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Volume 14, January

Diversity, Volume 14, Issue 2 (February 2022) – 92 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Given a minimum of debris thickness and sufficient substrate stability, Debris-Covered Glaciers (DCGs) host surprisingly diverse plant assemblages representing a mosaic of environments, including: subnival pioneer communities; glacier foreland early-to-late successional stages; morainal locations; and forests. On shallow debris layers, cryophilous alpine and subnival taxa can grow considerably below their common elevational niche due to cooler temperatures caused by underlying ice, while a greater debris thickness allows thermophilous species from lower elevation environments to grow on glacier surfaces. Employing the principle of uniformitarianism, DCGs were important refugia for plants during Quaternary cold and warm cycles. View this paper
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Article
Patterns of Herbivory in Neotropical Forest Katydids as Revealed by DNA Barcoding of Digestive Tract Contents
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020152 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 554
Abstract
Many well-studied animal species use conspicuous, repetitive signals that attract both mates and predators. Orthopterans (crickets, katydids, and grasshoppers) are renowned for their acoustic signals. In Neotropical forests, however, many katydid species produce extremely short signals, totaling only a few seconds of sound [...] Read more.
Many well-studied animal species use conspicuous, repetitive signals that attract both mates and predators. Orthopterans (crickets, katydids, and grasshoppers) are renowned for their acoustic signals. In Neotropical forests, however, many katydid species produce extremely short signals, totaling only a few seconds of sound per night, likely in response to predation by acoustically orienting predators. The rare signals of these katydid species raises the question of how they find conspecific mates in a structurally complex rainforest. While acoustic mechanisms, such as duetting, likely facilitate mate finding, we test the hypothesis that mate finding is further facilitated by colocalization on particular host plant species. DNA barcoding allows us to identify recently consumed plants from katydid stomach contents. We use DNA barcoding to test the prediction that katydids of the same species will have closely related plant species in their stomach. We do not find evidence for dietary specialization. Instead, katydids consumed a wide mix of plants within and across the flowering plants (27 species in 22 genera, 16 families, and 12 orders) with particular representation in the orders Fabales and Laurales. Some evidence indicates that katydids may gather on plants during a narrow window of rapid leaf out, but additional investigations are required to determine whether katydid mate finding is facilitated by gathering at transient food resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant DNA Barcodes, Community Ecology, and Species Interactions)
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Article
Evaluating the Trace Element Concentration in Sediments and Assessing Their Genotoxicity in Ichthyofauna of a Coastal Lagoon in Southeastern Brazil
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020151 - 20 Feb 2022
Viewed by 610
Abstract
Lacustrine ecosystems are constantly affected by industrial and domestic effluents, which are considered to be the main sources of trace elements in the environment. The physicochemical characteristics of trace elements undergo modifications that can cause reversible genotoxic damage to ichthyofauna. This study aimed [...] Read more.
Lacustrine ecosystems are constantly affected by industrial and domestic effluents, which are considered to be the main sources of trace elements in the environment. The physicochemical characteristics of trace elements undergo modifications that can cause reversible genotoxic damage to ichthyofauna. This study aimed to assess the environmental quality of a lagoon (Mãe-Bá) that receives industrial effluents from one of the largest iron ore companies in the world, located in southeastern Brazil. The physicochemical parameters of the lagoon water were analyzed monthly, the trace element levels in the sediment were quantified, and the risk of genotoxic damage to fish was quantified using a micronucleus test and comet assay. We verified the poor environmental quality of the lagoon, and strong anthropic action was evident, with particularly high levels of Cr and Ni and genotoxic damage being observed in fish. It is not possible to state a relationship between the increase in Cr and Ni with the mining company since we found high concentrations of these elements in a reference lagoon (Nova Guarapari) with no connection to the mining company. Even if the bioavailability of the trace elements in the water resource is low or if their concentration is below the permitted limit, their presence can cause genotoxic damage. These findings can enable us to assist in planning suitable remediation strategies to decrease the genotoxic effects observed in these sensitive eco-systems. A multidisciplinary approach is needed in studies involving ecotoxicology to develop conservation strategies for both the biotic and abiotic environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation Genetics of Endangered Freshwater Fish)
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Technical Note
A Fast Method for the Selection of Samples in Populations with Available Genealogical Data
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020150 - 20 Feb 2022
Viewed by 338
Abstract
Optimal selection of samples in populations should provide the best coverage of sample variations for the available sampling resources. In populations with known genealogical connections, or pedigrees, this amounts to finding the set of samples with the largest sum of mutual distances in [...] Read more.
Optimal selection of samples in populations should provide the best coverage of sample variations for the available sampling resources. In populations with known genealogical connections, or pedigrees, this amounts to finding the set of samples with the largest sum of mutual distances in a genealogical tree. We present an optimal, and a faster sub-optimal, method for the selection of K samples from a population of N individuals. The optimal method works in time proportional to NK2, and the sub-optimal in time proportional to NK, which is more practical for large populations. The sub-optimal algorithm can process pedigrees of millions of individuals in a matter of minutes. With the real-life pedigrees, the difference in the quality of the output of the two algorithms is negligible. We provide the Python3 source codes for the two methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Diversity)
Article
Two New Species of Diatrype (Xylariales, Ascomycota) with Polysporous Asci from China
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020149 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 337
Abstract
Two new species of Diatrype collected in northeast China are described and illustrated based on morphological and molecular evidence. Diatrype larissae from Heilongjiang Province is characterised by having 3–6 perithecia in a stroma, asci polysporous, ascospores allantoid, aseptate, slightly or moderately curved, subhyaline. [...] Read more.
