Special Issue "Biogeography and Biodiversity Conservation"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2013)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Brett R. Riddle

School of Life Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas NV 89154-4004, USA
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Phone: +702 895 3133
Fax: +702 895 3956
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Holger Kreft

Biodiversity, Macroecology & Conservation Biogeography Group, Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology, University of Göttingen, Büsgenweg 2, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
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Fax: +49 551 39 3618

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biogeography attempts to document and understand spatial patterns of biological diversity and how they change over timeframes ranging from decades to millions of years - from genes to communities and ecosystems - across gradients of area, isolation, latitude, climate, depth, and elevation. Modern biogeography utilizes a toolbox including molecules, fossils, stable isotopes, satellite imaging, geographic information systems, as well as advanced statistical and mechanistic modeling. Recent advances in biogeography rely heavily on the increasing mobilization and accessibility of existing data as well as technological and methodological advances to integrate and analyze various types of data at various temporal and spatial scales. The newly emerging discipline of conservation biogeography is concerned with employing the theory, tools and approaches of biogeography to understand the geographic context of ecological and evolutionary patterns and processes for the purpose of conserving biological diversity. For this special feature of the journal Diversity, we seek to survey the broadest range of developments in conservation biogeography, and invite contributions from both empirical and theoretical perspectives.

Prof. Dr. Brett R. Riddle
Prof. Dr. Holger Kreft
Guest Editors

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diversity is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 800 CHF (Swiss Francs).


Keywords

  • biogeographical regions
  • biotic homogenization
  • climate change
  • conservation biogeography
  • conservation planning
  • extinction
  • geographical range collapse
  • hotspots
  • Linnean shortfall
  • palaeontology
  • palaeoclimatology
  • phylogeography
  • protected areas
  • range shifting
  • ecoregions
  • Wallacean shortfall

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Extinction Resilience of Island Species: An Amphibian Case and a Predictive Model
Diversity 2014, 6(1), 43-71; doi:10.3390/d6010043
Received: 21 November 2013 / Revised: 4 December 2013 / Accepted: 4 December 2013 / Published: 8 January 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1228 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Extreme overall divergence and high extinction rates are typical of insular endemics. Thus, detecting and understanding nativeness is critical on islands. Resilience to extinction is explored through a mechanistic approach focusing on midwife toads (Anura: Alytidae: Alytinae), an ancient lineage that includes continental
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Extreme overall divergence and high extinction rates are typical of insular endemics. Thus, detecting and understanding nativeness is critical on islands. Resilience to extinction is explored through a mechanistic approach focusing on midwife toads (Anura: Alytidae: Alytinae), an ancient lineage that includes continental and insular species. All alytines need urgent conservation action, including control of emerging diseases and spatially explicit reserve design aimed at ensuring ecosystem health and connectivity. The only extant insular alytine is additionally affected by an introduced continental predator. This alien species acts as a driver of the prey’s near-extinction and has not elicited any evolutionary response. Both IUCN criteria and EDGE scores show that alytines are top conservation priorities. However, there is a need for also considering phenotypic and ecological uniqueness in the assessment of conservation status and urgency. The reason is that phenotypes render ecosystems functional and insular ones uniquely so. In contrast, phylogenetic relatedness is just a constraint upon, not a motor of, evolutionary novelty. Insular species are indeed particularly susceptible, but can be similarly endangered as continental ones. This paradox may be solved by recognizing the insularity syndrome in any isolated or nearly-insular ecosystem, as a function of evolutionary and dispersal potentials. This predictive model may be useful for island biogeography, invasion biology and conservation planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biogeography and Biodiversity Conservation)
Open AccessArticle A Proposed Revision of Diversity Measures
Diversity 2013, 5(3), 613-626; doi:10.3390/d5030613
Received: 3 July 2013 / Revised: 13 July 2013 / Accepted: 22 July 2013 / Published: 9 August 2013
PDF Full-text (1228 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The current measures of diversity for vegetation, namely alpha, beta, and gamma diversity are not logically consistent, which reduces their effectiveness as a framework for comparative vegetation analysis. The current terms mix concepts: specifically, while alpha diversity measures floristic diversity at a site,
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The current measures of diversity for vegetation, namely alpha, beta, and gamma diversity are not logically consistent, which reduces their effectiveness as a framework for comparative vegetation analysis. The current terms mix concepts: specifically, while alpha diversity measures floristic diversity at a site, and gamma diversity measures floristic diversity regionally, beta diversity is a measure of diversity between two sites and measures a different phenomenon. We seek to rationalise measures of diversity providing a scalar set of measures. Our approach recognises vegetation diversity extends beyond species diversity and should include the various ways plants express themselves phenotypically. We propose four types of diversity, with a new set of prefixes: Type 1 diversity = the largest scale−the regional species pool; Type 2 diversity = the large habitat scale−where species in a habitat have been selected from the regional species pool; Type 3 diversity = intra-habitat expression of floristics, structure, and physiognomy; and Type 4 diversity = the finest scale of expression of vegetation diversity reflecting site selection of floristics, physiography, and phenotypic expression and reproductive strategy. This proposed framework adds significant new power to measures of diversity by extending the existing components to cover floristics, structure, physiognomy, and other forms of phenotypic expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biogeography and Biodiversity Conservation)
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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 the
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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)
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 2 | 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, modern
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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 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 5 | 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, typically
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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 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 7 | 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. When
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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 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 evaluate
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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 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 6 | 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 respect
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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 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 freshwater
[...] 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)

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