Full Text Available DIVERSES ESPÈCES DANS DIVERS HABITATS. Des espèces extraordinairement diverses se trouvant dans des habitats également divers caractérisent Chamaedorea, un genre qui compte environ 90 espèces dioïques limitées aux sous-bois des forêts néo-tropicales constamment dans la pluie et les nuages du Mexique à la Bolivie et à lÉquateur. Une vaste gamme de formes biologiques, de tiges, de feuilles, dinflorescences, de fleurs, et de fruits reflète la diversité des espèces. Bien que le genre soit plus riche en espèces dans les forêts denses et humides situées entre 800-1,500 mètres daltitude, quelques espèces exceptionnelles se trouvent dans des forêts moins denses et/ou occasionnellement sèches, sur des substances dures ou dans dautres habitats inhabituels. DIVERSAS ESPECIES EN DIVERSOS HÁBITATS. Especies notablemente diversas presentes en habitats igualmente diversos caracterizan a Chamaedorea, un genero de aproximadamente 90 especies dioicas limitadas al sotobosque de los bosques lluviosos y nubosos neotropicales desde Mexico hasta Bolivia y Ecuador. Una amplia gama de formas biológicas, tallos, hojas, inflorescencias, flores, y frutos refleja la diversidad de las especies. Aunque el género es más rico en especies en los bosques densos y húmedos de 800-1,500 metros de altura, unas pocas especies excepcionales ocurren en bosques abiertos o ocasionalmente secos, en substrato severo o en otros habitats extraordinarios. Remarkably diverse species occurring in equally diverse habitats characterize Chamaedorea, a genus of about 90, dioecious species restricted to the understory of neotropical rain and cloud forests from Mexico to Bolivia and Ecuador. A vast array of habits, stems, leaves, inflorescences, flowers, and fruits reflect the diversity of species. Although the genus is most species-rich in dense, moist or wet, diverse forests from 800-1,500 meters elevation, a few exceptional species occur in open and/or seasonally
Full Text Available Contemporary in-depth sequencing of environmental samples has provided novel insights into microbial community structures, revealing that their diversity had been previously underestimated. Communities in marine environments are commonly composed of a few dominant taxa and a high number of taxonomically diverse, low-abundance organisms. However, studying the roles and genomic information of these "rare" organisms remains challenging, because little is known about their ecological niches and the environmental conditions to which they respond. Given the current threat to coral reef ecosystems, we investigated the potential of corals to provide highly specialized habitats for bacterial taxa including those that are rarely detected or absent in surrounding reef waters. The analysis of more than 350,000 small subunit ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA sequence tags and almost 2,000 nearly full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that rare seawater biosphere members are highly abundant or even dominant in diverse Caribbean corals. Closely related corals (in the same genus/family harbored similar bacterial communities. At higher taxonomic levels, however, the similarities of these communities did not correlate with the phylogenetic relationships among corals, opening novel questions about the evolutionary stability of coral-microbial associations. Large proportions of OTUs (28.7-49.1% were unique to the coral species of origin. Analysis of the most dominant ribotypes suggests that many uncovered bacterial taxa exist in coral habitats and await future exploration. Our results indicate that coral species, and by extension other animal hosts, act as specialized habitats of otherwise rare microbes in marine ecosystems. Here, deep sequencing provided insights into coral microbiota at an unparalleled resolution and revealed that corals harbor many bacterial taxa previously not known. Given that two of the coral species investigated are listed as threatened under
Full Text Available Understanding bat use of human-altered habitat is critical for developing effective conservation plans for this ecologically important taxon. Green roofs, building rooftops covered in growing medium and vegetation, are increasingly important conservation tools that make use of underutilized space to provide breeding and foraging grounds for urban wildlife. Green roofs are especially important in highly urbanized areas such as New York City (NYC, which has more rooftops (34% than green space (13%. To date, no studies have examined the extent to which North American bats utilize urban green roofs. To investigate the role of green roofs in supporting urban bats, we monitored bat activity using ultrasonic recorders on four green and four conventional roofs located in highly developed areas of NYC, which were paired to control for location, height, and local variability in surrounding habitat and species diversity. We then identified bat vocalizations on these recordings to the species level. We documented the presence of five of nine possible bat species over both roof types: Lasiurus borealis, L. cinereus, L. noctivagans, P. subflavus,andE. fuscus. Of the bat calls that could be identified to the species level, 66% were from L. borealis. Overall levels of bat activity were higher over green roofs than over conventional roofs. This study provides evidence that, in addition to well documented ecosystem benefits, urban green roofs contribute to urban habitat availability for several North American bat species.
Hortal, J.; Triantis, K.A.; Meiri, S.; Thebault, E.M.C.; Sfenthourakis, S.
Species richness is commonly thought to increase with habitat diversity. However, a recent theoretical model aiming to unify niche and island biogeography theories predicted a hump-shaped relationship between richness and habitat diversity. Given the contradiction between model results and previous
Li, Su-Mei; Wang, Yin-Qiao; Liu, Run-Jin
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are one of the important components in ecosystems, which not only have the diversity in genetics, species composition, and function, but also have the diversity in distribution and habitat. AMF infect plant root, form mycorrhiza, and nourish as obligate biotroph symbiont, with strong ecological adaptability. They not only distribute in forest, prairie, and farm land, but also distribute in the special habitats with less plant species diversity, such as commercial greenhouse soil, saline-alkali soil, mining pollution land, petroleum-contaminated land, pesticide-polluted soil, desert, dry land, wetland, marsh, plateau, volcanic, cooler, and arctic tundra, composing a unique community structure and playing an important irreplaceable role in the physiological and ecological functions. This paper summarized the species diversity and mycorrhizal morphological features of AMF in special habitats, aimed to provide essential information for the further studies on the AMF in these special habitats and extreme environments.
Full Text Available Our understanding of the Escherichia genus is heavily biased toward pathogenic or commensal isolates from human or animal hosts. Recent studies have recovered Escherichia isolates that persist, and even grow, outside these hosts. Although the environmental isolates are typically phylogenetically distinct, they are highly related to and phenotypically indistinguishable from their human counterparts, including for the coliform test. To gain insights into the genomic diversity of Escherichia isolates from diverse habitats, including freshwater, soil, animal, and human sources, we carried out comparative DNA-DNA hybridizations using a multi-genome E. coli DNA microarray. The microarray was validated based on hybridizations with selected strains whose genome sequences were available and used to assess the frequency of microarray false positive and negative signals. Our results showed that human fecal isolates share two sets of genes (n>90 that are rarely found among environmental isolates, including genes presumably important for evading host immune mechanisms (e.g., a multi-drug transporter for acids and antimicrobials and adhering to epithelial cells (e.g., hemolysin E and fimbrial-like adhesin protein. These results imply that environmental isolates are characterized by decreased ability to colonize host cells relative to human isolates. Our study also provides gene markers that can distinguish human isolates from those of warm-blooded animal and environmental origins, and thus can be used to more reliably assess fecal contamination in natural ecosystems.
Vanbergen, Adam J; Watt, Allan D; Mitchell, Ruth; Truscott, Anne-Marie; Palmer, Stephen C F; Ivits, Eva; Eggleton, Paul; Jones, T Hefin; Sousa, José Paulo
Habitat heterogeneity contributes to the maintenance of diversity, but the extent that landscape-scale rather than local-scale heterogeneity influences the diversity of soil invertebrates-species with small range sizes-is less clear. Using a Scottish habitat heterogeneity gradient we correlated Collembola and lumbricid worm species richness and abundance with different elements (forest cover, habitat richness and patchiness) and qualities (plant species richness, soil variables) of habitat heterogeneity, at landscape (1 km(2)) and local (up to 200 m(2)) scales. Soil fauna assemblages showed considerable turnover in species composition along this habitat heterogeneity gradient. Soil fauna species richness and turnover was greatest in landscapes that were a mosaic of habitats. Soil fauna diversity was hump-shaped along a gradient of forest cover, peaking where there was a mixture of forest and open habitats in the landscape. Landscape-scale habitat richness was positively correlated with lumbricid diversity, while Collembola and lumbricid abundances were negatively and positively related to landscape spatial patchiness. Furthermore, soil fauna diversity was positively correlated with plant diversity, which in turn peaked in the sites that were a mosaic of forest and open habitat patches. There was less evidence that local-scale habitat variables (habitat richness, tree cover, plant species richness, litter cover, soil pH, depth of organic horizon) affected soil fauna diversity: Collembola diversity was independent of all these measures, while lumbricid diversity positively and negatively correlated with vascular plant species richness and tree canopy density. Landscape-scale habitat heterogeneity affects soil diversity regardless of taxon, while the influence of habitat heterogeneity at local scales is dependent on taxon identity, and hence ecological traits, e.g. body size. Landscape-scale habitat heterogeneity by providing different niches and refuges, together
Shililu, Josephat; Ghebremeskel, Tewolde; Seulu, Fessahaye; Mengistu, Solomon; Fekadu, Helen; Zerom, Mehari; Ghebregziabiher, Asmelash; Sintasath, David; Bretas, Gustavo; Mbogo, Charles; Githure, John; Brantly, Eugene; Novak, Robert; Beier, John C
Studies on the spatial distribution of anopheline mosquito larvae were conducted in 302 villages over two transmission seasons in Eritrea. Additional longitudinal studies were also conducted at eight villages over a 24-mo period to determine the seasonal variation in anopheline larval densities. Eight anopheline species were identified with Anopheles arabiensis predominating in most of the habitats. Other species collected included: An. cinereus, An. pretoriensis, An. d'thali, An. funestus, An. squamosus, An. adenensis, and An. demeilloni. An. arabiensis was found in five of the six aquatic habitats found positive for anopheline larvae during the survey. Anopheles larvae were sampled predominantly from stream edges and streambed pools, with samples from this habitat type representing 91.2% (n = 9481) of the total anopheline larval collection in the spatial distribution survey. Other important anopheline habitats included rain pools, ponds, dams, swamps, and drainage channels at communal water supply points. Anopheline larvae were abundant in habitats that were shallow, slow flowing and had clear water. The presence of vegetation, intensity of shade, and permanence of aquatic habitats were not significant determinants of larval distribution and abundance. Larval density was positively correlated with water temperature. Larval abundance increased during the wet season and decreased in the dry season but the timing of peak densities was variable among habitat types and zones. Anopheline larvae were collected all year round with the dry season larval production restricted mainly to artificial aquatic habitats such as drainage channels at communal water supply points. This study provides important information on seasonal patterns of anopheline larval production and larval habitat diversity on a countrywide scale that will be useful in guiding larval control operations in Eritrea.
Christopher E Moorman
Full Text Available Strips of fallow vegetation along cropland borders are an effective strategy for providing brood habitat for declining populations of upland game birds (Order: Galliformes, including northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus, but fallow borders lack nectar-producing vegetation needed to sustain many beneficial insect populations (e.g., crop pest predators, parasitoids, and pollinator species. Planted borders that contain mixes of prairie flowers and grasses are designed to harbor more diverse arthropod communities, but the relative value of these borders as brood habitat is unknown. We used groups of six human-imprinted northern bobwhite chicks as a bioassay for comparing four different border treatments (planted native grass and prairie flowers, planted prairie flowers only, fallow vegetation, or mowed vegetation as northern bobwhite brood habitat from June-August 2009 and 2010. All field border treatments were established around nine organic crop fields. Groups of chicks were led through borders for 30-min foraging trials and immediately euthanized, and eaten arthropods in crops and gizzards were measured to calculate a foraging rate for each border treatment. We estimated arthropod prey availability within each border treatment using a modified blower-vac to sample arthropods at the vegetation strata where chicks foraged. Foraging rate did not differ among border treatments in 2009 or 2010. Total arthropod prey densities calculated from blower-vac samples did not differ among border treatments in 2009 or 2010. Our results showed plant communities established to attract beneficial insects should maximize the biodiversity potential of field border establishment by providing habitat for beneficial insects and young upland game birds.
Navarro-López, Juan; Fargallo, Juan Antonio
Recent research reports that many populations of species showing a wide trophic niche (generalists) are made up of both generalist individuals and individuals with a narrow trophic niche (specialists), suggesting trophic specializations at an individual level. If true, foraging strategies should be associated with individual quality and fitness. Optimal foraging theory predicts that individuals will select the most favourable habitats for feeding. In addition, the "landscape heterogeneity hypothesis" predicts a higher number of species in more diverse landscapes. Thus, it can be predicted that individuals with a wider realized trophic niche should have foraging territories with greater habitat diversity, suggesting that foraging strategies, territory quality and habitat diversity are inter-correlated. This was tested for a population of common kestrels Falco tinnunculus. Diet diversity, territory occupancy (as a measure of territory quality) and habitat diversity of territories were measured over an 8-year period. Our results show that: 1) territory quality was quadratically correlated with habitat diversity, with the best territories being the least and most diverse; 2) diet diversity was not correlated with territory quality; and 3) diet diversity was negatively correlated with landscape heterogeneity. Our study suggests that niche generalist foraging strategies are based on an active search for different prey species within or between habitats rather than on the selection of territories with high habitat diversity.
Amy M. Savage
Full Text Available High-throughput sequencing techniques have opened up the world of microbial diversity to scientists, and a flurry of studies in the most remote and extreme habitats on earth have begun to elucidate the key roles of microbes in ecosystems with extreme conditions. These same environmental extremes can also be found closer to humans, even in our homes. Here, we used high-throughput sequencing techniques to assess bacterial and archaeal diversity in the extreme environments inside human homes (e.g., dishwashers, hot water heaters, washing machine bleach reservoirs, etc.. We focused on habitats in the home with extreme temperature, pH, and chemical environmental conditions. We found a lower diversity of microbes in these extreme home environments compared to less extreme habitats in the home. However, we were nonetheless able to detect sequences from a relatively diverse array of bacteria and archaea. Habitats with extreme temperatures alone appeared to be able to support a greater diversity of microbes than habitats with extreme pH or extreme chemical environments alone. Microbial diversity was lowest when habitats had both extreme temperature and one of these other extremes. In habitats with both extreme temperatures and extreme pH, taxa with known associations with extreme conditions dominated. Our findings highlight the importance of examining interactive effects of multiple environmental extremes on microbial communities. Inasmuch as taxa from extreme environments can be both beneficial and harmful to humans, our findings also suggest future work to understand both the threats and opportunities posed by the life in these habitats.
De Coster, Greet; Banks-Leite, Cristina; Metzger, Jean Paul
Habitat loss often reduces the number of species as well as functional diversity. Dramatic effects to species composition have also been shown, but changes to functional composition have so far been poorly documented, partly owing to a lack of appropriate indices. We here develop three new community indices (i.e. functional integrity, community integrity of ecological groups and community specialization) to investigate how habitat loss affects the diversity and composition of functional traits and species. We used data from more than 5000 individuals of 137 bird species captured in 57 sites in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, a highly endangered biodiversity hotspot.Results indicate that habitat loss leads to a decrease in functional integrity while measures of functional diversity remain unchanged or are even positively affected. Changes to functional integrity were caused by (i) a decrease in the provisioning of some functions, and an increase in others; (ii) strong within-guild species turnover; and (iii) a replacement of specialists by generalists. Hence, communities from more deforested sites seem to provide different but not fewer functions. We show the importance of investigating changes to both diversity and composition of functional traits and species, as the effects of habitat loss on ecosystem functioning may be more complex than previously thought. Crucially, when only functional diversity is assessed, important changes to ecological functions may remain undetected and negative effects of habitat loss underestimated, thereby imperiling the application of effective conservation actions.
Pacheco, Aldo S.; González, Maria Teresa; Bremner, Julie; Oliva, Marcelo; Heilmayer, Olaf; Laudien, Jürgen; Riascos, José M.
Benthic communities show changes in composition and structure across different environmental characteristics and habitats. However, incorporating species biological traits into the analysis can provide a better understanding of system functioning within habitats. We compare the functional diversity of macrobenthic communities from a contrasting shallow (15 m) and deep (50 m) sublittoral soft-sediment habitats in northern Chile, using biological traits analysis. Our aim was to highlight the biological characteristics responsible for differences between habitats and the implications for ecosystem functioning. Trait analysis showed that the deep habitat was restricted in providing functionally important biogenic structure and bioturbation and supports less diverse feeding-related energy pathways. The shallow habitat is characterized by more diverse energy pathways and a higher potential for matter exchange through bioturbation. We provide support to the predictions of transfer of energy from the benthos to upper trophic levels in the shallow, which is characterized mainly by normoxia and little organic matter content in the sediment. In the deep habitat, characterized by hypoxia and more organic matter, energy appears to be transferred to microbial components. We suggest that trait analysis should be added to the traditional approaches based on species diversity, because it provides indicators of ecosystem stress.
Nash, Michael A.; Christie, Fiona J.; Hahs, Amy K.; Livesley, Stephen J.
Habitat complexity is a major determinant of structure and diversity of ant assemblages. Following the size-grain hypothesis, smaller ant species are likely to be advantaged in more complex habitats compared to larger species. Habitat complexity can act as an environmental filter based on species size and morphological traits, therefore affecting the overall structure and diversity of ant assemblages. In natural and semi-natural ecosystems, habitat complexity is principally regulated by ecological successions or disturbance such as fire and grazing. Urban ecosystems provide an opportunity to test relationships between habitat, ant assemblage structure and ant traits using novel combinations of habitat complexity generated and sustained by human management. We sampled ant assemblages in low-complexity and high-complexity parks, and high-complexity woodland remnants, hypothesizing that (i) ant abundance and species richness would be higher in high-complexity urban habitats, (ii) ant assemblages would differ between low- and high-complexity habitats and (iii) ants living in high-complexity habitats would be smaller than those living in low-complexity habitats. Contrary to our hypothesis, ant species richness was higher in low-complexity habitats compared to high-complexity habitats. Overall, ant assemblages were significantly different among the habitat complexity types investigated, although ant size and morphology remained the same. Habitat complexity appears to affect the structure of ant assemblages in urban ecosystems as previously observed in natural and semi-natural ecosystems. However, the habitat complexity filter does not seem to be linked to ant morphological traits related to body size. PMID:26528416
C L Free
Full Text Available Animal species are seldom distributed evenly at either local or larger spatial scales, and instead tend to aggregate in sites that meet their resource requirements and maximise fitness. This tendency is likely to be especially marked in arid regions where species could be expected to concentrate at resource-rich oases. In this study, we first test the hypothesis that productive riparian sites in arid Australia support higher vertebrate diversity than other desert habitats, and then elucidate the habitats selected by different species. We addressed the first aim by examining the diversity and composition of vertebrate assemblages inhabiting the Field River and adjacent sand dunes in the Simpson Desert, western Queensland, over a period of two and a half years. The second aim was addressed by examining species composition in riparian and sand dune habitats in dry and wet years. Vertebrate species richness was estimated to be highest (54 species in the riverine habitats and lowest on the surrounding dune habitats (45 species. The riverine habitats had different species pools compared to the dune habitats. Several species, including the agamid Gowidon longirostris and tree frog Litoria rubella, inhabited the riverine habitats exclusively, while others such as the skinks Ctenotus ariadnae and C. dux were captured only in the dune habitats. The results suggest that, on a local scale, diversity is higher along riparian corridors and that riparian woodland is important for tree-dependent species. Further, the distribution of some species, such as Mus musculus, may be governed by environmental variables (e.g. soil moisture associated with riparian corridors that are not available in the surrounding desert environment. We conclude that inland river systems may be often of high conservation value, and that management should be initiated where possible to alleviate threats to their continued functioning.
Emilia de Brito Valente
Full Text Available ABSTRACT Campos rupestres (rupestrian grasslands are characterized by the presence of rock outcrops associated with an herbaceous-shrub physiognomy typically growing on quartzitic soils; they occur a wide variety of habitats. Bryophytes respond rapidly and efficiently to variation in microclimate. The present work aimed to study bryophyte species richness, diversity and composition, their life forms, and the substrates they colonize in exposed and shaded habitats in campos rupestres of Chapada Diamantina. Collections were made in 25 x 25 m sampling plots. One hundred and nine species were recorded and included a predominance of mosses (78 spp. over liverworts (31 spp.. Most species (79 % were restricted to one of the two types of habitat (exposed versus shaded. While the genera Campylopus, Polytrichum, Schlotheimia, Macromitrium and Syrrhopodon were prevalent in exposed habitats, Sphagnum, Lepidozia, Micropterygium, Bazzania and Odontoschisma prevailed in shaded habitats. The rupicolous community was more prominent than the other communities in both types of habitat. “Weft” was the most frequent life form in shaded areas, while “turf” predominated in exposed sites. The high number of rare, and exclusive, species illustrates the high degree of heterogeneity among bryophyte communities in campos rupestres, and demonstrates the importance of habitat heterogeneity for the high diversity.
Using pitfall traps, wandering spiders (Arachnida: Araneae) were sampled in a nested design from three different localities in the mountainous arid ecosystem of South Sinai at low, middle, and high altitudes. Habitat type and altitude were clearly different among the three localities. Spider diversity per trap varied spatially ...
... point counts and presence–absence surveys to estimate bird species richness and diversity in acacia savanna habitats of the park between 2009 and 2011. We recorded a total number of 301 species, of which 75% were resident and 22% migrant, including a large number of Palearctic visitors and Afrotropical migrants.
Information is lacking on habitat and diversity of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi of African humid forests. For three years, mushroom excursions were carried out in four sites with contrasted soil and altitude characteristics of South Cameroon, during wet seasons. Collected fungi were described in fresh state and dried ...
Diversity, relative abundance and habitat association of rodents in Aquatimo Forest patches and adjacent farmland, east Gojjam, Ethiopia. ... This study about the ecology and biology of rodents is fundamental for proper monitoring of the environment in order to control and conserve small mammals. Keywords: Insectivores ...
Ellingsen, Kari E.; Hewitt, Judi E.; Thrush, Simon F.
Macro-ecological theories relating species richness, abundance, range size, biological traits and environmental tolerance have rarely been tested in marine soft-sediments, despite the spatial extent of these habitats and the inherent richness of resident communities. This study examines the contribution of rare species to marine soft-sediment communities from New Zealand, focussing on the relationships of range size with abundance, environment, habitat diversity and life history traits. 54% of the 351 species sampled exhibited restricted ranges (found at ≤ 2 sites). In contrast to many terrestrial systems, we observed only a weak positive relationship between abundance and frequency of occurrence. Restricted-range species were not randomly distributed, with their distribution related to habitat characteristics, suggesting an important link between habitat diversity and rarity. They exhibited a similar range of traits to the total observed species pool, suggesting that they are not only important to biodiversity but could play a role in stability. Restricted range species were generally not small and this, together with the number of different biological traits represented, suggests that rare species are important to the functioning of marine systems. Thus, our results highlight the importance of considering rare species in habitat-based approaches to conservation.
Jana C. Riemann
Full Text Available Anthropogenic habitat alterations cause biodiversity loss, which in turn negatively affects ecosystem functioning and services, and thus human well-being. To be able to consider ecosystem functioning in conservation actions, analyzing the effects of habitat alteration on functional diversity is essential. Some altered habitats can maintain a significant part of regional biodiversity, however, functional diversity information in altered habitats is so far mostly lacking. We compared functional richness and functional β-diversity based on resource-use traits of frogs between three land-use categories in a rainforest ecosystem in Madagascar. Land-use categories represent a habitat alteration gradient ranging from continuous forest over forest fragments to matrix habitats including different agricultures. Our study revealed distinct changes in resource-use trait composition and complex patterns in the relationship between species richness and functional richness. Thus, the functional structure of frog assemblages changed due to habitat alterations. However, altered habitats likely provide different, rather than fewer functions compared to intact forest. Streams in all land-use categories were the functionally richest habitats, and thus important for ecosystem functioning. Species richness was one, but not the only driver of functional richness in our system. Functional clustering, potentially due to environmental filters depending on resource availability, was caused by anthropogenic and natural drivers. Our study shows that, even in systems where fragmented landscapes still maintain high species diversity, functional diversity can be altered in human altered habitats, which may affect ecosystem processes like productivity, nutrient cycling, and energy flows.
Barelli, Claudia; Albanese, Davide; Donati, Claudio; Pindo, Massimo; Dallago, Chiara; Rovero, Francesco; Cavalieri, Duccio; Tuohy, Kieran Michael; Hauffe, Heidi Christine; De Filippo, Carlotta
The expansion of agriculture is shrinking pristine forest areas worldwide, jeopardizing the persistence of their wild inhabitants. The Udzungwa red colobus monkey (Procolobus gordonorum) is among the most threatened primate species in Africa. Primarily arboreal and highly sensitive to hunting and habitat destruction, they provide a critical model to understanding whether anthropogenic disturbance impacts gut microbiota diversity. We sampled seven social groups inhabiting two forests (disturbed vs. undisturbed) in the Udzungwa Mountains of Tanzania. While Ruminococcaceae and Lachnospiraceae dominated in all individuals, reflecting their role in extracting energy from folivorous diets, analysis of genus composition showed a marked diversification across habitats, with gut microbiota α-diversity significantly higher in the undisturbed forest. Functional analysis suggests that such variation may be associated with food plant diversity in natural versus human-modified habitats, requiring metabolic pathways to digest xenobiotics. Thus, the effects of changes in gut microbiota should not be ignored to conserve endangered populations.
Maltz, Mia R; Treseder, Kathleen K; McGuire, Krista L
Habitat fragmentation is widespread across ecosystems, detrimentally affecting biodiversity. Although most habitat fragmentation studies have been conducted on macroscopic organisms, microbial communities and fungal processes may also be threatened by fragmentation. This study investigated whether fragmentation, and the effects of fragmentation on plants, altered fungal diversity and function within a fragmented shrubland in southern California. Using fluorimetric techniques, we assayed enzymes from plant litter collected from fragments of varying sizes to investigate enzymatic responses to fragmentation. To isolate the effects of plant richness from those of fragment size on fungi, we deployed litter bags containing different levels of plant litter diversity into the largest fragment and incubated in the field for one year. Following field incubation, we determined litter mass loss and conducted molecular analyses of fungal communities. We found that leaf-litter enzyme activity declined in smaller habitat fragments with less diverse vegetation. Moreover, we detected greater litter mass loss in litter bags containing more diverse plant litter. Additionally, bags with greater plant litter diversity harbored greater numbers of fungal taxa. These findings suggest that both plant litter resources and fungal function may be affected by habitat fragmentation's constraints on plants, possibly because plant species differ chemically, and may thus decompose at different rates. Diverse plant assemblages may produce a greater variety of litter resources and provide more ecological niche space, which may support greater numbers of fungal taxa. Thus, reduced plant diversity may constrain both fungal taxa richness and decomposition in fragmented coastal shrublands. Altogether, our findings provide evidence that even fungi may be affected by human-driven habitat fragmentation via direct effects of fragmentation on plants. Our findings underscore the importance of restoring
Mia R Maltz
Full Text Available Habitat fragmentation is widespread across ecosystems, detrimentally affecting biodiversity. Although most habitat fragmentation studies have been conducted on macroscopic organisms, microbial communities and fungal processes may also be threatened by fragmentation. This study investigated whether fragmentation, and the effects of fragmentation on plants, altered fungal diversity and function within a fragmented shrubland in southern California. Using fluorimetric techniques, we assayed enzymes from plant litter collected from fragments of varying sizes to investigate enzymatic responses to fragmentation. To isolate the effects of plant richness from those of fragment size on fungi, we deployed litter bags containing different levels of plant litter diversity into the largest fragment and incubated in the field for one year. Following field incubation, we determined litter mass loss and conducted molecular analyses of fungal communities. We found that leaf-litter enzyme activity declined in smaller habitat fragments with less diverse vegetation. Moreover, we detected greater litter mass loss in litter bags containing more diverse plant litter. Additionally, bags with greater plant litter diversity harbored greater numbers of fungal taxa. These findings suggest that both plant litter resources and fungal function may be affected by habitat fragmentation's constraints on plants, possibly because plant species differ chemically, and may thus decompose at different rates. Diverse plant assemblages may produce a greater variety of litter resources and provide more ecological niche space, which may support greater numbers of fungal taxa. Thus, reduced plant diversity may constrain both fungal taxa richness and decomposition in fragmented coastal shrublands. Altogether, our findings provide evidence that even fungi may be affected by human-driven habitat fragmentation via direct effects of fragmentation on plants. Our findings underscore the importance
Full Text Available Mapping and assessing the ecosystem services provided by benthic habitats are a highly valuable source of information for understanding their current and potential benefits to society. The main objective of this investigation is to assess and map the ecosystem services provided by benthic habitats of the European North Atlantic Ocean, in the context of Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES programme, the European Biodiversity Strategy and the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. In total, 62 habitats have been analysed in relation to 12 ecosystem services over 1.7 million km2. Results indicated that more than 90% of the mapped area provides biodiversity maintenance and food provision services; meanwhile grounds providing reproduction and nursery services are limited to half of the mapped area. Benthic habitats generally provide more services closer to shore than offshore and in shallower waters. This gradient is likely to be explained by difficult access (i.e. distance and depth and lack of scientific knowledge for most of the services provided by distant benthic habitats. This research has provided a first assessment of the benthic ecosystem services at Atlantic European scale, with the provision of ecosystem services maps and their general spatial distribution patterns. Related to the objectives of this research, the conclusions are: (i benthic habitats provide a diverse set of ecosystem services, being the food provision and biodiversity maintenance services the ones that are more extensively represented. In addition, other regulating and cultural services are provided in a more limited area; and (ii the ecosystem services assessment categories are significantly related to the distance to the coast and with depth (higher near the coast and in shallow waters.
