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Biol. Life Sci. Forum, 2022, IECD 2022

The 2nd International Electronic Conference on Diversity (IECD 2022)—New Insights into the Biodiversity of Plants, Animals and Microbes

Online | 15–31 March 2022

Volume Editors:
Michael Wink, Heidelberg University, Germany
Ben-Erik Van Wyk, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Ipek Kurtboke, University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia
Matthieu Chauvat, Université de Rouen Normandie, France

Number of Papers: 36
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Cover Story (view full-size image): The 2nd International Electronic Conference on Diversity (IECD 2022)—New Insights into the Biodiversity of Plants, Animals and Microbes was held from 15 to 31 March 2022 in Sciforum. The [...] Read more.
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Editorial

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1 pages, 175 KiB  
Editorial
Statement of Peer Review
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/blsf2022015036 - 13 Apr 2023
Viewed by 678
Abstract
In submitting conference proceedings to Biology and Life Sciences Forum, the volume editors of the proceedings certify to the publisher that all papers published in this volume have been subjected to peer review administered by the volume editors [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Other

1 pages, 171 KiB  
Abstract
The Diversity of Roadkilled Semi-Aquatic Mammals Depends on Registration Effort
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12431 - 16 Mar 2022
Viewed by 530
Abstract
Previously, we showed that registration effort and traffic intensity explain 90% of variation in roadkill numbers, 70% of variation in numbers of recorded species and 40% of diversity variation. Here we analysed the comparatively rare roadkills of semi-aquatic mammals in Lithuania, northern Europe, [...] Read more.
Previously, we showed that registration effort and traffic intensity explain 90% of variation in roadkill numbers, 70% of variation in numbers of recorded species and 40% of diversity variation. Here we analysed the comparatively rare roadkills of semi-aquatic mammals in Lithuania, northern Europe, covering the period of 2007–2021, relating these to monitoring effort. From over 30,000 roadkills, European beaver was registered 43 times, American mink 26 times, otter 22 times and muskrat two times, with the average roadkill indexes being 0.000065, 0.00076, 0.00061 and 0.00010 ind./km/day, and the maximum indexes being 0.067, 0.028, 0.048 and 0.016 ind./km/day, respectively. These data show the roadkills are not common events. Their occurrences did not correspond to population numbers (beaver over 40,000, American mink about 8–10,000 and otter about 3–5000 individuals in 2020–2021) nor to traffic intensity. However, for all these species, registration effort (number of times the route was driven, this being 300–400 on the most investigated routes) was the main factor, with more registrations being on the small number of best-sampled main roads. As two of these species, American mink and muskrat, are invasive species in EU, while otter is protected in most of the countries, registrations of their roadkills should be enhanced (using targeted efforts by hunters or citizen scientists for example) in order to obtain a better approximation of the roadkilled numbers of these species and thus be able to use this knowledge in species management. Full article
2 pages, 174 KiB  
Abstract
Small Mammal Diversity and Abundance in Commercial Orchards in Relation to Habitat and Agricultural Factors
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12413 - 15 Mar 2022
Viewed by 476
Abstract
The diversity of small mammal communities (SMCs) shows the sustainability of habitats, especially agricultural ones. Gathered over three years, data from 18 sites in Lithuania were used to analyse factors related to several dependent parameters, namely, diversity (Shannon’s H, dominance index and number [...] Read more.
The diversity of small mammal communities (SMCs) shows the sustainability of habitats, especially agricultural ones. Gathered over three years, data from 18 sites in Lithuania were used to analyse factors related to several dependent parameters, namely, diversity (Shannon’s H, dominance index and number of species trapped); the relative abundance of species in SMCs; and the abundances and proportions of the four most numerous species, specifically common vole, striped field mouse, yellow-necked mouse and bank vole. Using the General Linear Model, we assessed the influence of habitat type (commercial orchards, berry plantations, control meadows and control forests with at least two of these present at every investigation site), age of the orchard or plantation, intensity of agriculture, season and location (central, northern, eastern, southern and western parts of the country). To control temporal data variability, the year was used as a continuous predictor. The model was valid, and explained 14–31% of the listed parameters with p < 0.005 or higher, with the exception of the dominance index and the proportion of the common vole. The time factor (year and season, p < 0.001), intensity of agriculture and site location (p < 0.05) had the highest influences on the model, while those of the habitat type and its age were not significant. Univariate results suggest that old commercial orchards with low intensities of agricultural practice play a role in maintaining the diversity and abundance of SMCs. Full article
1 pages, 182 KiB  
Abstract
Invasive Raccoon Dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) and Raccoon (Procyon lotor) Monitoring in Lithuania Based on Camera Traps Data
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12406 - 14 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 648
Abstract
Invasive mammal species outside their natural range are causing damage to native ecosystems. Raccoon dogs were first observed in Lithuania in 1948, and since then, they have spread across the country. Surveys of this species stopped in 1997; therefore, numbers and trends are [...] Read more.
Invasive mammal species outside their natural range are causing damage to native ecosystems. Raccoon dogs were first observed in Lithuania in 1948, and since then, they have spread across the country. Surveys of this species stopped in 1997; therefore, numbers and trends are currently unknown. Raccoons were first observed in Lithuania in 2012, with only a few sporadic reports over the decade. Both species are listed as EU species of concern. Between September 2019 and July 2021, we evaluated the distribution and density of these animals using camera traps (system with a motion trigger/sensor that activates a camera to take a photograph when an animal is present) at 85 locations with a total sampling effort of 11,501 camera trap days. Raccoon dogs were identified in 57 locations (67.1% of all surveyed) and raccoons in 1 location (1.2%). The average relative shooting frequency of raccoon dogs was 5.12 photos/100 days and that of raccoons was 0.18 photos/100 days. The abundance of raccoon dog was not uniform. In the northeastern part of Lithuania, their relative shooting frequency was significantly higher than in western part (6.26 and 2.31 photos/100 days, respectively; p < 0.05). Raccoons were present in only one location; however, during the study period, they were registered 21 times. This indicates that a viable population has developed and could become a source of further invasion in the nearest future, requiring immediate control actions. Full article
2 pages, 177 KiB  
Abstract
Assessing the Effect of Climate Change in Vascular Plants with Disjunct Populations
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12419 - 15 Mar 2022
Viewed by 663
Abstract
Many species exhibit intraspecific ecological variation, and to not consider this ecological differentiation can confound predictions made with species distribution models (SDMs). This problem may be particularly relevant for species where there are few populations with potential local adaptations. To increase the performance [...] Read more.
