ‘temperate’ reef coral Coscinaraea marshae Wells, 1962, is reported from Siberut Island (West Sumatra, Indonesia), a near-equatorial locality, 3375 km away from its northernmost range limit in Western Australia, where it is considered a high-latitude endemic. This tropical record suggests that the latitudinal distributions of poorly recorded reef corals may not yet be fully understood, which might be relevant in the light of progressing seawater warming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Interesting Images from the Sea)
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Article
Salt Marsh Restoration for the Provision of Multiple Ecosystem Services
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 680; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120680 - 19 Dec 2021
Viewed by 518
Abstract
Restoration of salt marsh is urgent, as these ecosystems provide natural coastal protection from sea-level rise impacts, contribute towards climate change mitigation, and provide multiple ecosystem services including supporting livelihoods. This study identified potential restoration sites for intervention where agricultural and degraded land [...] Read more.
Restoration of salt marsh is urgent, as these ecosystems provide natural coastal protection from sea-level rise impacts, contribute towards climate change mitigation, and provide multiple ecosystem services including supporting livelihoods. This study identified potential restoration sites for intervention where agricultural and degraded land could be returned to salt marsh at a national scale in South African estuaries. Overall, successful restoration of salt marsh in some estuaries will require addressing additional pressures such as freshwater inflow reduction and deterioration of water quality. Here, we present, a socio-ecological systems framework for salt marsh restoration that links salt marsh state and the well-being of people to guide meaningful and implementable management and restoration interventions. The framework is applied to a case study at the Swartkops Estuary where the primary restoration intervention intends to route stormwater run-off to abandoned salt works to re-create aquatic habitat for waterbirds, enhance carbon storage, and provide nutrient filtration. As the framework is generalized, while still allowing for site-specific pressures to be captured, there is potential for it to be applied at the national scale, with the largest degraded salt marsh areas set as priorities for such an initiative. It is estimated that ~1970 ha of salt marsh can be restored in this way, and this represents a 14% increase in the habitat cover for the country. Innovative approaches to restoring and improving condition are necessary for conserving salt marshes and the benefits they provide to society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation and Ecological Restoration of Intertidal Marshes)
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Article
Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles Are Toxic for the Freshwater Mussel Unio ravoisieri: Evidence from a Multimarker Approach
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 679; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120679 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 444
Abstract
The current work investigated the ecotoxicological effects induced by Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs), used at three different concentrations (C1 = 10 μg·L−1, C2 = 100 μg·L−1 and C3 = 1000 μg·L−1) in a laboratory experiment, [...] Read more.
The current work investigated the ecotoxicological effects induced by Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs), used at three different concentrations (C1 = 10 μg·L−1, C2 = 100 μg·L−1 and C3 = 1000 μg·L−1) in a laboratory experiment, on the freshwater mussel Unio ravoisieri. Biochemical analyses of gills and digestive glands revealed a stress-related disruption of the antioxidant system. The catalase activity and the rates of malonedialdehyde and hydrogen peroxide production were significantly higher in both organs following the exposure to TiO2 NPs and was concentration-dependent. In addition, based on the observed changes in acetylcholinesterase activity, it can be concluded that the disturbance threshold for the cholinergic system was less than 1 mg·L−1 of TiO2. Overall, the results suggest that the mussel Unio ravoisieri could be used as a sentinel species in monitoring surveys assessing the environmental impact of metallic nanoparticles in freshwater systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Diversity of Freshwater Invertebrates)
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Article
Habitat Selection by Brown Bears with Varying Levels of Predation Rates on Ungulate Neonates
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 678; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120678 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 631
Abstract
In northern Eurasia, large carnivores overlap with semi-domestic reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and moose (Alces alces). In Scandinavia, previous studies have quantified brown bear (Ursus arctos) spring predation on neonates of reindeer (mostly in May) and moose (mostly in [...] Read more.
In northern Eurasia, large carnivores overlap with semi-domestic reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and moose (Alces alces). In Scandinavia, previous studies have quantified brown bear (Ursus arctos) spring predation on neonates of reindeer (mostly in May) and moose (mostly in June). We explored if habitat selection by brown bears changed following resource pulses and whether these changes are more pronounced on those individuals characterised by higher predatory behaviour. Fifteen brown bears in northern Sweden (2010–2012) were fitted with GPS proximity collars, and 2585 female reindeers were collared with UHF transmitters. Clusters of bear positions were visited to investigate moose and reindeer predation. Bear kill rates and home ranges were calculated to examine bear movements and predatory behaviour. Bear habitat selection was modelled using resource selection functions over four periods (pre-calving, reindeer calving, moose calving, and post-calving). Coefficients of selection for areas closer to different land cover classes across periods were compared, examining the interactions between different degrees of predatory behaviour (i.e., high and low). Bear habitat selection differed throughout the periods and between low and high predatory bears. Differences among individuals’ predatory behaviour are reflected in the selection of habitat types, providing empirical evidence that different levels of specialization in foraging behaviour helps to explain individual variation in bear habitat selection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife in Natural and Altered Environments)
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Article
Assessment of Sesamia nonagrioides (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) EcR and USP Genes as Targets for Exogenous Non-Persistent RNAi
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 677; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120677 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 337
Abstract
RNA interference (RNAi) is a transforming technology with high potential for practical applications in biology, including specific and safe insect pest control. For developing RNAi-based pest-control products no general recommendations exist and the best strategy needs to be determined for each insect pest [...] Read more.