Two new species of Diatrype collected in northeast China are described and illustrated based on morphological and molecular evidence. Diatrype larissae from Heilongjiang Province is characterised by having 3–6 perithecia in a stroma, asci polysporous, ascospores allantoid, aseptate, slightly or moderately curved, subhyaline. Diatrype betulaceicola from Inner Mongolia has large stroma with 5–14 perithecia, perithecium immersed, asci polysporous, long-stalked, ascospores allantoid, aseptate, slightly curved, subhyaline. The phylogenies inferred from the data set of nrDNA ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 (ITS) and beta-tubulin (β-tubulin) supported the two new species both as members in the genus Diatrype and distinct species. The morphological similarities and dissimilarities of the new species with phylogenetically close relatives are discussed. A dichotomous identification key to the Diatrype spp. known from China is proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Evolution of Fungi)
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Communication
A PCR-Based Retrospective Study for Beak and Feather Disease Virus (BFDV) in Five Wild Populations of Parrots from Australia, Argentina and New Zealand
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020148 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 706
Abstract
The beak and feather disease virus (family Circovirdae) is a virus of concern in the conservation of wild Psittaciformes globally. We conducted a PCR screening for the beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) using samples collected during previous field studies (1993–2014) in [...] Read more.
The beak and feather disease virus (family Circovirdae) is a virus of concern in the conservation of wild Psittaciformes globally. We conducted a PCR screening for the beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) using samples collected during previous field studies (1993–2014) in five populations of parrots of the Southern Hemisphere: Eclectus parrots (Eclectus roratus) and Crimson rosellas (Platycercus elegans) from Australia, Burrowing parrots (Cyanoliseus patagonus) and Monk parakeets from Argentina (Myiopsitta monachus), and Forbes’ parakeet from New Zealand (Cyanoramphus forbesi). A total of 612 samples were screened. BFDV was not detected in any of the sampled birds. Our results provide a retrospective screening, covering three different tribes of Old and New World parrots, including two of the most numerous species, and contributing a large set of negative results. Furthermore, our results suggest that geographical and temporal differences in BFDV distribution may exist and merit further research, as a critical component in the efforts to manage the disease and its epidemiological aspects. The results presented here hold the potential to provide a baseline for future studies investigating the temporal evolution and the spread of BFDV. Full article
Article
Phylogenetic Evidence for the Lissorchiid Concept of the Genus Anarhichotrema Shimazu, 1973 (Trematoda, Digenea)
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020147 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 370
Abstract
Anarhichotrema Shimazu, 1973 is a monotypic digenean genus, with the type- and only species, Anarhichotrema ochotense Shimazu, 1973, known to infect North Pacific fishes. This genus was originally described as a member of the Lissorchiidae (Monorchioidea) and later moved to the Zoogonidae (Microphalloidea). [...] Read more.
Anarhichotrema Shimazu, 1973 is a monotypic digenean genus, with the type- and only species, Anarhichotrema ochotense Shimazu, 1973, known to infect North Pacific fishes. This genus was originally described as a member of the Lissorchiidae (Monorchioidea) and later moved to the Zoogonidae (Microphalloidea). Its exact phylogenetic position has remained unresolved due to the lack of molecular data. In this study, we isolated specimens of A. ochotense from the Bering wolffish, Anarhichas orientalis Pallas, 1814 caught in the Sea of Okhotsk, described them morphologically and performed a molecular phylogenetic analysis of their nuclear 18S and 28S rDNA regions. The specimens examined in our study generally corresponded to previous morphological descriptions of A. ochotense but were noticeably smaller, possibly due to the crowding effect. The phylogenetic analysis placed Anarhichotrema within the Lissorchiidae as a sister taxon to the group comprising freshwater lissorchiids. Thus, we restore Anarhichotrema to the Lissorchiidae, as originally assigned. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity of Macroparasites in Marine Fishes)
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Article
Population Genetic Structure and Biodiversity Conservation of a Relict and Medicinal Subshrub Capparis spinosa in Arid Central Asia
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020146 - 17 Feb 2022
Viewed by 483
Abstract
As a Tertiary Tethyan relict, Capparis spinosa is a typical wind-preventing and sand-fixing deciduous subshrub in arid central Asia. Due to its medicinal and energy value, this species is at risk of potential threat from human overexploitation, habitat destruction and resource depletion. In [...] Read more.
As a Tertiary Tethyan relict, Capparis spinosa is a typical wind-preventing and sand-fixing deciduous subshrub in arid central Asia. Due to its medicinal and energy value, this species is at risk of potential threat from human overexploitation, habitat destruction and resource depletion. In this study, our purpose was to evaluate the conservation strategies of C. spinosa according to its genetic structure characteristics and genetic diversity pattern among 37 natural distributional populations. Based on genomic SNP data generated from dd-RAD sequencing, genetic diversity analysis, principal component analysis, maximum likelihood phylogenetic trees and ADMIXTURE clustering, the significant population structure and differentiation were explored. The results showed the following: (1) Six distinct lineages were identified corresponding to geographic locations, and various levels of genetic diversity existed among the lineages for the natural habitat heterogeneity or human interferences; (2) The lineage divergences were influenced by isolation by distances, vicariance and restricted gene flow under complex topographic and climatic conditions. Finally, for the preservation of the genetic integrity of C. spinosa, we suggest that conservation units should be established corresponding to different geographic groups, and that attention should be paid to isolated and peripheral populations that are experiencing biodiversity loss. Simultaneously, monitoring and reducing anthropogenic disturbances in addition to rationally and sustainably utilizing wild resources would be beneficial to guarantee population resilience and evolutionary potential of this xerophyte in response to future environmental changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology, Evolution and Diversity of Plants)
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Review
Traditional Medicinal Plants—A Possible Source of Antibacterial Activity on Respiratory Diseases Induced by Chlamydia pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Moraxella catarrhalis
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020145 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 555
Abstract
Background. Nowadays, phytotherapy offers viable solutions in managing respiratory infections, disorders known for considerable incidence in both children and adults. In a context in which more and more people are turning to phytotherapy, finding new remedies is a topical goal of researchers in [...] Read more.