Many species exhibit intraspecific ecological variation, and to not consider this ecological differentiation can confound predictions made with species distribution models (SDMs). This problem may be particularly relevant for species where there are few populations with potential local adaptations. To increase the performance of niche models and provide more solid basis for conservation plans, it is recommended to apply a subdivision criterion with biological significance. In this study, we examined twelve species with disjunct populations and created models of both the entire species and each group of populations. In addition, we considered as an “aggregate model” for the species the area predicted to be suitable by at least one of each group of populations. In general, the highest range of contractions were identified by the species model. The species model forecasted a similar trend as the aggregate model in the majority of species, but in four cases they predicted opposite trends. In summary, our results suggest that the inclusion of intraspecific variability does not significantly improve the overall accuracy of SDMs based on all species occurrences, but may lead to substantially different conclusions about future range changes. Furthermore, they suggest that intraspecific variability alone may provide a buffer against environmental change, even if the niche is conserved among different intraspecific groups. Consideration of intraspecific differences may ultimately allow us to highlight potential resilience units that can act as potential buffers against the adverse effects of climate change, and to develop targeted conservation strategies accordingly. Full article
1 pages, 186 KiB  
Abstract
The Bacterial Community and Its Shaping Mechanisms
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12357 - 14 Mar 2022
Viewed by 461
Abstract
Bacterial activities drive most of the Earth’s biogeochemical cycles and, thus, much effort has been devoted to understanding the mechanisms governing their community assemblies in nature. In freshwater ecosystems, selection has been found to be the main driver shaping bacterial communities. However, its [...] Read more.
Bacterial activities drive most of the Earth’s biogeochemical cycles and, thus, much effort has been devoted to understanding the mechanisms governing their community assemblies in nature. In freshwater ecosystems, selection has been found to be the main driver shaping bacterial communities. However, its relative importance compared with other processes (including dispersal, drift, and diversification) may depend on the spatial heterogeneity and the dispersal rates within a metacommunity. Here, we investigate the main ecological processes modulating bacterial assembly in the eutrophic shallow lakes of the pampa plain (Argentina) across spatial scales (regional, watershed, and local). To do this, 52 shallow lakes with contrasting limnological features and alternative states were studied. The bacterial composition was analysed using high-throughput sequencing (Illumina Miseq technology) of the 16S rDNA V4 region, and statistical inferences based on the phylogenetic and taxa turnover were applied. Based on this analysis, ASVs (amplicon sequence variants, unique DNA sequences obtained from massive sequencing) with a strong association with hypersaline environments and turbid water regimes were observed. In addition to this, processes such as dispersal and drift had a greater importance than that of selection, as expected in theory. Full article
2 pages, 197 KiB  
Abstract
Genetic Diversity of Barbary Macaques (Macaca sylvanus) and Its Implications in Conservation Management of the Species
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12429 - 16 Mar 2022
Viewed by 656
Abstract
Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus) are critically endangered primates. They are unique within their genus as the only African macaque. By the late Miocene, their habitat extended across Northern Africa and into Southern Europe. Aside from an introduced population in Gibraltar, their [...] Read more.
Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus) are critically endangered primates. They are unique within their genus as the only African macaque. By the late Miocene, their habitat extended across Northern Africa and into Southern Europe. Aside from an introduced population in Gibraltar, their current distribution is reduced to disjointed forests in Algeria and Morocco. Our knowledge of the phylogeographic history and intra-specific diversity of this highly endangered species is also fragmented. In this study, we aimed to improve our understanding of the phylogeographic history and genetic diversity of the Barbary macaque by expanding the genetic data available on the Algerian populations. Moreover, we investigated captive populations of Barbary macaques for comparison to wild populations. The mtDNA hypervariable control region I was sequenced using DNA extracts from faecal and hair samples from wild and captive populations. The newly produced data (n = 157), from both Algerian and Moroccan populations, were combined with previously published data (n = 212) and used to characterize genetic variability and reconstruct phylogenetic relationships among wild and captive populations. We found that Algerian populations exhibit an increased genetic diversity relative to Moroccan populations. Phylogenetic relationships suggest that the Moroccan populations diversified after being isolated from the Algerian populations. Captive populations were found to be not fully representative of the genetic diversity exhibited in the species, but rather only of Moroccan populations. The findings in this study suggest that the fragmented Algerian populations should be managed in order to increase gene flow between them by increasing habitat connectivity where it is feasible to do so. Full article
1 pages, 184 KiB  
Abstract
Determinants of Diversity of Caterpillars, Leaf Miners, and Gallers on Individual Oak Trees in a Forest
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12360 - 14 Mar 2022
Viewed by 449
Abstract
The community of insect herbivores on individual host trees may depend on the history of the hosts—from ongoing ontogeny via recent microevolution to ancient phylogeny—but the relative importance of these scales remains unknown. We sampled spring caterpillars, leaf mines, and leaf galls from [...] Read more.
The community of insect herbivores on individual host trees may depend on the history of the hosts—from ongoing ontogeny via recent microevolution to ancient phylogeny—but the relative importance of these scales remains unknown. We sampled spring caterpillars, leaf mines, and leaf galls from sessile oaks (Quercus petraea) in a forest in western Poland. We assessed the effect of individual tree neighborhood, tree size, and budburst phenology, as well as genetic traits on insect herbivore diversity and community composition. Overall, our results show that different scales of history act simultaneously and do so differently in different functional groups. Full article
1 pages, 170 KiB  
Abstract
Tephritids Gut Microbionts: Diversity, Volatile Emissions and Their Impact on Fly Behaviour
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12418 - 15 Mar 2022
Viewed by 582
Abstract
The interaction between insects and their gut microorganisms is an interesting and promising field of ecological and entomological research. The importance of microbionts in the life history traits of fruit flies has been well-studied in several tephritid species belonging to the genera Anastrepha [...] Read more.
The interaction between insects and their gut microorganisms is an interesting and promising field of ecological and entomological research. The importance of microbionts in the life history traits of fruit flies has been well-studied in several tephritid species belonging to the genera Anastrepha, Bactrocera, Ceratitis and Rhagoletis. However, the production of microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs) and their role in tephritid fruit fly–microorganism interactions has been overlooked. As the symbiosis of tephritids with their associated gut bacteria could be a promising pathway for biocontrol, the potential use of mVOCs for Tephritidae fruit fly pest control management is of particular interest. This presentation demonstrates the known information regarding the composition and diversity of the microbial community in tephritid fruit fly guts and their effect on fly attraction. It also presents information about the mVOCs identified in attractive gut bacterial odours. The overview of fruit fly–microbe chemical relationships identifies knowledge gaps and provides a potential scope for further research to develop new semiochemicals for fruit fly pest management. Full article
1 pages, 160 KiB  
Abstract
Testudines’ Terrapins: DNA Barcoding and Their Conservation Status
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12426 - 15 Mar 2022
Viewed by 399
Abstract
Terrapins are turtle types that live in freshwater or brackish water. There are 12 species of terrapin worldwide. A total of 26 COI sequences from worldwide terrapins were used in this study. The study aims to determine the global utility of terrapin DNA [...] Read more.
