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Diversity, Volume 3, Issue 1 (March 2011), Pages 1-175

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Research

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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Climate Change on Recent Vegetation Changes on Dovrefjell, Norway
Diversity 2011, 3(1), 91-111; doi:10.3390/d3010091
Received: 9 November 2010 / Accepted: 12 January 2011 / Published: 28 January 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (545 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The ongoing climate warming has been reported to affect a broad range of organisms, and mountain ecosystems are considered to be particularly sensitive because they are limited by low temperatures. Meteorological data show an increased temperature for the alpine areas at Dovrefjell, Norway,
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The ongoing climate warming has been reported to affect a broad range of organisms, and mountain ecosystems are considered to be particularly sensitive because they are limited by low temperatures. Meteorological data show an increased temperature for the alpine areas at Dovrefjell, Norway, causing a prolonged growing season and increased temperature sum. As part of the worldwide project Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments (GLORIA), the short-term changes in vascular plant species richness, species composition of lichen and vascular plant communities, and abundance of single species were studied at four summits representing an altitudinal gradient from the low alpine to the high alpine zone. During the period from 2001 to 2008, an increase in species richness at the lowest summit, as well as a change in the composition of vascular plant communities, was found at the two lowest summits. The results also indicate an increase in abundance of some shrubs and graminoids and a decline in the cover of some species of lichens at the lowest summit. These changes are in accordance with climate induced changes reported in other studies, but other causes for the observed vegetation changes, in particular changes in grazing and trampling pressure, cannot be ruled out. Full article
Open AccessArticle rich: An R Package to Analyse Species Richness
Diversity 2011, 3(1), 112-120; doi:10.3390/d3010112
Received: 18 January 2011 / Accepted: 10 February 2011 / Published: 16 February 2011
Cited by 35 | PDF Full-text (188 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper describes rich, a new R package to perform species richness estimation and comparison. Species richness is the simplest surrogate for the more complex concept of species biodiversity. It is relatively easy to assess although estimations strongly depend on sampling intensity with
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The paper describes rich, a new R package to perform species richness estimation and comparison. Species richness is the simplest surrogate for the more complex concept of species biodiversity. It is relatively easy to assess although estimations strongly depend on sampling intensity with the consequence that richness estimations should be standardized to perform valid comparisons. The R package rich allows such corrections as well as the computation of various statistics and implements different randomization tests to compare cumulative and average species richness of two communities. These tests are useful for ranking sites or communities which is a classical goal in restoration ecology and conservation biology. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Nucleotide Diversities and Genetic Relationship in the Three Japanese Pine Species; Pinus thunbergii, Pinus densiflora, and Pinus luchuensis
Diversity 2011, 3(1), 121-135; doi:10.3390/d3010121
Received: 7 January 2011 / Accepted: 16 February 2011 / Published: 4 March 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (266 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The nucleotide diversities and genetic relationship in the three Japanese pine species, P. thunbergii, P. densiflora, and P. luchuensis, were measured using low-copy anchor loci in Pinaceae. The average nucleotide diversity among these three Japanese pines revealed that P.
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The nucleotide diversities and genetic relationship in the three Japanese pine species, P. thunbergii, P. densiflora, and P. luchuensis, were measured using low-copy anchor loci in Pinaceae. The average nucleotide diversity among these three Japanese pines revealed that P. thunbergii was the highest (6.05 × 10−3), followed by P. densiflora (5.27 × 10−3) and P. luchuensis (5.02 × 10−3). In comparison to other conifer species, it was concluded that the pines possessed an intermediate level of nucleotide diversity. The Heat shock protein (HSP) gene in P. thunbergii, Phenylalanine tRNA synthetase, RuBP carboxylase, and Disease resistance response protein 206 genes in P. densiflora were significantly deviated from standard neutral models. Some of these genes were related to stress or pathogen/defense response. As the samples used in this study were collected from natural populations that showed specific characteristics of being resistant to pine wilt nematode, it was hypothesized that the initial selection was an important factor in discriminating the deviation from neutrality models. Phylogenetic reconstruction revealed that the three Japanese pines were split into two lineages corresponding to P. densiflora and P. thunbergiiP. luchuensis. The latter lineage was differentiated further into two clades; P. thunbergii and P. luchuensis. The result concludes that the three Japanese pines are closely related and P. thunbergii is genetically closer to P. luchuensis, than P. densiflora. Full article
