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Diversity, Volume 14, Issue 4 (April 2022) – 76 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The Hesperornithiformes are the first known birds to have adapted to a fully aquatic lifestyle, appearing in the fossil record as flightless, foot-propelled divers in the early Late Cretaceous. Their known fossil record—broadly distributed across the Northern Hemisphere—shows a relatively rapid diversification into a wide range of body sizes and degrees of adaptation to the water. Studies over the past 150+ years have explored the evolutionary relationships, biomechanics, ecology, life history, and biogeography of these incredible birds, which represent a fascinating example of adaptive evolution in vertebrates. View this paper.
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Review
Evolutionary Ecology of Fixed Alternative Male Mating Strategies in the Ruff (Calidris pugnax)
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 307; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040307 - 18 Apr 2022
Viewed by 821
Abstract
A few empirical examples document fixed alternative male mating strategies in animals. Here we focus on the polymorphism of male mating strategies in the ruff (Calidris pugnax, Aves Charadriiformes). In ruffs, three fixed alternative male mating strategies coexist and are signaled [...] Read more.
A few empirical examples document fixed alternative male mating strategies in animals. Here we focus on the polymorphism of male mating strategies in the ruff (Calidris pugnax, Aves Charadriiformes). In ruffs, three fixed alternative male mating strategies coexist and are signaled by extreme plumage polymorphism. We first present relevant data on the biology of the species. Then we review the available knowledge of the behavioral ecology of ruffs during the breeding season, and we detail the characteristics of each of the three known fixed male mating strategies. We next turn to the results of exceptional quality accumulated on both the structural and functional genomics of the ruff over the past few years. We show how much these genomic data can shed new, mechanistic light on the evolution and maintenance of the three fixed alternative male mating strategies. We then look if there is sufficient indication to support frequency-dependent selection as a key mechanism in maintaining these three strategies. Specifically, we search for evidence of equal fitness among individuals using each of the three strategies. Finally, we propose three lines of research avenues that will help to understand the eco-evolutionary dynamics of phenotypic differences within natural populations of this iconic model species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2021 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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Article
Diversity and Traditional Use Knowledge of Medicinal Plants among Communities in the South and South-Eastern Zones of the Tigray Region, Ethiopia
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 306; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040306 - 18 Apr 2022
Viewed by 539
Abstract
In the present study, the diversity of medicinal plants (MPs) and associated traditional knowledge of rural community herbalists to treat human and animals’ diseases were assessed in two districts in the Tigray Region, Ethiopia. Study participants were randomly selected for survey and focus [...] Read more.
In the present study, the diversity of medicinal plants (MPs) and associated traditional knowledge of rural community herbalists to treat human and animals’ diseases were assessed in two districts in the Tigray Region, Ethiopia. Study participants were randomly selected for survey and focus group discussions, while key informant traditional healers were identified through snowball/chain-referral sampling. The informant consensus factor (FIC) by ailment category and fidelity level (FL) for some MPs were determined. About 97 MP species were identified. Leaves, roots, and seeds are the parts predominantly used for phytomedication preparation to treat 30 human and 5 animal diseases. Diseases, such as epilepsy, arthritis, otitis media, and fever, are treated with a combination of 2–4 MPs. The FIC value ranged from 0.29–1.00, with most human diseases showing an FIC value of above 0.7. The FL value for the MPs ranged from 53–100%, with plants used to treat more than one disease tending to have lower FL values. Higher values of FIC and FL indicate high levels of traditional knowledge used to identify and administer medicinal preparations. Despite the frequent use of MPs, the four-cell analysis showed that most of them risk extinction due anthropogenic and climate factors. We recommend botanical gardens as a solution to sustainable conservation, study, education and a source for these declining MP species. Full article
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Article
Cryptic Triploids and Leaky Premating Isolation in an Odontophrynus Hybrid Zone
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 305; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040305 - 18 Apr 2022
Viewed by 500
Abstract
The diploid Odontophrynus cordobae and its autopolyploid counterpart O. americanus (4n) co-occur in a small-sized contact zone in Central Argentina, together with numerous specimens of a cryptic triploid taxon. Additionally, we monitor another five localities inhabited by taxa of this species complex within [...] Read more.
The diploid Odontophrynus cordobae and its autopolyploid counterpart O. americanus (4n) co-occur in a small-sized contact zone in Central Argentina, together with numerous specimens of a cryptic triploid taxon. Additionally, we monitor another five localities inhabited by taxa of this species complex within a radius of 76 km north and south of the contact zone to look for possible co-occurrence of taxa. In this study, we analyze the reproductive interactions in this breeding assemblage covering three levels of ploidy. We focus on the advertisement call structure as a powerful mechanism of premating isolation and on the mating preferences of males and females in the natural habitat. Advertisement calls of triploids were indistinguishable from those of tetraploids, and both differed significantly in pulse rate from diploids. Analyses of 21 amplexi demonstrated that heterospecific matings dominated breeding: one between a diploid female and tetraploid male, and ten between triploids and tetraploids. At three localities with syntopic diploids and tetraploids, premating isolation was almost perfect, preventing the formation of triploids. Therefore, we question the putative origin of triploids from hybridization and discuss alternatives. This unique system, including three bisexual taxa of distinct ploidy, which interact reproductively, remains to be investigated in more detail to fully understand the mechanism stabilizing its persistence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Diversity)
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Article
Biodiversity Monitoring of a Riparian Wetland in a Mixed-Use Watershed in the Central Appalachians, USA, before Restoration
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 304; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040304 - 17 Apr 2022
Viewed by 666
Abstract
Wetland mitigation efforts have increased in numbers over the past two decades to combat wetland loss in the United States. Data regarding wetland function such as biodiversity are required to be collected 5–10 years after a project is complete; however, pre-restoration data that [...] Read more.