Terrapins are turtle types that live in freshwater or brackish water. There are 12 species of terrapin worldwide. A total of 26 COI sequences from worldwide terrapins were used in this study. The study aims to determine the global utility of terrapin DNA barcoding using novel COI sequences and compare them to other COI sequences previously published in BOLD Systems and GenBank. Nevertheless, the conservation status of terrapins is also taken into account in the interest of sustainability. The sequences contained three families, as determined by the UPGMA tree, with 33% of terrapins classified as least concern (LC) and 25% classified as critically endangered (CR). The genomic and bioinformatics analyses of terrapins reported here could be a basis for future research on this species worldwide. Full article
2 pages, 200 KiB  
Abstract
Invasive Rosa rugosa Reduces the Species Richness of Yellow Dune Vegetation and Causes a Shift in the Species Composition of Grey Dune Vegetation
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12414 - 15 Mar 2022
Viewed by 527
Abstract
This study aimed to determine the impact of invasive Rosa rugosa Thunb. on the plant communities of the Baltic coastal dunes. The study was carried out in 22 sites scattered along the Hel Peninsula (Poland). Each site consisted of a pair of plots: [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine the impact of invasive Rosa rugosa Thunb. on the plant communities of the Baltic coastal dunes. The study was carried out in 22 sites scattered along the Hel Peninsula (Poland). Each site consisted of a pair of plots: a plot with the invader vegetation and an adjacent plot with the resident vegetation (control plot). For each plot, botanical data (the abundance of individual species, total species richness and the richness of species belonging to different functional groups) were collected and basic soil parameters were measured. According to the analysis of the control plot species composition, the study sites can be divided into two groups, including the plant communities characteristic of the yellow dunes (Elymo-Ammophiletum arenariae association, EA; N = 11 sites) and those characteristic of the grey dunes (Helichryso-Jasionetum litoralis association, HJ; N = 11 sites). R. rugosa influenced these two communities differently. In the EA sites, it displaced many species, leading to a significant decrease in the species richness. In the HJ sites, it caused a shift in the species composition; although it outcompeted some species (e.g., zoochores), it also created conditions for the existence of others (e.g., graminoids, a plant group that, interestingly, was negatively affected by the invader in the EA sites). Changes in the plant communities probably resulted not only from the direct impacts of R. rugosa on the plants (by shading and occupying space) but also from invader-induced soil alternations (an increase in the organic layer thickness and an increase in pH and the content of some nutrients). Full article

Other

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6 pages, 1076 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
The Spread of the Invasive Locust Digitate Leafminer Parectopa robiniella Clemens, 1863 (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae): The Ukrainian Context
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12408 - 14 Mar 2022
Viewed by 772
Abstract
The spread of phytophagous pests are often associated with global warming. These species may be of interest in terms of biological indications of climate change. We considered the locust digitate leafminer P. robiniella. In Ukraine it was first recorded in 2003. In [...] Read more.
The spread of phytophagous pests are often associated with global warming. These species may be of interest in terms of biological indications of climate change. We considered the locust digitate leafminer P. robiniella. In Ukraine it was first recorded in 2003. In 2020–2021, we found areas of massive R. pseudoacacia leaf damage caused by the pest on Trukhaniv island (Kyiv) and some places in the region. Using 592 georeferenced records of P. robiniella across Europe and a Bayesian additive regression trees algorithm, we modeled the distribution of the moth. As predictors, a current climate (WorldClim v.2) and a black locust habitat suitability map were employed. Western and south-western regions of Ukraine and Transcarpathia are considered the most favorable for the pest. Amongst the factors determining its niche, summer moisture and warm conditions are the most important for facilitating the spread and naturalization of the moth. Under progressing climate change, the species is expected to move eastward. Full article
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9 pages, 978 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Cuticular Hydrocarbon Profiling Reveals Chemotaxonomic Diversity among Gonipterini weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12383 - 14 Mar 2022
Viewed by 776
Abstract
Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) have been used as a chemotaxonomic tool to support the classification and identification of various insect species for decades. However, there have been limited research performed on the CHC profiles of weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), despite the extensive diversity and ecological [...] Read more.
Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) have been used as a chemotaxonomic tool to support the classification and identification of various insect species for decades. However, there have been limited research performed on the CHC profiles of weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), despite the extensive diversity and ecological significance of this family. In this study, CHCs were extracted from fifteen Gonipterini weevil specimens from eastern Australia, comprising five species from three genera. Analysis by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) revealed the presence of over 90 compounds, with the most abundant compounds including nonacosane, 7-methylheptacosane, heptacosane and hexacosane. Principal component analysis revealed Bryachus squamicollis to be the most dissimilar species in terms of its CHC profile, while the two Oxyops species showed relatively similar CHC profiles. The results may support the use of CHC profiling as a chemotaxonomic tool for the identification and delineation of various Gonipterini genera and species. Full article
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6 pages, 1888 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Genetic Diversity and Population Structure Assessed by SSR in a Peruvian Germplasm Collection of Loche Squash (Cucurbita moschata, Cucurbitaceae)
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12420 - 15 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1417
Abstract
Loche is an ancient landrace of squash from Northern Peru, notable for its vegetative reproduction and lack of seeds in fruits. To date, very little is known about its genetics. Here, we used 21 simple sequence repeats to assess the genetic diversity and [...] Read more.
Loche is an ancient landrace of squash from Northern Peru, notable for its vegetative reproduction and lack of seeds in fruits. To date, very little is known about its genetics. Here, we used 21 simple sequence repeats to assess the genetic diversity and population structure of a collection of 100 samples of loche from three localities in Peru, and 10 samples of related species, C. pepo and C. maxima (110 accessions in total). A total 85 bands were manually scored, obtaining an average of 4.05 alleles per locus. The UPGMA clustering method and principal coordinate analysis showed a clear identification between the three species of Cucurbita. Population structure analysis clustered the 110 accessions into the following five populations: (i) three of loche, (ii) one of C. pepo, and (iii) one of C. maxima. Genetic diversity estimation was conducted considering only the three groups (populations) of loche identified, which was 0.024 as an average. AMOVA revealed the greatest variation between populations (79.66%) and indicated that variability within populations is 20.33%. Vegetative propagation by means of stem cuttings and cultivation in a very restricted geographical area would explain the rather low diversity of loche. This in turn would suggest that the apparent variation observed in fruit shape may be explained by somatic mutation and/or environmental factors. Full article
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7 pages, 253 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Essential Oil Composition of Centaurea finazzeri and C. rupestris from North Macedonia
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12457 - 31 Mar 2022
Viewed by 694
Abstract
The essential oil composition of fresh flowering heads (capitula) and fresh aerial parts of Centaurea finazzeri Adamović and Centaurea rupestris L. (Asteraceae, Centaurea sect. Acrocentron) from Štip, North Macedonia were analyzed. The essential oils were obtained by simultaneous distillation and extraction using [...] Read more.
