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Thalassic Rotifers from the United States: Descriptions of Two New Species and Notes on the Effect of Salinity and Ecosystem on Biodiversity
Open AccessArticle

Patterns of Rotifer Diversity in the Chihuahuan Desert

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, 500 West University Avenue, El Paso, TX 79968, USA
Departamento de Ciencias Químico Biológicas, Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Av. Benjamin Franklin no. 4650, Zona PRONAF, Cd. Juárez 32315, Chihuahua, Mexico
Centro de Ciencias Basicas, Departamentos de Química y Biología, Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, Avenida Universidad 940, Ciudad Universitaria, C.P., Aguascalientes 20131, Ags., Mexico
Department of Biology, 300 Seward St., Ripon College, Ripon, WI 54971, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2020, 12(10), 393;
Received: 28 August 2020 / Revised: 4 October 2020 / Accepted: 7 October 2020 / Published: 13 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Rotifers)
Desert aquatic systems are widely separated, lack hydrologic connections, and are subject to drought. However, they provide unique settings to investigate distributional patterns of micrometazoans, including rotifers. Thus, to understand rotifer biodiversity we sampled 236 sites across an array of habitats including rock pools, springs, tanks, flowing waters, playas, lakes, and reservoirs in the Chihuahuan Desert of the USA (n = 202) and Mexico (n = 34) over a period of >20 years. This allowed us to calculate diversity indices and examine geographic patterns in rotifer community composition. Of ~1850 recognized rotifer species, we recorded 246 taxa (~13%), with greatest diversity in springs (n = 175), lakes (n = 112), and rock pools (n = 72). Sampling effort was positively related to observed richness in springs, lakes, rivers, and tanks. Nestedness analyses indicated that rotifers in these sites, and most subsets thereof, were highly nested (support from 4 null models). Distance was positively correlated with species composition dissimilarity on small spatial scales. We predicted species richness for unsampled locations using empirical Bayesian kriging. These findings provide a better understanding of regional rotifer diversity in aridlands and provide information on potential biodiversity hotspots for aquatic scientists and resource managers. View Full-Text
Keywords: aridland; diversity indices; isolation by distance; Mantel tests; micrometazoans; nestedness; playas; rock pools; spatial scale; springs aridland; diversity indices; isolation by distance; Mantel tests; micrometazoans; nestedness; playas; rock pools; spatial scale; springs
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MDPI and ACS Style

Brown, P.D.; Schröder, T.; Ríos-Arana, J.V.; Rico-Martinez, R.; Silva-Briano, M.; Wallace, R.L.; Walsh, E.J. Patterns of Rotifer Diversity in the Chihuahuan Desert. Diversity 2020, 12, 393.

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