Special Issue "Tardigrades Taxonomy, Biology and Ecology"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Łukasz Kaczmarek
Website
Guest Editor
Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poznan, Poland
Interests: tardigrade taxonomy; diversity; ecology and physiology; anhydrobiosis; integrative taxonomy; tardigrade microbiome; astrobiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The phylum Tardigrada currently consists of ca. 1,200 species that inhabit terrestrial and aquatic (freshwater and marine) environments throughout the world (including extreme habitats like the highest mountains, deepest oceans, and polar regions). Tardigrades are an important part of microinvertebrate communities inhabiting mosses, lichens, soils, or freshwater and marine sediments. Some of these environments support more Tardigrades, like in case of cryoconite holes in the glaciers. Tardigrades are also known because of their abilities to survive extreme environmental conditions thanks to cryptobiosis. However, many aspects of their taxonomy, biology, physiology, and ecology still remain unknown. This Special Issue entitled “Tardigrades Taxonomy, Biology, and Ecology” will be a good platform to publish high-quality papers focused on a) tardigrade taxonomy (including integrative approach); b) different aspects of physiology (with special emphasis on cryptobiosis); c) ecology; d) diversity and distribution; e) biogeography; f) population dynamics; g) surviving in extreme conditions.

Dr. Łukasz Kaczmarek
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 1400 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.

Keywords

  • Biology
  • Cryptobiosis
  • Diversity
  • Ecology
  • Physiology
  • Tardigrada
  • Taxonomy

