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Diversity, Volume 5, Issue 1 (March 2013), Pages 1-148

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Open AccessArticle Human-Induced Disturbance Alters Pollinator Communities in Tropical Mountain Forests
Diversity 2013, 5(1), 1-14; doi:10.3390/d5010001
Received: 13 November 2012 / Revised: 29 November 2012 / Accepted: 14 December 2012 / Published: 27 December 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (686 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Mountain forest ecosystems in the Andes are threatened by deforestation. Increasing fire frequencies lead to fire-degraded habitats that are often characterized by a persistent fern-dominated vegetation. Little is known about the consequences of these drastic changes in habitat conditions for pollinator communities. [...] Read more.
Mountain forest ecosystems in the Andes are threatened by deforestation. Increasing fire frequencies lead to fire-degraded habitats that are often characterized by a persistent fern-dominated vegetation. Little is known about the consequences of these drastic changes in habitat conditions for pollinator communities. In a rapid diversity assessment, we collected individuals of two major groups of insect pollinators (bees and butterflies/moths) with pan traps and compared pollinator diversities in a spatial block design between forest interior, forest edge and adjacent fire-degraded habitats at eight sites in the Bolivian Andes. We found that bee species richness and abundance were significantly higher in fire-degraded habitats than in forest habitats, whereas species richness and abundance of butterflies/moths increased towards the forests interior. Species turnover between forest and fire-degraded habitats was very high for both pollinator groups and was reflected by an increase in the body size of bee species and a decrease in the body size of butterfly/moth species in fire-degraded habitats. We conclude that deforestation by frequent fires has profound impacts on the diversity and composition of pollinator communities. Our tentative findings suggest shifts towards bee-dominated pollinator communities in fire-degraded habitats that may have important feedbacks on the regenerating communities of insect-pollinated plant species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tropical Forests Ecology and Climate Change)
Open AccessArticle Are Land Based Surveys a Useful Tool for Managing Marine Species of Coastal Protected Areas?
Diversity 2013, 5(1), 15-25; doi:10.3390/d5010015
Received: 7 December 2012 / Accepted: 25 December 2012 / Published: 10 January 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (770 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One goal of the LIFE project “Del.Ta.” (NAT/IT/000163) was the preparation of an Action Plan to protect the bottlenose dolphin community in the Pelagie Archipelago (Sicily, Italy). It stressed the importance of regular monitoring of the spatial and temporal distribution of dolphins [...] Read more.
One goal of the LIFE project “Del.Ta.” (NAT/IT/000163) was the preparation of an Action Plan to protect the bottlenose dolphin community in the Pelagie Archipelago (Sicily, Italy). It stressed the importance of regular monitoring of the spatial and temporal distribution of dolphins in order to evaluate the impact of local activities. This study assesses whether land-based surveys could be an effective alternative to vessel-based surveys. During the summer of 2006, both surveys’ methodologies were used at Lampedusa, with 35 sightings recorded from land and 31 from a boat. Comparison was based on the assessment of the type of information they provided in relation to the presence of the animals and their behavior. Both methodologies were applicable, but there were differences in their requirements, potential information generated, costs, and sensitivity to weather conditions. Vessel-based surveys require well trained observers and enable photo-identification and observation of social interaction and morphology. Animal movements, interactions with anthropogenic elements and group dynamics are better collected from land but spatial data can be documented up to 1 nautical mile from the coast. Weather conditions have a significant platform specific effect on sighting frequencies. The high sighting frequency during land surveys provides support for the development of zero-impact land-based dolphins watching activity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Dissimilarity of Ant Communities Increases with Precipitation, but not Reduced Land-Use Intensity, in Indonesian Cacao Agroforestry
Diversity 2013, 5(1), 26-38; doi:10.3390/d5010026
Received: 12 November 2012 / Revised: 28 December 2012 / Accepted: 22 January 2013 / Published: 31 January 2013
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Abstract
Land-use degradation and climate change are well-known drivers of biodiversity loss, but little information is available about their potential interaction. Here, we focus on the effects of land-use and precipitation on ant diversity in cacao agroforestry. In Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, we selected [...] Read more.
