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Diversity, Volume 5, Issue 2 (June 2013), Pages 149-425

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Setting Conservation Priorities in a Widespread Species: Phylogeographic and Physiological Variation in the Lake Chub, Couesius plumbeus (Pisces: Cyprinidae)
Diversity 2013, 5(2), 149-165; doi:10.3390/d5020149
Received: 18 February 2013 / Revised: 18 March 2013 / Accepted: 22 March 2013 / Published: 2 April 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (788 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Defining units of conservation below the species level is a widely accepted conservation priority, but is especially challenging for widespread taxa that have experienced diverse geographic histories and exist across heterogenous environments. The lake chub (Pisces: Couesius plumbeus) is a widespread [...] Read more.
Defining units of conservation below the species level is a widely accepted conservation priority, but is especially challenging for widespread taxa that have experienced diverse geographic histories and exist across heterogenous environments. The lake chub (Pisces: Couesius plumbeus) is a widespread freshwater fish in North America and occurs from the southcentral USA to northwestern Alaska and Canada. We used mtDNA sequence analysis to test for divergent lineages predicted to occur as a result of survival of lake chub in distinct glacial refugia. Lake chub consisted of two major mtDNA lineages separated by 3.8% sequence divergence which are probably late to pre-Pleistocene in origin. We combined these data with those consistent with thermal adaptation in fish living in thermal springs versus those living in a lake with wide seasonal temperature variation, and with data on distribution of lake chub in major watershed units. We assessed these data against objective criteria developed to identify conservation units under Canadian endangered species legislation. Our analysis identified twelve major units of conservation within C. plumbeus that could be assessed under Canada’s Species-at-Risk Act. Our study illustrates how different character traits manifested at very different spatial scales can be used to define conservation units within widely-distributed taxa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biogeography and Biodiversity Conservation)
Open AccessArticle Biogeography of the Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of North America, North of Mexico
Diversity 2013, 5(2), 166-239; doi:10.3390/d5020166
Received: 28 January 2013 / Revised: 2 March 2013 / Accepted: 22 March 2013 / Published: 9 April 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (7515 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We describe and illustrate the biogeography of the cicadas inhabiting continental North America, north of Mexico. Species distributions were determined through our collecting efforts as well as label data from more than 110 institutional collections. The status of subspecies is discussed with [...] Read more.
We describe and illustrate the biogeography of the cicadas inhabiting continental North America, north of Mexico. Species distributions were determined through our collecting efforts as well as label data from more than 110 institutional collections. The status of subspecies is discussed with respect to their distributions. As we have shown over limited geographic areas, the distribution of individual species is related to the habitat in which they are found. We discuss the biogeography of the genera with respect to their phylogenetic relationships. California is the state with the greatest alpha diversity (89 species, 46.6% of taxa) and unique species (35 species, 18.3% of taxa). Texas, Arizona, Colorado and Utah are the states with the next greatest alpha diversity with Texas, Arizona and Utah being next for unique species diversity. Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island are the states with the least amount of cicada diversity. Diversity is greatest in states and areas where there is a diversity of plant communities and habitats within these communities. Mountainous terrain also coincides with increases in diversity. Several regions of the focus area require additional collection efforts to fill in the distributions of several species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biogeography and Biodiversity Conservation)
Open AccessArticle The Species-Area Relationship in the Late Ordovician: A Test Using Neutral Theory
Diversity 2013, 5(2), 240-262; doi:10.3390/d5020240
Received: 28 February 2013 / Revised: 28 March 2013 / Accepted: 2 April 2013 / Published: 10 April 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1795 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The fundamental biodiversity number, θ, as proposed by Hubbell, should be positively correlated with province area. Because θ can be calculated from preserved relative abundance distributions, this correlation can be tested in the fossil record for regions with known provinces. Late Ordovician [...] Read more.
