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Special Issue "Global Freshwater Biodiversity"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Thilina Surasinghe (Website)

Department of Biology, Rhodes College, 2000 N Parkway, Memphis TN 38112, USA
Interests: conservation biology; wildlife ecology and biology; behavioral ecology; natural history of herpetofauna; landscape ecology; freshwater biology; wetland ecology; GIS applications in natural resource management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Life on Earth depends on water and water is the foundation for the origin of life. Seventy percent of our planet’s surface is covered with water; over 95% of Earth’s water is in the ocean. Freshwater is intrinsically limited in availability and is a globally important, indispensable resource for the persistence of all life forms. The values of freshwater resources to the society and environment have been well-recognized; freshwater ecosystems have received an increasing attention in terms of research, management, education and awareness across the globe. However, freshwater habitats and aquatic biota around the world have been critically imperiled, mostly due to anthropogenic forces such as development and industrialization. The demand on water for human consumption is dramatically increasing along with the growing global human population. The challenges to stem the losses in global freshwater biodiversity remain extensive and the resolutions of this crisis is an imminent need in the face of global environmental change.
Persistence of freshwater biodiversity in the face of environmental changes (climate change, pollution, unsustainable land-uses such as intensive agriculture and urbanization, overexploitation, biological invasions, diseases and parasitic infections and a myriad of other factors) is a critical issue confronted by many governments, resource managers, researchers, and conservation authorizes worldwide. The conservation and management of threatened species and rapid degradation of freshwater habitats accentuates the gravity of global freshwater crisis. In addition, the richness of freshwater biological diversity may be largely known to science in certain less-explored biomes, particularly in the tropical realm. Therefore, it is crucial to explore the global freshwater diversity in-depth to broaden our understanding of the biosphere. It is the prime responsibility of researchers and conservation biologists to device action plans to effectively and efficiently manage and conserve global freshwater biodiversity; to develop the science-based knowledge on freshwater biodiversity; and promote wise use of freshwater resources to achieve sustainable development for the mankind.
The scholarly articles in this volume will focus different aspects of global freshwater biodiversity including different conservation-driven approaches to the surmount challenges with real-world examples of success in such efforts.
"Indexing & Abstracting Services you could get from http://www.mdpi.com/journal/diversity/indexing

Dr. Thilina Surasinghe
Guest Editor

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

• conservation and management of freshwater ecosystems, habitats and species
• imperiled (locally, regionally, nationally, or globally) freshwater habitats and species
• national and transboundary action plans targeting and/or emphasis on conservation of freshwater biodiversity
• threats to freshwater biodiversity: pollution, overuse, invasions, diseases, etc....
• ecology, evolution, behavior, natural and life histories of freshwater species
• experimental freshwater ecology
• cutting-edge technology on freshwater biodiversity: GIS, remote sensing, radiotelemetry & animal tracking
• distribution studies and inventories from less-explored habitats and regions
• sustainable management of fisheries and other freshwater biota
• theoretical studies in ecology and conservation of freshwater systems
• restoration of freshwater habitats: theory and practice
• environmental law and policies with a freshwater perspective
• perspectives and efforts on public awareness and formal education on freshwater biodiversity
• global climate change and freshwater resources
• functions and processes of freshwater ecosystems and land-water connections
• impacts of freshwater biodiversity on human well-being
• formal Education on freshwater biodiversity conservation and inland
aquatic resources
• public outreach on on freshwater biodiversity conservation and inland
aquatic resources
• awareness enhancement on on freshwater biodiversity conservation and
inland aquatic resources

