Special Issue "Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Biodiversity and Functionality of Aquatic Ecosystems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2022) | Viewed by 33065

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Kay Van Damme
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Centre for Academic Heritage and Archives & Ghent University Botanical Garden, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
2. Department of Forest Botany, Dendrology and Geobiocoenology (FFWT), Mendel University, Brno, Czech Republic
Interests: taxonomy and systematics; aquatic biodiversity; biological invasions; Cladocera; evolution; biodiversity conservation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Alexey A. Kotov
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of Russian academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
Interests: phylogeography; freshwater biodiversity; taxonomy; quaternary paleontology; Cladocera
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Aquatic ecosystems globally are under increasing pressure from human activities and global warming, either directly or indirectly. Primary research focusing on aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is key to prioritising interventions in order to safeguard life in and around water. In order to stimulate research on the fascinating world that thrives under water, we invite you to submit your best work to our Special Issue, entitled “Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems”.

For this topical collection, we will select high-quality research articles related to life in aquatic ecosystems, including species richness, biology, biogeography, evolution, ecology, systematics, plasticity, genomics, threats, and conservation. Covering both invertebrate and vertebrate groups, we will accept review papers as well as primary research articles that include original data and high-quality analysis. The focus area is primarily, but not restricted to, Eurasia. Data providing a context for the evolutionary history of aquatic biota or the current global richness in a group or papers that indicate the presence and effects of threats are encouraged. This Special Issue aims to provide a basic resource for researchers interested in the current processes and baseline of aquatic diversity as well as long-term trends, forecasting, and potential solutions to challenges.

The two Guest Editors have over 25 years of experience in the field and are primarily interested in the diversity and evolution of waterfleas, a pivotal group in freshwater ecosystems around the world.

Authors may contact the Guest Editors before submitting their manuscript to see if the work would be suitable for this special issue.

Dr. Kay Van Damme
Prof. Dr. Alexey A. Kotov
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. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2200 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

  • aquatic ecosystems
  • biodiversity
  • biogeography
  • evolution
  • invasive species
  • (meta)genomics
  • phenotypic plasticity
  • species richness
  • taxonomy and systematics
  • threats and conservation

Published Papers (21 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems: Lessons from a Special Issue
Water 2022, 14(18), 2904; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14182904 - 17 Sep 2022
Viewed by 708
Abstract
Aquatic ecosystems around the world are under increasing pressure from human activities and global warming, either directly or indirectly [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Article
Adaptation Potential of Three Psychrotolerant Aquatic Bacteria in the Pan-Okhotsk Region
Water 2022, 14(7), 1107; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14071107 - 30 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1076
Abstract
The Pan-Okhotsk region, which is part of the western North Pacific Ocean, is famous for its active volcanoes, which are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire and that enrich the surrounding waters with essential chemicals. Therefore, this region, including the Sea of [...] Read more.
The Pan-Okhotsk region, which is part of the western North Pacific Ocean, is famous for its active volcanoes, which are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire and that enrich the surrounding waters with essential chemicals. Therefore, this region, including the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan, is characterized by rich biota. Bacterioplankton plays a significant part in biological communities and is an indicator of ecosystem function. Analyzing the adaptability of three representatives of the microbiota of the Pan-Okhotsk region was the goal of our investigation. Marinomonas primoryensis KMM3633T (MP), Yersinia ruckeri KMM821 (YR), and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis 598 (YP) from the G.B. Elyakov Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry were studied by means of genomic and bioinformatic methods. The list of membrane translocator proteins, metabolism pathways, and cold shock and antifreeze proteins that were revealed in the genome of MP characterized this bacterium as being adaptable to free living in marine conditions, even at winter temperatures. The genomic potential of YR and YP makes not only survival in the environment of the Pan-Okhotsk region but also pathogenesis in eukaryotic organisms possible. The data obtained will serve as a basis for further ecosystem monitoring with the help of microbiota research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems)
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Article
Multiple Recent Colonizations of the Australian Region by the Chydorus sphaericus Group (Crustacea: Cladocera)
Water 2022, 14(4), 594; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14040594 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1786
Abstract
Biotic introductions are an ongoing disruption for many ecosystems. For passively dispersed freshwater zooplankton, transcontinental introductions have been common but are poorly studied in the southern hemisphere. Here we assess the hypothesis of recent introduction for populations of the Chydorus sphaericus group (Crustacea: [...] Read more.