The fundamental biodiversity number, θ, as proposed by Hubbell, should be positively correlated with province area. Because θ can be calculated from preserved relative abundance distributions, this correlation can be tested in the fossil record for regions with known provinces. Late Ordovician (443–458 Ma) strata of Laurentia are divided into four geochemically and biologically distinct regions that reflect provinces in the epicontinental sea. We use existing and newly obtained bed-level census data to test whether Hubbell’s θ is positively correlated with the area of these four regions, corresponding roughly to the Appalachian Basin, Cincinnati Arch, Upper Mississippi Valley, and western United States and Canada. Results indicate a positive relationship between province area and θ that suggests the influence of provincial area, among other factors, on diversity. This correlation highlights the inherent link between diversity and abundance structure at local and regional scales, such that changes at one scale will necessarily affect the other. Since diversity at these smaller spatial scales is an important component of global biodiversity, determining the nature of this relationship in the fossil record has implications for understanding how diversity is assembled globally throughout the Phanerozoic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Biodiversity)
Open AccessArticle Edges and Overlaps in Northwest Atlantic Phylogeography
Diversity 2013, 5(2), 263-275; doi:10.3390/d5020263
Received: 1 January 2013 / Revised: 23 March 2013 / Accepted: 27 March 2013 / Published: 11 April 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (688 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
As marine environments change, the greatest ecological shifts—including resource usage and species interactions—are likely to take place in or near regions of biogeographic and phylogeographic transition. However, our understanding of where these transitional regions exist depends on the defining criteria. Here we [...] Read more.
As marine environments change, the greatest ecological shifts—including resource usage and species interactions—are likely to take place in or near regions of biogeographic and phylogeographic transition. However, our understanding of where these transitional regions exist depends on the defining criteria. Here we evaluate phylogeographic transitions using a bootstrapping procedure that allows us to focus on either the strongest genetic transitions between a pair of contiguous populations, versus evaluation of transitions inclusive of the entire overlap between two intraspecific genetic lineages. We compiled data for the Atlantic coast of the United States, and evaluate taxa with short- and long-dispersing larval phases separately. Our results are largely concordant with previous biogeographic and phylogeographic analyses, indicating strong biotic change associated with the regions near Cape Cod, the Delmarva Peninsula, and eastern Florida. However, inclusive analysis of the entire range of sympatry for intraspecific lineages suggests that broad regions—the Mid-Atlantic Bight and eastern Florida–already harbor divergent intraspecific lineages, suggesting the potential for ecological evaluation of resource use between these lineages. This study establishes baseline information for tracking how such patterns change as predicted environmental changes take place. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biogeography and Biodiversity Conservation)
Open AccessArticle Relaxation Time and the Problem of the Pleistocene
Diversity 2013, 5(2), 276-292; doi:10.3390/d5020276
Received: 25 February 2013 / Revised: 4 April 2013 / Accepted: 9 April 2013 / Published: 15 April 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1458 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although changes in habitat area, driven by changes in sea level, have long been considered as a possible cause of marine diversity change in the Phanerozoic, the lack of Pleistocene extinction in the Californian Province has raised doubts, given the large and [...] Read more.
Although changes in habitat area, driven by changes in sea level, have long been considered as a possible cause of marine diversity change in the Phanerozoic, the lack of Pleistocene extinction in the Californian Province has raised doubts, given the large and rapid sea-level changes during the Pleistocene. Neutral models of metacommunities presented here suggest that diversity responds rapidly to changes in habitat area, with relaxation times of a few hundred to a few thousand years. Relaxation time is controlled partly by metacommunity size, implying that different provinces or trophic levels might have measurably different responses to changes in habitable area. Geologically short relaxation times imply that metacommunities should be able to stay nearly in equilibrium with all but the most rapid changes in area. A simulation of the Californian Province during the Pleistocene confirms this, with the longest lags in diversity approaching 20 kyr. The apparent lack of Pleistocene extinction in the Californian Province likely results from the difficulty of sampling rare species, coupled with repopulation from adjacent deep-water or warm-water regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Biodiversity)
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Open AccessArticle Evolutionary Hotspots in the Mojave Desert
Diversity 2013, 5(2), 293-319; doi:10.3390/d5020293
Received: 1 March 2013 / Revised: 7 March 2013 / Accepted: 1 April 2013 / Published: 15 April 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1841 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Genetic diversity within species provides the raw material for adaptation and evolution. Just as regions of high species diversity are conservation targets, identifying regions containing high genetic diversity and divergence within and among populations may be important to protect future evolutionary potential. [...] Read more.