Background. Nowadays, phytotherapy offers viable solutions in managing respiratory infections, disorders known for considerable incidence in both children and adults. In a context in which more and more people are turning to phytotherapy, finding new remedies is a topical goal of researchers in health and related fields. This paper aims to identify those traditional medicinal plants that show potentially antibacterial effects against four Gram-negative germs (Chlamydia pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Moraxella catarrhalis), which are considered to have high involvement in respiratory infections. Furthermore, a comparison with Romanian folk medicines was performed. Methods. An extensive review of books and databases was undertaken to identify vegetal species of interest in the context of the topic. Results. Some traditional Romanian species (such as Mentha × piperita, Thymus vulgaris, Pinus sylvestris, Allium sativum, Allium cepa, Ocimum basilicum, and Lavandulaangustifolia) were identified and compared with the plants and preparations confirmed as having antibacterial effects against specific germs. Conclusions. The antibacterial effects of some traditionally used Romanian medicinal plants are poorly investigated, and deserve further attention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethnobotany, Medicinal Plants and Biodiversity Conservation)
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Article
Re-Examination of the Phylogenetic Relationship among Merulinidae Subclades in Non-Reefal Coral Communities of Northeastern Taiwan
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020144 - 17 Feb 2022
Viewed by 353
Abstract
Species identification for spawning corals relies heavily on morphology. Recent molecular phylogenetic approaches have demonstrated the limits of traditional coral taxonomy based solely on skeletal morphology. Merulinidae is considered a complex taxonomic group, containing 24 genera and 149 species. This family is one [...] Read more.
Species identification for spawning corals relies heavily on morphology. Recent molecular phylogenetic approaches have demonstrated the limits of traditional coral taxonomy based solely on skeletal morphology. Merulinidae is considered a complex taxonomic group, containing 24 genera and 149 species. This family is one of the most taxonomically challenging and its taxonomy has largely improved in recent studies. However, studies of the phylogeny of Merulinidae are constrained by limited geographic scales. In Taiwan, merulinid corals are dominant in non-reefal communities on northeast coasts and they consistently spawn between summer and fall. This study is a first attempt to establish a molecular database of merulinid corals in this new area, including a volcanic island (Kueishan Island), and provide information about sexual reproduction. We analyzed 65 specimens, including 9 genera and 28 species collected from Taiwan using one mitochondrial marker (COI: cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene) and three nuclear markers (ITS: nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer, 28S rDNA D1 and D2, and histone H3) to re-examine phylogenetic relationships and search for new species. Overall, 58 COI sequences, 59 for ITS, 63 for 28S, and 62 histone sequences were newly obtained from the collected specimens. The reconstructed molecular tree demonstrates that all the specimens and reference sequences we examined are clustered within Merulinidae. Subclades A, B, C, D/E, F, G, H, and I are congruent with previous studies. However, Astrea curta is separated from the other congeneric species, Astrea annuligera (XVII-B), which is a sister to Favites and defined as a new subclade K. In addition, two new species (Paragoniastrea deformis and Paragoniastrea australensis) were discovered for the first time in Taiwan, and we defined them as a new subclade J. In addition, A. curta, P. auastralensis, and P. deformis are all hermaphroditic spawners and released bundles in July. This study greatly improves the accuracy of biodiversity estimates, systematic taxonomy, and reproduction for Taiwan’s coral ecosystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity of Coral-Associated Fauna II)
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Article
How Many Edible Insect Species Are There? A Not So Simple Question
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020143 - 17 Feb 2022
Viewed by 785
Abstract
Insects used as food and medicine are receiving increased attention. There is a need to scrutinise recent estimates of which and how many insect species are used as we have noticed inappropriate assessments and overestimations. We review the contemporary list of edible insects [...] Read more.
Insects used as food and medicine are receiving increased attention. There is a need to scrutinise recent estimates of which and how many insect species are used as we have noticed inappropriate assessments and overestimations. We review the contemporary list of edible insects of the world published online by Wageningen University and compiled by Ijde Jongema since it is widely used in the literature. Each of the 2403 entries were scrutinised, including checking name validity, verifying insect usage in cited references, and categorising each entry. Our revision indicates inappropriate assessments and inclusions such as spiders (not insects) and insect products (e.g., honeydew) when the insect itself is not used. With relevant and accepted definitions, we provide a critical assessment and estimate of the number of food insects (1611) and medicinal insects (81), which is lower than Wageningen University and Jongema’s estimate of 2111 “edible insects”. We acknowledge that our critical assessment may also be an overestimate or an underestimate and deserves further scrutiny, and we encourage a more practical use of a database of food and medicinal insects with our suggestion for a querying online curated database. We conclude that making accurate estimates is a difficult feat but that inappropriate assessments can and need to be avoided. Full article
Article
Genetic Contributions of Genes on Sex Chromosomes and Mitochondrial DNA in a Pedigreed Population
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020142 - 16 Feb 2022
Viewed by 604
Abstract
The genetic contribution with respect to autosomal genes has been widely used to evaluate the genetic diversity of a target population. Here, we developed a method to calculate the genetic contribution with respect to genes on sex chromosomes and mitochondrial DNA through pedigree [...] Read more.