Biotic introductions are an ongoing disruption for many ecosystems. For passively dispersed freshwater zooplankton, transcontinental introductions have been common but are poorly studied in the southern hemisphere. Here we assess the hypothesis of recent introduction for populations of the Chydorus sphaericus group (Crustacea: Cladocera) in Australia. We analyzed 254 sequences (63 original sequences) from the cytochrome oxidase I region of mitochondrial DNA of Chydorus sp., which included global representation. Three Australian populations were connected with separate clades in the northern hemisphere, suggesting multiple colonization events for Australia. The timescale of the divergences was consistent with recent (Quaternary) dispersal. As Australian populations are exposed to migrating birds from the northern hemisphere, both avian and anthropogenic sources are candidates for dispersal vectors. We concluded that recent cross-hemisphere dispersal in the Chydorus sphaericus group is more common than previously believed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems)
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Article
New Sets of Primers for DNA Identification of Non-Indigenous Fish Species in the Volga-Kama Basin (European Russia)
Water 2022, 14(3), 437; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14030437 - 01 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2252
Abstract
Adequate species’ identification is critical for the detection and monitoring of biological invasions. In this study, we proposed and assessed the efficiency of newly created primer sets for the genetic identification of non-indigenous species (NIS) of fishes in the Volga basin based on: [...] Read more.
Adequate species’ identification is critical for the detection and monitoring of biological invasions. In this study, we proposed and assessed the efficiency of newly created primer sets for the genetic identification of non-indigenous species (NIS) of fishes in the Volga basin based on: (a) a “long” fragment of cytochrome c oxidase subunit one of the mitochondrial gene (COI) (0.7 kb), used in “classical” DNA barcoding; (b) a short 3’-fragment (0.3 kb) of COI, suitable for use in high-throughput sequencing systems (i.e., for dietary analysis); (c) fragment of 16S mitochondrial rRNA, including those designed to fill the library of reference sequences for work on the metabarcoding of communities and eDNA studies; (d) a fragment of 18S nuclear rRNA, including two hypervariable regions V1-V2, valuable for animal phylogeny. All four sets of primers demonstrated a high amplification efficiency and high specificity for freshwater fish. Also, we proposed the protocols for the cost-effective isolation of total DNA and purification of the PCR product without the use of commercial kits. We propose an algorithm to carry out extremely cheap studies on the assessment of biological diversity without expensive equipment. We also present original data on the genetic polymorphism of all mass NIS fish species in the Volga-Kama region. The high efficiency of DNA identification based on our primers is shown relative to the traditional monitoring of biological invasions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems)
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Article
Spatial–Temporal Distribution of the Euphausiid Euphausia pacifica and Fish Schools in the Coastal Southwestern East Sea
Water 2022, 14(2), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020203 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 822
Abstract
The spatial and temporal distribution of euphausiid krill Euphausia pacifica (Crustacea: Malacostraca) and of fish schools were observed along acoustic transects at the southwestern East Sea coastline of Korea. Two-frequency (38- and 120-kHz) acoustic backscatter data were examined from April to July 2010. [...] Read more.
The spatial and temporal distribution of euphausiid krill Euphausia pacifica (Crustacea: Malacostraca) and of fish schools were observed along acoustic transects at the southwestern East Sea coastline of Korea. Two-frequency (38- and 120-kHz) acoustic backscatter data were examined from April to July 2010. A decibel identification window (SV 120–38) and school detection algorithm identified Euphausia pacifica and fish schools in the acoustic backscatter, respectively. The E. pacifica was regularly observed in middle of southern waters, where phytoplankton was abundant during spring, and irregularly during summer, when phytoplankton was homogeneously distributed. Using the distorted-wave Born approximation model, the acoustic density we calculated of E. pacifica was higher in spring (April: 75.9 mg m−2, May: 85.3 mg m−2) than in summer (June: 71.4 mg m−2, July: 54.1 mg m−2). The fish schools observed by the acoustic data tended to significantly increase from spring to summer. Although major fish species, such as anchovies and herring, fed on copepods and euphausiids in the survey area, the temporal and spatial distribution of E. pacifica was weakly correlated with the distribution of the fish schools. These findings aid in our understanding of the temporal and spatial distribution dynamics of euphausiids and fish schools in the food web of the coastal southwestern East Sea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems)
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Article
Diversity of Silica-Scaled Chrysophytes in Central Vietnam
Water 2022, 14(1), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010065 - 30 Dec 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 844
Abstract
This paper focuses on the flora of scale-bearing chrysophytes from eight provinces located in the central part of Vietnam. Khanh Hoa, Phu Yen, Binh Dinh, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Tri, and Quang Binh provinces are located in the coastal area of Vietnam. Lam [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on the flora of scale-bearing chrysophytes from eight provinces located in the central part of Vietnam. Khanh Hoa, Phu Yen, Binh Dinh, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Tri, and Quang Binh provinces are located in the coastal area of Vietnam. Lam Dong and Dak Lak provinces represent mountain territories with an elevation of 500–2000 metres above sea level. In total, 212 water bodies of different origins were studied. Samples were obtained from swamp areas, lakes, rivers, reservoirs, ponds, and small temporary water bodies. In total, 76 taxa were identified by electron microscopic observations of samples. A total of 54 taxa were found in the mountainous provinces, while 73 were found in the coastal provinces. Of these, 51 species are common for both areas. The most diverse was the genus Mallomonas with 66 species, varieties, and forms; followed by Synura with 7 taxa; Chrysosphaerella with 2; and Spiniferomonas with 1. Seven taxa of the genus Mallomonas were not identified to the lower rank. All these unidentified specimens may potentially represent new species for science. Ten taxa are reported for the first time in Vietnam. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems)
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Article
Three New Species of Placoneis Mereschkowsky (Bacillariophyceae: Cymbellales) with Comments on Cryptic Diversity in the P. elginensis—Group
Water 2021, 13(22), 3276; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223276 - 18 Nov 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1186
Abstract
Using genetic markers 18S V4 rDNA and rbcL and morphological investigation of the diatom genus Placoneis, we described three new species. The new species, Placoneis baikaloelginensis sp. nov., Placoneis subundulata sp. nov., Placoneis neohambergii sp. nov. were isolated from Russia (Lake Baikal) [...] Read more.