Genetic diversity within species provides the raw material for adaptation and evolution. Just as regions of high species diversity are conservation targets, identifying regions containing high genetic diversity and divergence within and among populations may be important to protect future evolutionary potential. When multiple co-distributed species show spatial overlap in high genetic diversity and divergence, these regions can be considered evolutionary hotspots. We mapped spatial population genetic structure for 17 animal species across the Mojave Desert, USA. We analyzed these in concurrence and located 10 regions of high genetic diversity, divergence or both among species. These were mainly concentrated along the western and southern boundaries where ecotones between mountain, grassland and desert habitat are prevalent, and along the Colorado River. We evaluated the extent to which these hotspots overlapped protected lands and utility-scale renewable energy development projects of the Bureau of Land Management. While 30–40% of the total hotspot area was categorized as protected, between 3–7% overlapped with proposed renewable energy project footprints, and up to 17% overlapped with project footprints combined with transmission corridors. Overlap of evolutionary hotspots with renewable energy development mainly occurred in 6 of the 10 identified hotspots. Resulting GIS-based maps can be incorporated into ongoing landscape planning efforts and highlight specific regions where further investigation of impacts to population persistence and genetic connectivity may be warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biogeography and Biodiversity Conservation)
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Open AccessArticle A Preliminary Assessment of Ethiopian Sacred Grove Status at the Landscape and Ecosystem Scales.
Diversity 2013, 5(2), 320-334; doi:10.3390/d5020320
Received: 23 February 2013 / Revised: 22 March 2013 / Accepted: 11 April 2013 / Published: 19 April 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (940 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The northern Ethiopian landscape is dotted with small patches of church forests that are religious centers for the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church (EOTC). These sacred groves are what remain of the once vast tropical Afromontane dry forest. Herein we review the landscape [...] Read more.
The northern Ethiopian landscape is dotted with small patches of church forests that are religious centers for the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church (EOTC). These sacred groves are what remain of the once vast tropical Afromontane dry forest. Herein we review the landscape pattern of sacred groves in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, and their local scale nutrient status at two sites, Zahara and Debresena. A total of 1,488 sacred groves were inventoried within the study area, yielding an overall density of one sacred grove for every twenty square kilometers. Sacred groves averaged a little over five hectares and were separated from one another by more than two kilometers. At the local scale we found that soil carbon and nitrogen stocks have decreased significantly between the forest interior and the clearing indicating decreased soil fertility. Together our data indicate that these sacred groves are vulnerable to loss because of their small average size, isolation from seed sources, and decreasing soil status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tropical Forests Ecology and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle Linking Spatio-Temporal Land Cover Change to Biodiversity Conservation in the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Nepal
Diversity 2013, 5(2), 335-351; doi:10.3390/d5020335
Received: 4 February 2013 / Revised: 3 April 2013 / Accepted: 15 April 2013 / Published: 2 May 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1645 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Land cover change has been one of the major drivers of change leading to an alteration of critical habitats for many of the threatened species worldwide. Species with a narrow range and specialized habitats such as wetland ecosystems are at higher risk. [...] Read more.
Land cover change has been one of the major drivers of change leading to an alteration of critical habitats for many of the threatened species worldwide. Species with a narrow range and specialized habitats such as wetland ecosystems are at higher risk. The present paper describes spatial and temporal land use and cover change over the period of last 34 years (1976–2010) in the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (KTWR), Nepal. High spatial resolution Indian Remote-Sensing Satellite (IRS) Linear Imaging and Self Scanning Sensor (LISS-4) from 2005 and medium spatial resolution Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS) from 1976; Thematic Mapper (TM) from 1989; Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) from 1999 and TM from 2010 were used to generate a land use/land cover map and change analysis. Acquired IRS LISS-4 and Landsat image was orthorectified into Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM), Zone 45 based on generated digital terrain model (DTM) from a topographic map and Ground Control Point (GCP) from the field. After rectifying all the images, eCognition developer software was used for object-based image analysis (OBIA). The change in the land cover and land use types were compared with the potential habitat of twenty globally significant species present in the reserve. The habitat information was collected from the literature and a map was prepared based on ‘presence’ data, habits and habitats used to identify their distribution pattern. The analysis revealed that the KTWR has gone through significant changes in land cover and ecosystems over the last 34 years due to the change in river course and anthropogenic pressure leading to direct change in habitats of the species. Forests have been reduced by 94% from their original state whereas the grassland has increased by 79% from its original state. On the basis of total land cover, forests, river and stream, swamp and marshes decreased by 16%, 14% and 3% respectively over the last 34 years whereas the grassland has increased by 45%. These ecosystems are also an important habitat for the majority of the species, which is resulting in habitat loss. Notably, the wetland ecosystems (marshes/swamps and river/streams), being one of the most important habitat for many globally threatened species, have changed by more than 30% from their original state in 1976. Based on the analysis, recommendations for management interventions were made. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity Loss & Habitat Fragmentation)
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Open AccessArticle Biodiversity Indicators Show Climate Change Will Alter Vegetation in Parks and Protected Areas
Diversity 2013, 5(2), 352-373; doi:10.3390/d5020352
Received: 26 February 2013 / Revised: 6 March 2013 / Accepted: 6 May 2013 / Published: 16 May 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2493 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While multifaceted, a chief aim when designating parks and protected areas is to support the preservation of biological diversity, in part, through representing and conserving the full range of landscape conditions observed throughout a representative area. Parks and protected areas are, however, [...] Read more.