The genetic contribution with respect to autosomal genes has been widely used to evaluate the genetic diversity of a target population. Here, we developed a method to calculate the genetic contribution with respect to genes on sex chromosomes and mitochondrial DNA through pedigree analysis. To demonstrate the performance, we applied the methods for calculating genetic contributions to example pedigree data. To verify the results of genetic contribution calculations, we performed gene-dropping simulations mimicking flows of genes on autosomes, X and Y chromosomes, and mitochondrial DNA, and then compared the results from the simulation with the corresponding genetic contributions. To investigate the effect of pedigree error, we compared the results of genetic contribution calculations using pedigree data with and without errors. The results of gene-dropping simulation showed good agreement with the results of the genetic contribution calculation. The effect of pedigree errors on the calculation of genetic contribution depended on the error rate. Since the patterns of the genetic contributions of such genes might be different from those on autosomes, the novel approach could provide new information on the genetic composition of populations. The results are expected to contribute to the development of methods for sustainable breeding and population management. Full article
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Article
Diversity and Molecular Phylogeny of Pagurid Hermit Crabs (Anomura: Paguridae: Pagurus)
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020141 - 16 Feb 2022
Viewed by 616
Abstract
Species of the genus Pagurus have diversified into a wide variety of marine habitats across the world. Despite their worldwide abundance, the genus diversity and biogeographical relationship are relatively less understood at species-level. We evaluated the phylogenetic relationship and genetic diversity among the [...] Read more.
Species of the genus Pagurus have diversified into a wide variety of marine habitats across the world. Despite their worldwide abundance, the genus diversity and biogeographical relationship are relatively less understood at species-level. We evaluated the phylogenetic relationship and genetic diversity among the Pagurus species based on publicly available mitochondrial and nuclear markers. While independent analyses of different markers allowed for larger coverage of taxa and produced largely consistent results, the concatenation of 16S and COI partial sequences led to higher confidence in the phylogenetic relationships. Our analyses established several monophyletic species clusters, substantially corresponding to the previously established morphology-based species groups. The comprehensive species inclusion in the molecular phylogeny resolved the taxonomic position of a number of recently described species that had not been assigned to any morpho-group. In mitochondrial markers-based phylogenies, the “Provenzanoi” group was identified as the basal lineage of Pagurus. The divergence time estimation of the major groups of Pagurus revealed that the Pacific species originated and diversified from the Atlantic lineages around 25–51 MYA. The molecular results suggested a higher inter-regional species diversity and complex phylogenetic relationships within the diverse and heterogeneous members of the genus Pagurus. The study presents a comprehensive snapshot of the diversity of pagurid hermit crabs across multiple geographic regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Diversity of Marine Decapods)
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Editorial
Microbial Diversity Associated with Photosynthetic Organisms
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020140 - 16 Feb 2022
Viewed by 506
Abstract
Photosynthetic organisms (e.g., algae and plants) can produce organic substancesfrom inorganic nutrients based on energy harvested from light as the primary producers inboth the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Diversity Associated with Photosynthetic Organisms)
Article
Are Sunken Warships Biodiversity Havens for Corals?
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020139 - 16 Feb 2022
Viewed by 874
Abstract
Coral reefs are threatened by climate change, overfishing, and pollution. Artificial reefs may provide havens for corals, both to escape warming surface waters and to assist in the geographic migration of corals to more habitable natural reef conditions of the future. The largest [...] Read more.
Coral reefs are threatened by climate change, overfishing, and pollution. Artificial reefs may provide havens for corals, both to escape warming surface waters and to assist in the geographic migration of corals to more habitable natural reef conditions of the future. The largest artificial reefs have been generated by nearly 2000 shipwrecks around the world, but the coral diversity on these wrecks is virtually unknown. Ship size and hull material, location relative to natural reef, time since sinking, ocean currents, and water depth may affect coral diversity. As a test of the biodiversity capacity of very large sunken structures relative to surrounding natural reef, we carried out technical diver-based surveys to quantify genus-level coral diversity on 29 warships sunk in Bikini Atoll and Chuuk Lagoon. We also assessed whether ship length, as an index of substrate availability, and water depth, as an indicator of light and temperature, can serve as predictors of coral diversity. We surveyed a total of 9105 scleractinian corals. The total number of genera identified at Bikini was 34, and at Chuuk it was 51, representing 67% and 72% of genera found on natural reefs at Bikini and Chuuk, respectively. Ship length, but not water depth, was positively correlated with relative abundance and richness at the genus level. Our results suggest that very large wrecks can serve as havens for reef-building corals with a broad genetic diversity, expressed at the genus level, commensurate with corals found on neighboring natural reefs. The role of large artificial reefs could include protecting coral biodiversity from warming surface waters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technological Innovation to Support Reef Research and Conservation)
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Article
Small Mammal Diversity in Response to Land Transformation and Seasonal Variation in South Africa
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020138 - 16 Feb 2022
Viewed by 751
Abstract
Anthropogenic land transformation is a consequence of human population growth and the associated agricultural, residential, and industrial needs. This study aimed to investigate the effects of anthropogenic activity and human-mediated land transformation on capture/recapture frequencies, species richness, and diversity of native small mammal [...] Read more.
