Next Issue
Volume 16, June
Previous Issue
Volume 16, April
 
 

Diversity, Volume 16, Issue 5 (May 2024) – 55 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image):  
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Reader to open them.
Order results
Result details
Section
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
27 pages, 1176 KiB  
Article
Diversity of Helminths of Insectivorous Mammals (Mammalia: Eulipothyphla) from Large Forest Protected Areas of the Middle Volga Region (European Russia)
by Nadezhda Yu. Kirillova, Alexander A. Kirillov, Alexander B. Ruchin and Alexander I. Fayzulin
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 307; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050307 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 421
Abstract
Insectivores (Eulypotiphla) are a substantial component of Russian forest ecosystems. The parasites of these animals also form an important part of natural biocenoses and act as one of the factors in the formation of biodiversity. The Mordovia Nature Reserve and National Park “Smolny” [...] Read more.
Insectivores (Eulypotiphla) are a substantial component of Russian forest ecosystems. The parasites of these animals also form an important part of natural biocenoses and act as one of the factors in the formation of biodiversity. The Mordovia Nature Reserve and National Park “Smolny” are large, forested areas located in the center of European Russia. We studied the helminth fauna of insectivores in these protected areas in 2018–2022. In total, using the method of complete helminthological necropsy, we examined 478 individuals of shrews, moles, and hedgehogs and recorded 34 species of parasitic worms, i.e., 8 trematode, 7 cestode, 1 acanthocephalan, and 18 nematode species. The most diverse helminth fauna was found in Sorex araneus (22 species). The composition of helminths in S. isodon (12), Neomys fodiens (9), Sorex minutus, and Erinaceus roumanicus (8 species each) turned out to be less diverse. The lowest species diversity of helminths was observed in Neomys milleri (3) and Talpae europaea (2 species). Taking into account the newly obtained data, we conducted a review of the helminth diversity in shrews, hedgehogs, and moles in the Middle Volga region. According to our literature data, the helminth fauna of insectivores in this region consists of 52 species, including 14 cestodes, 13 trematodes, 22 nematodes, and 3 acanthocephalans. Most of them belong to the Palearctic faunal complex (36 species). The helminth fauna of insectivores in the studied protected areas was compared with the helminth fauna of micromammals in other areas of the Middle Volga region. Our comparative analysis showed a high and average degree of similarity in the helminth fauna within individual species and genera of Eulipotyphla. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Diversity)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 4654 KiB  
Article
Multi-Scale Habitat Selection by the Wintering Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) in Manas National Wetland Park, Northwestern China
by Han Yan, Xuejun Ma, Weikang Yang and Feng Xu
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 306; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050306 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 465
Abstract
Habitat selection has been a central focus of animal ecology, with research primarily concentrating on habitat choice, utilization, and evaluation. However, studies confined to a single scale often fail to reveal the habitat selection needs of animals fully and accurately. This paper investigates [...] Read more.
Habitat selection has been a central focus of animal ecology, with research primarily concentrating on habitat choice, utilization, and evaluation. However, studies confined to a single scale often fail to reveal the habitat selection needs of animals fully and accurately. This paper investigates the wintering whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus) in Manas National Wetland Park, Xinjiang, using satellite tracking to determine their locations. The Maximum Entropy model (MaxEnt) was applied to explore the multi-scales habitat selection needs of Manas National Wetland Park’s wintering whooper swans across nighttime, daytime, and landscape scales. This study showed that the habitat selection of the wintering whooper swans varied in different scales. At the landscape scale, wintering whooper swans prefer habitats with average winter precipitations of 6.9 mm and average temperatures of −6 °C, including water bodies and wetlands, indicating that climate (precipitation and temperature) and land type (wetlands and water bodies) influence their winter habitat selection. During daytime, whooper swans prefer areas close to wetlands, water bodies, and bare land, with a more dispersed distribution of water bodies. For nighttime, they tend to choose areas within the wetland park where human disturbance is minimal and safety is higher. This study can provide scientific basis and data support for habitat conservation and management of wintering waterbirds like whooper swans, recommending targeted conservation measures to effectively manage and protect the wintering grounds of whooper swans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Diversity)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 4207 KiB  
Article
Plastid Phylogenetics, Biogeography, and Character Evolution of the Chinese Endemic Genus Sinojackia Hu
by Xing Jian, Yuliang Wang, Qiang Li and Yongmei Miao
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 305; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050305 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 434
Abstract
Sinojackia Hu. comprises five to eight Chinese endemic species with high ornamental and medicinal value. However, the generic limits, interspecific relationships and evolutionary history of the genus remain unresolved. In this study, we newly sequenced three plastomes of S. oblongicarpa and compared them [...] Read more.
Sinojackia Hu. comprises five to eight Chinese endemic species with high ornamental and medicinal value. However, the generic limits, interspecific relationships and evolutionary history of the genus remain unresolved. In this study, we newly sequenced three plastomes of S. oblongicarpa and compared them with those of the other congeneric species to explore the taxonomic delimitation of the species and the evolutionary history of the genus. The plastome structure of Sinojackia species was extremely conserved in terms of number of genes, sequence length, and GC content. The codon usage patterns revealed that natural selection may be the main factor shaping codon usage bias. Our phylogenetic tree shows that Sinojackia is monophyletic and can be divided into two clades. Sinojackia oblongicarpa as a distinct species is supported for it is distantly related to S. sarcocarpa. The evolutionary analysis of morphological features indicates that the woody mesocarp is an ancestral feature. Sinojackia originated in central Southeast China during the early Miocene. In this period, it experienced elevated diversification and migrated from central Southeast China to the Hunan Province and the Sichuan Province with the development of the Asian monsoon and East Asian flora. Glacial–interglacial interactions with the monsoon climate may provide favorable expansion conditions for Sinojackia on a small scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity in 2024)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 3108 KiB  
Article
How Do Zooplankton Communities Respond to Environmental Factors across the Subsidence Wetlands Created by Underground Coal Mining in the North China Plain?
by Yue Liang, Jianjun Huo, Weiqiang Li, Yutao Wang, Guangyao Wang and Chunlin Li
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 304; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050304 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 394
Abstract
The degradation and loss of natural wetlands has caused severe crises for wetland taxa. Meanwhile, constructed wetlands are expanding significantly and facing dramatic environmental changes. Exploring the responses of wetland organisms, particularly zooplankton, may have important implications for the management of wetlands. Environmental [...] Read more.
