Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Water Currents on Movement Patterns on Sand in the Crown-of-Thorns Seastar (Acanthaster cf. solaris)
Diversity 2016, 8(4), 25; doi:10.3390/d8040025 -
Abstract
Outbreaks of the coral-eating crown-of-thorns seastar (Acanthaster cf. solaris) threaten coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific. Movement patterns may play an important role in the spread of outbreak populations, but studies investigating adult movement behavior are scarce. It remains unknown if Acanthaster
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Outbreaks of the coral-eating crown-of-thorns seastar (Acanthaster cf. solaris) threaten coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific. Movement patterns may play an important role in the spread of outbreak populations, but studies investigating adult movement behavior are scarce. It remains unknown if Acanthaster cf. solaris orientates in inter-reef areas using chemical, visual, or mechanical cues (e.g., water currents) or which trigger is used for the onset of movement. We investigated the movement patterns of adult starved, fed, and blinded A. cf. solaris on sand at two sites with different unidirectional water current strengths. We found that the movement direction of the seastars in strong currents was downstream, whereas movement in weaker currents was random and independent from the current direction. However, the directionality of movement was consistently high, independent of the nutritional state, its visual abilities, or current strength. Starved A. cf. solaris started to move significantly faster compared to fed individuals. Therefore, starvation might trigger the onset of movement. Our findings indicate that navigation of A. cf. solaris in inter-reef areas is inefficient. Movements between reefs may be random or current-dependent and finding a new reef from a distance subject to chance, unless it is only few meters away. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Using Long-Term Removal Data to Manage a Crown-of-Thorns Starfish Population
Diversity 2016, 8(4), 24; doi:10.3390/d8040024 -
Abstract
Background: Removal programs are effective strategies for short-term management of Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (Acanthaster spp.) populations, especially on a small scale. However, management programs are costly, and, in order to be effective, they must be based on local Acanthaster spp. population dynamics. We
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Background: Removal programs are effective strategies for short-term management of Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (Acanthaster spp.) populations, especially on a small scale. However, management programs are costly, and, in order to be effective, they must be based on local Acanthaster spp. population dynamics. We have developed simple models to predict the annual number of removable A. cf. solaris along the Onna coast of western central Okinawa Island, where chronic outbreaks have continued for several decades. Methods: The Onna coastal area was divided into five sectors, and annual abundance of small A. cf. solaris individuals was used to predict the total number of removable individuals of a cohort in each sector. Three models were developed, based on size class data collected by the Onna Village Fisheries Cooperative (OVFC) for 2003–2015, according to possible patterns of recruitment and adult occurrence. Using the best-fit models selected for each of the five sectors, the number of individuals that potentially escaped removal was calculated. Results: Best-fit models were likely to differ among the five sectors instead of small differences in the coefficients of determination. The models predict differences in the number of residual starfish among sectors; the northernmost sector was predicted to have a high number of residuals and the potential density of A. cf. solaris in the sector exceeded the outbreak criterion. Conclusions: These results suggest how to allocate resources to reduce the population of A. cf. solaris along the Onna coast in 2016. The OVFC implemented a control program for A. cf. solaris based on three model predictions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Determination of Genetic Variations of Toll-Like Receptor (TLR) 2, 4, and 6 with Next-Generation Sequencing in Native Cattle Breeds of Anatolia and Holstein Friesian
Diversity 2016, 8(4), 23; doi:10.3390/d8040023 -
Abstract
In recent years, the focus of disease resistance and susceptibility studies in cattle have been on determining patterns in the innate immune response of key proteins, such as Toll-like receptors (TLR). In the bovine genome, there are 10 TLR family members and, of