Wetland mitigation efforts have increased in numbers over the past two decades to combat wetland loss in the United States. Data regarding wetland function such as biodiversity are required to be collected 5–10 years after a project is complete; however, pre-restoration data that can inform the effectiveness of mitigation are often not collected. We conducted pre-restoration surveys on various taxa along or within Ruby Run, a tributary of Deckers Creek in north-central West Virginia, USA, from 2016 to 2020 to determine the baseline relative abundance and diversity within the stream and the associated riparian zone. In five years, we observed 237 species (154 plant, 58 bird, 13 fish, 6 small mammal, and 6 anuran) and 25 families of macroinvertebrates. Seasonal fluctuations in diversity were present, but mean diversity was relatively consistent among years across taxa, except in anurans, where there was a decrease each year. Wetland mitigation efforts should continue to be monitored for success using multiple taxa, because land use change can affect taxa in different ways, resulting in well-rounded assessments that can improve wetland management practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Restoration Ecology and Monitoring)
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Article
Factors of Detection Deficits in Vascular Plant Inventories—An Island Case Study
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 303; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040303 - 16 Apr 2022
Viewed by 644
Abstract
The degree of completeness of large-scale floristic inventories is often difficult to judge. We compared prior vascular plant species inventories of the Mediterranean island of Limnos (North Aegean, Greece) with 231 recent records from 2016–2021. Together with the recent records, the known number [...] Read more.
The degree of completeness of large-scale floristic inventories is often difficult to judge. We compared prior vascular plant species inventories of the Mediterranean island of Limnos (North Aegean, Greece) with 231 recent records from 2016–2021. Together with the recent records, the known number of vascular plant species on the island is 960 native taxa, 63 established neophytes, and 27 species of as yet casual status for a total of 1050 taxa. We looked at a number of traits (plant family, size, flower color, perceptibility, habitat, reproduction period, rarity, and status) to investigate whether they were overrepresented in the dataset of the newly found taxa. Overrepresentation was found in some plant families (e.g., Poaceae and Chenopodiaceae) and for traits such as hydrophytic life form, unobtrusive flower color, coastal as well as agricultural and ruderal habitats, and late (summer/autumn) reproduction period. Apart from the well-known fact of esthetic bias, we found evidence for ecological and perceptibility biases. Plant species inventories based on prior piecemeal collated data should focus on regionally specific species groups and underrepresented and rare habitats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Diversity on Islands)
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Article
Similar Response of a Range Expanding Dragonfly to Low- and High-Elevation Predators
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 302; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040302 - 15 Apr 2022
Viewed by 556
Abstract
Recent range expansion of many species northward and upward in elevation suggests that the expanding species are able to cope with new biotic interactions in the leading edge. To test this hypothesis, we used a common garden experiment expanding the elevation range of [...] Read more.
Recent range expansion of many species northward and upward in elevation suggests that the expanding species are able to cope with new biotic interactions in the leading edge. To test this hypothesis, we used a common garden experiment expanding the elevation range of an obligatorily univoltine dragonfly (Sympetrum striolatum) to investigate whether the growth, behavioral (food intake), and morphological (8th and 9th abdominal lateral spine) responses differed when confronted with dragonfly predators that dominate low-elevation (Aeshna cyanea) and high-elevation (A. juncea) lentic freshwater systems under two temperature treatments (20 °C and 24 °C). Growth rate and growth efficiency increased at higher temperature. Overall, low- and high-elevation predators induced a similar increase in growth rate and growth efficiency but a decrease in food intake at 24 °C. Lateral abdominal spines were longer only in low-elevation dragonflies at 18 °C. Our study suggests that range-expanding species may have been successful in colonizing new areas at higher elevations because they respond to dominant high-elevation predators in a similar way to the more familiar low-elevation predators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity, Ecology and Evolution of Odonata)
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Article
Taxonomic Discussion on Cyanobacterial Systematics at Family Level, with Special Regards to Phormidiaceae by Using the Strains of Chinese Newly Recorded Genera Ancylothrix and Potamolinea
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 301; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040301 - 15 Apr 2022
Viewed by 549
Abstract
In the past decades, the taxonomic status of the cyanobacterial family Phormidiaceae has always been chaotic and problematic. In this study, filamentous cyanobacteria were investigated in the east of China, and twenty strains isolated from different locations of Zhejiang Province were characterized. Using [...] Read more.
In the past decades, the taxonomic status of the cyanobacterial family Phormidiaceae has always been chaotic and problematic. In this study, filamentous cyanobacteria were investigated in the east of China, and twenty strains isolated from different locations of Zhejiang Province were characterized. Using the polyphasic approach combining morphological, molecular and phylogenetic features, these strains were grouped within the members of the genera Ancylothrix and Potamolinea, the newly recorded genera of cyanobacteria in China. Based on the collected taxonomic information of the family Phormidiaceae, cyanobacterial systematics at family level were further discussed. This study provided a simple and efficient example to perform the phylogenetic evaluation for the monophyly and rationality of currently used families of cyanobacteria by using the regional strains based on the polyphasic approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Ecology of Algae in China)
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Article
The Association of Waminoa with Reef Corals in Singapore and Its Impact on Putative Immune- and Stress-Response Genes
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 300; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040300 - 15 Apr 2022
Viewed by 705
Abstract
Waminoa spp. are acoel flatworms mainly found as ectosymbionts on scleractinian corals. Although Waminoa could potentially represent a threat to their hosts, not enough information is available yet regarding their ecology and effect on the coral. Here, the Waminoa sp.–coral association was analyzed [...] Read more.