Using genetic markers 18S V4 rDNA and rbcL and morphological investigation of the diatom genus Placoneis, we described three new species. The new species, Placoneis baikaloelginensis sp. nov., Placoneis subundulata sp. nov., Placoneis neohambergii sp. nov. were isolated from Russia (Lake Baikal) and Vietnam (waterbodies of Cát Tiên National Park (Đồng Nai Province) and Khánh Hòa Province). We examine relationships within the Cymbellales and show that the genera Placoneis, Paraplaconeis and Geissleria are phylogenetically independent. We discuss the importance of careful identification of strains used for phylogenetic analysis and we show the history of identification of several different Placoneis elginensis strains. After careful identification of Placoneis elginensis vouchers, we found that we have a few independent species. The question of cryptic or pseudocryptic species in this context is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems)
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Article
The Holocene History of the Diatom Community in a Small Water Body on Shemya Island (Aleutian Arc, USA): The Influence of Global and Local Environmental Changes
Water 2021, 13(21), 3134; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213134 - 07 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1294
Abstract
A diatom analysis of a peat deposit from Shemya Island (Aleutian Arc, USA) is performed, and the dynamics of the diatom community are described. According to the radiocarbon dating, the formation of the deposit began 9300 cal. years BP. Principal component analysis made [...] Read more.
A diatom analysis of a peat deposit from Shemya Island (Aleutian Arc, USA) is performed, and the dynamics of the diatom community are described. According to the radiocarbon dating, the formation of the deposit began 9300 cal. years BP. Principal component analysis made it possible to relate the dynamics of the diatom community to certain environmental conditions and the factors that influenced the coastal ecosystems during its formation. The following factors (predictors) were considered: the influence of age, zoo- and anthropogenic effects, and changes in climatic conditions. Sea level change was the main driver of the diatom community in the studied water body having a continuous direct and indirect influence on the studied small water body, i.e., by bird colony formation and more humid and coastal conditions. Since 3000–2000 cal. years BP, the anthropogenic factor (hunting depression of the bird colony) also became significant. During the whole water body lifetime and following peat formation, the diatom community was influenced by groups of factors: global factors (e.g., sea level rise) caused gradual change of local factors, which resulted in smooth shifts in community. In contrast, local factor influence (bird colony rise and fall due to human activity) caused abrupt and transient shifts. We can hypothesize that the relatively stable global environmental conditions in the Late Holocene were an auspicious background to see abrupt changes due to influence of the zoogenic and anthropogenic factors. We believe that further works on the material from other islands will make it possible to form a general picture of changes in the diatom communities in the Holocene and interpret it in connection with climatic changes in the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems)
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Article
Genetic Signature of a Past Anthropogenic Transportation of a Far-Eastern Endemic Cladoceran (Crustacea: Daphniidae) to the Volga Basin
Water 2021, 13(18), 2589; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13182589 - 19 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1949
Abstract
Most studies of water flea (Crustacea: Cladocera) invasions are concentrated on a few taxa with an obvious harmful influence on native ecosystems, while our knowledge of cases of anthropogenic introduction with not-so-obvious consequences, in most other taxa, is poor. We found in the [...] Read more.