Anthropogenic land transformation is a consequence of human population growth and the associated agricultural, residential, and industrial needs. This study aimed to investigate the effects of anthropogenic activity and human-mediated land transformation on capture/recapture frequencies, species richness, and diversity of native small mammal community assemblages in the Magaliesberg Biosphere, North West province, South Africa. Five anthropogenically transformed land-use types were investigated: an animal rehabilitation and ecotourism center, an agricultural farmstead, a residential farmstead, a mine-adjacent agricultural farmstead, and a protected nature conservancy. We used live traps to sample small mammals during the dry and wet seasons over three consecutive years and compared population numbers and species composition across study sites and seasons. Capture/recapture frequencies differed significantly between sites and seasons, with the highest capture frequencies recorded at the agricultural and residential farmsteads. Species richness and diversity were highest at the residential and mine-adjacent farmsteads, both of which experienced intermediate levels of anthropogenic disturbance throughout the sampling period. The study shows that while natural and protected landscapes with low levels of disturbance are preferred, transformed landscapes can also be managed effectively to benefit native small mammal populations by regulating the frequency and intensity of human-mediated activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2021 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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Article
Phylogenetics and Biogeography of Lilium ledebourii from the Hyrcanian Forest
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020137 - 15 Feb 2022
Viewed by 562
Abstract
Lilium ledebourii (Baker) Boiss is one of the most endangered lilies, restricted to only a few small and fragmented areas in the Hyrcanian forest. This study aimed at evaluating the taxonomy of this unique Iranian lily and reconstructing divergence time from other species [...] Read more.
Lilium ledebourii (Baker) Boiss is one of the most endangered lilies, restricted to only a few small and fragmented areas in the Hyrcanian forest. This study aimed at evaluating the taxonomy of this unique Iranian lily and reconstructing divergence time from other species of the genus Lilium to address the role of this region in its diversification. Phylogenetic trees based on nuclear ITS and chloroplastic matK strongly supported the monophyly of the genus Lilium and division into subclades hardly matching prior morphological classifications. Biogeographic analyses using S-DIVA revealed East Asia as the ancestral range from where Lilium presented a multidirectional expansion towards North America, West-Central Asia, North Asia, and Europe. Diverging from ancestral Lilium during the beginning of Eocene (50 Ma; 95% HDP: 68.8–36.8). Specific members of Lilium colonized Iran (Western Asia) separated from the Clade IV (West-Central Asia and Europe lineage), and then yielded the Iranian L.ledebourri. Accordingly, the north of Iran appears to have promoted both long-term persistence and migration of Lily species from Asia to the Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology, Evolution and Diversity of Plants)
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Article
Biological Interaction as a Possible Ultimate Driver in the Local Extinction of Cedrus atlantica in the Iberian Peninsula
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020136 - 15 Feb 2022
Viewed by 937
Abstract
The presence of Cedrus atlantica on the European continent, including, especially, the determination of the time of its disappearance from the Iberian Peninsula, is one of the most controversial issues in recent decades regarding the successive extinction of conifers in the Western Mediterranean. [...] Read more.
The presence of Cedrus atlantica on the European continent, including, especially, the determination of the time of its disappearance from the Iberian Peninsula, is one of the most controversial issues in recent decades regarding the successive extinction of conifers in the Western Mediterranean. This work propounds the possibility that C. atlantica and Pinus nigra could have co-habited in the past, mutually excluding each other in the areas with suitable conditions for both species, where, ultimately, the one that was the most competitive would have remained. The niche overlap in the two-dimensional ecological space was analyzed. In addition, the potential distribution of both species in the Western Mediterranean today and two past periods (Last Glacial Maximum and Mid-Holocene) was modeled to identify their common geographic area of distribution. The species showed very well differentiated niches and a distribution of their habitats virtually segregated by continents since the Mid-Holocene (P. nigra in Europe and C. atlantica in Africa), which responds to differences in climatic affinities. However, the contact of the bordering areas of their distributions in the Baetic mountain range suggests that C. atlantica could have maintained its presence in the Iberian Peninsula until recent times. P. nigra would have displace it in later stages due to its greater prevalence on the continent, so it would have had greater opportunities to occupy the available space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2021 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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Article
Pronounced Seasonal Diet Diversity Expansion of Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) in Northern Greece during the Non-Breeding Season: The Role of Tortoises
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020135 - 14 Feb 2022
Viewed by 767
Abstract
Golden Eagles are resident in Greece and known to feed mainly on tortoises when breeding. However, information on alternative prey is scarce, especially during the tortoise brumation, that roughly coincides with the eagles’ non-breeding season. We analyzed 827 prey items collected from 12 [...] Read more.
Golden Eagles are resident in Greece and known to feed mainly on tortoises when breeding. However, information on alternative prey is scarce, especially during the tortoise brumation, that roughly coincides with the eagles’ non-breeding season. We analyzed 827 prey items collected from 12 territories over five territory years and 84 records of eagles hunting or feeding behavior. Tortoises dominated the breeding season diet (71% of prey categories on average) and over half of all hunting/feeding observations. While no spatial structure was evident, habitat variables such as forest canopy cover were important associates in golden eagle diet seasonally. A significant seasonal pattern emerged in diet diversity, using a subset of six territories with at least 10 samples per season. Eagles shifted from a narrow, reptile- based breeding season diet dominated by tortoises to a broader non-breeding season diet, that included more carrion, mammals and birds. Breeding season specialization on ectothermic prey is a trait usually associated with migratory raptors in the Western Palearctic. The observed dietary diversity expansion accompanied by residency in the absence of ectothermic prey, highlights the adaptability of the golden eagle, a generalist predator. Tortoise populations in Greece are of conservation concern and land use changes as well as climate change, such as development and land abandonment may increase the prevalence of catastrophic megafires, exacerbating the threats to the golden eagle’s main prey when breeding. We discuss this and other diet related conservation implications for the species in northern Greece. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2021 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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Editorial
An Overview of “Insect Biodiversity”
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020134 - 14 Feb 2022
Viewed by 640
Abstract
Insects comprise more than half of all described species in the animal kingdom and account for a considerable proportion of all biodiversity on the planet [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Insect)
Article
Mesocarnivore Distribution along Gradients of Anthropogenic Disturbance in Mediterranean Landscapes
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020133 - 14 Feb 2022
Viewed by 709
Abstract
Wildfires are important sources of landscape change in Mediterranean environments, creating large patches of low-growth natural habitats (i.e., scrublands) inside protected areas, whereas woodland patches remain mostly near well protected human settlements. Landscape patterns resulting from these gradients influence habitat suitability for mesocarnivores [...] Read more.