The degradation and loss of natural wetlands has caused severe crises for wetland taxa. Meanwhile, constructed wetlands are expanding significantly and facing dramatic environmental changes. Exploring the responses of wetland organisms, particularly zooplankton, may have important implications for the management of wetlands. Environmental and zooplankton samples were collected from 34 subsidence wetlands created by underground coal mining across the North China Plain in August 2021. We used generalized linear models and redundancy analysis to test zooplankton responses to environmental variables, with the relative importance quantified by variation partitioning. We identified 91 species, divided into 7 functional groups, with the highest density of rotifer filter feeders (RF, 2243.4 ± 499.4 ind./L). Zooplankton species richness was negatively correlated with electrical conductivity (EC), chlorophyll-a, total phosphorus, and pH. The Shannon–Weiner and Pielou evenness indices were positively correlated with transparency and negatively correlated with the photovoltaic panel area (AS). Rotifer predators (RCs) and RF densities were positively correlated with cropland area and dissolved oxygen, but negatively correlated with AS. Small crustacean filter feeders positively correlated with AS, whereas medium crustacean feeders (MCFs) positively correlated with EC. AS was the most critical variable affecting the zooplankton community. Our study showed that the spatial pattern of zooplankton communities was shaped by environmental heterogeneity across the subsidence wetlands, providing implications for the management and conservation of these constructed wetlands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Freshwater Biodiversity)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 3908 KiB  
Article
Two New Species of Hymenogaster (Hymenogastraceae, Agaricales) from China Based on Morphological and Molecular Markers
by Ting Li, Ning Mao, Haoyu Fu, Yuxin Zhang and Li Fan
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 303; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050303 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 384
Abstract
Two new species from China, Hymenogaster pseudoniveus and H. zunhuaensis, are described and illustrated based on morphological and molecular evidence. Hymenogaster pseudoniveus is distinguished from other species of the genus based on the color of peridium, which is snow white to white when [...] Read more.
Two new species from China, Hymenogaster pseudoniveus and H. zunhuaensis, are described and illustrated based on morphological and molecular evidence. Hymenogaster pseudoniveus is distinguished from other species of the genus based on the color of peridium, which is snow white to white when unexcavated but then turns yellowish to earth yellow, and the basidiospores, which are ornamented with nearly longitudinally arranged ridges up to 2 μm high. H. zunhuaensis is diagnosed by its dirty white to pale yellow peridium, yellow brown to brown gleba, and the smaller (Lm × Wm = 11.7 μm × 9.8 μm) broadly ellipsoidal to subglobose basidiospores (Q = 1.1–1.3). ITS/LSU-based phylogenetic analysis supports the erection of the two new species, each placed in distinct clades with strong statistical support, suggesting that they represent two distinct species novel to science. Based on the morphological and molecular evidence, we have published two new species of Hymenogaster. A key for Hymenogaster species from China is provided. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

29 pages, 69420 KiB  
Article
First Account of Epibiotic Diatom Taxa from the Carapaces of Green Swimming Crab Callinectes bellicosus (Stimpson 1859) (Decapoda, Portunidae)
by Francisco Omar López-Fuerte, David Alfaro Siqueiros Beltrones, Luis Hernández and Sergio Flores-Ramírez
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 302; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050302 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 353
Abstract
Diatoms are among the most common epibionts and have been recorded on the surfaces of various living substrates, either plants or animals. However, studies on them are still scarce in view of the many substrata available. In this study, epibiotic diatoms living on [...] Read more.
Diatoms are among the most common epibionts and have been recorded on the surfaces of various living substrates, either plants or animals. However, studies on them are still scarce in view of the many substrata available. In this study, epibiotic diatoms living on Callinectes bellicosus were identified for the first time from a subtropical coastal lagoon in Northwest Mexico. We tested the null hypothesis that the diatom flora living on the carapaces of C. bellicosus would not be similar to that recorded for mangrove sediments, its typical habitat. The epibiotic diatoms were brushed off from the carapaces of two specimens, acid-cleaned, mounted in synthetic resin, and identified based on frustule morphology. This way, 106 taxa from 46 genera were recorded, including 25 singletons, and 6 new records for the Mexican northwest region. The best-represented genera were Nitzschia (10 taxa), Mastogloia (9), Diploneis (8), Navicula (7), Amphora (5), Cocconeis (5), Tryblionella (4), and Gyrosigma (4). Species composition included 93% of local taxa, thus refuting the proposed hypothesis and supporting the alternate one. Although the estimated species richness was lower than that in sediments, it deems the green crab carapace a favorable substrate for the growth of benthic diatoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Marine Diversity)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 1754 KiB  
Article
Population Status and Conservation of the Largest Population of the Endangered François’ Langur (Trachypithecus francoisi) in Vietnam
by Tu A. Le, Anh T. Nguyen, Trung S. Le, Tuan A. Le and Minh D. Le
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 301; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050301 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 484
Abstract
François’ langur is an Endangered colobine inhabiting limestone habitats in southern China and northern Vietnam. Its global population has been estimated to be just more than 2000 mature individuals. Populations in Vietnam are highly fragmented with reportedly fewer than 200 adults in total [...] Read more.
François’ langur is an Endangered colobine inhabiting limestone habitats in southern China and northern Vietnam. Its global population has been estimated to be just more than 2000 mature individuals. Populations in Vietnam are highly fragmented with reportedly fewer than 200 adults in total and 50 in a single location. Although the François’ langur in Vietnam is highly imperiled as remnant populations persist in only three to four sites, little research has been carried out to provide a reliable estimate of its remaining population. In this study, we conducted field surveys in Lam Binh District, Tuyen Quang Province, northeastern Vietnam. In total, we recorded at least 16 groups of François’ langurs, with 156 individuals, raising the total number of individuals by approximately 10% compared to a previous study. The group structure, group size, activity budget, and density of the Lam Binh population resemble those reported in François’ langurs in China and other limestone langur species. The results show that the behavior ecology of limestone langurs significantly differs from that of forest langurs probably because they occupy separate habitats with distinctly different environmental variables. During our surveys, we detected a number of direct threats to this population, namely illegal logging, hunting, firewood collecting, hydropower development, grazing, and mining. It is recommended that the protection forest be elevated to the nature reserve status to better protect the most important population of the François’ langur in Vietnam. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology, Conservation and Restoration of Threatened Animal)
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 5356 KiB  
Article
Application of Machine Learning in Ecological Red Line Identification: A Case Study of Chengdu–Chongqing Urban Agglomeration
by Juan Deng, Yu Xie, Ruilong Wei, Chengming Ye and Huajun Wang
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 300; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050300 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 442
Abstract
China’s Ecological Protection Red Lines (ERLs) policy has proven effective in constructing regional ecological security patterns and protecting ecological space. However, the existing methods for the identification of high conservation value areas (HCVAs) usually use physical models, whose parameters and processes are complex [...] Read more.
