ISSN / EISSN : 1424-2818 / 1424-2818
Published by: MDPI (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 2,220
Latest articles in this journal
Diversity, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14050393
This is the first report of the early development for the endemic Krbava minnow Delminichthys krbavensis from a karstic field in Croatia, and the first report of any species of the genus Delminichthys. The description is based on basic morphometric measures and meristic counts during a 48-day observation of embryos and larvae acquired from successful spawning and rearing in an aquarium. The mean total length of larvae at the time of hatching was 3.12 mm. Mouth opening and independent feeding and intestinal function were observed after day 11 post-hatching (PH) at which time the yolk sac was completely absorbed in all individuals. Flexion of the urostyle began after day 18 PH and was completed by day 23 PH. Pectoral fins developed on day 7 PH, pelvic fins begin to develop by day 44 PH and the formation of caudal, dorsal and anal fin was complete by day 48 PH, when individuals presented the full set of soft rays. Understanding its early development is particularly valuable in assessing the environmental impacts on this endangered species and is essential for its effective monitoring and conservation.
Diversity, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14050392
The Roseobacter clade represents one of the most abundant groups of marine bacteria and plays important biogeochemical roles in marine environments. Roseobacter genomes commonly contain a conserved gene transfer agent (GTA) gene cluster. A major capsid protein-encoding GTA (g5) has been used as a genetic marker to estimate the diversity of marine roseobacters. Here, the diversity of roseobacters in the coastal seawater of Arctic Kongsfjorden and Antarctic Maxwell Bay was investigated based on g5 gene clone library analysis. Four g5 gene clone libraries were constructed from microbial assemblages representing Arctic and Antarctic regions. The genus Phaeobacter was exclusively detected in Arctic seawater, whereas the genera Jannaschia, Litoreibacter and Pacificibacter were only observed in Antarctic seawater. More diverse genera within the Roseobacter clade were observed in Antarctic clones than in Arctic clones. The genera Sulfitobacter, Loktanella and Yoonia were dominant (higher than 10% of total clones) in both Arctic and Antarctic samples, implying their roles in polar marine environments. The results not only indicated a bipolar or even global distribution of roseobacters in marine environments but also showed their endemic distribution either in the Arctic or Antarctic. Endemic phylotypes were more frequently observed in polar regions than cosmopolitan phylotypes. In addition, endemic phylotypes were more abundant in Arctic samples (84.8% of Arctic sequences) than in Antarctic samples (54.3% of Antarctic sequences).
Diversity, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14050391
Bletilla striata is a terrestrial orchid with high ornamental and medicinal values that is widely interplanted in bamboo forests. However, little is known about the effects of bamboo forest type and density on the growth of B. striata and its symbiotic relationship with root endophytic fungi. In this study, the growth state of B. striata, the community composition and diversity of its root endophytic fungal, and the fungal nutritional function were investigated in Phyllostachys edulis, P. iridescens and P. glauca forests with three densities. We found that the type and density of the bamboo forest had significant effects on the growth of B. striata, with the biomass, leaf width, root quantity and width being the highest in the low-density of the P. edulis forest. The community composition and abundance of root endophytic fungi in B. striata varied among different bamboo forests and densities, with P. edulis and P. iridescens forests dominated by Basidiomycota and Serendipita, while P. glauca prevailed by Ascomycota and Dactylonectria. The trophic modes of root endophytic fungi were also affected by forest types and densities. The abundance of symbiotroph fungi was the highest in P. edulis and P. iridescens forests and greatly varied with density gradient, and saprotrophic fungi comprised the highest proportion in the Ph. glauca forest. These results provide basic data for further research and the configuration between bamboo species and terrestrial orchids.