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle The Impacts of Recently Established Fish Populations on Zooplankton Communities in a Desert Spring, and Potential Conflicts in Setting Conservation Goals
Diversity 2015, 7(1), 3-15; doi:10.3390/d7010003
Received: 1 December 2014 / Accepted: 4 January 2015 / Published: 9 January 2015
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Abstract
Desert springs, which harbor diverse and endemic invertebrate assemblages, are often used as refuge habitats for protected fish species. Additionally, many of these springs have been colonized by invasive fish species. However, the potential impacts of recently established fish populations on invertebrate [...] Read more.
Desert springs, which harbor diverse and endemic invertebrate assemblages, are often used as refuge habitats for protected fish species. Additionally, many of these springs have been colonized by invasive fish species. However, the potential impacts of recently established fish populations on invertebrate communities in desert springs have been relatively unexplored. We conducted a mesocosm experiment to assess the impact of both protected and invasive fish on community structure of spring-dwelling invertebrates focusing on zooplankton. Experimental populations of spring zooplankton communities were established and randomly assigned to one of three treatments, (1) invasive western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis); (2) endangered Mohave tui chub (Siphateles bicolor mohavensis); and (3) fishless control. Final populations of zooplankton and fish were sampled, sorted, identified and counted. The treatment differences of zooplankton communities were analyzed by comparing the densities of six major zooplankton taxa. Further, we performed nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) to visualize the patterns of zooplankton community assemblages. Four zooplankton taxa, crustacean nauplii, cladocera, calanoid and cyclopoid copepods had significantly lower densities in fish treatments compared to fishless control. Overall, invasive mosquitofish caused a 78.8% reduction in zooplankton density, while Mohave tui chub caused a 65.1% reduction. Both protected and invasive fish had similar effects on zooplankton except for cladocerans where tui chub caused a 60% reduction in density, whereas mosquitofish virtually eliminated cladocerans. The presence of fish also had a significant effect on zooplankton community structure due to population declines and local extirpations presumably due to fish predation. This work shows that conservation-translocations undertaken to conserve protected fish species may impact spring-dwelling invertebrate communities, and such impacts are similar to impacts due to colonization by invasive fish species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Freshwater Biodiversity)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Dynamics of Invertebrate Diversity in a Tropical Stream
Diversity 2014, 6(4), 771-791; doi:10.3390/d6040771
Received: 13 October 2014 / Revised: 26 November 2014 / Accepted: 1 December 2014 / Published: 5 December 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (368 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Regional studies of biotic communities are important for characterising their normal spatial and temporal variation, but there are few such studies of tropical streams. This paper describes changes in invertebrate communities in Yuccabine Creek, a seasonal upland rainforest stream in tropical Australia, [...] Read more.
Regional studies of biotic communities are important for characterising their normal spatial and temporal variation, but there are few such studies of tropical streams. This paper describes changes in invertebrate communities in Yuccabine Creek, a seasonal upland rainforest stream in tropical Australia, over three-year and decadal periods. Invertebrate abundance, richness and evenness were temporally stable, except after major drying or wet-season flows, from which they recovered quickly; however, three wet seasons contrasted in abundance patterns. Species’ responses to flood or drought varied depending on life-histories and habitat dynamics. Communities showed contrasts between wet, early-dry and late-dry seasons, with different characteristic species. Current velocity, leaf litter and substratum particle size were the main environmental correlates with species abundances and multivariate scores. Between-decade contrasts were due to antecedent rainfall and loss of canopy cover. Trophic composition varied seasonally, driven by abundances of predators and detritivores. Yuccabine Creek differs from comparable temperate streams in its high diversity of invertebrates, continual recruitment and spring-dominated continual leaf fall; and from some other tropical streams in its seasonal flow regime. Interpretation of invertebrate metrics in these streams needs to account for historical, antecedent and current conditions, but biannual samples would adequately characterise the fauna. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Freshwater Biodiversity)
Open AccessArticle Impact of Dams on Riparian Frog Communities in the Southern Western Ghats, India
Diversity 2014, 6(3), 567-578; doi:10.3390/d6030567
Received: 18 June 2014 / Revised: 19 August 2014 / Accepted: 22 August 2014 / Published: 29 August 2014
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Abstract
The Western Ghats is a global biodiversity hotspot and home to diverse and unique assemblages of amphibians. Several rivers originate from these mountains and hydropower is being tapped from them. The impacts of hydrological regulation of riparian ecosystems to wildlife and its [...] Read more.
The Western Ghats is a global biodiversity hotspot and home to diverse and unique assemblages of amphibians. Several rivers originate from these mountains and hydropower is being tapped from them. The impacts of hydrological regulation of riparian ecosystems to wildlife and its habitat are poorly documented, and in particular the fate of frog populations is unknown. We examined the effects of dams on riparian frog communities in the Thamirabarani catchment in southern Western Ghats. We used nocturnal visual encounter surveys constrained for time, to document the species richness of frogs below and above the dam, and also at control sites in the same catchment. While we did not find differences in species richness below and above the dams, the frog community composition was significantly altered as a likely consequence of altered flow regime. The frog species compositions in control sites were similar to above-dam sites. Below-dam sites had a distinctly different species composition. Select endemic frog species appeared to be adversely impacted due to the dams. Below-dam sites had a greater proportion of generalist and widely distributed species. Dams in the Western Ghats appeared to adversely impact population of endemic species, particularly those belonging to the genus Nyctibatrachus that shows specialization for intact streams. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Freshwater Biodiversity)