Most studies of water flea (Crustacea: Cladocera) invasions are concentrated on a few taxa with an obvious harmful influence on native ecosystems, while our knowledge of cases of anthropogenic introduction with not-so-obvious consequences, in most other taxa, is poor. We found in the Volga basin (European Russia) a population that contained D. curvirostris Eylmann, 1887 and its hybrids with D. korovchinskyi Kotov et al. 2021. The latter taxon is endemic to the Far East and it has appeared in the Volga basin as a result of past human-mediated transportation. The population from Bakhilovo is represented by two strongly different groups of the COI haplotypes belonging, respectively, to (1) D. curvirostris and (2) D. korovchinskyi. We detected SNPs in the position 60 of the HSP-90ex3 locus and in the 195 positions of 28S rRNA locus, which differentiate two species. Part of the specimens from Bakhilovo belonged to D. curvirostris s.str., demonstrating homozygote SNP sites in two loci, but two specimens had heterozygote SNP sites in both nuclear loci. They belong to D. curvirostris x korovchinskyi hybrids. Most morphological traits of the females were characteristic of D. curvirostris. We found in some specimens some characters which could suggest their hybrid status, but this opinion is a hypothesis only, which needs to be checked on more ample material. The exact hybrid system in this pond is not known. Moreover, we have no evidences of sexual reproduction of the hybrids; they could reproduce by parthenogenesis only as is known for hybrids of the D. pulex group, or continuously crossing with parents like some members of D. longispina group. However, poor parental D. korovchinskyi was not detected in the pond either morphologically or genetically. The exact vector of its past anthropogenic transportation to the Volga is unknown. Most probably, just ephippia of D. korovchinskyi were translocated replaced from the Khabarovsk Territory to the Samara Area somehow. This is the first report on hybrids within the D. curvirostris species complex. Here, we demonstrated that accurate studies with deep resolution increase the number of revealed cryptic invasions. We expect that the number of revealed cases of cryptic interspecific invasions will grow rapidly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems)
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Article
Diversity, Distribution, and Habitat Occurrence of the Diaptomid Copepods (Crustacea: Copepoda: Diaptomidae) in Freshwater Ecosystems of Thailand
Water 2021, 13(17), 2381; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13172381 - 30 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1622
Abstract
The diversity, distribution, and checklist of diaptomid copepods from various freshwater ecosystems throughout Thailand are presented, based on data from our biodiversity projects during 1993–2019 and literature reviews. Thailand has one of the most diversified diaptomid fauna in the world, with 42 species [...] Read more.
The diversity, distribution, and checklist of diaptomid copepods from various freshwater ecosystems throughout Thailand are presented, based on data from our biodiversity projects during 1993–2019 and literature reviews. Thailand has one of the most diversified diaptomid fauna in the world, with 42 species identified from 2150 localities (4962 samples). Mongolodiaptomus has the highest species richness with ten species, followed by Tropodiaptomus with seven species. Among these, eight taxa (Arctodiaptomus sp., Mongolodiaptomus pectinidactylus, Neodiaptomus meggitti, Tropodiaptomus hebereri, T. lanaonus, T. oryzanus, T. ruttneri, and Paradiaptomus greeni) are new to the fauna of Thailand. The rare P. greeni, which predominantly occurs in Africa, is also a new record for Southeast Asia. The most frequently encountered species were Mongolodiaptomus botulifer, Phyllodiaptomus praedictus, M. calcarus, M. dumonti, M. malaindosinensis, Vietodiaptomus blachei, Phyllodiaptomus christineae, Eodiaptomus sanoamuangae, Neodiaptomus yangtsekiangensis, E. draconisignivomi, T. vicinus, and Heliodiaptomus elegans. Twelve species appear to be endemic to Thailand, and eight species occur only in the countries belonging to the lower Mekong River Basin (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam). The uniqueness of the Thai diaptomids is a high degree of co-occurrence of four to seven species in the same localities. Comments on the taxonomic status of the species recorded are provided. In addition, the taxonomic validity of Mongolodiaptomus malaindosinensis is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems)
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Article
Unexpected Diversity of Feeding Modes among Chisel-Mouthed Ethiopian Labeobarbus (Cyprinidae)
Water 2021, 13(17), 2345; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13172345 - 26 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1369
Abstract
Trophic resource partitioning is one of the main drivers of adaptive radiation. The evolutionary diversification of large African barbs, the genus Labeobarbus, seems to be related to mouth polymorphism. The chisel-mouthed or scraping phenotype has repeatedly evolved within Labeobarbus. At least [...] Read more.
