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Volume 13, July

Diversity, Volume 13, Issue 8 (August 2021) – 11 articles

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Article
Diversity and Diet Differences of Small Mammals in Commensal Habitats
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080346 (registering DOI) - 28 Jul 2021
Abstract
The stability of diversity of syntopic (inhabiting the same habitat in the same time) small mammals in commensal habitats, such as farmsteads and kitchen gardens, and, as a proxy of their diet, their isotopic niches, was investigated in Lithuania in 2019–2020. We tested [...] Read more.
The stability of diversity of syntopic (inhabiting the same habitat in the same time) small mammals in commensal habitats, such as farmsteads and kitchen gardens, and, as a proxy of their diet, their isotopic niches, was investigated in Lithuania in 2019–2020. We tested whether the separation of species corresponds to the trophic guilds, whether their diets are related to possibilities of getting additional food from humans, and whether their diets are subject to seasonal trends. We analyzed diversity, dominance and distribution of hair δ13C and δ15N values. Diversity and dominance was not stable and differed according to human influence. The highest small mammal species richness occurred in commensal habitats that provided additional food. The degree of separation of species was higher in homestead habitats than in kitchen gardens, where a 1.27 to 35.97% overlap of isotopic niches was observed between pairs of species. Temporal changes in δ13C and δ15N values in the hair of the mammals were not equally expressed in different species. The isotopic overlap may depend on dietary plasticity, minimizing interspecific competition and allowing co-existence of syntopic species. Thus, small mammal trophic ecology is likely related to intensity of agricultural activities in the limited space of commensal habitats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Diversity and Conservation of Terrestrial Small Mammals)
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Article
Consumption Patterns of a Generalist Omnivore: Eastern Box Turtle Diets in the Long Island Pine Barrens
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 345; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080345 (registering DOI) - 28 Jul 2021
Abstract
Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina) are diet generalists and as such are predicted to have diverse diets in which familiar, low-quality foods are eaten consistently at low levels, and high-quality foods are rare but eaten whenever available. Previous work showed that [...] Read more.
Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina) are diet generalists and as such are predicted to have diverse diets in which familiar, low-quality foods are eaten consistently at low levels, and high-quality foods are rare but eaten whenever available. Previous work showed that they feed opportunistically on seasonally available plants (shoots, leaves, flowers, and fruit), invertebrates, mushrooms, and occasionally carrion. We used fecal samples to test optimal foraging predictions relevant to diet generalists and also whether the Eastern Box Turtle diets varied seasonally in a northeastern U.S. pine-oak habitat. We found that in-depth prey species consumption patterns of six different individuals were similar to those of the sampled population overall. Leaf and stem material was consumed by 100% of the turtles in all months despite being lower-quality than other prey available. Invertebrates were consumed by at least 80% of turtles in every study period; Coleopterans were found more commonly than other invertebrates. Snails were not eaten by more than 20% of the turtles in any study period, and mushroom consumption varied from 31–75% of samples in different study periods. Monthly diet overlap was measured using both Pianka’s Index of Overlap (PIO) and the Morisita–Horn Index (MH). The PIO method indicated that the prey consumption patterns were broadly similar from June–October, while the M–H method showed that only the July vs. August comparison was highly similar. The turtle diets changed only slightly between seasons, and they conform to predictions of diet generalist models usually applied to mammals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reptile Community Ecology and Conservation)
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Article
Genome Sequence of Brevundimonas sp., an Arsenic Resistant Soil Bacterium
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080344 - 27 Jul 2021
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Abstract
Brevundimonas sp. is a bacteria able to grow in metal(loid) contaminated soil from Puchuncaví Valley, central Chile. This study has isolated a bacterial strain capable of growth under high doses of arsenic (As) (6000 mg L−1), and a draft genome sequence [...] Read more.