Open AccessArticle Diversity and Spatial Distribution of Extant Freshwater Ostracodes (Crustacea) in Ancient Lake Ohrid (Macedonia/Albania)
Diversity 2014, 6(3), 524-550; doi:10.3390/d6030524
Received: 2 October 2013 / Revised: 23 June 2014 / Accepted: 25 June 2014 / Published: 17 July 2014
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Abstract
We carried out an intensive sampling survey in ancient Lake Ohrid (Macedonia/Albania), covering all seasons, to determine total species number, relative species abundances and spatial distribution of Ostracoda. We identified 32 living species that belong to seven families (Candonidae, Ilyocyprididae, Cyprididae, Leptocytheridae, [...] Read more.
We carried out an intensive sampling survey in ancient Lake Ohrid (Macedonia/Albania), covering all seasons, to determine total species number, relative species abundances and spatial distribution of Ostracoda. We identified 32 living species that belong to seven families (Candonidae, Ilyocyprididae, Cyprididae, Leptocytheridae, Limnocytheridae, Cytherideidae, and Darwinulidae) and 15 genera (Candona, Fabaeformiscandona, Candonopsis, Cypria, Cyclocypris, Ilyocypris, Eucypris, Prionocypris, Bradleystrandesia, Herpetocypris, Dolerocypris, Amnicythere, Paralimnocythere, Cytherissa, and Darwinula). Six additional species were identified from empty carapaces and valves. Dominant families in Lake Ohrid were Candonidae and Limnocytheridae, representing 53% and 16% of all species, respectively. Prevalence of species flocks in these two families confirms the “young” ancient status of the lake. Amnicythere displays a preference for oligo-haline to meso-haline waters, but some species are found in saline environments, which suggests Lake Ohrid has a marine history. Recent studies, however, indicate fluvial/glaciofluvial deposition at the onset of Lake Ohrid sedimentation. Candona is the most diverse genus in Lake Ohrid, represented by 12 living species. Paralimnocythere is represented by five living species and all other genera are represented by one or two species. Reports of Candona bimucronata, Ilyocypris bradyi, Eucypris virens, Eucypris sp., Prionocypris zenkeri, Bradleystrandesia reticulate, Herpetocypris sp. 2, and Dolerocypris sinensis are firsts for this lake. Living ostracodes were collected at the maximum water depth (280 m) in the lake (Candona hadzistei, C. marginatoides, C. media, C. ovalis, C. vidua, Fabaeformiscandona krstici, Cypria lacustris, C. obliqua and Amnicythere karamani). Cypria lacustris was overall the most abundant species and Cypria obliqua displayed the highest abundance at 280 m water depth. Principal environmental variables that influence ostracode distributions in Lake Ohrid are water depth and conductivity. In general, species richness, diversity and evenness were greater in waters <60 m deep, with highest values often found in the littoral zone, at depths <30 m. Candonids, however, displayed highest diversity in the sublittoral (30–50 m) and profundal (50–280 m) zones. The most frequent species encountered are taxa endemic to the lake (14 living species), which have a wide depth range (≤280 m), and display higher abundance with greater water depth. Non-endemic species were rare, limited to water depths <50 m, and were found mainly in the north part of the lake where anthropogenic pressure is high. Several cosmopolitan species were encountered for the first time, which suggests that these widespread species are new arrivals that may replace endemics as human impacts increase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Freshwater Biodiversity)
Open AccessArticle Fish Distribution in Far Western Queensland, Australia: The Importance of Habitat, Connectivity and Natural Flows
Diversity 2014, 6(2), 380-395; doi:10.3390/d6020380
Received: 10 February 2014 / Revised: 12 June 2014 / Accepted: 18 June 2014 / Published: 24 June 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (530 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The endorheic Lake Eyre Basin drains 1.2 million square kilometres of arid central Australia, yet provides habitat for only 30 species of freshwater fish due to the scarcity of water and extreme climate. The majority are hardy riverine species that are adapted [...] Read more.
The endorheic Lake Eyre Basin drains 1.2 million square kilometres of arid central Australia, yet provides habitat for only 30 species of freshwater fish due to the scarcity of water and extreme climate. The majority are hardy riverine species that are adapted to the unpredictable flow regimes, and capable of massive population booms following heavy rainfall and the restoration of connectivity between isolated waterholes. The remainder are endemic specialists from isolated springs with very restricted ranges, and many are listed under relevant state and national endangered species legislation and also by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). For these spring communities, which are sustained by water from the Great Artesian Basin, survival is contingent on suitable habitat persisting alongside extractive mining, agriculture and the imposition of alien species. For the riverine species, which frequently undertake long migrations into ephemeral systems, preservation of the natural flow regime is paramount, as this reinstates riverine connectivity. In this study, fish were sampled from the Bulloo River in the east to the Mulligan River in the west, along a temporal timeframe and using a standard set of sampling gears. Fish presence was influenced by factors such as natural catchment divides, sampling time, ephemerality and the occurrence of connection flows and flooding. Despite the comparatively low diversity of species, the aquatic systems of this isolated region remain in good ecological condition, and as such they offer excellent opportunities to investigate the ecology of arid water systems. However, the presence of both endangered species (in the springs) and invasive and translocated species more widely indicates that active protection and management of this unique area is essential to maintain biodiversity and ecosystem integrity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Freshwater Biodiversity)

