Special Issue "Selected Papers from International Eurasian Ornithology Congress (IEOC 2018)"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Michael Wink

Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld 364, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 06221 544881
Fax: +49 6221 544884
Interests: phytochemistry, molecular pharmacology of medicinal and toxic plants, alkaloids, evolution, chemical ecology
Guest Editor
Dr. Tamer Albayrak

Department of Biology, Science and Art Faculty, Mehmet Akif Ersoy University, Burdur, Turkey
Website | E-Mail
Interests: evolution, phylogeography, phylogeny, population genetics of birds

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

International Eurasian Ornithology Congress (IEOC 2018) will be held, 23–27 April, 2018, in Heidelberg, Germany, and selected papers will be published in this Special Issue. The aim of the conference is to bring together ornithologists and birders in general, to create a platform for knowledge exchange and to discuss the problems and their solutions. This congress welcomes everybody who cares about nature, particularly avifauna and bird evolution. All subjects related to birds will be dealt in congress sessions. Therefore, this Special Issue will cover subject areas such as:

  • Behavior
  • Bird strikes and aircraft safety
  • Climate change
  • Collision with obstacles
  • Conservation
  • Ecology
  • Evolution
  • Migration
  • Parasitology
  • Phylogeography and phylogeny
  • Wildlife management
  • Other related topics

We believe that the Special Issue can provide a broad overview on the research of birds and we are looking forward to the contributions from IEOC 2018.

Prof. Dr. Michael Wink
Prof. Dr. Tamer Albayrak
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diversity is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