Brevundimonas sp. is a bacteria able to grow in metal(loid) contaminated soil from Puchuncaví Valley, central Chile. This study has isolated a bacterial strain capable of growth under high doses of arsenic (As) (6000 mg L−1), and a draft genome sequence was generated. Additionally, real-time PCR was performed to examine the effect of As on some genes related to As resistance. Results demonstrated a total of 3275 predicted annotated genes with several genes related to the ars operon, metal(loid) resistance-related genes, metal efflux pumps, and detoxifying enzymes. Real-time PCR showed that the arsB involved in the efflux of As was down-regulated, whereas arsR, arsH, and ACR3 did not show differences with the addition of As. Our study provides novel evidence of diverse As regulating systems in tolerant bacteria that will lead to a better understanding of how microorganisms overcome toxic elements and colonize As contaminated soils and to the possible use of their specific properties in bioremediation. Full article
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Article
Integrative Taxonomy of New Zealand Stenopodidea (Crustacea: Decapoda) with New Species and Records for the Region
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080343 - 27 Jul 2021
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Abstract
The New Zealand fauna of the crustacean infraorder Stenopodidea, the coral and sponge shrimps, is reviewed using both classical taxonomic and molecular tools. In addition to the three species so far recorded in the region, we report Spongicola goyi for the first time, [...] Read more.
The New Zealand fauna of the crustacean infraorder Stenopodidea, the coral and sponge shrimps, is reviewed using both classical taxonomic and molecular tools. In addition to the three species so far recorded in the region, we report Spongicola goyi for the first time, and formally describe three new species of Spongicolidae. Following the morphological review and DNA sequencing of type specimens, we propose the synonymy of Spongiocaris yaldwyni with S. neocaledonensis and review a proposed broad Indo-West Pacific distribution range of Spongicoloides novaezelandiae. New records for the latter at nearly 54° South on the Macquarie Ridge provide the southernmost record for stenopodidean shrimp known to date. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Diversity of Marine Decapods)
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Review
Insecticidal and Antiprotozoal Properties of Lichen Secondary Metabolites on Insect Vectors and Their Transmitted Protozoal Diseases to Humans
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080342 (registering DOI) - 26 Jul 2021
Viewed by 175
Abstract
Since the long-term application of synthetic chemicals as insecticides and the chemotherapy of protozoal diseases have had various negative effects (non-target effects, resistance), research on less harmful biological products is underway. This review is focused on lichens with potential insecticidal and antiprotozoal activity. [...] Read more.
Since the long-term application of synthetic chemicals as insecticides and the chemotherapy of protozoal diseases have had various negative effects (non-target effects, resistance), research on less harmful biological products is underway. This review is focused on lichens with potential insecticidal and antiprotozoal activity. Literature sources (27) were surveyed from five bibliographic databases and analyzed according to the taxonomic group of the insect, the protozoal disease and the lichen, the type of bioactive compounds (including method of application and mount applied), and the potential bioactivity based on mortalities caused after 24 h of exposure on insects and on parasitic protozoa. Six species of protozoa and five species of mosquitoes, three kinds of larval stages of insects and three protozoa stages were tested. Insecticidal and antiprotozoal effects of crude extracts and seven lichen secondary metabolites (mostly usnic acid) of 32 lichen species were determined. Physiological and morphological changes on parasitic protozoa were observed. Mortality rates caused by LSMs on insect vectors closer to (or somewhat above) the WHO threshold were considered to be insecticides. The results are based on laboratory experiments; however, the efficacy of metabolites should be confirmed in the field and on non-human primates to control the insect vectors and human protozoal diseases transmitted by insects. Full article
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Article
Fishes of the Lower Lulua River (Kasai Basin, Central Africa): A Continental Hotspot of Ichthyofaunal Diversity under Threat
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 341; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080341 - 26 Jul 2021
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Abstract
The ichthyofauna of the Lulua River, a large right bank tributary of the Kasai River in central Africa, is among the most poorly documented in the Kasai ecoregion. To remedy this lack of knowledge, sampling was carried out between 2007 and 2014 along [...] Read more.
