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Diversity, Volume 14, Issue 1 (January 2022) – 60 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Although the Barents Sea is one of the most productive shelf regions of the Arctic, only a few large crustaceans occur here. Among them, the highest abundance and biomass are registered for the great spider crab, Hyas araneus, northern stone crab, Lithodes maja, and red king crab Paralithodes camtschaticus, with the latter being invasive for the Barents Sea. The calcified body surface of these decapods is a suitable substrate for many species of marine animals and plants. Studying epibiotic communities can contribute to basic knowledge on important aspects of the hosts’ biology, including molting and growth patterns, behavior, and migration activity, and can provide new information on the ecology of epibionts and symbionts, and biodiversity data in the region. View this paper
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Article
Study on the Relationship between Richness and Morphological Diversity of Higher Taxa in the Darkling Beetles (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae)
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010060 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 708
Abstract
Many studies have found that the correlation between species richness (SR) and morphological diversity (MD) is positive, but the correlation degree of these parameters is not always consistent due to differences in categories and various ecological factors in the living environment. Based on [...] Read more.
Many studies have found that the correlation between species richness (SR) and morphological diversity (MD) is positive, but the correlation degree of these parameters is not always consistent due to differences in categories and various ecological factors in the living environment. Based on this, related studies have revealed the good performance of using higher taxa in biodiversity research, not only by shifting the testing group scale from local communities to worldwide datasets but also by adding different taxonomic levels, such as the genus level. However, it remains unclear whether this positive correlation can also be applied to other categories or groups. Here, we evaluated the applicability of higher taxa in the biodiversity study of darkling beetles by using 3407 species (9 subfamilies, 89 tribes, and 678 genera), based on the correlation between taxa richness and morphological diversity in the tribe/genus/species. In addition, the continuous features prevalent in the tenebrionids, pronotum and elytron, were selected, and the morphological diversity of various groups was obtained by the geometric morphometric approach to quantify the morphologic information of features. This study found that genus/species richness in subfamilies Pimelinae and Stenochiinae was positively correlated with the change trend of MD, and the correlation between the MD of elytron and taxa richness gradually decreased from the tribe-level to the genus-level to the species-level test. The results confirm the stable morphology and simple function of the elytron and the applicability of tribe level in biodiversity research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Evolution of Coleoptera)
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Article
Indication of Possible Shifts in Copepod Species Composition in St. Pauls Inlet, a Fjordal Estuary Connected to the Gulf of St. Lawrence
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010059 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 706
Abstract
St. Pauls Inlet, a coastal brackish lake/estuary within Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland and Labrador (Canada), is a semi-enclosed body of water with a narrow 80-m wide opening to the marine Gulf of St. Lawrence and with freshwater input from 24 streams. [...] Read more.
St. Pauls Inlet, a coastal brackish lake/estuary within Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland and Labrador (Canada), is a semi-enclosed body of water with a narrow 80-m wide opening to the marine Gulf of St. Lawrence and with freshwater input from 24 streams. An initial biological survey of St. Pauls Inlet in 1977/78 during Park planning stages found dominant members of the mesozooplankton community to be copepods of genera Acartia, Calanus, Oithona, and Temora. Subsequent surveys of 2009, 2010, and 2019 found Calanus abundance to be much reduced or absent and low adult microcrustacean (copepods + cladocerans) densities. Recent data suggest that Calanus finmarchicus, a large energy-rich copepod, has declined across the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the wider Northwest Atlantic, with the zooplankton community shifting towards smaller, warm-water copepods This shift is coincident with rising surface sea-surface temperatures in the Atlantic. Mid-July temperatures in the inlet were higher in 2009, 2010, and 2019 compared with 1977. Shifting zooplankton abundances in St. Pauls Inlet, even with reduced exchange with the Gulf, may reflect wider trends in the Northwest Atlantic and be a useful indicator of a changing coastal environment in this national park. Full article
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Communication
Observations on the Association between Some Buprestid and Cerambycid Beetles and Black Frankincense Resin Inducement
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010058 - 16 Jan 2022
Viewed by 718
Abstract
Samburu resin harvesters in northern Kenya maintain that frankincense resin flow from Boswellia neglecta and Commiphora confusa is induced by insect larval activity. Observations on the insects’ larval behaviour support these claims. During the frankincense harvest, buprestid beetle larvae, identified as a Sphenoptera [...] Read more.
Samburu resin harvesters in northern Kenya maintain that frankincense resin flow from Boswellia neglecta and Commiphora confusa is induced by insect larval activity. Observations on the insects’ larval behaviour support these claims. During the frankincense harvest, buprestid beetle larvae, identified as a Sphenoptera species, are found under B. neglecta resin, eating the monoterpene-rich inner bark, which apparently stimulates the trees to produce copious amounts of fresh resin. The same behaviour was observed with cerambycid beetle larvae, identified as Neoplocaederus benningseni Kolbe, on C. confusa trees. Remarkably, these insects have developed the capacity to digest the resin-saturated inner bark and overcome the toxic, repellent characteristics of oleo-monoterpenes. The frankincense resin also appears to act as a protective covering during the insects’ larval and pupal stages. Excessive tree damage was not noted from these insect invasions. Even though the tree species are from different genera, the resin produced by both is black, with a very similar aromatic chemical profile. The question thus arises as to whether the larval feeding behaviour of these beetle species has an influence, not only on the physical appearance but also on the chemical composition of the resins. Full article
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Article
Data-Driven Recommendations for Establishing Threshold Values for the NIS Trend Indicator in the Mediterranean Sea
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010057 - 15 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 421
Abstract
In the present work, we analysed time series data on the introduction of new non-indigenous species (NIS) in the Mediterranean between 1970 and 2017, aiming to arrive at recommendations concerning the reference period and provisional threshold values for the NIS trend indicator. We [...] Read more.
