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Diversity, Volume 7, Issue 4 (December 2015) – 3 articles , Pages 342-396

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Open AccessArticle
FactorsR: An RWizard Application for Identifying the Most Likely Causal Factors in Controlling Species Richness
Diversity 2015, 7(4), 385-396; https://doi.org/10.3390/d7040385 - 16 Nov 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3949
Abstract
We herein present FactorsR, an RWizard application which provides tools for the identification of the most likely causal factors significantly correlated with species richness, and for depicting on a map the species richness predicted by a Support Vector Machine (SVM) model. As a [...] Read more.
We herein present FactorsR, an RWizard application which provides tools for the identification of the most likely causal factors significantly correlated with species richness, and for depicting on a map the species richness predicted by a Support Vector Machine (SVM) model. As a demonstration of FactorsR, we used an assessment using a database incorporating all species of terrestrial carnivores, a total of 249 species, distributed across 12 families. The model performed with SVM explained 91.9% of the variance observed in the species richness of terrestrial carnivores. Species richness was higher in areas with both higher vegetation index and patch index, i.e., containing higher numbers of species whose range distribution is less fragmented. Lower species richness than expected was observed in Chile, Madagascar, Sumatra, Taiwan, and Sulawesi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity Informatics)
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Open AccessArticle
SSR Markers for Trichoderma virens: Their Evaluation and Application to Identify and Quantify Root-Endophytic Strains
Diversity 2015, 7(4), 360-384; https://doi.org/10.3390/d7040360 - 03 Nov 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2089
Abstract
Using biological fertilizers and pesticides based on beneficial soil microbes in order to reduce mineral fertilizers and chemical pesticides in conventional agriculture is still a matter of debate. In this regard, a European research project seeks to elucidate the role of root-endophytic fungi [...] Read more.
Using biological fertilizers and pesticides based on beneficial soil microbes in order to reduce mineral fertilizers and chemical pesticides in conventional agriculture is still a matter of debate. In this regard, a European research project seeks to elucidate the role of root-endophytic fungi and to develop molecular tools to trace and quantify these fungi in the rhizosphere and root tissue. To do this, the draft genome sequence of the biocontrol fungus Trichoderma virens (T. virens) was screened for simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and primers were developed for 12 distinct loci. Primers were evaluated using a global collection of ten isolates where an average of 7.42 alleles per locus was detected. Nei’s standard genetic distance ranged from 0.18 to 0.27 among the isolates, and the grand mean of haploid diversity in AMOVA analysis was 0.693 ± 0.019. Roots of tomato plants were inoculated with different strains and harvested six weeks later. Subsequent PCR amplification identified root-endophytic strains and co-colonization of roots by different strains. Markers were applied to qPCR to quantify T. virens strains in root tissue and to determine their identity using allele-specific melting curve analysis. Thus, the root-endophytic lifestyle of T. virens was confirmed, strains in roots were quantified and simultaneous colonization of roots by different strains was observed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Predicting Future European Breeding Distributions of British Seabird Species under Climate Change and Unlimited/No Dispersal Scenarios
Diversity 2015, 7(4), 342-359; https://doi.org/10.3390/d7040342 - 02 Nov 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3077
Abstract
Understanding which traits make species vulnerable to climatic change and predicting future distributions permits conservation efforts to be focused on the most vulnerable species and the most appropriate sites. Here, we combine climate envelope models with predicted bioclimatic data from two emission scenarios [...] Read more.
Understanding which traits make species vulnerable to climatic change and predicting future distributions permits conservation efforts to be focused on the most vulnerable species and the most appropriate sites. Here, we combine climate envelope models with predicted bioclimatic data from two emission scenarios leading up to 2100, to predict European breeding distributions of 23 seabird species that currently breed in the British Isles. Assuming unlimited dispersal, some species would be “winners” (increase the size of their range), but over 65% would lose range, some by up to 80%. These “losers” have a high vulnerability to low prey availability, and a northerly distribution meaning they would lack space to move into. Under the worst-case scenario of no dispersal, species are predicted to lose between 25% and 100% of their range, so dispersal ability is a key constraint on future range sizes. More globally, the results indicate, based on foraging ecology, which seabird species are likely to be most affected by climatic change. Neither of the emissions scenarios used in this study is extreme, yet they generate very different predictions for some species, illustrating that even small decreases in emissions could yield large benefits for conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Global Change)
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