Waminoa spp. are acoel flatworms mainly found as ectosymbionts on scleractinian corals. Although Waminoa could potentially represent a threat to their hosts, not enough information is available yet regarding their ecology and effect on the coral. Here, the Waminoa sp.–coral association was analyzed in Singapore reefs to determine the prevalence, host range, and preference, as well as the flatworm abundance on the coral surface. Moreover, the impact of Waminoa sp. on the expression of putative immune- and stress-response genes (C-type lectin, C3, Hsp70 and Actin) was examined in the coral Lobophyllia radians. The association prevalence was high (10.4%), especially in sites with lower sedimentation and turbidity. Waminoa sp. showed a wide host range, being found on 17 coral genera, many of which are new association records. However, only few coral genera, mostly characterized by massive or laminar morphologies appeared to be preferred hosts. Waminoa sp. individuals displayed variable patterns of coral surface coverage and an unequal distribution among different host taxa, possibly related to the different coral growth forms. A down-regulation of the expression of all the analyzed genes was recorded in L. radians portions colonized by Waminoa individuals compared to those without. This indicated that Waminoa sp. could affect components of the immune system and the cellular homeostasis of the coral, also inhibiting its growth. Therefore, Waminoa sp. could represent a potential further threat for coral communities already subjected to multiple stressors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity of Coral-Associated Fauna II)
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Article
Phylogenetic Analyses of Cyprinid Species from the Rokel River Basin of Sierra Leone, West Africa: Taxonomic, Biogeographic, and Conservation Implications
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 299; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040299 - 15 Apr 2022
Viewed by 549
Abstract
The Rokel River (RR) basin is one of the most neglected ichthyofaunal basins, despite the potential for undetected diversity and high levels of endemism. Data on the molecular phylogeny of freshwater fish from this river are rare. Morphological features alone are inadequate for [...] Read more.
The Rokel River (RR) basin is one of the most neglected ichthyofaunal basins, despite the potential for undetected diversity and high levels of endemism. Data on the molecular phylogeny of freshwater fish from this river are rare. Morphological features alone are inadequate for precise species identification. Here, a phylogenetic analysis performed based on the mtDNA Cytb gene for eleven cyprinid fish from the RR basin recovered eleven distinct lineages. The same was also observed for two of our species delineation analyses, of which four are identical to six morphospecies, one is of taxonomic uncertainty, and the rest are currently unrecognized. The disjunct distribution found here in some cyprinid species from the RR basin and their sister species suggests that this river had a past complex historical inter-basin connection exchange with the nearby river basins of the Zaire and lower Guinean ecoregions. The unrecognized diversity observed from cyprinid species of this area may have significant implications for the conservation of biodiversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Evolution and Conservation of Tropical Biodiversity)
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Article
New Comparative Data on the Long Bone Microstructure of Large Extant and Extinct Flightless Birds
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 298; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040298 - 15 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1143
Abstract
Here, we investigate whether bone microanatomy can be used to infer the locomotion mode (cursorial vs. graviportal) of large terrestrial birds. We also reexamine, or describe for the first time, the bone histology of several large extant and extinct flightless birds to [...] Read more.
Here, we investigate whether bone microanatomy can be used to infer the locomotion mode (cursorial vs. graviportal) of large terrestrial birds. We also reexamine, or describe for the first time, the bone histology of several large extant and extinct flightless birds to (i) document the histovariability between skeletal elements of the hindlimb; (ii) improve our knowledge of the histological diversity of large flightless birds; (iii) and reassess previous hypotheses pertaining to the growth strategies of modern palaeognaths. Our results show that large extinct terrestrial birds, inferred as graviportal based on hindlimb proportions, also have thicker diaphyseal cortices and/or more bony trabeculae in the medullary region than cursorial birds. We also report for the first time the occurrence of growth marks (not associated with an outer circumferential layer-OCL) in the cortices of several extant ratites. These observations support earlier hypotheses that flexible growth patterns can be present in birds when selection pressures for rapid growth within a single year are absent. We also document the occurrence of an OCL in several skeletally mature ratites. Here, the high incidence of pathologies among the modern species is attributed to the fact that these individuals were probably long-lived zoo specimens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution and Palaeobiology of Flightless Birds)
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Article
The Sea Slug Doriopsilla areolata Bergh, 1880 (Mollusca, Gastropoda) in the Mediterranean Sea: Another Case of Cryptic Diversity
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 297; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040297 - 15 Apr 2022
Viewed by 992
Abstract
The Mediterranean Sea diversity is still far from being fully disclosed. Marine Heterobranchia are one of the most paradigmatic species-rich groups, with many recent systematic studies revealing the high density of new, cryptic, and endemic species occurring in the Mediterranean basin. In this [...] Read more.
The Mediterranean Sea diversity is still far from being fully disclosed. Marine Heterobranchia are one of the most paradigmatic species-rich groups, with many recent systematic studies revealing the high density of new, cryptic, and endemic species occurring in the Mediterranean basin. In this study, sea slug Doriopsilla areolata, which was considered until today one of the most widespread nudibranchs worldwide, was investigated using a molecular approach to compare Mediterranean and Atlantic populations for the first time. The molecular analyses involved three different molecular markers, the two mitochondrial COI and 16S, and the nuclear H3 gene. The results revealed a complex of species within D. areolata that indeed consists of three potentially species, two of which are endemic to the Mediterranean Sea: Doriopsilla areolata, which is distributed in the Adriatic Sea (the type locality of the former species), D. rarispinosa, which occurs in the Western Mediterranean basin and along the Tunisian coast, and one additional Atlantic species here provisionally defined as Doriopsilla sp. 1. This study helps to unveil another case of cryptic diversity within Mediterranean Heterobranchia and to increase the knowledge on Doriopsilla genus diversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systematics and Evolution of Gastropods)
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Editorial
An Introduction to Evolution and Palaeobiology of Flightless Birds
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 296; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040296 - 15 Apr 2022
Viewed by 638
Abstract
Although flight is often considered as one of the most salient characteristics of birds, in the course of their evolution various avian lineages have lost the ability to fly [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution and Palaeobiology of Flightless Birds)
Article
Qipengyuania pacifica sp. nov., a Novel Carotenoid-Producing Marine Bacterium of the Family Erythrobacteraceae, Isolated from Sponge (Demospongiae), and Antimicrobial Potential of Its Crude Extract
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 295; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040295 - 14 Apr 2022
Viewed by 595
Abstract
A marine Alphaproteobacterium designated as strain NZ-96T was isolated in February 2021, from a sponge species (Demospongiae) collected in muddy sediments with boulders and old chimneys in Otago/Canterbury Slope, Pacific Ocean, New Zealand. The isolate was found to be Gram-negative, [...] Read more.