M. Violet Gray; James M. Greaves; Thomas E. Olson
The upper Santa Ynez River, Santa Barbara County, provides habitats for a relatively large population of least Bell's vireos (Vireo bellii pusillus), as well as diverse riparian flora and fauna. Of particular interest is the richness of the species within particular guilds. Four species of vireos: least Bell's, warbling (Vireo...
Anteau, Michael J; Sherfy, Mark H; Wiltermuth, Mark T
Animals use proximate cues to select resources that maximize individual fitness. When animals have a diverse array of available habitats, those selected could give insights into true habitat preferences. Since the construction of the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea (SAK) has become an important breeding area for federally threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plovers). We used conditional logistic regression to examine nest-site selection at fine scales (1, 3, and 10 m) during summers 2006-2009 by comparing characteristics at 351 nests to those of 668 random sites within nesting territories. Plovers selected sites (1 m(2)) that were lower than unused random sites, increasing the risk of nest inundation. Plovers selected nest sites that were flat, had little silt, and at least 1 cobble; they also selected for 3-m radius nest areas that were relatively flat and devoid of vegetation and litter. Ninety percent of nests had <38% coverage of silt and <10% slope at the site, and <15% coverage of vegetation or litter and <31% slope within the 3-m radius. Gravel was selected for at nest sites (11% median), but against in the area 10-m from the nest, suggesting plovers select for patches or strips of gravel. Although elevation is rarely evaluated in studies of ground-nesting birds, our results underscore its importance in habitat-selection studies. Relative to where plovers historically nested, habitat at SAK has more diverse topography, substrate composition, vegetation communities, and greater water-level fluctuations. Accordingly, our results provide an example of how habitat-selection results can be interpreted as habitat preferences because they are not influenced by desired habitats being scarce or absent. Further, our results will be useful for directing habitat conservation for plovers and interpreting other habitat-selection studies.
Michael J Anteau
Full Text Available Animals use proximate cues to select resources that maximize individual fitness. When animals have a diverse array of available habitats, those selected could give insights into true habitat preferences. Since the construction of the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea (SAK has become an important breeding area for federally threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plovers. We used conditional logistic regression to examine nest-site selection at fine scales (1, 3, and 10 m during summers 2006-2009 by comparing characteristics at 351 nests to those of 668 random sites within nesting territories. Plovers selected sites (1 m(2 that were lower than unused random sites, increasing the risk of nest inundation. Plovers selected nest sites that were flat, had little silt, and at least 1 cobble; they also selected for 3-m radius nest areas that were relatively flat and devoid of vegetation and litter. Ninety percent of nests had <38% coverage of silt and <10% slope at the site, and <15% coverage of vegetation or litter and <31% slope within the 3-m radius. Gravel was selected for at nest sites (11% median, but against in the area 10-m from the nest, suggesting plovers select for patches or strips of gravel. Although elevation is rarely evaluated in studies of ground-nesting birds, our results underscore its importance in habitat-selection studies. Relative to where plovers historically nested, habitat at SAK has more diverse topography, substrate composition, vegetation communities, and greater water-level fluctuations. Accordingly, our results provide an example of how habitat-selection results can be interpreted as habitat preferences because they are not influenced by desired habitats being scarce or absent. Further, our results will be useful for directing habitat conservation for plovers and interpreting other habitat-selection studies.
Gregory A Ellis
Full Text Available Bacterial communities associated with marine invertebrates such as sponges and ascidians have demonstrated potential as sources of bio-medically relevant small molecules. Metagenomic analysis has shown that many of these invertebrates harbor populations of Actinobacteria, many of which are cultivable. While some populations within invertebrates are transmitted vertically, others are obtained from the environment. We hypothesized that cultivable diversity from sponges living in brackish mangrove habitats have associations with Actinobacterial populations that differ from those found in clear tropical waters. In this study, we analyzed the cultivable Actinobacterial populations from sponges found in these two distinct habitats with the aim of understanding the secondary metabolite potential. Importantly, we wanted to broadly evaluate the potential differences among these groups to guide future Actinobacterial collection strategies for the purposes of drug discovery.
Ellis, Gregory A; Thomas, Chris S; Chanana, Shaurya; Adnani, Navid; Szachowicz, Emily; Braun, Doug R; Harper, Mary Kay; Wyche, Thomas P; Bugni, Tim S
Bacterial communities associated with marine invertebrates such as sponges and ascidians have demonstrated potential as sources of bio-medically relevant small molecules. Metagenomic analysis has shown that many of these invertebrates harbor populations of Actinobacteria, many of which are cultivable. While some populations within invertebrates are transmitted vertically, others are obtained from the environment. We hypothesized that cultivable diversity from sponges living in brackish mangrove habitats have associations with Actinobacterial populations that differ from those found in clear tropical waters. In this study, we analyzed the cultivable Actinobacterial populations from sponges found in these two distinct habitats with the aim of understanding the secondary metabolite potential. Importantly, we wanted to broadly evaluate the potential differences among these groups to guide future Actinobacterial collection strategies for the purposes of drug discovery.
Full Text Available For ecosystems vulnerable to environmental change, understanding the spatiotemporal stability of functionally crucial symbioses is fundamental to determining the mechanisms by which these ecosystems may persist. The coral Pachyseris speciosa is a successful environmental generalist that succeeds in diverse reef habitats. The generalist nature of this coral suggests it may have the capacity to form functionally significant microbial partnerships to facilitate access to a range of nutritional sources within different habitats. Here, we propose that coral is a metaorganism hosting three functionally distinct microbial interactions: a ubiquitous core microbiome of very few symbiotic host-selected bacteria, a microbiome of spatially and/or regionally explicit core microbes filling functional niches (100,000 phylotypes. We find that this coral hosts upwards of 170,000 distinct phylotypes and provide evidence for the persistence of a select group of bacteria in corals across environmental habitats of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. We further show that a higher number of bacteria are consistently associated with corals on mesophotic reefs than on shallow reefs. An increase in microbial diversity with depth suggests reliance by this coral on bacteria for nutrient acquisition on reefs exposed to nutrient upwelling. Understanding the complex microbial communities of host organisms across broad biotic and abiotic environments as functionally distinct microbiomes can provide insight into those interactions that are ubiquitous niche symbioses and those that provide competitive advantage within the hosts’ environment.
Full Text Available Abstract The lack of new antibiotics in the pharmaceutical pipeline guides more and more researchers to leave the classical isolation procedures and to look in special niches and ecosystems. Bioprospecting of extremophilic Actinobacteria through mining untapped strains and avoiding resiolation of known biomolecules is among the most promising strategies for this purpose. With this approach, members of acidtolerant, alkalitolerant, psychrotolerant, thermotolerant, halotolerant and xerotolerant Actinobacteria have been obtained from respective habitats. Among these, little survey exists on the diversity of Actinobacteria in arid areas, which are often adapted to relatively high temperatures, salt concentrations, and radiation. Therefore, arid and desert habitats are special ecosystems which can be recruited for the isolation of uncommon Actinobacteria with new metabolic capability.At the time of this writing, members of Streptomyces, Micromonospora, Saccharothrix, Streptosporangium, Cellulomonas, Amycolatopsis, Geodermatophilus, Lechevalieria, Nocardia and Actinomadura are reported from arid habitats. However, metagenomic data present dominant members of the communities in desiccating condition of areas with limited water availability that are not yet isolated. Furthermore, significant diverse types of polyketide synthase (PKS and nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS genes are detected in xerophilic and xerotolerant Actinobacteria and some bioactive compounds are reported from them. Rather than pharmaceutically active metabolites, molecules with protection activity against drying such as Ectoin and Hydroxyectoin with potential application in industry and agriculture have also been identified from xerophilic Actinobacteria. In addition, numerous biologically active small molecules are expected to be discovered from arid adapted Actinobacteria in the future. In the current survey, the diversity and biotechnological potential of Actinobacteria
Oct 27, 2004 ... Encysted embryos (cysts) of the brine shrimp, Artemia, provide excellent opportunities for the study of biochemical and biophysical adaptation to extremes of environmental stress in animals. Among other virtues, this organism is found in a wide variety of hypersaline habitats, ranging from deserts, to tropics, ...
Full Text Available The fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra has been repeatedly noted to occur in natural and artificial subterranean systems. Despite the obvious connection of this species with underground shelters, their level of dependence and importance to the species is still not fully understood. In this study, we carried out long-term monitoring based on the capture-mark-recapture method in two wintering populations aggregated in extensive underground habitats. Using the POPAN model we found the population size in a natural shelter to be more than twice that of an artificial underground shelter. Survival and recapture probabilities calculated using the Cormack-Jolly-Seber model were very constant over time, with higher survival values in males than in females and juveniles, though in terms of recapture probability, the opposite situation was recorded. In addition, survival probability obtained from Cormack-Jolly-Seber model was higher than survival from POPAN model. The observed bigger population size and the lower recapture rate in the natural cave was probably a reflection of habitat complexity. Our study showed that regular visits are needed to detect the true significance of underground shelters for fire salamanders. The presence of larvae was recorded in both wintering sites, especially in bodies of water near the entrance. On the basis of previous and our observations we incline to the view, that karst areas can induce not only laying in underground shelters but also group wintering in this species. Our study highlights the strong connection of the life cycle of fire salamanders with underground shelters and their essential importance for the persistence of some populations during unfavourable conditions and breeding activity. In addition, the study introduces the POPAN and Cormac-Jolly-Seber models for estimating of population size, survival and recapture probability in wintering populations of the species, which could provide important information
Schofield, Pamela J.; Akins, Lad; Gregoire-Lucente, Denise R.; Pawlitz, Rachel J.
Two species of lionfish (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles) are the first marine fishes known to invade and establish self-sustaining populations along the eastern seaboard of the United States. First documented off the coast of Florida in 1985, lionfish are now found along the Atlantic coast of the United States as well as in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. Although long-term effects of this invasion are not yet fully known, there is early evidence that lionfish are negatively impacting native marine life.The lionfish invasion raises questions about which types of habitat the species will occupy in its newly invaded ecosystem. In their native range, lionfish are found primarily on coral reefs but sometimes are found in other habitats such as seagrasses and mangroves. This fact sheet documents the diversity of habitat types in which invasive lionfish have been reported within Florida’s coastal waters, based on lionfish sightings recorded in the U.S. Geological Survey Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database (USGS-NAS).
Cultural diversity is an increasingly important characteristic of the work force. Occupational health nurses with sensitivity to the influence of culture on behavior and knowledge of strategies to deliver culturally competent services can lead to and/or help develop a culturally sensitive health care environment and influence corporate culture and policies.
Viorel Dumitru Gavril
I identified 34 species of fish in the Shabla-Tyulenovo area and 39 species in the Constanta area, of which 19 species preferred sandy bottoms, 21 rocky bottoms, 16 rocky habitats with Cystoseira sp., 19 man-made structures and 9 were pelagic. For 7 species habitat preferences could not be determined as a result of capture only by fishing. In conclusion, the scuba visual transects along with fishing methods provide a relevant image to the current state of the fish diversity along the western coast of the Black Sea.
Gingerich, Stephen B.; Wolff, Reuben H.
Effects of surface-water diversions on habitat availability for native stream fauna (fish, shrimp, and snails) are described for 21 streams in northeast Maui, Hawaii. Five streams (Waikamoi, Honomanu, Wailuanui, Kopiliula, and Hanawi Streams) were chosen as representative streams for intensive study. On each of the five streams, three representative reaches were selected: (1) immediately upstream of major surface-water diversions, (2) midway to the coast, and (3) near the coast. This study focused on five amphidromous native aquatic species (alamoo, nopili, nakea, opae, and hihiwai) that are abundant in the study area. The Physical Habitat Simulation (PHABSIM) System, which incorporates hydrology, stream morphology and microhabitat preferences to explore relations between streamflow and habitat availability, was used to simulate habitat/discharge relations for various species and life stages, and to provide quantitative habitat comparisons at different streamflows of interest. Hydrologic data, collected over a range of low-flow discharges, were used to calibrate hydraulic models of selected transects across the streams. The models were then used to predict water depth and velocity (expressed as a Froude number) over a range of discharges up to estimates of natural median streamflow. The biological importance of the stream hydraulic attributes was then assessed with the statistically derived suitability criteria for each native species and life stage that were developed as part of this study to produce a relation between discharge and habitat availability. The final output was expressed as a weighted habitat area of streambed for a representative stream reach. PHABSIM model results are presented to show the area of estimated usable bed habitat over a range of streamflows relative to natural conditions. In general, the models show a continuous decrease in habitat for all modeled species as streamflow is decreased from natural conditions. The PHABSIM modeling results
Full Text Available After Typhoon Morakot, dredging engineering was conducted while taking the safety of humans and structures into consideration, but partial stream reaches were formed in the multiple-channel sections in Cishan Stream because of anthropogenic and natural influences. This study mainly explores the distribution of each fish species in both the multiple- and single-channel sections in the Cishan Stream. Parts of the environments did not exhibit significant differences according to a one-way ANOVA comparing the multiple- and single-channel sections, but certain areas of the multiple-channel sections had more diverse habitats. Each fish species was widely distributed by non-metric multidimensional scaling in the multiple-channel sections as compared to those in the single-channel sections. In addition, according to the principal component analysis, each fish species has a preferred environment, and all of them have a wide choice of habitat environments in the multiple-channel sections. Finally, the existence of multiple-channel sections could significantly affect the existence of the fish species under consideration in this study. However, no environmental factors were found to have an influence on fish species in the single-channel sections, with the exception of Rhinogobius nantaiensis. The results show that providing multiple-channel sections in dredging activities could improve fish habitat environments.
Microbiological growth on materials in an indoor environment contributes to the well known "sick building syndrome". The inhabitants' health and well-being is affected by injurious vapours and odours given off to the air. This is particularly pronounced in new and better tightened houses with unconventional building materials and wider employment of air conditioning. The European Space Agency has recognized the problems to be expected in a totally closed and self-supported long-term habitat and has induced work on the selection of materials, resistant to microbiological growth, and on other microbial contamination control measures. Requirements and procedures are being established as a basis for the microbiological cleanliness of the manned space environment and for the avoidance of microbiological growth on materials and equipment. Methods are being developed, suitable for testing and predicting the resistivity to microbiological growth of materials to be used in long-term space habitats.
Raghukumar, S.; Raghukumar, C.; Manohar, C.S.
The marine environment contains several habitats characterized by extreme living conditions. However, extremophilic marine fungi were neither well known, nor often studied. Many studies in recent years have shown that fungi do inhabit such habitats...
Ortego, Joaquín; Aguirre, María P; Noguerales, Víctor; Cordero, Pedro J
Anthropogenic habitat fragmentation has altered the distribution and population sizes in many organisms worldwide. For this reason, understanding the demographic and genetic consequences of this process is necessary to predict the fate of populations and establish management practices aimed to ensure their viability. In this study, we analyse whether the spatial configuration of remnant semi-natural habitat patches within a chronically fragmented landscape has shaped the patterns of genetic diversity and structure in the habitat-specialist esparto grasshopper (Ramburiella hispanica). In particular, we predict that agricultural lands constitute barriers to gene flow and hypothesize that fragmentation has restricted interpopulation dispersal and reduced local levels of genetic diversity. Our results confirmed the expectation that isolation and habitat fragmentation have reduced the genetic diversity of local populations. Landscape genetic analyses based on circuit theory showed that agricultural land offers ∽1000 times more resistance to gene flow than semi-natural habitats, indicating that patterns of dispersal are constrained by the spatial configuration of remnant patches of suitable habitat. Overall, this study shows that semi-natural habitat patches act as corridors for interpopulation gene flow and should be preserved due to the disproportionately large ecological function that they provide considering their insignificant area within these human-modified landscapes.
Adriel Barboza Bentos
Full Text Available ABSTRACT Agriculture, urbanization, and industrialization are some of the anthropogenic activities that constantly generate negative impacts on natural environments. Part of this degradation directly affects aquatic systems. This study aimed to evaluate the visual characteristics of the Araras Stream, located in the municipality of Araras, São Paulo state, Brazil. Data was collected at six different assessment sites along the river in both rural and urban areas. The evaluation used a Rapid Habitat Diversity Assessment (RHDA protocol composed of 22 parameters, which define levels of preservation of ecological conditions. According to this protocol, the 32 Km-long study transect along the Araras Stream was rated as impacted (39.6 points. A separate assessment by transects showed that only Transect 1 presented a natural level of preservation (71.8 points. Transects located in the urban area contributed the most to impacts on the aquatic environment. The RHDA protocol proved to be an important tool to evaluate and monitor aquatic environments.
Mailafiya, Duna Madu; Le Ru, Bruno Pierre; Kairu, Eunice Waitherero; Calatayud, Paul-André; Dupas, Stéphane
The effects of biotic and abiotic factors on stem borer parasitoid diversity, abundance, and parasitism were studied in cultivated and natural habitats in four agroecological zones in Kenya. Comparing habitat types, we found partial support for the "natural enemy" hypothesis, whereby, across all localities, parasitoid diversity was higher in more diverse host plant communities in natural habitats, whereas parasitoid abundance was higher in cultivated habitats. For both habitats, parasitoid richness was mainly influenced by stem borer density and/or its interaction with stem borer richness, whereas parasitoid abundance was mainly affected by stem borer abundance. Parasitoid richness was higher in localities (with bimodal rainfall distribution) with increased spatial and temporal availability of host plants that harbored the borers. Across seasons, parasitoid richness was lower in both cultivated and natural habitats in the driest locality, Mtito Andei. Overall, parasitoid diversity was low in Suam and Mtito Andei, where maize cultivation was practiced on a commercial scale and intense grazing activities persist across seasons, respectively. Across localities, habitats, and seasons, stem borer parasitism was positively correlated with parasitoid richness and abundance. Furthermore, the interaction of rainfall and altitude influenced the presence and absence of parasitoids, and consequently, stem borer parasitism. Parasitism was positively and negatively correlated with temperature in cultivated and natural habitats, respectively. Overall, natural habitats seem to serve as important refugia for sustaining parasitoid diversity, which in turn can affect stem borer parasitism in the cereal cropping system.
Raabe, Ellen A.; D'Anjou, Robert; Pope, Domonique K.; Robbins, Lisa L.
This project combines underwater video with maps and descriptions to illustrate diverse seafloor habitats from Tampa Bay, Florida, to Mobile Bay, Alabama. A swath of seafloor was surveyed with underwater video to 100 meters (m) water depth in 1999 and 2000 as part of the Gulfstream Natural Gas System Survey. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in St. Petersburg, Florida, in cooperation with Eckerd College and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), produced an archive of analog-to-digital underwater movies. Representative clips of seafloor habitats were selected from hundreds of hours of underwater footage. The locations of video clips were mapped to show the distribution of habitat and habitat transitions. The numerous benthic habitats in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico play a vital role in the region's economy, providing essential resources for tourism, natural gas, recreational water sports (fishing, boating, scuba diving), materials, fresh food, energy, a source of sand for beach renourishment, and more. These submerged natural resources are important to the economy but are often invisible to the general public. This product provides a glimpse of the seafloor with sample underwater video, maps, and habitat descriptions. It was developed to depict the range and location of seafloor habitats in the region but is limited by depth and by the survey track. It should not be viewed as comprehensive, but rather as a point of departure for inquiries and appreciation of marine resources and seafloor habitats. Further information is provided in the Resources section.
Alba, T. W.; Goertz, G.; Williams, A. J.; Cole, J. K.; Murugapiran, S. K.; Dodsworth, J. A.; Hedlund, B. P.
';Aigarchaeota' (formerly known as pSL4 and Hot Water Crenarchaeotic Group I (HWCGI)) is a candidate phylum of Archaea known only by 16S rRNA gene fragments from cultivation-independent microbial surveys and a single composite genome from Candidatus ';Caldiarchaeum subterraneum', an inhabitant of a subterranean gold mine in Japan. Sequences reported in various publications are found exclusively in geothermal settings, but a comprehensive assessment has not yet been performed. We mined public databases for 16S rRNA gene sequences related to known ';Aigarchaeota' and used a combination of approaches to rigorously define the phylogenetic boundaries of the phylum. The analyses supported the proposed relationship between ';Aigarchaeota', Thaumarchaeota, Crenarchaeota, and Korarchaeota in the so-called 'TACK superphylum' and identified ~200 16S rRNA genes and gene fragments belonging to ';Aigarchaeota', including those recovered from terrestrial geothermal systems on several continents (North America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania) and marine geothermal and subsurface samples in both the Atlantic and Pacific. ';Aigarchaeota' belonged to at least three family- to order-level groups and at least seven genus-level groups. All genus-level groups were recovered from geographically distant locations, suggesting a global distribution within amenable habitats. ';Aigarchaeota'-specific primers for the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of 16S rRNA genes were designed using SP-Designer and reviewed using the Ribosomal Database Project Probe Match tool. The primers will be used to determine the presence and abundance of ';Aigarchaeota' in a wide variety of samples from terrestrial geothermal systems in the western U.S. and Asia. These phylogenetic data, along with a large geochemical database, will be analyzed using multivariate statistics to develop biogeographic and habitat niche models for ';Aigarchaeota'. This study offers the first coherent view of the
Full Text Available AbstractThe statement that the habitat complexity and structure govern the abundance and diversity of biological communities has been widely investigated. In this context, we assumed the hypothesis of habitat heterogeneity, that is, the higher habitat complexity leads to greater diversity of Odonata. In addition, we analyzed the influence of habitat structure on the distribution of this community, and evaluated the effects of abiotic variables. Odonata larvae were collected with sieves and by electrofishing in ten neotropical streams belonging to the Pirapó River basin. Forty species of Odonata were registered, which were distributed in eight families, Libellulidae stood out with the highest richness. The high gamma diversity and distribution of Odonata were associated with habitat heterogeneity in these streams. However, the abiotic variables also seem to affect the distribution of Odonata species, in view of the impact of the land use in the vicinity of streams.
Hof, Christian; Brändle, Martin; Brandl, Roland
Aim We analysed the variation of species richness in the European freshwater fauna across latitude. In particular, we compared latitudinal patterns in species richness and ß -diversity among species adapted to different habitat types. Location Europe. Methods We compiled data on occurrence for 14...... (standing water) habitats. We analysed latitudinal patterns of species richness, the proportion of lentic species and ß -diversity. Results Only lentic species showed a significant species-area relationship. We found a monotonic decline of species richness with latitude for groundwater and lotic habitats......, but a hump-shaped relationship for lentic habitats. The proportion of lentic species increased from southern to northern latitudes. ß -Diversity declined from groundwater to lentic habitats and from southern to northern latitudes. Main conclusions The differences in the latitudinal variation of species...
Steven D. Warren; Martin Alt; Keith D. Olson; Severin D. H. Irl; Manuel J. Steinbauer; Anke Jentsch
Assessment of habitat heterogeneity and plant species richness at the landscape scale is often based on intensive and extensive fieldwork at great cost of time and money. We evaluated the use of satellite imagery as a quantitativemeasure of the relationship between the spectral diversity of satellite imagery, habitat heterogeneity, and plant species richness. A 16 km2...
Bakker, ES; Ritchie, ME; Olff, H; Milchunas, DG; Knops, JMH; Bakker, Elisabeth S.; Ritchie, Mark E.; Milchunas, Daniel G.; Knops, Johannes M.H.; Waller, Don
Mammalian herbivores can have pronounced effects on plant diversity but are currently declining in many productive ecosystems through direct extirpation, habitat loss and fragmentation, while being simultaneously introduced as livestock in other, often unproductive, ecosystems that lacked such
Bakker, E.S.; Ritchie, M.E.; Olff, H.; Milchunas, D.G.; Knops, J.M.H.
Mammalian herbivores can have pronounced effects on plant diversity but are currently declining in many productive ecosystems through direct extirpation, habitat loss and fragmentation, while being simultaneously introduced as livestock in other, often unproductive, ecosystems that lacked such
Bakker, E.S.; Ritchie, M.E.; Olff, H.; Milchunas, D.G.; Knops, J.M.H.
Mammalian herbivores can have pronounced effects on plant diversity but are currently declining in many productive ecosystems through direct extirpation, habitat loss and fragmentation, while being simultaneously introduced as livestock in other, often unproductive, ecosystems that lacked such
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Small mammals were studied in three central Iowa grassland habitat types to test the hypothesis that species diversity and abundances are lower in relatively pure...
Paxton, Avery B; Pickering, Emily A; Adler, Alyssa M; Taylor, J Christopher; Peterson, Charles H
Structural complexity, a form of habitat heterogeneity, influences the structure and function of ecological communities, generally supporting increased species density, richness, and diversity. Recent research, however, suggests the most complex habitats may not harbor the highest density of individuals and number of species, especially in areas with elevated human influence. Understanding nuances in relationships between habitat heterogeneity and ecological communities is warranted to guide habitat-focused conservation and management efforts. We conducted fish and structural habitat surveys of thirty warm-temperate reefs on the southeastern US continental shelf to quantify how structural complexity influences fish communities. We found that intermediate complexity maximizes fish abundance on natural and artificial reefs, as well as species richness on natural reefs, challenging the current paradigm that abundance and other fish community metrics increase with increasing complexity. Naturally occurring rocky reefs of flat and complex morphologies supported equivalent abundance, biomass, species richness, and community composition of fishes. For flat and complex morphologies of rocky reefs to receive equal consideration as essential fish habitat (EFH), special attention should be given to detecting pavement type rocky reefs because their ephemeral nature makes them difficult to detect with typical seafloor mapping methods. Artificial reefs of intermediate complexity also maximized fish abundance, but human-made structures composed of low-lying concrete and metal ships differed in community types, with less complex, concrete structures supporting lower numbers of fishes classified largely as demersal species and metal ships protruding into the water column harboring higher numbers of fishes, including more pelagic species. Results of this study are essential to the process of evaluating habitat function provided by different types and shapes of reefs on the seafloor
Avery B Paxton
Full Text Available Structural complexity, a form of habitat heterogeneity, influences the structure and function of ecological communities, generally supporting increased species density, richness, and diversity. Recent research, however, suggests the most complex habitats may not harbor the highest density of individuals and number of species, especially in areas with elevated human influence. Understanding nuances in relationships between habitat heterogeneity and ecological communities is warranted to guide habitat-focused conservation and management efforts. We conducted fish and structural habitat surveys of thirty warm-temperate reefs on the southeastern US continental shelf to quantify how structural complexity influences fish communities. We found that intermediate complexity maximizes fish abundance on natural and artificial reefs, as well as species richness on natural reefs, challenging the current paradigm that abundance and other fish community metrics increase with increasing complexity. Naturally occurring rocky reefs of flat and complex morphologies supported equivalent abundance, biomass, species richness, and community composition of fishes. For flat and complex morphologies of rocky reefs to receive equal consideration as essential fish habitat (EFH, special attention should be given to detecting pavement type rocky reefs because their ephemeral nature makes them difficult to detect with typical seafloor mapping methods. Artificial reefs of intermediate complexity also maximized fish abundance, but human-made structures composed of low-lying concrete and metal ships differed in community types, with less complex, concrete structures supporting lower numbers of fishes classified largely as demersal species and metal ships protruding into the water column harboring higher numbers of fishes, including more pelagic species. Results of this study are essential to the process of evaluating habitat function provided by different types and shapes of
De la Mora, A; García-Ballinas, JA; Philpott, SM
© 2014 Elsevier B.V. Agricultural management and the landscape surrounding farms impact biological diversity and ecosystem services, such as predation, in agroecosystems. Diversified coffee agroecosystems harbor biodiversity, and maintain ecosystem services, especially when in complex landscapes, and when diversity of organisms providing services is maintained. But few have examined whether biological diversity, per se, or the local and landscape habitat features are stronger drivers of the s...
Heiniger, Charlène; Barot, Sébastien; Ponge, Jean-François; Salmon, Sandrine; Botton-Divet, Léo; Carmignac, David; Dubs, Florence
International audience; Landscape fragmentation is a major threat to biodiversity. It results in the transformation of continuous (hence large) habitat patches into isolated (hence smaller) patches, embedded in a matrix of another habitat type. Many populations are harmed by fragmentation because remnant patches do not fulfil their ecological and demographic requirements. In turn, this leads to a loss of biodiversity, especially if species have poor dispersal abilities. Moreover, landscape fr...
Twerd, Lucyna; Krzyżyński, Maciej; Waldon-Rudzionek, Barbara; Olszewski, Piotr
Published sources document a loss of biodiversity at an extreme rate, mainly because natural and semi-natural ecosystems are becoming fragmented and isolated, thus losing their biological functions. These changes significantly influence biological diversity, which is a complex phenomenon that changes over time. Contemporary ecologists must therefore draw attention to anthropogenic replacement habitats and increase their conservation status. In our studies we show the positive role of soda ash dumping grounds as an alternative habitat for digger wasps, especially the thermophilic species. In the years 2007-2010 we carried out investigations in postindustrial soda ash dumping grounds located in Central Poland. We demonstrated that these areas serve as replacement habitats for thermophilic species of Spheciformes and, indirectly, for their potential prey. The studies were conducted in three microhabitat types, varying in soil moisture, salinity and alkalinity, that were changing in the course of ecological succession. We trapped 2571 specimens belonging to 64 species of digger wasps. Species typical of open sunny spaces comprised 73% of the whole inventory. The obtained results suggest that the stage of succession determines the richness, abundance and diversity of Spheciformes. The most favorable conditions for digger wasps were observed in habitats at late successional stages. Our results clearly showed that these habitats were replacement habitats for thermophilous Spheciformes, including rare taxa that require genetic, species and ecosystem protection, according to the Biodiversity Convention. We showed that some types of industry might play a positive role in the preservation of taxa in the landscape, and that even degraded industrial wasteland can replace habitats under anthropopressure, serving as refugia of biological diversity, especially for disturbance-dependent species.