The essential oil composition of fresh flowering heads (capitula) and fresh aerial parts of Centaurea finazzeri Adamović and Centaurea rupestris L. (Asteraceae, Centaurea sect. Acrocentron) from Štip, North Macedonia were analyzed. The essential oils were obtained by simultaneous distillation and extraction using Likens–Nickerson type apparatus and analyzed by GC-FID/GC-MS. In total, 112 compounds were identified representing 97.0–99.2% of the total oil composition. All samples were dominated by aliphatic hydrocarbons (46.3–85.7%). The dominant compounds differed between species. The most abundant compounds of C. rupestris essential oils were hexanal (10.7%, 6.3%) for aerial parts and flowering heads, respectively, (2E)-hexanal (10.6%) and α-pinene (6.0%) for aerial parts, and hexadecanoic acid (7.2%) and 2-methyl hexyl ester butanoic acid (4.5%) for flowering heads. The main volatile constituents of C. finazzeri oils were acetophenone (13.5%), (2E)-hexanal (12.1%), and hexadecanoic acid (6.9%) for aerial parts, and hexadecanoic acid (21,8%), heptacosane (10.3%), and nonacosane (9.1%) for flowering heads. Taxonomic implications are discussed. Full article
6 pages, 1334 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Ecosystem-Scale Distribution and Phenology of Adult Gonipterini Weevils Associated with Eucalyptus populnea in Central Queensland, Australia
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12378 - 14 Mar 2022
Viewed by 735
Abstract
The Gonipterini tribe (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) contains a number of species of economic significance, including several species of Gonipterus which are invasive pests of eucalypt plantations internationally. However, the interspecific ecosystem-level interactions and population dynamics of many species are poorly understood within their native [...] Read more.
The Gonipterini tribe (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) contains a number of species of economic significance, including several species of Gonipterus which are invasive pests of eucalypt plantations internationally. However, the interspecific ecosystem-level interactions and population dynamics of many species are poorly understood within their native range. This study investigated the associations of adults of two species of Oxyops and two species of Gonipterus from Central Queensland, Australia, including their phenology over the course of a year-long survey. A total of 116 adult Gonipterini weevils were found across the year, with Oxyops fasciculatus being the most abundant. Weevils were only found in 10.7% of the Eucalyptus populnea saplings surveyed; however, saplings containing weevils contained an average of 1.9 weevils. Additionally, 21% of weevils were found in close proximity to another weevil at a micro-ecosystem scale (e.g., on the same leaf). Weevil numbers peaked in March at 17.2 adults/acre, with the lowest numbers found in November (1.8 adults/acre). One of the Oxyops species (an undescribed species known only from Central Queensland) was more commonly found on the leaves, compared to Gonipterus cinnamomeus which was more commonly located on the stem or petiole. These results provide insight into the population dynamics, interactions, and spatial and temporal resource partitioning between the adults of different Gonipterini species within their native range. Full article
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6 pages, 786 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Filling Biodiversity Knowledge Gaps: Sponges (Porifera: Demospongiae) Recorded off San Jorge Gulf (Argentina), SW Atlantic Ocean
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12407 - 14 Mar 2022
Viewed by 820
Abstract
The invertebrate by-catch of the Argentinean squid Illex argentinus collected by bottom trawls off San Jorge Gulf during an expedition performed in December 2020 was employed to characterize the bottom assemblages of the area, with special emphasis on sponges. According to the results, [...] Read more.
The invertebrate by-catch of the Argentinean squid Illex argentinus collected by bottom trawls off San Jorge Gulf during an expedition performed in December 2020 was employed to characterize the bottom assemblages of the area, with special emphasis on sponges. According to the results, sponges were conspicuous and abundant components in these benthic communities, representing up to 40% of the total invertebrate by-catch (average: ~130 kg·nm2 per site). Tedania (T.) mucosa was the dominant species. Other recorded species were T. (T.) charcoti, T. (T.) murdochi, Isodictya verrucosa, Iophon proximum, Clathria (C.) microxa, C. (C.) discreta, Haliclona bilamellata, Siphonochalina fortis, and Myxilla (M.) mollis. The results of this study contribute to filling in the gaps in the distribution records of sponges in the continental shelf of Argentina in a previously poorly studied area. Full article
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8 pages, 2070 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
The Challenge of Wildlife Conservation from Its Biogeographical Distribution Perspectives, with Implications for Integrated Management in Peru
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12436 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1211
Abstract
Biodiversity is an indispensable resource and contributes to the balance of ecosystems, being of great importance for the development of a society and its culture through good management of natural spaces. However, the reduction in and fragmentation of habitats, trafficking, and illegal trade [...] Read more.
Biodiversity is an indispensable resource and contributes to the balance of ecosystems, being of great importance for the development of a society and its culture through good management of natural spaces. However, the reduction in and fragmentation of habitats, trafficking, and illegal trade in wild animals affect the great diversity of wild flora and fauna that characterize Peru. Considering this problem, we modeled the biogeographic distribution of five species of wildlife categorized as threatened by Peruvian legislation and included in the red list of threatened species of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN): critically endangered (CR) Lagothrix flavicauda, endangered (EN) Aotus miconax, in vulnerable-status (VU) Tremarctos ornatus and Lagothrix cana, and in the near-threatened category (NT) Panthera onca. Our study aimed to identify their current potential distribution in the Peruvian territory which is legally protected by the conservation areas of national, regional, or private administration. In this regard, we used a maximum-entropy approach (MaxEnt), integrating 14 variables (7 bioclimatic variables, 3 topographic, 3 variables of vegetation cover, and relative humidity). It was observed that 3.6% (46,225.50 km2) of the Peruvian territory presented a high probability (>0.6) of distribution of the evaluated species and 10.7% (136,918.28 km2) of moderate distribution (0.4–0.6). Based on this, our study allowed us to identify the geographical spaces for threatened species on which conservation actions should focus, through the formulation of strategies, plans, policies, and participatory management in the Peruvian territory. Full article
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4 pages, 349 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Study of Genetic Diversity of Dagestan Mountain Cattle Based on STR-Markers
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12441 - 17 Mar 2022
Viewed by 554
Abstract
Cheap pasture fodder and a long grazing season are favorable for cattle breeding in the Dagestan Republic of Russia. However, specific natural and geographical conditions, including mountain terrain, hypoxia, and high humidity slow down the intensification of cattle breeding in this region. Thus, [...] Read more.
