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Volume 12, January

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Diversity, Volume 12, Issue 2 (February 2020) – 44 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Marine Heterobranchia are beautiful and enigmatic animals, fascinating not only biologists. North [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Relating Bat Passage Rates to Wind Turbine Fatalities
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020084 (registering DOI) - 22 Feb 2020
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Abstract
Wind energy siting to minimize impacts to bats would benefit from impact predictions following pre-construction surveys, but whether pre- or even post-construction activity patterns can predict fatalities remains unknown. We tested whether bat passage rates through rotor-swept airspace differ between groups of wind [...] Read more.
Wind energy siting to minimize impacts to bats would benefit from impact predictions following pre-construction surveys, but whether pre- or even post-construction activity patterns can predict fatalities remains unknown. We tested whether bat passage rates through rotor-swept airspace differ between groups of wind turbines where bat fatalities were found and not found during next-morning dog searches for fatalities. Passage rates differed significantly and averaged four times higher where freshly killed bats were found in next-morning fatality searches. Rates of near misses and risky flight behaviors also differed significantly between groups of turbines where bats were found and not found, and rate of near misses averaged eight times higher where bat fatalities were found in next-morning searches. Hours of turbine operation averaged significantly higher, winds averaged more westerly, and the moon averaged more visible among turbines where and when bat fatalities were found. Although dogs found only one of four bats seen colliding with turbine blades, they found many more bat fatalities than did human-only searchers at the same wind projects, and our fatality estimates were considerably higher. Our rates of observed bat collisions, adjusted for the rates of unseen collisions, would predict four to seven times the fresh fatalities we found using dogs between two wind projects. Despite markedly improved carcass detection through use of dogs, best estimates of bat fatalities might still be biased low due to crippling bias and search radius bias. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Pressure on Bat Populations)
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Open AccessArticle
Johnston Atoll: Reef Fish Hybrid Zone between Hawaii and the Equatorial Pacific
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020083 - 20 Feb 2020
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Abstract
Johnston Atoll is isolated in the Central Pacific Ocean (16°45′ N 169°31′ W) about 1287 km (800 miles) southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii and 1440 km (900 miles) north of the equatorial Line Islands, Kiribati. The labrid species, Thalassoma lutescens, has a wide [...] Read more.
Johnston Atoll is isolated in the Central Pacific Ocean (16°45′ N 169°31′ W) about 1287 km (800 miles) southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii and 1440 km (900 miles) north of the equatorial Line Islands, Kiribati. The labrid species, Thalassoma lutescens, has a wide range of distribution in the equatorial Pacific. The related species, Thalassoma duperrey, is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. The pelagic larvae of both species dispersed to Johnston Atoll, where we found a mix of adult phenotypes representing a range of hybridization events over generations. A hybrid acanthurid was also documented. In addition, the arrival and colonization of two pomacentrid (damselfish) species to the atoll was observed in 1999. These pomacentrid sister-species, Abudefduf abdominalis and A. vaigiensis, have become established populations with subsequent hybridization. The biogeography of the Johnston Atoll coral reef fish population shows some degree of local population retention. It is also evident that this biogeographic isolation is periodically compromised by large ocean current oscillations in the equatorial and central Pacific Ocean that bring larval fishes from either Hawaii or the Line Islands, and may distribute Johnston Atoll originating larvae elsewhere as well. The reef fauna and oceanography of this atoll provides the circumstances for improving scientific insight into marine fish speciation and island biogeography. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Marine Diversity)
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Invasive Watermilfoil on Primary Production in Littoral Zones of North-Temperate Lakes
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020082 - 19 Feb 2020
Viewed by 128
Abstract
Species invasions are changing aquatic ecosystems worldwide. Submerged aquatic macrophytes control lake ecosystem processes through their direct and indirect interactions with other primary producers, but how these interactions may be altered by macrophyte species invasions in temperate lakes is poorly understood. We addressed [...] Read more.
Species invasions are changing aquatic ecosystems worldwide. Submerged aquatic macrophytes control lake ecosystem processes through their direct and indirect interactions with other primary producers, but how these interactions may be altered by macrophyte species invasions in temperate lakes is poorly understood. We addressed whether invasive watermilfoil (IWM) altered standing crops and gross primary production (GPP) of other littoral primary producers (macrophytes, phytoplankton, attached algae, and periphyton) in littoral zones of six Michigan lakes through a paired-plot comparison study of sites with IWM (standardized abundance 7–56%) compared to those with little or no IWM (standardized abundance 0–2%). We found that primary producer standing crops and the GPP of epiphytes, phytoplankton, and benthic periphyton were variable among lakes and not significantly different between paired study plots. Macrophyte standing crops predicted rates of benthic periphyton GPP, and standing crops of all other primary producers across all study plots. Overall, our results suggest that the effects of IWM on other primary producers in littoral zones may be lake-specific, and are likely dependent on the density of IWM, or whether it is functionally similar to other native species that it replaces or co-exists with. Moreover, in lakes where IWM is established but does not dominate macrophyte assemblages, the effects on littoral zone productivity may be minimal. Instead, overall macrophyte biomass is the primary factor controlling the rates of production and biomass of the other littoral zone primary producers, as has long been understood and observed in lake ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology of Invasive Aquatic Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Relative Efficiency of Pitfall Trapping vs. Nocturnal Hand Collecting in Assessing Soil-Dwelling Spider Diversity along A Structural Gradient of Neotropical Habitats
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020081 - 19 Feb 2020
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Abstract
Assessing spider diversity remains a great challenge, especially in tropical habitats where dozens of species can locally co-occur. Pitfall trapping is one of the most widely used techniques to collect spiders, but it suffers from several biases, and its accuracy likely varies with [...] Read more.