Wildfires are important sources of landscape change in Mediterranean environments, creating large patches of low-growth natural habitats (i.e., scrublands) inside protected areas, whereas woodland patches remain mostly near well protected human settlements. Landscape patterns resulting from these gradients influence habitat suitability for mesocarnivores regarding food and shelter. In winter and summer 2019, we sampled 16 independent line-transects with four camera traps each (64 cameras overall), covering the main habitats of the study area (woodlands, scrublands, and crops). Cameras were baited to compensate for the low detectability of target species, and mesocarnivore contacts were analysed by means of GLMMs and occupancy models. Our results showed a positive and stronger association of wild species with woodland habitats, despite the low proportion of habitat available, higher presence of competitors (other mesocarnivores), and potential predators (human pets, i.e., dogs), and low natural prey availability than in scrubland (i.e., small mammals). However, mesocarnivores will find protection against predators and resting sites in forests as well as other food opportunities in crops and urban areas, despite the possible interference with humans and their pets. Potential cascading effects linked to ecological roles of Mediterranean mesocarnivores on the succession of Mediterranean landscapes would imply longer-term effects of human disturbance on landscape trends. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity in 2022)
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Article
Three New Species of Absidia (Mucoromycota) from China Based on Phylogeny, Morphology and Physiology
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020132 - 13 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 717
Abstract
Species of Absidia are distributed widely in the environment, while their diversity is insufficiently studied. Three new species, A. frigida, A. gemella and A. longissima, are proposed herein from Xinjiang and Yunnan in China based on phylogenetic, morphological and physiological evidence. [...] Read more.
Species of Absidia are distributed widely in the environment, while their diversity is insufficiently studied. Three new species, A. frigida, A. gemella and A. longissima, are proposed herein from Xinjiang and Yunnan in China based on phylogenetic, morphological and physiological evidence. According to maximum likelihood (ML), maximum parsimony (MP) and Bayesian inference (BI) analyses, the phylogenetical results suggest that A. frigida, A. gemella and A. longissima are closely related to A. psychrophilia, A. turgida and A. zonata and A. koreana, respectively, based on ITS and LSU rDNA sequences. Absidia frigida is characterized by a lower growth temperature, which does not grow above 24 °C. It differs from A. psychrophilia by sporangiophores, sporangia, columellae, collars and projections. Absidia gemella is distinguished from A. turgida by hypha, sporangiospores, sporangia, projections and sporangiophores. Absidia longissima is discriminated from A. zonata and A. koreana by sporangiophores, columellae and collars. The three new species are described and illustrated in this article. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Evolution of Fungi)
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Article
Diversity of Wood-Decaying Fungi in Wuliangshan Area, Yunnan Province, P.R. China
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020131 - 11 Feb 2022
Viewed by 594
Abstract
Five surveys were carried out in the Wuliangshan area, Yunnan Province, P.R. China, based on a combination of morphological features and molecular evidence. Around 2454 specimens of wood-decaying fungi were collected. The paper summarizes the obtained results on the wood-decaying fungi of this [...] Read more.
Five surveys were carried out in the Wuliangshan area, Yunnan Province, P.R. China, based on a combination of morphological features and molecular evidence. Around 2454 specimens of wood-decaying fungi were collected. The paper summarizes the obtained results on the wood-decaying fungi of this area, consisting in 95 species distributed in 59 genera, 23 families and 9 orders. Their hosts and substrates were also identified. A checklist of wood-decaying fungi is given. Sequences of the ITS nrRNA gene region of the studied specimens were generated and phylogenetic analysis was performed with maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference methods. The present list of wood-decaying fungi enriches the knowledge of fungal diversity worldwide and supplies the basic data for future applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Evolution of Fungi)
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Article
Human-Wildlife Conflict at a Suburban–Wildlands Interface: Effects of Short- and Long-Distance Translocations on Red Diamond Rattlesnake (Crotalus ruber) Activity and Survival
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020130 - 11 Feb 2022
Viewed by 838
Abstract
The mitigation of human-rattlesnake conflicts often involves euthanizing or translocating the offending rattlesnake. Although translocation is generally considered more humane, especially by the general public, it may negatively impact the translocated individual and may not be effective if that individual returns to areas [...] Read more.