The ichthyofauna of the Lulua River, a large right bank tributary of the Kasai River in central Africa, is among the most poorly documented in the Kasai ecoregion. To remedy this lack of knowledge, sampling was carried out between 2007 and 2014 along the main channel and in many tributaries. A total of 201 species distributed in 81 genera, 24 families, and 12 orders are reported from the lower reaches of the Lulua. The species richness reported in this study represents a substantially improved documentation of the Lulua ichthyofauna (historically estimated at only 79 species). Here, 129 species are recorded for the first time, bringing the total number of known species to 208. Among these, five have recently been described: Raiamas brachyrhabdotos Katemo Manda, Snoeks, Choca Manda, and Vreven 2018, Distichodus kasaiensis Moelants, Snoeks, and Vreven, 2018, Distichodus polli Abwe, Snoeks, Choca Manda, and Vreven 2019, Epiplatys atractus Van Der Zee, Mbimbi, and Sonnenberg 2013, and Hypsopanchax stiassnyae Van Der Zee, Sonnenberg, and Mbimbi 2015; numerous additional taxa are currently under investigation. Recognized here as a continental hotspot of ichthyofaunal diversity, the Lulua is under extreme threat from exploitation of forest products for building materials, deforestation for shifting agriculture and charcoal exploitation, destructive fishing practices, and mining, all of which are rapidly increasing in the watershed. The present study provides baseline documentation for use in conservation planning and future developmental projects in the Kasai ecoregion in general and Lulua River basin in particular. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Diversity)
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Article
Microbial Community’s Dynamic Response to Fomesafen Usage in Chermozems of Northeast China
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080340 - 26 Jul 2021
Viewed by 187
Abstract
The main purpose of this study was to explore the effects of the recommended usage level and twice the recommended usage level of the long-acting herbicide fomesafen on the soil enzymes and microbial community structure in chernozems of soybean fields. Culturable microbial biomass [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this study was to explore the effects of the recommended usage level and twice the recommended usage level of the long-acting herbicide fomesafen on the soil enzymes and microbial community structure in chernozems of soybean fields. Culturable microbial biomass and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) were used as the main references for this evaluation. The digestion curve of fomesafen in soil conforms to the law of a single exponential function. The activities of four soil enzymes decreased significantly when exposed to twice the recommended amount, and then returned to the control level. The inhibition of the fungal and bacterial biomass section of culturable microorganisms in soil at twice the recommended usage level was greater than that under the recommended usage level, and this dosage also stimulated the rapid recovery of the initial level of fungal biomass before the application of fomesafen. The PLFA analysis showed that the ratio of GN/GP decreased significantly, and soil pressure increased significantly. Compared with the recommended usage level, the effect of twice the recommended usage level of fomesafen on soil microbial community structures was more significant. This provides a reference for environmental location recommendations, environmental safety assessments, and the rational use of herbicides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Diversity and Culture Collections)
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Article
Transference of Citizen Science Program Impacts: A Theory Grounded in Public Participation in Scientific Research
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080339 - 25 Jul 2021
Viewed by 292
Abstract
Citizen science is known for increasing the geographic, spatial, and temporal scale from which scientists can gather data. It is championed for its potential to provide experiential learning opportunities to the public. Documentation of educational outcomes and benefits for citizen scientists continues to [...] Read more.
Citizen science is known for increasing the geographic, spatial, and temporal scale from which scientists can gather data. It is championed for its potential to provide experiential learning opportunities to the public. Documentation of educational outcomes and benefits for citizen scientists continues to grow. This study proposes an added benefit of these collaborations: the transference of program impacts to individuals outside of the program. The experiences of fifteen citizen scientists in entomology citizen science programs were analyzed using a constructivist grounded theory methodology. We propose the substantive-level theory of transference to describe the social process by which the educational and attitudinal impacts intended by program leaders for the program participants are filtered by citizen scientists and transferred to others. This process involves individual and external phases, each with associated actions. Transference occurred in participants who had maintained a long-term interest in nature, joined a citizen science program, shared science knowledge and experiences, acquired an expert role to others, and influenced change in others. Transference has implications for how citizen scientists are perceived by professional communities, understanding of the broader impacts and contributions of citizen science to wicked problems, program evaluation, and the design of these programs as informal science education opportunities. Full article
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Article
How Does Circadian Rhythm Shape Host-Parasite Associations? A Comparative Study on Infection Patterns in Diurnal and Nocturnal Raptors
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 338; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080338 - 23 Jul 2021
Viewed by 152
Abstract
Infection patterns of parasites, including their prevalence, diversity and host specificity, can be impacted by many biological and environmental factors, but no study has focused on the circadian rhythms of vertebrate hosts, which may affect susceptibilities and encounter rates between hosts and vectors [...] Read more.