Land-use degradation and climate change are well-known drivers of biodiversity loss, but little information is available about their potential interaction. Here, we focus on the effects of land-use and precipitation on ant diversity in cacao agroforestry. In Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, we selected 16 cacao agroforestry plots with a shaded vs. unshaded plot in each of eight villages differing in precipitation (1032–2051 mm annual rainfall). On each plot, 10 cacao trees with similar size and age (7–10 years) were selected for hand collection of ants on each cacao tree and the soil surface. In total, we found 80 ant species belonging to five subfamilies. Land-use intensification (removal of shade trees) and precipitation had no effect on species richness of ants per cacao tree (alpha diversity) and, in an additive partitioning approach, within-plot beta diversity. However, higher precipitation (but not shade) significantly increased ant species dissimilarity across cacao trees within a plot, with ant species showing contrasting responses to precipitation. Reduced precipitation causing drought stress appeared to contribute to convergence of ant community structure, presumably via reduced heterogeneity in cacao tree growth. In conclusion, reduced precipitation greatly influenced ant community dissimilarity and appeared to be more important for ant community structure than land-use intensification. Full article
Open AccessArticle High Genetic Diversity in Geographically Remote Populations of Endemic and Widespread Coral Reef Angelfishes (genus: Centropyge)
Diversity 2013, 5(1), 39-50; doi:10.3390/d5010039
Received: 8 January 2013 / Revised: 21 January 2013 / Accepted: 25 January 2013 / Published: 4 February 2013
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (586 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the terrestrial environment, endemic species and isolated populations of widespread species have the highest rates of extinction partly due to their low genetic diversity. To determine if this pattern holds in the marine environment, we examined genetic diversity in endemic coral [...] Read more.
In the terrestrial environment, endemic species and isolated populations of widespread species have the highest rates of extinction partly due to their low genetic diversity. To determine if this pattern holds in the marine environment, we examined genetic diversity in endemic coral reef angelfishes and isolated populations of widespread species. Specifically, this study tested the prediction that angelfish (genus: Centropyge) populations at Christmas and Cocos Islands have low genetic diversity. Analyses of a 436 base pair fragment of the mtDNA control region revealed that the endemic C. joculator exhibited high haplotype (h > 0.98 at both locations) and nucleotide (Christmas p% = 3.63, Cocos p% = 9.99) diversity. Similarly, isolated populations of widespread angelfishes (C. bispinosa and C. flavicauda) had high haplotype (h > 0.98) and nucleotide (p% = 2.81 and p% = 5.78%, respectively) diversity. Therefore, in contrast to terrestrial patterns, endemic and isolated populations of widespread angelfishes do not have low genetic diversity, rather their haplotype and nucleotide diversities were among the highest reported for marine fishes. High genetic diversity should reduce extinction risk in these species as it could provide the evolutionary potential to adapt to the rapidly changing environmental conditions forecast for coral reefs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Biodiversity)
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Open AccessArticle Re-Evaluating Causal Modeling with Mantel Tests in Landscape Genetics
Diversity 2013, 5(1), 51-72; doi:10.3390/d5010051
Received: 30 November 2012 / Revised: 18 January 2013 / Accepted: 1 February 2013 / Published: 18 February 2013
Cited by 37 | PDF Full-text (1764 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The predominant analytical approach to associate landscape patterns with gene flow processes is based on the association of cost distances with genetic distances between individuals. Mantel and partial Mantel tests have been the dominant statistical tools used to correlate cost distances and [...] Read more.
The predominant analytical approach to associate landscape patterns with gene flow processes is based on the association of cost distances with genetic distances between individuals. Mantel and partial Mantel tests have been the dominant statistical tools used to correlate cost distances and genetic distances in landscape genetics. However, the inherent high correlation among alternative resistance models results in a high risk of spurious correlations using simple Mantel tests. Several refinements, including causal modeling, have been developed to reduce the risk of affirming spurious correlations and to assist model selection. However, the evaluation of these approaches has been incomplete in several respects. To demonstrate the general reliability of the causal modeling approach with Mantel tests, it must be shown to be able to correctly identify a wide range of landscape resistance models as the correct drivers relative to alternative hypotheses. The objectives of this study were to (1) evaluate the effectiveness of the originally published causal modeling framework to support the correct model and reject alternative hypotheses of isolation by distance and isolation by barriers and to (2) evaluate the effectiveness of causal modeling involving direct competition of all hypotheses to support the correct model and reject all alternative landscape resistance models. We found that partial Mantel tests have very low Type II error rates, but elevated Type I error rates. This leads to frequent identification of support for spurious correlations between alternative resistance hypotheses and genetic distance, independent of the true resistance model. The frequency in which this occurs is directly related to the degree of correlation between true and alternative resistance models. We propose an improvement based on the relative support of the causal modeling diagnostic tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Diversity and Molecular Evolution)
Open AccessArticle 454 Pyrosequencing Analysis of Fungal Assemblages from Geographically Distant, Disparate Soils Reveals Spatial Patterning and a Core Mycobiome
Diversity 2013, 5(1), 73-98; doi:10.3390/d5010073
Received: 20 January 2013 / Revised: 5 February 2013 / Accepted: 6 February 2013 / Published: 21 February 2013
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (1208 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Identifying a soil core microbiome is crucial to appreciate the established microbial consortium, which is not usually subjected to change and, hence, possibly resistant/resilient to disturbances and a varying soil context. Fungi are a major part of soil biodiversity, yet the mechanisms [...] Read more.