A marine Alphaproteobacterium designated as strain NZ-96T was isolated in February 2021, from a sponge species (Demospongiae) collected in muddy sediments with boulders and old chimneys in Otago/Canterbury Slope, Pacific Ocean, New Zealand. The isolate was found to be Gram-negative, rod-shaped, aerobic, motile, and produced yellow-colored colonies. The isolate was positive for alkaline phosphatase, leucine arylamidase, trypsin, catalase, and oxidase and negative for α-galactosidase and urease. It was resistant to many antibiotics including hygromycin, trimethoprim, spectinomycin, ampicillin, oxytetracycline, cephalosporin, bacitracin, and polymyxin. The 16S rRNA gene-based phylogenetic analyses exhibited that strain NZ-96T belonged to the genus Qipengyuania and showed 98.3–98.8% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity to its closest relatives. The major respiratory quinone was ubiquinone-10 (Q-10). The polar lipid profile consisted of phosphatidylcholine, sphingoglycolipid, phosphatidylglycerol, one unknown polar lipid, and three unknown glycolipids. The major fatty acids were C18:1ω12t, C16:0, C16:1ω7c, C17:1ω6c, C16:02-OH, and C14:0 2-OH. Carotenoid were produced. The crude extract showed pronounced activity against Staphylococcus aureus Newman and Bacillus subtilis DSM 10. Pairwise ANI and dDDH values of strain NZ-96T and closely related phylogenetic hits were below the threshold values of 95% and 70%, respectively. Genes for trehalose biosynthesis, aspartate-semialdehyde dehydrogenase, flagellar biosynthesis, fatty acid biosynthesis, and antibiotics resistance were present, which aids in isolate survival in a sea or ocean environment. The DNA G+C content was 60.8% (by genome). Based on data obtained by the polyphasic approach, strain NZ-96T (= DSM 112811T = NCCB 100842T) represents a novel species of the genus Qipengyuania, for which the name Qipengyuania pacifica sp. nov. is proposed. Full article
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Article
Stripes Matter: Integrative Systematics of Coryphellina rubrolineata Species Complex (Gastropoda: Nudibranchia) from Vietnam
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 294; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040294 - 13 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1101
Abstract
Coryphellina rubrolineata (Gastropoda: Nudibranchia: Flabellinidae) was believed to be a widespread tropical species demonstrating high diversity in external and internal morphological traits. In this paper, we perform an integrative analysis of the C. rubrolineata species complex based on samples collected in Vietnam waters, [...] Read more.
Coryphellina rubrolineata (Gastropoda: Nudibranchia: Flabellinidae) was believed to be a widespread tropical species demonstrating high diversity in external and internal morphological traits. In this paper, we perform an integrative analysis of the C. rubrolineata species complex based on samples collected in Vietnam waters, combined with available data from other localities of the Indo-West Pacific. The methods of the study include morphological analysis of external and internal traits using light and scanning electron microscopy and the molecular analysis of four markers (COI, 16S, H3, and 28S). The phylogenetic hypothesis was performed using Bayesian and maximum likelihood approaches, and the species delimitation analyses included ASAP, GMYC, and bPTP. Our results support the validity of the genus Coryphellina as a distinct taxon and confirm that Coryphellina rubrolineata is restricted to the type locality and adjacent waters, while in the Indo-West Pacific, it represents a complex of pseudocryptic species. Based on our integrative analysis, we describe four new species: Coryphellina pseudolotos sp. nov., Coryphellina pannae sp. nov., Coryphellina flamma sp. nov., and Coryphellina aurora sp. nov. For the first time, Coryphellina lotos is reported in Vietnam waters. All five species differ in combination of coloration and other external traits and show minor differences in internal morphology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systematics and Evolution of Gastropods)
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Article
Epizoic Rotifers and Microcrustaceans on Bivalves of Different Size and Behavior
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 293; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040293 - 13 Apr 2022
Viewed by 489
Abstract
Previous mesocosm experiments with the epizoon of Dreissena polymorpha revealed that the communities of Rotifera and Crustacea were much more abundant and had higher species richness than epizoon of Unio tumidus in nature. These differences could be attributed to different environmental conditions and/or [...] Read more.