Assessing spider diversity remains a great challenge, especially in tropical habitats where dozens of species can locally co-occur. Pitfall trapping is one of the most widely used techniques to collect spiders, but it suffers from several biases, and its accuracy likely varies with habitat complexity. In this study, we compared the efficiency of passive pitfall trapping versus active nocturnal hand collecting (NHC) to capture low understory-dwelling spider taxonomical (morpho-species) and functional (hunting guilds) diversity along a structural gradient of habitats in French Guiana. We focused on four habitats describing a structural gradient: garden to the orchard to the forest edge to the undisturbed forest. Overall, estimated morpho-species richness and composition did not vary consistently between habitats, but abundances of ground-hunting spiders decreased significantly with increasing habitat complexity. We found habitat-dependence differences in taxonomic diversity between sampling strategies: NHC revealed higher diversity in the orchard, whereas pitfalls resulted in higher diversity in the forest. Species turnover resulted in high dissimilarity in species composition between habitats using either method. This study shows how pitfall trapping is influenced by habitat structure, rendering this sampling method incomplete for complex, tropical environments. However, pitfall traps remain a valuable component of inventories because they sample distinct assemblage of spiders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systematics and Evolution of Spiders)
Open AccessReview
The Role of Climate and Topography in Shaping the Diversity of Plant Communities in Cabo Verde Islands
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020080 - 19 Feb 2020
Viewed by 152
Abstract
The flora and vegetation of the archipelago of Cabo Verde is dominated by Macaronesian, Mediterranean, and particularly by African tropical elements, resulting from its southernmost location, when compared to the other islands of the Macaronesia (i.e., Azores, Madeira, Selvagens, and Canary Islands). Very [...] Read more.
The flora and vegetation of the archipelago of Cabo Verde is dominated by Macaronesian, Mediterranean, and particularly by African tropical elements, resulting from its southernmost location, when compared to the other islands of the Macaronesia (i.e., Azores, Madeira, Selvagens, and Canary Islands). Very likely, such a geographical position entailed higher susceptibility to extreme climatic fluctuations, namely those associated with the West African Monsoon oscillations. These fluctuations led to a continuous aridification, which is a clear trend shown by most recent studies based on continental shelf cores. Promoting important environmental shifts, such climatic fluctuations are accepted as determinant to explain the current spatial distribution patterns of taxa, as well as the composition of the plant communities. In this paper, we present a comprehensive characterization of the main plant communities in Cabo Verde, and we discuss the role of the climatic and topoclimatic diversity in shaping the vegetation composition and distribution of this archipelago. Our study reveals a strong variation in the diversity of plant communities across elevation gradients and distinct patterns of richness among plant communities. Moreover, we present an overview of the biogeographical relationships of the Cabo Verde flora and vegetation with the other Macaronesian Islands and northwestern Africa. We discuss how the distribution of plant communities and genetic patterns found among most of the endemic lineages can be related to Africa’s ongoing aridification, exploring the impacts of a process that marks northern Africa from the Late Miocene until the present. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Vegetation and Flora in Tropical Africa)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Snap-Shot of Domatial Mite Diversity of Coffea arabica in Comparison to the Adjacent Umtamvuna Forest in South Africa
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020079 - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 129
Abstract
Some plant species possess structures known as leaf domatia, which house mites. The association between domatia-bearing plants and mites has been proposed to be mutualistic, and has been found to be important in species of economic value, such as grapes, cotton, avocado and [...] Read more.
Some plant species possess structures known as leaf domatia, which house mites. The association between domatia-bearing plants and mites has been proposed to be mutualistic, and has been found to be important in species of economic value, such as grapes, cotton, avocado and coffee. This is because leaf domatia affect the distribution, diversity and abundance of predatory and mycophagous mites found on the leaf surface. As a result, plants are thought to benefit from increased defence against pathogens and small arthropod herbivores. This study assesses the relative diversity and composition of mites on an economically important plant host (Coffea aribica) in comparison to mites found in a neighbouring indigenous forest in South Africa. Our results showed that the coffee plantations were associated with only predatory mites, some of which are indigenous to South Africa. This indicates that coffee plantations are able to be successfully colonised by indigenous beneficial mites. We also found an “edge effect”, in that coffee trees at the edge of the plantation hosted fewer mite species. These results are a snap-shot from a single sampling period. Nonetheless, they highlight the potential importance of this mutualism in commercial crop species and the possible role of faunal exchanges between indigenous and exotic crop species. This study expands our understanding of the mite–plant mutualism in Southern Africa, a region where acarological studies are sparse. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Mites)
Open AccessArticle
Green Fluorescence Patterns in Closely Related Symbiotic Species of Zanclea (Hydrozoa, Capitata)
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020078 - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 146
Abstract
Green fluorescence is a common phenomenon in marine invertebrates and is caused by green fluorescent proteins. Many hydrozoan species display fluorescence in their polyps and/or medusa stages, and in a few cases patterns of green fluorescence have been demonstrated to differ between closely [...] Read more.
Green fluorescence is a common phenomenon in marine invertebrates and is caused by green fluorescent proteins. Many hydrozoan species display fluorescence in their polyps and/or medusa stages, and in a few cases patterns of green fluorescence have been demonstrated to differ between closely related species. Hydrozoans are often characterized by the presence of cryptic species, due to the paucity of available morphological diagnostic characters. Zanclea species are not an exception, showing high genetic divergence compared to a uniform morphology. In this work, the presence of green fluorescence and the morpho-molecular diversity of six coral- and bryozoan-associated Zanclea species from the Maldivian coral reefs were investigated. Specifically, the presence of green fluorescence in polyps and newly released medusae was explored, the general morphology, as well as the cnidome and the interaction with the hosts, were characterized, and the 16S rRNA region was sequenced and analyzed. Overall, Zanclea species showed a similar morphology, with little differences in the general morphological features and in the cnidome. Three of the analyzed species did not show any fluorescence in both life stages. Three other Zanclea species, including two coral-associated cryptic species, were distinguished by species-specific fluorescence patterns in the medusae. Altogether, the results confirmed the morphological similarity despite high genetic divergence in Zanclea species and indicated that fluorescence patterns may be a promising tool in further discriminating closely related and cryptic species. Therefore, the assessment of fluorescence at a large scale in the whole Zancleidae family may be useful to shed light on the diversity of this enigmatic taxon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity of Coral-Associated Fauna)
Open AccessEditorial
Biological Invasions 2020 Horizon
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020077 - 18 Feb 2020
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Abstract
This special issue points to the necessity to continue actively working on biological invasions, as invasive species remain a main and global threat for biodiversity through a global homogenization process. This issue includes six research papers, covering a large range of taxa, studying [...] Read more.