In the present work, we analysed time series data on the introduction of new non-indigenous species (NIS) in the Mediterranean between 1970 and 2017, aiming to arrive at recommendations concerning the reference period and provisional threshold values for the NIS trend indicator. We employed regression analysis and breakpoint structural analysis. Our results confirm earlier findings that the reference conditions differ for the four Mediterranean subregions, and support a shortening of the reporting cycle from six to three years, with a two-year time lag for the ensuing assessment. Excluding Lessepsian fishes and parasites, the reference period, defined as the most recent time segment with stable mean new NIS values, was estimated as 1997–2017 for the eastern Mediterranean, 2012–2017 for the central Mediterranean, 2000–2017 for the Adriatic and 1970–2017 for the western Mediterranean. These findings are interpreted primarily on the basis of a basin scale temperature regime shift in the late 1990s, shifts in driving forces such as shellfish culture, and as a result of intensified research efforts and citizen scientist initiatives targeting NIS in the last decade. The threshold values, i.e., the three-year average new NIS values during the reference period, are indicative and will ultimately depend on the choice of species and pathways to be used in the calculations. This is discussed through the prism of target setting in alignment with specific management objectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity Conservation in Mediterranean Sea)
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Article
Trophic Niche Dynamics and Diet Partitioning of King Crab Lithodes santolla in Chile’s Sub-Antarctic Water
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010056 - 15 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 546
Abstract
The southern king crab Lithodes santolla is one of the most economically important fishery species in the southern waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. A combination of stomach content and stable isotope analyses was used to reveal the potential dietary characteristics, isotopic [...] Read more.
The southern king crab Lithodes santolla is one of the most economically important fishery species in the southern waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. A combination of stomach content and stable isotope analyses was used to reveal the potential dietary characteristics, isotopic niche, overlap among maturity stages and sexes, and trophic relationships of an L. santolla population in the Nassau Bay, Cape Horn region. Stable isotope analyses indicated that L. santolla assimilated energy from a basal carbon source, the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera, forming the trophic baseline of the benthic food web. Moreover, the trophic position of L. santolla varied among late juveniles and adults, suggesting that the southern king crab does undergo an ontogenetic diet shift. L. santolla exhibited intraspecific isotopic niche variation, reflecting niche differentiation which allows the species to partition resources. The trophic relationships of L. santolla with the associated fauna suggested some potential interactions for food resources/habitat use when they are limited. This study is the first attempt to characterize the trophic dynamics of the southern king crab in the Cape Horn area and, by generating more data, contributes to the conservation of the king crab population and the long-term management of local fisheries that rely on this resource. Full article
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Article
Fatty Acid Changes in Nearshore Phytoplankton under Anthropogenic Impact as a Biodiversity Risk Factor for the World’s Deepest Lake Baikal
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010055 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 400
Abstract
In this study, we present results on fatty acid analysis of phytoplankton of Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest lake, which differs from other lakes by its oceanic features. Since we used a large-mesh net, the net sample phytoplankton were primarily represented by the [...] Read more.
In this study, we present results on fatty acid analysis of phytoplankton of Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest lake, which differs from other lakes by its oceanic features. Since we used a large-mesh net, the net sample phytoplankton were primarily represented by the large elongated diatom Synedra acus. subsp. radians (Kützing) Skabichevskij. The similar algae composition of net samples of spring season phytoplankton collected at different sites of the lake allows us to compare results of the fatty acid analysis of these samples. The phytoplankton diversity of the sedimentation samples was contrary represented by 32 algae species. There are clear changes in the fatty acid composition of net phytoplankton exposed to anthropogenic impacts of varying intensity. The content of polyunsaturated fatty acids in phytoplankton collected from central stations (pelagic stations at a distance of ~10–30 km from the shoreline) without anthropogenic impact was higher by up to 15% than phytoplankton collected from nearshore stations (littoral stations at a distance of ~0.01–0.05 km from the shoreline) and offshore stations (pelagic stations at a distance of ~3 km from the shoreline). The interlaboratory precision of fatty acid determination of phytoplankton is estimated as ≤10%. We found high content of the lipid peroxidation marker (80–340 μg g−1 of dry weight) in phytoplankton from nearshore and offshore stations with intensive anthropogenic impact. In phytoplankton from central stations, we did not find any lipid peroxidation. Determination of unsaturated fatty acids, coupled with analysis of fatty acid peroxidation products, can be used to evaluate the level of anthropogenic impact in terms of ecological health and biodiversity conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Restoration Ecology and Monitoring)
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Article
Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Mesoamerican Scarlet Macaws in an Ex Situ Breeding Population in Mexico
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010054 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 673
Abstract
Given the interest in the conservation of the Mesoamerican scarlet macaw (Ara macao cyanoptera), the Xcaret Park formed an initial reproductive population about 30 years ago, which has progressively grown to a considerable population in captivity. In this work, we focus on [...] Read more.
Given the interest in the conservation of the Mesoamerican scarlet macaw (Ara macao cyanoptera), the Xcaret Park formed an initial reproductive population about 30 years ago, which has progressively grown to a considerable population in captivity. In this work, we focus on the evaluation of the genetic diversity of the captive population, taking two groups into account: its founding (49) and the current breeding individuals (166). The genetic analysis consisted of genotyping six nuclear microsatellite loci that are characterized by their high variability. Tests for all loci revealed a Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium in four loci of the founders and in no loci of the breeding groups. The results showed that the genetic variation in the Xcaret population was relatively high (founders He = 0.715 SE = 0.074, breeding pairs He = 0.763 SE = 0.050), with an average polymorphism of 7.5 (4–10) alleles per locus in founders and 8.3 (4–14) in breeding pairs. No significant differences in the evaluated genetic diversity indexes were found between both groups. This indicates that the genetic variability in Xcaret has been maintained, probably due to the high number of pairs and the reproductive management strategy. Bayesian analysis revealed five different genetic lineages present in different proportions in the founders and in the breeding pairs, but no population structure was observed between founders and breeding individuals. The analyzed captive individuals showed levels of genetic diversity comparable to reported values from Ara macao wild populations. These data indicate that the captive population has maintained a similar genetic diversity as the metapopulation in the Mayan Forest and is an important resource for reintroduction projects, some of which began more than five years ago and are still underway. Full article
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Communication
Multi-Locus Phylogenetic Analyses of the Almadablennius Clade Reveals Inconsistencies with the Present Taxonomy of Blenniid Fishes
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010053 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 789
Abstract
We used a multi-locus phylogenetic approach (i.e., combining both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA fragments) to address some long-standing taxonomic inconsistencies within the diverse fish clade of Combtooth Blennies (Blenniidae—unranked clade Almadablennius). The obtained phylogenetic trees revealed some major inconsistencies in the current taxonomy [...] Read more.