RNA interference (RNAi) is a transforming technology with high potential for practical applications in biology, including specific and safe insect pest control. For developing RNAi-based pest-control products no general recommendations exist and the best strategy needs to be determined for each insect pest separately on a case-by-case basis. In this research, the potential of silencing the genes encoding the subunits of the ecdysone receptor complex, EcR and Ultraspiracle (USP) by RNAi was evaluated in the corn borer, Sesamia nonagrioides, using different delivery approaches and targeting different developmental stages. In conjunction with our previous research it is demonstrated that prepupae are sensitive to RNAi triggered by dsRNA injection and that feeding of dsRNA-expressing bacteria throughout S. nonagrioides’ larval life can lead to limited developmental malformations with no potent insecticidal results. Our results, consistent with previous studies, indicated a great fluctuation of exogenous RNAi effectiveness in the Lepidopteran species, suggesting that further factors should be taken into consideration in order to expand this very promising field into the ‘’RNAi-resistant’’ insect species. Full article
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Article
Uncovering Hidden Diversity: Three New Species of the Keratella Genus (Rotifera, Monogononta, Brachionidae) of High Altitude Water Systems from Central Mexico
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 676; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120676 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 479
Abstract
The correct identification of species is an essential step before any study on biodiversity, ecology or genetics. Keratella is a genus with a predominantly temperate distribution and with several species being endemics or restricted geographically. Its diversity may be underestimated considering the confusing [...] Read more.
The correct identification of species is an essential step before any study on biodiversity, ecology or genetics. Keratella is a genus with a predominantly temperate distribution and with several species being endemics or restricted geographically. Its diversity may be underestimated considering the confusing taxonomy of species complexes such as K. cochlearis. In this study, we examined genetic diversity and morphology among some Keratella populations from Mexico in order to determine if these populations represent different species. We analyzed a dataset of previously published and newly generated sequences of the mitochondrial COI gene and the nuclear ITS1 marker. We conducted phylogenetic analyses and applied three methods of species delimitation (ABGD, PTP and GMYC) to identify evolutionary significant units (ESUs) equivalent to species. Morphological analyses were conducted through scanning electron microscope (SEM) and morphometry under a compound microscope. In the present study, three new species Keratella cuitzeiensis sp. nov., Keratella huapanguensis sp. nov., and Keratella albertae sp. nov., are formally described. These species were collected in high-altitude water bodies located in the Central Plateau of Mexico. Combining DNA results through COI and ITS1 molecular markers and morphology it was possible to confirm the identity of the new species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Organisms Research with DNA Barcodes)
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Article
Appendicularia (Tunicata) in an Antarctic Glacial Fjord–Chaotic Fjordic Structure Community or Good Indicators of Oceanic Water Masses?
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 675; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120675 - 16 Dec 2021
Viewed by 411
Abstract
Appendicularians are important but remain poorly studied groups of zooplankton in polar regions. The present research is based on samples collected in Admiralty Bay (King George Island) during a year-long period. Six larvacean species were noted, among which Fritillaria borealis and Oikopleura gaussica [...] Read more.
Appendicularians are important but remain poorly studied groups of zooplankton in polar regions. The present research is based on samples collected in Admiralty Bay (King George Island) during a year-long period. Six larvacean species were noted, among which Fritillaria borealis and Oikopleura gaussica were found to be the most numerous, while the other species were relatively rare. Fritillaria borealis was a dominant part of the late summer (warm water) community, while O. gaussica had the highest presence in the winter (cold water) community. The abundance of appendicularians recorded in the bay was less numerous than that described by other authors. The most important factors influencing annual changes in the larvaceans in the bay was season, but only in the case of the two species. These facts were probably linked to the very dynamic changes in the abiotic conditions in the fjord, and the influx of specific masses of water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Linking Plankton Diversity with Ecosystem Functioning and Services)
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Article
Comparative Analysis of Apopellia endiviifolia Plastomes Reveals a Strikingly High Level of Differentiation between Its Terrestrial and Water Form
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 674; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120674 - 16 Dec 2021
Viewed by 441
Abstract
The simple thalloid liverwort Apopellia endiviifolia is a widespread Holarctic species belonging to the family Pelliaceae. European populations of this species comprise two distinct evolutionary lineages named “species A”, known also as water form, and typical, mainly terrestrial forms named “species B”. Newly [...] Read more.
The simple thalloid liverwort Apopellia endiviifolia is a widespread Holarctic species belonging to the family Pelliaceae. European populations of this species comprise two distinct evolutionary lineages named “species A”, known also as water form, and typical, mainly terrestrial forms named “species B”. Newly sequenced, assembled and annotated chloroplast genomes of six European specimens belonging to the two cryptic lineages occupying different microhabitats, revealed the structure typical for liverworts and previously sequenced reference. The plastomes of A. endiviifolia are 120,537–120,947 bp long with a structure typical for most plants, including a pair of IR regions (each of 9,092–9,207 bp) separated by LSC (82,506–82,609 bp) and SSC (19,854–19,924 bp) regions and consist of 121 unique genes, including 81 protein-coding genes, 6 genes of unknown function (ycf genes), 4 ribosomal RNAs and 30 transfer RNAs. Comparative analysis of typical, terrestrial and water forms revealed 4971 molecular diagnostic characters (MDCs), which exceeds numbers found in many well recognized liverworts taxa. Moreover, beside the presence of evolutionary hotspots like ycf1 and ycf2 genes and several intergenic spacer like ndhB-psbM, rps4-ndhJ and ndhC-atpE, the molecular identification of Apopellia cryptic species was possible by almost 98% of 500 bp long frames simulating mini barcodes. The different ecological niches can be driven by different pressures of positive selection, which was detected in nine genes including ccsA, ndhD, ndhF, petA, psbB, psbC, rpoB, ycf1 and ycf2. Despite clearly genetic differences and ecological preferences, the current observation of morphological differentiation does not no allow to separate terrestrial and water forms into taxonomic species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Taxonomy, Diversity and Evolution of Bryophytes)
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Article
The Role of Citizen Science in the Research and Management of Invasive Lionfish across the Western Atlantic
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 673; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120673 - 15 Dec 2021
Viewed by 990
Abstract
Managing invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and P. miles) in the Western Atlantic Ocean is beyond the capacity of natural resource organizations alone. In response, organizations have mobilized members of the public and citizen scientists to help. We used a structured [...] Read more.