Cheap pasture fodder and a long grazing season are favorable for cattle breeding in the Dagestan Republic of Russia. However, specific natural and geographical conditions, including mountain terrain, hypoxia, and high humidity slow down the intensification of cattle breeding in this region. Thus, the maintenance of genetic diversity of local cattle breeds, which fits well into specific environments, is of special importance for mountain ethnic communities. Dagestan Mountain cattle have valuable biological traits, including strong hooves, stamina, and adaptability to extreme mountain conditions. This sample included 32 individuals of Dagestan Mountain cattle collected from private owners in the mountain villages of Dagestan during a scientific expedition. We observed a high level of genetic diversity in Dagestan Mountain cattle, as revealed by calculations of the mean number of alleles per locus (6.82 compared to 4.79–5.82 in other breeds) and observed heterozygosity indices (Ho = 0.73, which was higher compared to the other breeds (Ho = 0.69) excluding Simmentals and Brown Swiss (Ho = 0.74). Based on STRUCTURE results, the individuals with a low level of admixture with other breeds were found within Dagestan Mountain cattle, which can be considered as candidates for using conservation programs in germplasms. Full article
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12 pages, 1071 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Diversity of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Associated with Maize in the Eastern Part of Uganda
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12351 - 14 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1583
Abstract
Improving maize yield is an objective of utmost importance for food security in Uganda. In the evaluation of soil microorganisms in crop production, it is important to assess the composition and diversity of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) species in different agroecosystems. AMF [...] Read more.
Improving maize yield is an objective of utmost importance for food security in Uganda. In the evaluation of soil microorganisms in crop production, it is important to assess the composition and diversity of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) species in different agroecosystems. AMF play an important role in improving crop growth and yield. We present a study of the morphological diversity of native AMF species associated with the rhizosphere of maize in two locations in eastern Uganda (the Amuria and Serere districts). The effects of soil chemical properties on this diversity are also assessed. AMF diversity is assessed by the morphological identification of the spores extracted from soils samples by the wet sieving method. Spores abundance, species richness, and diversity are determined. A total of 19 AMF morphotypes distributed in 7 genera (Gigaspora, Scutellospora, Glomus, Acaulospora, Archaeospora, Entrophospora, and Paraglomus) are observed. Glomus species are abundant in all sites. Spore densities are higher in Amuria than in Serere. Soil pH, CEC, and phosphorus content influence AMF distribution. Finding the species in various agroecological environments indicates that they are adapted to the environments. Maize grown in eastern Uganda is associated with a diversity of AMF that could be selected as bio-fertilizers to improve crop production. Full article
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5 pages, 1027 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Conservation Strategies of the Culinary-Medicinal Mushroom Pleurotus nebrodensis (Basidiomycota, Fungi)
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12355 - 14 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1164
Abstract
Pleurotus nebrodensis (Inzenga) Quél. is an edible mushroom appreciated by consumers for its organoleptic characters. It was first described by the mycologist Giuseppe Inzenga as “the most delicious mushroom growing in Sicily”. This taxon, originally described as Agaricus nebrodensis Inzenga, has undergone several [...] Read more.
Pleurotus nebrodensis (Inzenga) Quél. is an edible mushroom appreciated by consumers for its organoleptic characters. It was first described by the mycologist Giuseppe Inzenga as “the most delicious mushroom growing in Sicily”. This taxon, originally described as Agaricus nebrodensis Inzenga, has undergone several changes in the synomy and is recognized as a variety or subspecies within the Pleurotus eryngii (DC.) Quél. species complex. Recent studies demonstrated that P. nebrodensis is distinct from other taxa related to the P. eryngii complex. The distribution of P. nebrodensis in Europe is limited. The mushroom grows only in Madonie Park (Sicily, Italy) and in Greece, associated with plants of Prangos ferulacea (Lindl.). Several studies demonstrated that the presence of P. nebrodensis in native territories has progressively decreased over the years. Research conducted in Sicily (southern Italy) during the fructification period (April–June 2009) confirmed this negative trend. The decision to include P. nebrodensis as an endangered (EN) species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species was taken to safeguard the existence of this important taxon. Legal action is needed to stop the overexploitation and collection of unripe basidiomata of P. nebrodensis in the wild. Ex situ cultivation to increase wild production was experimented and preservation of mycelium in the Mycotheca of the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Forest Science (SAAF) of the University of Palermo was carried out. The in situ conservation strategy can be implemented only if the wild collection is properly managed (picking of ripe mushrooms forbidden in zone A of Madonie Park and collection of unripe mushrooms forbidden in other areas). Full article
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6 pages, 623 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Effect of Land-Use Change on Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Diversity in an Argentinean Endemic Native Forest
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12430 - 16 Mar 2022
Viewed by 786
Abstract
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMFs, Glomeromycota) are biotrophic mutualistic symbionts of 80% of terrestrial plants. AMFs increase their hosts’ growth through their contribution to water and nutrient absorption from the soil to the plant roots. The different AMF taxa vary in their edaphic and [...] Read more.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMFs, Glomeromycota) are biotrophic mutualistic symbionts of 80% of terrestrial plants. AMFs increase their hosts’ growth through their contribution to water and nutrient absorption from the soil to the plant roots. The different AMF taxa vary in their edaphic and nutritional preferences, the host species ranges and the seasonal changes in sporulation features. The increase in the world human population and the global demand for natural resources have acted as an important driving force for agricultural changes in Argentina in the last 150 years. Particularly, the Prosopis caldenia Burkart forests (or “Caldenales”) have suffered an important reduction in the last 10 years. Here, we studied AMF abundance and diversity in four land uses and their relationship with soil and vegetation characteristics. The land uses selected were native forest (Caldenales), Eragrostis curvula (Schrad.) Nees pasture, Medicago sativa L. cropfield and soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merill) cropfield. AMF spores were extracted from soil by the traditional method and were identified by their morphological features. Cluster analysis divided the land uses into two groups; Kruskal–Wallis tests showed significant differences in AMF abundance and richness between land uses; the AMF abundance and tree richness were negatively correlated, showing less abundance of AMF spores in the plots with the highest richness of tree species. Our results suggest that land use and vegetation richness have a strong influence on the AMF community. Agricultural activities would negatively influence the AMF species diversity but would not negatively affect the spore abundance. Full article
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4 pages, 413 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Composition and Ecology of the Insect Community and Microbiota in Galls on a Hawkweed Hieracium × robustum Fries, 1848
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12386 - 14 Mar 2022
Viewed by 743
Abstract
The gall wasp Aulacidea hieracii L., 1758 (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) forms a stem gall on the hawkweed Hieracium × robustum Fries, 1848 (Asteraceae), a weedy herb that grows in the steppe biotopes of Eurasia. In its turn, gall former serves as food for a [...] Read more.