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In recent years, the focus of disease resistance and susceptibility studies in cattle have been on determining patterns in the innate immune response of key proteins, such as Toll-like receptors (TLR). In the bovine genome, there are 10 TLR family members and, of these, TLR2, TLR4, and TLR6 are specialized in the recognition of bacterial ligands. Indigenous cattle breeds of Anatolia have been reported to show fewer signs of clinical bacterial infections, such as bovine tuberculosis and mastitis, and it is hypothesized that this might be due to a less stringent genetic selection during breeding. In contrast, Holstein-Friesian cattle have been under strong selection for milk production, which may have resulted in greater susceptibility to diseases. To test this hypothesis, we have compared the TLR2, TLR4, and TLR6 genes of Anatolian Black (AB), East Anatolian Red (EAR), South Anatolian Red (SAR), Turkish Grey (TG), and Holstein (HOL) cattle using next-generation sequencing. The SAR breed had the most variations overall, followed by EAR, AB, TG, and HOL. TG had the most variations for TLR2, whereas SAR had the most variations in TLR4 and TLR6. We compared these variants with those associated with disease and susceptibility traits. We used exon variants to construct haplotypes, investigated shared haplotypes within breeds, and proposed candidate haplotypes for a disease resistance phenotype in Anatolian cattle breeds. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Patterns of Sponge Biodiversity in the Pilbara, Northwestern Australia
Diversity 2016, 8(4), 21; doi:10.3390/d8040021 -
Abstract
This study assessed the biodiversity of sponges within the Integrated Marine and Coastal Regionalisation for Australia (IMCRA) bioregions of the Pilbara using datasets amalgamated from the Western Australian Museum and the Atlas of Living Australia. The Pilbara accounts for a total of 1164
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This study assessed the biodiversity of sponges within the Integrated Marine and Coastal Regionalisation for Australia (IMCRA) bioregions of the Pilbara using datasets amalgamated from the Western Australian Museum and the Atlas of Living Australia. The Pilbara accounts for a total of 1164 Linnean and morphospecies. A high level of “apparent endemism” was recorded with 78% of species found in only one of six bioregions, with less than 10% confirmed as widely distributed. The Ningaloo, Pilbara Nearshore and Pilbara Offshore bioregions are biodiversity hotspots (>250 species) and are recognised as having the highest conservation value, followed by North West Shelf containing 232 species. Species compositions differed between bioregions, with those that are less spatially separated sharing more species. Notably, the North West Province bioregion (110 species) exhibited the most distinct species composition, highlighting it as a unique habitat within the Pilbara. While sponge biodiversity is apparently high, incomplete sampling effort for the region was identified, with only two sampling events recorded for the Central West Transition bioregion. Furthermore, only 15% of records in the dataset are presently described (Linnean) species, highlighting the continuing need for taxonomic expertise for the conservation and management of marine biodiversity resources. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ecology of the River Darter in Canadian Waters: Distribution, Relative Abundance, Life-History Traits, Diet, and Habitat Characteristics
Diversity 2016, 8(4), 22; doi:10.3390/d8040022 -
Abstract
The River Darter (Percina shumardi) is a native, rarely sampled fish that has been detected in relatively small numbers since the 1930s. It has a wide North American distribution, but little is known about the species biology and distribution across the
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The River Darter (Percina shumardi) is a native, rarely sampled fish that has been detected in relatively small numbers since the 1930s. It has a wide North American distribution, but little is known about the species biology and distribution across the Canadian portion of its range. We revisited many historic sampling locations and sampled additional areas to (i) confirm and update the distribution of River Darters in Canadian waters; (ii) assess relative abundance; (iii) update life history characteristics; (iv) collect diet information; and (v) identify characteristics of River Darter habitat. Since 1990, a total of 1032 River Darters were recorded from 29 waterbodies across three ecoregions. River Darters were observed in relatively high abundances in both the Saskatchewan-Nelson River and Southern Hudson Bay-James Bay ecoregions. While still extant in the Great Lakes-Upper St. Lawrence ecoregion, River Darters persist at low abundance. Life history analyses indicate similar maximum age (age 4) and growth (10 mm/year) to conspecific populations in the United States, while sex ratios are generally skewed towards female dominance. River Darter populations had high flexibility in habitat use and diet, using a range of flows and depths and a variety of seasonally available prey types. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Characterization and Genetic Diversity of the Macaw Palm Ex Situ Germplasm Collection Revealed by Microsatellite Markers
Diversity 2016, 8(4), 20; doi:10.3390/d8040020 -
Abstract
Macaw palm (Acrocomia aculeata) is native to tropical forests in South America and highly abundant in Brazil. It is cited as a highly productive oleaginous palm tree presenting high potential for biodiesel production. The aim of this work was to characterize