China’s Ecological Protection Red Lines (ERLs) policy has proven effective in constructing regional ecological security patterns and protecting ecological space. However, the existing methods for the identification of high conservation value areas (HCVAs) usually use physical models, whose parameters and processes are complex and only for a single service, affecting the ERL delineation. In this study, the data-driven machine learning (ML) models were innovatively applied to construct a framework for ERL identification. First, the One-Class Support Vector Machine (OC-SVM) was used to generate negative samples from natural reserves and ecological factors. Second, the supervised ML models were applied to predict the HCVAs by using samples. Third, by applying the same ecological factors, the traditional physical models were used to assess the ecological services of the study area for reference and comparison. Take Chengdu–Chongqing Urban Agglomeration (CY) as a case study, wherein data from 11 factors and 1822 nature reserve samples were prepared for feasibility verification of the proposed framework. The results showed that the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of all ML models was more than 97%, and random forest (RF) achieved the best performance at 99.57%. Furthermore, the land cover had great contributions to the HCVAs prediction, which is consistent with the land use pattern of CY. High-value areas are distributed in the surrounding mountains of CY, with lush vegetation. All of the above results indicated that the proposed framework can accurately identify HCVAs, and that it is more suitable and simpler than the traditional physical model. It can help improve the effectiveness of ERL delimitation and promote the implementation of ERL policies. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 1855 KiB  
Article
An Overlooked Group of Citizen Scientists in Non-Indigenous Species (NIS) Information: Shell Collectors and Their Contribution to Molluscan NIS Xenodiversity
by Argyro Zenetos, Christiane Delongueville and Roland Scaillet
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 299; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050299 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 469
Abstract
This work reports on 60 marine alien mollusks from nine countries across the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Marmara collected by two Belgian citizen scientists. Some of their published observations concerning collection dates are compared with the year of first publication for [...] Read more.
This work reports on 60 marine alien mollusks from nine countries across the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Marmara collected by two Belgian citizen scientists. Some of their published observations concerning collection dates are compared with the year of first publication for these alien mollusks reported in the literature, which enable us to backdate some of their introductions and set new first Mediterranean records for two species. This underlines the importance of collaboration between volunteers and institutional scientists in tracing variations and changes in the environment and biodiversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2024 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 1978 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Ficus semicordata Fig Quality on the Sex Ratio of Its Pollinating Wasp Ceratosolen gravelyi
by Xiaoyan Yang, Yunfang Guan, Changqi Chen, Ying Zhang, Yulin Yuan, Tiantian Tang, Zongbo Li and Yuan Zhang
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 298; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050298 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 461
Abstract
The interaction between fig wasps and their host fig trees (Ficus spp.) is a striking example of an obligate pollination mutualism. Male and female fig wasps are confined within their natal patch instead of panmictic; under this circumstance, mating only occurs between [...] Read more.
The interaction between fig wasps and their host fig trees (Ficus spp.) is a striking example of an obligate pollination mutualism. Male and female fig wasps are confined within their natal patch instead of panmictic; under this circumstance, mating only occurs between individuals of the same patch. This is known as a local mate competition (LMC). It pays foundresses to invest mainly in daughters and to only produce enough sons to ensure that all female offspring can be fertilized, but in nature, pollinating fig wasps may face many problems with host quality, such as limitation of oviposition sites and the nutrition deficiency of the host fig. The sex ratio of wasps can determine the stability of fig–fig wasp mutualistic system and, thus, the stability of other species associated with it. In this study, we controlled the quality of host figs in three ways. The results showed that the host fig age can influence the sex ratio of pollinator offspring, while the foundress numbers and the presence of pollen have no significant effect on it. A compelling explanation for this result is that the sex-dependent mortality occurs. This is a novel finding of how host quality influences the interaction of fig and fig wasps, which can also help us understand the evolution and stability mechanism of this symbiotic system. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 9393 KiB  
Article
New Updates on the Distribution of Scapania umbrosa (Schrad.) Dumort. (Scapaniaceae, Marchantiophyta) in Pacific Asia
by Ksenia G. Klimova, Yulia D. Maltseva, Vadim A. Bakalin and Seung Se Choi
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 297; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050297 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 392
Abstract
The distribution of liverworts in the North Pacific is still poorly understood. Scapania umbrosa, which is rare in Asia, was first recorded during the study of the liverwort flora of the Commander Islands (the westernmost Aleutians). The results of the molecular genetic [...] Read more.
The distribution of liverworts in the North Pacific is still poorly understood. Scapania umbrosa, which is rare in Asia, was first recorded during the study of the liverwort flora of the Commander Islands (the westernmost Aleutians). The results of the molecular genetic analysis not only confirmed that the specimen belonged to Scapania umbrosa but also demonstrated the genetic specificity of the discovered population in comparison with the European, Siberian, and Alaskan populations. The island population of Scapania umbrosa is likely a recently diverged isolate of the species. Previously reported data on the distribution of Scapania umbrosa in the Russian Far East from Kamchatka and Kunashir (VBGI Herbarium), as well as from Sakhalin and Southern Primorye (reported in GBIF), are based on misidentifications. Morphological descriptions, distinguishing characters, line drawings, and photographs of Scapania umbrosa based on the collected material are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Diversity)
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 1874 KiB  
Article
A Rather Unusual ”Pearl”: Biological Observations of the Hidden Pearlfish Carapus acus (Brünnich, 1768) and Its First Report from Apulian Waters (Salento Peninsula, Southern Italy)
by Alessandra Martines, Michele Solca, Egidio Trainito, Stefano Piraino and Giulia Furfaro
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 296; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050296 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 429
Abstract
The Salento peninsula in southern Italy (Mediterranean Sea) is a strip of land between the Adriatic and the Ionian Seas, both characterized by local regimes of currents, different geological and physical backgrounds, and quite diversified fauna. In this area, specimens of the sea [...] Read more.