Full Text Available Published sources document a loss of biodiversity at an extreme rate, mainly because natural and semi-natural ecosystems are becoming fragmented and isolated, thus losing their biological functions. These changes significantly influence biological diversity, which is a complex phenomenon that changes over time. Contemporary ecologists must therefore draw attention to anthropogenic replacement habitats and increase their conservation status. In our studies we show the positive role of soda ash dumping grounds as an alternative habitat for digger wasps, especially the thermophilic species.In the years 2007-2010 we carried out investigations in postindustrial soda ash dumping grounds located in Central Poland. We demonstrated that these areas serve as replacement habitats for thermophilic species of Spheciformes and, indirectly, for their potential prey. The studies were conducted in three microhabitat types, varying in soil moisture, salinity and alkalinity, that were changing in the course of ecological succession. We trapped 2571 specimens belonging to 64 species of digger wasps. Species typical of open sunny spaces comprised 73% of the whole inventory. The obtained results suggest that the stage of succession determines the richness, abundance and diversity of Spheciformes. The most favorable conditions for digger wasps were observed in habitats at late successional stages.Our results clearly showed that these habitats were replacement habitats for thermophilous Spheciformes, including rare taxa that require genetic, species and ecosystem protection, according to the Biodiversity Convention. We showed that some types of industry might play a positive role in the preservation of taxa in the landscape, and that even degraded industrial wasteland can replace habitats under anthropopressure, serving as refugia of biological diversity, especially for disturbance-dependent species.
Nazareno, Alison G; Jump, Alistair S
Predicted parallel impacts of habitat fragmentation on genes and species lie at the core of conservation biology, yet tests of this rule are rare. In a recent article in Ecology Letters, Struebig et al. (2011) report that declining genetic diversity accompanies declining species diversity in tropical forest fragments. However, this study estimates diversity in many populations through extrapolation from very small sample sizes. Using the data of this recent work, we show that results estimated from the smallest sample sizes drive the species-genetic diversity correlation (SGDC), owing to a false-positive association between habitat fragmentation and loss of genetic diversity. Small sample sizes are a persistent problem in habitat fragmentation studies, the results of which often do not fit simple theoretical models. It is essential, therefore, that data assessing the proposed SGDC are sufficient in order that conclusions be robust.
Lange, C. N.; Kristensen, Thomas K.; Madsen, Henry
We investigated freshwater gastropod diversity, abundance and distribution in habitats with and without anthropogenic disturbance in two localities, Ndere in the Winam Gulf and Mbita Point, Lake Victoria, Kenya, from May 2002 to January 2004. A total of 133 984 gastropod specimens belonging to 15...... and other wastes so as to reduce local eutrophication, thereby reducing risks associated with transmission of potential snail-borne diseases. © 2013...... species were recorded, 14 from Mbita and 12 from Ndere. Two species, Ferrissia kavirondica and Cleopatra cridlandi, which were recorded only from undisturbed habitats, could be indicators of least disturbed habitats. Water chemistry did differ between fish landing sites and undisturbed habitats at some...
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The goals of this project are to examine 1) the relative importance of multiple aquatic habitats (streams, estuaries, and nearshore areas, for example) used by...
Rewicz, Agnieszka; Jaskuła, Radomir; Rewicz, Tomasz; Tończyk, Grzegorz
Epipactis helleborine is an Eurasian orchid species which prefers woodland environments but it may also spontaneously and successfully colonise human-made artificial and disturbed habitats such as roadsides, town parks and gardens. It is suggested that orchids colonising anthropogenic habitats are characterised by a specific set of features (e.g., large plant size, fast flower production). However, as it is not well known how pollinator diversity and reproductive success of E. helleborine differs in populations in anthropogenic habitats compared to populations from natural habitats, we wanted to compare pollinator diversity and reproductive success of this orchid species between natural and anthropogenic habitat types. Pollination biology, reproductive success and autogamy in populations of E. helleborine from anthropogenic (roadside) and natural (forest) habitats were compared. Eight populations (four natural and four human-disturbed ones) in two seasons were studied according to height of plants, length of inflorescences, as well as numbers of juvenile shoots, flowering shoots, flowers, and fruits. The number and diversity of insect pollinators were studied in one natural and two human-disturbed populations. Reproductive success (the ratio of the number of flowers to the number of fruits) in the populations from anthropogenic habitats was significantly higher than in the natural habitats. Moreover, plants from anthropogenic habitats were larger than those from natural ones. In both types of populations, the main insect pollinators were Syrphidae, Culicidae, Vespidae, Apidae and Formicidae. With respect to the type of pollinators' mouth-parts, chewing (39%), sponging (34%) and chewing-sucking (20%) pollinators prevailed in anthropogenic habitats. In natural habitats, pollinators with sponging (55%) and chewing mouth-parts (32%) dominated, while chewing-sucking and piercing-sucking insects accounted for 9% and 4% respectively. We suggest that higher reproductive
Full Text Available Background Epipactis helleborine is an Eurasian orchid species which prefers woodland environments but it may also spontaneously and successfully colonise human-made artificial and disturbed habitats such as roadsides, town parks and gardens. It is suggested that orchids colonising anthropogenic habitats are characterised by a specific set of features (e.g., large plant size, fast flower production. However, as it is not well known how pollinator diversity and reproductive success of E. helleborine differs in populations in anthropogenic habitats compared to populations from natural habitats, we wanted to compare pollinator diversity and reproductive success of this orchid species between natural and anthropogenic habitat types. Methods Pollination biology, reproductive success and autogamy in populations of E. helleborine from anthropogenic (roadside and natural (forest habitats were compared. Eight populations (four natural and four human-disturbed ones in two seasons were studied according to height of plants, length of inflorescences, as well as numbers of juvenile shoots, flowering shoots, flowers, and fruits. The number and diversity of insect pollinators were studied in one natural and two human-disturbed populations. Results Reproductive success (the ratio of the number of flowers to the number of fruits in the populations from anthropogenic habitats was significantly higher than in the natural habitats. Moreover, plants from anthropogenic habitats were larger than those from natural ones. In both types of populations, the main insect pollinators were Syrphidae, Culicidae, Vespidae, Apidae and Formicidae. With respect to the type of pollinators’ mouth-parts, chewing (39%, sponging (34% and chewing-sucking (20% pollinators prevailed in anthropogenic habitats. In natural habitats, pollinators with sponging (55% and chewing mouth-parts (32% dominated, while chewing-sucking and piercing-sucking insects accounted for 9% and 4% respectively
The original source of the pheasants living in the natural habitat is the farm, and the present genetic variation between the two groups of birds can be interpreted as an effect of natural selection. Keywords: Common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), genetic distance, genetic polymorphism, genetic similarities, genetic ...
]. De nombreuses espèces ... d'habitats dans une réserve naturelle : Parc National de Theniet El Had. 2. REGION D' ...... 1984, 397 p.  Remini L., Moulaï R. La diversité et la structure des populations de papillons dans les.
Little is known of the nesting bird species in most of urban areas of East Africa. An investigation was made of the occurrence of breeding bird species in the fragmented thickets found in the Mwalimu Nyerere Campus of the University of Dar es Salaam, in the City of Dar es Salaam. The study examined how habitat ...
Switzer, Ryan D.; Parnell, P. Ed; Leichter, James L.; Driscoll, Neal W.
Landscape and seascape structures are typically complex and manifest as patch mosaics within characteristic biomes, bordering one another in gradual or abrupt ecotones. The underlying patch structure in coastal shelf ecosystems is driven by the interaction of tectonic, sedimentary, and sea level dynamic processes. Animals and plants occupy and interact within these mosaics. Terrestrial landscape ecological studies have shown that patch structure is important for ecological processes such as foraging, connectivity, predation, and species dynamics. The importance of patch structure for marine systems is less clear because far fewer pattern-process studies have been conducted in these systems. For many coastal shelf systems, there is a paucity of information on how species occupy shelf seascapes, particularly for seascapes imbued with complex patch structure and ecotones that are common globally due to tectonic activity. Here, we present the results of a study conducted along a myriameter-scale gradient of bottom and sub-bottom geological forcing altered by tectonic deformation, sea level transgression and sediment allocation. The resulting seascape is dominated by unconsolidated sediments throughout, but also exhibits increasing density and size of outcropping patches along a habitat patch gradient forced by the erosion of a sea level transgressive surface that has been deformed and tilted by tectonic forcing. A combination of sub-bottom profiling, multibeam bathymetry, and ROV surveys of the habitats and the demersal megafauna occupying the habitats indicate (1) significant beta diversity along this gradient, (2) biological diversity does not scale with habitat diversity, and (3) species occupy the patches disproportionately (non-linearly) with regard to the proportional availability of their preferred habitats. These results indicate that shelf habitat patch structure modulates species specific processes and interactions with other species. Further studies are
Yergeau, E.; Newsham, K.K.; Pearce, D.A.; Kowalchuk, G.A.
Although soil-borne bacteria represent the world's greatest source of biological diversity, it is not well understood whether extreme environmental conditions, such as those found in Antarctic habitats, result in reduced soil-borne microbial diversity. To address this issue, patterns of bacterial
Yergeau, E.; Newsham, K.K.; Pearce, D.A.; Kowalchuk, G.A.
Although soil-borne bacteria represent the world's greatest source of biological diversity, it is not well understood whether extreme environmental conditions, such as those found in Antarctic habitats, result in reduced soil-borne microbial diversity. To address this issue, patterns of bacterial
Stireman, John O; Devlin, Hilary; Doyle, Annie L
Habitat fragmentation and invasive species are two of the most prominent threats to terrestrial ecosystems. Few studies have examined how these factors interact to influence the diversity of natural communities, particularly primary consumers. Here, we examined the effects of forest fragmentation and invasion of exotic honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii, Caprifoliaceae) on the abundance and diversity of the dominant forest herbivores: woody plant-feeding Lepidoptera. We systematically surveyed understory caterpillars along transects in 19 forest fragments over multiple years in southwestern Ohio and evaluated how fragment area, isolation, tree diversity, invasion by honeysuckle and interactions among these factors influence species richness, diversity and abundance. We found strong seasonal variation in caterpillar communities, which responded differently to fragmentation and invasion. Abundance and richness increased with fragment area, but these effects were mitigated by high levels of honeysuckle, tree diversity, landscape forest cover, and large recent changes in area. Honeysuckle infestation was generally associated with decreased caterpillar abundance and diversity, but these effects were strongly dependent on other fragment traits. Effects of honeysuckle on abundance were moderated when fragment area, landscape forest cover and tree diversity were high. In contrast, negative effects of honeysuckle invasion on caterpillar diversity were most pronounced in fragments with high tree diversity and large recent increases in area. Our results illustrate the complex interdependencies of habitat fragmentation, plant diversity and plant invasion in their effects on primary consumers and emphasize the need to consider these processes in concert to understand the consequences of anthropogenic habitat change for biodiversity.
Braaker, Sonja; Obrist, Martin Karl; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Moretti, Marco
Increasing development of urban environments creates high pressure on green spaces with potential negative impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. There is growing evidence that green roofs - rooftops covered with vegetation - can contribute mitigate the loss of urban green spaces by providing new habitats for numerous arthropod species. Whether green roofs can contribute to enhance taxonomic and functional diversity and increase connectivity across urbanized areas remains, however, largely unknown. Furthermore, only limited information is available on how environmental conditions shape green roof arthropod communities. We investigated the community composition of arthropods (Apidae, Curculionidae, Araneae and Carabidae) on 40 green roofs and 40 green sites at ground level in the city of Zurich, Switzerland. We assessed how the site's environmental variables (such as area, height, vegetation, substrate and connectivity among sites) affect species richness and functional diversity using generalized linear models. We used an extension of co-inertia analysis (RLQ) and fourth-corner analysis to highlight the mechanism underlying community assemblages across taxonomic groups on green roof and ground communities. Species richness was higher at ground-level sites, while no difference in functional diversity was found between green roofs and ground sites. Green roof arthropod diversity increased with higher connectivity and plant species richness, irrespective of substrate depth, height and area of green roofs. The species trait analysis reviewed the mechanisms related to the environmental predictors that shape the species assemblages of the different taxa at ground and roof sites. Our study shows the important contribution of green roofs in maintaining high functional diversity of arthropod communities across different taxonomic groups, despite their lower species richness compared with ground sites. Species communities on green roofs revealed to be characterized
Bartlett, Will; Allen, Pauline; Pérotin, Virginie; Turner, Simon; Zamora, Bernarda; Matchaya, Greenwell; Roberts, Jennifer
The overall objective of the research project has been to assess the impact of provider diversity on quality and innovation in the NHS. The specific research aims were to identify the differences in performance between non-profit Third Sector organisations, for-profit private enterprises, and incumbent public sector institutions within the NHS as providers of health care services, as well as the factors that affect the entry and growth of new private and Third Sector providers.\\ud The study u...
Samuels, Joshua X.; Hopkins, Samantha S. B.
Through the Cenozoic, paleoclimate records show general trends of global cooling and increased aridity, and environments in North America shifted from predominantly forests to more open habitats. Paleobotanical records indicate grasses were present on the continent in the Eocene; however, paleosol and phytolith studies indicate that open habitats did not arise until the late Eocene or even later in the Oligocene. Studies of large mammalian herbivores have documented changes in ecomorphology and community structure through time, revealing that shifts in mammalian morphology occurred millions of years after the environmental changes thought to have triggered them. Smaller mammals, like rodents and lagomorphs, should more closely track climate and habitat changes due to their shorter generation times and smaller ranges, but these animals have received much less study. To examine changes in smaller mammals through time, we have assembled and analyzed an ecomorphological database of all North American rodent and lagomorph species. Analyses of these data found that rodent and lagomorph community structure changed dramatically through the Cenozoic, and shifts in diversity and ecology correspond closely with the timing of habitat changes. Cenozoic rodent and lagomorph species diversity is strongly biased by sampling of localities, but sampling-corrected diversity reveals diversity dynamics that, after an initial density-dependent diversification in the Eocene, track habitat changes and the appearance of new ecological adaptations. As habitats became more open and arid through time, rodent and lagomorph crown heights increased while burrowing, jumping, and cursorial adaptations became more prevalent. Through time, open-habitat specialists were added during periods of diversification, while closed-habitat taxa were disproportionately lost in subsequent diversity declines. While shifts among rodents and lagomorphs parallel changes in ungulate communities, they started
Astorga, Anna; Death, Russell; Death, Fiona; Paavola, Riku; Chakraborty, Manas; Muotka, Timo
To define whether the beta diversity of stream invertebrate communities in New Zealand exhibits geographical variation unexplained by variation in gamma diversity and, if so, what mechanisms (productivity, habitat heterogeneity, dispersal limitation, disturbance) best explain the observed broad-scale beta diversity patterns. We sampled 120 streams across eight regions (stream catchments), spanning a north-south gradient of 12° of latitude, and calculated beta diversity (with both species richness and abundance data) for each region. We explored through a null model if beta diversity deviates from the expectation of stochastic assembly processes and whether the magnitude of the deviation varies geographically. We then performed multimodel inference analysis on the key environmental drivers of beta diversity, using Akaike's information criterion and model and predictor weights to select the best model(s) explaining beta diversity. Beta diversity was, unexpectedly, highest in the South Island. The null model analysis revealed that beta diversity was greater than expected by chance in all eight regions, but the magnitude of beta deviation was higher in the South Island, suggesting differences in environmental filtering and/or dispersal limitation between North and South Island. Habitat heterogeneity was the predominant driver of beta diversity of stream macroinvertebrates, with productivity having a secondary, and negative, contribution. This is one of the first studies accounting for stochastic effects while examining the ecological drivers of beta diversity. Our results suggest that local environmental heterogeneity may be the strongest determinant of beta diversity of stream invertebrates, more so than regional- or landscape-scale variables.
Kang, Dongwei; Wang, Xiaorong; Li, Shuang; Li, Junqing
Artificial restoration is an important way to restore forests, but little is known about its effect on the habitat restoration of the giant panda. In the present study, we investigated the characteristics of artificial forest in the Wanglang Nature Reserve to determine whether through succession it has formed a suitable habitat for the giant panda. We compared artificial forest characteristics with those of natural habitat used by the giant panda. We found that the dominant tree species in artificial forest differed from those in the natural habitat. The artificial forest had lower plant species richness and diversity in the tree and shrub layers than did the latter, and its community structure was characterized by smaller tree and bamboo sizes, and fewer and lower bamboo clumps, but more trees and larger shrub sizes. The typical community collocation of artificial forest was a "Picea asperata + no-bamboo" model, which differs starkly from the giant panda's natural habitat. After several years of restoration, the artificial forest has failed to become a suitable habitat for the giant panda. Therefore, a simple way of planting individual trees cannot restore giant panda habitat; instead, habitat restoration should be based on the habitat requirements of the giant panda.
Full Text Available The Collembola fauna of the moss flora in the Sopron region was studied. 18 moss species aswell as 3.451 Collembola specimens (belonging to 60 species were collected in 2003/04 in moss samplesof three habitats. The highest Collembola diversity was found in Tómalom (a reed bed habitat where verylow abundance and relatively high species richness were characteristic. The Collembola diversity of theother two habitats (Sopron, Botanic Garden; Fertőrákos – a dry xerophile grass habitat was lower. Theresults have shown a relatively high similarity between the Collembola communities in Sopron andFertőrákos while just the opposite was observed between the Sopron and Tómalom samples.
Hof, Christian; Brändle, Martin; Brandl, Roland
AimWe analysed the variation of species richness in the European freshwater faunaacross latitude. In particular, we compared latitudinal patterns in species richnessandß-diversity among species adapted to different habitat types.LocationEurope.MethodsWe compiled data on occurrence for 14,020 animal species across 25pre-defined biogeographical regions of European freshwaters from theLimnofaunaEuropaea. Furthermore, we extracted information on the habitat preferences ofspecies. We assigned spec...
Michael J Anteau; Sherfy, Mark H.; Wiltermuth, Mark T.
Animals use proximate cues to select resources that maximize individual fitness. When animals have a diverse array of available habitats, those selected could give insights into true habitat preferences. Since the construction of the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea (SAK) has become an important breeding area for federally threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plovers). We used conditional logistic regression to examine nest-site selection ...
Agnieszka Rewicz; Radomir Jaskuła; Tomasz Rewicz; Grzegorz Tończyk
Background Epipactis helleborine is an Eurasian orchid species which prefers woodland environments but it may also spontaneously and successfully colonise human-made artificial and disturbed habitats such as roadsides, town parks and gardens. It is suggested that orchids colonising anthropogenic habitats are characterised by a specific set of features (e.g., large plant size, fast flower production). However, as it is not well known how pollinator diversity and reproductive success of E. hell...
L. A. Scriven; M. J. Sweet; Port, G. R.
Declines in flora and fauna are well documented and highlight the need to manage available habitats to benefit local biodiversity. Between May and September in 2011 the number, composition, and diversity of flower visiting insects were assessed across eight sites, representing a range of habitats within an industrial site in the North East of England, UK. There was no significant difference in insect assemblages between the sites selected, but there was a significant difference between the mo...
Nur Johana, J.; Muzzneena, A. M.; Grismer, L. L.; Norhayati, A.
Anurans on Langkawi Island, Peninsular Malaysia exhibit variation in their habits and forms, ranging from small (SVL 150 mm), and occupy a range of habitats, such as riverine forests, agricultural fields, peat swamps, and lowland and upland dipterocarp forests. These variations provide a platform to explore species diversity, distribution, abundance, microhabitat, and other ecological parameters to understand the distribution patterns and to facilitate conservation and management of sensitive or important species and areas. The objective of this study was to evaluate the diversity and distribution of anuran species in different types of habitat on Langkawi Island. Specimens were collected based on active sampling using the Visual Encounter Survey (VES) method. We surveyed anuran species inhabiting seven types of habitat, namely agriculture (AG), coastal (CL), forest (FT), pond (PD), mangrove (MG), riparian forest (RF) and river (RV). A total of 775 individuals were sampled from all localities, representing 23 species from 12 genera and included all six families of frogs in Malaysia. FT and RF showed high values of Shannon Index, H', 2.60 and 2.38, respectively, followed by the other types of habitat, CL (1.82), RV (1.71), MG (1.56), PD (1.54), and AG (1.53). AG had the highest abundance (156 individuals) compared to other habitat types. Based on Cluster Analysis by using Jaccard coefficient (UPGMA), two groups can be clearly seen and assigned as forested species group (FT and RF) and species associating with human activity (AG, CL, PD, MG and RV). Forest species group is more diverse compared to non-forest group. Nevertheless, non-forest species are found in abundance, highlighting the relevance of these disturbed habitats in supporting the amphibians.
Lutz, Stefanie; Anesio, Alexandre M; Edwards, Arwyn; Benning, Liane G
Distinct microbial habitats on glacial surfaces are dominated by snow and ice algae, which are the critical players and the dominant primary colonisers and net producers during the melt season. Here for the first time we have evaluated the role of these algae in association with the full microbial community composition (i.e., algae, bacteria, archaea) in distinct surface habitats and on 12 glaciers and permanent snow fields in Svalbard and Arctic Sweden. We cross-correlated these data with the analyses of specific metabolites such as fatty acids and pigments, and a full suite of potential critical physico-chemical parameters including major and minor nutrients, and trace metals. It has been shown that correlations between single algal species, metabolites, and specific geochemical parameters can be used to unravel mixed metabolic signals in complex communities, further assign them to single species and infer their functionality. The data also clearly show that the production of metabolites in snow and ice algae is driven mainly by nitrogen and less so by phosphorus limitation. This is especially important for the synthesis of secondary carotenoids, which cause a darkening of glacial surfaces leading to a decrease in surface albedo and eventually higher melting rates. © 2016 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
The study shows that anthropogenic disturbances cause ecological changes that can be exploited by some snail species, especially Biomphalaria choanomphala and Melanoides tuberculata, while other species may not tolerate these changes. In order to protect gastropod diversity and avoid dominance of intermediate ...
Hart, Kristen M.; Zawada, David G.; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.; Fujisaki, Ikuko
We used satellite telemetry to identify in-water habitat used by individuals in the smallest North-west Atlantic subpopulation of adult nesting loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta during the breeding season. During 2010, 2011 and 2012 breeding periods, a total of 20 adult females used habitats proximal to nesting beaches with various levels of protection within Dry Tortugas National Park. We then used a rapid, high-resolution, digital imaging system to map habitat adjacent to nesting beaches, revealing the diversity and distribution of available benthic cover. Turtle behaviour showing measurable site-fidelity to these diverse habitats has implications for managing protected areas and human activities within them. Protecting diverse benthic areas adjacent to loggerhead turtle nesting beaches here and elsewhere could provide benefits for overall biodiversity conservation.
The purpose of the study was to highlight major aspects and problems of cultural diversity in the context of providing health services, and to suggest means for overcoming problems in this context. The major issues discussed were communication as a culture-dependent process, paradigms of relationships between the health professional and the patient, and the potential of various communication features to serve as barriers or bridges between the patient and the health professional. In order to overcome inhibitory effects of cultural diversity on communication, two theoretical approaches were presented. One approach was grounded in the theory of meaning that deals with processing information, the other in cognitive orientation theory that deals with predicting, understanding and changing behaviours. Results demonstrated how to overcome stereotypes and other communication barriers by means of awareness of meanings and expansion of meanings of the relevant stimuli (e.g., patient), and by means of promoting the production of a motivational disposition grounded in beliefs about oneself, about reality, about norms and about one's goals. In summary it is possible to overcome communication barriers and other difficulties potentially dependent on cultural diversity and produce an environment in which cultural diversity is an advantage rather than a source of problems.
Simonetti, Javier A; Grez, Audrey A; Estades, Cristián F
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) expects forestry plantations to contribute to biodiversity conservation. A well-developed understory in forestry plantations might serve as a surrogate habitat for native species and mitigate the negative effect of plantations on species richness. We experimentally tested this hypothesis by removing the understory in Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) plantations in central Chile and assessing changes in species richness and abundance of medium-sized mammals. Frequency of occurrence of mammals, including kodkods (Leopardus guigna), culpeo foxes (Pseudalopex culpaeus), lesser grisons (Conepatus chinga), and Southern pudu deer (Pudu puda), was low in forest stands with little to no understory relative to stands with well-developed undergrowth vegetation. After removing the understory, their frequency of occurrence decreased significantly, whereas in control stands, where understory was not removed, their frequency did not change. This result strongly supports the idea that facilitating the development of undergrowth vegetation may turn forestry stands into secondary habitats as opposed to their containing no habitat for native mammals. This forestry practice could contribute to conservation of biological diversity as it pertains to CBD targets. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.
Lesley Joan Evans Ogden
Full Text Available Although shorebirds spending the winter in temperate areas frequently use estuarine and supratidal (upland feeding habitats, the relative contribution of each habitat to individual diets has not been directly quantified. We quantified the proportional use that Calidris alpina pacifica (Dunlin made of estuarine vs. terrestrial farmland resources on the Fraser River Delta, British Columbia, using stable isotope analysis (δ13C, δ15N of blood from 268 Dunlin over four winters, 1997 through 2000. We tested for individual, age, sex, morphological, seasonal, and weather-related differences in dietary sources. Based on single- (δ13C and dual-isotope mixing models, the agricultural habitat contributed approximately 38% of Dunlin diet averaged over four winters, with the balance from intertidal flats. However, there was a wide variation among individuals in the extent of agricultural feeding, ranging from about 1% to 95% of diet. Younger birds had a significantly higher terrestrial contribution to diet (43% than did adults (35%. We estimated that 6% of adults and 13% of juveniles were obtaining at least 75% of their diet from terrestrial sources. The isotope data provided no evidence for sex or overall body size effects on the proportion of diet that is terrestrial in origin. The use of agricultural habitat by Dunlin peaked in early January. Adult Dunlin obtained a greater proportion of their diet terrestrially during periods of lower temperatures and high precipitation, whereas no such relationship existed for juveniles. Seasonal variation in the use of agricultural habitat suggests that it is used more during energetically stressful periods. The terrestrial farmland zone appears to be consistently important as a habitat for juveniles, but for adults it may provide an alternative feeding site used as a buffer against starvation during periods of extreme weather. Loss or reduction of agricultural habitat adjacent to estuaries may negatively impact
Nayara O Belo
Full Text Available Habitat alteration can disrupt host-parasite interactions and lead to the emergence of new diseases in wild populations. The cerrado habitat of Brazil is being fragmented and degraded rapidly by agriculture and urbanization. We screened 676 wild birds from three habitats (intact cerrado, disturbed cerrado and transition area Amazonian rainforest-cerrado for the presence of haemosporidian parasites (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus to determine whether different habitats were associated with differences in the prevalence and diversity of infectious diseases in natural populations. Twenty one mitochondrial lineages, including 11 from Plasmodium and 10 from Haemoproteus were identified. Neither prevalence nor diversity of infections by Plasmodium spp. or Haemoproteus spp. differed significantly among the three habitats. However, 15 of the parasite lineages had not been previously described and might be restricted to these habitats or to the region. Six haemosporidian lineages previously known from other regions, particularly the Caribbean Basin, comprised 50-80% of the infections in each of the samples, indicating a regional relationship between parasite distribution and abundance.
Lauria, V.; Gristina, M.; Attrill, M. J.; Fiorentino, F.; Garofalo, G.
Commercial fisheries have dramatically impacted elasmobranch populations worldwide. With high capture and bycatch rates, the abundance of many species is rapidly declining and around a quarter of the world’s sharks and rays are threatened with extinction. At a regional scale this negative trend has also been evidenced in the central Mediterranean Sea, where bottom-trawl fisheries have affected the biomass of certain rays (e.g. Raja clavata) and sharks (e.g. Mustelus spp.). Detailed knowledge of elasmobranch habitat requirements is essential for biodiversity conservation and fisheries management, but this is often hampered by a poor understanding of their spatial ecology. Habitat suitability models were used to investigate the habitat preference of nine elasmobranch species and their overall diversity (number of species) in relation to five environmental predictors (i.e. depth, sea surface temperature, surface salinity, slope and rugosity) in the central Mediterranean Sea. Results showed that depth, seafloor morphology and sea surface temperature were the main drivers for elasmobranch habitat suitability. Predictive distribution maps revealed different species-specific patterns of suitable habitat while high assemblage diversity was predicted in deeper offshore waters (400-800 m depth). This study helps to identify priority conservation areas and diversity hot-spots for rare and endangered elasmobranchs in the Mediterranean Sea.
Jia, Xin; Lee, Harry F.; Cui, Mengchun; Liu, Chao; Zeng, Lin; Yue, Ricci P. H.; Zhao, Yang; Lu, Huayu
There are 56 officially-recognized ethnic groups in China. However, the distinct geographic patterns of various ethnic groups in relation to the physical environment in China have rarely been investigated. Based on the geo-referenced physical environmental parameters of 455 Han, Tu, Hui, Salar, Mongolian, and Tibetan communities in Qinghai, we found that the communities could be statistically demarcated by temperature and aridity threshold according to their ethnic populations, implying that the geographic distribution of each ethnic group is mediated by the physical environment. We also observed that the habitat of each ethnic group is ecologically compatible with current subsistence strategies. Tibetans settle in cold high-altitude regions owing to the cultivation of highland barley and the breeding of yak, dzo, Tibetan sheep and Tibetan goat. Mongolians survive by animal husbandry in cold and humid grassland areas. The Han and Tu ethnic groups settle in the Huangshui River Valley, which offers relatively humid climate and flat land for agriculture. The Hui and Salar ethnic groups occupy the Yellow River Valley with its relatively arid environment and grassland vegetation suitable for animal breeding. Our findings offer a new perspective in explaining the geographic pattern and the variety of ethnic groups in China and elsewhere.