Managing invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and P. miles) in the Western Atlantic Ocean is beyond the capacity of natural resource organizations alone. In response, organizations have mobilized members of the public and citizen scientists to help. We used a structured survey to assess the activities and perceptions of 71 organizations that engage the public and citizen scientists in lionfish research and management throughout the invaded range of the Western Atlantic. Five case studies were also conducted that exemplified varied and multi-pronged approaches to engagement of the public and citizen scientists in lionfish control, monitoring, and knowledge-sharing. The public has been engaged to some extent in every approach, but organizations most frequently indicated engaging members of the public in raising awareness, promoting consumption, organized culling/removal, tournaments, and data collection. Sixty-five percent of organizations surveyed engaged the public in data collection, and data collection was ranked as the scientific research activity in which the public is most often involved. Most organizations indicated their data has contributed to scientific publications, management, and government agency research and/or policy. Collectively these findings demonstrate the conservation value of citizen scientists to assist organizational efforts to control, manage, and study a large-scale marine invasion. Full article
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Article
Plecoptera (Insecta) Diversity in Indiana: A Watershed-Based Analysis
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 672; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120672 - 15 Dec 2021
Viewed by 360
Abstract
Plecoptera, an environmentally sensitive order of aquatic insects commonly used in water quality monitoring is experiencing decline across the globe. This study addresses the landscape factors that impact the species richness of stoneflies using the US Geological Survey Hierarchical Unit Code 8 drainage [...] Read more.
Plecoptera, an environmentally sensitive order of aquatic insects commonly used in water quality monitoring is experiencing decline across the globe. This study addresses the landscape factors that impact the species richness of stoneflies using the US Geological Survey Hierarchical Unit Code 8 drainage scale (HUC8) in the state of Indiana. Over 6300 specimen records from regional museums, literature, and recent efforts were assigned to HUC8 drainages. A total of 93 species were recorded from the state. The three richest of 38 HUC8s were the Lower East Fork White (66 species), the Blue-Sinking (58), and the Lower White (51) drainages, all concentrated in the southern unglaciated part of the state. Richness was predicted using nine variables, reduced from 116 and subjected to AICc importance and hierarchical partitioning. AICc importance revealed four variables associated with Plecoptera species richness, topographic wetness index, HUC8 area, % soil hydrolgroup C/D, and % historic wetland ecosystem. Hierarchical partitioning indicated topographic wetness index, HUC8 area, and % cherty red clay surface geology as significantly important to predicting species richness. This analysis highlights the importance of hydrology and glacial history in species richness of Plecoptera. The accumulated data are primed to be used for monograph production, niche modeling, and conservation status assessment for an entire assemblage in a large geographic area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Insects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation Challenges)
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Article
Integrative Taxonomy of Two Peruvian Strains of Brachionus plicatilis Complex with Potential in Aquaculture
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 671; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120671 - 15 Dec 2021
Viewed by 398
Abstract
Two Peruvian strains of the genus Brachionus were isolated from impacted coastal wetlands. With an integrative taxonomic view, we described their taxonomic status, morphological characters, productive parameters, and phylogenetic position. In the case of both strains, the relationship between biometrics and productive parameters [...] Read more.
Two Peruvian strains of the genus Brachionus were isolated from impacted coastal wetlands. With an integrative taxonomic view, we described their taxonomic status, morphological characters, productive parameters, and phylogenetic position. In the case of both strains, the relationship between biometrics and productive parameters obtained with Principal Components Analysis indicated that the lorica length was associated with longevity, progeny, egg production, and reproductive age, while the lorica width and aperture were associated with the maximum number of eggs carried. Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference analysis carried out with mtDNA COI gene and rDNA ITS1 region showed that both strains were clustered in two clades with distinct phylogenetic positioning from what is currently known for Brachionus plicatilis s.l. One of the strains, Z010-VL, is proposed to be a subspecies of L4 (B. paranguensis), and the other strain, Z018-SD, is proposed as a sub species of SM2 (B. koreanus). In addition, 33 and 31 aquaculture production lineages are proposed, delimited by COI and concatenated COI+ITS1 sequences, respectively. Finally, this study provides new tools that enhance the traceability of the origin of each sub-species throughout the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Organisms Research with DNA Barcodes)
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Taxonomic Revision of Eastern Part of Western Palaearctic Cordulegaster Using Molecular Phylogeny and Morphology, with the Description of Two New Species (Odonata: Anisoptera: Cordulegastridae)
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 667; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120667 - 15 Dec 2021
Viewed by 768
Abstract
Taxonomy of the genus Cordulegaster Leach in Brewster, 1815 in the Eastern part of the Western Palaearctic is poorly resolved. A two-step approach was applied: sequences of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA fragments were used to sort specimens; poorly known or new taxa with [...] Read more.
