E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Spatial and Temporal Benthic Diversity Patterns"

Quicklinks

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Cristina Munari

Dipartimento di Biologia ed Evoluzione, Università di Ferrara, Via Luigi Borsari 46, 44100 Ferrara, Italy
Phone: 39 0532 455315
Fax: +39 0532 249761
Interests: benthic diversity patterns; coastal and transitional waters; biodiversity assessment and monitoring; spatial scales of diversity; macrofauna; biotic indicators

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Understanding the constraints on community composition at multiple spatial and temporal scales is an immense challenge to community and ecosystem ecologists. Indeed, spatial and temporal patterning of populations provide the means by which biodiversity is maintained in ecological communities.

Benthic communities can play an important role in aquatic ecosystem functioning. In particular, benthic macroinvertebrates are the major players in the transferral of energy to upper trophic levels, and include species with different life cycles and specific tolerances to stress events, which make them suitable to reflect the magnitude of disturbances. However, benthic condition assessments have to take into account that benthic communities show high spatial heterogeneity and temporal variations that are related to the influence of natural gradients of different factors contributing to the overall distribution of species, seasonal and interannual environmental changes, seasonal reproduction period, short life span, and temporal variability in the physical disturbance.

Ecological monitoring evaluates whether anthropogenic-induced changes in aquatic ecosystems affect the benthic diversity (e.g., community structure and composition, and species richness) and the biological properties of the system. However, a paucity of studies investigate natural variability at a hierarchy of spatial/temporal scales. Many patterns observed in benthic diversity are frequently interpreted in the light of such large scale processes, even though many small scale variations of benthic environments are responsible for complex patterns of benthic patchiness that can potentially confound the interpretation of results of the survey. Studing spatial and temporal patterning of benthic diversity across scales may yield important clues as to which scales of environmental heterogeneity influence community structure. In this context, the need for long term data is essential, given the large-scale environmental changes in aquatic ecosystems.

Understanding the pattern of changes in benthic diversity through community monitoring is therefore crucial in both management and environmental policy.

Dr. Cristina Munari
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • benthic diversity
  • community structure
  • spatial and temporal patterns
  • multiple scales
  • benthic monitoring
  • environmental variability
  • long term data
  • spatial heterogeneity