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Macaw palm (Acrocomia aculeata) is native to tropical forests in South America and highly abundant in Brazil. It is cited as a highly productive oleaginous palm tree presenting high potential for biodiesel production. The aim of this work was to characterize and study the genetic diversity of A. aculeata ex situ collections from different geographical states in Brazil using microsatellite (Simple Sequence Repeats, SSR) markers. A total of 192 accessions from 10 provenances were analyzed with 10 SSR, and variations were detected in allelic diversity, polymorphism, and heterozygosity in the collections. Three major groups of accessions were formed using PCoA—principal coordinate analysis, UPGMA—unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean, and Tocher. The Mantel test revealed a weak correlation (r = 0.07) between genetic and geographic distances among the provenances reaffirming the result of the grouping. Reduced average heterozygosity (Ho < 50%) per locus (or provenance) confirmed the predominance of endogamy (or inbreeding) in the germplasm collections as evidenced by positive inbreeding coefficient (F > 0) per locus (or per provenance). AMOVA—Analysis of Molecular Variance revealed higher (48.2%) genetic variation within population than among populations (36.5%). SSR are useful molecular markers in characterizing A. aculeata germplasm and could facilitate the process of identifying, grouping, and selecting genotypes. Present results could be used to formulate appropriate conservation strategies in the genebank. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Crown-of-Thorns Starfish Larvae Can Feed on Organic Matter Released from Corals
Diversity 2016, 8(4), 18; doi:10.3390/d8040018 -
Abstract
Previous studies have suggested that Crown-of-Thorns starfish (COTS) larvae may be able to survive in the absence of abundant phytoplankton resources suggesting that they may be able to utilize alternative food sources. Here, we tested the hypothesis that COTS larvae are able to
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Previous studies have suggested that Crown-of-Thorns starfish (COTS) larvae may be able to survive in the absence of abundant phytoplankton resources suggesting that they may be able to utilize alternative food sources. Here, we tested the hypothesis that COTS larvae are able to feed on coral-derived organic matter using labeled stable isotope tracers (13C and 15N). Our results show that coral-derived organic matter (coral mucus and associated microorganisms) can be assimilated by COTS larvae and may be an important alternative or additional food resource for COTS larvae through periods of low phytoplankton biomass. This additional food resource could potentially facilitate COTS outbreaks by reducing resource limitation. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Central and Eastern European Spring Pollen Allergens and Their Expression Analysis—State of the Art
Diversity 2016, 8(4), 19; doi:10.3390/d8040019 -
Abstract
Spring pollinosis has become a part of life for many people throughout the world. A wide range of knowledge about the allergenic potential of individual pollen allergen types is documented well, but the starting point of the pollen allergens expression regulation in plants
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Spring pollinosis has become a part of life for many people throughout the world. A wide range of knowledge about the allergenic potential of individual pollen allergen types is documented well, but the starting point of the pollen allergens expression regulation in plants itself is still not fully answered. Expression analysis of pollen allergens does not yet have any specific protocols or methods developed, despite a very good sequence background available in public bioinformatics databases. However, research in this area of interest has a great application potential for breeding and biotechnology of allergenic plants that may benefit from the knowledge of the expression of allergen coding genes in individual varieties or genotypes. Here, a brief review of up-to-date knowledge about the coding sequences of central and eastern European spring pollen allergens is introduced together with real-time based analysis of the expression of two of the main pollen allergens–PR protein type and profilin type of birch and hazelnut. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Australian Tropical Marine Micromolluscs: An Overwhelming Bias
Diversity 2016, 8(3), 17; doi:10.3390/d8030017 -
Abstract
Assessing the marine biodiversity of the tropics can be overwhelming, especially for the Mollusca, one of the largest marine phyla in the sea. With a diversity that can exceed macrofaunal richness in many groups, the micro/meiofaunal component is one of most overlooked biotas
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Assessing the marine biodiversity of the tropics can be overwhelming, especially for the Mollusca, one of the largest marine phyla in the sea. With a diversity that can exceed macrofaunal richness in many groups, the micro/meiofaunal component is one of most overlooked biotas in surveys due to the time-consuming nature of collecting, sorting, and identifying this assemblage. We review trends in micromollusc research highlighting the Australian perspective that reveals a dwindling taxonomic effort through time and discuss pervasive obstacles of relevance to the taxonomy of micromolluscs globally. Since a high during the 1970s, followed by a smaller peak in 2000, in 2010 we observe a low in micromolluscan collection activity in Australia not seen since the 1930s. Although challenging, considered planning at each step of the species identification pathway can reduce barriers to micromolluscan research (e.g., role of types, dedicated sampling, integration of microscopy and genetic methods). We discuss new initiatives to trial these methods in Western Australia, an understudied region with high biodiversity, and highlight why micromolluscs are worth the effort. A number of important fields that would benefit from increased focus on this group (e.g., ecological gaps) are considered. The methods and strategies for resolving systematic problems in micromolluscan taxonomy are available, only the desire and support to reverse the decline in knowledge remains to be found. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tropical Range Extension for the Temperate, Endemic South-Eastern Australian Nudibranch Goniobranchus splendidus (Angas, 1864)
Diversity 2016, 8(3), 16; doi:10.3390/d8030016 -
Abstract
In contrast to many tropical animals expanding southwards on the Australian coast concomitant with climate change, here we report a temperate endemic newly found in the tropics. Chromodorid nudibranchs are bright, colourful animals that rarely go unnoticed by divers and underwater photographers. The
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In contrast to many tropical animals expanding southwards on the Australian coast concomitant with climate change, here we report a temperate endemic newly found in the tropics. Chromodorid nudibranchs are bright, colourful animals that rarely go unnoticed by divers and underwater photographers. The discovery of a new population, with divergent colouration is therefore significant. DNA sequencing confirms that despite departures from the known phenotypic variation, the specimen represents northern Goniobranchus splendidus and not an unknown close relative. Goniobranchus tinctorius represents the sister taxa to G. splendidus. With regard to secondary defences, the oxygenated terpenes found previously in this specimen are partially unique but also overlap with other G. splendidus from southern Queensland (QLD) and New South Wales (NSW). The tropical specimen from Mackay contains extracapsular yolk like other G. splendidus. This previously unknown tropical population may contribute selectively advantageous genes to cold-water species threatened by climate change. Competitive exclusion may explain why G. splendidus does not strongly overlap with its widespread sister taxon. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical Composition of the Essential Oil from Aerial Parts of Javanian Pimpinella pruatjan Molk. and Its Molecular Phylogeny
Diversity 2016, 8(3), 15; doi:10.3390/d8030015 -
Abstract
The species-rich and diverse genus Pimpinella is mainly distributed in Europe and Asia; a few species occur in Africa. Yet, the Javanian Pimpinella, P. pruatjan, which has been used as an aphrodisiac in Indonesian traditional medicine, was studied for the first time
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The species-rich and diverse genus Pimpinella is mainly distributed in Europe and Asia; a few species occur in Africa. Yet, the Javanian Pimpinella, P. pruatjan, which has been used as an aphrodisiac in Indonesian traditional medicine, was studied for the first time in the context of chemical composition, as well as phylogeny analysis and antimicrobial activity. We examined the chemical composition of the essential oil (EO) from aerial parts of P. pruatjan by gas liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (GLC-MS). The main component of EO was (Z)-γ-bisabolene. Several oxygenated monoterpenes, oxygenated sesquiterpenes, and sesquiterpenes were also detected. The genetic relationship of Pimpinella pruatjan Molk. to other Pimpinella species was reconstructed using nucleotide sequences of the nuclear DNA marker ITS (Internal Transcribed Spacer). P. pruatjan clusters as a sister group to the African Pimpinella species. The EO did not exhibit an apparent antimicrobial activity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
DNA-Based Identification and Chemical Characteristics of Hypnea musciformis from Coastal Sites in Ghana
Diversity 2016, 8(2), 14; doi:10.3390/d8020014 -
Abstract
This work reveals new, important insights about the influence of broad spatial variations on the phylogenetic relationship and chemical characteristics of Ghanaian Hypnea musciformis—a carrageenan-containing red seaweed. DNA barcoding techniques alleviate the difficulty for accurate morphological identification. COI barcode sequences of the
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This work reveals new, important insights about the influence of broad spatial variations on the phylogenetic relationship and chemical characteristics of Ghanaian Hypnea musciformis—a carrageenan-containing red seaweed. DNA barcoding techniques alleviate the difficulty for accurate morphological identification. COI barcode sequences of the Ghanaian H. musciformis showed <0.7% intraspecies divergence, indicating no distinct phylogenetic variation, suggesting that they actually belong to the same species. Thus, the spatial distribution of the sampling sites along the coast of Ghana did not influence the phylogenetic characteristics of H. musciformis in the region. The data also showed that the Ghanaian Hypnea sp. examined in this work should be regarded as the same species as the H. musciformis collected