The Salento peninsula in southern Italy (Mediterranean Sea) is a strip of land between the Adriatic and the Ionian Seas, both characterized by local regimes of currents, different geological and physical backgrounds, and quite diversified fauna. In this area, specimens of the sea cucumber Holothuria tubulosa (Brünnich, 1768) (Echinodermata) were collected at four stations in the spring and autumn of 2020 to investigate a possible symbiotic association with the inquiline fish Carapus acus (Brünnich, 1768). Among the collected holothurians, five pearlfish specimens were found in the body cavity of four H. tubulosa collected at 10 m of depth, in autumn, at “Grotta Verde” in Marina di Andrano, Lecce (Ionian Sea). More than half of the sea cucumbers from the latter station hosted the symbiont, suggesting the presence of a shallow population of C. acus inhabiting this coastal area. Furthermore, morphometric analysis carried out on the collected fish helped to shed light on the population dynamics characterizing this neglected species. This is the first report of C. acus from Apulian waters, allowing us to unite previously disjoined areas and providing essential baseline knowledge for planning future in-depth analysis of this difficult-to-study fish in a geographical area that is strategic in terms of the conservation of Mediterranean biodiversity. Furthermore, the range of preferred host species is extended, as C. acus was previously known to prefer other sea cucumber species such as Parastichopus regalis (Cuvier, 1817) instead of H. tubulosa. Finally, the finding of C. acus in a single station and in only one season is not trivial and delivers baseline useful information for future conservation purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2024 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 6984 KiB  
Interesting Images
Stony Corals and Their Associated Fauna Residing in Marine Lakes under Extreme Environmental Conditions
by Leontine E. Becking, Stephanie J. Martinez, Ludi Parwadani Aji, Awaludinnoer Ahmad, Adriana Alzate, Mainah Folkers, Dea Fauzia Lestari, Beginer Subhan and Bert W. Hoeksema
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 295; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050295 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 1666
Abstract
Tropical marine lakes are small land-locked marine waterbodies occurring in karstic coastal areas. During biodiversity surveys in 12 marine lakes in Raja Ampat, Southwest Papua province, Indonesia, we recorded at least 37 species belonging to 29 genera of hard corals. Their observed associated [...] Read more.
Tropical marine lakes are small land-locked marine waterbodies occurring in karstic coastal areas. During biodiversity surveys in 12 marine lakes in Raja Ampat, Southwest Papua province, Indonesia, we recorded at least 37 species belonging to 29 genera of hard corals. Their observed associated symbiont fauna consisted of bivalve molluscs and polychaete worms. Marine lake temperature ranged from 30.0 to 32.5 °C, acidity from pH 7.6 to 8.1, and salinity from 26.4 to 33.2 ppt. This study provides the first inventory of the marginal coral communities in the extreme habitat of marine lakes, under chronic extreme environmental conditions of higher temperatures, land-based nutrient loads, and sedimentation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Interesting Images from the Sea)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 19754 KiB  
Article
Diversity of Pleurostomatid Ciliates: Morphology, Taxonomy and Molecular Phylogeny of Freshwater Isolates Found in a Northern China Wetland, with a Description of Two New Species
by Gongaote Zhang, Yongqiang Liu, Hongbo Pan, Yujie Liu, Honggang Ma, Zhe Wang, Khaled A. S. Al-Rasheid, Weibo Song and Hunter N. Hines
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 294; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050294 - 11 May 2024
Viewed by 592
Abstract
Ciliates of the order Pleurostomatida play essential functions in microbial food webs from a variety of habitats and have been thought to possess a high level of diversity. Due to undersampling and often absent molecular data, the actual diversity and phylogenetic relationships within [...] Read more.
Ciliates of the order Pleurostomatida play essential functions in microbial food webs from a variety of habitats and have been thought to possess a high level of diversity. Due to undersampling and often absent molecular data, the actual diversity and phylogenetic relationships within this group remain unclarified. To help address this deficiency, a survey of freshwater pleurostomatid ciliates was undertaken in Lake Weishan Wetland, northern China. Here, two new Amphileptus species, Amphileptus sinicus sp. nov. and Amphileptus piscinarius sp. nov., were investigated using modern morphological and molecular techniques. Amphileptus sinicus sp. nov. is characterized by possessing a comparatively large cell size of 330–490 μm, contractile vacuoles on both ventral and dorsal margins, and 8–10 left and 42–61 right kineties. Amphileptus piscinarius sp. nov. is characterized by possessing a cell size of 140–210 μm, a large distinctly developed apical extrusome group, 3–4 contractile vacuoles on the ventral margin, and 6–8 left and 24–28 right kineties. Phylogenetic results based on the 18S rRNA gene data of these two species group them with other congeners, with these data suggesting the genus Amphileptus is paraphyletic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity, Ecology and Genetics of Ciliates)
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 3678 KiB  
Article
Coastal Eukaryotic Plankton Diversity of the Southern Adriatic as Revealed by Metabarcoding
by Ana Baricevic, Tjasa Kogovsek, Mirta Smodlaka Tankovic, Lana Grizancic, Mia Knjaz, Ivan Vlasicek, Ivan Podolsak, Natasa Kuzat, Martin Pfannkuchen and Daniela Maric Pfannkuchen
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 293; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050293 - 11 May 2024
Viewed by 467
Abstract
Plankton studies serve as a basis for marine ecosystem research, but knowledge of marine plankton is still incomplete due to its extreme taxonomic and functional complexity. The application of metabarcoding is very valuable for the characterisation of the plankton community. The plankton community [...] Read more.
Plankton studies serve as a basis for marine ecosystem research, but knowledge of marine plankton is still incomplete due to its extreme taxonomic and functional complexity. The application of metabarcoding is very valuable for the characterisation of the plankton community. The plankton community of the Southern Adriatic is subject to strong environmental fluctuations and changes, which underlines the need for frequent, reliable and comprehensive characterisation of the plankton. The aim of this study was to determine the taxonomic composition and seasonal distribution of eukaryotic plankton in the Southern Adriatic. Plankton samples were collected monthly for one year at the coastal station of the Southern Adriatic and metabarcoding was used for taxonomic identification. The results showed a high taxonomic diversity and dynamic seasonal distribution patterns for both the protist and metazoan plankton communities. Metabarcoding revealed both the core, year-round plankton community and previously unrecorded plankton organisms in the Southern Adriatic. The results provide for the first time a comprehensive overview of the plankton community in this area by metabarcoding. The identified seasonal patterns of plankton genera and species in the Southern Adriatic will contribute to the understanding of plankton interactions and future changes in community diversity characterisation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Ecology in the Mediterranean Sea)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 719 KiB  
Article
Genome-Based Classification of Pedobacter albus sp. nov. and Pedobacter flavus sp. nov. Isolated from Soil
by Nhan Le Thi Tuyet and Jaisoo Kim
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 292; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050292 - 11 May 2024
Viewed by 476
Abstract
Two rod-shaped, non-spore-forming, Gram-negative bacteria, strain KR3-3T isolated from fresh soil in Korea and strain VNH31T obtained from soil samples from motorbike repair workshop floors in Vietnam, were identified. Phylogenetic analysis utilizing 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed their affiliation with the [...] Read more.