Infection patterns of parasites, including their prevalence, diversity and host specificity, can be impacted by many biological and environmental factors, but no study has focused on the circadian rhythms of vertebrate hosts, which may affect susceptibilities and encounter rates between hosts and vectors and further shape host-parasite associations. In this study, we focused on avian haemosporidians, a classical model in studies of host-parasite associations, and investigated the infection patterns in rescued raptors brought to the Beijing Raptor Rescue Center during 2007–2020. We first assessed the association between prevalence and host biotic traits; haemosporidian prevalence was higher in the nocturnal raptors than in the diurnal raptors, and the prevalence of Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon in the nocturnal raptors was significantly higher than that in the diurnal raptors. Furthermore, we analysed the phylogenetic relationship and host-parasite network-level differences of haemosporidian parasites in diurnal and nocturnal raptors, and demonstrated that the lineages infecting the diurnal and nocturnal raptors were not clearly separated, but the nocturnal lifestyle led to a more specialized host-parasite network structure. These variations in host-parasite associations may be driven by different susceptibilities of the hosts and the diversity or abundance of vectors during the day and night. Our study provides new insight into host-parasite associations shaped by circadian rhythm and calls for more studies on the underlying mechanisms of parasite infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bird Parasites)
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Review
COLMENA: A Culture Collection of Native Microorganisms for Harnessing the Agro-Biotechnological Potential in Soils and Contributing to Food Security
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080337 (registering DOI) - 23 Jul 2021
Viewed by 243
Abstract
COLMENA is a microbial culture collection dedicated to the characterization, classification, preservation, and transferal of native microorganisms isolated from various agro-systems and other ecosystems in Mexico. This collection aims to protect microbial diversity, reducing soil degradation, but also exploiting its agro-biotechnological potential. So [...] Read more.
COLMENA is a microbial culture collection dedicated to the characterization, classification, preservation, and transferal of native microorganisms isolated from various agro-systems and other ecosystems in Mexico. This collection aims to protect microbial diversity, reducing soil degradation, but also exploiting its agro-biotechnological potential. So far, COLMENA has isolated and cryopreserved soil microorganisms from different crops in two major agricultural regions in Mexico, the Yaqui Valley, Sonora, and the Fuerte Valley, Sinaloa. COLMENA has specialized in the identification and characterization of microbial strains with metabolic capacities related to the promotion of plant growth and the biocontrol of phytopathogens. Thus, COLMENA has identified several promising plant growth-promoting microbial (PGPM) strains due to their metabolic and genetic potentials and their beneficial effects in vivo and field trials. These findings demonstrate the biotechnological potential of these strains for their future use in profitable agricultural alternatives focused on enhancing global food security. To share the knowledge and results of the COLMENA team’s scientific research, a virtual platform was created, where the database of the studied and preserved microorganisms is available to professionals, researchers, agricultural workers, and anyone who is interested. Full article
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Article
Population Genetic Structure and Phylogeography of Co-Distributed Pachymeniopsis Species (Rhodophyta) along the Coast of Korea and Japan
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080336 - 21 Jul 2021
Viewed by 244
Abstract
Inferring phylogeographic patterns of macroalgal species is essential for understanding the population structure and for the conservation of macroalgal species. In this study, the phylogeographic patterns of two co-distributed macroalgal species along the coast of Korea and Japan, Pachymeniopsis lanceolata and Pachymeniopsis elliptica [...] Read more.
Inferring phylogeographic patterns of macroalgal species is essential for understanding the population structure and for the conservation of macroalgal species. In this study, the phylogeographic patterns of two co-distributed macroalgal species along the coast of Korea and Japan, Pachymeniopsis lanceolata and Pachymeniopsis elliptica, were analyzed. Pachymeniopsis lanceolata (215 specimens from 36 sites) and P. elliptica (138 specimens from 24 sites), using the plastid rbcL gene, are characterized by fifteen and six haplotypes, respectively. Mitochondrial COI-5P gene sequences revealed a low variation for both species. An analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA), pairwise FST comparisons, and haplotype networks based on the rbcL data suggest a weak genetic differentiation of both species. The shared haplotypes (P. lanceolata: LR01; P. elliptica: ER01) found in the entire sampling range indicate that these two Pachymeniopsis species can disperse over long distances along the coast of Korea and Japan. Despite the similar phylogeographic pattern, our results suggest that P. lanceolata has a higher genetic diversity, with a wider distribution along the Korean Peninsula than P. elliptica. Moreover, it is adapted to low sea surface temperatures and survived in more of the available habitats during periods of climatic change, whereas P. elliptica is less adaptable and more susceptible to environmental disturbance. This phylogeographic study provides a rationale for the conservation of the wild Pachymeniopsis population. Full article
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