in Brazilian Sao Paulo (KP725276) with only 0.8%–1.3% intraspecies divergence. However, the comparison of COI sequences of Ghanaian H. musciformis with the available COI sequence of H. musciformis from other countries showed intraspecies divergences of 0%–6.9% indicating that the COI sequences for H. musciformis in the GenBank may include different subspecies. Although samples did not differ phylogenetically, the chemical characteristics of the H. musciformis differed significantly between different sampling locations in Ghana. The levels of the monosaccharides, notably galactose (20%–30% dw) and glucose (10%–18% dw), as well as the seawater inorganic salt concentration (21–32 mg/L) and ash content (19%–33% dw), varied between H. musciformis collected at different coastal locations in Ghana. The current work demonstrated that DNA-based identification allowed a detailed understanding of H. musciformis phylogenetic characteristics and revealed that chemical compositional differences of H. musciformis occur along the Ghanaian coast which are not coupled with genetic variations among those samples. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Structure of Fungal Communities in Sub-Irrigated Agricultural Soil from Cerrado Floodplains
Diversity 2016, 8(2), 13; doi:10.3390/d8020013 -
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the influence of soybean cultivation on the fungal community structure in a tropical floodplain area. Soil samples were collected from two different soybean cropland sites and a control area under native vegetation. The soil samples were collected at
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This study aimed to evaluate the influence of soybean cultivation on the fungal community structure in a tropical floodplain area. Soil samples were collected from two different soybean cropland sites and a control area under native vegetation. The soil samples were collected at a depth of 0–10 cm soil during the off-season in July 2013. The genetic structure of the soil fungal microbial community was analyzed using the automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) technique. Among the 26 phylotypes with abundance levels higher than 1% detected in the control area, five were also detected in the area cultivated for five years, and none of them was shared between the control area and the area cultivated for eight years. Analysis of similarity (ANOSIM) revealed differences in fungal community structure between the control area and the soybean cropland sites, and also between the soybean cropland sites. ANOSIM results were confirmed by multivariate statistics, which additionally revealed a nutrient-dependent relation for the fungal community structure in agricultural soil managed for eight consecutive years. The results indicated that land use affects soil chemical properties and richness and structure of the soil fungal microbial community in a tropical floodplain agricultural area, and the effects became more evident to the extent that soil was cultivated for soybean for more time. Full article
Open AccessReview
Recent Advances in Understanding the Effects of Climate Change on Coral Reefs
Diversity 2016, 8(2), 12; doi:10.3390/d8020012 -
Abstract
Climate change is one of the greatest threats to the persistence of coral reefs. Sustained and ongoing increases in ocean temperatures and acidification are altering the structure and function of reefs globally. Here, we summarise recent advances in our understanding of the effects
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Climate change is one of the greatest threats to the persistence of coral reefs. Sustained and ongoing increases in ocean temperatures and acidification are altering the structure and function of reefs globally. Here, we summarise recent advances in our understanding of the effects of climate change on scleractinian corals and reef fish. Although there is considerable among-species variability in responses to increasing temperature and seawater chemistry, changing temperature regimes are likely to have the greatest influence on the structure of coral and fish assemblages, at least over short–medium timeframes. Recent evidence of increases in coral bleaching thresholds, local genetic adaptation and inheritance of heat tolerance suggest that coral populations may have some capacity to respond to warming, although the extent to which these changes can keep pace with changing environmental conditions is unknown. For coral reef fishes, current evidence indicates increasing seawater temperature will be a major determinant of future assemblages, through both habitat degradation and direct effects on physiology and behaviour. The effects of climate change are, however, being compounded by a range of anthropogenic disturbances, which may undermine the capacity of coral reef organisms to acclimate and/or adapt to specific changes in environmental conditions. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Prevalence and Incidence of Black Band Disease of Scleractinian Corals in the Kepulauan Seribu Region of Indonesia
Diversity 2016, 8(2), 11; doi:10.3390/d8020011 -
Abstract
Black band disease (BBD) is the oldest recognised disease associated with scleractinian corals. However, despite this, few BBD surveys have been conducted in the Indonesian archipelago, one of the world’s hot spots for coral diversity. In this study, we show that BBD was