Diversity, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14050390
One hundred new COI sequences of nesting female Kemp’s ridley turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) were obtained in the Rancho Nuevo Sanctuary (RNS). The COI sequences were analyzed and contrasted with others retrieved from BOLD and GenBank with the aim of investigating genetic variability, genetic divergence, and haplotypes of the nesting female population at RNS. Four new COI haplotypes for Kemp’s ridley were described; two are redundant with (LK-RN01) 97 and (LK-COI-01) 17 specimens belonging to the RNS and other localities, respectively. Nucleotide (0.00052) and haplotype (0.303) diversity showed low and conserved COI values The fixation index (FST) between these main redundant haplotypes showed a high degree of differentiation with ~1. Genetic divergence demonstrated clearly two different Kemp’s ridley nesting populations, one from RNS and a second outside Mexico. Phylogenetic COI analysis was useful to differentiate these redundant (LK-COI-01 and RNS LK-RN01) haplotypes and, therefore, these different Kemp’s ridley populations. In addition, phylogenetic COI analysis clearly separates Kemp’s ridley turtles from other sea turtle species, supporting its use as a barcode marker.
Diversity, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14050389
Mountain lakes are unique and often isolated freshwater habitats that harbour a rich biotic diversity. This high conservation value may be reflected by diatoms, a group of algae that is known for its reliability as a bioindicator, but which has not been studied extensively in mountain lakes of the northern European Alps. In this study, the conservation value of these lakes was assessed by characterizing the number, share, and abundance of diatom Red List (RL) taxa and their relationship with environmental variables, diatom α and β diversity (assemblage uniqueness). For this purpose, linear regression models, generalized linear models, and generalized additive models were fitted and spatial descriptors were included when relevant. Of the 560 diatom taxa identified, 64% were on the RL and half of these were assigned a threat status. As hypothesized, a decreasing share of RL species in sediment and littoral samples at higher trophic levels was reflected by higher total phosphorous content and lower Secchi depth, respectively. Species-rich lakes contained a high number of RL taxa, contrasting our hypothesis of a logarithmic relationship. In turn, RL abundance increased with uniqueness, confirming our initial hypothesis. However, some of the most unique sites were degraded by fish stocking and contained low abundances of RL species. The results demonstrate the importance of oligotrophic mountain lakes as habitats for rare freshwater biota and their vulnerability in light of human impact through cattle herding, tourism, damming, and fish stocking. Additional conservation efforts are urgently needed for mountain lakes that are still underrepresented within legal conservation frameworks. Species richness and uniqueness reflect complementary aspects of RL status and thus should be applied jointly. Uniqueness can indicate both pristine and degraded habitats, so that including information on human impacts facilitates its interpretation.
Diversity, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14050387
Improving ecological connectivity (EC) within landscapes by establishing corridors and ecological networks has been proposed to counteract the negative effects of habitat fragmentation and climate change on biodiversity. To be functional, ecological networks should be kept free of opportunistic invasive species that can disrupt EC between protected areas and cause biodiversity loss. The present study focused on perennial herbaceous species whose occurrence in the Adriatic-Ionian region has increased in the last two decades, namely common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica), Bohemian knotweed (Reynoutria × bohemica), giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea), Canadian goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), and Bermuda buttercup (Oxalis pes-caprae). All species have a high potential to spread in grasslands, abandoned agricultural fields, forest edges, and riparian areas and pose a significant threat to native plant communities and biodiversity. Restoring heavily infested sites is a major challenge because these perennial invaders are very persistent and tend to alter the soil environment in invaded habitats and prevent the recolonization of native plant communities. Therefore, early action should be taken to prevent the spread of these environmental weeds in ecological networks and protected areas with high conservation value.