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Final Note of Special Issue “Tardigrades Taxonomy, Biology and Ecology”
Diversity 2020, 12(5), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12050169 - 25 Apr 2020
Abstract
Tardigrada (water bears) are microscopic invertebrates inhabiting aquatic (freshwater and marine) and terrestrial habitats. They are thriving in almost all Earth ecosystems from deepest oceans to highest mountains, from tropics to polar regions. Water bears are probably most famous for their cryptobiotic abilities, [...] Read more.
Tardigrada (water bears) are microscopic invertebrates inhabiting aquatic (freshwater and marine) and terrestrial habitats. They are thriving in almost all Earth ecosystems from deepest oceans to highest mountains, from tropics to polar regions. Water bears are probably most famous for their cryptobiotic abilities, which allow them to survive a broad spectrum of extreme environmental conditions. The Special Issue on tardigrades was launched to popularize research on these fascinating microinvertebrates. The published papers were focused on (a) marine and terrestrial tardigrades diversity, (b) interpopulation variability of Antarctic eutardigrade Paramacrobiotus fairbanksi, (c) encystment in freshwater eutardigrade Thulinius ruffoi and (d) use of a metabarcoding approach to community structures studies in microenvironments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tardigrades Taxonomy, Biology and Ecology)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Simultaneous Metabarcoding of Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes to Elucidate the Community Structures within Tardigrade Microhabitats
Diversity 2020, 12(3), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12030110 - 20 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Tardigrades are microscopic invertebrates that can withstand complete desiccation, but their interspecies interactions with prokaryotes and eukaryotes within their microhabitat remain relatively unexplored. Here, I utilized combined metabarcoding of eukaryotes and prokaryotes to simultaneously identify entire community structures within xeric and mesic mosses [...] Read more.
Tardigrades are microscopic invertebrates that can withstand complete desiccation, but their interspecies interactions with prokaryotes and eukaryotes within their microhabitat remain relatively unexplored. Here, I utilized combined metabarcoding of eukaryotes and prokaryotes to simultaneously identify entire community structures within xeric and mesic mosses that harbor tardigrades. The populations of organisms within the microecosystems were successfully determined in 45 xeric moss samples and 47 mesic moss samples. Organismal composition was largely consistent regardless of the moss/lichen substrate, but significantly varied in the two tested locations, possibly because of the differences in environmental humidity. Xeric mosses containing xerophilic tardigrades and other anhydrobiotic invertebrates tended to have significantly limited biological diversity and prokaryotic population dominated by cyanobacteria, suggesting a selection due to extreme desiccation. A combined metabarcoding approach to identify both eukaryotes and prokaryotes can successfully elucidate community structures within microscopic ecosystems, and this can be a potential approach to study the microecology of meiofauna, including tardigrades. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tardigrades Taxonomy, Biology and Ecology)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
New Records of Antarctic Tardigrada with Comments on Interpopulation Variability of the Paramacrobiotus fairbanksi Schill, Förster, Dandekar and Wolf, 2010
Diversity 2020, 12(3), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12030108 - 20 Mar 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Studies on Antarctic tardigrades started at the beginning of the twentieth century and have progressed very slowly and ca. 75 tardigrade species are known from this region. Paramacrobiotus fairbanksi was described from USA based on genetic markers and later reported from Italy, Poland, [...] Read more.
Studies on Antarctic tardigrades started at the beginning of the twentieth century and have progressed very slowly and ca. 75 tardigrade species are known from this region. Paramacrobiotus fairbanksi was described from USA based on genetic markers and later reported from Italy, Poland, and Spain. The “everything is everywhere” hypothesis suggests that microscopic organisms have specific features which help them to inhabit most of environments and due to this they can be considered cosmopolitan. In the present paper, we report eight tardigrade taxa from Antarctic, including the first report of Pam. fairbanksi from Southern Hemisphere, which could suggest that the “everything is everywhere” hypothesis could be true, at least for some tardigrade species. Moreover, we also genetically and morphologically compare a few different populations of Pam. fairbanksi. The p-distances between COI haplotypes of all sequenced Pam. fairbanksi populations from Antarctica, Italy, Spain, USA and Poland ranged from 0.002% to 0.005%. In the case of COI polymorphism analyses, only one haplotype was observed in populations from Antarctica, USA and Poland, two haplotypes were found in population from Spain, and six haplotypes were observed in population from Italy. We also found some statistically significant morphometrical differences between the populations of Pam. fairbanksi from different regions and designed a new specific primers for Paramacrobiotus taxa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tardigrades Taxonomy, Biology and Ecology)
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Open AccessArticle
Contribution to the Knowledge on Distribution of Tardigrada in Turkey
Diversity 2020, 12(3), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12030095 - 06 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Tardigrades have been occasionally studied in Turkey since 1973. However, species number and distribution remain poorly known. In this study, distribution of Tardigrades in the province of Karabük, which is located in northern coast (West Black Sea Region) of Turkey, was carried out. [...] Read more.
Tardigrades have been occasionally studied in Turkey since 1973. However, species number and distribution remain poorly known. In this study, distribution of Tardigrades in the province of Karabük, which is located in northern coast (West Black Sea Region) of Turkey, was carried out. Two moss samples were collected from the entrance of the Bulak (Mencilis) Cave. A total of 30 specimens and 14 eggs were extracted. Among the specimens; Echiniscus granulatus (Doyère, 1840) and Diaforobiotus islandicus islandicus (Richters, 1904) are new records for Karabük. Furthermore, this study also provides a current checklist of tardigrade species reported from Turkey, indicating their localities, geographic distribution and taxonomical comments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tardigrades Taxonomy, Biology and Ecology)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Deep-Sea Genus Coronarctus (Tardigrada, Arthrotardigrada) in Brazil, South-Western Atlantic Ocean, with the Description of Three New Species
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020063 - 05 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Three new marine tardigrade species from the deep-sea genus Coronarctus are described from the South-Western Atlantic Ocean: Coronarctus dissimilis sp. nov., C. neptunus sp. nov., and C. yurupari sp. nov. These, and C. laubieri Renaud-Mornant, 1987, are the first records of deep-sea tardigrades [...] Read more.
Three new marine tardigrade species from the deep-sea genus Coronarctus are described from the South-Western Atlantic Ocean: Coronarctus dissimilis sp. nov., C. neptunus sp. nov., and C. yurupari sp. nov. These, and C. laubieri Renaud-Mornant, 1987, are the first records of deep-sea tardigrades from this marine region. Specimens of those species were collected from two localities of the Brazilian continental slope (Potiguar and Campos basins) at depths comprised between 150 and 3000 m. Specimens of the three new species have short cephalic appendages and heteromorphic claws, belonging to the, here designated, C. tenellus group of species. Each of the new species can be distinguished from all the other species of the group by their peculiar-shaped secondary clavae and claws. The most relevant morphological characters used for the taxonomy of the genus: shape of cephalic cirri, shape of secondary-clavae, size and number of accessory spines on claws, and shape of seminal receptacles, are discussed and an identification key to all ten known Coronarctus species is provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tardigrades Taxonomy, Biology and Ecology)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Encystment, Excystment, and Cyst Structure in Freshwater Eutardigrade Thulinius ruffoi (Tardigrada, Isohypsibioidea: Doryphoribiidae)
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020062 - 04 Feb 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Encystment in tardigrades is relatively poorly understood. It is seen as an adaptive strategy evolved to withstand unfavorable environmental conditions. This process is an example of the epigenetic, phenotypic plasticity which is closely linked to the molting process. Thulinius ruffoi is a freshwater [...] Read more.
Encystment in tardigrades is relatively poorly understood. It is seen as an adaptive strategy evolved to withstand unfavorable environmental conditions. This process is an example of the epigenetic, phenotypic plasticity which is closely linked to the molting process. Thulinius ruffoi is a freshwater eutardigrade and a representative of one of the biggest eutardigrade orders. This species is able to form cysts. The ovoid-shaped cysts of this species are known from nature, but cysts may also be obtained under laboratory conditions. During encystment, the animals undergo profound morphological changes that result in cyst formation. The animals surround their bodies with cuticles that isolate them from the environment. These cuticles form a cuticular capsule (cyst wall) which is composed of three cuticles. Each cuticle is morphologically distinct. The cuticles that form the cuticular capsule are increasingly simplified. During encystment, only one, unmodified and possibly functional buccal-pharyngeal apparatus was found to be formed. Apart from the feeding apparatus, the encysted specimens also possess a set of claws, and their body is covered with its own cuticle. As a consequence, the encysted animals are fully adapted to the active life after leaving the cyst capsule. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tardigrades Taxonomy, Biology and Ecology)
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