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Special Issue "Biodiversity Feature Papers"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2009)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Kostas Triantis (Website)

Department of Ecology and Taxonomy, Faculty of Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), Panepistimioupoli Zografou, Athens, Greece, GR-15784
Interests: island biogeography and macroecology; scale in ecological and biogeographical analysis; environmental heterogeneity and conservation biogeography

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Three Continents Claiming an Archipelago: The Evolution of Aegean’s Herpetofaunal Diversity
Diversity 2010, 2(2), 233-255; doi:10.3390/d2020233
Received: 24 November 2009 / Accepted: 5 February 2010 / Published: 16 February 2010
Cited by 31 | PDF Full-text (1034 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The area of the Aegean can be described as one of nature’s most active laboratories. The contemporary geomorphology of the Aegean is a result of diverse and still ongoing geological events, which coupled with climate changes, have created mountains and thousands of [...] Read more.
The area of the Aegean can be described as one of nature’s most active laboratories. The contemporary geomorphology of the Aegean is a result of diverse and still ongoing geological events, which coupled with climate changes, have created mountains and thousands of islands. The Aegean bridges three continents, where human activity has been recorded for at least 10,000 years. Herpetofauna diversity offered early researchers the possibility of describing patterns in the Aegean, especially as the distributional limit for several species and faunal elements. The patterns initially described at a rather coarse scale formed the frame on which the application of new techniques opened new views and permitted finer analyses. Here, we assess recent works on the Aegean’s herpetofauna, outlining the role of sea barriers, especially the Mid Aegean Trench (MAT). We propose four basic patterns (pre-MAT, post-MAT, newcomers, and that of an outlier) and discuss exceptions to these patterns, to interpret the diversity recorded. The interdisciplinary study of taxonomy helps explaining the observed diversity and provides powerful arguments for how exploring diversity can be used to explain more than biological processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity Feature Papers)
Open AccessArticle Polymorphisms within the Toll-Like Receptor (TLR)-2, -4, and -6 Genes in Cattle
Diversity 2009, 1(1), 7-18; doi:10.3390/d1010007
Received: 4 May 2009 / Accepted: 17 July 2009 / Published: 30 July 2009
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (337 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In mammals, members of the TLR gene family play a primary role in the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns from bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi. Recently, cattle TLR genes have been mapped to chromosomes using a radiation hybrid panel. Nucleotide sequences of [...] Read more.
In mammals, members of the TLR gene family play a primary role in the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns from bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi. Recently, cattle TLR genes have been mapped to chromosomes using a radiation hybrid panel. Nucleotide sequences of bovine TLR2, TLR4 and TLR6 genes were screened to identify novel SNPs that can be used in studies of cattle resistance to diseases. In total, 8 SNPs were identified and were submitted to the NCBI dbSNP database. The frequencies of the SNPs were assessed in 16 different bovine European cattle breeds and a phylogenetic analysis carried out to describe the relationships between the breeds. Even if from our analysis the SNPs do not appear located in loci under selection, a deviation of three SNPs from Hardy Weinberg equilibrium was observed, and we hypothesize that some of the polymorphisms may be fixated since many generations. The described variations in immune function related genes will contribute to research on disease response in cattle. In fact, the SNPs can be used in association studies between polymorphisms and cattle resistance to diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity Feature Papers)

Review

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Open AccessReview The Brazilian Pampa: A Fragile Biome
Diversity 2009, 1(2), 182-198; doi:10.3390/d1020182
Received: 17 November 2009 / Accepted: 9 December 2009 / Published: 21 December 2009
Cited by 32 | PDF Full-text (517 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biodiversity is one of the most fundamental properties of Nature. It underpins the stability of ecosystems, provides vast bioresources for economic use, and has important cultural significance for many people. The Pampa biome, located in the southernmost state of Brazil, Rio Grande [...] Read more.
Biodiversity is one of the most fundamental properties of Nature. It underpins the stability of ecosystems, provides vast bioresources for economic use, and has important cultural significance for many people. The Pampa biome, located in the southernmost state of Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, illustrates the direct and indirect interdependence of humans and biodiversity. The Brazilian Pampa lies within the South Temperate Zone where grasslands scattered with shrubs and trees are the dominant vegetation. The soil, originating from sedimentary rocks, often has an extremely sandy texture that makes them fragile—highly prone to water and wind erosion. Human activities have converted or degraded many areas of this biome. In this review we discuss our state-of-the-art knowledge of the diversity and the major biological features of this regions and the cultural factors that have shaped it. Our aim is to contribute toward a better understanding of the current status of this special biome and to describe how the interaction between human activities and environment affects the region, highlighting the fragility of the Brazilian Pampa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity Feature Papers)
Figures

Open AccessReview Forecasting Extinctions: Uncertainties and Limitations
Diversity 2009, 1(2), 133-150; doi:10.3390/d1020133
Received: 13 October 2009 / Accepted: 14 November 2009 / Published: 26 November 2009
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (272 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Extinction forecasting is one of the most important and challenging areas of conservation biology. Overestimates of extinction rates or the extinction risk of a particular species instigate accusations of hype and overblown conservation rhetoric. Conversely, underestimates may result in limited resources being [...] Read more.
Extinction forecasting is one of the most important and challenging areas of conservation biology. Overestimates of extinction rates or the extinction risk of a particular species instigate accusations of hype and overblown conservation rhetoric. Conversely, underestimates may result in limited resources being allocated to other species/habitats perceived as being at greater risk. In this paper I review extinction models and identify the key sources of uncertainty for each. All reviewed methods which claim to estimate extinction probabilities have severe limitations, independent of if they are based on ecological theory or on rather subjective expert judgments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity Feature Papers)

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