Published Papers (4 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-4
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle No Evidence for Temporal Variation in a Cryptic Species Community of Freshwater Amphipods of the Hyalella azteca Species Complex
Diversity 2011, 3(3), 390-404; doi:10.3390/d3030390
Received: 30 June 2011 / Accepted: 27 July 2011 / Published: 8 August 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (613 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The co-occurrence of cryptic species of Hyalella amphipods is a challenge to our traditional views of how species assemble. Since these species have similar morphologies, it is not evident that they have developed phenotypic differences that would allow them to occupy different [...] Read more.
The co-occurrence of cryptic species of Hyalella amphipods is a challenge to our traditional views of how species assemble. Since these species have similar morphologies, it is not evident that they have developed phenotypic differences that would allow them to occupy different ecological niches. We examined the structure of a community of Hyalella amphipods in the littoral zone of a boreal lake to verify if temporal variation was present in relative abundances. Morphological and molecular analyses using the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) gene enabled us to detect three cryptic species at the study site. No temporal variation was observed in the community, as one cryptic species was always more abundant than the two others. The relative abundances of each species in the community appeared constant at least for the open-water season, both for adult and juvenile amphipods. Niche differences are still to be found among these species, but it is suggested that migration from nearby sites may be an important factor explaining the species co-occurrence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial and Temporal Benthic Diversity Patterns)
Open AccessArticle Relative Influence of Prior Life Stages and Habitat Variables on Dragonfly (Odonata: Gomphidae) Densities among Lake Sites
Diversity 2011, 3(2), 200-216; doi:10.3390/d3020200
Received: 10 February 2011 / Revised: 20 March 2011 / Accepted: 24 March 2011 / Published: 14 April 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (365 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many aquatic species have discrete life stages, making it important to understand relative influences of the different habitats occupied within those populations. Although population demographics in one stage can carry over to spatially separated life stages, most studies of habitat associations have [...] Read more.
Many aquatic species have discrete life stages, making it important to understand relative influences of the different habitats occupied within those populations. Although population demographics in one stage can carry over to spatially separated life stages, most studies of habitat associations have been restricted to a single life stage. Among Gomphidae dragonflies (Odonata: Anisoptera), recruitment via adult oviposition establishes initial population sizes of the aquatic larvae. However, spatial variability in larval survivorship could obscure the relationship between adult and larval densities. This study uses surveys conducted during 2005 and 2006 of Gomphidae larval, emergence, and adult stages from 22 lake sites in northern Wisconsin, USA, to investigate (1) whether the Gomphidae density of each life stage correlated spatially with that of the preceding life stage and (2) what habitat factors help explain variation in densities at each life stage. Results indicated that adult densities from the previous season helped predict densities of early-instar larvae. This finding suggests that oviposition site selection controlled the local larval distribution more than larval survivorship or movement. Late-instar larval densities helped predict densities of emerging Gomphidae later the same season, suggesting that variation in survivorship of final-instar larvae among sites is small relative to the variation in larval recruitment. This study demonstrates that locations with higher densities of odonates in the water also have higher densities of odonates on land. In addition to the densities of Gomphidae in previous life stages, water clarity helped predict larval densities, and riparian wetland vegetation helped predict emergent dragonfly densities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial and Temporal Benthic Diversity Patterns)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Diversity Patterns of Benthic Macrofauna Caused by Marine Fish Farming
Diversity 2011, 3(2), 176-199; doi:10.3390/d3020176
Received: 8 October 2010 / Revised: 25 March 2011 / Accepted: 25 March 2011 / Published: 14 April 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (655 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reviews the patterns observed in the diversity and structure of the macrofauna benthic community under the influence of fish farming. First, we explain the effects of organic enrichment on the sediment and the consequences for the inhabiting communities. We describe [...] Read more.
This paper reviews the patterns observed in the diversity and structure of the macrofauna benthic community under the influence of fish farming. First, we explain the effects of organic enrichment on the sediment and the consequences for the inhabiting communities. We describe the diversity trends in spatial and temporal gradients affected by fish farming and compare them with those described by the Pearson and Rosenberg model. We found that in general terms, the trends of diversity and other community parameters followed the Pearson and Rosenberg model but they can vary to some extent due to sediment local characteristics or to secondary disturbances. We also show the different mechanisms by which wild fish can affect macrofauna diversity patterns under fish farming influence. In addition, we comment the importance of the macrofauna diversity in the ecosystem functions and propose some guidelines to measure functional diversity related to relevant processes at ecosystem level. We propose more research efforts in the main topics commented in this review to improve management strategies to guarantee a good status of the diversity and ecosystem functioning of sediments influenced by fish farming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial and Temporal Benthic Diversity Patterns)
Open AccessReview Ecological Processes and Contemporary Coral Reef Management
Diversity 2010, 2(5), 717-737; doi:10.3390/d2050717
Received: 8 March 2010 / Revised: 14 April 2010 / Accepted: 28 April 2010 / Published: 11 May 2010
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (276 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Top-down controls of complex foodwebs maintain the balance among the critical groups of corals, algae, and herbivores, thus allowing the persistence of corals reefs as three-dimensional, biogenic structures with high biodiversity, heterogeneity, resistance, resilience and connectivity, and the delivery of essential goods [...] Read more.
Top-down controls of complex foodwebs maintain the balance among the critical groups of corals, algae, and herbivores, thus allowing the persistence of corals reefs as three-dimensional, biogenic structures with high biodiversity, heterogeneity, resistance, resilience and connectivity, and the delivery of essential goods and services to societies. On contemporary reefs world-wide, however, top-down controls have been weakened due to reduction in herbivory levels (overfishing or disease outbreak) while bottom-up controls have increased due to water quality degradation (increase in sediment and nutrient load) and climate forcing (seawater warming and acidification) leading to algal-dominated alternate benthic states of coral reefs, which are indicative of a trajectory towards ecological extinction. Management to reverse common trajectories of degradation for coral reefs necessitates a shift from optimization in marine resource use and conservation towards building socio-economic resilience into coral reef systems while attending to the most manageable human impacts (fishing and water quality) and the global-scale causes (climate change). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial and Temporal Benthic Diversity Patterns)

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Diversity Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
diversity@mdpi.com
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Diversity
Back to Top