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Diversity, Volume 4, Issue 1 (March 2012), Pages 1-163

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Social Organization of Crop Genetic Diversity. The G × E × S Interaction Model
Diversity 2012, 4(1), 1-32; doi:10.3390/d4010001
Received: 25 October 2011 / Revised: 28 November 2011 / Accepted: 12 December 2011 / Published: 21 December 2011
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (3832 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A better knowledge of factors organizing crop genetic diversity in situ increases the efficiency of diversity analyses and conservation strategies, and requires collaboration between social and biological disciplines. Four areas of anthropology may contribute to our understanding of the impact of social [...] Read more.
A better knowledge of factors organizing crop genetic diversity in situ increases the efficiency of diversity analyses and conservation strategies, and requires collaboration between social and biological disciplines. Four areas of anthropology may contribute to our understanding of the impact of social factors on crop diversity: ethnobotany, cultural, cognitive and social anthropology. So far, most collaborative studies have been based on ethnobotanical methods, focusing on farmers’ individual motivations and actions, and overlooking the effects of farmer’s social organization per se. After reviewing common shortcomings in studies on sorghum and maize, this article analyzes how social anthropology, through the analysis of intermarriage, residence and seed inheritance practices, can contribute to studies on crop genetic diversity in situ. Crop varieties are thus considered social objects and socially based sampling strategies can be developed. Such an approach is justified because seed exchange is built upon trust and as such seed systems are embedded in a pre-existing social structure and centripetally oriented as a function of farmers’ social identity. The strong analogy between farmers’ cultural differentiation and crop genetic differentiation, both submitted to the same vertical transmission processes, allows proposing a common methodological framework for social anthropology and crop population genetics, where the classical interaction between genetic and environmental factors, G × E, is replaced by a three-way interaction G × E × S, where “S” stands for the social differentiation factors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Diversity-Carbon Flux Relationships in a Northwest Forest
Diversity 2012, 4(1), 33-58; doi:10.3390/d4010033
Received: 12 November 2011 / Revised: 12 December 2011 / Accepted: 23 December 2011 / Published: 29 December 2011
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Abstract
While aboveground biomass and forest productivity can vary over abiotic gradients (e.g., temperature and moisture gradients), biotic factors such as biodiversity and tree species stand dominance can also strongly influence biomass accumulation. In this study we use a permanent plot network to [...] Read more.
While aboveground biomass and forest productivity can vary over abiotic gradients (e.g., temperature and moisture gradients), biotic factors such as biodiversity and tree species stand dominance can also strongly influence biomass accumulation. In this study we use a permanent plot network to assess variability in aboveground carbon (C) flux in forest tree annual aboveground biomass increment (ABI), tree aboveground net primary productivity (ANPPtree), and net soil CO2 efflux in relation to diversity of coniferous, deciduous, and a nitrogen (N)-fixing tree species (Alnus rubra). Four major findings arose: (1) overstory species richness and indices of diversity explained between one third and half of all variation in measured aboveground C flux, and diversity indices were the most robust models predicting measured aboveground C flux; (2) trends suggested decreases in annual tree biomass increment C with increasing stand dominance for four of the five most abundant tree species; (3) the presence of an N-fixing tree species (A. rubra) was not related to changes in aboveground C flux, was negatively related to soil CO2 efflux, and showed only a weak negative relationship with aboveground C pools; and (4) stands with higher overstory richness and diversity typically had higher soil CO2 efflux. Interestingly, presence of the N-fixing species was not correlated with soil inorganic N pools, and inorganic N pools were not correlated with any C flux or pool measure. We also did not detect any strong patterns between forest tree diversity and C pools, suggesting potential balancing of increased C flux both into and out of diverse forest stands. These data highlight variability in second-growth forests that may have implications for overstory community drivers of C dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Forest Dynamics and Functions)
Open AccessArticle Mosses Like It Rough—Growth Form Specific Responses of Mosses, Herbaceous and Woody Plants to Micro-Relief Heterogeneity
Diversity 2012, 4(1), 59-73; doi:10.3390/d4010059
Received: 30 November 2011 / Revised: 20 January 2012 / Accepted: 1 February 2012 / Published: 10 February 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (710 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Micro-relief heterogeneity can lead to substantial variability in microclimate and hence niche opportunities on a small scale. We explored the relationship between plant species richness and small-scale heterogeneity of micro-relief on the subtropical island of La Palma, Canary Islands. Overall, we sampled [...] Read more.