Metcalfe, K. N.; Glasby, C. J.
-surface deposit feeders. Multivariate analyses showed that the species composition of urbanised mangroves differed from that of undisturbed sites, with surface deposit feeders more numerous in urbanised habitats. Overall, the findings demonstrate a dynamic spatial and temporal variation in diversity and abundance, and provide insight on the range of microhabitats in which mangrove worms occur and their response to anthropogenic disturbance.
Laura S. Kenefic; Ralph D. Nyland
Habitat characteristics were quantified in an empirically balanced uneven-aged northern hardwood stand in central New York. Canopy structure, wildlife trees, downed woody material, low cover, and richness and abundance of understory vegetation were assessed. High vertical structural diversity and low horizontal patchiness were associated with the single-tree selection...
J. N. Trivedi
Full Text Available The biodiversity of Gulf of Kutch is studied well with special reference to scleretinia and mollusca but the brachyuran crab taxa are rather neglected. Gulf of Kutch is very rich in floral and faunal diversity and comprises different types of communities and habitats like very unique coral reefs, mangroves, sandy shores, rocky shores and mudflats. Brachyuran crabs are the most diverse group among marine fauna having 5000 species world wide. Some studies on the intertidal fauna, including brachyuran crabs, have been carried out in Gulf of Kutch but the findings were not sufficient to draw out taxonomic diversity. Present work on Gulf of Kutch is an initiative to scan the entire coastal Gujarat and establish directory of brachyuran crab diversity. Since the Gulf habitat is diverse and distinct, eight different stations (16 sample sites were sampled. The selection of the sample site was done on the basis of habitat type which included mangrove mudflats, open mudflats and rocky shores. A total of 19 species belonging to 8 families and 15 genera were recorded. Open mud flats were most preferred by the crabs followed by the mangrove mud flats and rocky shore.
Sokołowski, Adam; Ziółkowska, Marcelina; Zgrundo, Aleksandra
Coastal areas provide a high variety of sedimentary habitats that influence the structure of resident fauna even on small geographical scales. Therefore, examinations of spatial variations in benthic assemblages require background knowledge of the environmental and biotic heterogeneity of habitats in order to understand ecological processes in such areas. The effect of habitat-related abiotic and biological variables on macrofaunal benthic assemblages was studied seasonally in 2010 and 2011 in the brackish, semi-enclosed Puck Lagoon (Gulf of Gdańsk, southern Baltic Sea). Based on macrophytal biomass, two discrete benthic regions were identified in the lagoon: a region of large biomass and a region of few macrophytes. The quality of the surface sediment organic matter (measured as C/Nsed ratio), depth, and benthic macrophyte composition accounted for within-region variation, which led to the identification of four habitats. Shallow sandy sediments with low C/Nsed ratios provide high quality sedimentary food for animals that, together with species-rich, dense macrophyte vegetation, support diverse assemblages. High C/Nsed ratios and peat outcrops in shallow sands exert a negative effect on macrofaunal diversity. Two deeper sandy habitats with less massive, species-poor vegetation tend to host distinct faunal assemblages of higher abundance and biomass. The importance of benthic vegetation for macrofaunal assemblages in the southern Baltic Sea is suggested to stem from its complex spatial structure that offers a number of microniches for infaunal and epifaunal species. The effect of macrophytes on benthic faunal assemblages was consistent throughout most of the year with the strongest influence in summer when macrophytes reached the highest biomass.
Imhoff, Marc; Sisk, Thomas; Milne, Anthony; Morgan, Garth; Orr, Tony
The relationship between habitat area, spatial dynamics of the landscape, and species diversity is an important theme in population and conservation biology. Of particular interest is how populations of various species are affected by increasing habitat edges due to fragmentation. Over the last decade, assumptions regarding the effects of habitat edges on biodiversity have fluctuated wildly, from the belief that they have a positive effect to the belief that they have a clearly negative effect. This change in viewpoint has been brought about by an increasing recognition of the importance of geographic scale and a reinterpretation of natural history observations. In this preliminary report from an ongoing project, we explore the use of remote sensing technology and geographic information systems to further our understanding of how species diversity and population density are affected by habitat heterogeneity and landscape composition. A primary feature of this study is the investigation of SAR for making more rigorous investigations of habitat structure by exploiting the interaction between radar backscatter and vegetation structure and biomass. A major emphasis will be on the use of SAR data to define relative structural types based on measures of structural consolidation using the vegetation surface area to volume ratio (SA/V). Past research has shown that SAR may be sensitive to this form of structural expression which may affect biodiversity.
Vranckx, Guy; Jacquemyn, Hans; Muys, Bart; Honnay, Olivier
Shrubs and trees are assumed less likely to lose genetic variation in response to habitat fragmentation because they have certain life-history characteristics such as long lifespans and extensive pollen flow. To test this assumption, we conducted a meta-analysis with data on 97 woody plant species derived from 98 studies of habitat fragmentation. We measured the weighted response of four different measures of population-level genetic diversity to habitat fragmentation with Hedge's d and Spearman rank correlation. We tested whether the genetic response to habitat fragmentation was mediated by life-history traits (longevity, pollination mode, and seed dispersal vector) and study characteristics (genetic marker and plant material used). For both tests of effect size habitat fragmentation was associated with a substantial decrease in expected heterozygosity, number of alleles, and percentage of polymorphic loci, whereas the population inbreeding coefficient was not associated with these measures. The largest proportion of variation among effect sizes was explained by pollination mechanism and by the age of the tissue (progeny or adult) that was genotyped. Our primary finding was that wind-pollinated trees and shrubs appeared to be as likely to lose genetic variation as insect-pollinated species, indicating that severe habitat fragmentation may lead to pollen limitation and limited gene flow. In comparison with results of previous meta-analyses on mainly herbaceous species, we found trees and shrubs were as likely to have negative genetic responses to habitat fragmentation as herbaceous species. We also found that the genetic variation in offspring was generally less than that of adult trees, which is evidence of a genetic extinction debt and probably reflects the genetic diversity of the historical, less-fragmented landscape. ©2011 Society for Conservation Biology.
Shank, T. M.
From 2012 to 2015, annual seafloor surveys using the towed camera TowCam were used to characterize benthic ecosystems and habitats to groundtruth recently developed habitat suitability models that predict deep-sea coral locations in northwest Atlantic canyons. Faunal distribution, abundance, and habitat data were obtained from more than 90 towed camera surveys in 21 canyons, specifically Tom's, Hendrickson, Veatch, Gilbert, Ryan, Powell, Munson, Accomac, Leonard, Washington, Wilmington, Lindenkohl, Clipper, Sharpshooter, Welker, Dogbody, Chebacco, Heel Tapper, File Bottom, Carteret, and Spencer Canyons, as well as unnamed minor canyons and inter-canyon areas. We also investigated additional canyons including Block, Alvin, Atlantis, Welker, Heezen, Phoenix, McMaster, Nantucket, and two minor canyons and two intercanyon areas through high-definition ROV image surveys from the NOAA CANEX 2013 and 2014 expeditions. Significant differences in species composition and distribution correlated with specific habitat types, depth, and individual canyons. High abundances and diversity of scleractinians, antipatharians, octocorals and sponges were highly correlated with habitat substrates, includingvertical canyon walls, margins, sediments, cobbles, boulders, and coral rubble habitat. Significant differences in species composition among canyons were observed across similar depths suggesting that many canyons may have their own biological and geological signature. Locating and defining the composition and distribution of vulnerable coral ecosystems in canyons in concert with validating predictive species distribution modeling has resulted in the regional management and conservation recommendations of these living resources and the largest proposed Marine Protected Area in North American waters.
Angel Treasa Thomas
Full Text Available Extracts from natural products, especially microorganisms, have served as a valuable source of diverse molecules in many drug discovery efforts and led to the discovery of several important drugs. Identification of microbial strains having promising biological activities and purifying the bio-molecules responsible for the activities, have led to the discovery of many bioactive molecules. Extracellular, as well as intracellular, extracts of the metabolites of thirty-six bacterial and twenty-four fungal isolates, grown under unusual conditions such as high temperature, high salt and low sugar concentrations, were in vitro tested for their cytotoxic potential on various cancer cell lines. The extracts were screened on HeLa and MCF-7 cell lines to study the cytotoxic potential. Nuclear staining and flow cytometric studies were carried out to assess the potential of the extracts in arresting the cell cycle. The crude ethylacetate extract of isolate F-21 showed promising results by MTT assay with IC50 as low as 20.37±0.36 µg/mL on HeLa, and 44.75±0.81 µg/mL on MCF-7 cells, comparable with Cisplatin. The isolate F-21 was identified as Aspergillus sp. Promising results were also obtained with B-2C and B-4E strains. Morphological studies, biochemical tests and preliminary chemical investigation of the extracts were also carried out.Extratos de produtos naturais, especialmente de microrganismos, constituíram-se em fonte valiosa de diversas moléculas em muitas descobertas de fármacos e levaram à descoberta de fármacos importantes. A identificação de espécies microbianas que apresentam atividade biológica e a purificação de biomoléculas responsáveis pelas atividades levou à descoberta de muitas moléculas bioativas. Extratos extracelulares tanto quanto intracelulares de metabólitos de 36 isolados de bactérias e 24 isolados de fungos, que cresceram sob condições não usuais, como alta temperatura, alta concentração de sal e baixa
Full Text Available Disturbances in ecological systems can cause new resources to become available and can free the resources held by strongly competitive species. In intertidal boulder fields, wave-action causes disturbance by overturning boulders and freeing space for re-colonisation. In this study, mensurative experiments showed that boulder disturbance may also cause new biogenic-habitat resources to become available, if pre-disturbance boulders originally had tubeworm encrustations on their undersides. On the high-shore of a South Australian rocky coast, a small proportion of boulders had extensive encrustations of serpulid and spirorbid worm-tubes on their uppersides, and were likely to have recently been overturned, as spirorbid tubeworms are almost always only underneath boulders while living. Ulva macroalgae was absent from all boulders, except those with worm-tubes, where up to 61% Ulva cover was observed. Many boulders with tubes did not, however, have much algae, and this was likely caused by grazing. While limpets were seldom observed attached to tube encrustations, snails such as Nerita atramentosa and Bembicium nanum were equally abundant on and off tubes. N. atramentosa was likely the main grazer, as its densities were negatively correlated with Ulva cover. The mechanism causing association of Ulva and worm-tubes is unknown, but may be related to retention of moisture or algal spores within the complex topography of the tubes. Alternatively, some tubes may still have been living and providing nutrients for Ulva from excretory products. This study takes the first step towards understanding a very distinct habitat requirement which allows an important alga to persist in the hostile environment of the rocky-intertidal high shore.
Disturbances in ecological systems can cause new resources to become available and can free the resources held by strongly competitive species. In intertidal boulder fields, wave-action causes disturbance by overturning boulders and freeing space for re-colonisation. In this study, mensurative experiments showed that boulder disturbance may also cause new biogenic-habitat resources to become available, if pre-disturbance boulders originally had tubeworm encrustations on their undersides. On the high-shore of a South Australian rocky coast, a small proportion of boulders had extensive encrustations of serpulid and spirorbid worm-tubes on their uppersides, and were likely to have recently been overturned, as spirorbid tubeworms are almost always only underneath boulders while living. Ulva macroalgae was absent from all boulders, except those with worm-tubes, where up to 61% Ulva cover was observed. Many boulders with tubes did not, however, have much algae, and this was likely caused by grazing. While limpets were seldom observed attached to tube encrustations, snails such as Nerita atramentosa and Bembicium nanum were equally abundant on and off tubes. N. atramentosa was likely the main grazer, as its densities were negatively correlated with Ulva cover. The mechanism causing association of Ulva and worm-tubes is unknown, but may be related to retention of moisture or algal spores within the complex topography of the tubes. Alternatively, some tubes may still have been living and providing nutrients for Ulva from excretory products. This study takes the first step towards understanding a very distinct habitat requirement which allows an important alga to persist in the hostile environment of the rocky-intertidal high shore.
Jimenez-Alfaro, Borja; Chytry, Milan; Mucina, Ladislav; Grace, James B.; Rejmanek, Marcel
Broad-scale animal diversity patterns have been traditionally explained by hypotheses focused on climate–energy and habitat heterogeneity, without considering the direct influence of vegetation structure and composition. However, integrating these factors when considering plant–animal correlates still poses a major challenge because plant communities are controlled by abiotic factors that may, at the same time, influence animal distributions. By testing whether the number and variation of plant community types in Europe explain country-level diversity in six animal groups, we propose a conceptual framework in which vegetation diversity represents a bridge between abiotic factors and animal diversity. We show that vegetation diversity explains variation in animal richness not accounted for by altitudinal range or potential evapotranspiration, being the best predictor for butterflies, beetles, and amphibians. Moreover, the dissimilarity of plant community types explains the highest proportion of variation in animal assemblages across the studied regions, an effect that outperforms the effect of climate and their shared contribution with pure spatial variation. Our results at the country level suggest that vegetation diversity, as estimated from broad-scale classifications of plant communities, may contribute to our understanding of animal richness and may be disentangled, at least to a degree, from climate–energy and abiotic habitat heterogeneity.
Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Johnson, Gary E.; Sather, Nichole K.; Skalski, J. R.; Dawley, Earl M.; Coleman, Andre M.; Ostrand, Kenneth G.; Hanson, Kyle C.; Woodruff, Dana L.; Donley, Erin E.; Ke, Yinghai; Buenau, Kate E.; Bryson, Amanda J.; Townsend, Richard L.
This report describes the 2010 research conducted under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) project EST-P-09-1, titled Evaluation of Life History Diversity, Habitat Connectivity, and Survival Benefits Associated with Habitat Restoration Actions in the Lower Columbia River and Estuary, and known as the 'Salmon Benefits' study. The primary goal of the study is to establish scientific methods to quantify habitat restoration benefits to listed salmon and trout in the lower Columbia River and estuary (LCRE) in three required areas: habitat connectivity, early life history diversity, and survival (Figure ES.1). The general study approach was to first evaluate the state of the science regarding the ability to quantify benefits to listed salmon and trout from habitat restoration actions in the LCRE in the 2009 project year, and then, if feasible, in subsequent project years to develop quantitative indices of habitat connectivity, early life history diversity, and survival. Based on the 2009 literature review, the following definitions are used in this study. Habitat connectivity is defined as a landscape descriptor concerning the ability of organisms to move among habitat patches, including the spatial arrangement of habitats (structural connectivity) and how the perception and behavior of salmon affect the potential for movement among habitats (functional connectivity). Life history is defined as the combination of traits exhibited by an organism throughout its life cycle, and for the purposes of this investigation, a life history strategy refers to the body size and temporal patterns of estuarine usage exhibited by migrating juvenile salmon. Survival is defined as the probability of fish remaining alive over a defined amount of space and/or time. The objectives of the 4-year study are as follows: (1) develop and test a quantitative index of juvenile salmon habitat connectivity in the LCRE incorporating structural, functional, and hydrologic components; (2
Peter J Etnoyer
Full Text Available Saba Bank is a large submerged platform (approximately 2200 km(2, average depth 30 m, located 4 km southwest of Saba Island in Netherlands Antilles, Caribbean Sea. Ships traveling to and from oil terminals on nearby St. Eustatius routinely anchor on the Bank, damaging benthic megafauna. Gorgonian octocorals are vulnerable to anchor damage, and they are common and conspicuous in shallow water (15-50 m around the banks. This prompted a rapid assessment of octocoral habitat and diversity. The primary objectives were to estimate total species richness and to characterize habitats vis a vis gorgonians. Landsat imagery and multibeam bathymetry were employed to identify random sites for quantitative transects. A Seabotix LBV200L remotely operated vehicle (ROV and SCUBA were used to collect and survey to 130 m. A total of 14 scuba dives and 3 ROV dives were completed in 10 days. During that time, 48 octocoral species were collected, including two likely undescribed species in the genera Pterogorgia and Lytreia. Gorgonian richness was exceptional, but not all species were collected, because the species accumulation curve remained steeply inclined after all surveys. Two shallow-water gorgonian habitat types were identified using multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analyses: 1 a high diversity, high density fore-reef environment characterized by Eunicea spp., Gorgonia spp., and Pseudopterogorgia spp. and 2 a low diversity, low density plateau environment characterized by Pseudopterogorgia acerosa, Pterogorgia guadalupensis, and Gorgonia mariae. The analyses support hypotheses of broad (approximately 15 km habitat homogeneity (ANOSIM, P>0.05, but a significant difference between fore-reef and plateau environments (ANOSIM, P<0.05. However, there was some indication of habitat heterogeneity along the 15 km study section of the 50 km platform edge along the southeast rim. Our results highlight the complexity and biodiversity of the Saba Bank, and
Ivan Carlos Fernandes Martins
Full Text Available The present study had as objective determine the diversity and abundance of adults Carabidae and Staphylinidae in two areas, constituted by forest fragment and soybean/corn crops under conventional tillage and no-tillage systems and to analyze the distribution and preference of those beetles for the habitat. The beetles were sampled with 48 pitfall traps. In both experimental areas, two parallel transects of pitfall traps were installed. Each transect had 100 m in the crop and 100 m in the forest fragment. Four traps were close to each other (1 m in the edge between the crop and the forest fragment, the other traps were installed each 10 m. The obtained data were submitted to the faunistic analysis and the preference of the species by habitat was obtained by cluster analysis. The results demonstrated that the type of crop system (conventional tillage or no-tillage might have influenced the diversity of species of Carabidae and Staphylinidae. The cluster analysis evidenced that the carabids may prefer a specific habitat. In the present study, the distribution of carabids and staphylinids in the three habitats showed that these beetles have potential to be dispersed at great distances inside the crop.
Schrey, Aaron W; Ashton, Kyle G; Heath, Stacy; McCoy, Earl D; Mushinsky, Henry R
The Florida Sand Skink (Plestiodon reynoldsi), the Florida Scrub Lizard (Sceloporus woodi), and the Six-lined Racerunner (Aspidoscelis sexlineata) occur in the threatened and fire-maintained Florida scrub habitat. Fire may have different consequences to local genetic diversity of these species because they each have different microhabitat preference. We collected tissue samples of each species from 3 sites with different time-since-fire: Florida Sand Skink n = 73, Florida Scrub Lizard n = 70, and Six-lined Racerunner n = 66. We compared the effect of fire on genetic diversity at microsatellite loci for each species. We screened 8 loci for the Florida Sand Skink, 6 loci for the Florida Scrub Lizard, and 6 loci for the Six-lined Racerunner. We also tested 2 potential driving mechanisms for the observed change in genetic diversity, a metapopulation source/sink model and a local demographic model. Genetic diversity varied with fire history, and significant genetic differentiation occurred among sites. The Florida Scrub Lizard had highest genetic variation at more recently burned sites, whereas the Florida Sand Skink and the Six-lined Racerunner had highest genetic variation at less recently burned sites. Habitat preferences of the Florida Sand Skink and the Florida Scrub Lizard may explain their discordant results, and the Six-lined Racerunner may have a more complicated genetic response to fire or is acted on at a different geographic scale than we have investigated. Our results indicate that these species may respond to fire in a more complicated manner than predicted by our metapopulation model or local demographic model. Our results show that the population-level responses in genetic diversity to fire are species-specific mandating conservation management of habitat diversity through a mosaic of burn frequencies.
Muhammed Khairujjaman Mazumder
Full Text Available The southern part of Assam in India, a part of the Indo-Burma Biodiversity hotspot, harbors a myriad number of wild plant and animal species. Although there is only one protected area, the Barail Wildlife Sanctuary (Cachar district and a few reserve forests (RFs, there are as many as eight primates inhabiting the region – a diversity hardly found elsewhere. In addition to the protected area and RFs, tea gardens and secondary forests also serve as habitats for animals. The border areas of the region with the states of Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Tripura are among the most important abodes of these primates. Unfortunately, these primates are under constant threat from multiple sources. The present article provides an extensive survey of the available literature on the primates of southern Assam with reference to their distribution, habitat preferences, threats, and conservation. Additionally, data from field observations of the author are also presented.
Full Text Available For birds in urban environments, the configuration of local habitat within the landscape may be as critical as the composition of the local habitat itself. We examined the relative importance of environmental attributes (e.g., tree cover, composition, and number of tree species measured at different spatial scales in relation to urban bird species richness and abundance. We expected that some bird species and nesting guilds would have a closer association with landscape-level features (within 1000 m, such as proximity to large forested areas, than with local-scale habitat measures (within 50 m. To investigate this, avian community data were collected at 285 point-count stations in 1997 and 1998 along four roadside transects located in Vancouver and Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. Transects (5-25 km in length bisected three large parks (>324 ha and proceeded along residential streets in urban and suburban areas. In total, 48 bird species were observed, including 25 common species. Species richness declined in relation to a gradient of increasing urbanization, as measured by local- and landscape-level habitat features. We further examined the significance and importance of local- vs. landscape-level habitat attributes using logistic regression and found that both scales explained the presence/absence distributions of residential birds. Local-scale habitat features such as large coniferous trees, berry-producing shrubs, and freshwater streams were of particular importance in estimating the likelihood of finding bird species. Landscape measures, particularly forest cover (within 500 m and park area (measured at different scales as a function of distance from point-count stations significantly improved likelihood estimations based solely on local-scale habitat features. Our results suggest that both local- and landscape-scale resources were important in determining the distribution of birds in urban areas. Parks, reserves, and the surrounding
Beck, Jan; Vun Khen, Chey
1. Spatial patterns of beta-diversity, an important property of species communities, are less well-studied than those of local species richness, particularly in insects from tropical rainforests. 2. We use geometrid moth samples from northern Borneo to quantify ensemble turnover across distances of > 700 km, consider habitat- and sampling-related impacts on their composition, and evaluate remaining spatial patterns in the data. 3. Geometrid moth ensembles from Borneo are shaped by environmental parameters such as elevation and habitat disturbance, by temporal factors acting at small (mediated by weather) and large scales (i.e. changes over decades), and by methodological differences of sampling (related to the nightly flight times of species). 4. These parameters explain a large portion of the spatial structure of ensemble composition, but residual variation still contains a pattern that is tentatively best explained by geographical distance, particularly at distances species turnover indicate no evidence for biotic homogenization due to human-caused degradation of habitats. Beta-diversity plays a crucial part in mediating the regional diversity of geometrids on Borneo.
Thongsripong, Panpim; Green, Amy; Kittayapong, Pattamaporn; Kapan, Durrell; Wilcox, Bruce; Bennett, Shannon
Recent years have seen the greatest ecological disturbances of our times, with global human expansion, species and habitat loss, climate change, and the emergence of new and previously-known infectious diseases. Biodiversity loss affects infectious disease risk by disrupting normal relationships between hosts and pathogens. Mosquito-borne pathogens respond to changing dynamics on multiple transmission levels and appear to increase in disturbed systems, yet current knowledge of mosquito diversity and the relative abundance of vectors as a function of habitat change is limited. We characterize mosquito communities across habitats with differing levels of anthropogenic ecological disturbance in central Thailand. During the 2008 rainy season, adult mosquito collections from 24 sites, representing 6 habitat types ranging from forest to urban, yielded 62,126 intact female mosquitoes (83,325 total mosquitoes) that were assigned to 109 taxa. Female mosquito abundance was highest in rice fields and lowest in forests. Diversity indices and rarefied species richness estimates indicate the mosquito fauna was more diverse in rural and less diverse in rice field habitats, while extrapolated estimates of true richness (Chao1 and ACE) indicated higher diversity in the forest and fragmented forest habitats and lower diversity in the urban. Culex sp. (Vishnui subgroup) was the most common taxon found overall and the most frequent in fragmented forest, rice field, rural, and suburban habitats. The distributions of species of medical importance differed significantly across habitat types and were always lowest in the intact, forest habitat. The relative abundance of key vector species, Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus, was negatively correlated with diversity, suggesting that direct species interactions and/or habitat-mediated factors differentially affecting invasive disease vectors may be important mechanisms linking biodiversity loss to human health. Our results are an
Yun, Ji-Hyun; Roh, Seong Woon; Whon, Tae Woong; Jung, Mi-Ja; Kim, Min-Soo; Park, Doo-Sang; Yoon, Changmann; Nam, Young-Do; Kim, Yun-Ji; Choi, Jung-Hye; Kim, Joon-Yong; Shin, Na-Ri; Kim, Sung-Hee; Lee, Won-Jae
Insects are the most abundant animals on Earth, and the microbiota within their guts play important roles by engaging in beneficial and pathological interactions with these hosts. In this study, we comprehensively characterized insect-associated gut bacteria of 305 individuals belonging to 218 species in 21 taxonomic orders, using 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes. In total, 174,374 sequence reads were obtained, identifying 9,301 bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) at the 3% distance level from all samples, with an average of 84.3 (±97.7) OTUs per sample. The insect gut microbiota were dominated by Proteobacteria (62.1% of the total reads, including 14.1% Wolbachia sequences) and Firmicutes (20.7%). Significant differences were found in the relative abundances of anaerobes in insects and were classified according to the criteria of host environmental habitat, diet, developmental stage, and phylogeny. Gut bacterial diversity was significantly higher in omnivorous insects than in stenophagous (carnivorous and herbivorous) insects. This insect-order-spanning investigation of the gut microbiota provides insights into the relationships between insects and their gut bacterial communities. PMID:24928884
Full Text Available Landscape analysis is regarded as a new tool for monitoring and judging land use patterns in terms of sustainability of human activity systems at local level. A case study of evaluation for sustainability based on habitat patch diversity in an ecoregion of Central Italy is presented. In this region, ongoing land use patterns reflect both historical adaptation to local environmental constraints and positive, social-oriented management. More protective land use patterns are mostly widespread in fragile physiographic conditions like those of the mountain areas, where woodland, shrub, and grassland patches are larger and cover more than 90% of the land. This situation is regarded as a positive outcome of the traditional public ownership regime, because public lands amount to more than 70% in the mountain areas. The hilly areas, where public property drops to 28%, presents landscape metrics showing a well balanced situation between agricultural land use and protective native woods and grasslands, which provides a finegrained and harmonious Mediterranean landscape. In the low-land areas, with anthropic pressure and more favourable conditions for crop productivity, there is much more agricultural land, even if some mitigation in terms of biodiversity maintenance is offered by the presence of hedgerow ecotones. In these areas, landscape analysis is not able to supply meaningful information about cropping system design and practices which can maintain a sustainable level of soil fertility and quality of natural resources and processes, and further analysis at cropping system level should be carried out.