The mitigation of human-rattlesnake conflicts often involves euthanizing or translocating the offending rattlesnake. Although translocation is generally considered more humane, especially by the general public, it may negatively impact the translocated individual and may not be effective if that individual returns to areas where the probability of human conflict is high. We used radiotelemetry to experimentally study the effects of short- (SDT) and long-distance translocation (LDT; beyond the typical home range or activity range) on adult Red Diamond Rattlesnakes (Crotalus ruber) near a residential development in Southern California. Though the results were mixed, some analyses suggested that higher numbers of SDTs were associated with larger activity areas and increased movement. For snakes undergoing LDT, the activity areas and mean daily movement distances were 1.8–4.6 times larger than those of non-LDT snakes in the year of translocation, but were similar in the following year. Cox regression models revealed that, for both LDT and non-LDT snakes, every 1 m increase in the distance moved resulted in a 1.2% decreased risk of moving back into a human-modified area and a 1.6% decreased risk of returning to the original site of conflict. We failed to detect an effect of either LDT or SDT on body mass change or survival. Our findings suggest that LDT of nuisance snakes may be a viable option for at least some rattlesnake populations or species, especially those in which individuals do not require communal overwintering sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Conservation and Ecology of Rattlesnakes)
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Article
Recruitment Patterns and Potential Climate Change Impacts on Three Florida Hylids with Different Life Histories
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020129 - 10 Feb 2022
Viewed by 691
Abstract
Altered weather patterns associated with climate change are likely to adversely affect amphibian recruitment, especially for species dependent on ephemeral, geographically isolated wetlands for breeding. Future changes in temperature and rainfall patterns could affect hydroregimes (periodicity, depth, duration, and timing of water in [...] Read more.
Altered weather patterns associated with climate change are likely to adversely affect amphibian recruitment, especially for species dependent on ephemeral, geographically isolated wetlands for breeding. Future changes in temperature and rainfall patterns could affect hydroregimes (periodicity, depth, duration, and timing of water in wetlands) or adult breeding effort. We used 24 years of continuous amphibian trapping, weather, and hydroregime data to identify breeding-to-metamorphosis periods (BMPs) and environmental factors affecting annual recruitment by three hylid species at eight isolated ephemeral limesink ponds in Florida longleaf-wiregrass sandhills. We used standardized climate metrics (Bioclim variables) to predict future precipitation, temperature and hydroregime variables, then used them to predict future recruitment in 2050 and 2070 under two emissions scenarios. We hypothesized that Hyla gratiosa would be more sensitive to short-term pond drying than H. femoralis or H. squirella due to its lower abundance and more specific habitat requirements. Hyla gratiosa recruitment was not explained by adult breeding effort and was more dependent on higher water levels during BMPs than for H. femoralis or H. squirella, independent of rainfall. In contrast, H. femoralis and H. squirella recruitment depended heavily on rainfall independent of pond depth and was positively associated with adult breeding effort. Models predicted moderate decreases in H. gratiosa and H. squirella recruitment by 2050 but projections were highly uncertain for all three species by 2070. Our findings highlight the importance of maintaining wetlands with diverse hydroregimes to accommodate species with different BMPs and hydroregime requirements. Proactive monitoring and conservation measures such as headstarting and creating artificial ponds may be necessary for these and other amphibian species that may suffer reduced recruitment under future climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amphibian Ecology in Geographically Isolated Wetlands)
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Article
Single-Island Endemism despite Repeated Dispersal in Caribbean Micrathena (Araneae: Araneidae): An Updated Phylogeographic Analysis
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020128 - 10 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 975
Abstract
Island biogeographers have long sought to elucidate the mechanisms behind biodiversity genesis. The Caribbean presents a unique stage on which to analyze the diversification process, due to the geologic diversity among the islands and the rich biotic diversity with high levels of island [...] Read more.
Island biogeographers have long sought to elucidate the mechanisms behind biodiversity genesis. The Caribbean presents a unique stage on which to analyze the diversification process, due to the geologic diversity among the islands and the rich biotic diversity with high levels of island endemism. The colonization of such islands may reflect geologic heterogeneity through vicariant processes and/ or involve long-distance overwater dispersal. Here, we explore the phylogeography of the Caribbean and proximal mainland spiny orbweavers (Micrathena, Araneae), an American spider lineage that is the most diverse in the tropics and is found throughout the Caribbean. We specifically test whether the vicariant colonization via the contested GAARlandia landbridge (putatively emergent 33–35 mya), long-distance dispersal (LDD), or both processes best explain the modern Micrathena distribution. We reconstruct the phylogeny and test biogeographic hypotheses using a ‘target gene approach’ with three molecular markers (CO1, ITS-2, and 16S rRNA). Phylogenetic analyses support the monophyly of the genus but reject the monophyly of Caribbean Micrathena. Biogeographical analyses support five independent colonizations of the region via multiple overwater dispersal events, primarily from North/Central America, although the genus is South American in origin. There is no evidence for dispersal to the Greater Antilles during the timespan of GAARlandia. Our phylogeny implies greater species richness in the Caribbean than previously known, with two putative species of M. forcipata that are each single-island endemics, as well as deep divergences between the Mexican and Floridian M. sagittata. Micrathena is an unusual lineage among arachnids, having colonized the Caribbean multiple times via overwater dispersal after the submergence of GAARlandia. On the other hand, single-island endemism and undiscovered diversity are nearly universal among all but the most dispersal-prone arachnid groups in the Caribbean. Full article
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Article
Diversity of Rotifers in Small Rivers Affected by Human Activity
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020127 - 10 Feb 2022
Viewed by 659
Abstract
The rivers flowing through Upper Silesia and the adjacent areas (Southern Poland) are affected by various anthropogenic pressures including urbanisation, agriculture and animal husbandry, as well as industry (e.g., mining), which are reflected in the measured physical and chemical water parameters. The species [...] Read more.