Micro-relief heterogeneity can lead to substantial variability in microclimate and hence niche opportunities on a small scale. We explored the relationship between plant species richness and small-scale heterogeneity of micro-relief on the subtropical island of La Palma, Canary Islands. Overall, we sampled 40 plots in laurel and pine forests at four altitudinal bands. Species richness was recorded separately for various growth forms (i.e., mosses, herbaceous and woody plants). Site conditions such as altitude, slope, aspect, and tree density were measured. Micro-relief heterogeneity was characterized by surface structure and a subsequently derived surface heterogeneity index. The effect of micro-relief heterogeneity on species richness was analysed by means of linear mixed effect models and variance partitioning. Effects of micro-relief heterogeneity on species richness varied considerably between growth forms. While moss richness was affected significantly by micro-relief heterogeneity, herbaceous and woody plants richness responded mainly to larger-scale site conditions such as aspect and tree density. Our results stress the importance of small-scale relief heterogeneity for the explanation of spatial patterns of species richness. This poses new challenges as small-scale heterogeneity is largely underrepresented, e.g. with regard to its application in species distribution models. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Lessons Learned from Chicago Wilderness—Implementing and Sustaining Conservation Management in an Urban Setting
Diversity 2012, 4(1), 74-93; doi:10.3390/d4010074
Received: 12 January 2012 / Revised: 30 January 2012 / Accepted: 6 February 2012 / Published: 15 February 2012
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (603 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We summarize the factors that shaped the biodiversity of Chicago and its hinterland and point out the conservation significance of these ecological systems, addressing why conservation of Chicago’s biodiversity has importance locally and beyond. We highlight Chicago Wilderness (CW), a regional biodiversity [...] Read more.
We summarize the factors that shaped the biodiversity of Chicago and its hinterland and point out the conservation significance of these ecological systems, addressing why conservation of Chicago’s biodiversity has importance locally and beyond. We highlight Chicago Wilderness (CW), a regional biodiversity conservation alliance committed to protecting nature and enriching the lives of the region’s residents. Chicago Wilderness, with over 250 institutional members, has for over a decade coordinated the efforts of diverse institutions, including federal, state, and local agencies, public land-management agencies, conservation organizations, and scientific and cultural institutions. Chicago Wilderness is committed to using science and emerging knowledge as a foundation for its conservation work. CW has several specialist teams that promote an interdisciplinary approach to conservation; we focus on the work of the CW Science Team, the one team with a research mission. The scientific investigations that are undertaken to provide a knowledge base for the work of Chicago Wilderness have drawn upon a wide variety of conservation paradigms, including that of resilience thinking, which we illustrate in a series of case studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Biodiversity Conservation and Restoration)
Open AccessReview Responses of Cryptofaunal Species Richness and Trophic Potential to Coral Reef Habitat Degradation
Diversity 2012, 4(1), 94-104; doi:10.3390/d4010094
Received: 17 November 2011 / Revised: 7 February 2012 / Accepted: 10 February 2012 / Published: 15 February 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (563 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Coral reefs are declining worldwide as a result of many anthropogenic disturbances. This trend is alarming because coral reefs are hotspots of marine biodiversity and considered the ‘rainforests of the sea. As in the rainforest, much of the diversity on a coral [...] Read more.