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Black band disease (BBD) is the oldest recognised disease associated with scleractinian corals. However, despite this, few BBD surveys have been conducted in the Indonesian archipelago, one of the world’s hot spots for coral diversity. In this study, we show that BBD was recorded in the reefs of Kepulauan Seribu, Indonesia, at the time of surveying. The disease was found to mainly infect corals of the genus Montipora. In some instances, upwards of 177 colonies (31.64%) were found to be infected at specific sites. Prevalence of the disease ranged from 0.31% to 31.64% of Montipora sp. colonies throughout the archipelago. Although BBD was found at all sites, lower frequencies were associated with sites closest to the mainland (17.99 km), as well as those that were furthest away (63.65 km). Despite there being no linear relationship between distance from major population centers and BBD incidence, high incidences of this disease were associated with sites characterized by higher levels of light intensity. Furthermore, surveys revealed that outbreaks peaked during the transitional period between the dry and rainy seasons. Therefore, we suggest that future surveys for disease prevalence in this region of Indonesia should focus on these transitory periods. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Genetic Diversity in Apple Fruit Moth Indicate Different Clusters in the Two Most Important Apple Growing Regions of Norway
Diversity 2016, 8(2), 10; doi:10.3390/d8020010 -
Abstract
The apple fruit moth (Argyresthia conjugella (A. conjugella)) in Norway was first identified as a pest in apple production in 1899. We here report the first genetic analysis of A. conjugella using molecular markers. Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis
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The apple fruit moth (Argyresthia conjugella (A. conjugella)) in Norway was first identified as a pest in apple production in 1899. We here report the first genetic analysis of A. conjugella using molecular markers. Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis was applied to 95 individuals from six different locations in the two most important apple-growing regions of Norway. Five AFLP primer combinations gave 410 clear polymorphic bands that distinguished all the individuals. Further genetic analysis using the Dice coefficient, Principal Coordinate analysis (PCO) and Bayesian analyses suggested clustering of the individuals into two main groups showing substantial genetic distance. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed greater variation among populations (77.94%) than within populations (22.06%) and significant and high FST values were determined between the two major regions (Distance = 230 km, FST = 0.780). AFLP analysis revealed low to moderate genetic diversity in our population sample from Norway (Average: 0.31 expected heterozygosity). The positive significant correlation between the geographic and the molecular data (r2 = 0.6700) indicate that genetic differences between the two major regions may be due to geographical barriers such as high mountain plateaus (Hardangervidda) in addition to isolation by distance (IBD). Full article
Open AccessArticle
Detection of a High-Density Brachiolaria-Stage Larval Population of Crown-of-Thorns Sea Star (Acanthaster planci) in Sekisei Lagoon (Okinawa, Japan)
Diversity 2016, 8(2), 9; doi:10.3390/d8020009 -
Abstract
Outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns sea star (Acanthaster planci) are likely to be strongly associated with drastic changes in larval survival influenced by food availability. However, no quantitative or qualitative data are available on the distribution of A. planci larvae in the
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Outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns sea star (Acanthaster planci) are likely to be strongly associated with drastic changes in larval survival influenced by food availability. However, no quantitative or qualitative data are available on the distribution of A. planci larvae in the field nor on the environmental factors that influence their survivorship. Here we use a DNA barcoding approach to describe the distribution of A. planci larvae in Sekisei Lagoon, Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan after conducting three days of high-intensity sampling. High densities (53.3 individuals/m3) of A. planci larvae were found outside of Yonara Channel, which is the largest reef channel in this lagoon. Surprisingly, most (94%) of the aggregated larvae were advanced-stage brachiolaria. Considering that it takes several days to develop to this stage, this result demonstrates that A. planci larvae were floating for some time and maintaining a high-density population. However, this dense larval cloud disappeared immediately after a typhoon. No spatial correlation was found between larval density and either nutrient or chlorophyll a concentrations, suggesting that A. planci larvae do not necessarily aggregate in nutrient-rich water. These data suggest that some high-density populations of late developmental stage A. planci larvae were produced under a low phytoplankton concentration and could potentially trigger an adult outbreak. Consequently, our data suggest that adult outbreaks may not necessarily be triggered by food availability alone. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Genetic Diversity Assessment of Portuguese Cultivated Vicia faba L. through IRAP Markers