Taxonomy of the genus Cordulegaster Leach in Brewster, 1815 in the Eastern part of the Western Palaearctic is poorly resolved. A two-step approach was applied: sequences of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA fragments were used to sort specimens; poorly known or new taxa with their phenotypic variation were described. The existence of two traditional groups (boltonii- and bidentata-group) was confirmed. Cordulegaster coronata Morton, 1916, however, belongs to a different group. Molecular-analysis supported three known and one new species (C. heros Theischinger, 1979, C. picta Selys, 1854, C. vanbrinkae Lohmann, 1993, and C. kalkmani sp. nov.) in the boltonii-group. In the bidentata-group, all specimens from West-Turkey belonged to C. insignis Schneider, 1845, all specimens further east to a complex of four closely related species, which we name charpentieri-complex (C. amasina Morton, 1916, stat. rev., C. mzymtae Bartenev, 1929 C. charpentieri (Kolenati, 1846), stat. rev. and C. cilicia sp. nov.). The following taxa: C. insignis nobilis Morton, 1916, syn. nov., C. nachitschevanica Skvortsov and Snegovaya, 2015, syn. nov. C. plagionyx Skvortsov and Snegovaya, 2015, syn. nov. and the Caucasian subspecies C. insignis lagodechica Bartenev, 1930, syn. nov., were synonymized with C. charpentieri. Finally, we provide a key for all Western Palaearctic Cordulegaster. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity, Ecology and Evolution of Odonata)
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Article
Alteriqipengyuania abyssalis sp. nov., a Novel Member of the Class Alphaproteobacteria Isolated from Sponge, and Emended Description of the Genus Alteriqipengyuania
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 670; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120670 - 14 Dec 2021
Viewed by 468
Abstract
A novel Gram-negative, aerobic, motile, lemon-yellow-colored, and non-spore-forming rod-shaped bacterium designated strain NZ-12BT was isolated in February 2021 from a sponge species (Crateromorpha) collected at the southern Kermadec Ridge, Pacific Ocean, New Zealand. Comparative 16S rRNA gene-based analyses indicated that [...] Read more.
A novel Gram-negative, aerobic, motile, lemon-yellow-colored, and non-spore-forming rod-shaped bacterium designated strain NZ-12BT was isolated in February 2021 from a sponge species (Crateromorpha) collected at the southern Kermadec Ridge, Pacific Ocean, New Zealand. Comparative 16S rRNA gene-based analyses indicated that strain NZ-12BT shared 98.58%, 96.44%, 96.23%, and 94.78% 16S rRNA sequence similarity to Alteriqipengyuania lutimaris S-5T, Qipengyuania pelagi UST081027-248T, Qipengyuania citreus RE35F/1T, and Alteriqipengyuania halimionae CPA5T, respectively. The major respiratory quinone was ubiquinone-10(Q-10). The polar lipid profile of NZ-12BT was composed of diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidyl-N-methyl-ethanolamine, phosphatidylcholine, sphingoglycolipid, phosphatidylglycerol, one unknown polar lipid, three unknown phospholipids, and three unknown glycolipids. The major fatty acids of strain NZ-12BT were C18:1ω12t, C16:0, C17:1ω6c, and C14:02-OH. Carotenoids were present. Genome mining analysis revealed a biosynthetic gene cluster encoding for the terpene biosynthesis. Pairwise ANI and dDDH values of strain NZ-12BT and closely related phylogenetic neighbors were below the threshold values of 95% and 70%, respectively. The DNA G+C content was 65.4 mol% (by genome). Based on data obtained by a polyphasic approach, type strain NZ-12BT (=DSM 112810T = NCCB 100841T) represents a novel species of the genus Alteriqipengyuania, for which the name Alteriqipengyuania abyssalis sp. nov. is proposed. Full article
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Article
Component Endoparasite Communities Mirror Life-History Specialization in Syntopic Reed Frogs (Hyperolius spp.)
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 669; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120669 - 14 Dec 2021
Viewed by 386
Abstract
Most of our knowledge on the processes structuring parasite communities in amphibians originate from temperate-zone taxa, whereas Afrotropical communities have been neglected so far. We found evidence that ecological fitting of the hosts and, probably, differential immune response may influence the variation in [...] Read more.