We used a multi-locus phylogenetic approach (i.e., combining both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA fragments) to address some long-standing taxonomic inconsistencies within the diverse fish clade of Combtooth Blennies (Blenniidae—unranked clade Almadablennius). The obtained phylogenetic trees revealed some major inconsistencies in the current taxonomy of Parablennini, such as the paraphyletic status of the Salaria and Parablennius genera, casting some doubt regarding their actual phylogenetic relationship. Furthermore, a scarce-to-absent genetic differentiation was observed among the three species belonging to the genus Chasmodes. This study provides an updated taxonomy and phylogeny of the former genus Salaria, ascribing some species to the new genus Salariopsis gen. nov., and emphasizes the need for a revision of the genus Parablennius. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2021 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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Article
Beekeeping and Managed Bee Diversity in Indonesia: Perspective and Preference of Beekeepers
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010052 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 627
Abstract
There is a high diversity of bees in the tropics, including honey bees and stingless bees, which are the main sources for honey and other ecosystem services. In Indonesia, beekeeping practices have been developed for centuries, and they have been part of many [...] Read more.
There is a high diversity of bees in the tropics, including honey bees and stingless bees, which are the main sources for honey and other ecosystem services. In Indonesia, beekeeping practices have been developed for centuries, and they have been part of many cultural practices in many traditional communities. The objective of this research was to study the beekeeping status and managed bee diversity in Indonesia and to investigate beekeepers’ perspectives on the factors and obstacles related to beekeeping. Direct interview and online interview were conducted to gain data on bees and beekeepers. In total, 272 beekeepers were interviewed across 25 provinces. Samplings of honey bees and stingless bees were also done during direct interviews for further identification and, when possible, pollen identification. All data and specimens were then sent to IPB Bogor for compilation and identification. We recorded 22 species of bees, including 3 species of honey bees and 19 species of stingless bees, that are reared by Indonesian beekeepers, with Apis cerana and Tetragonula laeviceps as the most common species. Our research also found that the majority of beekeepers fall into the category of the younger generation (30–39 years old) with educational background mostly from senior high school. Based on the beekeepers’ perspectives, there are several obstacles to beekeeping, especially the occurrence of death of bee foragers attributed to climate, food source, and pesticides. In conclusion, there is a need to develop a strategy for beekeeping and bee conservation in Indonesia, especially for adaptation and mitigation from environmental changes with a particular focus on climate and land-use change. Full article
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Article
Morphostructural Characterization of the Heterogeneous Rhodolith Bed at the Marine Protected Area “Capo Carbonara” (Italy) and Hydrodynamics
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010051 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 356
Abstract
Mediterranean rhodolith beds are priority marine benthic habitats for the European Community, because of their relevance as biodiversity hotspots and their role in the carbonate budget. Presently, Mediterranean rhodolith beds typically occur within the range of 30–75 m of water depth, generally located [...] Read more.
Mediterranean rhodolith beds are priority marine benthic habitats for the European Community, because of their relevance as biodiversity hotspots and their role in the carbonate budget. Presently, Mediterranean rhodolith beds typically occur within the range of 30–75 m of water depth, generally located around islands and capes, on flat or gently sloping areas. In the framework of a collaboration between the University of Milano-Bicocca and the Marine Protected Area “Capo Carbonara” (Sardinia, Italy), video explorations and sampling collections in three selected sites revealed the occurrence of a well developed and heterogeneous rhodolith bed. This bed covers an area >41 km2 around the cape, with live coverage ranging between 6.50 and 55.25%. Rhodoliths showed interesting morphostructural differences. They are small compact pralines at the Serpentara Island, associated with gravelly sand, or bigger boxwork at the Santa Caterina shoal associated with sand, whereas branches are reported mostly in the Is Piscadeddus shoal, associated with muddy sand. Both in the Santa Caterina shoal and the Serpentara Island, rhodoliths generally show a spheroidal shape, associated with a mean value of currents of 4.3 and 7.3 cm/s, respectively, up to a maximum of 17.7 cm/s at Serpentara, whereas in the Is Piscadeddus shoal rhodolith shape is variable and current velocity is significantly lower. The different hydrodynamic regime, with a constant current directed SW, which deviates around the cape towards E, is responsible for such morphostructural heterogeneity, with the site of the Serpentara Island being the most exposed to a constant unidirectional and strong current. We can associate current velocity with specific rhodolith morphotypes. The morphostructural definition of the heterogeneity of rhodoliths across large beds must be considered for appropriate management policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structure and Biodiversity of Rhodolith Seabeds)
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Article
Underwater Video as a Tool to Quantify Fish Density in Complex Coastal Habitats
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010050 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 426
Abstract
Habitat loss is a serious issue threatening biodiversity across the planet, including coastal habitats that support important fish populations. Many coastal areas have been extensively modified by the construction of infrastructure such as ports, seawalls, docks, and armored shorelines. In addition, habitat restoration [...] Read more.