Identifying a soil core microbiome is crucial to appreciate the established microbial consortium, which is not usually subjected to change and, hence, possibly resistant/resilient to disturbances and a varying soil context. Fungi are a major part of soil biodiversity, yet the mechanisms driving their large-scale ecological ranges and distribution are poorly understood. The degree of fungal community overlap among 16 soil samples from distinct ecosystems and distant geographic localities (truffle grounds, a Mediterranean agro-silvo-pastoral system, serpentine substrates and a contaminated industrial area) was assessed by examining the distribution of fungal ITS1 and ITS2 sequences in a dataset of 454 libraries. ITS1 and ITS2 sequences were assigned to 1,660 and 1,393 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs; as defined by 97% sequence similarity), respectively. Fungal beta-diversity was found to be spatially autocorrelated. At the level of individual OTUs, eight ITS1 and seven ITS2 OTUs were found in all soil sample groups. These ubiquitous taxa comprised generalist fungi with oligotrophic and chitinolytic abilities, suggesting that a stable core of fungi across the complex soil fungal assemblages is either endowed with the capacity of sustained development in the nutrient-poor soil conditions or with the ability to exploit organic resources (such as chitin) universally distributed in soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Quality and Ecosystem)
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Open AccessArticle Scaling of Teak (Tectona grandis) Logs by the Xylometer Technique: Accuracy of Volume Equations and Influence of the Log Length
Diversity 2013, 5(1), 99-113; doi:10.3390/d5010099
Received: 7 January 2013 / Revised: 21 January 2013 / Accepted: 18 February 2013 / Published: 5 March 2013
PDF Full-text (923 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The accuracy of ten methods of scaling (Smalian, Huber, Newton, Neloïd, paraboloid, cone, paracone, cylinder, truncated cone and truncated Neloïd) was evaluated on logs of 0.5, 1, 2 and 3 m cut to different heights of 27 teak trees. For this purpose, [...] Read more.
The accuracy of ten methods of scaling (Smalian, Huber, Newton, Neloïd, paraboloid, cone, paracone, cylinder, truncated cone and truncated Neloïd) was evaluated on logs of 0.5, 1, 2 and 3 m cut to different heights of 27 teak trees. For this purpose, the volumes estimated by the ten formulas were compared with real volumes obtained by the technique of xylometer. The results obtained showed that the method of Huber was more efficient to calculate the volume of logs throughout the stem when the length was 0.5 m. For the other length logs, it was also the best formula when the logs came from the base of the stem. The formulas of Newton and Smalian gave in the center and top of the stem, in the case of 1 m and 2 m logs, relatively similar results and were better than other methods of scaling. As might be expected, the dendrometric method (cylinder, paraboloid, Neloïd, cone) gave worse results regardless of the length of logs considered. With logs of 0.5, 1, 2 and 3 m long, truncated forms of cone and Neloïd could also be used without significant errors in estimating the volume of teak logs. The model scaling obtained for the entire tree expresses the logarithm of the volume against the logarithm of the diameter and the logarithm of height. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Post-Glacial Spatial Dynamics in a Rainforest Biodiversity Hot Spot
Diversity 2013, 5(1), 124-138; doi:10.3390/d5010124
Received: 21 November 2012 / Revised: 26 February 2013 / Accepted: 14 March 2013 / Published: 20 March 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (913 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Here we investigate the interaction between ecology and climate concerning the distribution of rainforest species differentially distributed along altitudinal gradients of eastern Australia. The potential distributions of the two species closely associated with different rainforest types were modelled to infer the potential [...] Read more.