Two rod-shaped, non-spore-forming, Gram-negative bacteria, strain KR3-3T isolated from fresh soil in Korea and strain VNH31T obtained from soil samples from motorbike repair workshop floors in Vietnam, were identified. Phylogenetic analysis utilizing 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed their affiliation with the family Sphingobacteriaceae and their relation to the genus Pedobacter, exhibiting 16S rRNA gene sequence similarities lower than 98.00% with all known species within the genus Pedobacter. Growth of VNH31T and KR3-3T was impeded by NaCl concentrations exceeding >0.5% and 1.5%, respectively, while they both thrived optimally at temperatures ranging between 25 and 30 °C. Notably, neither strain reduced nitrate to nitrite nor produced indole. Negative results were observed for the acidification of D-glucose and hydrolysis of urea, gelatin, casein, and starch. VNH31T exhibited growth on β-galactosidase, sodium acetate, L-serine, and L-proline, whereas KR 3-3T demonstrated growth on D-glucose, D-mannose, D-maltose, N-acetyl-glucosamine, sucrose, sodium acetate, L-serine, 4-Hydroxybenzoic acid, and L-proline. Core genome-based phylogenetic analysis revealed that the two isolates formed distinct clusters within the genus Pedobacter. The DNA G+C contents of KR3-3T and VNH31T were determined to be 44.12 mol% and 32.96 mol%, respectively. The average nucleotide identity and in silico DNA-DNA hybridization relatedness values (67.19–74.19% and 17.6–23.6%, respectively) between the Pedobacter isolates and the closely related type strains fell below the threshold values utilized for species delineation. Following comprehensive genomic, chemotaxonomic, phenotypic, and phylogenetic analyses, the isolated strains are proposed as two novel species within the genus Pedobacter, named Pedobacter albus sp. nov. (type strain KR3-3T = KACC 23486T = NBRC 116682T) and Pedobacter flavus sp. nov. (type strain VNH31T = KACC 23297T = CCTCC AB 2023109T). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Diversity and Culture Collections Hotspots in 2024)
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 3369 KiB  
Article
Interannual Variation in the Zooplankton Community of the North Adriatic Sea under Short-Term Climatic Anomalies
by Samuele Menicucci, Andrea De Felice, Ilaria Biagiotti, Giovanni Canduci, Ilaria Costantini, Antonio Palermino, Michele Centurelli and Iole Leonori
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 291; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050291 - 11 May 2024
Viewed by 616
Abstract
Zooplankton are a pivotal component of the pelagic community, and their abundance and distribution are often strongly dependent on environmental conditions at sea. However, climate change can pose significant challenges to planktonic organisms. Therefore, in this study, we tried to address the possible [...] Read more.
Zooplankton are a pivotal component of the pelagic community, and their abundance and distribution are often strongly dependent on environmental conditions at sea. However, climate change can pose significant challenges to planktonic organisms. Therefore, in this study, we tried to address the possible effect of short-term climatic anomalies on the zooplankton community in the North Adriatic Sea, comparing mesozooplankton composition in June between two years with very different temperature and rainfall levels, i.e., 2019 and 2022. Environmental conditions at sea were significantly different, since 2022 faced rising temperatures in the northern part of the area and higher salinity and lower chlorophyll values in coastal samples. Our data unveiled a community shift, from a Noctiluca-dominated community to a crustacean-dominated one, and revealed that even offshore areas can be subject to changes, despite having quite stable environmental parameters. Our findings confirmed the influence of river inputs and temperature on the Adriatic community’s distribution and composition, highlighting how climate-driven changes could have unpredictable effects on the whole Adriatic ecosystem. Indeed, each species has its own role in ecosystem functioning and climatic anomalies could uncouple the fine-scale connections that make up the pelagic trophic web. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Ecology in the Mediterranean Sea)
Show Figures

Figure 1

48 pages, 65909 KiB  
Article
Callovian Marine Reptiles of European Russia
by Nikolay Zverkov, Maxim Arkhangelsky, Denis Gulyaev, Alexey Ippolitov and Alexey Shmakov
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 290; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050290 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 1367
Abstract
Our knowledge of marine reptiles of the Callovian age (Middle Jurassic) is majorly based on the collections from the Oxford Clay Formation of England, which yielded a diverse marine reptile fauna of plesiosaurians, ichthyosaurians, and thalattosuchians. However, outside of Western Europe, marine reptile [...] Read more.
Our knowledge of marine reptiles of the Callovian age (Middle Jurassic) is majorly based on the collections from the Oxford Clay Formation of England, which yielded a diverse marine reptile fauna of plesiosaurians, ichthyosaurians, and thalattosuchians. However, outside of Western Europe, marine reptile remains of this age are poorly known. Here, we survey marine reptiles from the Callovian stage of European Russia. The fossils collected over more than a century from 28 localities are largely represented by isolated bones and teeth, although partial skeletons are also known. In addition to the previously described rhomaleosaurid and metriorhynchids, we identify pliosaurids of the genera Liopleurodon and Simolestes; cryptoclidid plesiosaurians, including Cryptoclidus eurymerus, Muraenosaurus sp., and cf. Tricleidus, and ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaurians, including the iconic Ophthalmosaurus icenicus. These findings expand the ranges of several Callovian marine reptile taxa far to the Eastern Europe, and support the exchange of marine reptile faunas between Western and Eastern European seas in the middle to late Callovian. However, some specimens from the lower Callovian of European Russia show differences from typical representatives of the middle Callovian Oxford Clay fauna, possibly representing the earlier stages of evolution of some of these marine reptiles not yet recorded in Western Europe or elsewhere. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1375 KiB  
Article
Unraveling Functional Diversity Patterns in Hyporheic Zones: A Trait-Based Approach Applied to Copepods from the Rio Gamberale Creek
by Agostina Tabilio Di Camillo, Francesco Cerasoli, Mattia Di Cicco, Diana Maria Paola Galassi and Tiziana Di Lorenzo
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 289; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050289 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 715
Abstract
Despite the recognized ecological significance of hyporheic zones, biological investigations into their ecology, especially concerning functional diversity, remain limited. This is particularly true for copepod assemblages, abundant in the transitional zone between groundwater and surface waters, requiring more thorough exploration. To bridge this [...] Read more.