The gall wasp Aulacidea hieracii L., 1758 (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) forms a stem gall on the hawkweed Hieracium × robustum Fries, 1848 (Asteraceae), a weedy herb that grows in the steppe biotopes of Eurasia. In its turn, gall former serves as food for a large number of parasitoids and predators, which also live and develop inside and outside the gall. Moreover, the inhabitants of the galls are consumed by birds. In addition, a specific microbiota develops inside the gall, which includes representatives of Gram-negative bacteria Pseudomonas rhizosphaerae, Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens, Pantoea agglomerans and fungi Alternaria alternata. The authors found out the composition of parasitoids, predators, inquilines and microorganisms for a gall on the hawkweed. For the first time, studies were carried out on the development of the moth caterpillars Oxyptilus chrysodactyla (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775) on the hawkweed H. robustum. We found that the caterpillars of the moths cohabit on their fodder plant on the surface of the gall together with the larvae of gall wasps. Notably, the gall wasp larvae are the first to inhabit the plant. Thus, gall on the plant is a complex ecosystem, which balances and increases diversity of living organisms. Full article
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5 pages, 1619 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
A Study about the Piggery Sector Sustainability, Pig Breed Diversity and Its Ecological Implications in Urban Districts of Uttarakhand
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12410 - 15 Mar 2022
Viewed by 766
Abstract
Uttarakhand is situated on the southern slope of the world’s youngest (geo-dynamically sensitive) mountain system, “the Himalayas”. Owing to rapid deforestation in the planar districts due to an increase in infrastructural growth, the wildlife–livestock–human interface has blurred. This has increased the chances of [...] Read more.
Uttarakhand is situated on the southern slope of the world’s youngest (geo-dynamically sensitive) mountain system, “the Himalayas”. Owing to rapid deforestation in the planar districts due to an increase in infrastructural growth, the wildlife–livestock–human interface has blurred. This has increased the chances of contact exposure of wild boars to humans and domestic animals. The study identifies the location of pig rearers and their pig rearing practices, with its ecological effects, and also studies the mitochondrial DNA diversity using a control region from the 68 samples collected from the surveyed household. Analysis showed that 60.7%, 10.7% and 21.4% of the households raised pig near seasonal streams (slum settlements), the residential areas and near the forest, respectively. Furthermore, 28.6% maintained breeding boar of feral origin and 96.94% followed semi-intensive pig rearing practices; hence human settlements have stayed in close association with pigs (domestic and wild) and other domestic animals. The possibility of the emergence of zoonotic and non-zoonotic disease and its easy transmission to humans has become more prominent in the urban setting. A total of 18 haplotypes were observed with 34 segregating sites in 68 analyzed sequences. The high level of haplotype diversity and nucleotide diversity suggested an increase in crossbreeding among the species. Full article
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4 pages, 241 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Complex of Aphidophagous Predators of Mealy Plum Aphid Hyalopterus pruni Geoffr. and Their Efficiency in Pest Control
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12434 - 16 Mar 2022
Viewed by 619
Abstract
Aphids are the dominant pests in the complex of harmful fauna of stone fruits in Ukraine. In plum orchards mealy plum aphid Hyalopterus pruni Geoffr. (Hemiptera: Aphidinae) causes serious economic damage. Insect predators have an important role in the regulation of agricultural pests. [...] Read more.
Aphids are the dominant pests in the complex of harmful fauna of stone fruits in Ukraine. In plum orchards mealy plum aphid Hyalopterus pruni Geoffr. (Hemiptera: Aphidinae) causes serious economic damage. Insect predators have an important role in the regulation of agricultural pests. Our goal was to determine the role of predation in the dynamics of the mealy-plum-aphid population. Investigations were carried out during the period of mass development of the mealy plum aphid in the experimental plum-orchard garden of the Institute of Horticulture of the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine. For this purpose, model trees were selected and isolators were installed on four branches of each tree with aphid-infested leaves. Different species of entomophagous predators were placed in the isolators and assessments were performed on a daily basis. According to our observations, Adalia bipunctata L., A. decempunctata L., Syrphus ribesii L., S. balteatus Deg, Chrysopa perla L., and Ch. carnea Steph. dominated among aphidophagous predators. Coccinella septempunctata L., Calvia quatuordecimguttata L., and Propylaea quatuordecimpunctata L. were less common. Syrphus and Chrysopa larvae had the highest predation activity. The influence of weather conditions on the efficiency of aphidophagous predators was analyzed. Optimal conditions for A. bipunctata, A. decempunctata, S. ribesii, S. balteatus, Ch. perla, and Ch. carnea during June–July were as follows: mean daily temperature, 17–20 °C, precipitation 0.1–1.5 mm, and relative air humidity 57–67%. The threshold ratios of dominant aphidophagous predators were determined. The high predation activity of Syrphus and Chrysopa larvae and coccinellids indicated that the ratio of entomophages to aphids must be taken into account when making decisions about control measures Full article
4 pages, 707 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Bumblebees of the Subarctic Region in European Russia—Their Significance and Conservation
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12439 - 17 Mar 2022
Viewed by 635
Abstract
Regarding the bumblebee fauna, a number of regions of Russia are still insufficiently studied. These include Arkhangelsk Region, a large territory that is partly located in the subarctic region of Northern European Russia. In this research, we present information on the distribution of [...] Read more.
Regarding the bumblebee fauna, a number of regions of Russia are still insufficiently studied. These include Arkhangelsk Region, a large territory that is partly located in the subarctic region of Northern European Russia. In this research, we present information on the distribution of bumblebees of the studied region and discuss the bumblebee communities and also their conservation in Northern European Russia. The regional fauna of bumblebees is represented by species that are widely distributed in the Palaearctic. The species richness of bumblebees is highest in the valleys of large rivers and in secondary meadows due to the appearance of species that are not common of the zonal taiga ecosystems. These include Bombus ruderarius, B. veteranus, B. soroeensis, B. sichelii and other species belonging to a group of meadow species. One species, B. consobrinus, is considered as a rare species in the regional fauna. It is represented quite locally in most districts of Arkhangelsk Region. In the north of Arkhangelsk Region, B. consobrinus is most abundant in the native taiga habitats, but is rare in the other areas of the studied region. B. consobrinus in Arkhangelsk Region prefers the meadows near coniferous forests, where its main food plant, Aconitum septentrionale, is concentrated. Full article
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6 pages, 253 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Essential Oil Composition of Ambrosia artemisiifolia and Its Antibacterial Activity against Phytopathogens
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12348 - 14 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 866
Abstract
The composition of essential oil from aerial parts of Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. from Bor (Serbia) was analyzed. The essential oil was obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by gas chromatography (GC-FID, GC-MS). In total, 45 compounds were detected (98.49% of the total). The essential [...] Read more.
The composition of essential oil from aerial parts of Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. from Bor (Serbia) was analyzed. The essential oil was obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by gas chromatography (GC-FID, GC-MS). In total, 45 compounds were detected (98.49% of the total). The essential oil was dominated by monoterpene (45%) and sesquiterpene (38.51%) hydrocarbons. The principal constituents were germacrene D (25.3%), limonene (21.6%), and α-pinene (15.7%). The microdilution method was used to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of the essential oil against five Gram-negative phytopathogenic strains. Essential oil exhibited strong antimicrobial activity against two Xanthomonas campestris strains and one referent and one natural isolate of Ervinia amylovora, causative agents of black rot and fire blight. Full article
13 pages, 1536 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
To What Extent Are Protected Areas Freer of Alien Plants Than Managed Areas within Biodiversity Coldspots? A Case Study of the Mordovia State Nature Reserve, European Russia
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12416 - 15 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1036
Abstract
As it is known, protected areas networks should (once again) protect the native ecosystems from the negative influence of alien species introduction. In this study, we select a protected area (Mordovia State Nature Reserve, IUCN category: I) in European Russia (Republic of Mordovia). [...] Read more.
