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Diversity, Volume 14, Issue 12 (December 2022) – 133 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Island wetlands are considered crucial to biodiversity; however, they are particularly vulnerable to invasive species. Α striking example is the Common slider Trachemys scripta, one of the most important invasive species worldwide, which occurs both in the mainland and insular Greece. In our study, we report for the first time, this invasive species on the island of Lesvos, Greece. During the 12-year monitoring of Lesvos native terrapins, we found T. scripta in three wetlands. Although we found stable populations of the two native freshwater terrapins, the T. scripta presence raises concerns regarding its future effects on the local terrapin populations. We propose the systematic monitoring of insular wetlands, with priority on those where T. scripta occurs. View this paper
 
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Article
Distribution Pattern of Fish Richness in the Yarlung Zangbo River Basin
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1142; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121142 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 417
Abstract
Global warming significantly affects plateau glaciers and surface runoff, and fish are bound to be severely affected. Additionally, an increasing number of human activities (e.g., free captive animals, aquaculture) have led to vulnerable plateau ecosystems being affected by invasive species. To address the [...] Read more.
Global warming significantly affects plateau glaciers and surface runoff, and fish are bound to be severely affected. Additionally, an increasing number of human activities (e.g., free captive animals, aquaculture) have led to vulnerable plateau ecosystems being affected by invasive species. To address the above issues, we collected the currently published fish distribution data, and for the first time constructed a richness and fluvial system distribution map of the Yarlung Zangbo River fish (4 orders, 10 families, and 61 species). Based on fish richness and the fluvial system, the native fish in the Yarlung Zangbo River Basin were divided into three clusters, and the non-native fish were divided into six clusters by using Ward’s minimum variance clustering and non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS). Environmental factors related to native or non-native fish richness were selected by the random forest model from 21 environmental factors. Then, the relationship between fish richness and environmental factors was explained by the generalized linear model (GLM). Our results showed that the native fish distribution pattern was different from the non-native fish distribution, but their high richness areas were overlapped. Furthermore, native fish richness responds differently than non-native fish richness to environmental factors. The results provided eco-solutions for the conservation and management of fish biodiversity and natural resources in the Yarlung Zangbo River. Full article
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Article
Factors Affecting Plant Composition in Abandoned Railway Areas with Particular Emphasis on Forest Proximity
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1141; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121141 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 587
Abstract
Abandoned railway areas are places for the spontaneous spread of plants and the formation of specific plant communities. However, only limited information on this subject is available in the literature. The study aimed to determine the direction and the rate of forest formation, [...] Read more.
Abandoned railway areas are places for the spontaneous spread of plants and the formation of specific plant communities. However, only limited information on this subject is available in the literature. The study aimed to determine the direction and the rate of forest formation, taking into account selected environmental factors. A floristic, phytosociological, and soil survey was carried out on a set of abandoned railway lines in the Silesia Province (southern Poland). For this purpose, 30 plots of vegetation were selected: 15 located in the vicinity of forests (F) and 15 surrounded by ruderal or segetal communities (NF). As a result, a total of 132 species (121 vascular plants and 11 mosses) were recorded, including 83 species at F plots and 78 species at NF plots. During the research, 13 syntaxa were distinguished. It was found that silt content, nitrate nitrogen (N-NO3), pH, and phosphorous have a significant impact upon which species dominated in the surveyed areas. It was found that the proximity of the forest was a crucial factor in determining the development of forest communities on abandoned railway areas. These results can be helpful for understanding how environmental conditions shape the forest structure on these types of habitats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changes and Evolution of Flora and Vegetation under Human Impacts)
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Article
Diversity of Volatile Compounds in the Inula candida / I. verbascifolia Group (Asteraceae-Inuleae) and Its Impact on Species Delimitation
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1140; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121140 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 466
Abstract
The members of the Inula candida / I. verbascifolia group are perennial and chasmophytic plants attributed to four species and eleven entities at subspecific or varietal level. They are mostly confined to Greece. Volatile compounds of above-ground flowering parts of twenty-three populations covering [...] Read more.
The members of the Inula candida / I. verbascifolia group are perennial and chasmophytic plants attributed to four species and eleven entities at subspecific or varietal level. They are mostly confined to Greece. Volatile compounds of above-ground flowering parts of twenty-three populations covering ten taxonomic entities were obtained after hydrodistillation and analyzed by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS). In most cases, the total percentage of identified constituents reached 89% or above. Seventy-two components were identified. Oxygenated sesquiterpenes prevailed in the I. candida subgroup (47.3–71.5%), with epi-α-cadinol present in all members (13.4–42.7%) but rarely found in the I. verbascifolia subgroup. Considerable amounts of the hydrocarbon aldehydes decanal, undecanal and particularly tridecanal (0.5–35.0%, rarely absent) were predominately found in the I. verbascifolia members but were mostly absent in the I. candida subgroup. Isoalantolactone (12.4–49.5%), identified only in I. subfloccosa, and γ-(Z)-curcumen-12-ol, found only in I. candida subsp. limonella (22.6–42.1%), may serve as chemotaxonomic markers. Two different chemotypes can be distinguished within I. verbascifolia subsp. aschersoniana: a trans-muurola-4(14),5-diene-, γ-cadinene-rich chemotype from north-eastern Greece and a 1-epi-cubenol-, tridecanal-rich chemotype from central Greece. Different statistical algorithms were used to interpret the chemical diversity and identify the most appropriate number of clusters for the taxa. Cluster analyses indicated that the optimum number of clusters that best explain the metabolomic variability of the taxa is two. The degree of membership for each population based on the fuzzy k-means algorithm supported the I. verbascifolia subsp. aschersoniana samples within the I. candida subgroup, whereas I. subfloccosa may belong to any of the two clusters formed, although it also appears to have some unique characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemistry and Biology of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants)
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Article
Genetic Detection and a Method to Study the Ecology of Deadly Cubozoan Jellyfish
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1139; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121139 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 720
Abstract
Cubozoan jellyfish pose a risk of envenomation to humans and a threat to many businesses, yet crucial gaps exist in determining threats to stakeholders and understanding their ecology. Environmental DNA (eDNA) provides a cost-effective method for detection that is less labour intensive and [...] Read more.