Despite the recognized ecological significance of hyporheic zones, biological investigations into their ecology, especially concerning functional diversity, remain limited. This is particularly true for copepod assemblages, abundant in the transitional zone between groundwater and surface waters, requiring more thorough exploration. To bridge this knowledge gap, our study extensively monitored a hyporheic zone within a mountain creek and examined nine functional traits across twelve copepod species found in this environment. Through the application of RLQ and fourth-corner analysis, as well as functional diversity indices including functional richness, evenness, divergence, and dispersion, we aimed to establish links between functional traits and environmental factors. Our findings revealed relationships between environmental features—specifically electrical conductivity, pH, and ammonium concentration—and the trait composition of copepod assemblages, which were influenced by species abundances. Considering the intimate connection between functional traits and ecosystem services, assessing functional diversity within hyporheic zones offers valuable insights into its functionality in terms of services rendered. This study emphasizes the importance of understanding and managing functional diversity in hyporheic zone dynamics to ensure the health and stability of ecotones and, by extension, riverine and groundwater ecosystems. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 3887 KiB  
Article
Diversity of Freshwater Calanoid Copepods (Crustacea: Copepoda: Calanoida) in North-Eastern China
by Ruirui Ding, Le Liu, Shusen Shu, Yun Li and Feizhou Chen
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 288; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050288 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 506
Abstract
The distribution and diversity of calanoid copepods were investigated using samples collected from 37 lakes in North-eastern (NE) China in 2019. A total of 10 calanoid copepods belonging to eight genera and three families were identified. Among them, Heterocope soldatovi Rylov, 1922 was [...] Read more.
The distribution and diversity of calanoid copepods were investigated using samples collected from 37 lakes in North-eastern (NE) China in 2019. A total of 10 calanoid copepods belonging to eight genera and three families were identified. Among them, Heterocope soldatovi Rylov, 1922 was recorded for the first time in China. Species from the family Centropagidae were more widespread than those from the families Temoridae and Diaptomidae. Sinocalanus doerrii (Brehm, 1909), previously not recorded in NE China, is now widespread alongside Boeckella triarticulata (Thomson G.M., 1883), and the latter species is also prevalent in that region. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) and redundancy analysis (RDA) revealed that calanoid copepods were significantly correlated with total phosphorus (TP), total nitrogen, conductivity, nitrate nitrogen, altitude, and dissolved organic carbon. TP was the most important environmental variable that impacted the distribution of calanoid copepods, including both fresh and saline–alkaline lakes. Integrating historical records, a total of 21 calanoid copepods were distributed in NE China, and we also gave comments on the ecology and distribution of these species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Freshwater Biodiversity)
Show Figures

Figure 1

9 pages, 4580 KiB  
Article
A New Species and a New Record of Byssoid Arthoniaceae (Lichenized Ascomycota) from Southern China
by Lulu Zhang, Junxia Xue and Linlin Liu
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 287; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050287 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 448
Abstract
This paper illustrates two species in the lichen-forming family Arthoniaceae from southern China, including a new species of Herpothallon, H. fibrosum L.L. Liu & Lu L. Zhang and a new record of Cryptothecia, C. striata G. Thor for China. Herpothallon fibrosum [...] Read more.
This paper illustrates two species in the lichen-forming family Arthoniaceae from southern China, including a new species of Herpothallon, H. fibrosum L.L. Liu & Lu L. Zhang and a new record of Cryptothecia, C. striata G. Thor for China. Herpothallon fibrosum has fluffy, cylindrical pseudoisidia, like a bundle of fiber, and psoromic acid and confluentic acid are present. Furthermore, the new record of Cryptothecia striata has been identified by morphological, anatomical, chemical, and molecular studies. The systematic position of the two species was clarified by the molecular sequence data from the small subunit of the mitochondrial ribosomal DNA (mtSSU). Detailed taxonomic descriptions, chemical characters, comparisons, and discussion of the characteristics of similar species are provided for the two species; the relationship between Cryptothecia and Herpothallon is also discussed here. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phylogeny, Taxonomy and Ecosystems of Lichens)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 1657 KiB  
Article
Diplostomum cf. vanelli Yamaguti, 1935 (Trematoda: Diplostomidae Poirier, 1886): Morpho-Molecular Data and Life Cycle
by Anna V. Izrailskaia, Vladimir V. Besprozvannykh and Michael Yu. Shchelkanov
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 286; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050286 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 455
Abstract
Furcocercariae, of the trematodes from the family Diplostomidae, were found in freshwater snails—Radix auricularia, which were collected in a reservoir located on Popov Island (Peter the Great Bay, Sea of Japan). The life cycle was experimentally reproduced for the first time, [...] Read more.
Furcocercariae, of the trematodes from the family Diplostomidae, were found in freshwater snails—Radix auricularia, which were collected in a reservoir located on Popov Island (Peter the Great Bay, Sea of Japan). The life cycle was experimentally reproduced for the first time, while morphometric data for the development stages were studied and described for the newly discovered trematode. Moreover, molecular data for nuclear and mitochondrial markers were also obtained. It was determined that the morphometric characteristics of the trematode coincided with the species Diplostomum cf. vanelli, the molecular data analysis validates the species independence. Furthermore, the study highlights the issue of species identification in the Diplostomum genus. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 8443 KiB  
Article
Exceptional In Situ Preservation of Chondrocranial Elements in a Coniacian Mosasaurid from Colombia
by María Eurídice Páramo-Fonseca, José Alejandro Narváez-Rincón, Cristian David Benavides-Cabra and Christian Felipe Yanez-Leaño
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 285; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050285 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 1741
Abstract
The first record of well-preserved chondrocranial elements in mosasaurids is here described. These elements are preserved in situ in a Coniacian skull found in north-central Colombia, inside a calcareous concretion. Based on a 3D model generated from computed tomography scans, we identified elements [...] Read more.