Previous mesocosm experiments with the epizoon of Dreissena polymorpha revealed that the communities of Rotifera and Crustacea were much more abundant and had higher species richness than epizoon of Unio tumidus in nature. These differences could be attributed to different environmental conditions and/or different host behavior. To test this hypothesis, we compared epizoon of D.polymorpha and U.tumidus placed in identical mesocosm conditions, in which Unio could not move vertically due to the lack of sediments. Half of the mesocosms contained D. polymorpha, the other half comprised U. tumidus. Each species of mollusks was kept in the mesocosms with eutrophic and mesotrophic conditions. Finally, we established four treatments that were replicated in triplicate mesocosms. Mesocosm experiments showed that epizoon communities of U. tumidus were even more abundant than that of D. polymorpha and their species richness was similar. Therefore, we concluded that previously revealed strong differences between epizoon communities of D. polymorpha and U. tumidus were related to the different environmental conditions and bivalve behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Ecology of Zooplankton in Lake Subhabitats)
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Article
Bycatch Dynamics from a Small-Scale Shrimp Trap Fishery in the Mediterranean Sea
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 292; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040292 - 12 Apr 2022
Viewed by 646
Abstract
Small-scale fisheries (SSFs) in the Mediterranean and Black seas play a significant social and economic role, representing 84% of the fishing fleet (70,000 vessels), 26% of total revenue (USD 633 million) and 60% of total employment (150,000 people), with the Food and Agriculture [...] Read more.
Small-scale fisheries (SSFs) in the Mediterranean and Black seas play a significant social and economic role, representing 84% of the fishing fleet (70,000 vessels), 26% of total revenue (USD 633 million) and 60% of total employment (150,000 people), with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently taking important initiatives to sustain livelihoods. Effective management of important natural fisheries resources that sustain livelihoods requires a holistic approach accounting for all parts of the catch. Quantitative data on seasonal catch dynamics together with classification of bycatch species to IUCN vulnerability status and associated revenues from retained incidental catch were used to reveal the effect of a small-scale shrimp trap fishery on bycatch. We use three main quantitative variables (i.e., density, biomass and number of bycatch species) and show a positive correlation between bycatch and the seasonal catch dynamics of the target species during late spring and summer. On the contrary, discards were proportionally lower during winter, with the majority of discarded fish species not considered endangered. Six retained species in spring–summer and five discarded species in winter were found to modulate the structure of species’ assemblage. Out of 55 bycatch species, 26 were retained and 29 discarded. Only four species were considered threatened, all of which were caught in very low numbers (<2 individuals), while the majority of the retained species was not considered endangered. The rapid sorting time (<1 min/per trap) pointed towards a decreased effect on certain discarded crustacean species and a significant reduction in total bycatch with timely haul time (from 71 to 47%). The results of this study can be used when considering future mitigation measures for this fishery, while the methodology used can provide insights into the management of similar trap fisheries worldwide when taking into account the sustainability of SSFs and the regional vulnerability status of bycatch species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystems Management)
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Article
Taxonomy and Distribution of the Gomphid Dragonfly Orientogomphus minor (Laidlaw, 1931) (Odonata: Gomphidae) in Thailand
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 291; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040291 - 12 Apr 2022
Viewed by 700
Abstract
The taxonomy and distribution of Orientogomphus minor (Laidlaw, 1931) were investigated in Thailand. Gomphid nymphs were collected from 28 sampling sites in streams in eastern, western, and southern Thailand. The nymph of O. minor is described for the first time and the male [...] Read more.
The taxonomy and distribution of Orientogomphus minor (Laidlaw, 1931) were investigated in Thailand. Gomphid nymphs were collected from 28 sampling sites in streams in eastern, western, and southern Thailand. The nymph of O. minor is described for the first time and the male is re-described and illustrated based on a reared specimen. The taxonomic characteristics of the nymphs of the genus Orientogomphus are discussed. The nymph of O. minor differs from that of O. armatus Chao & Xu, 1987, the only other Orientogomphus species with a described nymphal stage, by the presence of lateral spines on abdominal segments six to nine and by a slender, stick-shaped third antennal segment. Multivariate analyses revealed a strong correlation between the distribution of O. minor and other three gomphid species with restricted distribution in Thailand (Nychogomphus duaricus (Fraser, 1924), Onychogomphus louissiriusi Fleck, 2020 and Stylogomphus thongphaphumensis Chainthong, Sartori & Boonsoong, 2020). Those species were recorded solely in streams in the western part of the country. Nymphs of O. minor were predominantly associated with stony substrates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Insects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation Challenges)
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Interesting Images
One on Top of the Other: Exploring the Habitat Cascades Phenomenon in Iconic Biogenic Marine Habitats
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 290; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040290 - 12 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 816
Abstract
Biogenic habitats often form hot spots of biodiversity. However, the role of epibiosis and the ‘habitat cascades’ phenomenon in enhancing structural heterogeneity and biodiversity in biogenic habitats in remote and difficult-to-access areas is little known. In this work, we provide the first insight [...] Read more.
Biogenic habitats often form hot spots of biodiversity. However, the role of epibiosis and the ‘habitat cascades’ phenomenon in enhancing structural heterogeneity and biodiversity in biogenic habitats in remote and difficult-to-access areas is little known. In this work, we provide the first insight by exploring epibiosis across remote habitats that often support high levels of biodiversity, i.e., cold-water coral reefs and marine caves. The present study acts as a stepping-stone for the further exploration of ‘habitat cascades’ in habitats where scientific knowledge about this phenomenon is limited. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Interesting Images from the Sea)
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Article
Integrative Taxonomy Supports Two New Species of Rhodiola (Crassulaceae) in Xizang, China
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 289; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040289 - 12 Apr 2022
Viewed by 556
Abstract
The Qinghai–Tibet Plateau includes the Himalayas and Hengduan Mountains and is well known for its rich biodiversity. Evolutionary radiation is one of the main ways by which plants diversify in mountains, particularly the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau. It presents a large challenge to the classification [...] Read more.