Cubozoan jellyfish pose a risk of envenomation to humans and a threat to many businesses, yet crucial gaps exist in determining threats to stakeholders and understanding their ecology. Environmental DNA (eDNA) provides a cost-effective method for detection that is less labour intensive and provides a higher probability of detection. The objective of this study was to develop, optimise and trial the use of eDNA to detect the Australian box jellyfish, Chironex fleckeri. This species was the focus of this study as it is known to have the strongest venom of any cubozoan; it is responsible for more than 200 recorded deaths in the Indo-Pacific region. Further, its ecology is poorly known. Herein, a specific and sensitive probe-based assay, multiplexed with an endogenous control assay, was developed, and successfully utilised to detect the deadly jellyfish species and differentiate them from closely related taxa. A rapid eDNA decay rate of greater than 99% within 27 h was found with no detectable influence from temperature. The robustness of the technique indicates that it will be of high utility for detection and to address knowledge gaps in the ecology of C. fleckeri; further, it has broad applicability to other types of zooplankton. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Diversity and Ecology of Zooplankton)
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Article
Bioclimatic Preferences of the Great Bustard in a Steppe Region
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1138; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121138 - 18 Dec 2022
Viewed by 577
Abstract
(1) The intercorrelated effects of climatic processes and anthropogenic land use changes have been shown to govern the population declines in several bird species, which have led to global extinctions. Ground-nesting birds are especially sensitive to modifications in spatial as well as temporal [...] Read more.
(1) The intercorrelated effects of climatic processes and anthropogenic land use changes have been shown to govern the population declines in several bird species, which have led to global extinctions. Ground-nesting birds are especially sensitive to modifications in spatial as well as temporal patterns of climatic change. The Great Bustard (Otis tarda) is one of the most endangered species, which has suffered considerable range contractions and population declines in extensive areas of its historical distribution. (2) Here, we aim to (i) identify the key climatic predictors governing the historical distribution of the Great Bustard within the Carpathian Basin during the past three decades, (ii) provide spatial predictions for the historical range of the study species, and (iii) identify areas where species-specific conservation planning initiatives need to focus on by predicting the distribution of the Great Bustard for future time periods. To do so, here we apply bioclimatic niche modeling implemented in the MaxEnt software package, which is fitted on historical occurrence locations as a function of potential bioclimatic predictors. (3) We show that (i) the most important bioclimatic predictors governing the distribution of the Great Bustard are the annual mean temperature, mean temperatures of the wettest and driest quarters, as well as the annual precipitation; (ii) all lowland areas of the Carpathian Basin were suitable for the Great Bustard during historical time periods; (iii) the SDM predictions show the historical suitability of the Muntenia and Dobrodgea regions and the Upper Thracian Plain; and (iv) the future projections show a substantial decrease in the core distribution area, whereas the boundary areas are expected to remain stable. In summary, our study emphasizes that the distribution modeling of endangered taxa using historical records can strongly support species-specific conservation planning initiatives. Full article
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Article
Large-Scale In Vitro Multiplication and Phytochemical Analysis of Himantoglossum affine (Boiss.) Schltr.: An Endangered Euro-Mediterranean Terrestrial Orchid
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1137; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121137 - 18 Dec 2022
Viewed by 660
Abstract
Himantoglossum affine is a threatened terrestrial orchid. We aimed to optimize asymbiotic seed germination and direct embryogenesis and to analyze the phytochemical profile and physico-biochemical analysis of leaf and tuber. The individual use of organic nitrogen compounds resulted in higher germination efficiencies, while [...] Read more.
Himantoglossum affine is a threatened terrestrial orchid. We aimed to optimize asymbiotic seed germination and direct embryogenesis and to analyze the phytochemical profile and physico-biochemical analysis of leaf and tuber. The individual use of organic nitrogen compounds resulted in higher germination efficiencies, while the shortest times to germination were observed using coconut water plus casein hydrolysate. Plantlets grown on media supplemented with pineapple juice and peptone had the highest plantlet length and weight. For embryogenesis, the highest regeneration rate (44%) and embryo number/explant (10.12 ± 2.08) were observed in young protocorm-like body (PLB) explants with 0.5 mg/L naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) and 1 mg/L thidiazuron (TDZ). During the acclimatization process, the scattered vascular tubes converted to fully developed vascular tissues, ensuring maximum sap flux. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis identified 1,2,3-propanetriol, monoacetate, 4H-pyran-4-one, 2,3-dihydro-3,5-dihydroxy-6-methyl, and 2-butenedioic acid, 2-methyl-, (E)- as the most prevalent compounds. We reported higher contents of total phenolics and flavonoids and antioxidant activity compared to other terrestrial orchids. The glucomannan content (36.96%) was also higher than starch content (31.31%), comparable to those reported in other tuberous orchids. Based on the fragmentation of H. affine populations in the Middle East and Euro-Mediterranean countries due to over-harvesting, climate change, and/or human impact, our procedure offers a tool for the re-introduction of in vitro-raised plants to threatened areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Orchid Conservation and Associated Fungal Diversity)
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Article
Selection of Nesting Habitat and Insular Niche Separation of Two Sympatric Aquila Species
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1136; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121136 - 18 Dec 2022
Viewed by 456
Abstract
Aquila chrysaetos and Aquila fasciata are two congeneric eagle species distributed in the Mediterranean region which are supposed to compete for similar breeding and foraging resources. In the present study, bioclimatic, topographic, and human-related habitat parameters were investigated for 64 and 75 nest [...] Read more.