As it is known, protected areas networks should (once again) protect the native ecosystems from the negative influence of alien species introduction. In this study, we select a protected area (Mordovia State Nature Reserve, IUCN category: I) in European Russia (Republic of Mordovia). Moreover, alien floras have never been compared between the Mordovian regional districts (managed areas) and protected areas. We aimed to compare the alien species proportion between the flora of the Mordovia State Nature Reserve and 23 floras of the regional districts. For this purpose, we used actual floristic checklists of both Mordovia State Nature Reserve (at present, more than 800 species) and the whole Mordovia (at present, more than 1470 species), as well as the set of the published additions to the flora of the region and Protected Area. The temporal comparison was performed between data of 2010 and 2022 years. We hypothesized that, contrary to the widely known fact on the intactness of Protected Areas, the Mordovia State Nature Reserve is characterized by a high proportion of alien plant species. The obtained results demonstrated that in the Mordovia State Nature Reserve, the alien species proportion before starting intense botanical studies was lower (10.7%) than in floras of certain managed areas (17.7% in the Kochkurovo district, 18.8% in the Insar district, or 22.0% in the Ardatov district). At the same time, additional studies resulted in a considerable increase in the alien species proportion in the flora of the protected area (19.0%) in comparison with data of the 2010 year. This indicates both the initial underestimation of the protected area’s flora and the importance of additional purposeful investigations in obtaining the complete data on the flora composition. The obtained results in comparison with updated data for the Mordovian districts’ floras are discussed in light of the current knowledge on the flora of the Mordovia State Nature Reserve and the Republic of Mordovia as a whole. Full article
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5 pages, 707 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Genome-Wide Screening for SNPs Associated with Stature in Diverse Cattle Breeds
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12415 - 15 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 727
Abstract
Cattle breeds used in industrial production tend to have a larger size compared to the local cattle, as the increased dairy and beef productivity is closely related to the stature. The aim of our work was to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which [...] Read more.
Cattle breeds used in industrial production tend to have a larger size compared to the local cattle, as the increased dairy and beef productivity is closely related to the stature. The aim of our work was to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which are significantly associated with stature in diverse cattle breeds. Thirteen local and transboundary cattle breeds (n = 670) subjected to our study were divided in two groups according to the stature. The high-stature group included Angus, Ayrshire, Black-and-White, Holstein, Kholmogor, Yaroslavl, Tagil and Istoben breeds. The low-stature group comprised of Jersey, Kalmyk, Kyrgyz, Mongolian and Yakut cattle. The average height at withers was 136.3 ± 1.6 and 121.6 ± 2.8 cm in the high- and low-stature groups, respectively. The samples of 11 breeds were genotyped using high-density DNA arrays (Illumina Inc., USA). The genotypes of two remaining breeds were downloaded from the publicly available WIDDE database. Genome-wide association studies revealed four SNPs, which were strongly associated with the stature, including three SNPs at 77.3–77.8 cM on BTA4 (map53144-ss46525999, p < 7.747 × 10−101; BovineHD0400021479, p < 1.173 × 10−91; ARS-BFGL-NGS-116590, p < 7.665 × 10−105) and one SNPs at 25.2 cM on BTA14 (BovineHD1400007259, p < 1.324 × 10−109). Functional annotation showed the localization within identified regions of genes, which are responsible for growth, exterior characteristics, protein and lipid metabolism, and feed intake. Identified SNPs can be considered as useful DNA markers for marker-assistant cattle breeding aimed at increased stature. The study was funded by the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education No. 0445-2019-0024. Full article
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7 pages, 674 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Measurement of the Exterior of Bees: Comparison of Methods
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12373 - 14 Mar 2022
Viewed by 719
Abstract
In a comparison of two measurement methods using nonparametric criteria, we established that the measurement results for some exterior features obtained through one method were significantly different from the results obtained using another measurement method. Measurement using Altami Studio 3.4.0® (OOO“Altami”, Saint [...] Read more.
In a comparison of two measurement methods using nonparametric criteria, we established that the measurement results for some exterior features obtained through one method were significantly different from the results obtained using another measurement method. Measurement using Altami Studio 3.4.0® (OOO“Altami”, Saint Petersburg, Russia) allows results to be generated with less trait variability between repeated measurements by one operator, as well as between operators, compared to MBS-9 (LOMO, St. Petersburg, Russia). With the help of an analysis of variance, we established that two factors influence the measurement results: the measurement method and the operator performing the measurement, as well as the interaction of these two factors. Repeated measurements using the software will allow operators to be identified who are prone to less variability of results, as well as control the accuracy of measurements. Full article
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7 pages, 2167 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Rediscovering the Richness and Endemism of the Tetrapod Fauna within the Utcubamba River Key Area for Biodiversity, in Northwestern Peru
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12435 - 17 Mar 2022
Viewed by 874
Abstract
The tropical Andes in South America stand at the top of the world’s list of endemism hotspots, due to their high species richness per unit area. Thus, our study focuses on the Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) of the Utcubamba River (PER-84), one of [...] Read more.
The tropical Andes in South America stand at the top of the world’s list of endemism hotspots, due to their high species richness per unit area. Thus, our study focuses on the Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) of the Utcubamba River (PER-84), one of the 96 KBAs, with an extension of 35,534 hectares. This area is located in northwest Peru, within the hotspot of the tropical Andes. The study area is well known as the waterfalls valley, which holds the world’s third highest waterfall “Gocta”, an outstanding national and international tourist attraction. Nevertheless, despite its great ecological and tourist value, research reports are deficient in the area. Therefore, we conducted a biological inventory in 2019 during the wet season, with the aim of recording and identifying species of tetrapod fauna, as well as promoting actions for their conservation. Based on field assessments, the following number of species was recorded: amphibians (14), reptiles (6), birds (229), and mammals (20). Interestingly, for the first time, two species of amphibians (Gastrotheca aguaruna and Gastrotheca spectabilis) and two reptiles (Dipsas palmeri and Tachymenis affinis) have been recorded; furthermore, the following several endemic species have been observed: amphibians (3), reptiles (2), birds (3) and mammals (1) that have not yet been reported for the ACB, which have not yet been reported for the KBA. This finding, in fact, increases the number of species of endemism in this part of Peruvian territory. Consequently, this study aims to be the basis for promoting further research to discover new species for science and to propose strategies for their conservation over time. Full article
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4 pages, 3276 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Preliminary Assessment of Foraging Behavior of Bombus haemorrhoidalis Smith in Doon Valley, Uttarakhand, India
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12438 - 17 Mar 2022
Viewed by 638
Abstract
Pollination and pollinators are major keys in the working of almost all terrestrial ecosystems. Bumblebees are the key pollinators belonging to the family Apidae. Their large and fuzzy body makes them more efficient pollinators than any other bee. Because of their thermoregulatory abilities, [...] Read more.