Most of our knowledge on the processes structuring parasite communities in amphibians originate from temperate-zone taxa, whereas Afrotropical communities have been neglected so far. We found evidence that ecological fitting of the hosts and, probably, differential immune response may influence the variation in parasite species richness, prevalence, and infestation intensity of East African frogs Hyperolius kivuensis and H. viridiflavus. The most closely related host species share the same macrohabitat (that implies the same pool of potential parasites), but differ in microhabitat preference, so that a comparative analyses of syntopic and allopatric populations is expedient to reveal ecological fitting. We detected 11 parasite species (one annelid, four nematodes, five trematodes, one cestode) and two endocommensal species (protozoans). The component parasite communities included 4–5 helminth species in H. kivuensis and 6–8 in the more aquatic H. viridiflavus, supporting the hypothesis that trematode diversity increases with the amount of time spent in water. Five parasite species (Orneoascaris chrysanthemoides, Clinostomum chabaudi, an undetermined echinostomatid) and two protozoans (Nyctotheroides sp., and Protoopalina sp.) are shared among the syntopic amphibian populations. This finding indicates a similar susceptibility of these amphibians to infestation from the local parasite pool. Yet, the low prevalence of single- and multi-species infestations in H. kivuensis indicates that parasite clearing by its immune response is probably more effective and prominent than in H. viridiflavus. Therefore, H. viridiflavus suffered from significantly reduced short-term survival due to the infection. Thus, we conclude that the processes structuring component parasite communities in amphibians do not differ generally between temperate-zone and Afrotropical host species, but they do in the magnitude of ecological fitting. Full article
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Article
Chromosomal-Level Assembly of Antarctic Scaly Rockcod, Trematomus loennbergii Genome Using Long-Read Sequencing and Chromosome Conformation Capture (Hi-C) Technologies
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 668; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120668 - 14 Dec 2021
Viewed by 431
Abstract
Trematomus species (suborder Notothenioidei; family Nototheniidae) are widely distributed in the southern oceans near Antarctica. There are 11 recognized species in the genus Trematomus, and notothenioids are known to have high chromosomal diversity (2n = 24–58) because of relatively recent and rapid adaptive [...] Read more.
Trematomus species (suborder Notothenioidei; family Nototheniidae) are widely distributed in the southern oceans near Antarctica. There are 11 recognized species in the genus Trematomus, and notothenioids are known to have high chromosomal diversity (2n = 24–58) because of relatively recent and rapid adaptive radiation. Herein, we report the chromosomal-level genome assembly of T. loennbergii, the first characterized genome representative of the genus Trematomus. The final genome assembly of T. loennbergii was obtained using a Pacific Biosciences long-read sequencing platform and high-throughput chromosome conformation capture technology. Twenty-three chromosomal-level scaffolds were assembled to 940 Mb in total size, with a longest contig size of 48.5 Mb and contig N50 length of 24.7 Mb. The genome contained 42.03% repeat sequences, and a total of 24,525 protein-coding genes were annotated. We produced a high-quality genome assembly of T. loennbergii. Our results provide a first reference genome for the genus Trematomus and will serve as a basis for studying the molecular taxonomy and evolution of Antarctic fish. Full article
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Article
Description of Lepiotaceous Fungal Species of the Genera Chlorophyllum, Clarkeinda, Macrolepiota, Pseudolepiota, and Xanthagaricus, from Laos and Thailand
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 666; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120666 - 12 Dec 2021
Viewed by 556
Abstract
In our ongoing research on lepiotaceous taxa (Agaricaceae s.l.) in Laos and northern Thailand, we focus here on Chlorophyllum, Clarkeinda, Macrolepiota, Pseudolepiota, and Xanthagaricus. Collections were obtained from various habitats, including agricultural habitats, grasslands, and rainforests. A total [...] Read more.
In our ongoing research on lepiotaceous taxa (Agaricaceae s.l.) in Laos and northern Thailand, we focus here on Chlorophyllum, Clarkeinda, Macrolepiota, Pseudolepiota, and Xanthagaricus. Collections were obtained from various habitats, including agricultural habitats, grasslands, and rainforests. A total of 12 taxa were examined and investigated. Of these 12, two are new for science; viz. Xanthagaricus purpureosquamulosus with brownish-grey to violet-brown squamules on a pale-violet to violet background; it shares the pileus color with X. caeruleus and X. ianthinus, but differs in other characters; and Macrolepiota excelsa, rather similar to M. procera but related to M. detersa. Two species, Pseudolepiotazangmui and Xanthagaricus necopinatus are recorded for the first time in Thailand. Four species of Chlorophyllum and a total of four species of Macrolepiota were found, viz., C. demangei and C. hortense with white basidiospores, C. molybdites and C. globosum with green basidiospores, M. detersa, M. dolichaula, the new M. excelsa, and M. velosa. Another rather common striking species is Clarkeinda trachodes, with yellow-green basidiospores. Each species is described in detail, with color photographs and line drawings. Phylogenetic analyses based on internal transcribed spacer (nrITS) region, the large subunit nuclear ribosomal (nrLSU) DNA and RNA polymerase II second largest subunit (rpb2) genes provide evidence for the placement of the species covered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Hidden Fungal Diversity in Asia)
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Article
Cultivable Endophytic Bacteria in Seeds of Dongxiang Wild Rice and Their Role in Plant-Growth Promotion
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 665; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120665 - 12 Dec 2021
Viewed by 453
Abstract
Dongxiang wild rice (Oryza rufipogon Griff.) germplasm is a precious resource for the improvement of agronomic traits in rice. Rice seeds also harbor a diverse endophytic bacterial community, and their interactions with their hosts and each other can influence plant growth and [...] Read more.