Aquila chrysaetos and Aquila fasciata are two congeneric eagle species distributed in the Mediterranean region which are supposed to compete for similar breeding and foraging resources. In the present study, bioclimatic, topographic, and human-related habitat parameters were investigated for 64 and 75 nest sites of Golden and Bonelli’s eagles, respectively. The nests were found during fieldwork undertaken from 1995–2020. Overall, the habitat parameters that best discriminated nest site selection were associated with elevation, temperature, and land use with topographic variables being most powerful for niche separation. Univariate analysis, regression, and species distribution modeling identified a strong association of the species with altitude pinpointing the Golden eagle’s mountainous and continental character and the Bonelli’s eagle being a lowland and coastal species. Golden eagle nests were situated away from human settlements on steep cliffs in higher altitude areas with transitional woodland-shrub vegetation. In contrast Bonelli’s eagle nests were located on low-altitude warmer zones, closer to the coast and human settlements with more natural grasslands in their vicinity. The ecological niche separation of the two species was best described by altitude and temperature, though no clear-cut evidence was detected for their competitive exclusion. Inter-specific nearest neighboring distance was found statistically significant only for the Golden eagle which seems to be less tolerant in its co-existence with the Bonelli’s eagle. Conservation measures for both species should target territories under human pressure, though more research should focus on the species range use and habitat heterogeneity within overlapping territories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation and Ecology of Raptors)
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Communication
Factors Affecting Habitat Selection of Endangered Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis) in Pakistan: Implications for Raptors Conservation
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1135; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121135 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 937
Abstract
The steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis) is an endangered migratory raptor species that migrates in winter to Pakistan and neighbouring countries. In Pakistan, the species migrate at the end of autumn and utilise different habitats across the country. Very little information is [...] Read more.
The steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis) is an endangered migratory raptor species that migrates in winter to Pakistan and neighbouring countries. In Pakistan, the species migrate at the end of autumn and utilise different habitats across the country. Very little information is available about the species’ population status, distribution, and factors affecting its distribution in Pakistan. In the present study, we predicted the distribution of steppe eagles in Pakistan associated with different environmental variables. We used 149 presence points of the species from an online source (GBIF), published literature, and wildlife photographers. The MaxEnt analysis showed that highly suitable habitats were mostly present in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), federally administered areas and surrounding areas, southern areas of Sindh Province, and some parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Province. In addition, some patches were also predicted by MaxEnt in Balochistan Province. Human population density (27.0%), chicken density (16.6%), temperature seasonality (11.1%), and rivers (10.3%) were identified as the main environmental factors that affect the habitat distribution of steppe eagle in Pakistan. Only a small percentage (2.62%) of the total Pakistan area was estimated to be a highly suitable area for steppe eagles, while 20.58% and 7.46% were identified as the least and moderately suitable areas, respectively. Conservation of identified habitats and mitigation of anthropogenic impacts to conserve this endangered eagle species are recommended for immediate and long-term conservation across Pakistan. Full article
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Article
Analysis of Prey Composition in Eurasian Reed Warblers’ Acrocephalus scirpaceus Droppings at Four Breeding Sites in Italy
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1134; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121134 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 732
Abstract
Our aim was to investigate the among-populations diversity of prey composition in Eurasian Reed Warblers’ diets via their droppings, both to assess the ecological validity of this sampling method and to test whether the prey species most abundant in fecal samples were also [...] Read more.
Our aim was to investigate the among-populations diversity of prey composition in Eurasian Reed Warblers’ diets via their droppings, both to assess the ecological validity of this sampling method and to test whether the prey species most abundant in fecal samples were also the most present in the Italian study site. We collected fecal samples at four sites throughout Italy, for a total of 144 samples. Within reedbeds, the breeding habitat of the Eurasian Reed Warbler, we also collected arthropods by carrying out entomological sweepings at one of the study sites. Within the fecal samples, we identified dozens of prey species, belonging mainly to Araneae, Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera and Aphidoidea taxa, whose compositions were not statistically different among sites. The commonest prey species were Coleoptera in the droppings (68.5%) and Diptera in the reedbeds (31.3%), although the latter was less numerous in the fecal samples. The diets of different Italian populations of Eurasian Reed Warbler emerging from our study underline a strong Coleopteran presence, without differences across Italy. Fecal samples appear to be an exhaustive method to study variation in Eurasian Reed Warbler diet and its ecological importance; however, although potential caveats do exist, such as the possible under-representation of Diptera. Full article
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Article
Biology, Genetic Diversity, and Ecology of Nitzschia acidoclinata Lange-Bertalot (Bacillariophyta)
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1133; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121133 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 495
Abstract
The diatom Nitzschia acidoclinata is a widespread eurybiontic alga. There is little information on its life cycle properties and cardinal points. To fill this gap, we analyzed six N. acidoclinata clones from a range of habitats in Asiatic Russia regarding their genetic diversity, [...] Read more.
The diatom Nitzschia acidoclinata is a widespread eurybiontic alga. There is little information on its life cycle properties and cardinal points. To fill this gap, we analyzed six N. acidoclinata clones from a range of habitats in Asiatic Russia regarding their genetic diversity, morphology, morphometry, geography, and ecology. A comparison of 15 N. acidoclinata rbcL sequences sampled across its relatively wide distribution area and contrasting habitats revealed no distinct genotypes in the species. We demonstrated that the valve morphology, their length, and the sexual activity of the investigated clones varied depending on the phase of their life cycle. In this species, abrupt size reduction was observed. It was revealed that N. acidoclinata reproduced by pedogamy, and its auxosporulation was season-dependent and observed in spring and autumn only. The mating activity in our clones was detected only when the cell size was reduced to 9–22 µm in length. The available data on sexual reproduction in the genus Nitzschia suggest that neither clades nor subclades comprise pedogamous or anisogamous taxa at the same time. However, isogamy could occur in the same clade with either pedogamy or anisogamy. These data provide a fundamental basis for the development of N. acidoclinata mass cultivation and long-term maintenance in culture technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biodiversity Conservation)
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Communication
Fungi Associated with Messor Ants on the Balkan Peninsula: First Biogeographical Data
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1132; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121132 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 469
Abstract
Ant nests’ relatively stable and long-lasting microhabitats present ideal living conditions for many uni- and multicellular organisms, whose relationships range from mutualistic to parasitic. Messor harvester ants inhabit arid and semi-arid open areas where their colonies consist of large numbers of individuals. Due [...] Read more.