Habitat loss is a serious issue threatening biodiversity across the planet, including coastal habitats that support important fish populations. Many coastal areas have been extensively modified by the construction of infrastructure such as ports, seawalls, docks, and armored shorelines. In addition, habitat restoration and enhancement projects often include constructed breakwaters or reefs. Such infrastructure may have incidental or intended habitat values for fish, yet their physical complexity makes quantitatively sampling these habitats with traditional gears challenging. We used a fleet of unbaited underwater video cameras to quantify fish communities across a variety of constructed and natural habitats in Perdido and Pensacola Bays in the central northern Gulf of Mexico. Between 2019 and 2021, we collected almost 350 replicate 10 min point census videos from rock jetty, seawall, commercial, public, and private docks, artificial reef, restored oyster reef, seagrass, and shallow sandy habitats. We extracted standard metrics of Frequency of Occurrence and MaxN, as well as more recently developed MeanCount for each taxon observed. Using a simple method to measure the visibility range at each sampling site, we calculated the area of the field of view to convert MeanCount to density estimates. Our data revealed abundant fish assemblages on constructed habitats, dominated by important fisheries species, including grey snapper Lutjanus griseus and sheepshead Archosargus probatocephalus. Our analyses suggest that density estimates may be obtained for larger fisheries species under suitable conditions. Although video is limited in more turbid estuarine areas, where conditions allow, it offers a tool to quantify fish communities in structurally complex habitats inaccessible to other quantitative gears. Full article
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Article
Annual Cycle of the Synechococcus spp. and Picoeukaryotic Growth and Loss Rates in a Subtropical Coastal Ecosystem
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010049 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 340
Abstract
Seasonal variations in the picophytoplankton community structure (Synechococcus spp. and picoeukaryotes) were studied by flow cytometry in the coastal ecosystem of the subtropical western Pacific from October 2019 to September 2020. Synechococcus spp. was dominant in abundance during the study period, with [...] Read more.
Seasonal variations in the picophytoplankton community structure (Synechococcus spp. and picoeukaryotes) were studied by flow cytometry in the coastal ecosystem of the subtropical western Pacific from October 2019 to September 2020. Synechococcus spp. was dominant in abundance during the study period, with its density ranging from 0.05 to 5.6 × 104 cells mL−1; its maximum occurred in July 2020. Picoeukaryotes were less abundant, with their density ranging from 0.2 to 13.6 × 103 cells mL−1. Their highest abundance was recorded in January 2020. The growth rates of Synechococcus spp. and picoeukaryotes ranged from −0.39 to 1.42 d−1 and 0.38 to 2.46 d−1, respectively, throughout the study period. Overall, the growth rate of the picoeukaryotes was significantly higher than that of Synechococcus spp. It is interesting to note that the grazing mortality of Synechococcus spp. and picoeukaryotes during the warmer period (April to September) was relatively low. Based on this study, we suggest that mixotrophic nanoflagellates lowered their feeding activity that obtained nutrients from prey and instead used additional nutrients during the incubation experiments. Our study demonstrated that a shift in the picophytoplankton community composition and grazing activity of predacious nanoflagellates in cold and warm periods can impact on the seasonal dynamics of the microbial food web. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planktonic Food Web: Feeding, Growth, and Trophic Interactions)
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Article
Bill Variation of Captive and Wild Chukar Partridge Populations: Shape or Size
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010048 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 348
Abstract
Traditionally, morphological characters are widely used to distinguish between interspecies and intraspecies. In addition to the size of morphological characters, shape has also been used as an indicator in the last decades. We evaluated the geometric morphometry and morphometric of the bill of [...] Read more.
Traditionally, morphological characters are widely used to distinguish between interspecies and intraspecies. In addition to the size of morphological characters, shape has also been used as an indicator in the last decades. We evaluated the geometric morphometry and morphometric of the bill of Chukar Partridge, Alectoris chukar from captive and wild populations to determine the bill variation and population relationships. Although there was a size difference between the sexes, no shape difference was found. However, captive populations differed from wild populations in both size and shape. Although there was no difference in shape among wild populations, some differences were found in size. Moreover, bill sizes of captive populations were statistically longer than western, centre, and eastern wild populations. It was also shown that the western populations had the most significant variation among the wild populations. The results revealed that using the size and shape together was more effective in comparing populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2021 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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Article
Effects of Glyphosate Application on Physiologically Integrated Clones of the Invasive Plant Carpobrotus edulis
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010047 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 350
Abstract
Management of invasive alien species is a high priority for biodiversity conservation. Here, we studied the effects of glyphosate application, at 0.06 g/m2 concentration, on physiologically integrated basal and apical ramets of the invasive clonal plant Carpobrotus edulis. Physiological integration allows [...] Read more.
Management of invasive alien species is a high priority for biodiversity conservation. Here, we studied the effects of glyphosate application, at 0.06 g/m2 concentration, on physiologically integrated basal and apical ramets of the invasive clonal plant Carpobrotus edulis. Physiological integration allows the transport of resources and other substances between connected ramets in clonal plants. We found a significant reduction of growth and photochemical efficiency both in basal and apical ramets of C. edulis after glyphosate application. Interestingly, we also observed a significant growth reduction in untreated basal ramets when they remained connected to apical ramets treated with glyphosate. This result was interpreted as a cost for basal ramets due to supporting severely stressed apical ramets. Therefore, local application of glyphosate to apical ramets of C. edulis can negatively affect not only their own growth, but also the growth of their interconnected, untreated basal ramets. Our results suggest that glyphosate effectiveness can be maintained when applied only to one part of the clone so that the amount of herbicide used in eradication programs can be greatly reduced, which can minimize the negative impact of chemical herbicides on ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Invasions and Conservation in Coastal Dune Ecosystems)
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Article
Unrecognized Ant Megadiversity in Monsoonal Australia: Diversity and Its Distribution in the Hyperdiverse Monomorium nigrius Forel Group
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010046 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 336
Abstract
We document diversity and its distribution within the hyperdiverse Monomorium nigrius Forel group of the Australian monsoonal tropics, an unrecognized global centre of ant diversity. The group includes a single described species, but several distinct morphotypes each with multiple clearly recognizable taxa are [...] Read more.
We document diversity and its distribution within the hyperdiverse Monomorium nigrius Forel group of the Australian monsoonal tropics, an unrecognized global centre of ant diversity. The group includes a single described species, but several distinct morphotypes each with multiple clearly recognizable taxa are known. Our analysis is based on 401 CO1-sequenced specimens collected from throughout the Australian mainland but primarily in the monsoonal north and particularly from four bioregions: the Top End (northern third) of the Northern Territory (NT), the Sturt Plateau region of central NT, the Kimberley region of far northern Western Australia, and far North Queensland. Clade structure in the CO1 tree is highly congruent with the general morphotypes, although most morphotypes occur in multiple clades and are therefore shown as polyphyletic. We recognize 97 species among our sequenced specimens, and this is generally consistent (if not somewhat conservative) with PTP analyses of CO1 clustering. Species turnover is extremely high both within and among bioregions in monsoonal Australia, and the monsoonal fauna is highly distinct from that in southern Australia. We estimate that the M. nigrius group contains well over 200 species in monsoonal Australia, and 300 species overall. Our study provides further evidence that monsoonal Australia should be recognized as a global centre of ant diversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2021 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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Article
Consistent Grime’s CSR Strategy of Daisy Fleabane Erigeron annuus (L.) Pers. despite Its High Morphological Variability—A Case Study from Zagreb and Medvednica Mt., Croatia
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010045 - 11 Jan 2022
Viewed by 306
Abstract
Alongside the direct destruction of natural habitats and changes in land use, invasive species are considered one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. Daisy fleabane Erigeron annuus (L.) Pers. is among the most widespread invasive plants in Croatia. Invasions of E. annuus [...] Read more.