This special issue points to the necessity to continue actively working on biological invasions, as invasive species remain a main and global threat for biodiversity through a global homogenization process. This issue includes six research papers, covering a large range of taxa, studying new invasive processes and proposing innovative management solutions. The way forward will be to continue working in close relation with other stakeholders and decision-makers, increase communication efforts, solicit societal feedback, and quickly implement consistent legislation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Invasions 2020 Horizon)
Open AccessReview
Systematic Review of the Roost-Site Characteristics of North American Forest Bats: Implications for Conservation
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020076 - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 121
Abstract
Continued declines in North American bat populations can be largely attributed to habitat loss, disease, and wind turbines. These declines can be partially mitigated through actions that boost reproductive success; therefore, management aimed at promoting availability of high-quality roosting habitat is an important [...] Read more.
Continued declines in North American bat populations can be largely attributed to habitat loss, disease, and wind turbines. These declines can be partially mitigated through actions that boost reproductive success; therefore, management aimed at promoting availability of high-quality roosting habitat is an important conservation goal. Following the principles of the umbrella species concept, if co-occurring species share similar roost-tree preferences, then management practices targeting one species may confer conservation benefits to another. We conducted a systematic review of roost-site characteristics of thirteen species inhabiting eastern temperate forests to: (1) synthesize existing knowledge across species; (2) assess niche overlap among co-occurring species; and 3) evaluate the potential for currently protected species to serve as conservation umbrellas. We performed multivariate ordination techniques to group species based on the seven most-reported roost-site characteristics, including tree species, diameter at breast height, tree health, roost type, tree height, canopy closure, and roost height. Species sorted into three roosting guilds: (1) southern wetland inhabitants; (2) foliage specialists; and (3) dead tree generalists. Myotis septentrionalis and Perimyotis subflavus had significant roost-niche overlap with five and four other species respectively, and their existing protections make them suitable umbrellas for other bats in the North American eastern temperate forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Pressure on Bat Populations)
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Open AccessArticle
Structure of Rhodolith Beds and Surrounding Habitats at the Doce River Shelf (Brazil)
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020075 - 15 Feb 2020
Viewed by 237
Abstract
The world’s largest rhodolith beds have been reported from the Brazilian continental shelf. Highly biodiverse beds are located in Southeast Brazil, but ecological aspects of these beds remain unknown. Despite their ecological importance, rhodolith beds (RBs) have recently been subjected to a severe [...] Read more.
The world’s largest rhodolith beds have been reported from the Brazilian continental shelf. Highly biodiverse beds are located in Southeast Brazil, but ecological aspects of these beds remain unknown. Despite their ecological importance, rhodolith beds (RBs) have recently been subjected to a severe threat, when more than 35 million cubic meters of mining residues slid down a mountainside on 5 November 2015, after a collapse of a gigantic dam upstream (the Mariana disaster), causing a huge impact on the Doce River. Our aim is to assess rhodolith beds and adjacent coralline formations on the Doce River Shelf (DRS) after the dam collapse. This paper describes the distribution, abundance, vitality, size and shape, as well as unmapped bryozoan rich sediment formations in this area, serving as baseline knowledge for environmental monitoring. Four distinct biogenic sea bottom habitats (bryozoan bottoms, rhodolith beds, carbonate concretions, and reefs) were recognized at different depth ranges with distribution indicated to be mostly related to the local sedimentary regime. Mud sediments dominated the seafloor up to 35 m depth. On the mid shelf, bryozoan bottoms were recorded from 35 to 45 m depth. Crustose coralline algae (CCA) occurring as rhodoliths and carbonate concretions extend over 1953 km2 in the mid and outer shelf. Rhodolith beds predominate in these areas, totaling 1521 km2 of sea bottom and were more abundant at depths between 45 and 65 m, occupying an extensive area south of the Doce River mouth. Northward, rhodolith beds are less abundant or absent likely due to the long-term deposition of fine sediments in this region. Carbonate concretions and reefs covered by CCA occupy sparse areas on the outer shelf (65–105 m depth). Differences in rhodolith features recorded, including coverage, density and size, may be related to the Doce River sedimentation and related factors (e.g., hydrodynamics, depth, and light). However, since there are no previous detailed studies on RBs along the DRS, we could not assess the impact of sedimentation of dam wastes on RBs’ abundance and density. In any case, these are valuable results for the further monitoring of long-term effects. Considering that the growth of these rhodoliths is relatively slow, and that they are affected by the sedimentation from the Doce River, the implementation of a management and conservation plan for this area is necessary in order to preserve this ecosystem. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Livelihood, Food and Nutrition Security in Southern Africa: What Role Do Indigenous Cattle Genetic Resources Play?
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020074 - 12 Feb 2020
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Abstract
Of the 345 million people in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), 30.6% are severely food insecure, 8% malnourished and 50% live with less than US $1 per day, respectively. Livelihood, food and nutrition security have, therefore, become key priorities for the SADC [...] Read more.
Of the 345 million people in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), 30.6% are severely food insecure, 8% malnourished and 50% live with less than US $1 per day, respectively. Livelihood, food and nutrition security have, therefore, become key priorities for the SADC region in response to these complex challenges. Given that 70% of the SADC population directly rely on agriculture for food, nutrition and income, sustained agricultural productivity may play an important role in achieving livelihood, food and nutrition security in the region. Being an important part of the agri-food system of marginalised communities in the region, cattle have great potential to contribute to the goal of reducing food and nutrition insecurity. The region has a population size of about 64 million cattle of which 75% of the population is kept under the smallholder farming systems, and primarily composed of indigenous tropical breeds. Most indigenous cattle breeds are, however, either undergoing rapid genetic dilution or at risk of extinction. At the same time, their environments, production and marketing systems are experiencing high rates of change in time and space. More importantly, indigenous cattle breeds in the region are undervalued. This makes it uncertain that future systems will have the adapted cattle breeds required for optimal livelihoods, food and nutrition security. To this end, the promotion of sustainable use of indigenous cattle for livelihood, food and nutrition security in the SADC region is strongly recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Rare Breeds of Livestock)
Open AccessArticle
Respiration by the Opportunistic Spionid Polychaete Streblospio gynobranchiata during Adjustment to and Recovery from Moderate Hypoxia
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020073 - 12 Feb 2020
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Abstract
Understanding the capacity of estuarine organisms to acclimate to stressful conditions provides insights into how communities cope within fluctuating environments. The opportunistic spionid polychaete, Streblospio gynobranchiata Rice and Levin, 1998, regularly experiences intermittent moderate hypoxia within shallow sedimentary habitats. To better understand fine-scale [...] Read more.