While multifaceted, a chief aim when designating parks and protected areas is to support the preservation of biological diversity, in part, through representing and conserving the full range of landscape conditions observed throughout a representative area. Parks and protected areas are, however, typically developed using a static interpretation of current biodiversity and landscape conditions. The observed and potential climate change impacts to biodiversity have created a need to also contemplate how parks and protected areas will respond to climate change and how these areas will represent the future range of landscape conditions. To assess change in biodiversity, broad-scale ecosystem information can be sourced from indirect remotely sensed indicators. Quantifying biodiversity through indirect indicators allows characterization of inter-relationships between climate and biodiversity. Such characterizations support the assessment of possible implications of climatic change, as the indicators can be generated using modeled forecasts of future climatic conditions. In this paper we model and map impacts of climate change on British Columbia’s parks and protected areas by quantifying change in a number of remotely sensed indicators of biodiversity. These indicators are based on the measured amount of incoming solar energy used by vegetation and map the overall annual energy utilization, variability (seasonality), and latent or baseline energy. We compare current conditions represented by parks and protected areas, to those forecasted in the year 2065. Our results indicate that parks and protected areas are forecasted to become more productive and less seasonal, due to increased vegetation productivity in higher elevation environments. While increased vegetation productivity may be beneficial for biodiversity overall, these changes will be particularly problematic for sensitive and specialist species. Future gaps in vegetation conditions protected by parks and protected areas are observed in the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains and the central interior region of British Columbia. Protected areas along the Coast Mountains, Vancouver Island highlands, and the Rocky Mountains show the greatest levels of change in the biodiversity indicators, including decreasing seasonality, with the Mountain Hemlock ecozone most at risk. Examples of large parks that are predicted to experience rapid change in vegetation characteristics include Strathcona, Garabaldi, and Kitlope. Our maps of future spatial distributions of indirect biodiversity indicators fill a gap in information products available for adaptive parks management and provide an opportunity for dialogue and further research on the use of future scenarios of landscape conditions in conservation planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biogeography and Biodiversity Conservation)
Open AccessArticle Conservation of Protists: The Krauthügel Pond in Austria
Diversity 2013, 5(2), 374-392; doi:10.3390/d5020374
Received: 1 April 2013 / Revised: 14 April 2013 / Accepted: 15 April 2013 / Published: 21 May 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1880 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although constituting more than 100,000 described species, protists are virtually ignored within the arena of biodiversity conservation. One reason is the widespread belief that the majority of protists have cosmopolitan distributions, in contrast to the highly hetereogenous biogeography of the “mega-Metazoa”. However, [...] Read more.