Alongside the direct destruction of natural habitats and changes in land use, invasive species are considered one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. Daisy fleabane Erigeron annuus (L.) Pers. is among the most widespread invasive plants in Croatia. Invasions of E. annuus may be aided by morphological variability, which this study investigates. The variability of life traits (stem height, fresh and dry leaf mass, length, width and leaf area, specific leaf area, and leaf dry matter content) was examined among 18 locations throughout Zagreb and Medvednica Mt. Overall, 87 plant specimens and 435 leaves were measured and analysed using univariate and multivariate statistics. Viable populations were recorded in diverse habitat types, mostly with marked human impact. We determined Grime’s CR plant life strategies for all, except for two localities with C/CR plant strategies. Two populations with a more pronounced competitive strategy had high leaf dry matter content, with smaller leaves and medium height stems. Significant differences between the localities were found, with the specific leaf area (SLA) and plant height being the most diverse. Despite its high morphological variability, daisy fleabane had a consistent CSR strategy, which likely enables its widespread invasions across variable habitats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Invasions: Selected Papers from NEOBIOTA 2020)
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Article
Exploring the Genetic Diversity among Weedy Rice Accessions Differing in Herbicide Tolerance and Allelopathic Potential
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010044 - 11 Jan 2022
Viewed by 384
Abstract
Increasing agricultural productivity is indispensable to meet future food demand. Crop improvement programs rely heavily on genetic diversity. The success of weeds in the ecosystem can be attributed to genetic diversity and plasticity. Weedy rice, a major weed of rice, has diverse morphology [...] Read more.
Increasing agricultural productivity is indispensable to meet future food demand. Crop improvement programs rely heavily on genetic diversity. The success of weeds in the ecosystem can be attributed to genetic diversity and plasticity. Weedy rice, a major weed of rice, has diverse morphology and phenology, implying wide genetic diversity. Study was conducted to genotype weedy rice accessions (n = 54) previously phenotyped for herbicide tolerance and allelopathic potential using 30 SSR markers. Cultivated rice (CL163, REX) and allelopathic rice (RONDO, PI312777, PI338047) were also included in the study. Nei’s genetic diversity among weedy rice (0.45) was found to be higher than cultivated rice (0.24) but less than allelopathic rice (0.56). The genetic relationship and population structure based on herbicide tolerance and allelopathic potential were evaluated. Herbicide-tolerant and susceptible accessions formed distinct clusters in the dendrogram, indicating their genetic variation, whereas no distinction was observed between allelopathic and non-allelopathic weedy rice accessions. Weedy rice accession B2, which was previously reported to have high allelopathy and herbicide tolerance, was genetically distinct from other weedy rice. Results from the study will help leverage weedy rice for rice improvement programs as both rice and weedy rice are closely related, thus having a low breeding barrier. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Weed Ecology and Diversity)
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Viewpoint
Biodiversity Monitoring in Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas: Scientific and Methodological Challenges
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010043 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 693
Abstract
Biodiversity is a portmanteau word to indicate the variety of life at all levels from genes to ecosystems, but it is often simplistically equated to species richness; the word ecodiversity has thus been coined to address habitat variety. Biodiversity represents the core of [...] Read more.
Biodiversity is a portmanteau word to indicate the variety of life at all levels from genes to ecosystems, but it is often simplistically equated to species richness; the word ecodiversity has thus been coined to address habitat variety. Biodiversity represents the core of the natural capital, and as such needs to be quantified and followed over time. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are a major tool for biodiversity conservation at sea. Monitoring of both species and habitat diversity in MPAs is therefore mandatory and must include both inventory and periodic surveillance activities. In the case of inventories, the ideal would be to census all species and all habitats, but while the latter goal can be within reach, the former seems unattainable. Species inventory should be commeasured to investigation effort, while habitat inventory should be based on mapping. Both inventories may profit from suitability spatial modelling. Periodic surveillance actions should privilege conspicuous species and priority habitats. Efficient descriptor taxa and ecological indices are recommended to evaluate environmental status. While it seems obvious that surveillance activities should be carried out with regular recurrence, diachronic inventories and mapping are rarely carried out. Time series are of prime importance to detect marine ecosystem change even in the absence of direct human impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity Conservation in Mediterranean Sea)
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Article
Phytoplankton Biodiversity in Two Tropical, High Mountain Lakes in Central Mexico
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010042 - 10 Jan 2022
Viewed by 452
Abstract
Lakes El Sol and La Luna, inside the crater of the Nevado de Toluca volcano, Central Mexico, are the only two perennial high mountain lakes [HML] in the country. HML are considered among the most comparable ecosystems worldwide. These lakes are “extreme” environments [...] Read more.