Ant nests’ relatively stable and long-lasting microhabitats present ideal living conditions for many uni- and multicellular organisms, whose relationships range from mutualistic to parasitic. Messor harvester ants inhabit arid and semi-arid open areas where their colonies consist of large numbers of individuals. Due to the high number of other organisms associated with harvester ants, their nests can be defined as islands for unique biota. Despite significant progress in research on ant-associated fungi in Europe, little is still known about the recently described ectoparasitic fungus Rickia lenoirii Santamaria, 2015 (Laboulbeniales), found on two species of ants of the genus Messor. Here we report for the first time the occurrence of the ectoparasitic ant-associated fungus R. lenoirii from three countries (Albania, Bulgaria, and continental Greece) and multiple localities in the Balkans. The fungus was detected on four ant host species—Messor structor (Latreille, 1798), M. wasmanni Krausse, 1910, M. hellenius Agosti & Collingwood, 1987, and M. mcarthuri Steiner et al., 2018 with the latter two representing new host records. Furthermore, spores of the widespread endoparasitic fungus of ants, Myrmicinosporidium durum Hölldobler, 1933 (Blastocladiomycota), were reported for the first time in Messor structor (Bulgaria). Images of the ant-associated Rickia lenoirii taken with a scanning electron microscope, a comparison with R. wasmannii, and a distribution map are also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity Research in Bulgaria)
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Article
First Report of a Paucibranchia (Polychaeta, Eunicidae) Species without Lateral Palps in Korean Subtidal Waters, with Genetic Evidence for Its Taxonomic Position
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1131; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121131 - 16 Dec 2022
Viewed by 423
Abstract
An undescribed species belonging to the family Eunicidae was detected in a sublittoral habitat of the southern coast of Korea. This Korean eunicid species was initially thought to belong to the genus Lysidice based on its general appearance, including the absence of prostomial [...] Read more.
An undescribed species belonging to the family Eunicidae was detected in a sublittoral habitat of the southern coast of Korea. This Korean eunicid species was initially thought to belong to the genus Lysidice based on its general appearance, including the absence of prostomial lateral palps and peristomial cirri. However, a more detailed characterization of the morphological features of the maxillae and mandible coupled with mtCOI and 18S rRNA gene sequence analyses confirmed that this species is a member of the genus Paucibranchia. The absence of lateral palps found in the intact adult specimens with 153 segments is a unique feature not previously reported in species belonging to Paucibranchia. Thus, the new species, Paucibranchia triantennata sp. nov., can be easily distinguished from other known congeneric species. Except for the absence of lateral palps, P. triantennata sp. nov. resembled P. conferta, P. gathofi, and P. patriciae in the shape of the prostomium, brief location and shape of branchiae, and absence of compound spinigers. However, P. triantennata could be clearly distinguished from these species by the shorter prostomial antennae, a large number of subacicular hooks, and the morphological features of the maxillae and compound falcigers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Proceedings of Experts on Aquatic Life (PEAL))
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Article
Dietary Association with Midgut Microbiota Components of Eocanthecona furcellata (Wolff)
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1130; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121130 - 16 Dec 2022
Viewed by 382
Abstract
Eocanthecona furcellata is an important predatory stinkbug that attacks many lepidopteran pests. For mass-rearing, artificial diets are used to rear this predator in the laboratory; however, the fitness of the predators is reduced, and little is known about the cause. Since gut microbiota [...] Read more.
Eocanthecona furcellata is an important predatory stinkbug that attacks many lepidopteran pests. For mass-rearing, artificial diets are used to rear this predator in the laboratory; however, the fitness of the predators is reduced, and little is known about the cause. Since gut microbiota plays vital roles in the digestion and development of many hosts and can consequently affect host fitness, an understanding of the microbial community composition of E. furcellata may help to solve this unresolved problem. We compared the development and reproduction of E. furcellata reared on an artificial diet, and a natural (Spodoptera litura) or semi-natural (Tenebrio molitor) diet, and then the midgut microbiota were assessed using high-throughput 16S rRNA. The results of the high-throughput 16S rRNA show that the bacterial richness and diversity in the artificial diet gut samples increased considerably compared with the other samples. Proteobacteria and Firmicutes were the dominant phyla in E. furcellata. At the genus level, Serratia (however, the relative abundance was lower in the artificial diet gut samples), Enterococcus, and an uncultured bacterium genus of family Enterobacteriaceae, were dominant. The midgut microbiota components significantly differed among the diets, indicating that the gut bacteria had a dietary association with E. furcellata. This study provides a better understanding of midgut microbiota and the artificial diets that might affect them in E. furcellata. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heteroptera: Biodiversity, Evolution, Taxonomy and Conservation)
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Article
Discovery of the First Blattinopsids of the Genus Glaphyrophlebia Handlirsch, 1906 (Paoliida: Blattinopsidae) in the Upper Carboniferous of Southern France and Spain and Hypothesis on the Diversification of the Family
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1129; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121129 - 16 Dec 2022
Viewed by 424
Abstract
Glaphyrophlebia victoiriensis sp. nov. (Paoliida: Blattinopsidae) is the third Gzhelian representative of the genus and is described based on a beautiful forewing from the Var department in Southern France. Together with the description of another forewing fragment of a Glaphyrophlebia sp. from the [...] Read more.
Glaphyrophlebia victoiriensis sp. nov. (Paoliida: Blattinopsidae) is the third Gzhelian representative of the genus and is described based on a beautiful forewing from the Var department in Southern France. Together with the description of another forewing fragment of a Glaphyrophlebia sp. from the Province of León in NW Spain, they improve our knowledge of fossil insects from French and Spanish upper Carboniferous deposits. The specimen of Glaphyrophlebia sp. is the first mention of the family in the Carboniferous of Spain and extends the geographical distribution of the genus. These descriptions suggest that the genus Glaphyrophlebia was speciose during the Upper Pennsylvanian, while otherwise very diverse in the lower and middle Permian strata of the Russian Federation. We proposed the first hypothesis to explain the diversification of the family and of its most speciose genera and to argue that their diversity dynamics were likely linked with the major environmental changes that followed the collapse of the Carboniferous rainforest, notably the extension of arid biomes during the Permian period. The exquisite preservation and the fineness of the sediment from Tante Victoire, in which the new species was found, suggests that the locality is suitable for preserving other fossil insects and will require additional investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Paleoecology of Insects)
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Data Descriptor
Biodiversity of Coleoptera (Insecta) in the Middle and Lower Volga Regions (Russia)
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1128; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121128 - 16 Dec 2022
Viewed by 611
Abstract
(1) Background: The conservation of entomofauna in individual macroregions requires efforts to study the distribution and abundance of insects. For this purpose, databases are created that enumerate this information. Such databases, with the processing of significant factual material, make it possible to objectively [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The conservation of entomofauna in individual macroregions requires efforts to study the distribution and abundance of insects. For this purpose, databases are created that enumerate this information. Such databases, with the processing of significant factual material, make it possible to objectively assess the status of a species and, if necessary, take measures for its protection. The aim of the paper is to describe the modern Coleoptera fauna in nine regions of Russia on the basis of a recently published dataset. (2) Methods: We conducted our own studies in 1994, 1996, 1998–2003 and 2005–2022. The dataset also includes data from museum specimens from other years. We used a variety of methods, such as sifting through litter, searching under the bark of trees and stumps, trapping by light, soil traps, beer traps, window traps, etc. For each observation, the coordinates of the find, the number of individuals observed and the date were recorded. (3) Results: The dataset contains data on 1469 species and subspecies of Coleoptera from 85 families found in the Volga Region. In total, there are 31,433 samples and 9072 occurrences in the dataset. (4) Conclusions: The largest families in terms of species diversity are Curculionidae (202 species), Carabidae (145 species) and Chrysomelidae (142 species). There are 54 species of Coleoptera with a northern range boundary in the macroregion, two species with a southern range boundary and one species with an eastern range boundary. Twenty-one invasive Coleoptera species have been recorded in the macroregion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Invertebrates)
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Article
A New Species of the Genus Robertgurneya Apostolov & Marinov, 1988 (Copepoda: Harpacticoida: Miraciidae) from a Sublittoral Zone of Jeju Island, Korea
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1127; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121127 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 469
Abstract
A new species, Robertgurneya jejuensis sp. nov., was described from sandy sediment samples collected at a depth of 25 m on Mun Island, Jeju, in June 2018. The new species is morphologically similar to Robertgurneya similis similis (Scott A., 1896) and Robertgurneya donghaensis Bang, [...] Read more.