Dongxiang wild rice (Oryza rufipogon Griff.) germplasm is a precious resource for the improvement of agronomic traits in rice. Rice seeds also harbor a diverse endophytic bacterial community, and their interactions with their hosts and each other can influence plant growth and adaptability. Here, we investigated the community composition of cultivable endophytic bacteria obtained from the surface-sterilized seeds of Dongxiang wild rice and screened them for plant growth-promoting traits. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that the 47 isolates were affiliated with five classes and 13 discrete genera, and Bacillus and Microbacterium predominated. Evaluations of plant growth promoting (PGP) traits showed that 45 endophytic bacteria isolates produced between 3.37 and 90.11 μg mL−1 of Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), with the highest yield of 90.11 μg mL−1 (Fse28). Further, 37 of the isolates were able to solubilize mineral phosphate, while 28 other isolates had the ability of N2-fixation, 17 isolates possessed 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase activity with the highest yield of 20.72 μmol mg−1 protein h−1 (Fse35), and 17 isolates were also able to produce siderophores. The two strains Fse28 and Fse35 had multiple PGP traits that significantly improved the agronomic traits (root length, shoot length, dry matter, and chlorophyll content) of cultivated rice seedlings. Our results illustrate the rich diversity of seed endophytic bacteria in Dongxiang wild rice and their potential for developing novel efficient bioinoculants to enhance soil fertility and favor seedling growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology of Crop-Associated Communities of Bacteria and Fungi)
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Article
Good Things Come in Larger Packages: Size Matters for Adult Fruit-Feeding Butterfly Dispersal and Larval Diet Breadth
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 664; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120664 - 12 Dec 2021
Viewed by 515
Abstract
Introduction: In animals, body size is correlated with many aspects of natural history, such as life span, abundance, dispersal capacity and diet breadth. However, contrasting trends have been reported for the relationship between body size and these ecological traits. Methods: Fruit-feeding butterflies were [...] Read more.
Introduction: In animals, body size is correlated with many aspects of natural history, such as life span, abundance, dispersal capacity and diet breadth. However, contrasting trends have been reported for the relationship between body size and these ecological traits. Methods: Fruit-feeding butterflies were used to investigate whether body size is correlated with species abundance, dispersal, permanence, and larval diet breadth in a Neotropical savanna in Brazil (Cerrado). We used Blomberg’s K and Phylogenetic Generalized Least Squares models (PGLS) to measure phylogenetic signal strength in species traits and to estimate size–dispersal–diet breadth associations, while also taking shared ancestry into account. Results: 539 individuals from 27 species were captured, and 190 individuals were recaptured, representing a 35% recapture rate. We found body size to be negatively associated with butterfly abundance, and positively associated with dispersal level, distance traveled, number of traps visited, individual permanence, and diet breadth. These results indicate that larger butterflies are more likely to disperse over longer distances. Moreover, larger butterflies have more generalized larval diets, based on the number of host plant families, genera, and phylogenetic diversity of the host plants they consume as larvae. Smaller butterflies rely on fewer resources, which is reflected in their higher survival in small patches and may explain their lower dispersal ability and higher diet specialization. Nevertheless, lower dispersal ability may, if not compensated by large population sizes, threaten small-bodied species inhabiting environments, such as the Cerrado, which have intense deforestation rates. Conclusions: Body size is positively associated with dispersal and diet breadth for the fruit-feeding butterflies collected in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Diversity of Lepidopteras)
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Interesting Images
Unusual Morphotypes of the Giant Barrel Sponge off the Coast of Barbados
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 663; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120663 - 12 Dec 2021
Viewed by 665
Abstract
Giant barrel sponges (GBSs) belong to a cryptic species complex (Xestospongia spp.) and are found on tropical reefs worldwide. Over their range, including most of the Caribbean, GBSs have a cylindrical shape, with variation in height, diameter and surface complexity. However, off [...] Read more.
Giant barrel sponges (GBSs) belong to a cryptic species complex (Xestospongia spp.) and are found on tropical reefs worldwide. Over their range, including most of the Caribbean, GBSs have a cylindrical shape, with variation in height, diameter and surface complexity. However, off the southwest coast of Barbados, GBSs mostly exhibit a clam shape or a tub shape, interspersed with a few that have the normal barrel morphotype, suggesting that this variation is not due to environmental factors. Haplotype identification (mtDNA-COI) of six clam and six normal sponges indicated no clear genetic differentiation based on morphotype; hence, this morphological variation remains unexplained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Interesting Images from the Sea)
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Article
Bigger Is Better, Sometimes: The Interaction between Body Size and Carcass Size Determines Fitness, Reproductive Strategies, and Senescence in Two Species of Burying Beetles
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 662; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120662 - 11 Dec 2021
Viewed by 531
Abstract
The cost of reproduction hypothesis suggests that allocation to current reproduction constrains future reproduction. How organisms accrue reproductive costs and allocate energy across their lifetime may differ among species adapted to different resource types. We test this by comparing lifetime reproductive output, patterns [...] Read more.
The cost of reproduction hypothesis suggests that allocation to current reproduction constrains future reproduction. How organisms accrue reproductive costs and allocate energy across their lifetime may differ among species adapted to different resource types. We test this by comparing lifetime reproductive output, patterns of reproductive allocation, and senescence between two species of burying beetles, Nicrophorus marginatus and N. guttula, that differ in body size, across a range of carcass sizes. These two species of burying beetles maximized lifetime reproductive output on somewhat different–sized resources. The larger N. marginatus did better on large and medium carcasses while the smaller N. guttula did best on small and medium carcasses. For both species, reproduction is costly and reproduction on larger carcasses reduced lifespan more than reproduction on smaller carcasses. Carcass size also affected lifetime reproductive strategies. Each species’ parental investment patterns were consistent with terminal investment on carcasses on which they performed best (optimal carcass sizes). However, they exhibited reproductive restraint on carcass sizes on which they did not perform as well. Reproductive senescence occurred largely in response to carcass size. For both species, reproduction on larger carcasses resulted in more rapid senescence. These data suggest that whether organisms exhibit terminal investment or reproductive restraint may depend on type and amount of resources for reproduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2021 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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Article
Diversity of Insect Flower Visitors of Xylopia aromatica (Magnoliales, Annonaceae) in a Brazilian Savanna
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 661; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120661 - 11 Dec 2021
Viewed by 591
Abstract
Small beetles are important pollinators of Annonaceae whose flower chambers are small and have diurnal and/or nocturnal anthesis. The pollinators of these flowers belong to the families Nitidulidae, Staphylinidae, Chrysomelidae, and Curculionidae. In this study, the first conducted in the Cerrado of Chapada [...] Read more.