Diversity, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14050386
In the framework of the PNRA (Italian National Antarctic Research Program) project CARBONANT focusing on biogenic carbonates and held in January–February 2002, several Ross Sea banks were sampled to obtain samples of biogenic carbonates. In the Mawson Bank, species belonging to the isopod genus Chaetarcturus Brandt, 1990 were recorded, including a specimen that did not match any described species. In this paper we describe Chaetarcturus cervicornis sp. n., which is characterized by supraocular spines and two pairs of tubercle-like protrusions on the cephalothorax. The new species is very similar to C. bovinus (Brandt & Wägele, 1988) and C. adareanus (Hodgson, 1902), but has a clearly different spine pattern. The study of the species of the genus Chaetarcturus in the Ross Sea contributes to increase our knowledge on the diversity of the Antarcturidae in the Southern Ocean. Ross Sea banks seem to hold an interesting and not-well-known fauna, deserving attention in future research.
Diversity, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14050388
Soil microorganisms that inhabit extreme environments have unique metabolic capacities and/or physical structures that allow them to survive in oligotrophic conditions. The bioprospecting of unknown bacteria in the context of current advances in genome mining is fundamental for the discovery of natural products with novel properties or applications. In this study, the plant growth-promoting and biocontrol traits of a Pseudomonas isolated from soil associated with plants from the Atacama Desert were characterized by whole-genome sequencing and in vitro assays. A high-quality genome draft of Pseudomonas sp. isolate C3 was obtained. An automated biosynthetic gene cluster analysis using antiSMASH 6.0 revealed the presence of a cluster of genes for the biosynthesis, regulation, and transport of the metabolite 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol, which showed a high protein sequence identity (>89%) with a validated orthologous gene cluster from another Pseudomonas. In addition, via an in vitro assay, the biocontrol activity of Pseudomonas sp. isolate C3 against Botrytis cinerea, Monilinia fructicola, Phytium sp., Alternaria sp., Geotrichum candidum, and Fusarium oxysporum was corroborated. Finally, through KofamKOALA, the presence of genes involved in different metabolic pathways of plant growth-promoting traits was identified, which was corroborated by in vitro assays. This study provides information obtained from genomic analyses and culture tools on a bacterial isolate from the Atacama Desert characterized by plant growth-promoting capacities and biocontrol activity.
Diversity, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14050385
Plant leaf nutrient concentrations and resorption are sensitive to fertilization, yet their co-responses under different nutrient-limited conditions have not been well studied. We conducted a meta-analysis from a global dataset of 43 reports, including 130 observations of studies with plant leaf nitrogen (N) or phosphorus (P) concentrations and nitrogen resorption efficiency (NRE) or phosphorus resorption efficiency (PRE), in response to fertilization under different nutrient-limited conditions divided by the thresholds of leaf N:P ratio values of 10 and 20. The results showed that N fertilization generally increased leaf N concentration and decreased NRE, with greater magnitudes under N-limited conditions. P fertilization also generally increased leaf P concentration and decreased PRE, with greater magnitudes under P-limited conditions. N fertilization decreased leaf P concentration and increased PRE only under the N-limited condition. Under the P-limited or N and P co-limited conditions, however, N fertilization increased leaf P concentration and did not change PRE. Moreover, P fertilization did not change leaf N concentration under all nutrient-limited conditions but significantly increased NRE under the N-limited or N and P co-limited conditions. These findings suggest that plants cope with fertilization-induced N limitation vs. P limitation at the leaf level with different nutrient-use strategies.
Diversity, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14050383
The Rheotanytarsus muscicola species group is generally considered to be a taxonomically difficult group of non-biting midges (Diptera: Chironomidae). In this study, we review the R. muscicola species group based on the adult males from China using morphology and DNA barcodes. Rheotanytarsus ferringtoni Lin & Yao sp. n. is described and figured, and four species (Rheotanytarsus falcipedius Kyerematen, Andersen & Sæther, 2000; Rheotanytarsus fluminis Kawai & Sasa, 1985; Rheotanytarsus illiesi Siebert, 1979; and Rheotanytarsus photophilus Goetghebuer, 1921) new to China are redescribed, figured and discussed. An updated key to known adult males of the R. muscicola species group is presented. Our study shows concordance between morphological species concepts and DNA barcodes.