A new species, Robertgurneya jejuensis sp. nov., was described from sandy sediment samples collected at a depth of 25 m on Mun Island, Jeju, in June 2018. The new species is morphologically similar to Robertgurneya similis similis (Scott A., 1896) and Robertgurneya donghaensis Bang, 2021; this is the second record of the genus Robertgurneya in South Korea. The morphological characteristics of the similis group within the genus Robertgurneya, to which the new species is ascribed, are summarized here. Furthermore, an identification key is provided based on the summary. Molecular identification of the collected specimens, based on the nuclear 18S ribosomal RNA (18S rRNA) and the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I fragment, was obtained. Finally, a phylogenetic tree was constructed to present the position of Robertgurneya within the Miraciidae family based on 18S rRNA sequences which is relatively conserved. As a result, the relationship with sister genera morphologically similar to Robertgurneya was also molecularly confirmed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Proceedings of Experts on Aquatic Life (PEAL))
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Article
The Utilityof 28S rDNA for Barcoding of Freshwater Sponges (Porifera, Spongillida)
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1126; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121126 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 441
Abstract
Sponges (Porifera, Spongillida) make up the bulk of the benthic biomass in Lake Baikal and are represented by the family Lubomirskiidae, a collection of endemic species, and several species of the cosmopolitan family Spongillidae. We conducted an analysis of the D3 domain of [...] Read more.
Sponges (Porifera, Spongillida) make up the bulk of the benthic biomass in Lake Baikal and are represented by the family Lubomirskiidae, a collection of endemic species, and several species of the cosmopolitan family Spongillidae. We conducted an analysis of the D3 domain of the 28S rDNA of 16 freshwater sponge species. Based on molecular data, we were able to identify all of the collected Spongillidae specimens whose identification was difficult due to the lack of gemmules. Phylogenetic trees have shown that Ephydatia muelleri, Spongilla lacustris, and Eunapius fragilis formed monophyletic clades, and the D3 domain of the 28S rDNA can be used for their DNA barcoding. For the Baikal sponges, the use of this marker is important since the gemmule-less Spongillidae and Lubomirskiidae are, in some cases, indistinguishable from each other in morphology. The 28S rDNA has been shown to be useful for family and species-level identification of freshwater sponges within the Spongillida. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Freshwater Biodiversity)
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Article
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Diversity in the Orchid Himantoglossum robertianum (Loisel.) P. Delforge from Sardinia (Italy)
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1125; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121125 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 522
Abstract
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are produced by plants to address a variety of physiological and ecological tasks (among others, stress resistance, and pollinator attraction). Genetics is a key factor in determining plants’ VOCs content and emission, nevertheless, environment strongly influences VOCs profiles in [...] Read more.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are produced by plants to address a variety of physiological and ecological tasks (among others, stress resistance, and pollinator attraction). Genetics is a key factor in determining plants’ VOCs content and emission, nevertheless, environment strongly influences VOCs profiles in plants. Orchids are a widespread group of plants that colonize diverse environments and rely on complex and refined pollination mechanisms to reproduce. Orchids VOCs are rarely studied and discussed in relation to growing conditions. In the present study, we compare the volatile profiles of inflorescences of Himantoglossum robertianum (Loisel.) P. Delforge sampled in six ecologically diverse populations on Sardinia Island (Italy). The essential oils obtained by steam distillation were characterized by GC-FID and GC-MS analysis. A total of 79 compounds were detected, belonging to the chemical classes of saturated hydrocarbons, esters, alcohols, ketones, unsaturated hydrocarbons, sesquiterpenes, oxygenated terpenes, terpenes, acids, and aldehydes. Multivariate statistics separated H. robertianum populations based on their chemical profiles. Differences were positively linked to the distance separating populations and reflected climatological features of the sampling sites. Interestingly, our results differed from those available in the literature, pointing out the high variability of VOCs profiles in this food-deceptive orchid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distribution and Diversity of Orchids)
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Article
Diversity of Endophytic Fungi in Annual Shoots of Prunus mandshurica (Rosaceae) in the South of Amur Region, Russia
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1124; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121124 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 560
Abstract
Prunus mandshurica is a rare species of the Russian Far East; it is cultivated for fruits and as an ornamental tree. The objective was to determine the fungi associated with young shoots of the Manchurian apricot, which is an important biotic factor for [...] Read more.
