Special Issue "Feature Papers in Plant Diversity"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Mario A. Pagnotta
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sciences and Technology for Agriculture, Forest, Environment and Energy, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Interests: plant population genetics; plant evolution and domestication; in situ and ex situ conservation of plant germplasm; molecular characterization; molecular markers; molecular evolution; plant breeding
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

we hereby propose you to submit an article outlining the state-of-the-art on some special features concerning plant diversity.

The papers will be presented in the form of reviews that can cover all subdivisions of biodiversity: natural history, evolution, phylogeny, biogeography, conservation, and even revisions of the systematics of related taxa. It could be also a research article, but in this case the introduction should be very detailed with a proper cited reference.

Reviews should be written in a way that summarizes all the actual specific knowledge about a single species or a group of species, but also on specific topic such as effects of forces driving evolution, methods to set plant diversity, roles of breeding in plant diversity, strategies to conserve and/or utilize plant diversity, etc. The review papers are supposed to include an extensive bibliography. They must represent a starting point to further research.

Prof. Dr. Mario A. Pagnotta
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Understanding the Long-Term Impact of Bamboos on Secondary Forests: A Case for Bamboo Management in Southern Brazil
Diversity 2021, 13(11), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13110567 - 06 Nov 2021
Viewed by 326
Abstract
As secondary forests become more common around the world, it is essential to understand successional pathways to ensure their proper forest management. Despite optimism about secondary forests in terms of landscape restoration, the influence of invasive species on their development has been poorly [...] Read more.
As secondary forests become more common around the world, it is essential to understand successional pathways to ensure their proper forest management. Despite optimism about secondary forests in terms of landscape restoration, the influence of invasive species on their development has been poorly explored. Here, forest plots in the Araucaria Forest, Southern Brazil, are used to compare forest dynamics over a 14-year period between unmanaged bamboo forest development (control) and the removal of bamboo. Six control plots (15 × 15 m) were monitored for all adult trees since 2007 alongside six adjacent removal plots; after the initial measurement of the control in 2007, all plots were measured bi-annually from 2010 to 2020. Comparisons were based on tree species diversity, composition, and structure parameters. Removal plots show a trend towards developing a forest composition with more secondary and late successional species while the control plots demonstrate succession restricted to the pioneer trees that regenerated immediately after bamboo die-off (2005–2006). Without the presence of bamboos, removal plots are mirroring the well-known successional pathway typical of the Araucaria Forest. Conversely, bamboos are effectively arresting successional development in the control, resulting in lower levels of diversity and less complex forest structure. For the first time, this study presents a direct analysis of the influence of bamboos on forest succession, providing evidence on which practices to manage bamboo forests can be developed so these secondary forests can fulfill their ecological and economic potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Plant Diversity)
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Article
Comparative Floral and Pollen Micromorphology of Leonurus japonicus and L. macranthus (Lamiaceae)
Diversity 2021, 13(11), 533; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13110533 - 25 Oct 2021
Viewed by 454
Abstract
Floral micromorphology and pollen morphology of two Leonurus (Lamiaceae) species were examined and compared using scanning electron microscopy to evaluate the diagnostic value of these features to facilitate future studies on floral biology and taxonomy. Floral epidermal patterns were similar in both species, [...] Read more.
Floral micromorphology and pollen morphology of two Leonurus (Lamiaceae) species were examined and compared using scanning electron microscopy to evaluate the diagnostic value of these features to facilitate future studies on floral biology and taxonomy. Floral epidermal patterns were similar in both species, with the conical to central-conical epidermal cells on the adaxial side of the lower lip (corolla). Capitate, peltate, scale-like glandular, and non-glandular trichomes were distributed on the surface of the floral organs. Notably, scale-like anther glands and floral stomata were found on the anthers and abaxial side of the calyx, respectively. Pollen grains had bi-reticulate exine with angular primary lumina and rounded secondary lumina. These characteristics provide indirect evidence of a close association between plant-pollinator interactions and effective pollination. In addition, quantitative traits of pollen grains and trichome types on the adaxial side of the lip differed between the two species. These characteristics may have diagnostic and taxonomic value for the genus Leonurus and family Lamiaceae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Plant Diversity)
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Article
Varietal Threat Index for Monitoring Crop Diversity on Farms in Five Agro-Ecological Regions in India
Diversity 2021, 13(11), 514; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13110514 - 22 Oct 2021
Viewed by 2482
Abstract
Our knowledge about the status of agrobiodiversity on farms is still very limited. While several studies to assess the crop genetic diversity on farms have been undertaken, there are no systematic documentation and monitoring practices for varietal diversity in space and time. Achievement [...] Read more.
Our knowledge about the status of agrobiodiversity on farms is still very limited. While several studies to assess the crop genetic diversity on farms have been undertaken, there are no systematic documentation and monitoring practices for varietal diversity in space and time. Achievement of the agrobiodiversity Aichi Target 13, established under the Biodiversity Strategy Plan 2011–2020, have failed due to the lack of existing data on varietal diversity at country, regional and global levels. Here, we propose a method for calculating the Varietal Threat Index using the four-cell analysis (FCA) participatory methodology at different geographical scales to monitor changes in the varietal diversity on farms and to compare between areas. We tested the method with datasets collected from the UN-Environment GEF project implemented in India, in which data on crop and varietal diversity were collected across seven states in India, covering five agroecological regions. Results showed that landraces are still commonly grown in the study sites, especially in the central and western regions, and that more than 50% of landraces are considered threatened, suggesting that conservation interventions are required to prevent large-scale genetic erosion. A long-term monitoring framework for varietal diversity in India is proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Plant Diversity)
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Article
Genetic Diversity and Differentiation of Pedunculate Oak (Quercus robur L.) Populations at the Southern Margin of Its Distribution Range—Implications for Conservation
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 371; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080371 - 11 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 756
Abstract
Understanding intraspecific genetic variation is one of the principal requirements for the evaluation of tree species capacity to cope with intensive climatic changes, as well as designing long-term conservation programs. Herein, we evaluated the genetic diversity and genetic structure of seven pedunculate oak [...] Read more.
Understanding intraspecific genetic variation is one of the principal requirements for the evaluation of tree species capacity to cope with intensive climatic changes, as well as designing long-term conservation programs. Herein, we evaluated the genetic diversity and genetic structure of seven pedunculate oak (Quercus robur L.) populations, located at the southern margin of its distribution range on the Balkan Peninsula (Serbia). The objective of the study was to propose future in situ conservation measures aimed at protection of pedunculate oak adaptive and neutral genetic diversity at the species rear-edge. Genetic diversity and structure were estimated using twelve highly polymorphic simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. The mean expected heterozygosity (He) was 0.769, allelic richness (AR) 9.63, and private allelic richness (pAR) 0.79, indicating high genetic diversity in the studied populations. Genetic differentiation among the populations was low (Fst = 0.032). Structure analysis, the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) showed the existence of two gene pools unrelated to the populations’ area of occurrence. Taking into consideration the results of the current study and previous conservation activities on the pedunculate oak in Serbia, as well as the importance of rear-edge populations in the long-term conservation of the species genetic diversity, we suggested establishing three additional gene conservation units for securing long-term sustainability of the species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Plant Diversity)
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Article
Mining Sorghum Biodiversity—Potential of Dual-Purpose Hybrids for Bio-Economy
Diversity 2021, 13(5), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13050192 - 29 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 736
Abstract
Sweet, grain, and dual-purpose sorghums differ in a number of important traits, including biomass production, total solutes in the stem juice, and sugar accumulation across the stem. Ten dual-purpose hybrids, two sweet genotypes, and two grain landraces of sorghums were characterized under temperate [...] Read more.
Sweet, grain, and dual-purpose sorghums differ in a number of important traits, including biomass production, total solutes in the stem juice, and sugar accumulation across the stem. Ten dual-purpose hybrids, two sweet genotypes, and two grain landraces of sorghums were characterized under temperate environmental conditions to determine their potential for bioethanol production. Five sorghum hybrids (Ganymed, Hannibal, Tarzan, Merlin, and Zerberus) performed better with respect to cane yield, juice yield, potential sugar, and ethanol yields compared to sweet and grain genotypes. While the sweet genotype KIT1 produced the highest sugar concentration in the stem, the lowest concentration was produced by the grain landrace Razinieh. The study showed that plant height, leaf number, leaf weight, cane yield, and juice yield were positively correlated with the sugar yield in fresh stalk. Sugar accumulation was higher in the central internodes of all genotypes. Clustering analysis showed that sweet genotypes are located more closely to dual-purpose hybrids than grain landraces. We discuss the results with respect to the potential of dual-purpose sorghum hybrids for bio-economy in Germany. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Plant Diversity)
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Review