Wereszczuk, Anna; Leblois, Raphaël; Zalewski, Andrzej
Population genetic diversity and structure are determined by past and current evolutionary processes, among which spatially limited dispersal, genetic drift, and shifts in species distribution boundaries have major effects. In most wildlife species, environmental modifications by humans often lead to contraction of species' ranges and/or limit their dispersal by acting as environmental barriers. However, in species well adapted to anthropogenic habitat or open landscapes, human induced environmental changes may facilitate dispersal and range expansions. In this study, we analysed whether isolation by distance and deforestation, among other environmental features, promotes or restricts dispersal and expansion in stone marten (Martes foina) populations. We genotyped 298 martens from eight sites at twenty-two microsatellite loci to characterize the genetic variability, population structure and demographic history of stone martens in Poland. At the landscape scale, limited genetic differentiation between sites in a mosaic of urban, rural and forest habitats was mostly influenced by isolation by distance. Statistical clustering and multivariate analyses showed weak genetic structuring with two to four clusters and a high rate of gene flow between them. Stronger genetic differentiation was detected for one stone marten population (NE1) located inside a large forest complex. Genetic differentiation between this site and all others was 20% higher than between other sites separated by similar distances. The genetic uniqueness index of NE1 was also twofold higher than in other sites. Past demographic history analyses showed recent expansion of this species in north-eastern Poland. A decrease in genetic diversity from south to north, and MIGRAINE analyses indicated the direction of expansion of stone marten. Our results showed that two processes, changes in species distribution boundaries and limited dispersal associated with landscape barriers, affect genetic diversity and
Vrahnakis, Michael; Kazoglou, Yannis; Fotiadis, George; Kakouros, Petros; Nasiakou, Stamatia; Soutsas, Konstantinos
The habitat type *9562 Grecian juniper woods (Juniperetum excelsae) includes Greek juniper (Juniperus excelsa M. Bieb.) forests and they are found mainly in the western sector of the Prespa National Park, NW Greece. Greek juniper forests are considered extremely rare for EU-28, recommending a priority habitat type in accordance with Directive 92/43/EEC. In addition, their ecological importance is great given its high plant taxa richness; they harbor most of the 900 plant taxa found in the western sector of the Park, many of them being important for EU or global scale. The accelerated invasion of deciduous hardwoods is the most significant risk for the habitat, since its rich flora is well-adapted to open light conditions produced by the open spaced Greek junipers. Also, the dense vegetated conditions deprive the regeneration of the photophilous Greek juniper. The invasion results from the lack of its natural controller, i.e. the grazing livestock. It is estimated that the total area of juniper forests for the Devas area decreased to 89% of the area of 1945 in favor of invasive hardwoods. The paper presents the analysis of the floristic diversity of the priority habitat type *9562 Grecian Juniper Woods (Juniperetum excelsae) (GJWs). Four (4) types of juniper forest ranges (GJWs) were distinguished in terms of canopy cover: (a) pure GJWs, (b) mixed open GJWs, (c) open GJWs, and (d) mixed dense GJWs. A total of 171 plant taxa were recorded, and distributed within 43 botanical families; the largest one being Leguminosae (26 taxa). The statistically estimated plant taxa richness for pure GJWs was 116.4, for mixed open 152.6, for open 57.9, and for mixed dense 90.2 taxa. The analysis of α-diversity indices did not reveal any specific trend of diversity for the four GJWs. The behavior of the variability of diversity among the four range types of GJWs was depending on the emphasis the used indices place on properties such as taxa richness or abundance. This fact was
Goffredi, Shana K; Kantor, Adam H; Woodside, Walter T
Tank-forming bromeliads, suspended in the rainforest canopy, possess foliage arranged in compact rosettes capable of long-term retention of rainwater. This large and unique aquatic habitat is inhabited by microorganisms involved in the important decomposition of impounded material. Moreover, these communities are likely influenced by environmental factors such as pH, oxygen, and light. Bacterial community composition and diversity was determined for the tanks of several bromeliad species (Aechmea and Werauhia) from northern Costa Rica, which span a range of parameters, including tank morphology and pH. These were compared with a nearby forest soil sample, an artificial tank (amber bottle), and a commercially available species (Aechmea). Bacterial community diversity, as measured by 16S rRNA analysis and tRFLP, showed a significant positive correlation with tank pH. A majority of 16S rRNA bacterial phylotypes found in association with acidic bromeliad tanks of pH 5.3, including the commercial bromeliad with the highest pH (6.7), were dominated by Betaproteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes. To empirically determine the effect of pH on bacterial community, the tank pH of a specimen of Aechmea was depressed, in the field, from 6.5 to 4.5, for 62 days. The resulting community changed predictably with decreased abundance of Betaproteobacteria and Firmicutes and a concomitant increase in Alphaproteobacteria and Acidobacteria. Collectively, these results suggest that bromeliad tanks provide important habitats for a diverse microbial community, distinct from the surrounding environment, which are influenced greatly by acid-base conditions. Additionally, total organic carbon (∼46%) and nitrogen (∼2%) of bromeliad-impounded sediment was elevated relative to soil and gene surveys confirmed the presence of both chitinases and nitrogenases, suggesting that bromeliad tanks may provide important habitats for microbes involved in the biological cycling of carbon and
Gottdenker, Nicole L.; Chaves, Luis Fernando; Calzada, José E.; Saldaña, Azael; Carroll, C. Ronald
Background Anthropogenic land use may influence transmission of multi-host vector-borne pathogens by changing diversity, relative abundance, and community composition of reservoir hosts. These reservoir hosts may have varying competence for vector-borne pathogens depending on species-specific characteristics, such as life history strategy. The objective of this study is to evaluate how anthropogenic land use change influences blood meal species composition and the effects of changing blood meal species composition on the parasite infection rate of the Chagas disease vector Rhodnius pallescens in Panama. Methodology/Principal Findings R. pallescens vectors (N = 643) were collected in different habitat types across a gradient of anthropogenic disturbance. Blood meal species in DNA extracted from these vectors was identified in 243 (40.3%) vectors by amplification and sequencing of a vertebrate-specific fragment of the 12SrRNA gene, and T. cruzi vector infection was determined by pcr. Vector infection rate was significantly greater in deforested habitats as compared to contiguous forests. Forty-two different species of blood meal were identified in R. pallescens, and species composition of blood meals varied across habitat types. Mammals (88.3%) dominated R. pallescens blood meals. Xenarthrans (sloths and tamanduas) were the most frequently identified species in blood meals across all habitat types. A regression tree analysis indicated that blood meal species diversity, host life history strategy (measured as rmax, the maximum intrinsic rate of population increase), and habitat type (forest fragments and peridomiciliary sites) were important determinants of vector infection with T. cruzi. The mean intrinsic rate of increase and the skewness and variability of rmax were positively associated with higher vector infection rate at a site. Conclusions/Significance In this study, anthropogenic landscape disturbance increased vector infection with T. cruzi, potentially
Nicole L Gottdenker
Full Text Available Anthropogenic land use may influence transmission of multi-host vector-borne pathogens by changing diversity, relative abundance, and community composition of reservoir hosts. These reservoir hosts may have varying competence for vector-borne pathogens depending on species-specific characteristics, such as life history strategy. The objective of this study is to evaluate how anthropogenic land use change influences blood meal species composition and the effects of changing blood meal species composition on the parasite infection rate of the Chagas disease vector Rhodnius pallescens in Panama.R. pallescens vectors (N = 643 were collected in different habitat types across a gradient of anthropogenic disturbance. Blood meal species in DNA extracted from these vectors was identified in 243 (40.3% vectors by amplification and sequencing of a vertebrate-specific fragment of the 12SrRNA gene, and T. cruzi vector infection was determined by pcr. Vector infection rate was significantly greater in deforested habitats as compared to contiguous forests. Forty-two different species of blood meal were identified in R. pallescens, and species composition of blood meals varied across habitat types. Mammals (88.3% dominated R. pallescens blood meals. Xenarthrans (sloths and tamanduas were the most frequently identified species in blood meals across all habitat types. A regression tree analysis indicated that blood meal species diversity, host life history strategy (measured as r(max, the maximum intrinsic rate of population increase, and habitat type (forest fragments and peridomiciliary sites were important determinants of vector infection with T. cruzi. The mean intrinsic rate of increase and the skewness and variability of r(max were positively associated with higher vector infection rate at a site.In this study, anthropogenic landscape disturbance increased vector infection with T. cruzi, potentially by changing host community structure to favor hosts
Full Text Available Generally, effect of fragmentation per se on biodiversity has not been separated from the effect of habitat loss. In this paper, using nDNA and cpDNA SSRs, we studied genetic diversity of Castanopsis sclerophylla (Lindl. & Paxton Schotty populations and decoupled the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation per se. We selected seven nuclear and six cpDNA microsatellite loci and genotyped 460 individuals from mainland and island populations, which were located in the impoundment created in 1959. Number of alleles per locus of populations in larger habitats was significantly higher than that in smaller habitats. There was a significant relationship between the number of alleles per locus and habitat size. Based on this relationship, the predicted genetic diversity of an imaginary population of size equaling the total area of the islands was lower than that of the global population on the islands. Re-sampling demonstrated that low genetic diversity of populations in small habitats was caused by unevenness in sample size. Fisher's α index was similar among habitat types. These results indicate that the decreased nuclear and chloroplast genetic diversity of populations in smaller habitats was mainly caused by habitat loss. For nuclear and chloroplast microsatellite loci, values of F(ST were 0.066 and 0.893, respectively, and the calculated pollen/seed dispersal ratio was 162.2. When separated into pre-and post-fragmentation cohorts, pollen/seed ratios were 121.2 and 189.5, respectively. Our results suggest that habitat loss explains the early decrease in genetic diversity, while fragmentation per se may play a major role in inbreeding and differentiation among fragmented populations and later loss of genetic diversity.
Zhang, Xin; Shi, Miao-Miao; Shen, Dong-Wei; Chen, Xiao-Yong
Generally, effect of fragmentation per se on biodiversity has not been separated from the effect of habitat loss. In this paper, using nDNA and cpDNA SSRs, we studied genetic diversity of Castanopsis sclerophylla (Lindl. & Paxton) Schotty populations and decoupled the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation per se. We selected seven nuclear and six cpDNA microsatellite loci and genotyped 460 individuals from mainland and island populations, which were located in the impoundment created in 1959. Number of alleles per locus of populations in larger habitats was significantly higher than that in smaller habitats. There was a significant relationship between the number of alleles per locus and habitat size. Based on this relationship, the predicted genetic diversity of an imaginary population of size equaling the total area of the islands was lower than that of the global population on the islands. Re-sampling demonstrated that low genetic diversity of populations in small habitats was caused by unevenness in sample size. Fisher's α index was similar among habitat types. These results indicate that the decreased nuclear and chloroplast genetic diversity of populations in smaller habitats was mainly caused by habitat loss. For nuclear and chloroplast microsatellite loci, values of F(ST) were 0.066 and 0.893, respectively, and the calculated pollen/seed dispersal ratio was 162.2. When separated into pre-and post-fragmentation cohorts, pollen/seed ratios were 121.2 and 189.5, respectively. Our results suggest that habitat loss explains the early decrease in genetic diversity, while fragmentation per se may play a major role in inbreeding and differentiation among fragmented populations and later loss of genetic diversity.
Carolyn Hull Sieg; Curtis H. Flather; Noah Barstatis
This indicator estimates population trends of selected species as a surrogate measure of genetic diversity. Decreases in genetic diversity as populations decline, particularly if associated with small populations, contribute to increased risk of extinction. This indicator also provides an important measure of general biodiversity, as changes in species abundances are a...
Mañas-Jordá, Saray; León-Cortés, Jorge L; García-García, María D; Caballero, Ubaldo; Infante, Francisco
A comparative study of Diptera communities associated with pig carcasses was carried out in urban and natural settings in tropical mountain habitats of Southern Mexico. Schoenly-type traps were used to set out pig carcasses during 68 d of sampling effort. In total, 1,703 adult Diptera specimens were collected in both localities combined, and recording a total of 30 (morpho) species and 19 families. Compared to natural habitats, a significantly greater diversity in urban habitats, as well as a faster decomposition process of carcasses, was detected. Significant differences were also detected for the composition and structure of Dipteran communities between urban and natural sites. Dominant species of Calliphoridae for natural and urban habitats were represented by Compsomyiops spp. and Cochliomyia macellaria (Fabricius; Diptera: Calliphoridae), respectively. The properties of indicator species for urban and natural sites are discussed. Twenty Dipteran species were significantly associated to different decomposition stages. Such affinity would allow for estimating the post-mortem interval (PMI) in comparable situations. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Full Text Available Birds can be used indirectly or directly as a bioindicator of environment. Birds species living in six habitat types of PT Inhutani I Labanan Kalimantan Timur (namely, logged-over areas that has been exploited in 1976/1981 and 1981/1986, forested area that is being exploited in 1999/2000, primary forest that will be exploited in 2001/2002, Labanan Jaya Village inhabited in 1982/1983, and Segah-Malinau Transmigration Settlement inhabited in 1997/1998 were recorded with transect method (long of 3 km and within sighting distance of 25-50 m at 06.30-10.00 and 15.00-17.30 in both dry and rainy seasons. One hundred and two identified species belonging to 34 families and 6 unidentified species were found. Habitat types and seasons affect bird diversity (the number of species and abundance. Percent dissimilarity of birds between habitats ranged 0,53-0,95 in rainy season and 0,54-0,95 in dry season and between seasons ranged 0,50-0,80. Quantitative values have to be completed with qualitative consideration to assess habitat condition or changes.
Warburton, Elizabeth M; van der Mescht, Luther; Stanko, Michal; Vinarski, Maxim V; Korallo-Vinarskaya, Natalia P; Khokhlova, Irina S; Krasnov, Boris R
Beta-diversity of biological communities can be decomposed into (a) dissimilarity of communities among units of finer scale within units of broader scale and (b) dissimilarity of communities among units of broader scale. We investigated compositional, phylogenetic/taxonomic and functional beta-diversity of compound communities of fleas and gamasid mites parasitic on small Palearctic mammals in a nested hierarchy at two spatial scales: (a) continental scale (across the Palearctic) and (b) regional scale (across sites within Slovakia). At each scale, we analyzed beta-diversity among smaller units within larger units and among larger units with partitioning based on either geography or ecology. We asked (a) whether compositional, phylogenetic/taxonomic and functional dissimilarities of flea and mite assemblages are scale dependent; (b) how geographical (partitioning of sites according to geographic position) or ecological (partitioning of sites according to habitat type) characteristics affect phylogenetic/taxonomic and functional components of dissimilarity of ectoparasite assemblages and (c) whether assemblages of fleas and gamasid mites differ in their degree of dissimilarity, all else being equal. We found that compositional, phylogenetic/taxonomic, or functional beta-diversity was greater on a continental rather than a regional scale. Compositional and phylogenetic/taxonomic components of beta-diversity were greater among larger units than among smaller units within larger units, whereas functional beta-diversity did not exhibit any consistent trend regarding site partitioning. Geographic partitioning resulted in higher values of beta-diversity of ectoparasites than ecological partitioning. Compositional and phylogenetic components of beta-diversity were higher in fleas than mites but the opposite was true for functional beta-diversity in some, but not all, traits.
Chasar, Anthony; Loiseau, Claire; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana; Smith, Thomas B; Sehgal, Ravinder N M
Land use changes including deforestation, road construction and agricultural encroachments have been linked to the increased prevalence of several infectious diseases. In order to better understand how deforestation affects the prevalence of vector-borne infectious diseases in wildlife, nine paired sites were sampled (disturbed vs. undisturbed habitats) in Southern Cameroon. We studied the diversity, prevalence and distribution of avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) and other related haemosporidians (species of Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon) from these sites in two widespread species of African rainforest birds, the yellow-whiskered greenbul (Andropadus latirostris, Pycnonotidae) and the olive sunbird (Cyanomitra olivacea, Nectariniidae). Twenty-six mitochondrial cytochrome b lineages were identified: 20 Plasmodium lineages and 6 Haemoproteus lineages. These lineages showed no geographic specificity, nor significant differences in lineage diversity between habitat types. However, we found that the prevalence of Leucocytozoon and Haemoproteus infections were significantly higher in undisturbed than in deforested habitats (Leucocytozoon spp. 50.3% vs. 35.8%, Haemoproteus spp. 16.3% vs. 10.8%). We also found higher prevalence for all haemosporidian parasites in C. olivacea than in A. latirostris species (70.2% vs. 58.2%). Interestingly, we found one morphospecies of Plasmodium in C. olivacea, as represented by a clade of related lineages, showed increased prevalence at disturbed sites, while another showed a decrease, testifying to different patterns of transmission, even among closely related lineages of avian malaria, in relation to deforestation. Our work demonstrates that anthropogenic habitat change can affect host-parasite systems and result in opposing trends in prevalence of haemosporidian parasites in wild bird populations.
Full Text Available Tropical dry forests are complex and fragile ecosystems with high anthropic intervention and restricted reproductive cycles. These have unique richness, structural diversity, physiological and phenological . This research was executed in the Upper Magdalena Valley, in four forest fragments with different successional stages. In each fragment four permanent plots of 0.25 ha were established and lighting habitat associated with richness, relative abundance and rarity of species. The forest dynamics included the mortality, recruitment and diameter growth for a period of 5.25 years. The species rischness found in the mature riparian forestis higher than that reported in other studies of similar areas in Valle del Cauca and the Atlantic coast. The values of richness, diversity and rarity species are more evidenced than the magnitudes found in drier areas of Tolima. The structure, diversity and dynamics of forests were correlated with the lighting habitat, showing differences in canopy architecture and its role in the capture and absorption of radiation. Forests with dense canopy have limited availability of photosynthetically active radiation in understory related low species richness, while illuminated undergrowth are richer and heterogeneous.
Blachowicz, A; Mayer, T; Bashir, M; Pieber, T R; De León, P; Venkateswaran, K
An inflatable lunar/Mars analog habitat (ILMAH), simulated closed system isolated by HEPA filtration, mimics International Space Station (ISS) conditions and future human habitation on other planets except for the exchange of air between outdoor and indoor environments. The ILMAH was primarily commissioned to measure physiological, psychological, and immunological characteristics of human inhabiting in isolation, but it was also available for other studies such as examining its microbiological aspects. Characterizing and understanding possible changes and succession of fungal species is of high importance since fungi are not only hazardous to inhabitants but also deteriorate the habitats. Observing the mycobiome changes in the presence of human will enable developing appropriate countermeasures with reference to crew health in a future closed habitat. Succession of fungi was characterized utilizing both traditional and state-of-the-art molecular techniques during the 30-day human occupation of the ILMAH. Surface samples were collected at various time points and locations to observe both the total and viable fungal populations of common environmental and opportunistic pathogenic species. To estimate the cultivable fungal population, potato dextrose agar plate counts method was utilized. The internal transcribed spacer region-based iTag Illumina sequencing was employed to measure the community structure and fluctuation of the mycobiome over time in various locations. Treatment of samples with propidium monoazide (PMA; a DNA intercalating dye for selective detection of viable microbial populations) had a significant effect on the microbial diversity compared to non-PMA-treated samples. Statistical analysis confirmed that viable fungal community structure changed (increase in diversity and decrease in fungal burden) over the occupation time. Samples collected at day 20 showed distinct fungal profiles from samples collected at any other time point (before or after
Mutke, Jens; Jacobs, Rana; Meyers, Katharina; Henning, Tilo; Weigend, Maximilian
The tropical Andes are a hotspot of biodiversity, but detailed altitudinal and latitudinal distribution patterns of species are poorly understood. We compare the distribution and diversity patterns of four Andean plant groups on the basis of georeferenced specimen data: the genus Nasa (Loasaceae), the two South American sections of Ribes (sect. Parilla and sect. Andina, Grossulariaceae), and the American clade of Urtica (Urticaceae). In the tropical Andes, these often grow together, especially in (naturally or anthropogenically) disturbed or secondary vegetation at middle to upper elevations. The climatic niches of the tropical groups studied here are relatively similar in temperature and temperature seasonality, but do differ in moisture seasonality. The Amotape-Huancabamba Zone (AHZ) between 3 and 8° S shows a clear diversity peak of overall species richness as well as for narrowly endemic species across the groups studied. For Nasa, we also show a particular diversity of growth forms in the AHZ. This can be interpreted as proxy for a high diversity of ecological niches based on high spatial habitat heterogeneity in this zone. Latitudinal ranges are generally larger toward the margins of overall range of the group. Species number and number of endemic species of our taxa peak at elevations of 2,500-3,500 m in the tropical Andes. Altitudinal diversity patterns correspond well with the altitudinal distribution of slope inclination. We hypothesize that the likelihood and frequency of landslides at steeper slopes translate into temporal habitat heterogeneity. The frequency of landslides may be causally connected to diversification especially for the numerous early colonizing taxa, such as Urtica and annual species of Nasa. In contrast to earlier hypotheses, uplift history is not reflected in the pattern here retrieved, since the AHZ is the area of the most recent Andean uplift. Similarly, a barrier effect of the low-lying Huancabamba depression is not retrieved in
Full Text Available The tropical Andes are a hotspot of biodiversity, but detailed altitudinal and latitudinal distribution patterns of species are poorly understood. We compare the distribution and diversity patterns of four Andean plant groups on the basis of georeferenced specimen data: the genus Nasa (Loasaceae, the two South American sections of Ribes (sect. Parilla and sect. Andina, Grossulariaceae, and the American clade of Urtica (Urticaceae. In the tropical Andes, these often grow together, especially in (naturally or anthropogenically disturbed or secondary vegetation at middle to upper elevations. The climatic niches of the tropical groups studied here are relatively similar in temperature and temperature seasonality, but do differ in moisture seasonality. The Amotape-Huancabamba Zone (AHZ between 3–8° S shows a clear diversity peak of overall species richness as well as for narrowly endemic species across the groups studied. For Nasa, we also show a particular diversity of growth forms in the AHZ. This can be interpreted as proxy for a high diversity of ecological niches based on high spatial habitat heterogeneity in this zone. Latitudinal ranges are generally larger towards the margins of overall range of the group. Species number and number of endemic species of our taxa peak at elevations of 2,500–3,500 m in the tropical Andes. Altitudinal diversity patterns correspond well with the altitudinal distribution of slope inclination. We hypothesize that the likelihood and frequency of landslides at steeper slopes translates into temporal habitat heterogeneity. The frequency of landslides may be causally connected to diversification especially for the numerous early colonizing taxa, such as Urtica and annual species of Nasa. In contrast to earlier hypotheses, uplift history is not reflected in the pattern here retrieved, since the AHZ is the area of the most recent Andean uplift. Similarly, a barrier effect of the low-lying Huancabamba depression is
Villéger, Sébastien; Ramos Miranda, Julia; Flores Hernández, Domingo; Mouillot, David
Human activities have strong impacts on ecosystem functioning through their effect on abiotic factors and on biodiversity. There is also growing evidence that species functional traits link changes in species composition and shifts in ecosystem processes. Hence, it appears to be of utmost importance to quantify modifications in the functional structure of species communities after human disturbance in addition to changes in taxonomic structure. Despite this fact, there is still little consensus on the actual impacts of human-mediated habitat alteration on the components of biodiversity, which include species functional traits. Therefore, we studied changes in taxonomic diversity (richness and evenness), in functional diversity, and in functional specialization of estuarine fish communities facing drastic environmental and habitat alterations. The Terminos Lagoon (Gulf of Mexico) is a tropical estuary of primary concern for its biodiversity, its habitats, and its resource supply, which have been severely impacted by human activities. Fish communities were sampled in four zones of the Terminos Lagoon 18 years apart (1980 and 1998). Two functions performed by fish (food acquisition and locomotion) were studied through the measurement of 16 functional traits. Functional diversity of fish communities was quantified using three independent components: richness, evenness, and divergence. Additionally, we measured the degree of functional specialization in fish communities. We used a null model to compare the functional and the taxonomic structure of fish communities between 1980 and 1998. Among the four largest zones studied, three did not show strong functional changes. In the northern part of the lagoon, we found an increase in fish richness but a significant decrease of functional divergence and functional specialization. We explain this result by a decline of specialized species (i.e., those with particular combinations of traits), while newly occurring species are
Alonso, A.; Camargo, J.A.
In this research we evaluate the effects of the method used for estimating the potential surface available for benthic macroinvertebrates in macrophyte and unvegetated habitats on several metrics and habitat preference of aquatic macroinvertebrates in the upper catchment of the Henares River
Fernández, Ana B; Ghai, Rohit; Martin-Cuadrado, Ana-Belen; Sánchez-Porro, Cristina; Rodriguez-Valera, Francisco; Ventosa, Antonio
A metagenome was obtained by pyrosequencing the total prokaryotic DNA from the water of a pond with intermediate salinity (13% salts) from a saltern located in Santa Pola, Spain. We analyzed and compared the phylogenomic and metabolic diversity of this saltern pond with respect to other two metagenomes obtained previously from the same saltern (ponds with 19% and 37% salts, respectively) and two reference metagenomes from marine and coastal lagoon habitats. A large microbial diversity, representing seven major higher taxa (Euryarchaeota, Gammaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Verrucomicrobia and Betaproteobacteria), was found. However, most sequences (57%) were not assigned to any previously described genus. Principal component analysis of tetranucleotide frequencies of assembled contigs showed the presence of new groups of Euryarchaeota, different from those previously described but related to Haloquadratum walsbyi and other members of the Halobacteriaceae. Besides, some new Gammaproteobacteria, several closely related to the recently isolated bacterium 'Spiribacter salinus' were observed. Metabolically, the nitrogen and carbon cycles appear to be very simplified in this extreme habitat. Light is extensively used as energy source by bacteriorhodopsins and other rhodopsins. Microorganisms known to use the 'salt-in' strategy are probably able to combine the accumulation of potassium ions and of compatible solutes. © 2014 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.
Rützler, Klaus; Piantoni, Carla; Van Soest, Rob W M; Díaz, M Cristina
The Caribbean barrier reef near Carrie Bow Cay, Belize, has been a focus of Smithsonian Institution (Washington) reef and mangrove investigations since the early 1970s. Systematics and biology of sponges (Porifera) were addressed by several researchers but none of the studies dealt with cryptic habitats, such as the shaded undersides of coral rubble, reef crevices, and caves, although a high species diversity was recognized and samples were taken for future reference and study. This paper is the result of processing samples taken between 1972 and 2012. In all, 122 species were identified, 14 of them new (including one new genus). The new species are Tetralophophora (new genus) mesoamericana, Geodia cribrata, Placospongia caribica, Prosuberites carriebowensis, Timea diplasterina, Timea oxyasterina, Rhaphidhistia belizensis, Wigginsia curlewensis, Phorbas aurantiacus, Myrmekioderma laminatum, Niphates arenata, Siphonodictyon occultum, Xestospongia purpurea, and Aplysina sciophila. We determined that about 75 of the 122 cryptic sponge species studied (61%) are exclusive members of the sciophilic community, 47 (39 %) occur in both, light-exposed and shaded or dark habitats. Since we estimate the previously known sponge population of Carrie Bow reefs and mangroves at about 200 species, the cryptic fauna makes up 38 % of total diversity.
Full Text Available Spatial patterns of seedling distribution and diversity were analysed in small fragments of holly Ilex aquifolium L. woodlands and in their surrounding areas. Two sampling locations with similar structure were selected for this study: Oncala and Robregordo. They consist of nearly monospecific Ilex stands surrounded by grasslands with high scrub abundance.
The seedling appearance of woody species was quantified from March to November 1998. Sampled areas were: 1 closed holly canopy; 2 open holly canopy or small forest gaps; 3 holly woodland edge; 4 surrounding grassland; 5 under isolated fleshy-fruited shrubs scattered over the grassland; 6 under dry-fruited shrubs and 7 the closest forest to the holly woodland. Additionally, a pine forest at a distance of 20 km from Oncala was sampled. In every area ten permanent 50 × 50 cm quadrats were fixed for monthly seedling control.
The highest germination density occurs under the holly woodland, especially in closed canopy areas. Nevertheless, these closed woodlands neither maintain a great quantity of surviving seedlings nor a high diversity. Seedling density is considerable in canopy gaps, shrubs and forest edge, and these habitats have greater diversity values than understorey habitats. Fleshy-fruited shrubs maintain higher seedling densities and diversity than dry-fruited shrubs. Woody seedlings are rare over the grassland. The three non-holly forests studied have very similar seedling densities and diversity values, higher than those under closed-canopy holly.
Regional differences are important for the numbers of seedlings surviving from previous years, which are scareer in Robregordo. However, little difference is observed in spatial patterns of seedling diversity between the two locations.
We discuss a number of processes affecting seed rain density and differential mortality rates that could account for these spatial patterns, namely competition
Yates, K. K.; Rogers, C. S.; Herlan, J. J.; Brooks, G. R.; Smiley, N. A.; Larson, R. A.
Risk analyses indicate that more than 90% of the world's reefs will be threatened by climate change and local anthropogenic impacts by the year 2030 under "business as usual" climate scenarios. Increasing temperatures and solar radiation cause coral bleaching that has resulted in extensive coral mortality. Increasing carbon dioxide reduces seawater pH, slows coral growth, and may cause loss of reef structure. Management strategies include establishment of marine protected areas with environmental conditions that promote reef resiliency. However, few resilient reefs have been identified, and resiliency factors are poorly defined. Here we characterize the first natural, non-reef, coral refuge from thermal stress and ocean acidification and identify resiliency factors for mangrove-coral habitats. We measured diurnal and seasonal variations in temperature, salinity, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), and seawater chemistry; characterized substrate parameters; and examined water circulation patterns in mangrove communities where scleractinian corals are growing attached to and under mangrove prop roots in Hurricane Hole, St. John, US Virgin Islands. Additionally, we inventoried the coral species and quantified incidences of coral bleaching, mortality and recovery for two major reef-building corals, Colpophyllia natans and Diploria labyrinthiformis, growing in mangrove shaded and exposed (unshaded) areas. At least 33 species of scleractinian corals were growing in association with mangroves. Corals were thriving in low-light (more than 70% attenuation of incident PAR) from mangrove shading and at higher temperatures than nearby reef tract corals. A higher percentage of C. natans colonies was living shaded by mangroves, and no shaded colonies bleached. Fewer D. labyrinthiformis colonies were shaded by mangroves, however more unshaded colonies bleached. A combination of substrate and habitat heterogeniety, proximity of different habitat types, hydrographic
El Dawi, El Sayed Fikri Ali [السيد فكري علي ضوي
The present investigation is an attempt to study the diversity, habitats and seasonal distribution offish of inshore water at thirteen sites of the three Protectorates (Ras Muhammed, Nabq and Abou Galoum) of Southern Sinai on the Red Sea in Egypt. The study revealed that Ras Muhammed embodies three habitats: sandy shore-rocky flat - coral reefs whereas the other two areas, Nabq and Abou Galoum are formed of sandy shore - rocky flat and rocky flat - coral reefs, respectively. The study reve...
J. Dananjaya Kottawa-Arachchi; Rajika N. Gamage
A survey on birds was conducted at St. Coombs Tea Estate, Talawakelle, Sri Lanka with the objective of assessing the avifaunal diversity of a given tea plantation ecosystem. Bird populations were sampled in man-made habitats such as home garden, wetland, tea plantation, Eucalyptus plantation and small scale reservoir. Hundred-and-twenty counts were made for each habitat and in addition, activities of birds, feeding habits and food recourses were also observed. A total of 87 species, including...