Prunus mandshurica is a rare species of the Russian Far East; it is cultivated for fruits and as an ornamental tree. The objective was to determine the fungi associated with young shoots of the Manchurian apricot, which is an important biotic factor for plant viability and productivity. Fungi were isolated by incubation of shoot fragments (unsterilized or surface-sterilized) on a growth medium and identified according to their cultural and morphological characteristics. Diaporthe eres and Nothophoma quercina isolates were identified by multilocus phylogenetic analysis (apn2, cal, tef1-α, tub2 for D. eres, and ITS, rpb2, tub2 for N. quercina). In total, 12 species (Alternaria alternata, A. tenuissima, Aureobasidium pullulans, Cladosporium cladosporioides, C. herbarum, D. eres, Epicoccum nigrum, Fusarium graminearum, F. oxysporum, N. quercina, Sarocladium strictum, and Tripospermum myrti) and one genus (Gliocladium sp.) were found. Alternaria alternata, N. quercina, and D. eres were the most frequent species of the shoots. Alternaria tenuissima and F. oxysporum were also frequent in some collections, while all other species were rare or occasional in occurrence. Molecular analysis of D. eres and N. quercina revealed redundancy of some species within the D. eres species complex and the genus Nothophoma. This is the first report on the fungal inhabitants of asymptomatic shoots of P. mandshurica. Nothophoma quercina was identified in Russia for the first time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Fungal Diversity)
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Article
Carabus (Tomocarabus) bessarabicus Fischer von Waldheim, 1823 (Coleoptera: Carabidae)—New Steppe Element for the Bulgarian Fauna from the Karst Refugium of the Chepan Planina Mt.
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1123; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121123 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 450
Abstract
During a study of the distribution and status of Carabus hungaricus Fabricius, 1792 (Coleoptera: Carabidae), with pitfall traps exposed between November 2021 and April 2022, immediately south of Petrovski Krast Peak (1206 m a.s.l.) in the Chepan Planina Mt., at 1188 m a.s.l., [...] Read more.
During a study of the distribution and status of Carabus hungaricus Fabricius, 1792 (Coleoptera: Carabidae), with pitfall traps exposed between November 2021 and April 2022, immediately south of Petrovski Krast Peak (1206 m a.s.l.) in the Chepan Planina Mt., at 1188 m a.s.l., the rare and stenotopic steppe species Carabus bessarabicus Fischer von Waldheim, 1823, was found for the first time in Bulgaria and the European Union. In October 2022, elytra of both species were also found by handpicking in the same area. The coexistence of these two specific and rare steppe species has been recorded only in few localities in Ukraine and Russia and in no EU country. This finding is also very interesting given the high conservation status of Carabus bessarabicus, the significant remoteness of its newly established locality (more than 1200 km) from its previously known range, and its strong south-westward drift. The species is used as a bioindicator for the anthropogenically uninfluenced steppe environment, which can also probably be applied in Bulgaria. The establishment of this first record for the EU also implies an increase in the conservation status of the species through its inclusion in the Union-wide conservation documents and ecological networks. Full article
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Review
Factors in the Distribution of Mycorrhizal and Soil Fungi
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1122; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121122 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 473
Abstract
Soil fungi are crucial microorganisms in the functioning of ecosystems. They shape the soil properties, facilitate nutrient circulation, and assist with plant growth. However, their biogeography and distribution studies are limited compared to other groups of organisms. This review aims to provide an [...] Read more.
Soil fungi are crucial microorganisms in the functioning of ecosystems. They shape the soil properties, facilitate nutrient circulation, and assist with plant growth. However, their biogeography and distribution studies are limited compared to other groups of organisms. This review aims to provide an overview of the main factors shaping the spatial distribution of soil fungi (with a special focus on mycorrhizal fungi). The review also tries to identify the field frontier where further studies are needed. The main drivers of soil fungal distribution were classified and reviewed into three groups: soil properties, plant interactions, and dispersal vectors. It was apparent that ectomycorrhizal and arbuscular fungi are relatively overrepresented in the body of research, while the other mycorrhiza types and endophytes were grossly omitted. Notwithstanding, soil pH and the share of ectomycorrhizal plants in the plant coverage were repeatedly reported as strong predictors of mycorrhizal fungal distribution. Dispersal potential and vector preferences show more variation among fungi, especially when considering long-distance dispersal. Additionally, special attention was given to the applications of the island biogeography theory to soil fungal assemblages. This theory proves to be a very efficient framework for analyzing and understanding not only the soil fungal communities of real islands but even more effective islands, i.e., isolated habitats, such as patches of trees discontinuous from more enormous forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Holistic Approaches for Reveling in Fungal Diversity)
Article
Trophic Structure of Macrozoobenthos in Permanent Streams in the Eastern Balkans
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1121; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121121 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 480
Abstract
The present study provides data on the trophic structure of the benthic macroinvertebrate communities in mountainous and semi-mountainous small streams and river sections belonging to Mesta, Struma and Vardar River catchments from 7th Ecoregion. The benthic macroinvertebrates were assigned to seven Functional Feeding [...] Read more.
The present study provides data on the trophic structure of the benthic macroinvertebrate communities in mountainous and semi-mountainous small streams and river sections belonging to Mesta, Struma and Vardar River catchments from 7th Ecoregion. The benthic macroinvertebrates were assigned to seven Functional Feeding Groups. We analyzed their trophic structure and the dynamics in different seasons. The level of similarity between the sampling localities was analyzed in the context of both the river typology and the water catchment. A comparison between the two trophic indices was conducted in order to analyze the advantages of the application of these indices for assessment of the ecological status at the studied sites. We found that the trophic structure of the benthic macroinvertebrate communities in ostensibly typologically similar river sections differs at the undisturbed vs the impacted sampled sites. To a large extent, these differences were also determined by the presence of anthropogenic influence that resulted in the predominance of deposit feeders amplifying on higher disturbance on some of the studied rivers. Long-term negative pressure has led to changes in microhabitats that affect the structure and functioning of the aquatic ecosystem by transformation of the trophic structure of the macrozoobenthos. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology, Diversity and Evolution of Aquatic Macroinvertebrates)
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Article
Recent Changes in Genetic Diversity, Structure, and Gene Flow in a Passerine Experiencing a Rapid Population Decline, the Dupont’s Lark (Chersophilus duponti)
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1120; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121120 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 639
Abstract
Monitoring temporal dynamics in genetic diversity is of great importance for conservation, especially for threatened species that are suffering a rapid population decline and increased fragmentation. Here, we investigate temporal variation in genetic diversity, structure, and gene flow in the Dupont’s lark ( [...] Read more.