The first record of well-preserved chondrocranial elements in mosasaurids is here described. These elements are preserved in situ in a Coniacian skull found in north-central Colombia, inside a calcareous concretion. Based on a 3D model generated from computed tomography scans, we identified elements of the nasal and orbitotemporal regions. Our descriptions show that in this specimen, the chondrocranium was reduced, more so than in most lacertilians (including their closest recent relatives, the varanids), but not as severely as in snakes or amphisbaenians (which have an extremely reduced chondrocranium and limbs). The new evidence suggests that the reduction in the chondrocranium in mosasaurids could be related to modification of their limbs when adapting to aquatic environments, but also that in mosasaurids, the olfactory tract was reduced, and the optic muscle insertions occurred mainly in the interorbital septum. The exceptional preservation of the chondrocranial elements in the specimen is facilitated by a gray mineralization covering them. XRD analysis and thin section observations indicated that this mineralization is composed of microcrystalline quartz and calcite. We infer that this material was produced by a partial silicification process promoted by lower pH microenvironments associated with bacterial breakdown of non-biomineralized tissues during early diagenesis. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 5424 KiB  
Article
One Hundred and Thirty-Five Years of Ornithology in Bulgaria: The Role of the National Museum of Natural History at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in the Development of Ornithology in Bulgaria—Representatives, Collections and Achievements
by Zlatozar Boev
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 284; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050284 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 646
Abstract
For the first time, an attempt has been made to present, chronologically and in a systematized form, the development of ornithological studies at the National Museum of Natural History in Sofia (Bulgaria) from its foundation in the last decades of the 19th century [...] Read more.
For the first time, an attempt has been made to present, chronologically and in a systematized form, the development of ornithological studies at the National Museum of Natural History in Sofia (Bulgaria) from its foundation in the last decades of the 19th century to the present day. This 135-year period (1889–2024) includes the work of 12 curators of the ornithological collections. Their major contributions and most-significant ornithological publications are also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Do We Still Need Natural History Collections?)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 2427 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Status of Lost, Found and Sighted Non-Native Pet Bird Species in South Africa
by Tinyiko C. Shivambu, Ndivhuwo Shivambu, Takalani Nelufule, Moleseng C. Moshobane, Nimmi Seoraj-Pillai and Tshifhiwa C. Nangammbi
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 283; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050283 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 705
Abstract
The global increase in the pet trade and ownership of pet birds has heightened the introduction of emerging invasive vertebrate species. We analyzed online databases of lost, found, and sighted non-native pet bird reports in South Africa to evaluate non-native pet bird statuses, [...] Read more.
The global increase in the pet trade and ownership of pet birds has heightened the introduction of emerging invasive vertebrate species. We analyzed online databases of lost, found, and sighted non-native pet bird reports in South Africa to evaluate non-native pet bird statuses, investigate geographic patterns, assess species trends, and determine the factors associated with lost pet birds. We identified a total of 1467 case reports representing 77 species across nine families from websites (n = 3) and Facebook pages (n = 13). Most reports of lost birds were within large cities, in populated provinces, including Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and Western Cape. Psittacidae, Psittaculidae, and Cacatuidae were the most dominant families, with African grey (Psittacus erithacus), Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus), and Rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri) among the top species reported as lost. Lower-priced species were commonly reported as lost, and there was no association between the species’ price and the likelihood of being found. In addition, we found a positive relationship between species reported as lost and the number of pet shops, human population size, species size, and docility. There was a sharp increase in lost cases from 2019 onwards; however, males were more frequently lost. Our findings highlight challenges in regulating and monitoring the pet ownership and trade of non-native pet birds and the need to address commonly kept species in conservation efforts. Online resources can be effective tools for passive surveillance of non-native pet bird species, especially potentially invasive ones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biodiversity Conservation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 6168 KiB  
Article
Characterization of the Complete Mitochondrial Genome of Salassa thespis (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) and Comparison with Other Lepidoptera Species
by Shengni Tian, Yongqi Zhang, Xiangrong Meng, Yuan Liu, Xin Dong and Cen Qian
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 282; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050282 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 530
Abstract
There are many species of Lepidoptera, but few complete mitochondrial genomes of Lepidoptera have been included in databases. Here, the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Salassa thespis was isolated and characterized. It was 15,302 bp in length and contained 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), [...] Read more.
There are many species of Lepidoptera, but few complete mitochondrial genomes of Lepidoptera have been included in databases. Here, the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Salassa thespis was isolated and characterized. It was 15,302 bp in length and contained 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), two rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes and an A + T-rich region. Among the 13 PCGs, the initiation codon of cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) was CGA, and the rest were ATN. The cox1 and cox2 genes had an incomplete stop codon T, while the rest terminated with TAA. Codon usage analysis showed that Phe, Ile, Leu and Asn were the most frequent amino acids, while Trp was the least. Like other Lepidopterans, some conserved motifs were found in the A + T-rich region, including a 17 bp poly-T guided by ATAGA, the AT-rich area and a poly-A element. Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood phylogenetic tree analysis based on 13 PCGs of S. thespis confirmed that it belonged to the Saturniidae family and showed the following relationship: (S. thespis + (Rhodinia fugax + Samia canningi)). The enrichment of mitochondrial DNA provides reference information for the study of the evolution and diversity of Lepidoptera insects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation of Lepidoptera)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 2582 KiB  
Article
Genetic Diversity and Population Structure among Arabian Horse Genealogical Lineages in Bulgaria
by Peter Hristov, Georgi Radoslavov, Ivan Mehandjyiski, Delka Salkova and Georgi Yordanov
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 281; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050281 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 515
Abstract
The present research aimed to characterize the genetic diversity and relationships among extant Arabian horse sire lines in Bulgaria, using 15 equine microsatellite markers. The evaluation included 537 Arabian horses representing nine sire lines (SAKLAWI I, LATIF, SEANDERICH, IBRAHIM, SHABAB, DJEBEL MOUSA, KUHAILAN [...] Read more.