Full Text Available The structure of coral reef habitat has a pronounced influence on the diversity, composition and abundance of reef-associated fishes. However, the particular features of the habitat that are most critical are not always known. Coral habitats can vary in many characteristics, notably live coral cover, topographic complexity and coral diversity, but the relative effects of these habitat characteristics are often not distinguished. Here, we investigate the strength of the relationships between these habitat features and local fish diversity, abundance and community structure in the lagoon of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. In a spatial comparison using sixty-six 2m(2 quadrats, fish species richness, total abundance and community structure were examined in relation to a wide range of habitat variables, including topographic complexity, habitat diversity, coral diversity, coral species richness, hard coral cover, branching coral cover and the cover of corymbose corals. Fish species richness and total abundance were strongly associated with coral species richness and cover, but only weakly associated with topographic complexity. Regression tree analysis showed that coral species richness accounted for most of the variation in fish species richness (63.6%, while hard coral cover explained more variation in total fish abundance (17.4%, than any other variable. In contrast, topographic complexity accounted for little spatial variation in reef fish assemblages. In degrading coral reef environments, the potential effects of loss of coral cover and topographic complexity are often emphasized, but these findings suggest that reduced coral biodiversity may ultimately have an equal, or greater, impact on reef-associated fish communities.
Komyakova, Valeriya; Munday, Philip L; Jones, Geoffrey P
The structure of coral reef habitat has a pronounced influence on the diversity, composition and abundance of reef-associated fishes. However, the particular features of the habitat that are most critical are not always known. Coral habitats can vary in many characteristics, notably live coral cover, topographic complexity and coral diversity, but the relative effects of these habitat characteristics are often not distinguished. Here, we investigate the strength of the relationships between these habitat features and local fish diversity, abundance and community structure in the lagoon of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. In a spatial comparison using sixty-six 2m(2) quadrats, fish species richness, total abundance and community structure were examined in relation to a wide range of habitat variables, including topographic complexity, habitat diversity, coral diversity, coral species richness, hard coral cover, branching coral cover and the cover of corymbose corals. Fish species richness and total abundance were strongly associated with coral species richness and cover, but only weakly associated with topographic complexity. Regression tree analysis showed that coral species richness accounted for most of the variation in fish species richness (63.6%), while hard coral cover explained more variation in total fish abundance (17.4%), than any other variable. In contrast, topographic complexity accounted for little spatial variation in reef fish assemblages. In degrading coral reef environments, the potential effects of loss of coral cover and topographic complexity are often emphasized, but these findings suggest that reduced coral biodiversity may ultimately have an equal, or greater, impact on reef-associated fish communities.
Komyakova, Valeriya; Munday, Philip L.; Jones, Geoffrey P.
The structure of coral reef habitat has a pronounced influence on the diversity, composition and abundance of reef-associated fishes. However, the particular features of the habitat that are most critical are not always known. Coral habitats can vary in many characteristics, notably live coral cover, topographic complexity and coral diversity, but the relative effects of these habitat characteristics are often not distinguished. Here, we investigate the strength of the relationships between these habitat features and local fish diversity, abundance and community structure in the lagoon of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. In a spatial comparison using sixty-six 2m2 quadrats, fish species richness, total abundance and community structure were examined in relation to a wide range of habitat variables, including topographic complexity, habitat diversity, coral diversity, coral species richness, hard coral cover, branching coral cover and the cover of corymbose corals. Fish species richness and total abundance were strongly associated with coral species richness and cover, but only weakly associated with topographic complexity. Regression tree analysis showed that coral species richness accounted for most of the variation in fish species richness (63.6%), while hard coral cover explained more variation in total fish abundance (17.4%), than any other variable. In contrast, topographic complexity accounted for little spatial variation in reef fish assemblages. In degrading coral reef environments, the potential effects of loss of coral cover and topographic complexity are often emphasized, but these findings suggest that reduced coral biodiversity may ultimately have an equal, or greater, impact on reef-associated fish communities. PMID:24349455
Full Text Available Plant diversity is known to affect success of host location by pest insects, but its effect on olfactory orientation of non-pest insect species has hardly been addressed. First, we tested in laboratory experiments the hypothesis that non-host plants, which increase odour complexity in habitats, affect the host location ability of herbivores and parasitoids. Furthermore, we recorded field data of plant diversity in addition to herbivore and parasitoid abundance at 77 grassland sites in three different regions in Germany in order to elucidate whether our laboratory results reflect the field situation. As a model system we used the herb Plantago lanceolata, the herbivorous weevil Mecinus pascuorum, and its larval parasitoid Mesopolobus incultus. The laboratory bioassays revealed that both the herbivorous weevil and its larval parasitoid can locate their host plant and host via olfactory cues even in the presence of non-host odour. In a newly established two-circle olfactometer, the weeviĺs capability to detect host plant odour was not affected by odours from non-host plants. However, addition of non-host plant odours to host plant odour enhanced the weeviĺs foraging activity. The parasitoid was attracted by a combination of host plant and host volatiles in both the absence and presence of non-host plant volatiles in a Y-tube olfactometer. In dual choice tests the parasitoid preferred the blend of host plant and host volatiles over its combination with non-host plant volatiles. In the field, no indication was found that high plant diversity disturbs host (plant location by the weevil and its parasitoid. In contrast, plant diversity was positively correlated with weevil abundance, whereas parasitoid abundance was independent of plant diversity. Therefore, we conclude that weevils and parasitoids showed the sensory capacity to successfully cope with complex vegetation odours when searching for hosts.
Wang, W; Qiao, Y; Li, S; Pan, W; Yao, M
Habitat fragmentation may strongly impact population genetic structure and reduce the genetic diversity and viability of small and isolated populations. The white-headed langur (Trachypithecus leucocephalus) is a critically endangered primate species living in a highly fragmented and human-modified habitat in southern China. We examined the population genetic structure and genetic diversity of the species and investigated the environmental and anthropogenic factors that may have shaped its population structure. We used 214 unique multi-locus genotypes from 41 social groups across the main distribution area of T. leucocephalus, and found strong genetic structure and significant genetic differentiation among local populations. Our landscape genetic analyses using a causal modelling framework suggest that a large habitat gap and geographical distance represent the primary landscape elements shaping genetic structure, yet high levels of genetic differentiation also exist between patches separated by a small habitat gap or road. This is the first comprehensive study that has evaluated the population genetic structure and diversity of T. leucocephalus using nuclear markers. Our results indicate strong negative impacts of anthropogenic land modifications and habitat fragmentation on primate genetic connectivity between forest patches. Our analyses suggest that two management units of the species could be defined, and indicate that habitat continuity should be enforced and restored to reduce genetic isolation and enhance population viability.
KALYA SUBASINGHE; AMILA P. SUMANAPALA
Subasinghe K, Sumanapala AP. 2014. Biological and functional diversity of bird communities in natural and human modified habitats in Northern Flank of Knuckles Mountain Forest Range, Sri Lanka. Biodiversitas 15: 200-205. The Knuckles Mountain Forest Range (KMFR) has a complex mosaic of natural and human modified habitats and the contribution of these habitats to the biological and functional diversities has not been deeply studied. Present study investigated both of these diversities in five ...
Full Text Available Habitat features can have a profound effect on the nesting success of birds. Savannas are often managed with predators and large herbivores as priority species, with little thought to the many bird species that management decisions could affect. Using a data set spanning seven breeding seasons, we examined how nesting success of Southern Ground-hornbills (SGHs Bucorvus leadbeateri in the Kruger National Park varied as a result of various environmental and habitat factors within a radius of 3 km surrounding the nest site. Identifying which factors affect nesting success will allow for targeted management efforts to ensure the long-term survival of SGHs both within and outside of protected areas. Habitat structure and diversity of the vegetation surrounding the nest were the most influential factors on SGH nesting success. SGHs require open grassy areas for foraging and areas with large trees for nesting. Savanna habitat drivers such as elephants and fire should be managed to ensure that sufficient large trees are able to establish in the landscape and to control for bush encroachment. This is especially important in areas earmarked for SGH reintroductions. Nest sites of SGHs should be monitored to mitigate any structural changes in the habitat surrounding the nests. Nests should be modified or artificial nest sites provided, where nests have been damaged or lost, to ensure the continued presence of these birds in African savannas.Conservation implications: Habitat structure and diversity surrounding Southern Groundhornbill nests has a significant impact on their nesting success. This highlights the importance of monitoring vegetation change in savanna habitats where they occur. Management of savanna areas should take factors that influence bush encroachment, such as fire and elephants, into account to ensure the long-term persistence of these birds.
Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Johnson, Gary E.; Sather, Nichole K.; Skalski, John R.; Dawley, Earl M.; Coleman, Andre M.
This report describes the 2009 research conducted under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE or Corps) project EST-09-P-01, titled “Evaluation of Life History Diversity, Habitat Connectivity, and Survival Benefits Associated with Habitat Restoration Actions in the Lower Columbia River and Estuary.” The research was conducted by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Marine Science Laboratory and Hydrology Group, in partnership with the University of Washington, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Columbia Basin Research, and Earl Dawley (NOAA Fisheries, retired). This Columbia River Fish Mitigation Program project, referred to as “Salmonid Benefits,” was started in FY 2009 to evaluate the state-of-the science regarding the ability to quantify the benefits to listed salmonids1 of habitat restoration actions in the lower Columbia River and estuary.
Betancourt, Joseph R
The goal of this paper is to define cultural competence and present a practical framework to address crosscultural challenges that emerge in the clinical encounter, with a particular focus on the issue of nonadherence. English-language literature, both primary and reports from various agencies, and the author's personal experiences in clinical practice. Relevant literature on patient-centered care and cultural competence. There is a growing literature that delineates the impact of sociocultural factors, race, ethnicity, and limited-English proficiency on health and clinical care. The field of cultural competence focuses on addressing these issues. Health care providers need a practical set of tools and skills that will enable them to provide quality care to patients during a brief encounter, whatever differences in background that may exist. Cultural competence has evolved from the gathering of information and making of assumptions about patients on the basis of their sociocultural background to the development of skills to implement the principles of patient-centered care. This patient-based approach to cross-cultural care consists of first, assessing core cross-cultural issues; second, exploring the meaning of the illness to the patient; third, determining the social context in which the patient lives; and fourth, engaging in negotiation with the patient to encourage adherence. Addressing adherence is a particularly challenging issue, the determinants of which are multifactorial, and the ESFT (explanatory/social/fears/treatment) model--derived from the patient-based approach--is a tool that identifies barriers to adherence and provides strategies to address them. It obviously is impossible to learn everything about every culture and that should not be expected. Instead, we should learn about the communities we care for. More important, we should have a framework that allows us to provide appropriate care for any patient--one that deals with issues of adherence
Light, Theo; Marchetti, Michael P
Many of California's native populations of freshwater fish are in serious decline, as are freshwater faunas worldwide. Habitat loss and alteration, hydrologic modification, water pollution, and invasions have been identified as major drivers of these losses. Because these potential causes of decline are frequently correlated, it is difficult to separate direct from indirect effects of each factor and to appropriately rank their importance for conservation action. Recently a few authors have questioned the conservation significance of invasions, suggesting that they are "passengers" rather than "drivers" of ecological change. We compiled an extensive, watershed-level data set of fish presence and conservation status, land uses, and hydrologic modifications in California and used an information theoretic approach (Akaike's information criterion, AIC) and path analysis to evaluate competing models of native fish declines. Hydrologic modification (impoundments and diversions), invasions, and proportion of developed land were all predictive of the number of extinct and at-risk native fishes in California watersheds in the AIC analysis. Although nonindigenous fish richness was the best single predictor (after native richness) of fishes of conservation concern, the combined ranking of models containing hydrologic modification variables was slightly higher than that of models containing nonindigenous richness. Nevertheless, the path analysis indicated that the effects of both hydrologic modification and development on fishes of conservation concern were largely indirect, through their positive effects on nonindigenous fish richness. The best-fitting path model was the driver model, which included no direct effects of abiotic disturbance on native fish declines. Our results suggest that, for California freshwater fishes, invasions are the primary direct driver of extinctions and population declines, whereas the most damaging effect of habitat alteration is the tendency of
Ferrer-Castán, Dolores; Morales-Barbero, Jennifer; Vetaas, Ole R.
Numerous hypotheses on diversity patterns are often presented as if they were mutually exclusive. However, because of multicollinearity, correlational analyses are not able to distinguish the causal effects of different factors on these patterns. For this reason, we examine the interrelationships among current climate, habitat heterogeneity and evolutionary history by partitioning the variation in both total and non-volant mammal species richness in the Iberian Peninsula. Thus, it is possible to determine the variation accounted for by each one of these three components that is not shared by the others, and the respective overlaps. More specifically, we hypothesize that (H1) in warm temperate zones, a small increase in the available energy has strong negative effects on mammal richness if water availability is limiting; (H2) there are functional relationships between woody plant species richness (WOOD) and the richness of mammal species; (H3) there is a signal of evolutionary history in contemporary patterns of species richness, and (H4) mammal richness and the historical variable mean root distance (MRD) respond to the same driving forces. Additionally, we also test for spatial autocorrelation. We found a sharp nonlinear decrease in mammal richness with increasing energy and a monotonic increase with increasing water availability. Moreover, an interaction term between these two climate factors appeared to be statistically significant, so H1 could not be rejected. WOOD remained significant after partialling out both current climate and MRD at the family level (MRDf), supporting H2. The relationship between mammal diversity and MRD averaged by species richness was found to be spurious, but there appeared a significant historical signal using MRDf (this supports H3). The overlaps among these factors are consistent with H4 and suggest that water-energy dynamics have probably been active drivers throughout evolutionary history with habitat heterogeneity, and biotic
Perry, M.C.; Kangas, P.; Obrecht, H.H.; Comin, Francisco A.; Herrera-Silveira, Jorge A.; Ramirez-Ramirez, Javier
Patuxent Research Refuge, located in Central Maryland (USA), has approximately 140 ha of impoundments that were constructed for recreational and wildlife conservation purposes. Impoundments are of three major designs: dammed ravines, excavated basins, and diked ponds. Over 50 species of wetland plants were transplanted to impoundments of Patuxent from many parts of the United States between 1945 and 1963 to determine the species best suited for establishment in tannin-stained infertile waters. The wood duck was the only waterfowl species commonly observed on the Refuge when the area was established, but Canada geese, mallards, and black ducks, were introduced and numerous techniques developed to improve nesting and brood habitat. Twenty-six waterfowl species and 80 species of other water birds have used the impoundments for resting, feeding, or nesting. Management is now conducted to optimize avian biodiversity. Management techniques include drawdowns of water every 3-5 years in most impoundments to provide maximum plant and invertebrate food resources for wildlife. Research on the impounded wetlands at Patuxent has included evaluation of vegetation in regard to water level management, improving nest box design to reduce use of boxes by starlings, imprinting of waterfowl to elevated nesting structures to reduce predation on nests, and drawdown techniques to increase macroinvertebrates. Data on waterfowl abundance are evaluated relative to management activities and a preliminary computer model for management of the impoundments has been developed. Past, present, and future management and research projects are reviewed in this paper.
Roger W. Perry; Ronald E. Thill; David M. Leslie
Many studies of roost selection by forest-dwelling bats have concentrated on microhabitat surrounding roosts without providing forest stand level preferences of bats; thus, those studies have provided only part of the information needed by managers. We evaluated diurnal summer roost selection by the bat community at the forest-stand level in a diversely forested...
Felton, Adam; Sonesson, Johan; Nilsson, Urban; Lämås, Tomas; Lundmark, Tomas; Nordin, Annika; Ranius, Thomas; Roberge, Jean-Michel
Because of the limited spatial extent and comprehensiveness of protected areas, an increasing emphasis is being placed on conserving habitats which promote biodiversity within production forest. For this reason, alternative silvicultural programs need to be evaluated with respect to their implications for forest biodiversity, especially if these programs are likely to be adopted. Here we simulated the effect of varied rotation length and associated thinning regimes on habitat availability in Scots pine and Norway spruce production forests, with high and low productivity. Shorter rotation lengths reduced the contribution made by production trees (trees grown for industrial use) to the availability of key habitat features, while concurrently increasing the contribution from retention trees. The contribution of production trees to habitat features was larger for high productivity sites, than for low productivity sites. We conclude that shortened rotation lengths result in losses of the availability of habitat features that are key for biodiversity conservation and that increased retention practices may only partially compensate for this. Ensuring that conservation efforts better reflect the inherent variation in stand rotation lengths would help improve the maintenance of key forest habitats in production forests.
Richa; Sinha, Rajeshwar P
We have screened two Nostoc species inhabiting diverse habitats for the presence of sunscreening mycosporine-like amino acid (MAA) compounds. The identification and characterization of one MAA (RT 3.1-3.8 min, λmax -334 nm) from both Nostoc species were performed using absorption spectroscopy, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Shinorine and porphyra-334 were commonly present in both Nostoc sp. strain HKAR-2 and Nostoc sp. strain HKAR-6. Nostoc sp. strain HKAR-2 also showed the presence of an unknown MAAs with retention time of 6.9 min and a corresponding λmax of 334 nm. Present investigation clearly demonstrated the presence of diverse profile of MAAs in the hot spring cyanobacterium in comparison to the rice field isolate. Thus, Nostoc sp. strain HKAR-2 would be a better source for the production of MAAs that can be used as a potent natural sunscreen against UV-B irradiation.
Van Liefferinge, C.; Simoens, I.; Vogt, C.; Cox, T.J.S.; Breine, J.; Ercken, D.; Goethals, P.; Belpaire, C.; Meire, P.
The spatial variation in the fish communities of four small Belgian rivers with variable habitat diversity was investigated by electric fishing to define the minimum sampling distance required for optimal fish stock assessment and determination of the Index of Biotic Integrity. This study shows that
Full Text Available Predatory arthropods can exert strong top-down control on ecosystem functions. However, despite extensive theory and experimental manipulations of predator diversity, our knowledge about relationships between plant and predator diversity--and thus information on the relevance of experimental findings--for species-rich, natural ecosystems is limited. We studied activity abundance and species richness of epigeic spiders in a highly diverse forest ecosystem in subtropical China across 27 forest stands which formed a gradient in tree diversity of 25-69 species per plot. The enemies hypothesis predicts higher predator abundance and diversity, and concomitantly more effective top-down control of food webs, with increasing plant diversity. However, in our study, activity abundance and observed species richness of spiders decreased with increasing tree species richness. There was only a weak, non-significant relationship with tree richness when spider richness was rarefied, i.e. corrected for different total abundances of spiders. Only foraging guild richness (i.e. the diversity of hunting modes of spiders was positively related to tree species richness. Plant species richness in the herb layer had no significant effects on spiders. Our results thus provide little support for the enemies hypothesis--derived from studies in less diverse ecosystems--of a positive relationship between predator and plant diversity. Our findings for an important group of generalist predators question whether stronger top-down control of food webs can be expected in the more plant diverse stands of our forest ecosystem. Biotic interactions could play important roles in mediating the observed relationships between spider and plant diversity, but further testing is required for a more detailed mechanistic understanding. Our findings have implications for evaluating the way in which theoretical predictions and experimental findings of functional predator effects apply to species
Schuldt, Andreas; Both, Sabine; Bruelheide, Helge; Härdtle, Werner; Schmid, Bernhard; Zhou, Hongzhang; Assmann, Thorsten
Predatory arthropods can exert strong top-down control on ecosystem functions. However, despite extensive theory and experimental manipulations of predator diversity, our knowledge about relationships between plant and predator diversity—and thus information on the relevance of experimental findings—for species-rich, natural ecosystems is limited. We studied activity abundance and species richness of epigeic spiders in a highly diverse forest ecosystem in subtropical China across 27 forest stands which formed a gradient in tree diversity of 25–69 species per plot. The enemies hypothesis predicts higher predator abundance and diversity, and concomitantly more effective top-down control of food webs, with increasing plant diversity. However, in our study, activity abundance and observed species richness of spiders decreased with increasing tree species richness. There was only a weak, non-significant relationship with tree richness when spider richness was rarefied, i.e. corrected for different total abundances of spiders. Only foraging guild richness (i.e. the diversity of hunting modes) of spiders was positively related to tree species richness. Plant species richness in the herb layer had no significant effects on spiders. Our results thus provide little support for the enemies hypothesis—derived from studies in less diverse ecosystems—of a positive relationship between predator and plant diversity. Our findings for an important group of generalist predators question whether stronger top-down control of food webs can be expected in the more plant diverse stands of our forest ecosystem. Biotic interactions could play important roles in mediating the observed relationships between spider and plant diversity, but further testing is required for a more detailed mechanistic understanding. Our findings have implications for evaluating the way in which theoretical predictions and experimental findings of functional predator effects apply to species-rich forest
Liu, Xuehua; Wu, Pengfeng; Shao, Xiaoming; Songer, Melissa; Cai, Qiong; He, Xiangbo; Zhu, Yun
Environmental heterogeneity contributes to various habitats and may influence the diversity and activity patterns of wildlife among habitats. We used camera traps to assess wildlife habitat use in Guanyinshan Nature Reserve from 2009 to 2012. We focused on four types of habitat including open areas with gentle slope (<15°) (Type1), low elevation areas (about 1500-1700 m) with high bamboo coverage (Type2), high elevation areas (about 2100-2300 m) with high canopy coverage (Type3), and wildlife migration passages (Type4). We analyzed the differences in species richness, relative abundance index (RAI), species diversity, and animals' activity pattern among habitats. Total six species were analyzed on activity pattern, which are Takin (Budorcas taxicolor), tufted deer (Elaphodus cephalophus), Himalayan goral (Naemorhedus goral), wild boar (Sus scrofa), golden pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus), and porcupine (Hystrix hodgsoni). The results are (1) that there were significant differences in richness and RAI t among habitats; (2) Type4 habitat had the highest richness and RAI t while Type2 had the highest species diversity; giant pandas were found in these two habitats; (3) there were significant differences in species' activity during daytime and nighttime; and (4) differences appeared in habitat preference of the most abundant species. Takin and tufted deer preferred Type1, Himalayan goral preferred Type2, and golden pheasant preferred Type3. Type4 habitat was used by most animals. All these revealed that habitat heterogeneity plays an important role in species diversity and the importance for conservation.
Unterseher, Martin; Siddique, Abu Bakar; Brachmann, Andreas; Peršoh, Derek
Comparative investigations of plant-associated fungal communities (mycobiomes) in distinct habitats and under distinct climate regimes have been rarely conducted in the past. Nowadays, high-throughput sequencing allows routine examination of mycobiome responses to environmental changes and results at an unprecedented level of detail. In the present study, we analysed Illumina-generated fungal ITS1 sequences from European beech (Fagus sylvatica) originating from natural habitats at two different altitudes in the German Alps and from a managed tree nursery in northern Germany. In general, leaf-inhabiting mycobiome diversity and composition correlated significantly with the origin of the trees. Under natural condition the mycobiome was more diverse at lower than at higher elevation, whereas fungal diversity was lowest in the artificial habitat of the tree nursery. We further identified significant correlation of leaf chlorophylls and flavonoids with both habitat parameters and mycobiome biodiversity. The present results clearly point towards a pronounced importance of local stand conditions for the structure of beech leaf mycobiomes and for a close interrelation of phyllosphere fungi and leaf physiology.
Bertin, Angeline; Gouin, Nicolas; Baumel, Alex; Gianoli, Ernesto; Serratosa, Juan; Osorio, Rodomiro; Manel, Stephanie
Positive species-genetic diversity correlations (SGDCs) are often thought to result from the parallel influence of neutral processes on genetic and species diversity. Yet, confounding effects of non-neutral mechanisms have not been explored. Here, we investigate the impact of non-neutral genetic diversity on SGDCs in high Andean wetlands. We compare correlations between plant species diversity and genetic diversity (GD) calculated with and without loci potentially under selection (outlier loci). The study system includes 2188 specimens from five species (three common aquatic macroinvertebrate and two dominant plant species) that were genotyped for 396 amplified fragment length polymorphism loci. We also appraise the importance of neutral processes on SGDCs by investigating the influence of habitat fragmentation features. Significant positive SGDCs were detected for all five species (mean SGDC = 0.52 ± 0.05). While only a few outlier loci were detected in each species, they resulted in significant decreases in GD and in SGDCs. This supports the hypothesis that neutral processes drive species-genetic diversity relationships in high Andean wetlands. Unexpectedly, the effects on genetic diversity GD of the habitat fragmentation characteristics in this study increased with the presence of outlier loci in two species. Overall, our results reveal pitfalls in using habitat features to infer processes driving SGDCs and show that a few loci potentially under selection are enough to cause a significant downward bias in SGDC. Investigating confounding effects of outlier loci thus represents a useful approach to evidence the contribution of neutral processes on species-genetic diversity relationships. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Sydenham, Markus A K; Moe, Stein R; Stanescu-Yadav, Diana N; Totland, Ørjan; Eldegard, Katrine
Anthropogenic landscape elements, such as roadsides, hedgerows, field edges, and power line clearings, can be managed to provide important habitats for wild bees. However, the effects of habitat improvement schemes in power line clearings on components of diversity are poorly studied. We conducted a large-scale experiment to test the effects of different management practices on the species, phylogenetic, and functional diversity of wild bees in power line clearings (n = 19 sites across southeastern Norway) and explored whether any treatment effects were modified by the environmental context. At each site, we conducted the following treatments: (1) Cut: all trees cut and left to decay in the clearing; (2) Cut + Remove: all trees cut and removed from the plot; and (3) Uncut: uncleared. The site-specific environmental context (i.e., elevation and floral diversity) influenced the species, phylogenetic, and functional diversity within bee species assemblages. The largest number of species was found in the Cut + Remove treatment in plots with a high forb species richness, indicating that the outcome of management practices depends on the environmental context. Clearing of treatment plots with many forb species also appeared to alter the phylogenetic composition of bee species assemblages, that is, more closely related species were found in the Cut and the Cut + Remove plots than in the Uncut plots. Synthesis and applications: Our experimental simulation of management practices in power line clearings influenced the species, phylogenetic, and functional diversity of bee species assemblages. Frequent clearing and removal of the woody debris at low elevations with a high forb species richness can increase the value of power line clearings for solitary bees. It is therefore important for managers to consider the environmental context when designing habitat improvement schemes for solitary bees.
Full Text Available Subasinghe K, Sumanapala AP. 2014. Biological and functional diversity of bird communities in natural and human modified habitats in Northern Flank of Knuckles Mountain Forest Range, Sri Lanka. Biodiversitas 15: 200-205. The Knuckles Mountain Forest Range (KMFR has a complex mosaic of natural and human modified habitats and the contribution of these habitats to the biological and functional diversities has not been deeply studied. Present study investigated both of these diversities in five habitat types (two natural habitats: Sub-montane forest and Pitawala Patana grassland; three modified habitats: cardamom, pinus and abandoned tea plantations in Northern Flank of KMFR using birds as the indicator group. Bird communities were surveyed using point count method. A total of 1,150 individuals belonging to 56 species were observed. The highest species richness was reported from the cardamom plantation where as sub-montane forest had the highest feeding guild diversity in terms of Shannon Weiner index. The abandoned tea plantation and the Pitawala Patana grasslands with fairly open habitats, showed relatively lower levels of feeding guild diversities. It is clear that the structurally complex habitats contribute more to the area’s biological and functional diversities and need to be taken into consideration when developing conservation plans.
Diversity and habitat preferences of Carabidae and Staphylinidae (Coleoptera in two agroecosystems Diversidade e preferência de habitat de Carabidae e Staphylinidae (Coleoptera em dois agroecossistemas
Ivan Carlos Fernandes Martins
Full Text Available The present study had as objective determine the diversity and abundance of adults Carabidae and Staphylinidae in two areas, constituted by forest fragment and soybean/corn crops under conventional tillage and no-tillage systems and to analyze the distribution and preference of those beetles for the habitat. The beetles were sampled with 48 pitfall traps. In both experimental areas, two parallel transects of pitfall traps were installed. Each transect had 100 m in the crop and 100 m in the forest fragment. Four traps were close to each other (1 m in the edge between the crop and the forest fragment, the other traps were installed each 10 m. The obtained data were submitted to the faunistic analysis and the preference of the species by habitat was obtained by cluster analysis. The results demonstrated that the type of crop system (conventional tillage or no-tillage might have influenced the diversity of species of Carabidae and Staphylinidae. The cluster analysis evidenced that the carabids may prefer a specific habitat. In the present study, the distribution of carabids and staphylinids in the three habitats showed that these beetles have potential to be dispersed at great distances inside the crop.Este estudo teve como objetivo determinar a diversidade e abundância de adultos de Carabidae e Staphylinidae em duas áreas, constituídas por fragmentos florestais e culturas de soja/milho sob sistemas de plantio convencional e direto, e analisar a distribuição e a preferência desses insetos para o habitat. Os besouros foram amostrados com o uso de 48 armadilhas de solo do tipo Pitfall. Em ambas as áreas experimentais, foram instalados dois transectos paralelos de armadilhas; cada transecto teve 100 m na culturas e 100 m no fragmento florestal. Na borda entre a cultura e o fragmento de floresta foram instaladas quatro armadilhas, que ficaram distantes entre si por 1 m e as outras armadilhas, a cada 10 m. Os dados obtidos foram submetidos à an
Yates, K. K.; Rogers, C. S.; Herlan, J. J.; Brooks, G. R.; Smiley, N. A.; Larson, R. A.