The Qinghai–Tibet Plateau includes the Himalayas and Hengduan Mountains and is well known for its rich biodiversity. Evolutionary radiation is one of the main ways by which plants diversify in mountains, particularly the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau. It presents a large challenge to the classification of taxa that radiate quickly. One way to overcome these challenges is to continue conducting detailed field studies while integrating morphological and molecular evidence to classify these taxa. The aim of this research was to provide a case for the systematic study of the complex taxa Rhodiola, which rapidly radiate. During the field study, we found two unique variants of Rhodiola in an alpine dry meadow and beds of pebbles on beaches, respectively. We utilized a morphological principal component analysis, scanning electron microscopy and molecular phylogenetic analysis to propose two new species: Rhodiola wangii S.Y. Meng and Rhodiola namlingensis S.Y. Meng. R. wangii is similar to R. stapfii (Hamet) S.H. Fu, but it differs in having an intensely broad rhombus and alternate leaves, a distinct petiole, stamens gathered together and reflexed purple scales. R. namlingensis is similar to R. prainii (Hamet) H. Ohba, but it differs in its exerted alternate leaves, the presence of more than four leaves on the stem, thick leaf blades, an obovate to inverted triangle, and short petioles. The conservation status of these two species was also assessed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology, Evolution and Diversity of Plants)
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Article
Holocene Genetic Evolution of Pig (Sus scrofa) on Romanian Territory in a European Time and Space Frame
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 288; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040288 - 11 Apr 2022
Viewed by 573
Abstract
Romanian territory represents a key point in the dispersal of domestic pigs into Europe, due to its geographical position. Our study gathers a high number of samples from different archaeological sites on Romanian territory in order to establish a more accurate chronological view [...] Read more.
Romanian territory represents a key point in the dispersal of domestic pigs into Europe, due to its geographical position. Our study gathers a high number of samples from different archaeological sites on Romanian territory in order to establish a more accurate chronological view of the spread of domestic pig into Europe and to investigate the possibility of a local domestication process. Approximately 200 samples from 45 archaeological sites on Romanian territory, covering a large period of time, from the Neolithic to the Middle Ages, were subjected to DNA analysis. The sequencing of a short fragment from the D-loop region of the mitochondrial DNA identified a different prevalence of domestic pig genetic signature between two periods of time: the Neolithic period and the Early Bronze Age–Middle Ages period. While the Neolithic period is characterized by the presence of domestic pigs with a Near-Eastern signature, during the Early Bronze Age–Middle Ages period this genetic signature is replaced with a European one. Two European and two Near-Eastern signatures were described for all the analysed samples, each of them prevailing within the wild, respectively domestic Sus scrofa. The data also revealed the introgression process as a form of domestication in Romanian territory. Full article
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Article
Using Culture-Dependent and Molecular Techniques to Identify Endophytic Fungi Associated with Tea Leaves (Camellia spp.) in Yunnan Province, China
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 287; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040287 - 11 Apr 2022
Viewed by 557
Abstract
The association of endophytic fungi with the host plant is called a symbiotic relationship. Studies of the endophytic fungi from tea have been reported in numerous documents, but researchers still largely focus on tea endophytic fungi as they have ability to produce bioactive [...] Read more.
The association of endophytic fungi with the host plant is called a symbiotic relationship. Studies of the endophytic fungi from tea have been reported in numerous documents, but researchers still largely focus on tea endophytic fungi as they have ability to produce bioactive compounds which have numerous applications. The present work characterizes the fungal endophytic communities associated with healthy tea leaves in Yunnan Province, China. A total of 287 fungal strains were isolated from healthy leaf tissues of tea plants using a culture-dependent approach. Based on nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence analyses taken from the fungal cultures, strains were classified into 28 fungal genera with high similarity matches to known sequences in GenBank. The majority of genera (98.25%) belong to the phylum Ascomycota and most of the dominating fungal endophytes are from the genera Colletotrichum and Clonostachys. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity in 2022)
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Article
Time, Mediated through Plant Versatility, Is a Better Predictor of Medicinal Status of Alien Plants
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 286; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040286 - 11 Apr 2022
Viewed by 592
Abstract
Ethnobotany has been, for too long, a descriptive discipline. However, ethnobotanists are increasingly calling for a paradigm shift towards the formulation of unifying theories and hypothesis-driven research in ethnobotany. Here, we formulated a theory, termed time-since-introduction theory, to explain the integration of [...] Read more.
Ethnobotany has been, for too long, a descriptive discipline. However, ethnobotanists are increasingly calling for a paradigm shift towards the formulation of unifying theories and hypothesis-driven research in ethnobotany. Here, we formulated a theory, termed time-since-introduction theory, to explain the integration of alien plants into local pharmacopoeias in their recipient environment. This theory suggests that the factor time is paramount in determining which alien plants are more likely to be included in the medicinal flora of the areas they are introduced in. The theory relies on three hypotheses, the availability and versatility hypotheses alongside the residence time hypothesis newly proposed in the present study. We tested this theory by fitting a structural equation model to ethnobotanical data collected on South Africa’s alien woody flora. Although residence time is a direct predictor of the medicinal status of alien plants, it is a better predictor when mediated through plant versatility. These findings are in support of the theory, and we consequently proposed a framework that can be used to understand different paths linking all three hypotheses. Collectively, our study shows the value of time in the development of ethnobotanical knowledge and fully responds to the pressing call for a paradigm shift in ethnobotany. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Human-Environment Interactions)
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Article
Comparative Analysis of the Polymorphism of the Casein Genes in Camels Bred in Kazakhstan
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 285; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040285 - 11 Apr 2022
Viewed by 479
Abstract
Caseins play an important role in determining the technological properties and quantitative characteristics of camel milk. To date, only a few studies on the genetic polymorphism of casein genes have been reported in the camel populations of Kazakhstan. Therefore, this work aimed to [...] Read more.