Diversity 2016, 8(2), 8; doi:10.3390/d8020008 -
Abstract
Faba bean have been grown in Portugal for a long time and locally adapted populations are still maintained on farm. The genetic diversity of four Portuguese faba bean populations that are still cultivated in some regions of the country was evaluated using
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Faba bean have been grown in Portugal for a long time and locally adapted populations are still maintained on farm. The genetic diversity of four Portuguese faba bean populations that are still cultivated in some regions of the country was evaluated using the Inter Retrotransposons Amplified Polymorphism (IRAP) technique. It was shown that molecular markers based on retrotransposons previously identified in other species can be efficiently used in the genetic variability assessment of Vicia faba. The IRAP experiment targeting Athila yielded the most informative banding patterns. Cluster analysis using the neighbor-joining algorithm generated a dendrogram that clearly shows the distribution pattern of V. faba samples. The four equina accessions are separated from each other and form two distinct clades while the two major faba bean accessions are not unequivocally separated by the IRAP. Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization (FISH) analysis of sequences amplified by IRAP Athila revealed a wide distribution throughout V. faba chromosomes, confirming the whole-genome coverage of this molecular marker. Morphological characteristics were also assessed through cluster analysis of seed characters using the unweighted pair group method arithmetic average (UPGMA) and principal component analysis (PCA), showing a clear discrimination between faba bean major and equina groups. It was also found that the seed character most relevant to distinguish accessions was 100 seed weight. Seed morphological traits and IRAP evaluation give similar results supporting the potential of IRAP analysis for genetic diversity studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Marine Biodiversity in Temperate Western Australia: Multi-Taxon Surveys of Minden and Roe Reefs
Diversity 2016, 8(2), 7; doi:10.3390/d8020007 -
Abstract
A growing body of evidence indicates that temperate marine ecosystems are being tropicalised due to the poleward extension of tropical species. Such climate mediated changes in species distribution patterns have the potential to profoundly alter temperate communities, as this advance can serve to
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A growing body of evidence indicates that temperate marine ecosystems are being tropicalised due to the poleward extension of tropical species. Such climate mediated changes in species distribution patterns have the potential to profoundly alter temperate communities, as this advance can serve to push temperate taxa, many of which are southern Australian endemics, southward. These changes can lead to cascading effects for the biodiversity and function of coastal ecosystems, including contraction of ranges/habitats of sensitive cool water species. Hence there is growing concern for the future of Australia’s temperate marine biodiversity. Here we examine the diversity and abundance of marine flora and fauna at two reefs near Perth’s metropolitan area—Minden Reef and Roe Reef. We report the presence of 427 species of marine flora and fauna from eight taxon groups occurring in the Perth metropolitan area; at least three species of which appear to be new to science. Our data also extends the known range of 15 species, and in numerous instances, thousands of kilometres south from the Kimberley or Pilbara and verifies that tropicalisation of reef communities in the Perth metropolitan area is occurring. We report the presence of 24 species endemic to south-west Australia that may be at risk of range contractions with continued ocean warming. The results of these surveys add to our knowledge of local nearshore marine environments in the Perth metropolitan area and support the growing body of evidence that indicates a diverse and regionally significant marine fauna occurs in temperate Western Australia. Regular, repeated survey work across seasons is important in order to thoroughly document the status of marine biodiversity in this significant transition zone. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Update of “Biodiversity of the Hypersaline Urmia Lake National Park (NW Iran)”
Diversity 2016, 8(1), 6; doi:10.3390/d8010006 -
Abstract
Urmia Lake, an endorheic salt lake in northwestern Iran, was registered in the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands as a wetland of international importance, also a UNESCO biosphere reserve. In this review, we have updated our last checklist in 2014 with available information on
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Urmia Lake, an endorheic salt lake in northwestern Iran, was registered in the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands as a wetland of international importance, also a UNESCO biosphere reserve. In this review, we have updated our last checklist in 2014 with available information on the biodiversity of the lake. Full article