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Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
High Genetic Diversity among Breeding Red-Backed Shrikes Lanius collurio in the Western Palearctic
Diversity 2019, 11(3), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11030031
Received: 12 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 26 February 2019
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Abstract
Revealing the genetic population structure in abundant avian species is crucial for understanding speciation, conservation, and evolutionary history. The Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio, an iconic songbird renowned for impaling its prey, is widely distributed as a breeder across much of Europe, Asia [...] Read more.
Revealing the genetic population structure in abundant avian species is crucial for understanding speciation, conservation, and evolutionary history. The Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio, an iconic songbird renowned for impaling its prey, is widely distributed as a breeder across much of Europe, Asia Minor and western Asia. However, in recent decades, many populations have declined significantly, as a result of habitat loss, hunting along migration routes, decrease of arthropod food, and climate change e.g., severe droughts in Africa. Within this context, gene flow among different breeding populations becomes critical to ensure the survival of the species, but we still lack an overview on the genetic diversity of the species. In this paper, we analyzed the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (mtDNA) and the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (mtDNA) of 132 breeding Red-backed Shrikes from across the entire breeding range to address this knowledge gap. Our results revealed consistent genetic diversity and 76 haplotypes among the Eurasian populations. Birds are clustered in two major groups, with no clear geographical separation, as a direct consequence of Pleistocene glaciations and apparent lineage mixing in refugia. This has led to genetic panmixia. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pliocene Origin, Ice Ages and Postglacial Population Expansion Have Influenced a Panmictic Phylogeography of the European Bee-Eater Merops apiaster
Diversity 2019, 11(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11010012
Received: 20 August 2018 / Revised: 29 November 2018 / Accepted: 26 December 2018 / Published: 15 January 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (6389 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Oscillations of periods with low and high temperatures during the Quaternary in the northern hemisphere have influenced the genetic composition of birds of the Palearctic. During the last glaciation, ending about 12,000 years ago, a wide area of the northern Palearctic was under [...] Read more.
Oscillations of periods with low and high temperatures during the Quaternary in the northern hemisphere have influenced the genetic composition of birds of the Palearctic. During the last glaciation, ending about 12,000 years ago, a wide area of the northern Palearctic was under lasting ice and, consequently, breeding sites for most bird species were not available. At the same time, a high diversity of habitats was accessible in the subtropical and tropical zones providing breeding grounds and refugia for birds. As a result of long-term climatic oscillations, the migration systems of birds developed. When populations of birds concentrated in refugia during ice ages, genetic differentiation and gene flow between populations from distinct areas was favored. In the present study, we explored the current genetic status of populations of the migratory European bee-eater. We included samples from the entire Palearctic-African distribution range and analyzed them via mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers. DNA data indicated high genetic connectivity and panmixia between populations from Europe, Asia and Africa. Negative outcomes of Fu’s Fs and Tajima’s D tests point to recent expansion events of the European bee-eater. Speciation of Merops apiaster started during the Pliocene around three million years ago (Mya), with the establishment of haplotype lineages dated to the Middle Pleistocene period circa 0.7 Mya. M. apiaster, which breed in Southern Africa are not distinguished from their European counterparts, indicating a recent separation event. The diversification process of the European bee-eater was influenced by climatic variation during the late Tertiary and Quaternary. Bee-eaters must have repeatedly retracted to refugia in the Mediterranean and subtropical Africa and Asia during ice ages and expanded northwards during warm periods. These processes favored genetic differentiation and repeated lineage mixings, leading to a genetic panmixia, which we still observe today. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Winter Roost Tree Selection and Phenology of the Long-Eared Owl (Asio otus) in Crimea
Diversity 2018, 10(4), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/d10040105
Received: 23 August 2018 / Revised: 19 September 2018 / Accepted: 22 September 2018 / Published: 27 September 2018
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Abstract
The winter roost of the long-eared owl Asio otus in Crimea (South of Ukraine), located in Simferopol, is described. In 2015–2017, the number of long-eared owls varied on a convex curve, with the maximum reached at the end of November and in December. [...] Read more.
The winter roost of the long-eared owl Asio otus in Crimea (South of Ukraine), located in Simferopol, is described. In 2015–2017, the number of long-eared owls varied on a convex curve, with the maximum reached at the end of November and in December. The birds exhibited a strong preference for roosting in conifers, where we recorded 89% of the owls. There was an inverse relationship between the mean of the maximum daily temperature (°C) and the number of owls in both seasons. The owls were not sensitive to abrupt but short-term temperature changes, but the temperature decrease curve caused practically synchronous changes in the dynamics of bird numbers. It was found that the number of owls significantly differed based on weather conditions in 16 trees. The proportion of owls sitting on coniferous trees increased with unfavourable weather, and the converse pattern was observed for deciduous trees. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Species Composition of Birds and Declining Number of Breeding Territories over 40 Years in a Nature Conservation Area in Southwest Germany
Diversity 2018, 10(3), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/d10030097
Received: 6 June 2018 / Revised: 27 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 30 August 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1295 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Global loss of biodiversity is occurring at an alarming rate and is a major issue in current times. Long-term studies offer the possibility to analyse changes in biodiversity and allow assessments of anthropogenic interventions in ecosystems. At present, various studies in most countries [...] Read more.
Global loss of biodiversity is occurring at an alarming rate and is a major issue in current times. Long-term studies offer the possibility to analyse changes in biodiversity and allow assessments of anthropogenic interventions in ecosystems. At present, various studies in most countries show partially strong declines of insect populations. Due to their role as a food source for many organisms it is assumed that declines of insect abundance might have effects on higher trophic levels like insectivorous birds. For reliable statements on relationships between food availability and population trends, systematic and extensive records of breeding birds are necessary. In this study, we analysed the changes in the range of species, biodiversity, and abundance of a breeding bird community over 43 years in a large nature conservation area in southwest Germany (“Lampertheimer Altrhein” near Mannheim). Since 1974, considerable changes in the spectrum of breeding birds have been found, but the overall biodiversity index did not change. Furthermore, 70% of the investigated species showed decreasing numbers of breeding bird territories, and the overall number of territories across species declined by more than 65%. A classification based on the main diet during the breeding period and habitat use revealed strong declines for insectivorous birds in the study area, especially in wetland and open cultivated landscapes. Full article
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