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Review
Cultivar-Groups in Cucurbita maxima Duchesne: Diversity and Possible Domestication Pathways
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080354 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 644
Abstract
Domesticated Cucurbita has been remarked as one of the plant genera with the highest diversity in color, shape and fruit dimensions. Their economic and cultural values are related to the consumption of the mature or immature fruits, seeds, flowers, and to the use [...] Read more.
Domesticated Cucurbita has been remarked as one of the plant genera with the highest diversity in color, shape and fruit dimensions. Their economic and cultural values are related to the consumption of the mature or immature fruits, seeds, flowers, and to the use as decoration. The wild ancestor of C. maxima, the ssp. andreana has an actual scattered and disjointed distribution, associated with megafauna seed disperser syndrome. It was domesticated in South America around 9000–7000 years BP. The cultivar-group is a subspecific category for assembling cultivars on the basis of defined similarity. The work describes and pictures nine cultivar-groups for the species, Banana, Turban, Hubbard, Show, Buttercup, Zapallito, Plomo, Zipinka and Nugget. The molecular and a morphological join data analysis scatter biplot showed Turban and Buttercup in a central position, suggesting a first step in the domestication pathway associated with seed and immature fruit consumption; afterward, bigger bearing fruits groups were selected for their mature fruit flesh quality on one hand, and bush type, short day induction and temperate climate adaptation on the other hand. The striking domesticated Brazilian accession MAX24 intermediate between cultigens and ssp. andreana strengthens, in concordance with archeological remains, the possible domestication place of the species more easternward than previously believed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Plant Diversity)
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