Trophic resource partitioning is one of the main drivers of adaptive radiation. The evolutionary diversification of large African barbs, the genus Labeobarbus, seems to be related to mouth polymorphism. The chisel-mouthed or scraping phenotype has repeatedly evolved within Labeobarbus. At least five ecomorphs with a scraping mouth morphology were detected in the waters of the Ethiopian Highlands and can be provisionally classified into two groups: (i) “Varicorhinus”-like, and (ii) “Smiling”-like. Previously, all Labeobarbus with a scraping-mouth morphology were considered to be periphyton feeders. Using data on morphology, diet and stable isotope ratios (C and N), we addressed the question: does a scraping-mouth morphology predict feeding on periphyton? Our study revealed that five scraper ecomorphs exhibited three main feeding modes: (i) periphyton-eating, (ii) herbivory–detritivory, and (iii) insectivory. Two cases of the parallel divergence of sympatric ecomorphs with distinct feeding modes (herbivory–detritivory vs. insectivory) were revealed in two geographically isolated basins. A significant difference in δ15N values was detected among sympatric scraper ecomorphs. A periphytonophagous scraper was rich in δ15N values that are comparable with those in sympatric piscivorous fish. This data sheds light on the possibility of the utilization of periphyton as a protein-rich food by fishes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems)
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Article
Crustaceans in the Meiobenthos and Plankton of the Thermokarst Lakes and Polygonal Ponds in the Lena River Delta (Northern Yakutia, Russia): Species Composition and Factors Regulating Assemblage Structures
Water 2021, 13(14), 1936; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13141936 - 13 Jul 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1917
Abstract
Information about invertebrates in the low-flow water bodies of northeastern Siberia is far from complete. In particular, little is known about crustaceans—one of the main components of meiobenthic and zooplanktonic communities. An open question is which environmental factors significantly affect the crustaceans in [...] Read more.
Information about invertebrates in the low-flow water bodies of northeastern Siberia is far from complete. In particular, little is known about crustaceans—one of the main components of meiobenthic and zooplanktonic communities. An open question is which environmental factors significantly affect the crustaceans in different taxonomic and ecological groups? Based on the data collected on the zooplankton and meiobenthos in the tundra ponds in the southern part of the Lena River Delta, analysis of the crustacean taxocene structure was performed. In total, 59 crustacean species and taxa were found. Five of these are new for the region. The species richness was higher in the large thermokarst lakes than in the small water bodies, and the abundance was higher in small polygonal ponds than in the other water bodies. Variations in the Cladocera assemblages were mainly affected by the annual differences in the water temperature; non-harpacticoid copepods were generally determined by hydrochemical factors; and for Harpacticoida, the macrophyte composition was significant. Three types of the crustacean assemblages characteristic of different stages of tundra lake development were distinguished. The hypothesis that the formation of crustacean taxocenes in the Lena River Delta is mainly determined by two types of ecological filters, temperature and local features of the water body, was confirmed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems)
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Article
Unsupervised Machine Learning and Data Mining Procedures Reveal Short Term, Climate Driven Patterns Linking Physico-Chemical Features and Zooplankton Diversity in Small Ponds
Water 2021, 13(9), 1217; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13091217 - 28 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1393
Abstract
Machine Learning (ML) is an increasingly accessible discipline in computer science that develops dynamic algorithms capable of data-driven decisions and whose use in ecology is growing. Fuzzy sets are suitable descriptors of ecological communities as compared to other standard algorithms and allow the [...] Read more.
Machine Learning (ML) is an increasingly accessible discipline in computer science that develops dynamic algorithms capable of data-driven decisions and whose use in ecology is growing. Fuzzy sets are suitable descriptors of ecological communities as compared to other standard algorithms and allow the description of decisions that include elements of uncertainty and vagueness. However, fuzzy sets are scarcely applied in ecology. In this work, an unsupervised machine learning algorithm, fuzzy c-means and association rules mining were applied to assess the factors influencing the assemblage composition and distribution patterns of 12 zooplankton taxa in 24 shallow ponds in northern Italy. The fuzzy c-means algorithm was implemented to classify the ponds in terms of taxa they support, and to identify the influence of chemical and physical environmental features on the assemblage patterns. Data retrieved during 2014 and 2015 were compared, taking into account that 2014 late spring and summer air temperatures were much lower than historical records, whereas 2015 mean monthly air temperatures were much warmer than historical averages. In both years, fuzzy c-means show a strong clustering of ponds in two groups, contrasting sites characterized by different physico-chemical and biological features. Climatic anomalies, affecting the temperature regime, together with the main water supply to shallow ponds (e.g., surface runoff vs. groundwater) represent disturbance factors producing large interannual differences in the chemistry, biology and short-term dynamic of small aquatic ecosystems. Unsupervised machine learning algorithms and fuzzy sets may help in catching such apparently erratic differences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems)
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Article
Habitat-Diversity Relations between Sessile Macrobenthos and Benthic Copepods in the Rocky Shores of a Marine Protected Area
Water 2021, 13(8), 1020; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13081020 - 08 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1444
Abstract
In rocky shore systems, sessile macrobenthic assemblages may act as “ecosystem engineers” for many smaller benthic organisms. Thus, the influence of macrobenthic coverage on the diversity and assemblage structure of the harpacticoid copepod fauna was investigated in the rocky shores of a Marine [...] Read more.
In rocky shore systems, sessile macrobenthic assemblages may act as “ecosystem engineers” for many smaller benthic organisms. Thus, the influence of macrobenthic coverage on the diversity and assemblage structure of the harpacticoid copepod fauna was investigated in the rocky shores of a Marine Protect Area (MPA) in the Ligurian Sea (NW, Mediterranean Sea). Two sampling sites were investigated in two seasons at three different depths on both sub-vertical and inclined reefs. A total of 61 species of copepods mainly represented by Miraciidae, Laophontidae, Longipediidae and Thalestridae were found. The complex micro-topography of these substrata provided a wide variety of niches for many species with different lifestyles that suggests the important role of rocky shores to ensure the functioning of coastal ecosystems. The harpacticoid assemblage structure seemed mainly influenced by season and depth. The temporal spread observed is likely one of the underlying mechanisms of niche segregation that allows many species to co-occur in this specific environment along with a subordinate spatial segregation corresponding to the depth gradient. The results seem to support the hypothesis that the different species composition of the “ecosystem engineer” (and consequently its structure changes) are relevant in structuring the copepod assemblages. The comparison with previous data on general meiofauna underlines that higher surrogacy of the taxonomic identification could be used to study rocky shore communities, but the rich diversity that these systems host can only be understood at the lower taxonomic levels. The same holds for future evaluations of impact of environmental changes (including MPA regulations) on meiofaunal assemblages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems)
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Article
The First Insight into the Patterns of Size and Shape Variation of a Microcerberid Isopod
Water 2021, 13(4), 515; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040515 - 17 Feb 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1499
Abstract
Cryptic species are a biological phenomenon only recently recognized due to progress in molecular studies. They pose a significant challenge to conventional taxonomic work since these species manifest low morphological differences, but considerable genetic disparity. New taxonomic methods are in development but have [...] Read more.
Cryptic species are a biological phenomenon only recently recognized due to progress in molecular studies. They pose a significant challenge to conventional taxonomic work since these species manifest low morphological differences, but considerable genetic disparity. New taxonomic methods are in development but have yet to be tested for many animal groups. Isopods belonging to the suborder Microcerberidea are one such group. The Asian microcerberid isopod, Coxicerberus fukudai (Ito, 1974), is a major component of marine interstitial fauna with suspected cryptic species inhabiting Japan and Korea. We chose six Korean populations with high molecular interpopulations divergence and applied 2D landmark-based geometric morphometrics to cephalic sensilla, pleonal points, and male pleopod II. This quantitative approach allowed us to study interpopulation size and shape variations, morphospace structure, and whether the morphological pattern mirrored the genetic species. We determined that a high degree of interpopulation size variation significantly influences shape changes. Once we removed the allometric effect, the size-corrected male pleopod II shape variations yielded a new species, C. jangsaensis sp. nov. At the same time, we were able to resolve the C. fukadai species complex. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems)
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Article
Diversity and Structure of Pelagic Zooplankton (Crustacea, Rotifera) in NE Poland
Water 2021, 13(4), 456; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040456 - 10 Feb 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1529
Abstract
This study presents the diversity and structure of pelagic zooplankton in north-eastern Poland. The research was conducted in 47 lakes with different trophic conditions in the middle of summer. Samples were collected close to the deepest part of the lakes to avoid the [...] Read more.
This study presents the diversity and structure of pelagic zooplankton in north-eastern Poland. The research was conducted in 47 lakes with different trophic conditions in the middle of summer. Samples were collected close to the deepest part of the lakes to avoid the diverse benthic and littoral zones. We found 119 zooplankton species of which 32 were Cladocera, 16 were Cyclopoida, 4 were Calanoida, and 67 were Rotifera. We determined which species occurred most frequently in the region, as well as the species that were characteristic of different trophic conditions. We also recorded the presence of eight cold-adapted species which some of them are considered as glacial relicts (e.g., Eurytemora lacustris, Heterocope appendiculata, Cyclops lacustris). Our research revealed potential glacial refugia for planktonic species in 14 lakes of NE Poland. Our study suggests that the presence of stenotherm species may be an excellent indicator of the ecological status of deep lakes and could be considered in lake monitoring programs. Furthermore, we did not find Bythotrephes longimanus which has been reported from Poland. Instead, we found that B. brevimanus was the most common representative of the genus in the study area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems)
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Article
A Review of Recently Discovered Remains of the Pleistocene Branchiopods (Anostraca, Notostraca) from NE Siberia and Arctic Canada
Water 2021, 13(3), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030280 - 24 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1544
Abstract
In this study, we examine, identify, and discuss fossil remains of large branchiopod crustaceans collected from six sites across the Beringian region (north-eastern Asia and north-western North America). Eggs and mandibles from Anostraca and Notostraca, as well as a notostracan telson fragment and [...] Read more.
In this study, we examine, identify, and discuss fossil remains of large branchiopod crustaceans collected from six sites across the Beringian region (north-eastern Asia and north-western North America). Eggs and mandibles from Anostraca and Notostraca, as well as a notostracan telson fragment and a possible notostracan second maxilla, were collected from both paleosediment samples and also from large mammal hair. The remains of large branchiopods and other species that are limited to seasonally astatic aquatic habitats (temporary wetlands) could be useful indicator organisms of paleoecological conditions. Different recent large branchiopod species have very different ecological preferences, with each species limited to specific geochemical component tolerance ranges regarding various salinity, cation, and gypsum concentrations. Our purpose is to bring the potential usefulness of these common fossil organisms to the attention of paleoecologists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems)
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Article
Integrated Taxonomy for Halistemma Species from the Northwest Pacific Ocean
Water 2020, 12(11), 3283; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113283 - 22 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1776
Abstract
During a survey of the siphonophore community in the Kuroshio Extension, Northwest Pacific Ocean, a new Halistemma Huxley, 1859 was described using integrated molecular and morphological approaches. The Halistemma isabu sp. nov. nectophore is most closely related morphologically to H. striata Totton, [...] Read more.
During a survey of the siphonophore community in the Kuroshio Extension, Northwest Pacific Ocean, a new Halistemma Huxley, 1859 was described using integrated molecular and morphological approaches. The Halistemma isabu sp. nov. nectophore is most closely related morphologically to H. striata Totton, 1965 and H. maculatum Pugh and Baxter, 2014. These species can be differentiated by their nectosac shape, thrust block size, ectodermal cell patches and ridge patterns. The new species’ bracts are divided into two distinct types according to the number of teeth. Type A bracts are more closely related to ventral bracts in H. foliacea (Quoy and Gaimard, 1833) while Type B bracts are more similar to H. rubrum (Vogt, 1852). Each type differs, however, from the proximal end shape, distal process and bracteal canal. Both of the new species’ morphological type and phylogenetic position within the genus Halistemma are supported by phylogenetic analysis of concatenated DNA dataset (mtCOI, 16S rRNA and 18S rRNA). Integrated morphological and molecular approaches to the taxonomy of siphonophores showed a clear delimitation of the new species from the congeners. Halistemma isabu sp. nov. is distributed with the congeners H. rubrum, H. cupulifera, H. foliacea and H. striata in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems)
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Article
Pleistocene Branchiopods (Cladocera, Anostraca) from Transbaikalian Siberia Demonstrate Morphological and Ecological Stasis
Water 2020, 12(11), 3063; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113063 - 01 Nov 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1564
Abstract
Pleistocene water bodies have been studied using the paleolimnological approach, which traces environmental changes using particular subfossils as ecological proxies, rather than analysis of the paleocommunities themselves. Within a given taphocoenosis, the presence and quantity of animals are related to environmental conditions rather [...] Read more.
Pleistocene water bodies have been studied using the paleolimnological approach, which traces environmental changes using particular subfossils as ecological proxies, rather than analysis of the paleocommunities themselves. Within a given taphocoenosis, the presence and quantity of animals are related to environmental conditions rather than to community types where relationships between taxa are stabilized during their long-term co-occurrence and are (at least partially) more important than the particular environmental conditions at the time of deposition, which may have experienced significant seasonal and inter-seasonal variations. Here, we analyze Branchiopoda (Crustacea) of two paleolocalities in the Transbaikalian Region of Russia: Urtuy (MIS3) and Nozhiy (older than 1.5 million years). Cladocerans Daphnia (Ctenodaphnia) magna, D. (C.) similis, D. (Daphnia) pulex, Ceriodaphnia pulchella-reticulata, C. laticaudata, Simocephalus sp., Moina cf. brachiata, M. macropopa clade, Chydorus cf. sphaericus, Capmtocercus sp. and anostracans Branchinecta cf. paludosa, and Streptocephalus (Streptocephalus) sp. are found in two localities. With the exception of the last taxon, which now occurs in the southern Holarctic, all other taxa inhabit the Transbaikalian Region. Within Eurasia, the steppe zone has the greatest diversity of large branchiopods and a high diversity of some cladocerans, such as subgenus Daphnia (Ctenodaphnia) and Moina sp. Here we demonstrated that the branchiopod community in shallow steppe water bodies has been unchanged since at least the Pleistocene, demonstrating long-term morphological and ecological stasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems)
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Review

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Review
Non-Indigenous Cladocera (Crustacea: Branchiopoda): From a Few Notorious Cases to a Potential Global Faunal Mixing in Aquatic Ecosystems
Water 2022, 14(18), 2806; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14182806 - 09 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1113
Abstract
Non-indigenous species may pose a threat to native ecosystems worldwide. In aquatic environments, invasives may have a negative impact on human food security and livelihoods. Several water fleas (Crustacea: Branchiopoda: Cladocera) are notorious invasive alien species influencing large freshwater lake systems and even [...] Read more.