Review

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Open AccessReview Trends in Stream Biodiversity Research since the River Continuum Concept
Diversity 2015, 7(1), 16-35; doi:10.3390/d7010016
Received: 2 December 2014 / Revised: 21 January 2015 / Accepted: 30 January 2015 / Published: 9 February 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (949 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Lotic environments contain a disproportionate amount of biodiversity given their relatively small proportion of the worldwide landscape. We conducted a systematic literature search of research directed towards understanding factors that influence biodiversity in lotic habitats, published in 31 major ecological and freshwater [...] Read more.
Lotic environments contain a disproportionate amount of biodiversity given their relatively small proportion of the worldwide landscape. We conducted a systematic literature search of research directed towards understanding factors that influence biodiversity in lotic habitats, published in 31 major ecological and freshwater science journals from 1981 to 2014. Our goal was to characterize emergent themes in research successes and identify important areas in need of study. We show an overwhelming taxonomic bias favoring studies of macroinvertebrates and fish, and a paucity in studies of other important groups such as bacteria and fungi. While most studies assessed habitat variables that affect diversity at a local scale, there has been a recent push to investigate regional drivers of beta and gamma diversity. Several factors were consistently found to be important drivers of diversity including local habitat type, hydrologic variables, disturbance, and stream morphometry. Others such as nutrients and chemical variables showed mixed support. Species interactions, dispersal, and evolutionary processes were rarely considered but show promise as fruitful areas for future study. We suggest that researchers should give increased attention to diversity drivers at different scales as well as take advantage of new molecular techniques to address questions regarding organismal diversity in streams. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Freshwater Biodiversity)

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