Coral reefs are declining worldwide as a result of many anthropogenic disturbances. This trend is alarming because coral reefs are hotspots of marine biodiversity and considered the ‘rainforests of the sea. As in the rainforest, much of the diversity on a coral reef is cryptic, remaining hidden among the cracks and crevices of structural taxa. Although the cryptofauna make up the majority of a reef’s metazoan biodiversity, we know little about their basic ecology or how these communities respond to reef degradation. Emerging research shows that the species richness of the motile cryptofauna is higher among dead (framework) vs. live coral substrates and, surprisingly, increases within successively more eroded reef framework structures, ultimately reaching a maximum in dead coral rubble. Consequently, the paradigm that abundant live coral is the apex of reef diversity needs to be clarified. This provides guarded optimism amidst alarming reports of declines in live coral cover and the impending doom of coral reefs, as motile cryptic biodiversity should persist independent of live coral cover. Granted, the maintenance of this high species richness is contingent on the presence of reef rubble, which will eventually be lost due to physical, chemical, and biological erosion if not replenished by live coral calcification and mortality. The trophic potential of a reef, as inferred from the abundance of cryptic organisms, is highest on live coral. Among dead framework substrates, however, the density of cryptofauna reaches a peak at intermediate levels of degradation. In summary, the response of the motile cryptofauna, and thus a large fraction of the reef’s biodiversity, to reef degradation is more complex and nuanced than currently thought; such that species richness may be less sensitive than overall trophic function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coral Reef Diversity: Climate Change and Coral Reef Degradation)
Open AccessReview Challenges for Managing Fisheries on Diverse Coral Reefs
Diversity 2012, 4(1), 105-160; doi:10.3390/d4010105
Received: 14 February 2012 / Accepted: 17 February 2012 / Published: 13 March 2012
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1605 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Widespread coral reef decline has included the decline of reef fish populations, and the subsistence and artisanal fisheries that depend on them. Overfishing and destructive fishing have been identified as the greatest local threats to coral reefs, but the greatest future threats [...] Read more.
Widespread coral reef decline has included the decline of reef fish populations, and the subsistence and artisanal fisheries that depend on them. Overfishing and destructive fishing have been identified as the greatest local threats to coral reefs, but the greatest future threats are acidification and increases in mass coral bleaching caused by global warming. Some reefs have shifted from dominance by corals to macroalgae, in what are called “phase shifts”. Depletion of herbivores including fishes has been identified as a contributor to such phase shifts, though nutrients are also involved in complex interactions with herbivory and competition. The depletion of herbivorous fishes implies a reduction of the resilience of coral reefs to the looming threat of mass coral mortality from bleaching, since mass coral deaths are likely to be followed by mass macroalgal blooms on the newly exposed dead substrates. Conventional stock assessment of each fish species would be the preferred option for understanding the status of the reef fishes, but this is far too expensive to be practical because of the high diversity of the fishery and poverty where most reefs are located. In addition, stock assessment models and fisheries in general assume density dependent populations, but a key prediction that stocks recover from fishing is not always confirmed. Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) has far too many weaknesses to be a useful method. The ratio of catch to stock and the proportion of catch that is mature depend on fish catch data, and are heavily biased toward stocks that are in good condition and incapable of finding species that are in the worst condition. Near-pristine reefs give us a reality check about just how much we have lost. Common fisheries management tools that control effort or catch are often prohibitively difficult to enforce for most coral reefs except in developed countries. Ecosystem-based management requires management of impacts of fishing on the ecosystem, but also vice versa. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have been a favorite management tool, since they require little information. MPAs are excellent conservation and precautionary tools, but address only fishing threats, and may be modest fisheries management tools, which are often chosen because they appear to be the only feasible alternative. “Dataless management” is based on qualitative information from traditional ecological knowledge and/or science, is sufficient for successful reef fisheries management, and is very inexpensive and practical, but requires either customary marine tenure or strong governmental leadership. Customary marine tenure has high social acceptance and compliance and may work fairly well for fisheries management and conservation where it is still strong. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coral Reef Diversity: Climate Change and Coral Reef Degradation)

Other

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Open AccessCorrection Correction: Tedder, A. et al. Using chloroplast trnF pseudogenes for phylogeography in Arabidopsis lyrata. Diversity 2010, 2, 653-678
Diversity 2012, 4(1), 161-163; doi:10.3390/d4010161
Received: 20 March 2012 / Accepted: 21 March 2012 / Published: 21 March 2012
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Abstract
In the original version of our article [1], insufficient acknowledgement was given for the source of some of the DNA samples used. We apologize for the original error. To correct this oversight, Yvonne Willi has been added as an author, a recent [...] Read more.
In the original version of our article [1], insufficient acknowledgement was given for the source of some of the DNA samples used. We apologize for the original error. To correct this oversight, Yvonne Willi has been added as an author, a recent paper by Willi, Y. et al. (2010) has been added, the acknowledgements have been altered to more appropriately recognize support and funding, and the sources of samples collected have been corrected in Table 1. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Diversity Assessed by Molecular Methods)

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