Pollination and pollinators are major keys in the working of almost all terrestrial ecosystems. Bumblebees are the key pollinators belonging to the family Apidae. Their large and fuzzy body makes them more efficient pollinators than any other bee. Because of their thermoregulatory abilities, they can efficiently and effectively work in the cold climate of the Himalayan region. This study is conducted in the Dehradun valley of Uttarakhand, India, which is situated in the foothills of the Shiwalik hills of Himalaya. It is a preliminary study of the foraging behavior of bumblebees in this region, and it is observed that they mainly forage on species of the families Asteraceae, Verbenaceae, Tropaeolaceae, Solanaceae and Bignoneaceae. Full article
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6 pages, 992 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Fungal Communities across an Edaphic Gradient in Central Borneo
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12350 - 14 Mar 2022
Viewed by 702
Abstract
To examine the role of soil properties in influencing tropical fungal communities, soils were collected from Barito Ulu in central Borneo across an edaphic gradient ranging from clay-rich ultisols to sandy spodosols and from the upper and lower horizons and were subjected to [...] Read more.
To examine the role of soil properties in influencing tropical fungal communities, soils were collected from Barito Ulu in central Borneo across an edaphic gradient ranging from clay-rich ultisols to sandy spodosols and from the upper and lower horizons and were subjected to high-throughput Illumina sequencing of the ITS1 region. The fungal community was clearly distinct between contrasting soils and depths, but the diversity metrics did not show significant differences. Differentiation by depth was more marked as the soils became less fertile. There were few marked impacts on fungal phyla or functional guilds at a broad level, but Ascomycota were more abundant in less acidic soils with a narrower C:N ratio. The forests of South-east Asia remain an underexplored frontier for fungal diversity studies. Full article
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5 pages, 571 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Exploring Lampenflora of Resavska Cave, Serbia
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12425 - 15 Mar 2022
Viewed by 861
Abstract
Lampenflora, a complex phototrophic community that develops near artificial light in show caves, is recognized as a major concern for cave management and its regular monitoring has become necessity. For the purpose of this work, the monitoring was performed in one of the [...] Read more.
Lampenflora, a complex phototrophic community that develops near artificial light in show caves, is recognized as a major concern for cave management and its regular monitoring has become necessity. For the purpose of this work, the monitoring was performed in one of the most visited show caves in Serbia—Resavska Cave, directly before and after the main season in 2021 in March and November. Lampenflora was localized and developed mainly near the artificial light, but further parts of the cave were not affected by it. Different sampling sites (twelve in total) regarding the type of artificial light and the type of biofilm were chosen for the lampenflora sampling. Two biofilm types were recognized in situ: the epilithic/endolithic ones which were dominated by algae and/or Cyanobacteria and the moss-dominated biofilms. An analysis of the phototrophic microorganisms revealed the presence of Cyanobacteria, Chlorophyta and Bacillariophyta. The highest diversity was found among the Cyanobacteria where the genera Aphanocapsa, Eucapsis, Gloeocapsa and Leptolyngbya were recorded during both of the samplings, Nostoc and Synechocystis were recorded in March, while Hassalia, Oscillatoria and Pseudocapsa were only recorded in November. Chlorophyta were represented by Chlorella, Desmococcus, Klebsormidium, Mesotaenium and Stichococcus in March, and they were represented by same taxa except for Klebsormidium in November. Humidophila was the most widespread diatom in the fresh biofilm samples. Aside from there being higher a level of diversity of it, Cyanobacteria were sporadically found in the samples except on two sampling sites where Aphanocapsa cf. muscicola and Hassalia sp. were abundant. Chlorophyta dominated the samples, which is in accordance with many other studies. The ecological parameters—temperature, relative air humidity, light intensity, substratum moisture and substratum pH were also determined and related to a degree of colonization and the community composition. Full article
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7 pages, 855 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Diversity and Abundance Patterns of Benthic Invertebrate Assemblages on Intertidal Estuarine Seagrass Beds in Aveiro (Portugal)
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12421 - 15 Mar 2022
Viewed by 571
Abstract
Seagrass meadows are productive ecosystems and many animal species are dependent on them, including a wide diversity of invertebrates. This study aims to explore spatial diversity patterns of benthic invertebrates associated with Zostera noltei. Three areas with Z. noltei meadows were sampled [...] Read more.
Seagrass meadows are productive ecosystems and many animal species are dependent on them, including a wide diversity of invertebrates. This study aims to explore spatial diversity patterns of benthic invertebrates associated with Zostera noltei. Three areas with Z. noltei meadows were sampled along the Mira Channel (Ria de Aveiro). At each area, two sites were selected and four cores were taken at each site. Fauna was sorted, counted, and identified to the lowest taxonomical level. Results showed significant differences in the number of taxa among meadows. It was also observed that some taxa presented differences in the abundance among meadows. Full article
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6 pages, 1079 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Exploration and Insights of Potential Probiotics of Donkey Milk from a Rural Indian Village
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 15(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECD2022-12437 - 17 Mar 2022
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Abstract
Non-bovine milk is gaining more international acceptance for research and commercialization due to its usefulness as bovine milk is now reported as hypersensitive to infant’s serum due to the high concentration of the casein protein, which may act as potent allergen. The nutritious [...] Read more.
Non-bovine milk is gaining more international acceptance for research and commercialization due to its usefulness as bovine milk is now reported as hypersensitive to infant’s serum due to the high concentration of the casein protein, which may act as potent allergen. The nutritious components of donkey milk are comparable to human milk, i.e., high lysozyme concentration, etc. Many potential probiotics species are identified. In addition to the high lysozymal content, the well-adapted potential probiotics of donkey milk are identified and also categorized on the basis of their relative abundance, and include Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactococcus lactis, and Carnobacterium maltaromaticum. Recently, it was reported that the Lactobacillus paracasei and Lactococcus lactis speciesare more abundant while the Leuconostoc, Enterococcus, and Streptococcus are the least. These probiotic strains exhibit greater antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-proliferative properties in vitro conditions. The present study highlighted the basic composition of donkey milk as well as isolating bacteria and their potential probiotic characteristics against stress conditions like low pH, high bile, etc., and it was found that Lactobacillus paracasei and Enterococcus faecalis species were predominant in raw donkey milk samples collected from farm sites, while in local field samples, the Lactococcus lactis and Lysinibacillus sphaericus species were dominant. Thus, in the future, donkey milk probiotics can be an interesting research area and can also provide a novel source for fermented food products with highly efficient probiotics. Full article
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