Understanding the capacity of estuarine organisms to acclimate to stressful conditions provides insights into how communities cope within fluctuating environments. The opportunistic spionid polychaete, Streblospio gynobranchiata Rice and Levin, 1998, regularly experiences intermittent moderate hypoxia within shallow sedimentary habitats. To better understand fine-scale adjustments by this opportunistic species to short-term moderate hypoxia, the aerobic respiration response of three size classes was examined over a 12 h period and after 24 h of exposure to moderate hypoxia (i.e., 20% air saturation) at 25 °C. In addition, the capacity to resume standard respiration was examined over a 12 h period following a 24 h period of exposure to moderate hypoxia. Mass-specific respiration varied with body size during both exposure and recovery from hypoxia. Small worms switched from an oxyregulating to an oxyconforming strategy within 6 h of exposure to moderate hypoxia at 25 °C. After 24 h of hypoxia exposure, small worms hypo-regulated at 81% of the preceding 24 h normoxic reference level. By contrast, medium and large worms hyper-regulated during the first 12 h exposure period, but hypo-regulated at 70% and 79% of the preceding 24 h normoxic reference levels after 24 h of hypoxia exposure. Fluctuations in respiration levels during the recovery period revealed a temporal recovery pattern implying cycling energetic processes. The recovery pattern also indicated some respiration overshoot to compensate for oxygen debt. The timing of the cycling recovery pattern also differed with body size. The ability of S. gynobranchiata to dynamically adjust its metabolic response to low oxygen stress underscores the ecologically important role of tolerant organisms within estuarine benthic habitats subject to recurrent diel or intermittent hypoxia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Hypoxia on Marine Food Webs and Ecosystems)
Open AccessArticle
Urbanization and Human Population Favor Species Richness of Alien Birds
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020072 - 11 Feb 2020
Viewed by 208
Abstract
Human activities like urbanization and agriculture affect spatial biodiversity patterns. The presence and activities of humans richly benefit alien species, but native species usually decline in human-impacted areas. Considering that the richness of alien and native species are inter-related, we explored the effect [...] Read more.
Human activities like urbanization and agriculture affect spatial biodiversity patterns. The presence and activities of humans richly benefit alien species, but native species usually decline in human-impacted areas. Considering that the richness of alien and native species are inter-related, we explored the effect of human population density, human-related land uses (agricultural and urban), and natural land area on avian (alien and native) species richness of Massachusetts for two time periods using Generalized Additive Models. Avian alien species richness increased with native species richness in both time periods. Despite the predominant role of native species richness as a major driver of alien species richness, human activities play an important additional role in shaping species richness patterns of established aliens. Human-related land uses (urban and agricultural) and human population favored alien species richness in both time periods. Counter to expectations, human activities were also positively associated to native avian species richness. Possible explanations of these patterns may include habitat heterogeneity, increased availability of resources, and reduced predation risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biodiversity Conservation)
Open AccessCommunication
Priority Treatment Leaves Grassland Restoration Vulnerable to Invasion
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020071 - 11 Feb 2020
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Abstract
Priority effects can be used to promote target species during restoration. Early planting can provide an advantage over later-arriving species, increasing abundance of these early-arrivers in restored communities. However, we have limited knowledge of the indirect impacts of priority effects in restoration. In [...] Read more.
Priority effects can be used to promote target species during restoration. Early planting can provide an advantage over later-arriving species, increasing abundance of these early-arrivers in restored communities. However, we have limited knowledge of the indirect impacts of priority effects in restoration. In particular, we do not understand how priority effects impact non-target species. Of particular conservation concern is how these priority effects influence establishment by non-native species. We use a field-based mesocosm experiment to explore the impacts of priority effects on both target and non-target species in California grasslands. Specifically, we seeded native grasses and forbs, manipulating order of arrival by planting them at the same time, planting forbs one year before grasses, planting grasses one year before forbs, or planting each functional group alone. While our study plots were tilled and weeded for the first year, the regional species pool was heavily invaded. We found that, while early-arrival of native grasses did not promote establishment of non-native species, giving priority to native forbs ultimately left our restoration mesocosms vulnerable to invasion by non-native species. This suggests that, in some cases, establishment of non-native species may be an unintended consequence of using priority treatments as a restoration tool. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Community Assembly and Biological Invasions)
Open AccessArticle
Phylogenomic Reconstruction Sheds Light on New Relationships and Timescale of Rails (Aves: Rallidae) Evolution
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020070 - 07 Feb 2020
Viewed by 560
Abstract
The integration of state-of-the-art molecular techniques and analyses, together with a broad taxonomic sampling, can provide new insights into bird interrelationships and divergence. Despite their evolutionary significance, the relationships among several rail lineages remain unresolved as does the general timescale of rail evolution. [...] Read more.
The integration of state-of-the-art molecular techniques and analyses, together with a broad taxonomic sampling, can provide new insights into bird interrelationships and divergence. Despite their evolutionary significance, the relationships among several rail lineages remain unresolved as does the general timescale of rail evolution. Here, we disentangle the deep phylogenetic structure of rails using anchored phylogenomics. We analysed a set of 393 loci from 63 species, representing approximately 40% of the extant familial diversity. Our phylogenomic analyses reconstruct the phylogeny of rails and robustly infer several previously contentious relationships. Concatenated maximum likelihood and coalescent species-tree approaches recover identical topologies with strong node support. The results are concordant with previous phylogenetic studies using small DNA datasets, but they also supply an additional resolution. Our dating analysis provides contrasting divergence times using fossils and Bayesian and non-Bayesian approaches. Our study refines the evolutionary history of rails, offering a foundation for future evolutionary studies of birds. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Venomous Snake Abundance Within Snake Species’ Assemblages Worldwide
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020069 - 07 Feb 2020
Viewed by 306
Abstract
Venomous snakes are among the main sources of mortality for humans in rural regions, especially in tropical countries. In this study, a meta-analysis of quantitative community ecology studies on snake assemblages throughout the world was conducted in order to evaluate variation in the [...] Read more.