The present research aimed to characterize the genetic diversity and relationships among extant Arabian horse sire lines in Bulgaria, using 15 equine microsatellite markers. The evaluation included 537 Arabian horses representing nine sire lines (SAKLAWI I, LATIF, SEANDERICH, IBRAHIM, SHABAB, DJEBEL MOUSA, KUHAILAN AFAS, BAIRACTAR, and SARHAN). The obtained results indicated that within these lines, the mean number of alleles ranged from 4.15 in SARHAN to 5.54 in SAKLAWI I and LATIF. The mean expected heterozygosity (He) ranged from 0.54 in the SEANDERICH line to 0.67 in SAKLAWI I. The inbreeding coefficient for the entire Arabian populations was rather low: FIS = −0.109, fluctuating from −0.204 in SHABAB to −0.041 in SAKLAWI I. The mean genetic differentiation, FST, was 0.096, demonstrating that nearly 90% of the total genetic variation was due to genetic differentiation within each population. STRUCTURE analysis indicated a genetic similarity between SHABAB and LATIF, between IBRAHIM and KUHAILAN AFAS, as well as between SAKLAWI I, SEANDERICH, and BAIRACTAR. This study of the genetic diversity of Arabian sire lines in Bulgaria can assist in developing a national strategy for the exclusion of non-purebred animals from breeding programs in order to preserve the genetic profile of the original Arabian lines. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

29 pages, 7447 KiB  
Article
Tracing Geographic and Molecular Footprints of Copepod Crustaceans Causing Multifocal Purple Spots Syndrome in the Caribbean Sea Fan Gorgonia ventalina
by Oksana A. Korzhavina, Mikhail A. Nikitin, Bert W. Hoeksema, Maickel Armenteros, James D. Reimer and Viatcheslav N. Ivanenko
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 280; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050280 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 1609
Abstract
The recent rise in ocean temperatures, accompanied by other environmental changes, has notably increased the occurrence and spread of diseases in Octocorallia, many species of which are integral to shallow tropical and subtropical coral reef ecosystems. This study focuses on the understanding of [...] Read more.
The recent rise in ocean temperatures, accompanied by other environmental changes, has notably increased the occurrence and spread of diseases in Octocorallia, many species of which are integral to shallow tropical and subtropical coral reef ecosystems. This study focuses on the understanding of these diseases, which has been largely limited to symptomatic descriptions, with clear etiological factors identified in only a fraction of cases. A key example is the multifocal purple spots syndrome (MFPS) affecting the common Caribbean octocoral sea fan Gorgonia ventalina, linked to the gall-forming copepods of the genus Sphaerippe, a member of the widespread family, Lamippidae. The specialized nature of these copepods as endoparasites in octocorals suggests the potential for the discovery of similar diseases across this host spectrum. Our investigation employed four molecular markers to study disease hotspots in Saint Eustatius, Curaçao, northwest and southwest Cuba, and Bonaire. This led to the discovery of a group of copepod species in these varied Caribbean locations. Importantly, these species are morphologically indistinguishable through traditional methods, challenging established taxonomic approaches. The observed diversity of symbionts, despite the host species’ genetic uniformity, is likely due to variations in larval dispersal mechanisms. Our phylogenetic analyses confirmed that the Lamippidae copepods belong to the order, Poecilostomatoida (Copepoda), and revealed their sister group relationship with the Anchimolgidae, Rhynchomolgidae, and Xarifiidae clades, known for their symbiotic relationships with scleractinian corals. These results add to our understanding of the evolutionary and ecological interactions of copepods and their hosts, and the diseases that they cause, and are important data in a changing climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2024 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

12 pages, 1237 KiB  
Article
Roseateles agri sp. nov., a New Species Isolated from Fresh Soil in Uiwang, South Korea
by Yelim You and Jaisoo Kim
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 279; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050279 - 7 May 2024
Viewed by 530
Abstract
Two isolates of Roseateles were discovered in soil samples collected from Uiwang-si, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea. These isolates exhibited rod-shaped morphology and were facultatively anaerobic, non-motile, and tested positive for oxidase and catalase. Designated as strains R3-3T and R3-11, their growth was [...] Read more.
Two isolates of Roseateles were discovered in soil samples collected from Uiwang-si, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea. These isolates exhibited rod-shaped morphology and were facultatively anaerobic, non-motile, and tested positive for oxidase and catalase. Designated as strains R3-3T and R3-11, their growth was hindered by NaCl concentrations exceeding 0.5%, while their optimal growth conditions were observed at temperatures ranging from 25 °C to 30 °C and pH levels between 7.0 and 9.0. Both strains exhibited positive results for the hydrolysis of Tween 80 and DNA, but tested negative for starch, casein, chitin, and gelatin hydrolysis. Additionally, they assimilated L-Arabinose, D-mannitol, and D-Maltose, while exhibiting negative results for the fermentation of D-glucose, esculin ferric citrate, D-mannose, N-acetyl-glucosamine, potassium gluconate, capric acid, adipic acid, trisodium citrate, and phenylacetic acid. The DNA G+C content of strain R3-3T was measured at 67.5 mol%. Comparative analysis revealed that the average nucleotide identity (ANI) values between R3-3T and the Roseateles type strains ranged from 75.14% to 78.30% while the digital DNA-DNA hybridization (dDDH) values ranged from 20.70% to 22.70%. Consequently, based on comprehensive genomic, chemotaxonomic, phenotypic, and phylogenomic evaluations, the isolated strains have been designated as a new species within the genus Roseateles, named Roseateles agri sp. nov. (with type strain R3-3T = KACC 23678T = NBRC 116681T). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Diversity and Culture Collections Hotspots in 2024)
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 2297 KiB  
Article
Conflict Governance between Protected Areas and Surrounding Communities: Willingness and Behaviors of Communities—Empirical Evidence from Tanzania
by Li Ma, Jiayang Wu, Han Zhang, Alex Lobora, Yilei Hou and Yali Wen
Diversity 2024, 16(5), 278; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d16050278 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 628
Abstract
Under the dual pressures of climate change and human activities, the restrictions imposed by conservation policies, along with the increasing overlap between wildlife protected areas (PAs) and community living areas, have intensified the contradictions and conflicts between PAs and surrounding communities. Effective governance [...] Read more.
Under the dual pressures of climate change and human activities, the restrictions imposed by conservation policies, along with the increasing overlap between wildlife protected areas (PAs) and community living areas, have intensified the contradictions and conflicts between PAs and surrounding communities. Effective governance of such conflicts is particularly crucial to reconciling the contradictions between conservation and development. This study takes the Mikumi–Selous areas in Tanzania, Africa, as a case study. Through questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, it explores the current state of conflicts between PAs and communities in the study area and summarizes conflict governance measures. Moreover, this research focuses on identifying various factors that influence the conservation willingness and action of community residents, further validating the relationships between residents’ household characteristics, conservation costs and benefits, conservation cognition, willingness, and behaviors through empirical analysis methods. The results indicate that residents’ conservation cognition significantly positively impacts their conservation willingness and behaviors, while conservation willingness also positively affects their conservation behaviors. Additionally, it was found that conservation costs inhibit residents’ conservation willingness and behaviors. This study primarily explores, from a community governance perspective, the participation willingness and behaviors of core stakeholders in conflict governance, emphasizing the critical role of community involvement in achieving biodiversity conservation and coordinated community development and providing a new perspective for alleviating conservation and development issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Dimension of Forest and Wildlife Protection: Second Edition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop