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Diversity, Volume 10, Issue 1 (March 2018)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Diversity in 2017
Diversity 2018, 10(1), 2; doi:10.3390/d10010002
Received: 10 January 2018 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 10 January 2018
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Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Diversity maintains high quality standards for its published papers.[...] Full article
Open AccessEditorial The Contribution of Professor Gian Tommasso Scarascia Mugnozza to the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity
Diversity 2018, 10(1), 4; doi:10.3390/d10010004
Received: 23 November 2017 / Revised: 11 December 2017 / Accepted: 12 December 2017 / Published: 16 January 2018
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Abstract
During his lifetime, Professor Scarascia Mugnozza contributed significantly to the field of population genetics, his research ranging from wheat breeding in arid and semi-arid regions, to the conservation of forest ecosystems. He promoted regional networks across the Mediterranean, linking science and policy at
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During his lifetime, Professor Scarascia Mugnozza contributed significantly to the field of population genetics, his research ranging from wheat breeding in arid and semi-arid regions, to the conservation of forest ecosystems. He promoted regional networks across the Mediterranean, linking science and policy at national and international levels, focusing on the conservation and sustainable use of genetic diversity. In addition, he worked intensely on improvement of knowledge bases, raising awareness on how research could inform international agreements, and thus lead to evidence-based policies. The loss of biodiversity and the resulting implications for environmental, socio-economic, political, and ethical management of plant genetic resources were of major concern, and he highlighted the absolute necessity for conservation of genetic diversity, stressing the importance of building positive feedback linkages among ex situ, in situ, on-farm conservation strategies, and participatory approaches at the community level. His work emphasized the importance of access to diverse plant genetic resources by researchers and farmers, and promoted equitable access to genetic resources through international frameworks. Farmers’ rights, especially those in centres of origin and diversity of cultivated plants, were a key concern for Professor Scarascia Mugnozza, as their access to germplasm needed to be secured as custodians of diversity and the knowledge of how to use these vital resources. Consequently, he promoted the development of North-South cooperation mechanisms and platforms, including technology transfer and the sharing of information of how to maintain and use genetic resources sustainably. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Genetics and Biotechnology in Biodiversity)
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Research

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Open AccessArticle Bee Diversity and Solanum didymum (Solanaceae) Flower–Visitor Network in an Atlantic Forest Fragment in Southern Brazil
Diversity 2018, 10(1), 3; doi:10.3390/d10010003
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 January 2018 / Published: 11 January 2018
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Abstract
Brazil’s Atlantic Forest biome is currently undergoing forest loss due to repeated episodes of devastation. In this biome, bees perform the most frequent pollination system. Over the last decade, network analysis has been extensively applied to the study of plant–pollinator interactions, as it
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Brazil’s Atlantic Forest biome is currently undergoing forest loss due to repeated episodes of devastation. In this biome, bees perform the most frequent pollination system. Over the last decade, network analysis has been extensively applied to the study of plant–pollinator interactions, as it provides a consistent view of the structure of plant–pollinator interactions. The aim of this study was to use palynological studies to obtain an understanding of the relationship between floral visitor bees and the pioneer plant S. didymum in a fragment of the Atlantic Forest, and also learn about the other plants that interact to form this network. Five hundred bees were collected from 32 species distributed into five families: Andrenidae, Apidae, Colletidae, Megachilidae, and Halictidae. The interaction network consisted of 21 bee species and 35 pollen types. The Solanum-type bee species with the highest number of interactions were Anthrenoides sp. 1, Augochlora sp. 2, and Augochloropsis notophos, representing 71.78% of their interactions. Augochloropsis notophos and Augochlora sp. 2 were the only common species in the flowers of S. didymum. Given the results of our study, we conclude that Solanum is an important source of pollen grains for several native bee species, mainly for the solitary species that are more diverse in the south of Brazil. Moreover, our results indicate that bees from the families Halictidae (A. notophos, Augochlora) and Andrenidae (Anthrenoides) are the pollinators of S. didymum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for Celebrating the tenth Founding Year of Diversity)
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Open AccessArticle Olive Tree (Olea europaea L.) Diversity in Traditional Small Farms of Ficalho, Portugal
Diversity 2018, 10(1), 5; doi:10.3390/d10010005
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 18 January 2018
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Abstract
The genetic diversity of “Gama” and “Bico de Corvo”, local cultivars of olive tree (Olea europaea) from seven traditional orchards of Ficalho (Alentejo region, Portugal), was studied to characterize the local diversity and assess the level of on farm diversity. Two