Small beetles are important pollinators of Annonaceae whose flower chambers are small and have diurnal and/or nocturnal anthesis. The pollinators of these flowers belong to the families Nitidulidae, Staphylinidae, Chrysomelidae, and Curculionidae. In this study, the first conducted in the Cerrado of Chapada dos Guimarães, Mato Grosso, Brazil, the behavior of the insect flower visitors of Xylopia aromatica was observed, in both the field and the laboratory. The chambers of 253 flowers were collected from 11 plants, and the biological aspects of their visitors were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. The most abundant visitors were thrips and beetles. Coleoptera was represented by four morphospecies occurring frequently in the floral chambers (>70% of individuals). Among beetles, one species belonged to Nitidulidae (Cillaeinae, Conotelus sp. 1) and two belonged to Staphylinidae (Aleocharinae sp. 1 and Aleocharinae sp. 2). These three morphospecies of small elongate beetles have setae where pollen may adhere. In addition, they were present on both male and female phases of the flowers, indicating potential cross-pollination. In the study area, X. aromatica possesses mixed pollination promoted by Thysanoptera and small Nitidulidae and Staphylinidae beetles. This study brings the first record of Lamprosomatinae (Chrysomelidae) and, especially, of Conotelus (Nitidulidae) in the flower chambers of X. aromatica, with new information on behavior of floral visitors coupled with their morphological traits that may promote cross-pollination in this plant species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity of Terrestrial Invertebrate Communities)
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Article
Endangered Apes—Can Their Behaviors Be Used to Index Fear and Disturbance in Anthropogenic Landscapes?
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 660; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120660 - 11 Dec 2021
Viewed by 10045
Abstract
Behaviors exhibited by prey species towards predators (including humans) can reduce feeding time and increase time spent in vigilance, thereby impacting animal condition and ultimately limit populations, even when actual mortality from predation is low. Here, we test whether behavioral profiles in an [...] Read more.
Behaviors exhibited by prey species towards predators (including humans) can reduce feeding time and increase time spent in vigilance, thereby impacting animal condition and ultimately limit populations, even when actual mortality from predation is low. Here, we test whether behavioral profiles in an endangered ape, Javan gibbons (Hylobates moloch), correspond to varying degrees of human disturbance in a human-impacted sacred forest, Cagar Alam Leuweung Sancang, West Java. Data were collected August 2010–July 2011. Although all groups reacted differently to human presence, overall, gibbons responded by reducing time spent on conspicuous behavior (e.g., vocalizing, feeding, traveling, and social interactions) as the number of humans in the area increased or distance to the nearest human decreased. In addition, gibbon responses to encountering humans were also more like their responses to encountering potential predators than they were to encountering monkeys or other gibbons. These results support the hypothesis that as human presence and encounter rates increase, gibbons alter their behavior in ways consistent with anti-predator behaviors. Assessing how this endangered species responds to human presence is a vital part of their ultimate conservation. Full article
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Article
Bacterial Community Is Affected by Locations and Time Rather Than Potato Varieties but Streptomyces spp. Are Related to Potato Varieties
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 659; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120659 - 11 Dec 2021
Viewed by 690
Abstract
Improved knowledge and a better understanding of the functions of bacterial communities are vital for effective crop disease management. This study was conducted to study a bacterial community’s relationship with the common scab in four different potato varieties (Dejima, DJ; Atlantic, DS; Seohong, [...] Read more.
Improved knowledge and a better understanding of the functions of bacterial communities are vital for effective crop disease management. This study was conducted to study a bacterial community’s relationship with the common scab in four different potato varieties (Dejima, DJ; Atlantic, DS; Seohong, SH; Haryeong, HY) at two different locations (Gangneung and Chuncheon) and spatial locations (rhizosphere and furrow) at two different times (preharvest and postharvest). In addition, metagenomic sequencing was performed by extracting genomic DNA from soil samples to observe the dominant bacterial microbes and disease severity of the common scab in all the tested varieties in spatial location and time. The results suggest that the most dominant bacterial phyla in all the soil samples were Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. Additionally, Streptomyces spp. were found to be more abundant in the susceptible variety (DJ) than in other varieties (DS, SH, and HY). Interestingly, bacterial communities were found to be more diverse across the two different geographical locations, spatial locations, and harvesting times, rather than the variety of potato, according to PCoA analysis. There were no interlinked changes in bacterial communities among the varieties. Moreover, the 14 most dominant bacterial genus correlation networks with Streptomyces spp. suggested that there was a significant positive and negative correlation to some extent. Alpha and beta diversity results clearly indicated that the possible reason for differences in bacterial communities might have been due to the different spatial locations, in comparison with varieties, which suggests that there was no significant correlation between bacterial community richness and diversity among the varieties. Full article
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Article
Triangulopteris lacunata gen. et sp. nov. (Centroplasthelida), a New Centrohelid Heliozoan from Soil
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 658; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120658 - 11 Dec 2021
Viewed by 453
Abstract
A new genus and species of centrohelid heliozoans, Triangulopteris lacunata gen. et sp. nov. (Pterocystidae Cavalier-Smith and Heyden, 2007), from four geographically remote locations (the Crimean Peninsula, the Dnieper Lowland (the East European Plain), Franz Josef Land, and the Kolyma Lowland (North–Eastern Siberia) [...] Read more.