Risk analyses indicate that more than 90% of the world's reefs will be threatened by climate change and local anthropogenic impacts by the year 2030 under "business-as-usual" climate scenarios. Increasing temperatures and solar radiation cause coral bleaching that has resulted in extensive coral mortality. Increasing carbon dioxide reduces seawater pH, slows coral growth, and may cause loss of reef structure. Management strategies include establishment of marine protected areas with environmental conditions that promote reef resiliency. However, few resilient reefs have been identified, and resiliency factors are poorly defined. Here we characterize the first natural, non-reef coral refuge from thermal stress and ocean acidification and identify resiliency factors for mangrove-coral habitats. We measured diurnal and seasonal variations in temperature, salinity, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), and seawater chemistry; characterized substrate parameters; and examined water circulation patterns in mangrove communities where scleractinian corals are growing attached to and under mangrove prop roots in Hurricane Hole, St. John, US Virgin Islands. Additionally, we inventoried the coral species and quantified incidences of coral bleaching, mortality, and recovery for two major reef-building corals, Colpophyllia natans and Diploria labyrinthiformis, growing in mangrove-shaded and exposed (unshaded) areas. Over 30 species of scleractinian corals were growing in association with mangroves. Corals were thriving in low-light (more than 70% attenuation of incident PAR) from mangrove shading and at higher temperatures than nearby reef tract corals. A higher percentage of C. natans colonies were living shaded by mangroves, and no shaded colonies were bleached. Fewer D. labyrinthiformis colonies were shaded by mangroves, however more unshaded colonies were bleached. A combination of substrate and habitat heterogeneity, proximity of different habitat types, hydrographic
Carlotti, F.; Espinasse, B.; Zhou, M.; Jean-Luc, D.
Environmental conditions and zooplankton size structure and taxonomic diversity were investigated in the Gulf of Lion in May 2010 and January 2011. The integrated physical and biological measurements provided a 3D view with high spatial resolution of the physical and biological variables and their correlations over the whole gulf. The effects of physical processes such as freshwater input, coastal upwelling, and water column mixing by winds on phytoplankton and zooplankton distributions were analyzed using these data. Several analytic tests were performed in order to define several ecoregions representing different habitats of plankton communities. Three habitats were distinguished based on statistical analysis performed on biological and physical variables: (1) the coastal area characterized by shallow waters, high chl a concentrations, and a steep slope of the normalized biomass size spectrum (NBSS); (2) the area affected by the Rhône with high stratification and flat NBSS slope; and (3) the continental shelf with a deep mixed layer, relatively low particle concentrations, and moderate NBSS slope. The zooplankton diversity was characterized by spatial differences in community composition among the Rhône plume area, the coastal shelf, and shelf break waters. Defining habitat is a relevant approach to designing new zooplankton sampling strategies, validating distribution models and including the zooplankton compartment in trophodynamic studies.
De Leo, Fabio C.; Vetter, Eric W.; Smith, Craig R.; Rowden, Ashley A.; McGranaghan, Matthew
The mapping of biodiversity on continental margins on landscape scales is highly relevant to marine spatial planning and conservation. Submarine canyons are widespread topographic features on continental and island margins that enhance benthic biomass across a range of oceanic provinces and productivity regimes. However, it remains unclear whether canyons enhance faunal biodiversity on landscape scales relevant to marine protected area (MPA) design. Furthermore, it is not known which physical attributes and heterogeneity metrics can provide good surrogates for large-scale mapping of canyon benthic biodiversity. To test mechanistic hypotheses evaluating the role of different canyon-landscape attributes in enhancing benthic biodiversity at different spatial scales we conducted 34 submersible dives in six submarine canyons and nearby slopes in the Hawaiian archipelago, sampling infaunal macrobenthos in a depth-stratified sampling design. We employed multivariate multiple regression models to evaluate sediment and topographic heterogeneity, canyon transverse profiles, and overall water mass variability as potential drivers of macrobenthic community structure and species richness. We find that variables related to habitat heterogeneity at medium (0.13 km2) and large (15-33 km2) spatial scales such as slope, backscatter reflectivity and canyon transverse profiles are often good predictors of macrobenthic biodiversity, explaining 16-30% of the variance. Particulate organic carbon (POC) flux and distance from shore are also important variables, implicating food supply as a major predictor of canyon biodiversity. Canyons off the high Main Hawaiian Islands (Oahu and Moloka'i) are significantly affected by organic enrichment, showing enhanced infaunal macrobenthos abundance, whereas this effect is imperceptible around the low Northwest Hawaiian Islands (Nihoa and Maro Reef). Variable canyon alpha-diversity and high rates of species turnover (beta-diversity), particularly for
Simon F Thrush
Full Text Available High Antarctic coastal marine environments are comparatively pristine with strong environmental gradients, which make them important places to investigate biodiversity relationships. Defining how different environmental features contribute to shifts in beta-diversity is especially important as these shifts reflect both spatio-temporal variations in species richness and the degree of ecological separation between local and regional species pools. We used complementary techniques (species accumulation models, multivariate variance partitioning and generalized linear models to assess how the roles of productivity, bio-physical habitat heterogeneity and connectivity change with spatial scales from metres to 100's of km. Our results demonstrated that the relative importance of specific processes influencing species accumulation and beta-diversity changed with increasing spatial scale, and that patterns were never driven by only one factor. Bio-physical habitat heterogeneity had a strong influence on beta-diversity at scales 40 km. Our analysis supports the emphasis on the analysis of diversity relationships across multiple spatial scales and highlights the unequal connectivity of individual sites to the regional species pool. This has important implications for resilience to habitat loss and community homogenisation, especially for Antarctic benthic communities where rates of recovery from disturbance are slow, there is a high ratio of poor-dispersing and brooding species, and high biogenic habitat heterogeneity and spatio-temporal variability in primary production make the system vulnerable to disturbance. Consequently, large areas need to be included within marine protected areas for effective management and conservation of these special ecosystems in the face of increasing anthropogenic disturbance.
Full Text Available Background Many tree species in tropical forests have distributions tracking local ridge-slope-valley topography. Previous work in a 50-ha plot in Korup National Park, Cameroon, demonstrated that 272 species, or 63% of those tested, were significantly associated with topography. Methods We used two censuses of 329,000 trees ≥1 cm dbh to examine demographic variation at this site that would account for those observed habitat preferences. We tested two predictions. First, within a given topographic habitat, species specializing on that habitat (‘residents’ should outperform species that are specialists of other habitats (‘foreigners’. Second, across different topographic habitats, species should perform best in the habitat on which they specialize (‘home’ compared to other habitats (‘away’. Species’ performance was estimated using growth and mortality rates. Results In hierarchical models with species identity as a random effect, we found no evidence of a demographic advantage to resident species. Indeed, growth rates were most often higher for foreign species. Similarly, comparisons of species on their home vs. away habitats revealed no sign of a performance advantage on the home habitat. Conclusions We reject the hypothesis that species distributions along a ridge-valley catena at Korup are caused by species differences in trees ≥1 cm dbh. Since there must be a demographic cause for habitat specialization, we offer three alternatives. First, the demographic advantage specialists have at home occurs at the reproductive or seedling stage, in sizes smaller than we census in the forest plot. Second, species may have higher performance on their preferred habitat when density is low, but when population builds up, there are negative density-dependent feedbacks that reduce performance. Third, demographic filtering may be produced by extreme environmental conditions that we did not observe during the census interval.
Sebastian Seibold; Claus Bassler; Roland Brandl; Boris Buche; Alexander Szallies; Simon Thorn; Michael D. Ulyshen; Jorg Muller; Christopher Baraloto
1. Resource availability and habitat heterogeneity are principle drivers of biodiversity, but their individual roles often remain unclear since both factors are usually correlated. The biodiversity of species dependent on dead wood could be driven by either resource availability represented by dead-wood amount or habitat heterogeneity characterized by dead-wood...
Allen, Pauline; Turner, Simon; Bartlett, Will; Perotin, Virginie; Matchaya, Greenwell; Zamora, Bernarda
To assess the impact of provider diversity on quality and innovation in the English NHS by mapping the extent of diverse provider activity and identifying the differences in performance between Third Sector Organisations (TSOs), for-profit private enterprises, and incumbent organizations within the NHS, and the factors that affect the entry and growth of new providers. Case studies of four local health economies. Data included: semi-structured interviews with 48 managerial and clinical staff from NHS organizations and providers from the private and third sector; some documentary evidence; a focus group with service users; and routine data from the Care Quality Commission and Companies House. Data collection was mainly between November 2008 and November 2009. Involvement of diverse providers in the NHS is limited. Commissioners' local strategies influence degrees of diversity. Barriers to entry for TSOs include lack of economies of scale in the bidding process. Private providers have greater concern to improve patient pathways and patient experience, whereas TSOs deliver quality improvements by using a more holistic approach and a greater degree of community involvement. Entry of new providers drives NHS trusts to respond by making improvements. Information sharing diminishes as competition intensifies. There is scope to increase the participation of diverse providers in the NHS but care must be taken not to damage public accountability, overall productivity, equity and NHS providers (especially acute hospitals, which are likely to remain in the NHS) in the process.
Yeager, Lauren A; Keller, Danielle A; Burns, Taylor R; Pool, Alexia S; Fodrie, F Joel
Habitat fragmentation involves habitat loss concomitant with changes in spatial configuration, confounding mechanistic drivers of biodiversity change associated with habitat disturbance. Studies attempting to isolate the effects of altered habitat configuration on associated communities have reported variable results. This variability may be explained in part by the fragmentation threshold hypothesis, which predicts that the effects of habitat configuration may only manifest at low levels of remnant habitat area. To separate the effects of habitat area and configuration on biodiversity, we surveyed fish communities in seagrass landscapes spanning a range of total seagrass area (2-74% cover within 16 000-m 2 landscapes) and spatial configurations (1-75 discrete patches). We also measured variation in fine-scale seagrass variables, which are known to affect faunal community composition and may covary with landscape-scale features. We found that species richness decreased and the community structure shifted with increasing patch number within the landscape, but only when seagrass area was low (fragmentation threshold hypothesis and we suggest that poor matrix quality and low dispersal ability for sensitive taxa in our system may explain why our results support the hypothesis, while previous empirical work has largely failed to match predictions. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.
Andrea M Quattrini
Full Text Available The continental margin off the northeastern United States (NEUS contains numerous, topographically complex features that increase habitat heterogeneity across the region. However, the majority of these rugged features have never been surveyed, particularly using direct observations. During summer 2013, 31 Remotely-Operated Vehicle (ROV dives were conducted from 494 to 3271 m depth across a variety of seafloor features to document communities and to infer geological processes that produced such features. The ROV surveyed six broad-scale habitat features, consisting of shelf-breaching canyons, slope-sourced canyons, inter-canyon areas, open-slope/landslide-scar areas, hydrocarbon seeps, and Mytilus Seamount. Four previously unknown chemosynthetic communities dominated by Bathymodiolus mussels were documented. Seafloor methane hydrate was observed at two seep sites. Multivariate analyses indicated that depth and broad-scale habitat significantly influenced megafaunal coral (58 taxa, demersal fish (69 taxa, and decapod crustacean (34 taxa assemblages. Species richness of fishes and crustaceans significantly declined with depth, while there was no relationship between coral richness and depth. Turnover in assemblage structure occurred on the middle to lower slope at the approximate boundaries of water masses found previously in the region. Coral species richness was also an important variable explaining variation in fish and crustacean assemblages. Coral diversity may serve as an indicator of habitat suitability and variation in available niche diversity for these taxonomic groups. Our surveys added 24 putative coral species and three fishes to the known regional fauna, including the black coral Telopathes magna, the octocoral Metallogorgia melanotrichos and the fishes Gaidropsarus argentatus, Guttigadus latifrons, and Lepidion guentheri. Marine litter was observed on 81% of the dives, with at least 12 coral colonies entangled in debris. While
Quattrini, Andrea; Nizinski, Martha S.; Chaytor, Jason; Demopoulos, Amanda W.J.; Roark, E. Brendan; France, Scott; Moore, Jon A.; Heyl, Taylor P.; Auster, Peter J.; Ruppel, Carolyn D.; Elliott, Kelley P.; Kennedy, Brian R.C.; Lobecker, Elizabeth A.; Skarke, Adam; Shank, Timothy M.
The continental margin off the northeastern United States (NEUS) contains numerous, topographically complex features that increase habitat heterogeneity across the region. However, the majority of these rugged features have never been surveyed, particularly using direct observations. During summer 2013, 31 Remotely-Operated Vehicle (ROV) dives were conducted from 494 to 3271 m depth across a variety of seafloor features to document communities and to infer geological processes that produced such features. The ROV surveyed six broad-scale habitat features, consisting of shelf-breaching canyons, slope-sourced canyons, inter-canyon areas, open-slope/landslide-scar areas, hydrocarbon seeps, and Mytilus Seamount. Four previously unknown chemosynthetic communities dominated by Bathymodiolus mussels were documented. Seafloor methane hydrate was observed at two seep sites. Multivariate analyses indicated that depth and broad-scale habitat significantly influenced megafaunal coral (58 taxa), demersal fish (69 taxa), and decapod crustacean (34 taxa) assemblages. Species richness of fishes and crustaceans significantly declined with depth, while there was no relationship between coral richness and depth. Turnover in assemblage structure occurred on the middle to lower slope at the approximate boundaries of water masses found previously in the region. Coral species richness was also an important variable explaining variation in fish and crustacean assemblages. Coral diversity may serve as an indicator of habitat suitability and variation in available niche diversity for these taxonomic groups. Our surveys added 24 putative coral species and three fishes to the known regional fauna, including the black coral Telopathes magna, the octocoral Metallogorgia melanotrichosand the fishes Gaidropsarus argentatus, Guttigadus latifrons, and Lepidion guentheri. Marine litter was observed on 81% of the dives, with at least 12 coral colonies entangled in debris. While initial
Full Text Available Habitat diversity (spatial heterogeneity within and between habitat patches in a landscape, HD is often invoked as a driver of species diversity at small spatial scales. However, the effect of HD on species richness (SR of multiple taxa is not well understood. We quantified HD and SR in a wet-dry gradient of open grassland habitats in Hortobágy National Park (E-Hungary and tested the effect of compositional and structural factors of HD on SR of flowering plants, orthopterans, true bugs, spiders, ground beetles and birds. Our dataset on 434 grassland species (170 plants, 264 animals showed that the wet-dry gradient (compositional HD at the between-patch scale was primarily related to SR in orthopterans, ground-dwelling arthropods, and all animals combined. The patchiness, or plant association richness, of the vegetation (compositional HD at the within-patch scale was related to SR of vegetation-dwelling arthropods, whereas vegetation height (structural HD at the within-patch scale was related to SR of ground-dwelling arthropods and birds. Patch area was related to SR only in birds, whereas management (grazing, mowing, none was related to SR of plants and true bugs. All relationships between HD and SR were positive, indicating increasing SR with increasing HD. However, total SR was not related to HD because different taxa showed similar positive responses to different HD variables. Our findings, therefore, show that even though HD positively influences SR in a wide range of grassland taxa, each taxon responds to different compositional or structural measures of HD, resulting in the lack of a consistent relationship between HD and SR when taxon responses are pooled. The idiosyncratic responses shown here exemplify the difficulties in detecting general HD-SR relationships over multiple taxa. Our results also suggest that management and restoration aimed specifically to sustain or increase the diversity of habitats are required to conserve
Murphy, Stephen J; Salpeter, Kara; Comita, Liza S
Herbaceous plants are a key component of tropical forests. Previous work indicates that herbs contribute substantially to the species richness of tropical plant communities. However, the processes structuring tropical herb diversity, and how they contrast with woody communities, have been underexplored. Within the understory of a 50-ha forest dynamics plot in central Panama, we compared the diversity, distribution, and abundance of vascular herbaceous plants with woody seedlings (i.e., tree and lianas woody seedlings, indicating higher spatial variation in this stratum. We observed no correlation between local richness or compositional uniqueness of herbs and woody seedlings across sites, indicating that different processes control the spatial patterns of woody and herbaceous diversity and composition. Habitat associations were strongest for herbs, as indicated by greater compositional dissimilarity among habitat types. Likewise, environmental variables explained a larger proportion of the variation in species richness and composition for herbs than for woody seedlings (richness = 25%, 14%, 12%; composition = 25%, 9%, 6%, for herbs, trees, and lianas, respectively). These differences between strata did not appear to be due to differences in lifespan alone, based on data from adult trees. Our results point to contrasting assembly mechanisms for herbaceous and woody communities, with herbs showing stronger niche-derived structure. Future research on tropical herbaceous communities is likely to yield new insights into the many processes structuring diverse plant communities. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.
J. Dananjaya Kottawa-Arachchi
Full Text Available A survey on birds was conducted at St. Coombs Tea Estate, Talawakelle, Sri Lanka with the objective of assessing the avifaunal diversity of a given tea plantation ecosystem. Bird populations were sampled in man-made habitats such as home garden, wetland, tea plantation, Eucalyptus plantation and small scale reservoir. Hundred-and-twenty counts were made for each habitat and in addition, activities of birds, feeding habits and food recourses were also observed. A total of 87 species, including 11 endemic and 11 migrant species of birds, was recorded, which included one globally threatened species, Kashmir Flycatcher Ficedula subrubra and 16 nationally threatened species. A majority of the bird species were observed in home gardens (75%, followed by reservoirs (57%, wetlands (48%, tea plantations (43% and in Eucalyptus plantations (23%. Home gardens support bird diversity while the species richness of endemic bird species increases thereby enabling these findings to be used as guidelines in long term conservational practices. Several conservation measures such as increasing plant diversity, introduction of shade trees and prevention of fire are recommended to conserve and enhance avifaunal diversity in tea plantations.
Stephanie Melles; Susan M. Glenn; Kathy Martin
For birds in urban environments, the configuration of local habitat within the landscape may be as critical as the composition of the local habitat itself. We examined the relative importance of environmental attributes (e.g., tree cover, composition, and number of tree species) measured at different spatial scales in relation to urban bird species richness and abundance. We expected that some bird species and nesting guilds would have a closer association with landscape-level features (withi...
KiByung LIM; YOUNIS, Adnan; Jong TAEK PARK; Yoon JUNG HWANG
In this study naturally growing morphological variation of Lilium tsingtauense (Korean wheel lily), from southern Chung San Island to northern Mount Seorak, was investigated in 16 habitats around the country. Morphological analysis revealed that this species had its own unique characteristics in different habitats. Flowers with luster are in actinomorphic form, with shades of orange, each plant having an average of 2.4 flowers that blossom upward. The shape of flower petals was from oval to o...
Levi, Peter S.; Starnawski, Piotr; Poulsen, Britta
in these biofilms by creating microhabitats. Here we describe the prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial diversity of biofilms in sand and macrophyte habitats (i.e. epipsammon and epiphyton, respectively) in five macrophyte-rich streams in Jutland, Denmark. The macrophyte species varied in growth morphology, C...... as determined by measuring the similarity among communities (i.e. Sørensen similarity index). Furthermore, we found significant correlations between microbial diversity (i.e. Chao1 rarefied richness and Pielou’s evenness) and biofilm structure and function (i.e. C:N ratio and ammonium uptake efficiency...... dominated by Stramenopiles (i.e. diatoms). For both the prokaryotes and eukaryotes, the epipsammon were consistently the most diverse communities and the epiphytic communities were generally similar among the four macrophyte species. However, the communities on the least complex macrophyte, Sparganium...
Resende, F M; Fernandes, G W; Coelho, M S
The rupestrian grassland ecosystems provide various goods and services to society and support a significant amount of biological diversity. Notably the rich plant diversity has high levels of endemism and a variety of uses among the local communities and general society. Despite the socio-ecological importance of these ecosystems, they are subjected to significant anthropogenic pressures. The goal of this study is to perform economic valuation of the plant diversity storage service provided by rupestrian grassland ecosystems to provide grounds for the development of conservation policies and encourage sustainable practices in these ecosystems. Given the intense human disturbances and unique flora, the Serra do Cipó (southern portion of the Espinhaço Range in southeast Brazil) was selected for the study. We estimate the monetary value related to the plant diversity storage service provided by the study area using the maintenance costs of native plants in the living collections of the botanical garden managed by the Zoobotanical Foundation - Belo Horizonte (located 97 km from Serra do Cipó). The plant diversity storage value provided by Serra do Cipó ecosystems is significant, reaching US$25.26 million year-1. This study contributes to the development of perspectives related to the conservation of rupestrian grassland ecosystems as well as others threatened tropical ecosystems with high biodiversity.
McCann, Thomas; Cooper, Alan; Rogers, David; McKenzie, Paul; McErlean, Thomas
European hedged agricultural landscapes provide a range of ecosystem services and are an important component of cultural and biodiversity heritage. This paper investigates the extent of hedges, their woody species diversity (including the influence of historical versus recent hedge origin) and dynamics of change. The rationale is to contribute to an ecological basis for hedge habitat management. Sample sites were allocated based on a multivariate classification of landscape attributes. All field boundaries present in each site were mapped and surveyed in 1998 and 2007. To assess diversity, a list of all woody species was recorded in one standard 30 m linear plot within each hedge. There was a net decrease in hedge habitat extent, mainly as a result of removal, and changes between hedges and other field boundary types due to the development and loss of shrub growth-form. Agricultural intensification, increased rural building, and variation in hedge management practices were the main drivers of change. Hedges surveyed at baseline, which were lost at resurvey, were more species rich than new hedges gained. Hedges coinciding with historical land unit boundaries of likely Early Medieval origin were found to be more species rich. The most frequent woody species in hedges were native, including a high proportion with Fraxinus excelsior, a species under threat from current and emerging plant pests and pathogens. Introduced species were present in circa 30% of hedges. We conclude that since hedge habitat distribution and woody species diversity is a function of ecology and anthropogenic factors, the management of hedges in enclosed agricultural landscapes requires an integrated approach. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
De Groot, G A; During, H J; Ansell, S W; Schneider, H; Bremer, P; Wubs, E R J; Maas, J W; Korpelainen, H; Erkens, R H J
Populations established by long-distance colonization are expected to show low levels of genetic variation per population, but strong genetic differentiation among populations. Whether isolated populations indeed show this genetic signature of isolation depends on the amount and diversity of diaspores arriving by long-distance dispersal, and time since colonization. For ferns, however, reliable estimates of long-distance dispersal rates remain largely unknown, and previous studies on fern population genetics often sampled older or non-isolated populations. Young populations in recent, disjunct habitats form a useful study system to improve our understanding of the genetic impact of long-distance dispersal. Microsatellite markers were used to analyse the amount and distribution of genetic diversity in young populations of four widespread calcicole ferns (Asplenium scolopendrium, diploid; Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens, tetraploid; Polystichum setiferum, diploid; and Polystichum aculeatum, tetraploid), which are rare in The Netherlands but established multiple populations in a forest (the Kuinderbos) on recently reclaimed Dutch polder land following long-distance dispersal. Reference samples from populations throughout Europe were used to assess how much of the existing variation was already present in the Kuinderbos. A large part of the Dutch and European genetic diversity in all four species was already found in the Kuinderbos. This diversity was strongly partitioned among populations. Most populations showed low genetic variation and high inbreeding coefficients, and were assigned to single, unique gene pools in cluster analyses. Evidence for interpopulational gene flow was low, except for the most abundant species. The results show that all four species, diploids as well as polyploids, were capable of frequent long-distance colonization via single-spore establishment. This indicates that even isolated habitats receive dense and diverse spore rains
Colin, Nicole; Villéger, Sébastien; Wilkes, Martin; de Sostoa, Adolfo; Maceda-Veiga, Alberto
Trait-based ecology has been developed for decades to infer ecosystem responses to stressors based on the functional structure of communities, yet its value in species-poor systems is largely unknown. Here, we used an extensive dataset in a Spanish region highly prone to non-native fish invasions (15 catchments, N=389 sites) to assess for the first time how species-poor communities respond to large-scale environmental gradients using a taxonomic and functional trait-based approach in riverine fish. We examined total species richness and three functional trait-based indices available when many sites have ≤3 species (specialization, FSpe; originality, FOri and entropy, FEnt). We assessed the responses of these taxonomic and functional indices along gradients of altitude, water pollution, physical habitat degradation and non-native fish biomass. Whilst species richness was relatively sensitive to spatial effects, functional diversity indices were responsive across natural and anthropogenic gradients. All four diversity measures declined with altitude but this decline was modulated by physical habitat degradation (richness, FSpe and FEnt) and the non-native:total fish biomass ratio (FSpe and FOri) in ways that varied between indices. Furthermore, FSpe and FOri were significantly correlated with Total Nitrogen. Non-native fish were a major component of the taxonomic and functional structure of fish communities, raising concerns about potential misdiagnosis between invaded and environmentally-degraded river reaches. Such misdiagnosis was evident in a regional fish index widely used in official monitoring programs. We recommend the application of FSpe and FOri to extensive datasets from monitoring programs in order to generate valuable cross-system information about the impacts of non-native species and habitat degradation, even in species-poor systems. Scoring non-native species apart from habitat degradation in the indices used to determine ecosystem health is
Ochsenreiter, Torsten; Selezi, Drazenka; Quaiser, Achim; Bonch-Osmolovskaya, Liza; Schleper, Christa
Novel phylogenetic lineages of as yet uncultivated crenarchaeota have been frequently detected in low to moderate-temperature, marine and terrestrial environments. In order to gain a more comprehensive view on the distribution and diversity of Crenarchaeota in moderate habitats, we have studied 18 different terrestrial and freshwater samples by 16S rDNA-based phylogenetic surveys. In seven different soil samples of diverse geographic areas in Europe (forest, grassland, ruderal) and Asia (permafrost, ruderal) as well as in two microbial mats, we have consistently found one particular lineage of crenarchaeota. The diversity of Crenarchaeota in freshwater sediments was considerably higher with respresentative 16S rDNA sequences distributed over four different groups within the moderate crenarchaeota. Systematic analysis of a 16S rDNA universal library from a sandy ecosystem containing 800 clones exclusively revealed the presence of the soil-specific crenarchaeotal cluster. With primers specific for non-thermophilic crenarchaeota we established a rapid method to quantify archaeal 16S rDNA in real time PCR. The relative abundance of crenarchaeotal rDNA was 0.5-3% in the bulk soil sample and only 0.16% in the rhizosphere of the sandy ecosystem. A nearby agricultural setting yielded a relative abundance of 0.17% crenarchaeotal rDNA. In total our data suggest that soil crenarchaeota represent a stable and specific component of the microbiota in terrestrial habitats.
Meyer, Bettina; Freier, Ulrich; Grimm, Volker; Groeneveld, Jürgen; Hunt, Brian P. V.; Kerwath, Sven; King, Rob; Klaas, Christine; Pakhomov, Evgeny A.; Meiners, Klaus M.; Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Murphy, Eugene J.; Thorpe, Sally E.; Stammerjohn, Sharon; Wolf-Gladrow, Dieter
A dominant Antarctic ecological paradigm suggests that winter sea ice is generally the main feeding ground for krill larvae. Observations from our winter cruise to the southwest Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean contradict this view and present the first evidence that the pack-ice zone is a food-poor habitat for larval development. In contrast, the more open marginal ice zone provides a more favourable food environment for high larval krill growth rates. We found that complex under-ice ha...
Luciane A. Chimetto Tonon
Full Text Available We analyzed the diversity and population structure of the 775 Vibrio isolates from different locations of the southwestern Atlantic Ocean (SAO, including St. Peter and St. Paul Archipelago (SPSPA, Abrolhos Bank (AB and the St. Sebastian region (SS, between 2005 and 2010. In this study, 195 novel isolates, obtained from seawater and major benthic organisms (rhodoliths and corals, were compared with a collection of 580 isolates previously characterized (available at www.taxvibrio.lncc.br. The isolates were distributed in 8 major habitat spectra according to AdaptML analysis on the basis of pyrH phylogenetic reconstruction and ecological information, such as isolation source (i.e., corals: Madracis decactis, Mussismilia braziliensis, M. hispida, Phyllogorgia dilatata, Scolymia wellsi; zoanthids: Palythoa caribaeorum, P. variabilis and Zoanthus solanderi; fireworm: Hermodice carunculata; rhodolith; water and sediment and sampling site regions (SPSPA, AB and SS. Ecologically distinct groups were discerned through AdaptML, which finds phylogenetic groups that are significantly different in their spectra of habitat preferences. Some habitat spectra suggested ecological specialization, with habitat spectra 2, 3, and 4 corresponding to specialization on SPSPA, AB, and SS, respectively. This match between habitat and location may reflect a minor exchange of Vibrio populations between geographically isolated benthic systems. Moreover, we found several widespread Vibrio species predominantly from water column, and different populations of a single Vibrio species from H. carunculata in ecologically distinct groups (H-1 and H-8 respectively. On the other hand, AdaptML detected phylogenetic groups that are found in both the benthos and in open water. The ecological grouping observed suggests dispersal and connectivity between the benthic and pelagic systems in AB. This study is a first attempt to characterize the biogeographic distribution of vibrios in both
Bates, Adam J; Sadler, Jon P; Grundy, Dave; Lowe, Norman; Davis, George; Baker, David; Bridge, Malcolm; Freestone, Roger; Gardner, David; Gibson, Chris; Hemming, Robin; Howarth, Stephen; Orridge, Steve; Shaw, Mark; Tams, Tom; Young, Heather
Moths are abundant and ubiquitous in vegetated terrestrial environments and are pollinators, important herbivores of wild plants, and food for birds, bats and rodents. In recent years, many once abundant and widespread species have shown sharp declines that have been cited by some as indicative of a widespread insect biodiversity crisis. Likely causes of these declines include agricultural intensification, light pollution, climate change, and urbanization; however, the real underlying cause(s) is still open to conjecture. We used data collected from the citizen science Garden Moth Scheme (GMS) to explore the spatial association between the abundance of 195 widespread British species of moth, and garden habitat and landscape features, to see if spatial habitat and landscape associations varied for species of differing conservation status. We found that associations with habitat and landscape composition were species-specific, but that there were consistent trends in species richness and total moth abundance. Gardens with more diverse and extensive microhabitats were associated with higher species richness and moth abundance; gardens near to the coast were associated with higher richness and moth abundance; and gardens in more urbanized locations were associated with lower species richness and moth abundance. The same trends were also found for species classified as increasing, declining and vulnerable under IUCN (World Conservation Union) criteria. However, vulnerable species were more strongly negatively affected by urbanization than increasing species. Two hypotheses are proposed to explain this observation: (1) that the underlying factors causing declines in vulnerable species (e.g., possibilities include fragmentation, habitat deterioration, agrochemical pollution) across Britain are the same in urban areas, but that these deleterious effects are more intense in urban areas; and/or (2) that urban areas can act as ecological traps for some vulnerable species of
Adam J Bates
Full Text Available Moths are abundant and ubiquitous in vegetated terrestrial environments and are pollinators, important herbivores of wild plants, and food for birds, bats and rodents. In recent years, many once abundant and widespread species have shown sharp declines that have been cited by some as indicative of a widespread insect biodiversity crisis. Likely causes of these declines include agricultural intensification, light pollution, climate change, and urbanization; however, the real underlying cause(s is still open to conjecture. We used data collected from the citizen science Garden Moth Scheme (GMS to explore the spatial association between the abundance of 195 widespread British species of moth, and garden habitat and landscape features, to see if spatial habitat and landscape associations varied for species of differing conservation status. We found that associations with habitat and landscape composition were species-specific, but that there were consistent trends in species richness and total moth abundance. Gardens with more diverse and extensive microhabitats were associated with higher species richness and moth abundance; gardens near to the coast were associated with higher richness and moth abundance; and gardens in more urbanized locations were associated with lower species richness and moth abundance. The same trends were also found for species classified as increasing, declining and vulnerable under IUCN (World Conservation Union criteria. However, vulnerable species were more strongly negatively affected by urbanization than increasing species. Two hypotheses are proposed to explain this observation: (1 that the underlying factors causing declines in vulnerable species (e.g., possibilities include fragmentation, habitat deterioration, agrochemical pollution across Britain are the same in urban areas, but that these deleterious effects are more intense in urban areas; and/or (2 that urban areas can act as ecological traps for some
Silva, Bruno Sergio de O.; Moreira, Ana Paula B.; Valle, Cecilia; Alves, Nelson; Cavalcanti, Giselle; Garcia, Gizele; Lopes, Rubens M.; Francini-Filho, Ronaldo B.; de Moura, Rodrigo L.; Thompson, Cristiane C.