Venomous snakes are among the main sources of mortality for humans in rural regions, especially in tropical countries. In this study, a meta-analysis of quantitative community ecology studies on snake assemblages throughout the world was conducted in order to evaluate variation in the frequency of occurrence of venomous species and venomous individuals by habitat and continent. A bibliographic search was done by consulting “Google Scholar” and “ISI Web of Knowledge”. In total, 24,200 results were obtained from our bibliographic search, out of which 60 independent studies reporting raw and analyzable quantitative data from 81 distinct snake communities were retained and used for analyses. A snow-ball procedure was also used to uncover additional studies to include in the analyses. We gathered data on a total of 30,537 snake individuals, with an average of almost 30% of venomous individuals. The mean number of sympatric species was 19, whereas the mean number of sympatric venomous species was almost 5. Venomous snake species accounted for 24.4% of the total species in each community—almost the same as the overall percentage of venomous snake species known worldwide (about 24%). The frequency of occurrence of venomous individuals did not differ significantly between tropical and temperate snake communities, and the same was true for the frequency of venomous species within each community. Thus, the greater number of snakebites in tropical countries is not due to there being more venomous snake species or individuals. The total number of species and the number of venomous species observed in each community were positively correlated, and there was a significant difference among continents in terms of the mean number of species in each community. Within communities, there were inter-continental and inter-habitat differences in both the percentage of venomous species and in the percentage of venomous individuals. The Generalized Linear Model (GLM) revealed that the frequency of venomous species at a local scale depended only on the total number of species inhabiting a given site, whereas the frequency of venomous individuals within communities depended on both the total number of species and a habitat–continent interaction. Our meta-analysis could enable the appropriate authorities/agencies to take the relative abundance of venomous species/individuals within snake assemblages into consideration for a better positioning of the first aid centers in locations where snake antivenoms should be available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reptile Community Ecology and Conservation)
Open AccessReview
Domestic Free-Range Pig Genetic Resources in Southern Africa: Progress and Prospects
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020068 - 07 Feb 2020
Viewed by 194
Abstract
Pig genetic resources in Africa originate from different regions and were introduced through several migration pathways. Genetic analysis has shown a strong phylogeographic pattern, with pigs on the eastern parts showing a high frequency of alleles from the Far East while the ones [...] Read more.
Pig genetic resources in Africa originate from different regions and were introduced through several migration pathways. Genetic analysis has shown a strong phylogeographic pattern, with pigs on the eastern parts showing a high frequency of alleles from the Far East while the ones on the western parts show a strong European influence. This highlights the influence of trade routes on the genetic legacy of African pigs. They have, however, since adapted to the local environments to produce unique populations with unique attributes. Most of the pigs are now reared in resource-constrained smallholdings under free-range conditions. They are largely owned by women who spread ownership of the resource through kinship networks. Very little work has been done to characterize, conserve, and sustainably utilize pig genetic resources in Southern Africa. The risk status of the breeds together with population numbers, distribution, and other attributes are largely unknown. This paper proposes several strategies for the sustainable utilization of the pig genetic resources: A market-driven in situ conservation program and two complementary ex situ strategies. In addition, the possibility of community-based breed improvement programs is discussed. It was concluded that genetic characterization of domestic free-range pig populations should be a supreme priority. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Rare Breeds of Livestock)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Effects of Forest Fragmentation on the Vertical Stratification of Neotropical Bats
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020067 - 07 Feb 2020
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Abstract
Vertical stratification is a key component of the biological complexity of rainforests. Understanding community- and species-level responses to disturbance across forest strata is paramount for evidence-based conservation and management. However, even for bats, known to extensively explore multiple layers of the complex three-dimensional [...] Read more.
Vertical stratification is a key component of the biological complexity of rainforests. Understanding community- and species-level responses to disturbance across forest strata is paramount for evidence-based conservation and management. However, even for bats, known to extensively explore multiple layers of the complex three-dimensional forest space, studies are biased towards understory-based surveys and only few assessments of vertical stratification were done in fragmented landscapes. Using both ground and canopy mist-nets, we investigated how the vertical structure of bat assemblages is influenced by forest fragmentation in the experimentally fragmented landscape of the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project, Central Amazon, Brazil. Over a three year-period, we captured 3077 individuals of 46 species in continuous forest (CF) and in 1, 10 and 100 ha forest fragments. In both CF and forest fragments, the upper forest strata sustained more diverse bat assemblages than the equivalent understory layer, and the midstory layers had significantly higher bat abundance in fragments than in CF. Artibeus lituratus and Rhinophylla pumilio exhibited significant shifts in their vertical stratification patterns between CF and fragments (e.g. R. pumilio was more associated with the upper strata in fragments than in CF). Altogether, our study suggests that fragmentation modulates the vertical stratification of bat assemblages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Pressure on Bat Populations)
Open AccessArticle
Knowledge Gaps or Change of Distribution Ranges? Explaining New Records of Birds in the Ecuadorian Tumbesian Region of Endemism
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020066 - 07 Feb 2020
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Abstract
The change in the distribution range is a common response of various species facing the effects of anthropogenic global change. We used new distribution records of birds reported during the last two decades from the Ecuadorian part of the Tumbesian region (western Ecuador [...] Read more.
The change in the distribution range is a common response of various species facing the effects of anthropogenic global change. We used new distribution records of birds reported during the last two decades from the Ecuadorian part of the Tumbesian region (western Ecuador and northwestern Peru) available through a bibliographic review, together with our own field data collected during 2014–2019, and generated a methodology that explored whether these new reports are likely due to knowledge gaps or changes in the distribution range. We classified the species with new records as either Change of distribution range, Likely change of distribution range, Accidental, Knowledge gap, or Undetermined based on information about the distribution area, species conspicuousness, and dynamics of the records in the new location. We gathered data for 46 bird species newly reported in the Ecuadorian Tumbesian region in the last two decades. Of this, 35% of species were classified as Accidental, 24% as Knowledge gaps, 22% as Change of distribution range, 15% as Undetermined, and 4% as Likely change of distribution range. Species classified as Change of distribution range were mostly aquatic. Terrestrial species were mostly classified as Knowledge gap, while aquatic species were mostly classified as Accidental. Our protocol was validated using species which are known to have modified their distribution range in the Palearctic region, all of which were correctly classified by our methodology. The proposed method was precise and easy to apply and will allow us to better understand how species respond to anthropogenic global change, especially in areas where long-term studies are scarce, such as in tropical areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Diversity)
Open AccessArticle
Ecotypes of Aquatic Plant Vallisneria americana Tolerate Different Salinity Concentrations
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020065 - 06 Feb 2020
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Abstract
Increased salinity caused by saltwater intrusion or runoff from de-icing salts can severely affect freshwater vegetation and deteriorate aquatic ecosystems. These habitats can be restored with freshwater ecotypes (locally adapted populations) that tolerate above-normal salinity. Vallisneria americana is a prominent species in many [...] Read more.