Monitoring temporal dynamics in genetic diversity is of great importance for conservation, especially for threatened species that are suffering a rapid population decline and increased fragmentation. Here, we investigate temporal variation in genetic diversity, structure, and gene flow in the Dupont’s lark (Chersophilus duponti) across most of its range. This species shows increasing levels of population fragmentation, substantial population declines, and severe range contraction, so temporal losses of genetic diversity, increasing differentiation, and decreasing gene flow are expected when comparing present day data with previous situations. To address this, we resampled sites (nine regions in two countries) after 12–15 years (five-to-seven generations) and assessed changes in genetic parameters using 11 microsatellite markers. We found no substantial loss in genetic diversity over time at the species level, but we detected considerable variation among regions in the amount of allelic diversity and heterozygosity lost over time. Temporal variation in allele frequencies (common, rare, and private alleles), and changes in genetic differentiation and gene flow over time suggest a major role of connectivity for the stability of the overall metapopulation. Our results agree with the hypothesis that connectivity rescues genetic diversity via immigration and gene flow. However, evidence of recent genetic bottleneck and the substantial changes detected in some regions are clear signs of genetic erosion and may be signalling a rapid decline of the populations. Urgent actions must be carried out to stop and reverse human impacts on this threatened lark and its habitat. Full article
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Article
Symbiotic Culture of Three Closely Related Dendrobium Species Reveals a Growth Bottleneck and Differences in Mycorrhizal Specificity at Early Developmental Stages
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1119; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121119 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 420
Abstract
Mycorrhizal specificity, i.e., the range of fungi allowing mycorrhizal partnerships, differs among orchid species, but that at early developmental stages is unclear. We investigated whether mycorrhizal specificity during seed germination and seedling development differs among three Dendrobium species, D. officinale, D. okinawense [...] Read more.
Mycorrhizal specificity, i.e., the range of fungi allowing mycorrhizal partnerships, differs among orchid species, but that at early developmental stages is unclear. We investigated whether mycorrhizal specificity during seed germination and seedling development differs among three Dendrobium species, D. officinale, D. okinawense and D. moniliforme, in vitro. Nine mycorrhizal fungal strains were obtained from the roots of these species and cultured with a seed of each Dendrobium species. Five to eight fungal strains stimulated seed germination, whereas one to four fungal isolates significantly promoted protocorm development in the three species. To evaluate effects on leafy seedling growth, seedlings obtained from asymbiotic culture were cultured with nine fungal isolates. D. officinale and D. okinawense showed specificity for a single Serendipitaceae or Tulasnellaceae isolate, whereas D. moniliforme exhibited specificity for three isolates of Serendipitaceae and Tulasnellaceae. Therefore, the three Dendrobium species had a growth bottleneck from seed germination to the protocorm stage, and mycorrhizal specificity of protocorm growth and seedling development in vitro varied among the species. Our findings imply divergent mycorrhizal specificity in Dendrobium species at early developmental stages. This study provides insights into the diversity of orchid mycorrhizal specificity, as well as valuable information for conservation of endangered orchids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distribution and Diversity of Orchids)
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Article
First Description of Akanthomyces uredinophilus comb. nov. from Hemipteran Insects in America
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1118; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121118 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 480
Abstract
Filamentous fungi of the genera Lecanicillium and Akanthomyces (Ascomycota: Hypocreales: Cordycipitaceae) have been isolated from a variety of insect orders and are of particular interest as biological control agents for phloem-sucking plant pests. Three aphid- and whitefly-pathogenic fungal strains that had been isolated [...] Read more.
Filamentous fungi of the genera Lecanicillium and Akanthomyces (Ascomycota: Hypocreales: Cordycipitaceae) have been isolated from a variety of insect orders and are of particular interest as biological control agents for phloem-sucking plant pests. Three aphid- and whitefly-pathogenic fungal strains that had been isolated from naturally infected Trialeurodes vaporariorum and Myzus persicae in Argentina were assigned to the species Lecanicillium uredinophilum by combined analyses of morphology and ITS, LSU, EF1A, RPB1 and RPB2-based molecular taxonomy, giving rise to both the first description of this fungus from hemipteran insects and its first report from outside South-East Asia, especially from the American continent. A combination of phylogenetic reconstruction and analysis of pair-wise sequence similarities demonstrated that—reflecting recent changes in the systematics of Cordycipitaceae—the entire species L. uredinophilum should be transferred to the genus Akanthomyces. Consequently, the introduction of a new taxon, Akanthomaces uredinophilus comb. nov., was proposed. Moreover, extensive data mining for cryptic A. uredinophilus sequences revealed that (i) the fungus is geographically widely distributed, including earlier unrecognized isolations from further American countries such as the USA, Mexico, and Colombia, and (ii) entomopathogenic and mycoparasitic lifestyles are predominant in this species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Fungal Diversity)
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Article
Cryptic Lineage and Genetic Structure of Acanthopagrus pacificus Populations in a Natural World Heritage Site Revealed by Population Genetic Analysis
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1117; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121117 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 387
Abstract
Recent studies have revealed extensive genetic differentiation among some populations of marine taxa that were previously believed to be essentially homogeneous because larvae are widely dispersed in ocean currents. Acanthopagrus pacificus is a commercially and ecologically important teleost fish that is endemic to [...] Read more.
Recent studies have revealed extensive genetic differentiation among some populations of marine taxa that were previously believed to be essentially homogeneous because larvae are widely dispersed in ocean currents. Acanthopagrus pacificus is a commercially and ecologically important teleost fish that is endemic to shallow coastal waters and estuaries of some tropical and sub-tropical areas in the West Pacific Ocean. Here, we examined genetic structure and the inferred demographic history of A. pacificus populations from mtDNA control region sequence data. A 677–678 base-pair fragment was sequenced from 159 individuals sampled at three localities across the West Pacific Ocean. Haplotype diversity was high, ranging from 0.915 to 0.989, while nucleotide diversity was low to medium, ranging from 0.8% to 2.60%. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed significant genetic subdivision (FST = 0.155, p < 0.05) among sampled populations while pairwise FST estimates also revealed strong genetic differentiation among populations indicating that gene flow was restricted. Two distinct cryptic lineages were identified that were estimated to have diverged during the Pleistocene. In summary, contemporary factors including regional oceanic currents and self-recruitment are considered to have played significant roles in producing the population structure in this fish. In particular, the genetic information generated in the current study will allow appropriate fisheries management and conservation strategies to be developed for this important local fish in the waters around Iriomotejima Island, a World Heritage site. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Ecology and Evolution of Fishes)
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Article
Post-Fire Recovery of Soil Nematode Communities Depends on Fire Severity
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1116; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121116 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 527
Abstract
Following the creation of a new organic layer after a forest fire, there is an initial build-up phase of overall biota. We studied soil nematode community development in a chronosequence of post-fire coniferous forest sites in relation to different fire severity. The taxonomic [...] Read more.