Open AccessArticle New Armenian Wood-Associated Coprinoid Mushrooms: Coprinopsis strossmayeri and Coprinellus aff. radians
Diversity 2011, 3(1), 136-154; doi:10.3390/d3010136
Received: 24 January 2011 / Revised: 22 February 2011 / Accepted: 23 February 2011 / Published: 7 March 2011
PDF Full-text (1135 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Coprinoid mushrooms grown on wood of broad-leaf species were collected for the first time in Armenia and dikaryotic mycelial cultures were established. ITS (internal transcribed spacer) sequences identified one species as Coprinopsis strossmayeri and the other as a species closely related to Coprinellus
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Coprinoid mushrooms grown on wood of broad-leaf species were collected for the first time in Armenia and dikaryotic mycelial cultures were established. ITS (internal transcribed spacer) sequences identified one species as Coprinopsis strossmayeri and the other as a species closely related to Coprinellus radians. Mycelial growth and morphological features on different media are described. The pearl-white-silky colonies of C. strossmayeri are characterized by mycelial strands and by a light-yellow agar colorization. The species forms chlamydospores intercalary in its hyphae. Some hyphal ends form hyphal loops. Colonies of C. aff. radians have a characteristic yellow pigmentation and stain the agar yellowish. Hyphae are mostly clampless but at some septa, pseudoclamps are seen from which side-branches develop growing along the parental hyphae. In the mycelium of C. aff. radians, hyphal loops, hyphal swellings, cystidia and typical allocysts were observed. Both new species from Armenia show growth optima at temperatures of 25 to 30 °C and pHs of 6.0 to 7.0. Both grow in alkaline conditions up to pH 12.0 but not at pHs 3.0 and 4.0, classifying them with other coprinoid mushrooms as “ammonia fungi”. Both species grew on a variety of lignocellulosic substrates and both show polyphenol oxidase activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic and Functional Diversity of Microorganisms)
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Open AccessArticle Invasion by Exotic Earthworms Alters Biodiversity and Communities of Litter- and Soil-dwelling Oribatid Mites
Diversity 2011, 3(1), 155-175; doi:10.3390/d3010155
Received: 3 January 2011 / Revised: 23 February 2011 / Accepted: 4 March 2011 / Published: 15 March 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (413 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Exotic earthworms are drivers of biotic communities in invaded North American forest stands. Here we used ecologically important oribatid mite (Arachnida: Acari) communities, as model organisms to study the responses of litter- and soil-dwelling microarthropod communities to exotic earthworm invasion in a northern
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Exotic earthworms are drivers of biotic communities in invaded North American forest stands. Here we used ecologically important oribatid mite (Arachnida: Acari) communities, as model organisms to study the responses of litter- and soil-dwelling microarthropod communities to exotic earthworm invasion in a northern temperate forest. Litter- and soil-dwelling mites were sampled in 2008–2009 from forest areas: (1) with no earthworms; (2) those with epigeic and endogeic species, including Lumbricus rubellus Hoffmeister; and (3) those with epigeic, endogeic, and anecic earthworms including L. terrestris L. Species richness and diversity of litter- and soil-dwelling (0–2 cm soil depth) oribatid mites was 1–2 times higher in sites without earthworms than in sites with worms. Similarly, litter-dwelling oribatid mites were between 72 and 1,210 times more abundant in earthworm-free sites than in sites with worms. Among earthworm invaded sites, abundance of litter-dwelling oribatid mites in sites without the anecic L. terrestris was twice as high in May and 28 times higher in October, compared to sites with L. terrestris. Species richness, diversity, and abundance of oribatid mites were greater in litter-layers than in the soil-layers that showed a varied response to earthworm invasion. Species compositions of both litter- and soil-dwelling oribatid mite communities of forests with no earthworms were markedly different from those with earthworms. We conclude that exotic earthworm invasions are associated with significant declines of species diversity, numbers, and compositional shifts in litter- and soil-inhabiting communities. These faunal shifts may contribute to earthworm effects on soil processes and food web dynamics in historically earthworm-free, northern temperate forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Invasion)

Review

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Open AccessReview Response of Mycorrhizal Diversity to Current Climatic Changes
Diversity 2011, 3(1), 8-90; doi:10.3390/d3010008
Received: 4 December 2010 / Accepted: 26 January 2011 / Published: 28 January 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1519 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Form and function of mycorrhizas as well as tracing the presence of the mycorrhizal fungi through the geological time scale are herein first addressed. Then mycorrhizas and plant fitness, succession, mycorrhizas and ecosystem function, and mycorrhizal resiliency are introduced. From this, four hypotheses
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Form and function of mycorrhizas as well as tracing the presence of the mycorrhizal fungi through the geological time scale are herein first addressed. Then mycorrhizas and plant fitness, succession, mycorrhizas and ecosystem function, and mycorrhizal resiliency are introduced. From this, four hypotheses are drawn: (1) mycorrhizal diversity evolved in response to changes in Global Climate Change (GCC) environmental drivers, (2) mycorrhizal diversity will be modified by present changes in GCC environmental drivers, (3) mycorrhizal changes in response to ecological drivers of GCC will in turn modify plant, community, and ecosystem responses to the same, and (4) Mycorrhizas will continue to evolve in response to present and future changes in GCC factors. The drivers of climate change examined here are: CO2 enrichment, temperature rise, altered precipitation, increased N-deposition, habitat fragmentation, and biotic invasion increase. These impact the soil-rhizosphere, plant and fungal physiology and/or ecosystem(s) directly and indirectly. Direct effects include changes in resource availability and change in distribution of mycorrhizas. Indirect effects include changes in below ground allocation of C to roots and changes in plant species distribution. GCC ecological drivers have been partitioned into four putative time frames: (1) Immediate (1–2 years) impacts, associated with ecosystem fragmentation and habitat loss realized through loss of plant-hosts and disturbance of the soil; (2) Short-term (3–10 year) impacts, resultant of biotic invasions of exotic mycorrhizal fungi, plants and pests, diseases and other abiotic perturbations; (3) Intermediate-term (11–20 year) impacts, of cumulative and additive effects of increased N (and S) deposition, soil acidification and other pollutants; and (4) Long-term (21–50+ year) impacts, where increased temperatures and CO2 will destabilize global rainfall patterns, soil properties and plant ecosystem resilience. Due to dependence on their host for C-supply, orchid mycorrhizas and all heterotrophic mycorrhizal groups will be immediately impacted through loss of habitat and plant-hosts. Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) associations will be the principal group subject to short-term impacts, along with Ericoid mycorrhizas occurring in high altitude or high latitude ecosystems. This is due to susceptibility (low buffer capacity of soils) of many of the ECM systems and that GCC is accentuated at high latitudes and altitudes. Vulnerable mycorrhizal types subject to intermediate-term GCC changes include highly specialized ECM species associated with forest ecosystems and finally arbuscular mycorrhizas (AM) associated with grassland ecosystems. Although the soils of grasslands are generally well buffered, the soils of arid lands are highly buffered and will resist even fairly long term GCC impacts, and thus these arid, largely AM systems will be the least affect by GCC. Once there are major perturbations to the global hydrological cycle that change rainfall patterns and seasonal distributions, no aspect of the global mycorrhizal diversity will remain unaffected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic and Functional Diversity of Microorganisms)
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Other

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Open AccessShort Note Higher-Level Targets for Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity Should Focus on Regional Capacity for Effective Trade-Offs
Diversity 2011, 3(1), 1-7; doi:10.3390/d3010001
Received: 24 November 2010 / Accepted: 10 January 2011 / Published: 18 January 2011
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (146 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Convention on Biological Diversity has adopted 20 targets as part of its new Strategic Plan. Perrings et al. have proposed that such targets should focus solely on critical ecosystem services. Such a strategy may neglect the need to conserve overall biodiversity
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The Convention on Biological Diversity has adopted 20 targets as part of its new Strategic Plan. Perrings et al. have proposed that such targets should focus solely on critical ecosystem services. Such a strategy may neglect the need to conserve overall biodiversity and corresponding option values. It also may neglect the important role of ecosystem services in systematic conservation planning strategies that seek effective regional trade-offs and synergies among different needs of society. Parties to the Convention have an opportunity to address not only conventional lists of individual targets for ecosystem services and overall biodiversity, but also higher-level targets that focus directly on how well the country achieves—and maintains its capacity to achieve—effective trade-offs among different needs of society. Full article

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