Increased salinity caused by saltwater intrusion or runoff from de-icing salts can severely affect freshwater vegetation and deteriorate aquatic ecosystems. These habitats can be restored with freshwater ecotypes (locally adapted populations) that tolerate above-normal salinity. Vallisneria americana is a prominent species in many freshwater ecosystems that responds differently to abiotic conditions such as substrate composition and fertility, so, in this study, we evaluated the effects of salt stress on 24 ecotypes of V. americana. Instant Ocean aquarium salt was used to create saline solutions (0.2 to 20.0 parts per thousand (ppt)), then plants were abruptly exposed to these solutions and maintained in these concentrations for five weeks before being visually assessed for quality and destructively harvested. Analysis of variance and nonlinear regression were used to calculate LC50 values—the lethal concentration of salt that reduced plant biomass and quality by 50% compared to control treatment. Growth rate and visual quality varied significantly among ecotypes, and ecotypes that were most and least sensitive to salt had 50% biomass reductions at 0.47 and 9.10 ppt, respectively. All ecotypes survived 10.0 ppt salinity concentration but none survived at 20.0 ppt, which suggests that the maximum salinity concentration tolerated by these ecotypes is between 15.0 and 20.0 ppt. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Diversity)
Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Tanzanian Avocado Using Morphological Traits
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020064 - 06 Feb 2020
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Abstract
Two-hundred and twenty-six old avocado trees (Persea americana Mill) derived from seeds were selected from eight districts of the Mbeya, Njombe and Songwe regions in Tanzania. The tree, leaf, fruit and seed characteristics were studied using the descriptors for avocado (Persea [...] Read more.
Two-hundred and twenty-six old avocado trees (Persea americana Mill) derived from seeds were selected from eight districts of the Mbeya, Njombe and Songwe regions in Tanzania. The tree, leaf, fruit and seed characteristics were studied using the descriptors for avocado (Persea spp.) from the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute. Cross tabulation and Chi-square tests were conducted in order to assess the distribution of traits between districts and altitude ranges. Principle coordinate analysis (PCoA) and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) were used to assess variation of traits within and among districts. Various morphological features were observed among the samples which point to the existence of the Mexican, Guatemalan and West Indian avocado races in Tanzania. The biplot from PCoA revealed extensive variation between the sampled trees at the district level but no clear groupings of the samples based on geographic location. Likewise, dendrograms ensuing from the neighbor–joining and Wards methods displayed that the avocado samples from the same district and even region differed considerably. This morphological trait variation suggests high diversity that may help in planning germplasm management and conservation, as well as breeding strategies in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Diversity)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Deep-sea Genus Coronarctus (Tardigrada, Arthrotardigrada) in Brazil, South-Western Atlantic Ocean, with the Description of Three New Species
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020063 - 05 Feb 2020
Viewed by 239
Abstract
Three new marine tardigrade species from the deep-sea genus Coronarctus are described from the South-Western Atlantic Ocean: Coronarctus dissimilis sp. nov., C. neptunus sp. nov., and C. yurupari sp. nov. These, and C. laubieri Renaud-Mornant, 1987, are the first records of deep-sea tardigrades [...] Read more.
Three new marine tardigrade species from the deep-sea genus Coronarctus are described from the South-Western Atlantic Ocean: Coronarctus dissimilis sp. nov., C. neptunus sp. nov., and C. yurupari sp. nov. These, and C. laubieri Renaud-Mornant, 1987, are the first records of deep-sea tardigrades from this marine region. Specimens of those species were collected from two localities of the Brazilian continental slope (Potiguar and Campos basins) at depths comprised between 150 and 3000 m. Specimens of the three new species have short cephalic appendages and heteromorphic claws, belonging to the, here designated, C. tenellus group of species. Each of the new species can be distinguished from all the other species of the group by their peculiar-shaped secondary clavae and claws. The most relevant morphological characters used for the taxonomy of the genus: shape of cephalic cirri, shape of secondary-clavae, size and number of accessory spines on claws, and shape of seminal receptacles, are discussed and an identification key to all ten known Coronarctus species is provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tardigrades Taxonomy, Biology and Ecology)
Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Encystment, Excystment, and Cyst Structure in Freshwater Eutardigrade Thulinius ruffoi (Tardigrada, Isohypsibioidea: Doryphoribiidae)
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020062 - 04 Feb 2020
Viewed by 270
Abstract
Encystment in tardigrades is relatively poorly understood. It is seen as an adaptive strategy evolved to withstand unfavorable environmental conditions. This process is an example of the epigenetic, phenotypic plasticity which is closely linked to the molting process. Thulinius ruffoi is a freshwater [...] Read more.
Encystment in tardigrades is relatively poorly understood. It is seen as an adaptive strategy evolved to withstand unfavorable environmental conditions. This process is an example of the epigenetic, phenotypic plasticity which is closely linked to the molting process. Thulinius ruffoi is a freshwater eutardigrade and a representative of one of the biggest eutardigrade orders. This species is able to form cysts. The ovoid-shaped cysts of this species are known from nature, but cysts may also be obtained under laboratory conditions. During encystment, the animals undergo profound morphological changes that result in cyst formation. The animals surround their bodies with cuticles that isolate them from the environment. These cuticles form a cuticular capsule (cyst wall) which is composed of three cuticles. Each cuticle is morphologically distinct. The cuticles that form the cuticular capsule are increasingly simplified. During encystment, only one, unmodified and possibly functional buccal-pharyngeal apparatus was found to be formed. Apart from the feeding apparatus, the encysted specimens also possess a set of claws, and their body is covered with its own cuticle. As a consequence, the encysted animals are fully adapted to the active life after leaving the cyst capsule. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tardigrades Taxonomy, Biology and Ecology)
Open AccessArticle
Prioritizing Areas for Land Conservation and Forest Management Planning for the Threatened Canada Warbler (Cardellina canadensis) in the Atlantic Northern Forest of Canada
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020061 - 04 Feb 2020
Viewed by 220
Abstract
Populations of Canada Warbler (Cardellina canadensis) are declining in Canada’s Atlantic Northern Forest. Land conservancies and government agencies are interested in identifying areas to protect populations, while some timber companies wish to manage forests to minimize impacts on Canada Warbler and [...] Read more.