Caseins play an important role in determining the technological properties and quantitative characteristics of camel milk. To date, only a few studies on the genetic polymorphism of casein genes have been reported in the camel populations of Kazakhstan. Therefore, this work aimed to identify the genetic polymorphism level of casein genes among camel populations of the Almaty region of Kazakhstan. The PCR-RFLP method was used for this purpose and the following genotypes were revealed as a result: CSN3 gene—CC, CT, TT, where the T allele predominated in all populations, with a frequency of 0.60; CSN2 gene—AA, AG, GG, with the predomination of A allele (0.64); and CSN1S1 gene—GG and GT, with the predomination of G allele (0.94). Statistical analysis was carried out using the POPGENE and GenAlEx software. The χ2 values were equal to 12.1 (CSN3), 8.6 (CSN2), and 14.5 (CSN1S1). As a result, three out of 53 animals were designated as the “core” of the population—animals with the desired genotypes: CC genotype for the CSN3 gene and AA genotype for the CSN2 gene. Such animals can be selected for further use with an increase in the number of livestock with high productivity rates. Full article
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Article
DNA Barcoding of Fresh and Historical Collections of Lichen-Forming Basidiomycetes in the Genera Cora and Corella (Agaricales: Hygrophoraceae): A Success Story?
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 284; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040284 - 10 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1746
Abstract
Lichens collected worldwide for centuries have resulted in millions of specimens deposited in herbaria that offer the potential to assess species boundaries, phenotypic diversification, ecology, and distribution. The application of molecular approaches to historical collections has been limited due to DNA fragmentation, but [...] Read more.
Lichens collected worldwide for centuries have resulted in millions of specimens deposited in herbaria that offer the potential to assess species boundaries, phenotypic diversification, ecology, and distribution. The application of molecular approaches to historical collections has been limited due to DNA fragmentation, but high-throughput sequencing offers an opportunity to overcome this barrier. Here, we combined a large dataset of ITS sequences from recently collected material and historical collections, obtained through Sanger, 454, or Illumina Sequencing, to test the performance of ITS barcoding in two genera of lichenized Basidiomycota: Cora and Corella. We attempted to generate new sequence data for 62 fresh specimens (from 2016) and 274 historical collections (collected between 1888 and 1998), for a final dataset of 1325 sequences. We compared various quantitative approaches to delimit species (GMYC, bPTP, ASAP, ABGD) and tested the resolution and accuracy of the ITS fungal barcoding marker by comparison with a six-marker dataset. Finally, we quantitatively compared phylogenetic and phenotypic species delimitation for 87 selected Cora species that have been formally described. Our HTS approach successfully generated ITS sequences for 76% of the historical collections, and our results show that an integrative approach is the gold-standard for understanding diversity in this group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant DNA Barcodes, Community Ecology, and Species Interactions)
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Article
Understanding Extra-Pair Mating Behaviour: A Case Study of Socially Monogamous European Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) in Western Siberia
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 283; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040283 - 10 Apr 2022
Viewed by 583
Abstract
Extra-pair copulation (EPC) occurred in most socially monogamous bird species. The mechanisms leading to the frequent occurrence of extra-pair offspring (EPO, EPY) in socially monogamous couples, as well as the ‘function’ of EPC, are the subjects of strong debates and [...] Read more.
Extra-pair copulation (EPC) occurred in most socially monogamous bird species. The mechanisms leading to the frequent occurrence of extra-pair offspring (EPO, EPY) in socially monogamous couples, as well as the ‘function’ of EPC, are the subjects of strong debates and raise many unanswered questions. We studied the relationship between extra-pair paternity (EPP) and the different characteristics of males and females in the European pied flycatcher in Western Siberia (Russia). The analysis was based on the genotyping of 232 males, 250 females, 1485 nestlings (250 nests). The European pied flycatchers were predominantly socially and genetically monogamous, but about 20% of birds could be involved in EPP. Loss of paternity tended to be more frequent in one-year-old males. EPCs could be multiple: one individual may have up to three extra-pair partners. The EPP rate was independent of the breeding time. The extra-pair mates of an individual were mainly its near neighbours. The EPC status of an individual was unrelated to most of its morpho-physiological traits. The occurrence of EPP was almost twice as high in females nesting in good quality territories. The fitness of within-pair offspring, EPO, paternal half-sibs of EPO and maternal half-sibs of EPO did not differ statistically significantly. Assuming very low heritability of extra-pair mating, we argued that EPCs could be incidental side effects (by-product) of selection. We believe that the evolution and maintenance of extra-pair mating are the episelective processes in the case of the European pied flycatcher. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2021 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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Article
Structure and Composition of Rhodolith Beds from the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin (NE Brazil, Southwestern Atlantic)
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 282; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040282 - 10 Apr 2022
Viewed by 702
Abstract
Rhodolith beds are biogenic benthic habitats mainly formed by unattached, non-geniculate coralline algae, which can be inhabited by many associated species. The Brazilian continental shelf encompasses the largest continuous rhodolith bed in the world. This study was based on samples obtained from seven [...] Read more.