Here we investigate the interaction between ecology and climate concerning the distribution of rainforest species differentially distributed along altitudinal gradients of eastern Australia. The potential distributions of the two species closely associated with different rainforest types were modelled to infer the potential contribution of post-glacial warming on spatial distribution and altitudinal range shift. Nothofagus moorei is an integral element of cool temperate rainforest, including cloud forests at high elevation. This distinct climatic envelope is at increased risk with future global warming. Elaeocarpus grandis on the other hand is a lowland species and typical element of subtropical rainforest occupying a climatic envelope that may shift upwards into areas currently occupied by N. moorei. Climate envelope models were used to infer range shift differences between the two species in the past (21 thousand years ago), current and future (2050) scenarios, and to provide a framework to explain observed genetic diversity/structure of both species. The models suggest continuing contraction of the highland cool temperate climatic envelope and expansion of the lowland warm subtropical envelope, with both showing a core average increase in elevation in response to post-glacial warming. Spatial and altitudinal overlap between the species climatic envelopes was at a maximum during the last glacial maximum and is predicted to be a minimum at 2050. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tropical Forests Ecology and Climate Change)
Open AccessArticle Biogeography of Timor and Surrounding Wallacean Islands: Endemism in Ants of the Genus Polyrhachis Fr. Smith
Diversity 2013, 5(1), 139-148; doi:10.3390/d5010139
Received: 16 February 2013 / Revised: 10 March 2013 / Accepted: 14 March 2013 / Published: 21 March 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (675 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Wallacean island of Timor is of particular biological interest due to its relatively large size and transitional location between the Indo-Malayan and Australasian biogeographic realms. However, the origins and levels of endemism of its invertebrate fauna are poorly known. A recent [...] Read more.
The Wallacean island of Timor is of particular biological interest due to its relatively large size and transitional location between the Indo-Malayan and Australasian biogeographic realms. However, the origins and levels of endemism of its invertebrate fauna are poorly known. A recent study of Timorese ants revealed a diverse fauna with predominantly Indo-Malayan affinities, but species-level taxonomy was considered to be too poorly understood for an analysis of levels of endemism. The highly diverse Old World tropical genus Polyrhachis represents a notable exception, and here we analyse levels of endemism in the Polyrhachis fauna of Timor and surrounding islands. We supplement the species listed in the previous study with additional collections to record a total of 35 species of Polyrhachis from Timor and surrounding islands. Only 14 (40%) of the 35 species could be named (P. constricta, P. costulata, P. gab, P. sokolova, P. hera, P. illaudata, P. rixosa, P. acantha chrysophanes, P. saevissima, P. bicolor, P. cryptoceroides, P. dives, P. longipes and P. olybria), and the large majority of the remaining species have not previously been collected. These are very likely to be endemic to Timor and surrounding islands, and point to remarkably high levels (>50%) of endemism in the regional ant fauna. Full article

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Open AccessBrief Report Climate Change Impacts on Biodiversity—The Setting of a Lingering Global Crisis
Diversity 2013, 5(1), 114-123; doi:10.3390/d5010114
Received: 23 January 2013 / Revised: 6 February 2013 / Accepted: 20 February 2013 / Published: 7 March 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (527 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Climate change has created potential major threats to global biodiversity. The multiple components of climate change are projected to affect all pillars of biodiversity, from genes over species to biome level. Of particular concerns are “tipping points” where the exceedance of ecosystem [...] Read more.
Climate change has created potential major threats to global biodiversity. The multiple components of climate change are projected to affect all pillars of biodiversity, from genes over species to biome level. Of particular concerns are “tipping points” where the exceedance of ecosystem thresholds will possibly lead to irreversible shifts of ecosystems and their functioning. As biodiversity underlies all goods and services provided by ecosystems that are crucial for human survival and wellbeing, this paper presents potential effects of climate change on biodiversity, its plausible impacts on human society as well as the setting in addressing a global crisis. Species affected by climate change may respond in three ways: change, move or die. Local species extinctions or a rapidly affected ecosystem as a whole respectively might move toward its particular “tipping point”, thereby probably depriving its services to human society and ending up in a global crisis. Urgent and appropriate actions within various scenarios of climate change impacts on biodiversity, especially in tropical regions, are needed to be considered. Foremost a multisectoral approach on biodiversity issues with broader policies, stringent strategies and programs at international, national and local levels is essential to meet the challenges of climate change impacts on biodiversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tropical Forests Ecology and Climate Change)

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