Non-indigenous species may pose a threat to native ecosystems worldwide. In aquatic environments, invasives may have a negative impact on human food security and livelihoods. Several water fleas (Crustacea: Branchiopoda: Cladocera) are notorious invasive alien species influencing large freshwater lake systems and even inland seas. In the current review, we discuss the state of knowledge regarding non-indigenous species in the Cladocera and their invasiveness potential in different continents. We argue that the potential impacts and occurrence of cladoceran exotics may be higher than generally assumed. We critically review 79 cases from literature sources, involving 61 cladoceran taxa where records outside of their natural distribution ranges were previously interpreted as invasions. We assessed the probability of natural range expansions versus human-mediated introductions and we discuss several major corridors of invasion. We estimate human-mediated transportations for at least 43 taxa (out of 61; ca 70%), while other cases can be seen as natural expansions of their distribution ranges (not necessarily/not likely human-mediated) and/or taxonomical confusion. We confirm non-indigenous presence in recipient regions for at least 41 cladoceran taxa, of which several are true invasives (i.e., with negative impacts on native ecosystems). The majority are zooplankters with effects on pelagic freshwater ecosystems, yet we also report on introductions by littoral taxa. We argue that cryptic introductions of cladocerans are taking place on a global scale, yet they remain under the radar. We highlight several striking case studies, such as the Ponto–Caspian onychopods that have invaded the Baltic Sea and the Laurentian Great Lakes, and several clones of the anomopod genera Daphnia and Bosmina that have successfully colonised new environments, causing equilibria shifts in native aquatic worlds. At the same time, we dispel some myths about taxa that were misconstrued as invasive in certain localities. Based on our review, the first of its kind for freshwater zooplankton, future environmental monitoring tools including molecular techniques and detailed surveys with rigorous and critical taxonomical assessments may help to provide a clearer picture on the extent of invasiveness of cladocerans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems)
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Review
Fresh- and Brackish-Water Cold-Tolerant Species of Southern Europe: Migrants from the Paratethys That Colonized the Arctic
Water 2021, 13(9), 1161; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13091161 - 22 Apr 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1809
Abstract
Analysis of zoogeographic, paleogeographic, and molecular data has shown that the ancestors of many fresh- and brackish-water cold-tolerant hydrobionts of the Mediterranean region and the Danube River basin likely originated in East Asia or Central Asia. The fish genera Gasterosteus, Hucho, [...] Read more.
Analysis of zoogeographic, paleogeographic, and molecular data has shown that the ancestors of many fresh- and brackish-water cold-tolerant hydrobionts of the Mediterranean region and the Danube River basin likely originated in East Asia or Central Asia. The fish genera Gasterosteus, Hucho, Oxynoemacheilus, Salmo, and Schizothorax are examples of these groups among vertebrates, and the genera Magnibursatus (Trematoda), Margaritifera, Potomida, Microcondylaea, Leguminaia, Unio (Mollusca), and Phagocata (Planaria), among invertebrates. There is reason to believe that their ancestors spread to Europe through the Paratethys (or the proto-Paratethys basin that preceded it), where intense speciation took place and new genera of aquatic organisms arose. Some of the forms that originated in the Paratethys colonized the Mediterranean, and overwhelming data indicate that representatives of the genera Salmo, Caspiomyzon, and Ecrobia migrated during the Miocene from the region of the modern Caspian through the Araks Strait, which existed at that time. From the Ponto-Caspian and the Mediterranean regions, noble salmon, three-spined stickleback, European pearl mussel, seals, and mollusks of the genus Ecrobia spread to the Atlantic Ocean and colonized the Subarctic and Arctic regions of Europe and North America. Our study indicates that the area of the former Paratethys retains its significance as a center of origin of new species and genera and that it has been the starting point of migration “corridors” up to the present time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems)
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