Although constituting more than 100,000 described species, protists are virtually ignored within the arena of biodiversity conservation. One reason is the widespread belief that the majority of protists have cosmopolitan distributions, in contrast to the highly hetereogenous biogeography of the “mega-Metazoa”. However, modern research reveals that about one third of the known protists have restricted distributions, which endorses their conservation, at least in special cases. Here, we report what probably ranks as the first successful conservation intervention focused directly on known protist diversity. It is justified by unique species, type localities, and landscape maintenance as evidence for legislation. The protected habitat comprises an ephemeral pond, which is now a “Natural Monument” for ciliated protozoa. This wetland occupies a natural depression on the Krauthügel (“cabbage hill”) south of the fortress of Salzburg City. When filled, the claviform pond has a size of ~30 × 15 m and a depth rarely surpassing 30 cm. Water is present only for some days or weeks, depending on heavy and/or prolonged rain. The pond occupied an agricultural field where root and leafy vegetables were cultivated for possibly more than 200 years. In the 1960s, this area became a grassland utilized as an autumn pasture, but was abandoned in the 1990s. Repeated sampling between 1982 and 2012 recovered a total of at least 150 ciliate taxa, of which 121 were identified to species level. Eight species were new to science, and an additional 10 poorly known species were reinvestigated and neotypified with populations from the Krauthügel pond. Both endemism and type localities justify the argument that the “integrative approach” in biodiversity and conservation issues should include protists and micro-metazoans. We argue that Krauthügel holds a unique reference node for biodiversity inventories to obtain the baseline knowledge—which is the prerequisite to monitor ecosystem integrity—and detect and evaluate impacts of natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biogeography and Biodiversity Conservation)
Open AccessArticle Effects of Dispersal-Related Factors on Species Distribution Model Accuracy for Boreal Lake Ecosystems
Diversity 2013, 5(2), 393-408; doi:10.3390/d5020393
Received: 1 April 2013 / Revised: 6 May 2013 / Accepted: 21 May 2013 / Published: 31 May 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (616 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Species distribution modeling is used in applied ecology; for example in predicting the consequences of global change. However, questions still remain about the robustness of model predictions. Here we estimate effects of landscape spatial configuration and organism flight ability—factors related to dispersal—on [...] Read more.
Species distribution modeling is used in applied ecology; for example in predicting the consequences of global change. However, questions still remain about the robustness of model predictions. Here we estimate effects of landscape spatial configuration and organism flight ability—factors related to dispersal—on the accuracy of species distribution models. Distribution models were developed for 129 phytoplankton taxa, 164 littoral invertebrate taxa and 44 profundal invertebrate taxa sampled in 105 Swedish lakes, using six different modeling techniques (generalized linear models (GLM), multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS), classification tree analysis (CTA), mixture discriminant analysis (MDA), generalized boosting models (GBM) and random forests (RF)). Model accuracy was not affected by dispersal ability (i.e., invertebrate flight ability), but the accuracy of phytoplankton assemblage predictions and, to a lesser extent, littoral invertebrate assemblages were related to ecosystem size and connectivity. Although no general pattern across species or spatial configuration was evident from our study, we recommend that dispersal and spatial configuration of ecosystems should be considered when developing species distribution models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biogeography and Biodiversity Conservation)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Up Against The Wall: The Effects of Climate Warming on Soil Microbial Diversity and The Potential for Feedbacks to The Carbon Cycle
Diversity 2013, 5(2), 409-425; doi:10.3390/d5020409
Received: 15 April 2013 / Revised: 27 April 2013 / Accepted: 17 May 2013 / Published: 3 June 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (519 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Earth’s climate is warming, and there is evidence that increased temperature alters soil C cycling, which may result in a self-reinforcing (positive), microbial mediated feedback to the climate system. Though soil microbes are major drivers of soil C cycling, we lack an [...] Read more.
Earth’s climate is warming, and there is evidence that increased temperature alters soil C cycling, which may result in a self-reinforcing (positive), microbial mediated feedback to the climate system. Though soil microbes are major drivers of soil C cycling, we lack an understanding of how temperature affects SOM decomposition. Numerous studies have explored, to differing degrees, the extent to which climate change may affect biodiversity. While there is ample evidence that community diversity begets ecosystem stability and resilience, we know of keystone species that perform functions whose effects far outweigh their relative abundance. In this paper, we first review the meaning of microbial diversity and how it relates to ecosystem function, then conduct a literature review of field-based climate warming studies that have made some measure of microbial diversity. Finally, we explore how measures of diversity may yield a larger, more complete picture of climate warming effects on microbial communities, and how this may translate to altered carbon cycling and greenhouse gas emissions. While warming effects seem to be ecosystem-specific, the lack of observable consistency between measures is due in some part to the diversity in measures of microbial diversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Ecology and Diversity)

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