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The genetic diversity of “Gama” and “Bico de Corvo”, local cultivars of olive tree (Olea europaea) from seven traditional orchards of Ficalho (Alentejo region, Portugal), was studied to characterize the local diversity and assess the level of on farm diversity. Two different analytical systems were used: endocarp morphological characteristics and genetic analysis by microsatellite markers (Simple Sequence Repeats or SSR). The seven screened loci were polymorphic and allowed the identification of 23 distinct SSR profiles within the 27 trees analyzed. A total of 52 different alleles were scored, with an average of 7.43 alleles/SSR locus, and considerable genetic diversity was found. Neighbor-Joining algorithm cluster analysis and principal co-ordinate analysis (PCoA) allowed for the identification of the genetic relationships between several accessions. The 27 Olea accessions were clearly separated into three different groups. SSR analysis was more precise than endocarp characterization in the classification of genetic diversity among the olive tree cultivars. The study shows reasonable olive tree diversity in Ficalho, indicating that these traditional orchards are important reservoirs of old minor cultivars and incubators of new genotypes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Genetics and Biotechnology in Biodiversity)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Conspecific Attraction as a Management Tool across Several Species of Anurans
Diversity 2018, 10(1), 6; doi:10.3390/d10010006
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
Amphibian populations are declining worldwide, with habitat loss and alteration being a primary driver of many declines. Management strategies to mitigate these declines include translocation and creation or restoration of breeding habitats, yet these techniques are not always effective. We examined whether conspecific
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Amphibian populations are declining worldwide, with habitat loss and alteration being a primary driver of many declines. Management strategies to mitigate these declines include translocation and creation or restoration of breeding habitats, yet these techniques are not always effective. We examined whether conspecific attraction—a management tool frequently used in avian conservation—would be similarly valuable in management and conservation of anuran amphibians (i.e., frogs and toads). We broadcast conspecific chorus sounds at unoccupied, artificial breeding ponds for six anuran species across three field sites. We documented when frogs arrived at each pool and when eggs were laid. We compared differences in number of pools found with adults and egg masses between playback and control pools and examined latency to first colonization. We found that Mexican spadefoots colonized playback ponds faster and more often than control ponds, while Cope’s gray treefrogs, Arizona treefrogs, green frogs, spring peepers, and wood frogs exhibited weak or non-existent responses. We discuss why breeding ecology may influence tendency to exhibit conspecific attraction and how this behavior could be used in amphibian management and conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation and Ecology of Amphibians)
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Open AccessArticle Throat Patch Variation in Tayra (Eira barbara) and the Potential for Individual Identification in the Field
Diversity 2018, 10(1), 7; doi:10.3390/d10010007
Received: 27 December 2017 / Revised: 14 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
The importance of identifying individuals of a population has been extensively documented in several species of carnivores, including some species of mustelids. This information is used in many kinds of ecological studies including density estimation, behavioral ecology and analyses of animal movement patterns.
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The importance of identifying individuals of a population has been extensively documented in several species of carnivores, including some species of mustelids. This information is used in many kinds of ecological studies including density estimation, behavioral ecology and analyses of animal movement patterns. The objective of the present study was to determine if individual variation in the throat patches of Tayra (Eira barbara) permits individual identification. We examined 275 specimens from museum collections to determine the morphological variation of the throat patch in Eira barbara specimens collected throughout its distribution. We found differences in the shape and size of the throat patches significant enough to allow discrimination of individuals that display a throat patch (88.0% of 252 complete specimens). The proposed identification criterion was applied to photographic records obtained from a wild population using camera traps in the Peruvian Amazon. From nineteen images (54.0% of all images) in which the throat patch was visible, nine different individuals were identified and two of these were recaptured on multiple occasions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Better Resilient than Resistant—Regeneration Dynamics of Storm-Disturbed Mangrove Forests on the Bay Island of Guanaja (Honduras) during the First Two Decades after Hurricane Mitch (October 1998)
Diversity 2018, 10(1), 8; doi:10.3390/d10010008
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 24 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 27 January 2018
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Abstract
Located at the interface of land and sea, Caribbean mangroves frequently experience severe disturbances by hurricanes, but in most cases storm-impacted mangrove forests are able to regenerate. How exactly regeneration proceeds, however, is still a matter of debate: does—due to the specific site
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Located at the interface of land and sea, Caribbean mangroves frequently experience severe disturbances by hurricanes, but in most cases storm-impacted mangrove forests are able to regenerate. How exactly regeneration proceeds, however, is still a matter of debate: does—due to the specific site conditions—regeneration follows a true auto-succession with exactly the same set of species driving regeneration that was present prior to the disturbance, or do different trajectories of regeneration exist? Considering the fundamental ecosystem services mangroves provide, a better understanding of their recovery is crucial. The Honduran island of Guanaja offers ideal settings for the study of regeneration dynamics of storm-impacted mangrove forests. The island was hit in October 1998 by Hurricane Mitch, one of the most intense Atlantic storms of the past century. Immediately after the storm, 97% of the mangroves were classified as dead. In 2005, long-term monitoring on the regeneration dynamics of the mangroves of the island was initiated, employing permanent line-transects at six different mangrove localities all around the island, which have been revisited in 2009 and 1016. Due to the pronounced topography of the island, different successional pathways emerge depending on the severity of the previous disturbance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mangrove Ecology and Conservation)
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Open AccessArticle Ecophysiological Response of Rhizophora mangle to the Variation in Hydrochemistry during Five Years along the Coast of Campeche, México
Diversity 2018, 10(1), 9; doi:10.3390/d10010009
Received: 6 November 2017 / Revised: 24 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 3 February 2018
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Abstract
We evaluated the phenological response and litterfall production of Rhizophora mangle to changes in pore water chemistry over a five-year period (from 2009 to 2014 and 2010 to 2016) along the coast of Campeche, México. Severe drought conditions were recorded in 2009 with
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We evaluated the phenological response and litterfall production of Rhizophora mangle to changes in pore water chemistry over a five-year period (from 2009 to 2014 and 2010 to 2016) along the coast of Campeche, México. Severe drought conditions were recorded in 2009 with a Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) of −1.5 and again in 2015 with a SPI of −1.16). A precipitation deficit of 22.1% was recorded between 2009 and 2016 ranging from 9.5% in Laguna de Terminos in the south to 64.4% in Los Petenes Biosphere Reserve in the north. Precipitation varied significantly per year (p < 0.001), seasonally (p < 0.001), and between years and seasons (p < 0.001). An interaction was observed in the salinity (p < 0.05), redox potential (p < 0.001), and precipitation (p < 0.001) of the Laguna de Terminos, Rio Champoton, and Los Petenes Biosphere Reserve regions. Significant differences were found between the years in the leaf and propagule production (p < 0.001), and between seasons in production of leaves, flowers, and propagules (p < 0.001). The determining factor in the production of flowers during both the rainy and dry seasons was the salinity, and the determining factors for the production of propagules were the redox potential and salinity. The results of this study suggest a low phenotypic plasticity in R. mangle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mangrove Ecology and Conservation)
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Open AccessArticle Phylogeography of the Red Algal Laurencia Complex in the Macaronesia Region and Nearby Coastal Areas: Recent Advances and Future Perspectives
Diversity 2018, 10(1), 10; doi:10.3390/d10010010
Received: 30 December 2017 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 5 February 2018
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Abstract
Abstract: Since the conception of the genus Laurencia by Lamouroux in 1813, several red macroalgal species have been included in it. In recent decades, the development of modern molecular tools has resulted in multiple taxonomic modifications, and presently, eight related genera are
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Abstract: Since the conception of the genus Laurencia by Lamouroux in 1813, several red macroalgal species have been included in it. In recent decades, the development of modern molecular tools has resulted in multiple taxonomic modifications, and presently, eight related genera are recognized in the so-called Laurencia complex. In the Macaronesian Region (Central East Atlantic Ocean), species from the Laurencia complex are keystone elements of the benthic communities, especially in the intertidal zone. In this review, we consolidate the existing knowledge about the Laurencia complex within the Macaronesian archipelagos and nearby areas. Morphological descriptions and phylogeographic remarks of the 16 currently accepted species—whose records were molecular or morphologically confirmed—are included together with an identification key for the Macaronesian Region. The phylogeographic data allowed us to re-visit the role of the Macaronesian archipelagos as a bridge area for the marine flora of the Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas (remnants of the former Thetyan Sea) or contemplate their marine flora as the result of successive processes of recolonization after the Quaternary glaciations from those donor areas. Finally, some comments about the frontiers of the research in the Laurencia complex in the Macaronesian Region and nearby coastal areas are included. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Algal Phylogeographic Patterns: Causes and Consequences)
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Open AccessArticle Kelps’ Long-Distance Dispersal: Role of Ecological/Oceanographic Processes and Implications to Marine Forest Conservation
Diversity 2018, 10(1), 11; doi:10.3390/d10010011
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
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Abstract
Long-distance dispersal is one of the main drivers structuring the distribution of marine biodiversity. This study reports the first occurrence of Macrocystis pyrifera and Durvillaea antarctica rafts on the southwestern warm temperate coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Our results indicate that an extreme
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Long-distance dispersal is one of the main drivers structuring the distribution of marine biodiversity. This study reports the first occurrence of Macrocystis pyrifera and Durvillaea antarctica rafts on the southwestern warm temperate coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Our results indicate that an extreme meteo-oceanographic event, characterized by a northward, displacement of cold sub-Antarctic oceanic waters driven by an extratropical cyclone, could account for these unusual occurrences. A niche model based on known current distribution and maximum entropy principle (MAXENT), revealed the availability of suitable habitats at lower latitudes, outside their actual distribution edges. The distributional boundaries, mainly driven by temperature and irradiance, suggest the existence of environmental suitability in warm temperate areas, as well as in the Northern Hemisphere off Atlantic and Asian coasts. These theoretical edges and respective environmental drivers agree with the physiological affinities of both species, supporting the hypothesis that these variables act as limiting factors for their occurrences in tropical or warmer areas. Emerging regions can function as refuges and stepping-stones, providing substrate with adequate habitat conditions for recruitment of propagules, allowing eventual colonization. Long dispersal events reinforce the need for an extensive discussion on selective management of natural dispersion, biological invasions, refuge mapping and conservation initiatives in a transnational perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Algal Phylogeographic Patterns: Causes and Consequences)
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Open AccessArticle Training for Translocation: Predator Conditioning Induces Behavioral Plasticity and Physiological Changes in Captive Eastern Hellbenders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) (Cryptobranchidae, Amphibia)
Diversity 2018, 10(1), 13; doi:10.3390/d10010013
Received: 1 February 2018 / Revised: 6 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 9 March 2018
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Abstract
Translocations are stressful, especially when captive animals are naïve to natural stimuli. Captive eastern hellbenders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) identify predatory fish as threats, but may be more vulnerable to predation and stress because of inexperience with them. We investigated the use
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Translocations are stressful, especially when captive animals are naïve to natural stimuli. Captive eastern hellbenders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) identify predatory fish as threats, but may be more vulnerable to predation and stress because of inexperience with them. We investigated the use of predator conditioning to prepare hellbenders, behaviorally and physiologically, for the presence of a common predator, largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). We reared hellbenders for 30 d with and without continuous exposure to largemouth bass kairomones and heterospecific alarm cues and found conditioned hellbenders became less active compared to unconditioned individuals (p = 0.017). After conditioning, we exposed hellbenders to water, a low concentration of kairomones, or a high concentration of kairomones in a closed respirometer system. We measured activity within respirometer chambers and routine metabolic rate. We found unconditioned hellbenders exposed to low and high concentrations of kairomones were 41% and 119% more active than conditioned animals (p = 0.002 and p < 0.001). Moreover, conditioned individuals had on average 6.5% lower metabolic rates across all three kairomone concentrations compared to unconditioned individuals (p = 0.017). Our data suggest that predator conditioning induces behavioral avoidance tactics and physiological changes that could improve future translocation efforts for hellbenders and other imperiled species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation and Ecology of Amphibians)
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Open AccessArticle Centuries-Old DNA from an Extinct Population of Aesculapian Snake (Zamenis longissimus) Offers New Phylogeographic Insight
Diversity 2018, 10(1), 14; doi:10.3390/d10010014
Received: 9 February 2018 / Revised: 5 March 2018 / Accepted: 7 March 2018 / Published: 10 March 2018
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Abstract
The Aesculapian snake (Zamenis longissimus) is distributed in Central and Southern Europe, the Balkans, Anatolia, and Iran, but had a wider mid-Holocene distribution into Northern Europe. To investigate the genetic affinity of a Danish population that went extinct in historical times,
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The Aesculapian snake (Zamenis longissimus) is distributed in Central and Southern Europe, the Balkans, Anatolia, and Iran, but had a wider mid-Holocene distribution into Northern Europe. To investigate the genetic affinity of a Danish population that went extinct in historical times, we analysed three ethanol-preserved individuals dating back to 1810 using a silica-in-solution ancient DNA extraction method, combined with next-generation sequencing. Bioinformatic mapping of the reads against the published genome of a related colubrid snake revealed that two of the three specimens contained endogenous snake DNA (up to 8.6% of the reads), and this was evident for tooth, bone, and soft tissue samples. The DNA was highly degraded, observed by very short average sequence lengths (<50 bp) and 11–15% C to T deamination damage at the first 5′ position. This is an effect of specimen age, combined with suboptimal, and possibly damaging, molecular preservation conditions. Phylogeographic analyses of a 1638 bp mtDNA sequence securely placed the two Danish Aesculapian snakes in the Eastern (Balkan glacial refugium) clade within this species, and revealed one previously-undescribed haplotype. These results provide new information on the past distribution and postglacial re-colonization patterns of this species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ancient DNA)
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Open AccessArticle Micro-Food Web Structure Shapes Rhizosphere Microbial Communities and Growth in Oak
Diversity 2018, 10(1), 15; doi:10.3390/d10010015
Received: 1 January 2018 / Revised: 10 March 2018 / Accepted: 11 March 2018 / Published: 13 March 2018
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Abstract
The multitrophic interactions in the rhizosphere impose significant impacts on microbial community structure and function, affecting nutrient mineralisation and consequently plant performance. However, particularly for long-lived plants such as forest trees, the mechanisms by which trophic structure of the micro-food web governs rhizosphere
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The multitrophic interactions in the rhizosphere impose significant impacts on microbial community structure and function, affecting nutrient mineralisation and consequently plant performance. However, particularly for long-lived plants such as forest trees, the mechanisms by which trophic structure of the micro-food web governs rhizosphere microorganisms are still poorly understood. This study addresses the role of nematodes, as a major component of the soil micro-food web, in influencing the microbial abundance and community structure as well as tree growth. In a greenhouse experiment with Pedunculate Oak seedlings were grown in soil, where the nematode trophic structure was manipulated by altering the proportion of functional groups (i.e., bacterial, fungal, and plant feeders) in a full factorial design. The influence on the rhizosphere microbial community, the ectomycorrhizal symbiont Piloderma croceum, and oak growth, was assessed. Soil phospholipid fatty acids were employed to determine changes in the microbial communities. Increased density of singular nematode functional groups showed minor impact by increasing the biomass of single microbial groups (e.g., plant feeders that of Gram-negative bacteria), except fungal feeders, which resulted in a decline of all microorganisms in the soil. In contrast, inoculation of two or three nematode groups promoted microbial biomass and altered the community structure in favour of bacteria, thereby counteracting negative impact of single groups. These findings highlight that the collective action of trophic groups in the soil micro-food web can result in microbial community changes promoting the fitness of the tree, thereby alleviating the negative effects of individual functional groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Webs, Ecosystem Functioning and Environmental Quality)
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Open AccessArticle Nutrient Removal Efficiency of Rhizophora mangle (L.) Seedlings Exposed to Experimental Dumping of Municipal Waters
Diversity 2018, 10(1), 16; doi:10.3390/d10010016
Received: 23 January 2018 / Revised: 11 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 March 2018 / Published: 15 March 2018
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Abstract
Mangrove forests are conspicuous components of tropical wetlands that sustain continuous exposure to wastewater discharges commonly of municipal origins. Mangroves can remove nutrients from these waters to fulfill their nutrients demand, although the effects of continuous exposure are unknown. An experimental greenhouse imitating
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Mangrove forests are conspicuous components of tropical wetlands that sustain continuous exposure to wastewater discharges commonly of municipal origins. Mangroves can remove nutrients from these waters to fulfill their nutrients demand, although the effects of continuous exposure are unknown. An experimental greenhouse imitating tidal regimes was built to measure the efficiency of mangrove seedlings to incorporate nutrients, growth and above biomass production when exposed to three periodic wastewater discharges. The experiment totaled 112 d. Nutrient removal by the exposed group, such as phosphates, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and dissolved inorganic nitrogen (97%, 98.35%, 71.05%, 56.57% and 64.36%, respectively) was evident up to the second dumping. By the third dumping, all nutrient concentrations increased in the interstitial water, although significant evidence of removal by the plants was not obtained (p > 0.05). Nutrient concentrations in the control group did not change significantly throughout the experiment (p > 0.05). Treated plants increased two-fold in stem girth when compared to the control (p < 0.05), although control plants averaged higher heights (p < 0.05). Biomass of treated group increased up to 45% against 37% of the control during the duration of the experiment (p < 0.05). We suggest that nutrient removal efficiency of mangroves is linked to the maintenance of oxic conditions in the pore-water because of oxygen transference from their aerial to their subterranean radicular system that facilitates the oxidation of reduced nitrogen compounds and plants uptake. Nevertheless, continuous inflows of wastewater would lead to eutrophication, establishment of anoxic conditions in water and soil, and lessening of nutrient absorption of mangroves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mangrove Ecology and Conservation)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Some Implications of High Biodiversity for Management of Tropical Marine Ecosystems—An Australian Perspective
Diversity 2018, 10(1), 1; doi:10.3390/d10010001
Received: 22 August 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 12 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
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Abstract
While high biodiversity has been widely reported from the tropics, we suggest that in reality there is a considerable underestimate of the total biodiversity. We have concentrated on the tropical regions of Australia and the Coral Triangle. The best known groups are the
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While high biodiversity has been widely reported from the tropics, we suggest that in reality there is a considerable underestimate of the total biodiversity. We have concentrated on the tropical regions of Australia and the Coral Triangle. The best known groups are the corals, fish, and commercially important invertebrates. In considering whether this is true, we have concentrated on the diversity of benthic communities and water column communities which are poorly known. Yet at the bottom of the food chain these communities are highly dynamic and susceptible to the anthropogenic changes that are occurring with the rapid development in this highly populated region. Tropical biodiversity is under increasing stress from a synergistic combination of changes in climate, oceanographic regimes, increasing coastal development, overfishing, and poor water quality, resulting in bleaching of corals and loss of habitat and of associated fauna. These changes on reefs have received substantial research attention; in comparison, there is limited data on inter-reefal areas and water column communities and limited understanding of the ecological interconnectivity of all these habitats. While in this region there is growing marine protected area coverage, the major focus is on coral reefs with other habitats based on surrogacy with little if any ground-truthing. Within this region, there is limited capacity or inclination to rectify this lack of knowledge of the structure and ecology of the broader non-commercial benthic and pelagic communities. We suggest this lack of knowledge and limited expertise may be widespread throughout the tropics and compromises our ability to understand and predict the changes that are occurring with increasing anthropogenic impacts on these tropical ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tropical Marine Biodiversity)
Open AccessReview Twenty Years of Tomato Breeding at EPSO-UMH: Transfer Resistance from Wild Types to Local Landraces—From the First Molecular Markers to Genotyping by Sequencing (GBS)
Diversity 2018, 10(1), 12; doi:10.3390/d10010012
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 17 February 2018 / Accepted: 25 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
In 1998, the plant breeding team at the School of Engineering of Orihuela (EPSO), part of the Miguel Hernández University (UMH) in Elche, commenced a tomato breeding program. Marker-assisted selection and backcrossing were used to simultaneously introduce three genes (Tm-2a, Ty-1
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In 1998, the plant breeding team at the School of Engineering of Orihuela (EPSO), part of the Miguel Hernández University (UMH) in Elche, commenced a tomato breeding program. Marker-assisted selection and backcrossing were used to simultaneously introduce three genes (Tm-2a, Ty-1, and Sw-5) that confer resistance to relevant viruses, such as tomato mosaic virus (ToMV), tomato yellow curl virus (TYLCV), and tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), to traditional varieties of local tomatoes, specifically the “Muchamiel” and the “De la pera” types. After each backcross, cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence (CAPS) molecular markers were used to select the plants with the resistance genes of interest. A previously described marker was used for TSWV, and new markers were designed for ToMV, and TYLCV using available sequences in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database. In parallel to the breeding program, several molecular markers—Sequence Related Amplified Polymorphism (SRAP), Simple Sequence Repeats (SSRs), Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms (AFLPs), Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs), and (GATA)4 probes—were used to study genetic variability, and to identify a collection of Spanish and Italian traditional tomato varieties. The results showed a limited genetic variability among cultivated tomato varieties. The breeding lines Muchamiel UMH 1200, and De la pera 1203 (both with homozygous resistance to the three viruses) were the first new varieties that were obtained. They were included in the Register of Protected Plant Varieties in 2013. Lines without a resistance to TYLCV were also developed, and protected in 2017. We have begun to use SNP massive genotyping for studies of genetic association, and for selecting plants with the Ty-1 gene with less linkage drag. Molecular markers have been extremely useful in identifying the different steps of the tomato breeding program at EPSO-UMH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Genetics and Biotechnology in Biodiversity)
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