The rivers flowing through Upper Silesia and the adjacent areas (Southern Poland) are affected by various anthropogenic pressures including urbanisation, agriculture and animal husbandry, as well as industry (e.g., mining), which are reflected in the measured physical and chemical water parameters. The species composition of rotifers relative to a variety of microhabitats was studied in eight small rivers of this region in 2017. Our research is a comprehensive and up-to-date analysis that focuses on the rotifers in small rivers and shows the diversity of rotifers relative to the microhabitats and environmental variables. The diversity of rotifers ranged from 0 to 23 taxa in individual samples. In the studied rivers, 129 taxa of rotifers were found. Notommata groenlandica, a species that has not been recorded in the country for 100 years, was found in two rivers. The Kruskal–Wallis one-way ANOVA and Dunn’s multiple comparison post hoc tests revealed statistically significant differences in the median number of rotifer taxa between the abiotic types of rivers, rivers, sampling sites, microhabitats and seasons. A multiple regression analysis revealed a significant relationship (correlation) between the number of rotifer taxa, and the concentration of nitrites, total dissolved solids and dissolved oxygen in the water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Rotifers)
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Review
Return to Agrobiodiversity: Participatory Plant Breeding
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020126 - 10 Feb 2022
Viewed by 621
Abstract
Biodiversity in general, and agrobiodiversity in particular are crucial for adaptation to climate change, for resilience and for human health as related to dietary diversity. Participatory plant breeding (PPB) has been promoted for its advantages to increase selection efficiency, variety adoption and farmers’ [...] Read more.
Biodiversity in general, and agrobiodiversity in particular are crucial for adaptation to climate change, for resilience and for human health as related to dietary diversity. Participatory plant breeding (PPB) has been promoted for its advantages to increase selection efficiency, variety adoption and farmers’ empowerment, and for being more socially equitable and gender responsive than conventional plant breeding. In this review paper we concentrate on one specific benefit of PPB, namely, increasing agrobiodiversity by describing how the combination of decentralized selection with the collaboration of farmers is able to address the diversity of agronomic environments, which is likely to increase because of the location specificity of climate change. Therefore, while PPB has been particularly suited to organic agriculture, in light of the increasing importance of climate change, it should also be considered as a breeding opportunity for conventional agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Plant Diversity)
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Seahorse Predation by Octopuses in the Caribbean and the West Pacific
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020125 - 10 Feb 2022
Viewed by 1133
Abstract
There is much documentation about seahorses (Hippocampus spp.) being threatened by habitat degradation and overfishing, but relatively few published studies mention their natural predators. The present study documents three cases in which seahorses are being caught by octopuses. In one case, the [...] Read more.
There is much documentation about seahorses (Hippocampus spp.) being threatened by habitat degradation and overfishing, but relatively few published studies mention their natural predators. The present study documents three cases in which seahorses are being caught by octopuses. In one case, the seahorse was partly consumed. These observations made at Bonaire (Caribbean Netherlands) and New South Wales (Australia) suggest that predation on seahorses by octopuses may be more widespread and common than previously thought. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Interesting Images from the Sea)
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Review
Purely Australian Essential Oils Past and Present: Chemical Diversity, Authenticity, Bioactivity, and Commercial Value
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020124 - 09 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 691
Abstract
In this comprehensive commentary, Australian essential oils and their components are listed and discussed in the context of their value to industry and aesthetics. The historic and cultural significance of endemic essential oils is explained. Several promising candidates are identified that have commercial [...] Read more.
In this comprehensive commentary, Australian essential oils and their components are listed and discussed in the context of their value to industry and aesthetics. The historic and cultural significance of endemic essential oils is explained. Several promising candidates are identified that have commercial potential and will enter the marketplace in the not-too-distant future. This text elaborates on the current progress in research, and explains the up-to-date view of ‘bioactive,’ with reference to insect repellence, antimicrobial activity, anti-inflammatory activity, and potential toxicity. The concept of chemotypes and chemophenetics is explained in detail to justify why chemically variable species in Australia require standardisation practices to ensure reproducibility of their derived natural products: standardisation practice includes cultivar development and authentication protocols. Thereafter, some of the more significant essential oils are defined and some background information provided. This review concludes with a comprehensive table of aromatic species that were studied by Joseph Brophy over the last 30 years, thereby providing the most comprehensive overview available, on the chemistry of Australian essential oil yielding species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2021 Feature Papers by Diversity’s Editorial Board Members)
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Review
The Enigmatic Avian Oogenus Psammornis: A Review of Stratigraphic Evidence
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020123 - 08 Feb 2022
Viewed by 828
Abstract
Psammornis rothschildi is an avian taxon established by Andrews in 1911 on the basis of eggshell fragments surface-collected near the city of Touggourt, in the north-eastern part of the Algerian Sahara. Since the initial discovery, a number of Psammornis specimens have been [...] Read more.
Psammornis rothschildi is an avian taxon established by Andrews in 1911 on the basis of eggshell fragments surface-collected near the city of Touggourt, in the north-eastern part of the Algerian Sahara. Since the initial discovery, a number of Psammornis specimens have been reported from various localities in North Africa (Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania) and the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Iran). Most of the finds lack a stratigraphic context, which has resulted in considerable confusion about the geological age of Psammornis, with attributions ranging from the Eocene to the Holocene. A review of the available evidence shows that only two groups of localities provide reasonably reliable stratigraphic evidence: the Segui Formation of SW Tunisia, apparently of latest Miocene age, and the Aguerguerian (Middle Pleistocene) of NW Mauritania. This suggests a fairly long time range for Psammornis. Psammornis eggs are, in all likelihood, those of giant ostriches, although the lack of associated skeletal material makes it difficult to interpret the eggshell fragments in evolutionary terms. However, the oological record suggests that giant ostriches have been present in Africa since the late Miocene, which leads to the reconsideration of some hypotheses about the palaeobiogeographical history of the Struthionidae. The lack of Psammornis eggs transformed by humans suggests that this giant ostrich did not survive until Epipalaeolthic or Neolithic times. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution and Palaeobiology of Flightless Birds)
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