Lakes El Sol and La Luna, inside the crater of the Nevado de Toluca volcano, Central Mexico, are the only two perennial high mountain lakes [HML] in the country. HML are considered among the most comparable ecosystems worldwide. These lakes are “extreme” environments with diluted, oligotrophic, and cold waters exposed to high UV radiation doses. In this paper, we document the phytoplankton species inhabiting these two extreme tropical ecosystems. The phytoplankton diversity of Lakes El Sol and La Luna is low compared to the global phytoplankton diversity from other Mexican inland waters. Nonetheless, the phytoplankton diversity turned out to be high compared to other HML worldwide, both temperate and tropical. The phytoplankton community in Lake El Sol was formed by 92 morphospecies and in Lake La Luna by 63; in both, the most diverse groups were Bacillariophyceae and Chlorophyceae. All species found in Lake La Luna were present in Lake El Sol, but 29 species present in Lake El Sol were absent in Lake La Luna. Nevertheless, 57% of the most frequent and abundant taxa in Lake El Sol were rare in La Luna, and 47% of the most frequent and abundant taxa in Lake La Luna were rare in Lake El Sol. Associated with their shallowness and polymictic thermal pattern, 87.5% of the Bacillariophyceae morphospecies are tychoplantonic, while the remaining 12.5% are truly planktonic. Dominant taxa were Chlorophyceae in Lake El Sol and Cyanobacteria in Lake La Luna. The most extreme conditions of Lake La Luna (ultraoligotrophy, very low pH, high ultraviolet radiation) most likely explained the differences in the dominant species composition and lower species richness compared to Lake El Sol. Herein, we provide for the first time a taxonomic list of the phytoplankton community of Lakes El Sol and La Luna. This information constitutes a baseline needed to use these HML as sentinels of global and climate change. Full article
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Article
Ain’t Nothing like Family—Female Brown Bears Share Their Home Range with Relatives
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010041 - 10 Jan 2022
Viewed by 808
Abstract
Sociality in animal populations is a continuum, and interactions between conspecifics are meaningful for all vertebrates. Ignorance of social structures can lead to misunderstanding their ecology and, consequently, to unsuccessful species management. Here, we combined genetic and spatial data on radio-collared brown bears [...] Read more.
Sociality in animal populations is a continuum, and interactions between conspecifics are meaningful for all vertebrates. Ignorance of social structures can lead to misunderstanding their ecology and, consequently, to unsuccessful species management. Here, we combined genetic and spatial data on radio-collared brown bears (Ursus arctos) to investigate kin-related home range overlap and kin-related centroid distance within central and eastern Finland. We found that the extent of home range overlap was positively correlated with relatedness among adult females. In addition, home range centroid distance decreased as relatedness increased. Moreover, there were significant differences between the two studied regions: female brown bears in central Finland were more closely related to each other, and the sizes of their home ranges were larger than those in eastern Finland. The smaller home ranges and lower degree of relatedness among bears in eastern Finland might be a result of the substantially higher hunting pressure in the area, combined with immigration of new unrelated individuals from Russia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolutionary and Conservation Genetics of Large Carnivores)
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Article
The Morphological Characteristics and Phylogenetic Analyses Revealed an Additional Taxon in Heteroradulum (Auriculariales)
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010040 - 09 Jan 2022
Viewed by 318
Abstract
Auriculariales is diverse, embracing a number of corticioid, poroid, and hydnoid genera. The present study covers a new wood-inhabiting fungal species of Heteroradulum niveum sp. nov that is proposed on the basis of a combination of morphological features and molecular evidence. The [...] Read more.
Auriculariales is diverse, embracing a number of corticioid, poroid, and hydnoid genera. The present study covers a new wood-inhabiting fungal species of Heteroradulum niveum sp. nov that is proposed on the basis of a combination of morphological features and molecular evidence. The species is characterized by the resupinate basidiomata, a monomitic hyphal system with generative hyphae with clamp connections; tubular cystidia; two- to four-celled basidia; and allantoid, colorless, thin-walled, smooth, IKI–, CB–, basidiospores (6.5–13.5 × 2.7–5.5 µm). Sequences of ITS and nLSU rRNA gene regions of the specimens were generated, and phylogenetic analyses were carried out with methods of maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian inference. These phylogenetic analyses inferred from ITS+nLSU indicated that H. niveum is nested in Heteroradulum within Auriculariales. Further study within Heteroradulum on the basis of ITS+nLSU dataset revealed that it formed a monophyletic lineage with a strong support (100% BS, 100% BP, 1.00 BPP) and then grouped with H. yunnanensis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Evolution of Fungi)
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Communication
Underwater Photogrammetry Captures the Initial Recovery of a Coral Reef at Lalo Atoll
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010039 - 08 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 466
Abstract
Recovery of coral reefs after physical damage sustained from storm events can be affected by various factors. Here, we examined the initial recovery of a coral reef at the southern end of uninhabited Lalo Atoll of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument after its complete [...] Read more.
Recovery of coral reefs after physical damage sustained from storm events can be affected by various factors. Here, we examined the initial recovery of a coral reef at the southern end of uninhabited Lalo Atoll of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument after its complete destruction by Hurricane Walaka in 2018. While the site was still mostly (98%) covered by a mixture of rubble and sand, surveys utilizing underwater photogrammetry allowed for detailed quantitative assessments of benthic cover and confirmed colonization of coral (Pocillopora meandrina and Porites lobata), macroalgae and sponges. The proportion of sand in the rubble–sand mixture also decreased from the level observed in 2019. Visual fish surveys confirmed the presence of 35 reef fish species, a large increase from no reef fish in 2019, despite the low biotic benthic cover. Overall, the colonization of benthic organisms and the return of reef fish, which is potentially supported by the benthos and cryptofauna in the rubble bed, offer positive signs of reef recovery. The photogrammetric surveys in the present study captured the subtle changes in the benthic cover and provided us with a procedure to continue monitoring the succession of the site. Continuous monitoring of the site should reveal whether the reef returns to the original state of Acropora coral dominance or progresses towards a coral assemblage with a different composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technological Innovation to Support Reef Research and Conservation)
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Article
Effects of Long-Term Habitat Protection on Montane Small Mammals: Are Sorex araneus and S. minutus More Sensitive Than Previously Considered?
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010038 - 08 Jan 2022
Viewed by 366
Abstract
Protection of natural areas by restricting human activities aims to preserve plant and animal populations and whole communities, ensuring the conservation of biological diversity and enhancement of ecosystem services. Therefore, it is expected that the longer the protection, the stronger the desired effects. [...] Read more.