Following the creation of a new organic layer after a forest fire, there is an initial build-up phase of overall biota. We studied soil nematode community development in a chronosequence of post-fire coniferous forest sites in relation to different fire severity. The taxonomic and functional composition of the soil nematode community was analyzed to detect immediate changes and levels of post-fire recovery in soil food web structures, i.e., 0, 1, 4, 8, 14, 20, 45, and 110 years after the event. Unburned forest sites served as controls. With small exceptions recorded immediately after the burn (mean nematode abundance, total biomass), the low severe wildfires had no impacts on the structures of nematode communities. The structures of nematode communities were found to be stable on sites affected by low severe wildfires, without considerable fluctuations in comparison to the unburned sites during chronosequence. On the contrary, nematode communities responded considerably to fires of high severity. The significant changes, i.e., a decrease of mean nematode abundance, plant parasites, omnivores and predators, species number, and nematode diversity, the values of CI, SI, MI, but an increase in the number of bacterivores and EI were recorded immediately after the fire. Such status, one year after a fire of high severity, has been observed. Full recovery of nematode communities 14 years after the disruption was found. Overall, our results showed that fire severity was a considerable element affecting soil nematode communities immediately after events, as well as the time needed to recover communities’ structure during post-fire chronosequence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Fauna Diversity under Global Change)
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Article
Anthropogenic Transformations of Vegetation in the Kuyalnik Estuary Valley (Ukraine, Odesa District)
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1115; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121115 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 550
Abstract
Human influence on the steppe ecosystems of Ukraine caused irreversible loss of biodiversity in the natural zone. Currently, this problem is aggravated by military operations which cover almost half of the steppe zone and are unprecedented in the entire history of their existence. [...] Read more.
Human influence on the steppe ecosystems of Ukraine caused irreversible loss of biodiversity in the natural zone. Currently, this problem is aggravated by military operations which cover almost half of the steppe zone and are unprecedented in the entire history of their existence. This actualizes the study of vegetation dynamic processes under the influence of the novel anthropogenic factors, and serves as the scientific basis for restoring and preserving steppe vegetation and maintaining its functional stability. The paper highlights anthropogenic changes in vegetation of the Kuyalnik Estuary valley based on long-term comparative phytocenotic surveys and uses of the method of succession series for reconstruction. These changes are representative of the river valleys of the estuaries in the Northern Black Sea region. This work examines vegetation changes induced by runoff overregulation of estuary rivers within the basin, quarrying of sand and limestone, ploughing, grazing, burning, terracing of slopes and their afforestation, excessive mowing of grass stands, and uncontrolled recreation. Subject to the existing anthropogenic impact combined with global climate changes, further vegetation degradation was predicted to occur in the direction of xerophitization and halophitization, reduction in shrubby vegetation areas, degradation of steppe vegetation, and intensification of desertification processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changes and Evolution of Flora and Vegetation under Human Impacts)
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Article
Diversity of Auger Beetles (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae) in the Mid-Cretaceous Forests with Description of Seven New Species
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1114; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121114 - 14 Dec 2022
Viewed by 714
Abstract
The diversity and abundance of auger beetles were compared with ecologically similar families of other beetles. It was shown that the ecological niche in dead wood, which in the Paleogene belonged to bark and ambrosia beetles, was occupied by Bostrichidae in the Mesozoic. [...] Read more.
The diversity and abundance of auger beetles were compared with ecologically similar families of other beetles. It was shown that the ecological niche in dead wood, which in the Paleogene belonged to bark and ambrosia beetles, was occupied by Bostrichidae in the Mesozoic. Seven new species, Poinarinius aristovi sp. nov., P. antonkozlovi sp. nov., P. lesnei sp. nov., P. perkovskyi sp. nov., P. zahradniki sp. nov., P. borowskii sp. nov., and P. cretaceus sp. nov. from the subfamily Alitrepaninae of the family Bostrichidae are described from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber. The key to the species of the genus Poinarinius Legalov, 2018 is given. The new synonym, Alitrepanum Peng, Jiang, Engel & Wang, 2022, syn. nov. to Poinarinius, was established. A list of the fossil Bostrichidae was compiled. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Ecology of Coleoptera)
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Article
Aquatic Plant Invasion and Management in Riverine Reservoirs: Proactive Management via a Priori Simulation of Management Alternatives
Diversity 2022, 14(12), 1113; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121113 - 14 Dec 2022
Viewed by 447
Abstract
Negative impacts from aquatic invasive plants in the United States include economic costs, loss of commercial and recreational use, and environmental damage. Simulation models are valuable tools for predicting the invasion potentials of species and for the management of existing infestations. We developed [...] Read more.
Negative impacts from aquatic invasive plants in the United States include economic costs, loss of commercial and recreational use, and environmental damage. Simulation models are valuable tools for predicting the invasion potentials of species and for the management of existing infestations. We developed a spatially explicit, agent-based model representing the invasion, growth, and senescence of aquatic weeds as functions of day length, water temperature, water depth, and the response of aquatic weeds to biological control. As a case study to evaluate its potential utility, we parameterized the model to represent two historical invasions (1975–1983 and 2004–2007) of Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata (L. fil.) Royle) in Lake Conroe, Texas, USA, and their subsequent biological control using grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). Results of several hypothetical alternative management schemes indicated that grass carp stocking densities needed to control Hydrilla infestation increased exponentially as the lag time between initial invasion and initial stocking increased, whereas stocking densities needed to control infestation decreased as the amount of time allowed to control the infestation increased. Predictions such as those produced by our model aid managers in developing proactive management plans for areas most likely to be invaded. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Invasive Species as Game-Changers of Aquatic Ecosystems)
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