Populations of Canada Warbler (Cardellina canadensis) are declining in Canada’s Atlantic Northern Forest. Land conservancies and government agencies are interested in identifying areas to protect populations, while some timber companies wish to manage forests to minimize impacts on Canada Warbler and potentially create future habitat. We developed seven conservation planning scenarios using Zonation software to prioritize candidate areas for permanent land conservation (4 scenarios) or responsible forest management (minimizing species removal during forest harvesting while promoting colonization of regenerated forest; 3 scenarios). Factors used to prioritize areas included Canada Warbler population density, connectivity to protected areas, future climate suitability, anthropogenic disturbance, and recent Canada Warbler observations. We analyzed each scenario for three estimates of natal dispersal distance (5, 10, and 50 km). We found that scenarios assuming large dispersal distances prioritized a few large hotspots, while low dispersal distance scenarios prioritized smaller, broadly distributed areas. For all scenarios, efficiency (proportion of current Canada Warbler population retained per unit area) declined with higher dispersal distance estimates and inclusion of climate change effects in the scenario. Using low dispersal distance scenarios in decision-making offers a more conservative approach to maintaining this species at risk. Given the differences among the scenarios, we encourage conservation planners to evaluate the reliability of dispersal estimates, the influence of habitat connectivity, and future climate suitability when prioritizing areas for conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Boreal Bird Ecology, Management and Conservation)
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Open AccessArticle
Bat Ensembles Differ in Response to Use Zones in a Tropical Biosphere Reserve
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020060 - 04 Feb 2020
Viewed by 355
Abstract
Biosphere reserves, designated under The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Man and Biosphere Programme, aim to sustainably integrate protected areas into the biological and economic landscape around them by buffering strictly protected habitats with zones of limited use. However, the [...] Read more.
Biosphere reserves, designated under The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Man and Biosphere Programme, aim to sustainably integrate protected areas into the biological and economic landscape around them by buffering strictly protected habitats with zones of limited use. However, the effectiveness of biosphere reserves and the contribution of the different zones of use to protection is poorly known. We assessed the diversity and activity of bats in the Crocker Range Biosphere Reserve (CRBR) in Sabah, Malaysia, using harp traps, mist nets and acoustic surveys in each zone—core, buffer, transition and in agricultural plots outside of the reserve. We captured 30 species, bringing the known bat fauna of CRBR to 50 species, half of Borneo’s bat species. Species composition and acoustic activity varied among zones and by foraging ensemble, with the core and buffer showing particular importance for conserving forest-dependent insectivorous bats. Frugivorous bats were found in all zones but were the most abundant and most species-rich ensemble within agricultural sites. Although sampling was limited, bat diversity and activity was low in the transition zone compared to other zones, indicating potential for management practices that increase food availability and enhance biodiversity value. We conclude that, collectively, the zones of the CRBR effectively protect diversity, but the value of the transition zone can be improved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land-Use Change Impacts on Tropical Vertebrates)
Open AccessArticle
Feeding Specialization of Honey Badgers in the Sahara Desert: A Trial of Life in a Hard Environment
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020059 - 02 Feb 2020
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Abstract
: The honey badger (Mellivora capensis) is a medium-sized carnivore distributed throughout Africa to the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, Turkmenistan, and India. However, available information on its ecology is very scarce. We studied its feeding ecology in the remote north-western [...] Read more.
: The honey badger (Mellivora capensis) is a medium-sized carnivore distributed throughout Africa to the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, Turkmenistan, and India. However, available information on its ecology is very scarce. We studied its feeding ecology in the remote north-western Sahara Desert, based on the contents of 125 fecal samples collected during large scale surveys. Samples were confirmed to belong to honey badgers by camera trapping and genetic analyses. Barely 18 prey species were detected. The diet primarily consisted of spiny-tailed lizards Uromastyx nigriventris and U. dispar (72% of volume in scats). Secondary prey items were arthropods (14%), small mammals (8%), other reptiles (4%), and eggs (0.8%). Some small geographic and temporal differences were related to the consumption of beetle larvae and rodents as alternative prey. Camera trapping and distance sampling surveys showed that diel activities did not overlap between honey badgers and spiny-tailed lizards, suggesting that badgers primarily dig lizards out of their burrows when inactive. Consumption of spiny lizards by other sympatric meso-carnivores was < 6.1% of occurrence (223 analyzed scats); the honey badger behaved as a trophic specialist in the Sahara, probably thanks to exclusive anatomical adaptations for digging. We discuss the role of this circumstance minimizing the exploitative competition, which could allow the survival of this large mustelid in this low productive and highly competitive environment. Full article
Open AccessArticle
An Italian Research Culture Collection of Wood Decay Fungi
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020058 - 01 Feb 2020
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Abstract
One of the main aims of the University of Pavia mycology laboratory was to collect wood decay fungal (WDF) strains in order to deepen taxonomic studies, species distribution, officinal properties or to investigate potential applications such as biocomposite material production based on fungi. [...] Read more.