Protection of natural areas by restricting human activities aims to preserve plant and animal populations and whole communities, ensuring the conservation of biological diversity and enhancement of ecosystem services. Therefore, it is expected that the longer the protection, the stronger the desired effects. We evaluated the responses of small mammals at the population and community levels under protection in the southern Carpathian Mountains. We surveyed small mammals for five years in sites with long- and short-term protection and non-protected. Besides protection status, we included elevation, habitat heterogeneity, and the month of survey as predictors in our models. As response variables, we considered abundance, presence, species composition and species richness. Community abundance responded to all four predictors and species composition was influenced by protection status and month of study. The shrews Sorex araneus and S. minutus had positive responses to protection, both in terms of abundance and relative abundance (their ratio within the community). Our results suggest that overall, montane small mammal communities respond positively to long-term protection, especially S. araneus and S. minutus. These shrew species are considered habitat generalists, but they appear to be in fact sensitive to the habitat quality enhanced through protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Diversity and Conservation of Terrestrial Small Mammals)
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Article
Multi-Gene Phylogeny and Taxonomy of Hypoxylon (Hypoxylaceae, Ascomycota) from China
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010037 - 07 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 436
Abstract
The Hypoxylon species play an important ecological role in tropical rainforest as wood-decomposers, and some might have benefical effects on their hosts as endophytes. The present work concerns a survey of the genus Hypoxylon from Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park of China. Four [...] Read more.
The Hypoxylon species play an important ecological role in tropical rainforest as wood-decomposers, and some might have benefical effects on their hosts as endophytes. The present work concerns a survey of the genus Hypoxylon from Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park of China. Four new species: H. wuzhishanense, H. hainanense, H.chrysalidosporum, and H.cyclobalanopsidis, were discovered based on a combination of morphological characteristics and molecular data. Hypoxylon wuzhishanense is characterized by Rust pulvinate stromata, amyloid apical apparatus and brown ascospores, with most of the perispore being indehiscent in 10% KOH. Hypoxylon hainanense has effused–pulvinate and Violet stromata, amyloid apical apparatus, light-brown to brown ascospores with straight germ slit and dehiscent perispore. Hypoxylonchrysalidosporum is distinguished by glomerate to pulvinate stromata, highly reduced or absent inamyloid apical apparatus, and light-brown to brown ascospores with very conspicuous coil-like ornamentation. Hypoxyloncyclobalanopsidis has Livid Purple pulvinate stromata, highly reduced amyloid apical apparatus, faint bluing, brown ascospores and dehiscent perispore, and it grows on dead branches of Cyclobalanopsis. Detailed descriptions, illustrations, and contrasts with morphologically similar species are provided. Phylogenetic analyses inferred from ITS, RPB2, LSU, and β-tubulin sequences confirmed that the four new species are distinct within the genus Hypoxylon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Evolution of Fungi)
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Review
A Review of Human-Elephant Ecological Relations in the Malay Peninsula: Adaptations for Coexistence
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010036 - 07 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 666
Abstract
Understanding the relationship between humans and elephants is of particular interest for reducing conflict and encouraging coexistence. This paper reviews the ecological relationship between humans and Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in the rainforests of the Malay Peninsula, examining the extent of [...] Read more.
Understanding the relationship between humans and elephants is of particular interest for reducing conflict and encouraging coexistence. This paper reviews the ecological relationship between humans and Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in the rainforests of the Malay Peninsula, examining the extent of differentiation of spatio-temporal and trophic niches. We highlight the strategies that people and elephants use to partition an overlapping fundamental niche. When elephants are present, forest-dwelling people often build above-the-ground shelters; and when people are present, elephants avoid open areas during the day. People are able to access several foods that are out of reach of elephants or inedible; for example, people use water to leach poisons from tubers of wild yams, use blowpipes to kill arboreal game, and climb trees to access honey. We discuss how the transition to agriculture affected the human–elephant relationship by increasing the potential for competition. We conclude that the traditional foraging cultures of the Malay Peninsula are compatible with wildlife conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biodiversity Conservation)
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Article
Patterns of Genetic Variation in the Eisenia nordenskioldi Complex (Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae) along an Elevation Gradient in Northern China
by , , , , and
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010035 - 07 Jan 2022
Viewed by 449
Abstract
Eisenia nordenskioldi is the dominant earthworm species in many tundra and boreal habitats. Nothing is known about the genetic diversity of this species along the elevation gradient in China. This study sampled 28 individuals in the E. nordenskioldi complex from Wuling Mountain, [...] Read more.
Eisenia nordenskioldi is the dominant earthworm species in many tundra and boreal habitats. Nothing is known about the genetic diversity of this species along the elevation gradient in China. This study sampled 28 individuals in the E. nordenskioldi complex from Wuling Mountain, northern China, to examine their external morphology and genetic diversity. Mt. Wuling is the southern limit of the distribution of the E. nordenskioldi complex. The specimens from Mt. Wuling were classified into three groups along an elevation gradient. Mismatch distribution analysis suggested that the Pleistocene glaciations possibly did not significantly affect the distribution of earthworm species in this region. We also found that elevation affected the genetic diversity, but not the external morphology of E. nordenskioldi. Given the altitudinal genetic diversity within the E. nordenskioldi complex, the phylogeography of this species provides important information for the zoogeographic reconstruction of the mountains in northern China. With the relatively limited sample size, the result is not conclusive, and further studies need to be conducted in the future to verify the results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Earthworms)
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Article
Seed Germination and Seedling Growth of Robinia pseudoacacia Depending on the Origin of Different Geographic Provenances
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010034 - 06 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 545
Abstract
Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) is recognised as a forest species of interest due to its multiple uses. The management of forest genetic resources and their efficient conservation suffer from variations in traits and start with seed germination. The aim of the [...] Read more.
Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) is recognised as a forest species of interest due to its multiple uses. The management of forest genetic resources and their efficient conservation suffer from variations in traits and start with seed germination. The aim of the current study was to investigate the germination of seeds obtained from plus trees selected in eight Romanian provenances, as well as to investigate the influence of the origin upon plants’ growth and development. Two experiments were undertaken to test seed germination: one treatment involved water-soaked seeds and heat/cold treatment, while the other treatment was based on sulphuric acid, at different concentrations (50, 70, 90%). The results were correlated with the morphological analysis of the seeds. Satu-Mare had the lowest germination rate within both treatments. Sulphuric acid did not improve seed germination as much as the heat treatment. The highest germination rate occurred for the water and temperature treatment on seeds from Bihor provenance (68.2%). The most distant provenance was Bihor, in inverse correlation with Bistrița Năsăud and grouped separately within the hierarchical dendrogram of cluster analysis based on the analysed parameters of the provenances investigated. The results demonstrated that the genotypes and environmental heterogeneity of the seed origin within the provenances may finally result in different performances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Management and Biodiversity Conservation)
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Article
Machine-Learning-Based Proteomic Predictive Modeling with Thermally-Challenged Caribbean Reef Corals
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010033 - 05 Jan 2022
Viewed by 420
Abstract
Coral health is currently diagnosed retroactively; colonies are deemed “stressed” upon succumbing to bleaching or disease. Ideally, health inferences would instead be made on a pre-death timescale that would enable, for instance, environmental mitigation that could promote coral resilience. To this end, diverse [...] Read more.
Coral health is currently diagnosed retroactively; colonies are deemed “stressed” upon succumbing to bleaching or disease. Ideally, health inferences would instead be made on a pre-death timescale that would enable, for instance, environmental mitigation that could promote coral resilience. To this end, diverse Caribbean coral (Orbicella faveolata) genotypes of varying resilience to high temperatures along the Florida Reef Tract were exposed herein to elevated temperatures in the laboratory, and a proteomic analysis was taken with a subset of 20 samples via iTRAQ labeling followed by nano-liquid chromatography + mass spectrometry; 46 host coral and 40 Symbiodiniaceae dinoflagellate proteins passed all stringent quality control criteria, and the partial proteomes of biopsies of (1) healthy controls, (2) sub-lethally stressed samples, and (3) actively bleaching corals differed significantly from one another. The proteomic data were then used to train predictive models of coral colony bleaching susceptibility, and both generalized regression and machine-learning-based neural networks were capable of accurately forecasting the bleaching susceptibility of coral samples based on their protein signatures. Successful future testing of the predictive power of these models in situ could establish the capacity to proactively monitor coral health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Incorporating Physiological Data into Environmental Resilience Models)
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Article
Four-Year Field Survey of Black Band Disease and Skeletal Growth Anomalies in Encrusting Montipora spp. Corals around Sesoko Island, Okinawa
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010032 - 04 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 700
Abstract
The Indo-Pacific zooxanthellate scleractinian coral genus Montipora is the host of many coral diseases. Among these are cyanobacterial Black Band Disease (BBD) and Skeletal Growth Anomalies (GAs), but in general data on both diseases are lacking from many regions of the Indo-Pacific, including [...] Read more.
The Indo-Pacific zooxanthellate scleractinian coral genus Montipora is the host of many coral diseases. Among these are cyanobacterial Black Band Disease (BBD) and Skeletal Growth Anomalies (GAs), but in general data on both diseases are lacking from many regions of the Indo-Pacific, including from Okinawa, southern Japan. In this study, we collected annual prevalence data of Black Band Disease (BBD) and Skeletal Growth Anomalies (GAs) affecting the encrusting form of genus Montipora within the shallow reefs of the subtropical Sesoko Island (off the central west coast of Okinawajima Island) from summer to autumn for four years (2017 to 2020). In 2020 Montipora percent coverage and colony count were also assessed. Generalized Linear Models (GLM) were used to understand the spatial and temporal variation of both BBD and GAs in the nearshore (NE) and reef edge (RE) sites, which revealed higher probability of BBD occurrence in RE sites. BBD prevalence was significantly higher in 2017 in some sites than all other years with site S12 having significant higher probability during all four surveyed years. In terms of GAs, certain sites in 2020 had higher probability of occurrence than during the other years. While the general trend of GAs increased from 2017 to 2020, it was observed to be non-fatal to colonies. In both diseases, the interaction between sites and years was significant. We also observed certain BBD-infected colonies escaping complete mortality. BBD progression rates were monitored in 2020 at site S4, and progression was related to seawater temperatures and was suppressed during periods of heavy rain and large strong typhoons. Our results suggest that higher BBD progression rates are linked with high sea water temperatures (SST > bleaching threshold SST) and higher light levels (>1400 µmol m−2 s−1), indicating the need for further controlled laboratory experiments. The current research will help form the basis for continued future research into these diseases and their causes in Okinawa and the Indo-Pacific Ocean. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marginal Reef Systems: Resilience in A Rapidly Changing World)
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Article
Aquatic Macrophyte Vegetation Promotes Taxonomic and Functional Diversity of Odonata Assemblages in Intermittent Karst Rivers in the Mediterranean
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010031 - 04 Jan 2022
Viewed by 516
Abstract
Assemblages of adult Odonata were studied in four intermittent karst rivers encompassing macrophyte-rich (MRH) and macrophyte-poor habitats (MPH) in southern Europe, where temporary lotic habitats are the predominant freshwater type but are still understudied. With a total of 25 recorded species, the studied [...] Read more.
Assemblages of adult Odonata were studied in four intermittent karst rivers encompassing macrophyte-rich (MRH) and macrophyte-poor habitats (MPH) in southern Europe, where temporary lotic habitats are the predominant freshwater type but are still understudied. With a total of 25 recorded species, the studied habitats support species-rich Odonata assemblages, as already shown for intermittent rivers in the Mediterranean. Aquatic macrophyte abundance, conductivity, and water velocity are the most significant determinants of Odonata assemblages in the studied IRES. MRH promote higher Odonata abundance and the taxonomic and functional diversity of their assemblages compared to the MPH. Odonata assemblages in MRH are characterized by higher values of body size and a higher share of species preferring lentic and temporary hydrological conditions. Moreover, their assemblages are characterized by various patterns of nymphal development and drought resilience strategies. In contrast, MPH are preferred by lotic species, with nymphal development all year round and with no specific drought-resisting strategies. Our results contribute to the knowledge of diversity and ecological requirements of dragonflies and damselflies in IRES habitats, which could provide scientific background for future conservation activities and bioassessment protocols of such habitats and their biota. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Insects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation Challenges)
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