Rhodolith beds are biogenic benthic habitats mainly formed by unattached, non-geniculate coralline algae, which can be inhabited by many associated species. The Brazilian continental shelf encompasses the largest continuous rhodolith bed in the world. This study was based on samples obtained from seven sites and videos taken by a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) at four transects off the Sergipe-Alagoas Coast on the northeast Brazilian shelf. ROV operations and bottom trawl sampling revealed the occurrence of rhodolith beds between 25 and 54 m depths. At the shallower depths, fruticose (branching) rhodoliths (maërl) appear in troughs of ripples, and other non-branching rhodoliths occur associated with corals and sponge patches surrounded by bioclastic sand. Rhodoliths also occur in patches from 30 to 39 m depth; some are fused, forming larger, complex tridimensional structures. At deeper depths, from 40 to 54 m, the abundance of rhodoliths increases and occur associated with fleshy macroalgae on a smooth seafloor; some rhodoliths are fused into complex structures, locally some are fruticose (maërl), and others are partially buried by fine-grained sediment. The collected rhodoliths vary from fruticose in two sites to encrusting to lumpy, concentric and boxwork nodules in the rest; their size ranges from small (<1.5 cm) to large (~6 cm) and are mostly sub-spheroidal to spheroidal. A total of 16 red algal morpho-taxa were identified in the study sites. Two phases of growth can be distinguished in some rhodoliths by changes in color. The brownish inner cores yielded ages of 1600–1850 cal years before the present, whereas outer layers were much younger (180–50 years BP old). Growth layers appeared to have been separated by a long period of burial in the seafloor sediment. Other rhodoliths have ages of hundreds of years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structure and Biodiversity of Rhodolith Seabeds)
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Editorial
Diversity 2022 Best Paper Award
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 281; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040281 - 09 Apr 2022
Viewed by 488
Abstract
Diversity is instituting the Best Paper Awards to recognize the outstanding papers published in the journal [...] Full article
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Article
A Strategy to Provide a Present and Future Scenario of Mexican Biodiversity of Tardigrada
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 280; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040280 - 09 Apr 2022
Viewed by 710
Abstract
Although the number of known tardigrade taxa in Mexico has increased significantly in the last ten years, the knowledge of their diversity faces challenges, as more than half of the Mexican territory has no records of this phylum. Thus, we developed a strategy [...] Read more.
Although the number of known tardigrade taxa in Mexico has increased significantly in the last ten years, the knowledge of their diversity faces challenges, as more than half of the Mexican territory has no records of this phylum. Thus, we developed a strategy to provide a present and future scenario for understanding the Mexican biodiversity of Tardigrada, described the distribution patterns of the current recorded species, calculated the estimated richness, and the estimated taxonomic effort needed to complete the national inventory. We obtained 474 records of 105 taxa, belonging to 42 genera and 75 species, distributed in 12 of the 14 biogeographical provinces of Mexico. We found that 54.72% of the species are present in more than three world regions and 3.79% of species that have been recorded only in Mexican provinces. Distribution patterns could be recognized for 11 species, two of which have a Nearctic distribution, seven are Neotropical and two are distributed in both regions. The Mexican biogeographical provinces with the greatest diversity of tardigrades, both at specific and generic level, were the Transmexican Volcanic Belt (TVBP) and the Sierras Madre Oriental (SMOrP) and Sierra Madre Occidental (SMOcP), which have been previously identified as particularly species-rich regions. Diversity estimation methods predict that more than 290 species of tardigrades could be found in Mexico. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Investigating the Biodiversity of the Tardigrada)
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Article
Distribution of Homozygosity Regions in the Genome of Kazakh Cattle Breeds
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 279; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040279 - 08 Apr 2022
Viewed by 517
Abstract
Runs of homozygosity (ROH) are contiguous stretches of homozygous genotypes that are passed from parents to their offspring. ROHs are suitable for determining population history, inbreeding rates, and the genetic relationships between individuals in the populations, as well as to detect candidate genes [...] Read more.
Runs of homozygosity (ROH) are contiguous stretches of homozygous genotypes that are passed from parents to their offspring. ROHs are suitable for determining population history, inbreeding rates, and the genetic relationships between individuals in the populations, as well as to detect candidate genes responsible for economic traits in farm animals. In this study, we observed that the Kazakh white-headed (KWh) cattle breed (ROH n = 55,976) had a higher number of ROH compared to the Auliekol (AK) breed (ROH n = 13,137). When calculating the mean length of ROH, there were considerable differences between Kazakh white-headed (211.59 ± 92.98 Mb) and Auliekol (99.62 ± 46.48 Mb) populations. The maximum length of ROH was higher in Auliekol cattle (510.25 Mb) than in Kazakh white-headed cattle (498.91 Mb). The average inbreeding coefficient rate was equal to 0.084 ± 0.037 in Kazakh white-headed cattle and 0.039 ± 0.018 in Auliekol cattle. The high frequency of genomic regions showed that the strongest patterns were observed on chromosomes 2, 6, and 26 for KWh and 1, 5, and 14 for AK. The estimation of ROH numbers per animal showed that the number of ROH decreased with increasing ROH length in both populations. The genomic inbreeding coefficient of both cattle breeds was calculated based on the ROH, and ancient inbreeding was observed. The harbored genes within ROH islands were associated with meat growth and milk production. Full article
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Article
Herbivory by Geese Inhibits Tidal Freshwater Wetland Restoration Success
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 278; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d14040278 - 07 Apr 2022
Viewed by 497
Abstract
Experimental results from a multi-year exclosure study (2009–2015) demonstrate strong effects of geese on plant cover and species diversity in an urban, restored tidal freshwater wetland. Access by geese inhibited plant establishment and suppressed plant diversity, particularly of annual plant species. Our experimental [...] Read more.
Experimental results from a multi-year exclosure study (2009–2015) demonstrate strong effects of geese on plant cover and species diversity in an urban, restored tidal freshwater wetland. Access by geese inhibited plant establishment and suppressed plant diversity, particularly of annual plant species. Our experimental results demonstrate that the protection of newly restored tidal freshwater wetlands from geese is a make-or-break management activity that will determine the composition and long-term persistence of vegetation at the site. The causal herbivore, in this case, was resident, non-migratory Canada geese (Branta canadensis), which have increased dramatically over the last several decades and had high population densities throughout the study period. These findings suggest that management activities to reduce the population sizes of non-migratory goose populations will support greater wetland plant diversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation and Ecological Restoration of Intertidal Marshes)
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