One of the main aims of the University of Pavia mycology laboratory was to collect wood decay fungal (WDF) strains in order to deepen taxonomic studies, species distribution, officinal properties or to investigate potential applications such as biocomposite material production based on fungi. The Italian Alps, Apennines and wood plains were investigated to collect Basidiomycota basidiomata from living or dead trees. The purpose of this study was to investigate the wood decay strains of the Mediterranean area, selecting sampling sites in North and Central Italy, including forests near the Ligurian and Adriatic seas, or near the Lombardy lakes. The isolation of mycelia in pure culture was performed according to the current methodology and the identity of the strains was confirmed by molecular analyses. The strains are maintained in the Research Culture Collection MicUNIPV of Pavia University (Italy). Among the 500 WDF strains in the collection, the most interesting isolates from the Mediterranean area are: Dichomitus squalens (basidioma collected from Pinus pinea), Hericium erinaceus (medicinal mushroom), Inocutis tamaricis (white-rot agent on Tamarix trees), Perenniporia meridionalis (wood degrader through Mn peroxidase) and P. ochroleuca. In addition, strains of species related to the Mediterranean climate (e.g., Fomitiporia mediterranea and Cellulariella warnieri) were obtained from sites with a continental-temperate climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Diversity in the Mediterranean Area)
Open AccessArticle
Structure, Diversity, and Composition of Bacterial Communities in Rhizospheric Soil of Coptis chinensis Franch under Continuously Cropped Fields
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020057 - 01 Feb 2020
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Abstract
Soil microorganisms are critical factors of plant productivity in terrestrial ecosystems. Coptis chinensis Franch is one of the most important medicinal plants in China. Soil types and cropping systems influence the diversity and composition of the rhizospheric microbial communities. In the current study, [...] Read more.
Soil microorganisms are critical factors of plant productivity in terrestrial ecosystems. Coptis chinensis Franch is one of the most important medicinal plants in China. Soil types and cropping systems influence the diversity and composition of the rhizospheric microbial communities. In the current study, we provide detailed information regarding the diversity and composition of the rhizospheric bacterial communities of the C. chinensis plants in continuously cropped fields and fallow fields in two seasons (i.e., winter and summer) using next-generation sequencing. The alpha diversity was higher in the five-year cultivated C. chinensis field (CyS5) and lower in fallow fields (NCS). Significant differences analysis confirmed more biomarkers in the cultivated field soil than in fallow fields. Additionally, the principal coordinate analysis (PcoA) of the beta diversity indices revealed that samples associated with the cultivated fields and fallow fields in different seasons were separated. Besides, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi, Acidobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Gemmatimonadetes were the top bacterial phyla. Among these phyla, Proteobacteria were found predominantly and showed a decreasing trend with the continuous cropping of C. chinensis. A phylogenetic investigation of communities by reconstruction of unobserved states (PICRUSt) revealed that the abundance of C and N functional genes had a significant difference between the soil samples from cultivated (CyS1, CyS3, and CyS5) and fallow (NCS) fields in two seasons (winter and summer). The principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) based on UniFrac distances (i.e., unweighted and weighted) revealed the variations in bacterial community structures in the soil samples. This study could provide a reference for solving the increasingly severe cropping obstacles and promote the sustainable development of the C. chinensis industry. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Can Topographic Variation in Climate Buffer against Climate Change-Induced Population Declines in Northern Forest Birds?
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020056 - 01 Feb 2020
Viewed by 279
Abstract
Increased attention is being paid to the ecological drivers and conservation measures which could mitigate climate change-induced pressures for species survival, potentially helping populations to remain in their present-day locations longer. One important buffering mechanism against climate change may be provided by the [...] Read more.
Increased attention is being paid to the ecological drivers and conservation measures which could mitigate climate change-induced pressures for species survival, potentially helping populations to remain in their present-day locations longer. One important buffering mechanism against climate change may be provided by the heterogeneity in topography and consequent local climate conditions. However, the buffering capacity of this topoclimate has so far been insufficiently studied based on empirical survey data across multiple sites and species. Here, we studied whether the fine-grained air temperature variation of protected areas (PAs) affects the population changes of declining northern forest bird species. Importantly to our study, in PAs harmful land use, such as logging, is not allowed, enabling the detection of the effects of temperature buffering, even at relatively moderate levels of topographic variation. Our survey data from 129 PAs located in the boreal zone in Finland show that the density of northern forest species was higher in topographically heterogeneous PAs than in topographically more homogeneous PAs. Moreover, local temperature variation had a significant effect on the density change of northern forest birds from 1981–1999 to 2000–2017, indicating that change in bird density was generally smaller in PAs with higher topographic variation. Thus, we found a clear buffering effect stemming from the local temperature variation of PAs in the population trends of northern forest birds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Boreal Bird Ecology, Management and Conservation)
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Open AccessArticle
Isolation and Identification of Endophytic Bacteria from Mycorrhizal Tissues of Terrestrial Orchids from Southern Chile
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020055 - 30 Jan 2020
Viewed by 230
Abstract
Endophytic bacteria are relevant symbionts that contribute to plant growth and development. However, the diversity of bacteria associated with the roots of terrestrial orchids colonizing Andean ecosystems is limited. This study identifies and examines the capabilities of endophytic bacteria associated with peloton-containing roots [...] Read more.
Endophytic bacteria are relevant symbionts that contribute to plant growth and development. However, the diversity of bacteria associated with the roots of terrestrial orchids colonizing Andean ecosystems is limited. This study identifies and examines the capabilities of endophytic bacteria associated with peloton-containing roots of six terrestrial orchid species from southern Chile. To achieve our goals, we placed superficially disinfected root fragments harboring pelotons on oatmeal agar (OMA) with no antibiotic addition and cultured them until the bacteria appeared. Subsequently, they were purified and identified using molecular tools and examined for plant growth metabolites production and antifungal activity. In total, 168 bacterial strains were isolated and assigned to 8 OTUs. The orders Pseudomonadales, Burkholderiales, and Xanthomonadales of phylum Proteobacteria were the most frequent. The orders Bacillales and Flavobacteriales of the phylla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes were also obtained. Phosphate solubilization was detected in majority of isolates; however, it was significantly higher in Collimonas pratensis and Chryseobacterium sp. (PSI = 1.505 ± 0.09 and 1.405 ± 0.24, respectively). Siderophore production was recorded only for C. pratensis (0.657 ± 0.14 mm day−1), Dyella marensis (0.131 ± 0.02 mm day−1), and Luteibacter rhizovicinus (0.343 ± 0.12 mm day−1). Indole acetic acid production was highly influenced by the isolate identity; however, the significantly higher activity was recorded for Pseudomonas spp. (ranging from 5.507 ± 1.57 µg mL−1 to 7.437 ± 0.99 µg mL−1). Additionally, six bacterial isolates were able to inhibit the growth of some potential plant pathogenic fungi. Our findings demonstrate the potential for plant growth promoting capabilities and some antifungal activities of endophytic bacteria inhabiting the mycorrhizal tissue of terrestrial orchids, which may contribute especially at early developmental stages of orchid seedlings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Ecology and Diversity of Orchids)
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