A new genus and species of centrohelid heliozoans, Triangulopteris lacunata gen. et sp. nov. (Pterocystidae Cavalier-Smith and Heyden, 2007), from four geographically remote locations (the Crimean Peninsula, the Dnieper Lowland (the East European Plain), Franz Josef Land, and the Kolyma Lowland (North–Eastern Siberia) was examined using light and electron microscopy. The novel centrohelid is characterized by round shape, 4.3–16.3 μm in diameter, covered with two types of scales: 1.06–4.54 μm long triangular spine scales and 1.22–2.05 μm oval plate scales. Studied centrohelid heliozoan possesses a unique spine scale morphology. The base of scales is represented by a horse hoof-shaped basal plate. The inner surface and lateral wings of spine scales have numerous radial ribs with two ‘pockets’ that are located on both sides of the spine shaft. These pockets are formed by the lateral wings and ends of the basal plate. The cyst formation and transition to a spicules-bearing stage were noted. Additionally, phylogenetic tree was constructed based on SSU rRNA sequences including the strain HF-25 from the permafrost of Kolyma Lowland. The resulting phylogeny recovered it within the clade Pterista, while forming a separate sister lineage to H2 clade, which only had included freshwater environmental sequences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Biodiversity: Evolution, Taxonomy and Conservation)
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Article
Risk of Infection, Local Prevalence and Seasonal Changes in an Avian Malaria Community Associated with Game Bird Releases
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 657; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120657 - 10 Dec 2021
Viewed by 399
Abstract
Anthropogenic activities, such as the translocation or introduction of animals, may cause a parallel movement of exotic parasites harboured by displaced animals. Although introduction and/or relocation of animals for hunting purposes is an increasingly common management technique, the effects of gamebird release as [...] Read more.
Anthropogenic activities, such as the translocation or introduction of animals, may cause a parallel movement of exotic parasites harboured by displaced animals. Although introduction and/or relocation of animals for hunting purposes is an increasingly common management technique, the effects of gamebird release as a major vehicle for the introduction of parasites into new geographic regions have rarely been reported. We examined the prevalence and distribution of avian malaria parasites infecting resident avian hosts (red-legged partridge Alectoris rufa) at a local scale, with a particular emphasis on the effects of releasing farm-reared birds for hunting on the spatial and temporal structure of the parasite community. We collected blood samples from adult partridges from two game estates with partridge releases and two sites without releases over two periods (spring and autumn). We tested the probability of infection and differences in the parasite community in relation to the management model (releases vs. non releases) and sampling period, comparing autumn (when farm-reared birds are released) and spring (after hunting season, when mostly wild birds can be found in the population). We found a high prevalence (54%) of Plasmodium spp., and substantial differences in the spatial and temporal distribution of parasite lineages among the populations studied. Some parasite lineages occurred at high frequencies in game estates without introduction of farm-reared partridges, while other lineages were more abundant in game estates with releases than in those without releases. Overall, the prevalence of avian malaria was similar between spring and autumn at non-release sites, whereas in sites with releases, it was higher in autumn than in spring—probably due to artificial restocking with infected farm-reared birds at the onset of the hunting season. In short, humans may be an important agent driving the alteration of the spatial structure of local parasite fauna via the introduction of exotic parasites by gamebird release, which could cause avian malaria outbreaks with severe repercussions for native avifauna. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2021 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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Article
Do Citizen Science Methods Identify Regions of High Avian Biodiversity?
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 656; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120656 - 10 Dec 2021
Viewed by 696
Abstract
Citizen science may offer a way to improve our knowledge of the spatial distribution of biodiversity and endemism, as the data collected by this method can be integrated into existing data sources to provide a more robust understanding of broad scale patterns of [...] Read more.
Citizen science may offer a way to improve our knowledge of the spatial distribution of biodiversity and endemism, as the data collected by this method can be integrated into existing data sources to provide a more robust understanding of broad scale patterns of species richness. We explored whether data collected by citizen scientists agree on identifying regions of high avian species richness in a well-studied state. We compiled and examined the number of bird species detected in each of the 77 counties of Oklahoma based on published range maps, museum collections, and by five citizen science methods: the USGS Breeding Bird Survey, the Oklahoma Breeding Bird Atlas, eBird, the Oklahoma Winter Bird Atlas, and National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Counts. We also quantified the number of species of conservation concern recorded by each method in each county. A total of 460 species were reported across the state, with the total number of species detected by each method ranging from 40% of this total (Winter Bird Atlas) to 94% of this total (eBird). In general, species totals were poorly correlated across methods, with only six of 21 combinations (28.6%) showing significant correlations. Total species numbers recorded in each county were correlated with human population density and county area, but not with mean annual temperature or precipitation. The total number of species of conservation concern was correlated with the total number of species detected, county area, and precipitation. Most of the citizen science methods examined in this study were not explicitly designed to identify regions of high biodiversity and so efforts to use these methods for this purpose should be employed only cautiously and with a thorough understanding of potential biases. Full article
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