We analyzed the diversity and population structure of the 775 Vibrio isolates from different locations of the southwestern Atlantic Ocean (SAO), including St. Peter and St. Paul Archipelago (SPSPA), Abrolhos Bank (AB) and the St. Sebastian region (SS), between 2005 and 2010. In this study, 195 novel isolates, obtained from seawater and major benthic organisms (rhodoliths and corals), were compared with a collection of 580 isolates previously characterized (available at www.taxvibrio.lncc.br). The isolates were distributed in 8 major habitat spectra according to AdaptML analysis on the basis of pyrH phylogenetic reconstruction and ecological information, such as isolation source (i.e., corals: Madracis decactis, Mussismilia braziliensis, M. hispida, Phyllogorgia dilatata, Scolymia wellsi; zoanthids: Palythoa caribaeorum, P. variabilis and Zoanthus solanderi; fireworm: Hermodice carunculata; rhodolith; water and sediment) and sampling site regions (SPSPA, AB and SS). Ecologically distinct groups were discerned through AdaptML, which finds phylogenetic groups that are significantly different in their spectra of habitat preferences. Some habitat spectra suggested ecological specialization, with habitat spectra 2, 3, and 4 corresponding to specialization on SPSPA, AB, and SS, respectively. This match between habitat and location may reflect a minor exchange of Vibrio populations between geographically isolated benthic systems. Moreover, we found several widespread Vibrio species predominantly from water column, and different populations of a single Vibrio species from H. carunculata in ecologically distinct groups (H-1 and H-8 respectively). On the other hand, AdaptML detected phylogenetic groups that are found in both the benthos and in open water. The ecological grouping observed suggests dispersal and connectivity between the benthic and pelagic systems in AB. This study is a first attempt to characterize the biogeographic distribution of vibrios in both seawater and
Medrano, Mónica; Herrera, Carlos M
High mountain ranges of the Mediterranean Basin harbour a large number of narrowly endemic plants. In this study an investigation is made of the levels and partitioning of genetic diversity in Narcissus longispathus, a narrow endemic of south-eastern Spanish mountains characterized by a naturally fragmented distribution due to extreme specialization on a rare habitat type. By using dense sampling of populations across the species' whole geographical range, genetic structuring at different geographical scales is also examined. Using horizontal starch-gel electrophoresis, allozyme variability was screened at 19 loci for a total of 858 individuals from 27 populations. The data were analysed by means of standard statistical approaches in order to estimate gene diversity and the genetic structure of the populations. Narcissus longispathus displayed high levels of genetic diversity and extensive diversification among populations. At the species level, the percentage of polymorphic loci was 68 %, with average values of 2.1, 0.11 and 0.14 for the number of alleles per locus, observed heterozygosity and expected heterozygosity, respectively. Southern and more isolated populations tended to have less genetic variability than northern and less-isolated populations. A strong spatial patterning of genetic diversity was found at the various spatial scales. Gene flow/drift equilibrium occurred over distances <4 km. Beyond that distance divergence was relatively more influenced by drift. The populations studied seem to derive from three panmictic units or 'gene pools', with levels of admixture being greatest in the central and south-eastern portions of the species' range. In addition to documenting a case of high genetic diversity in a narrow endemic plant with naturally fragmented populations, the results emphasize the need for dense population sampling and examination of different geographical scales for understanding population genetic structure in habitat specialists
Manohar, C.S.; Raghukumar, C.
ecosystem is important to study the fungal evolutionary history as early fungal divergence is known to have taken place in the marine realm (López- García & Moreira, 2008; Le Calvez et al., 2009). There are increasing evidences to show the active... habitats with ancient fungal forms could be very interesting and may hold the key for understanding the animal-fungal evolutionary history. Many other clusters could also be identified from marine habitats such as the basal clone group (BCGI). Phylotypes...
Full Text Available This study aimed to compare plant species diversity indices (diversity and richness and some physico-chemical properties of soil among forest, ecotone and rangeland habitats. Vegetation sampling was done randomly at each habitat. One dominant community was selected in each habitat and one key area was distinguished in each community and 8×1m2 plots were randomly established in each key area. In each plot, the list of existing plants and cover percentage for each species were determined and soil samples were taken from depths of 0-10 cm. The Shannon-Wiener and Simpson diversity indices and Margalef and Menhinic richness indices were estimated using PAST software. Physical and chemical characteristics of the soil were compared at three sites by analysis of variance (One Way ANOVA. The results showed that the lowest and highest values of all species diversity and richness were occurred in forest and ecotone habitats, respectively. Bulk density, sand and pH value of soil were significantly the highest in the rangeland. The percentage of clay and organic carbon in forest habitat were higher than the two other habitats. This study revealed the importance of ecotone in preserving the diversity and species richness.
Johnstone, Megan-Jane; Kanitsaki, Olga
This qualitative study has as its focus an exploration of health service providers' perceptions and experiences of the processes and implications of delivering workplace cultural diversity education for staff. Data were obtained from conducting in-depth individual and focus group interviews with a purposeful sample of 137 healthcare professionals,…
A study on the distribution of micro-crustaceans in seven temporary habitats of the province of Sasalı (Izmir) was conducted between 27 March and 10 April 2011. 15 micro-crustacean species, comprising eight ostracods, four branchiopods and three copepods were identified. All species registered represent new reports for ...
Meyer, Bettina; Freier, Ulrich; Grimm, Volker; Groeneveld, Jürgen; Hunt, Brian P V; Kerwath, Sven; King, Rob; Klaas, Christine; Pakhomov, Evgeny; Meiners, Klaus M; Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Murphy, Eugene J; Thorpe, Sally E; Stammerjohn, Sharon; Wolf-Gladrow, Dieter; Auerswald, Lutz; Götz, Albrecht; Halbach, Laura; Jarman, Simon; Kawaguchi, So; Krumpen, Thomas; Nehrke, Gernot; Ricker, Robert; Sumner, Michael; Teschke, Mathias; Trebilco, Rowan; Yilmaz, Noyan I
A dominant Antarctic ecological paradigm suggests that winter sea ice is generally the main feeding ground for krill larvae. Observations from our winter cruise to the southwest Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean contradict this view and present the first evidence that the pack-ice zone is a food-poor habitat for larval development. In contrast, the more open marginal ice zone provides a more favourable food environment for high larval krill growth rates. We found that complex under-ice habitats are, however, vital for larval krill when water column productivity is limited by light, by providing structures that offer protection from predators and to collect organic material released from the ice. The larvae feed on this sparse ice-associated food during the day. After sunset, they migrate into the water below the ice (upper 20 m) and drift away from the ice areas where they have previously fed. Model analyses indicate that this behaviour increases both food uptake in a patchy food environment and the likelihood of overwinter transport to areas where feeding conditions are more favourable in spring.
Full Text Available Multidisciplinary approaches to conservation have become increasingly important in northern regions. Because many First Nations communities have relied on freshwater fish populations for essential food over millennia, community members often possess traditional ecological knowledge (TEK. We consulted Cree First Nation fishers to collate TEK for one of Canada's most important subsistence fishes (lake trout in Québec's largest lake (Mistassini, 2335 km2. We further integrated TEK with what was regionally known scientifically about the species, toward effective fisheries conservation. Cree fishers described a richer diversity of sympatric lake trout forms than did scientific research that was conducted simultaneously, based on color, size, fin accent patterns, scale texture and depth, and spatial preferences. Traditional ecological knowledge also provided descriptions of lake trout seasonal movements, spawning locations, and reproductive timing that were not captured by scientific research, and highlighted several concerns or temporal changes of import to future management initiatives. Our study highlights the wealth of TEK on harvested species in First Nations communities. It further illustrates how TEK can reveal not only distinctions within species of relevance to natural resource management and taxonomy, but also informs upon the extent of such population differentiation, thereby providing important conservation benefits for remote and northern regions.
Pánek, Tomáš; Táborský, Petr; Pachiadaki, Maria G; Hroudová, Miluše; Vlček, Čestmír; Edgcomb, Virginia P; Čepička, Ivan
We used culture-based and culture-independent approaches to discover diversity and ecology of anaerobic jakobids (Excavata: Jakobida), an overlooked, deep-branching lineage of free-living nanoflagellates related to Euglenozoa. Jakobids are among a few lineages of nanoflagellates frequently detected in anoxic habitats by PCR-based studies, however only two strains of a single jakobid species have been isolated from those habitats. We recovered 712 environmental sequences and cultured 21 new isolates of anaerobic jakobids that collectively represent at least ten different species in total, from which four are uncultured. Two cultured species have never been detected by environmental, PCR-based methods. Surprisingly, culture-based and culture-independent approaches were able to reveal a relatively high proportion of overall species diversity of anaerobic jakobids-60 or 80%, respectively. Our phylogenetic analyses based on SSU rDNA and six protein-coding genes showed that anaerobic jakobids constitute a clade of morphologically similar, but genetically and ecologically diverse protists-Stygiellidae fam. nov. Our investigation combines culture-based and environmental molecular-based approaches to capture a wider extent of species diversity and shows Stygiellidae as a group that ordinarily inhabits anoxic, sulfide- and ammonium-rich marine habitats worldwide.
Full Text Available The effects of non-native species invasions on community diversity and biotic homogenization have been described for various taxa in urban environments, but not for land snails. Here we relate the diversity of native and non-native land-snail urban faunas to urban habitat types and macroclimate, and analyse homogenization effects of non-native species across cities and within the main urban habitat types. Land-snail species were recorded in seven 1-ha plots in 32 cities of ten countries of Central Europe and Benelux (224 plots in total. Each plot represented one urban habitat type characterized by different management and a specific disturbance regime. For each plot, we obtained January, July and mean annual temperature and annual precipitation. Snail species were classified into either native or non-native. The effects of habitat type and macroclimate on the number of native and non-native species were analysed using generalized estimating equations; the homogenization effect of non-native species based on the Jaccard similarity index and homogenization index. We recorded 67 native and 20 non-native species. Besides being more numerous, native species also had much higher beta diversity than non-natives. There were significant differences between the studied habitat types in the numbers of native and non-native species, both of which decreased from less to heavily urbanized habitats. Macroclimate was more important for the number of non-native than native species; however in both cases the effect of climate on diversity was overridden by the effect of urban habitat type. This is the first study on urban land snails documenting that non-native land-snail species significantly contribute to homogenization among whole cities, but both the homogenization and diversification effects occur when individual habitat types are compared among cities. This indicates that the spread of non-native snail species may cause biotic homogenization, but it depends
Wang, Dan; Hu, Yibo; Ma, Tianxiao; Nie, Yonggang; Xie, Yan; Wei, Fuwen
Understanding population size and genetic diversity is critical for effective conservation of endangered species. The Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) is the largest felid and a flagship species for wildlife conservation. Due to habitat loss and human activities, available habitat and population size are continuously shrinking. However, little is known about the true population size and genetic diversity of wild tiger populations in China. In this study, we collected 55 fecal samples and 1 hair sample to investigate the population size and genetic diversity of wild Amur tigers in Hunchun National Nature Reserve, Jilin Province, China. From the samples, we determined that 23 fecal samples and 1 hair sample were from 7 Amur tigers: 2 males, 4 females and 1 individual of unknown sex. Interestingly, 2 fecal samples that were presumed to be from tigers were from Amur leopards, highlighting the significant advantages of noninvasive genetics over traditional methods in studying rare and elusive animals. Analyses from this sample suggested that the genetic diversity of wild Amur tigers is much lower than that of Bengal tigers, consistent with previous findings. Furthermore, the genetic diversity of this Hunchun population in China was lower than that of the adjoining subpopulation in southwest Primorye Russia, likely due to sampling bias. Considering the small population size and relatively low genetic diversity, it is urgent to protect this endangered local subpopulation in China. © 2015 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.
Full Text Available A research has been done of the flora and natural habitats of the Dospat Dere area, which is located on the right bank of the Dospat river, between the Tuhovitsa and Zhizhevo villages, next to the border with Greece. The systematic specter of the flora contains 197 species of vascular plants (excluding the moss species. These vascular plants are referred to 143 genera and 57 families. As a result of this research, 5 habitats were established: 10 Е1 Pseudo-steppe with grasses and annual of the Thero-Brachypodietea, 08H3 Calcareous rocky slopes with chasmophytic vegetation, 21G1 Supra Mediterranean hop-hornbeam woods, 02G1 Southern Helleno-Balkanic swamp alder woods and 07G1 Helleno-Balkanic riparian plane forests.
Schoch, Rainer R
The evolution of life cycles forms the subject of numerous studies on extant organisms, but is rarely documented in the fossil record. Here, I analyze patterns of development in time-averaged samples of late Carboniferous and early Permian amphibians, and compare them to paleoecological patterns derived from the same deposits located within a large sedimentary basin (Saar-Nahe, Germany). In 300-297 million years (myr) old Sclerocephalus haeuseri (1-1.7 m), adult size, morphology, and the course of ontogeny varied with respect to the habitats in which the species existed. These differences are best exemplified by ontogenetic trajectories, which reveal a full range of modifications correlating with environmental parameters (lake properties, food resources, competitors). In a 2- to 3-myr-long interval, six different lake habitats were inhabited by this species, which responded to changes by modification of growth rate, adult size, developmental sequence, skeletal features, prey preference, and relative degree of terrestriality.
Forister, Matthew L; McCall, Andrew C; Sanders, Nathan J; Fordyce, James A; Thorne, James H; O'Brien, Joshua; Waetjen, David P; Shapiro, Arthur M
Climate change and habitat destruction have been linked to global declines in vertebrate biodiversity, including mammals, amphibians, birds, and fishes. However, invertebrates make up the vast majority of global species richness, and the combined effects of climate change and land use on invertebrates remain poorly understood. Here we present 35 years of data on 159 species of butterflies from 10 sites along an elevational gradient spanning 0-2,775 m in a biodiversity hotspot, the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Northern California. Species richness has declined at half of the sites, with the most severe reductions at the lowest elevations, where habitat destruction is greatest. At higher elevations, we observed clear upward shifts in the elevational ranges of species, consistent with the influence of global warming. Taken together, these long-term data reveal the interacting negative effects of human-induced changes on both the climate and habitat available to butterfly species in California. Furthermore, the decline of ruderal, disturbance-associated species indicates that the traditional focus of conservation efforts on more specialized and less dispersive species should be broadened to include entire faunas when estimating and predicting the effects of pervasive stressors.
Oki, Delwyn S.; Wolff, Reuben H.; Perreault, Jeff A.
The surface- and ground-water resources of the Punaluu area of northeast Oahu, Hawaii, have been and continue to be important for cultural, domestic, agricultural, recreational, and aesthetic purposes. Punaluu Stream flows perennially because rain falls frequently in the area and ground water discharges to the stream. Flow in Punaluu Stream is reduced by the direct diversion of water for off-stream uses and possibly from the withdrawal of ground water near the stream. Punaluu Ditch diverts water from Punaluu Stream near an altitude of 210 feet. During the recent period 1995-2004, discharge in Punaluu Stream that was equaled or exceeded 50 percent of the time (median or Q50 discharge) and discharge that was equaled or exceeded 95 percent of the time (Q95 discharge) measured immediately upstream from the Punaluu Ditch diversion intake, respectively, were 18 and 13 cubic feet per second, whereas the Q50 and Q95 discharges measured immediately downstream from the diversion intake, respectively, were 7.0 and 1.3 cubic feet per second. Thus, near an altitude of 210 feet, diversion of surface water by the Punaluu Ditch caused the Q50 discharge in Punaluu Stream to be reduced to 39 percent of the natural Q50 discharge, and the Q95 discharge was reduced to 10 percent of the natural value. The relative effects of the Punaluu Ditch diversion on flow in Punaluu Stream decreased in a downstream direction, mainly because of the compensating effects of tributary inflows and ditch return flows. At an altitude of 10 feet, the Q50 discharge in Punaluu Stream was 82 percent of the natural Q50 discharge, and the Q95 discharge was 69 percent of the natural value. Changes in streamflow affect the quantity and quality of physical habitat used by native stream fauna. The Physical Habitat Simulation System (PHABSIM) approach was used to evaluate the effects of different diversion scenarios on physical habitat for selected native species in Punaluu Stream. Habitat-suitability criteria
Full Text Available The expansion of the agricultural frontier by the clearing of remnant forests has led to human-dominated landscape mosaics. Previous studies have evaluated the effect of these landscape mosaics on arthropod diversity at local spatial scales in temperate and tropical regions, but little is known about fragmentation effects in crop systems, such as the complex tropical traditional crop systems that maintain a high diversity of weeds and arthropods in low-Andean regions. To understand the factors that influence patterns of diversity in human-dominated landscapes, we investigate the effect of land use types on plant and arthropod diversity in traditionally managed cornfields, via surveys of plants and arthropods in twelve traditional cornfields in the Colombian Andes. We estimated alpha and beta diversity to analyze changes in diversity related to land uses within a radius of 100 m to 1 km around each cornfield. We observed that forests influenced alpha diversity of plants, but not of arthropods. Agricultural lands had a positive relationship with plants and herbivores, but a negative relationship with predators. Pastures positively influenced the diversity of plants and arthropods. In addition, forest cover seemed to influence changes in plant species composition and species turnover of herbivore communities among cornfields. The dominant plant species varied among fields, resulting in high differentiation of plant communities. Predator communities also exhibited high turnover among cornfields, but differences in composition arose mainly among rare species. The crop system evaluated in this study represents a widespread situation in the tropics, therefore, our results can be of broad significance. Our findings suggest that traditional agriculture may not homogenize biological communities, but instead could maintain the regional pool of species through high beta diversity.
Full Text Available The aim of this study was to assess species diversity and population abundance of the two main orders of pollinating insects, Hymenoptera and Diptera. The survey was conducted in 16 grassland fragments within agro-ecosystems in Vojvodina, as well as in surrounding fields with mass-flowering crops. Pollinators were identified and the Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index was used to measure their diversity. Five families, 7 subfamilies, 26 genera and 63 species of insects were recorded. All four big pollinator groups investigated were recorded; hoverflies were the most abundant with 32% of the total number of individuals, followed by wild bees - 29%, honeybees - 23% and bumblebees with 16%.
Curd, Emily Elizabeth
We live on a predominantly microbial planet. I it is estimated that more than a billion microorganisms can live in a gram of soil. Microorganisms comprise the largest pool of genetic diversity on the planet and drive global biogeochemical cycles. Since microbial ecology is intimately associated with environment, changes in environmental conditions can have profound effects on the microbial diversity and function of microbial communities. In this dissertation I study; 1) the relationship betw...
Medeiros-Sousa, Antônio R; Ceretti-Júnior, Walter; de Carvalho, Gabriela C; Nardi, Marcello S; Araujo, Alessandra B; Vendrami, Daniel P; Marrelli, Mauro T
Urban parks are areas designated for human recreation but also serve as shelter and refuge for populations of several species of native fauna, both migratory and introduced. In Brazil, the effect of annual climate variations on Aedes aegypti and dengue epidemics in large cities like São Paulo is well known, but little is known about how such variations can affect the diversity of mosquito vectors in urban parks and the risk of disease transmission by these vectors. This study investigates the influence of larval habitats and seasonal factors on the diversity and abundance of Culicidae fauna in Anhanguera Park, one of the largest remaining green areas in the city of São Paulo. Species composition and richness and larval habitats were identified. Seasonality (cold-dry and hot-rainy periods) and year were considered as explanatory variables and the models selection approach was developed to investigate the relationship of these variables with mosquito diversity and abundance. A total of 11,036 specimens from 57 taxa distributed in 13 genera were collected. Culex nigripalpus, Cx. quinquefasciatus and Aedes albopictus were the most abundant species. Bamboo internodes and artificial breeding sites showed higher abundance, while ponds and puddles showed greater richness. Significant relationships were observed between abundance and seasonality, with a notable increase in the mosquitos abundance in the warm-rainy periods. The Shannon and Berger-Parker indices were related with interaction between seasonality and year, however separately these predictors showed no relationship with ones. The increased abundance of mosquitoes in warm-rainy months and the fact that some of the species are epidemiologically important increase not only the risk of pathogen transmission to people who frequent urban parks but also the nuisance represented by insect bites. The findings of this study highlight the importance of knowledge of culicid ecology in green areas in urban environments
Full Text Available Shahabuddin (2010 Diversity and community structure of dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae across habitat disturbance gradient in Lore Lindu National Park, Central Sulawesi. Biodiversitas 11: 29-33. Dung beetles are important component of most terrestrial ecosystems and used to assess the effects of habitat disturbance and deforestation. This study aimed at comparing dung beetle assemblages among several habitat types ranging from natural tropical forest and agroforestry systems to open cultivated areas at the margin of Lore Lindu National Park (LLNP, Central Sulawesi (one of Indonesia’s biodiversity hotspots. Therefore, 10 pitfall traps baited with cattle dung were exposed at each habitat type (n = 4 replicate sites per habitat type to collect the dung beetles. The results showed that species richness of dung beetles declined significantly from natural forest to open area. However cacao agroforestry systems seemed to be capable of maintaining a high portion of dung beetle species inhabiting at forest sites. The closer relationship between dung beetle assemblages recorded at forest and agroforestry sites reflects the high similarity of some measured habitat parameters (e.g. vegetation structure and microclimate between both habitat types, while species assemblages at open areas differed significantly from both other habitat groups. These results indicated that habitat type has importance effect on determining the species richness and community structure of dung beetles at the margin of LLNP.
Full Text Available Researches on medicinal plants used in various human disorders are particularly important and timely, as an alternative to medication. The studied semi-natural mountainous grasslands occur in the Gurghiu mountains. Special interest today worldwide for herbal medicine has led us to study the Gurghiu Mountains medicinal plants used in various diseases. In order to identify the taxa we used classical methods, described in the literature and statistical analyze was also carried out. In the study area 2 plant associations rich in medicinal plants were identified. They belong to 6520 Mountain hay meadows habitat.
Jacob Olufemi Orimaye
Full Text Available This study investigated butterfly diversity in the protected area (PA and unprotected area (UPA of Ise Forest reserve, Ise Ekiti, Ekiti State, using sweep net along existing trails. Butterfly species seen in the study sites were captured and released after proper identification was made. The results indicated that a total of 837 butterflies were identified in the study sites with 661 species observed in PA and 176 species in UPA. Butterfly species diversity was significantly different (p≤0.05 between PA and UPA. Shannon diversity index was higher in PA (3.59 than UPA (3.27 as against Menhinick’s index, higher in UPA (2.11 than in PA (1.52. Likewise, 10 families of butterflies were recorded in PA and 8 families in UPA. The family with highest species occurrence was Satyridae (17.9% in PA and Lycaenidae in UPA with 20.1%. Butterfly families’ diversity was not significant (p≥0.05 between the two study sites. Ise Forest Reserve recorded approximately 6.6% of all butterflies recorded in West Africa. The findings indicated that mature secondary and regenerated forests supported high butterfly diversity and species richness, while cultivated land and grassland had a negative impact on butterfly community suggesting the negative effect of agricultural activities on the ecosystem.
Full Text Available This research conducted to identify the kinds of feed plants sumatran elephant which is the main component of elephant habitats .The purpose of this research was to obtain data about kinds of feed plants sumatran elephant and analyzes the species diversity. The study conducted with analysis vegetation use of systematic sampling methods at any community different vegetation .The research results recorded there are 75 species of feed plants from 269 species of plants found , which means 28% plants in the study locations is a source of feed for sumatran elephants. The data was obtained show that the number of species to spread of feed plants of elephant more on a community of I , a number of 36 species of all level vegetation began to the seedling, sapling, pole and tree; while community II and III each 30 and 23 species . Community IV and V had the same number of feed plants species, a number of 31 species . Based on the analysis of the diversity of species to feed plants of elephant, shows that community III have index the diversity of species ( H = 4,53; Hmax = 5,17 higher than other locations.
Kellie J. Carim; Lisa A. Eby; Craig A. Barfoot; Matthew C. Boyer
Fragmentation and isolation of wildlife populations has reduced genetic diversity worldwide, leaving many populations vulnerable to inbreeding depression and local extinction. Nonetheless, isolation is protecting many native aquatic species from interactions with invasive species, often making reconnection an unrealistic conservation strategy. Isolation management is...
Full Text Available In this study naturally growing morphological variation of Lilium tsingtauense (Korean wheel lily, from southern Chung San Island to northern Mount Seorak, was investigated in 16 habitats around the country. Morphological analysis revealed that this species had its own unique characteristics in different habitats. Flowers with luster are in actinomorphic form, with shades of orange, each plant having an average of 2.4 flowers that blossom upward. The shape of flower petals was from oval to oblong. The width of the petals, which determines the shape of the flower, significantly varied among regions. Flower petals showed purple spots and its occurrence greatly varied among plants from almost none to 300 spots per flower. In addition, when the number of spots increased, the flower color was more vivid. Leaves were typically one-tiered verticillate and most of the leaves were long, oval and some were lanceolate. Young leaves showed definitive patterns that faded during growth. Starting from the verticillate leaves, stems below the leaves were smooth, although 81% of all stems, above the verticillate leaves, showed rough micro-protrusions. Bulb shapes were long and vertically elliptical. The ramentum was light yellow in color and the base was darker, with the color fading toward the upper region of the plant. The shape of the ramentum was long, with a pointy end, and its adhesiveness was weak. This study offers basic fundamental information for the effective exploitation and recognition of L. tsingtauense resources as a potential cut flower and potting plant in floral trade worldwide.
Full Text Available In this study naturally growing morphological variation of Lilium tsingtauense (Korean wheel lily, from southern Chung San Island to northern Mount Seorak, was investigated in 16 habitats around the country. Morphological analysis revealed that this species had its own unique characteristics in different habitats. Flowers with luster are in actinomorphic form, with shades of orange, each plant having an average of 2.4 flowers that blossom upward. The shape of flower petals was from oval to oblong. The width of the petals, which determines the shape of the flower, significantly varied among regions. Flower petals showed purple spots and its occurrence greatly varied among plants from almost none to 300 spots per flower. In addition, when the number of spots increased, the flower color was more vivid. Leaves were typically one-tiered verticillate and most of the leaves were long, oval and some were lanceolate. Young leaves showed definitive patterns that faded during growth. Starting from the verticillate leaves, stems below the leaves were smooth, although 81% of all stems, above the verticillate leaves, showed rough micro-protrusions. Bulb shapes were long and vertically elliptical. The ramentum was light yellow in color and the base was darker, with the color fading toward the upper region of the plant. The shape of the ramentum was long, with a pointy end, and its adhesiveness was weak. This study offers basic fundamental information for the effective exploitation and recognition of L. tsingtauense resources as a potential cut flower and potting plant in floral trade worldwide.
Benoit-Bird, Kelly J; Battaile, Brian C; Heppell, Scott A; Hoover, Brian; Irons, David; Jones, Nathan; Kuletz, Kathy J; Nordstrom, Chad A; Paredes, Rosana; Suryan, Robert M; Waluk, Chad M; Trites, Andrew W
Spatial coherence between predators and prey has rarely been observed in pelagic marine ecosystems. We used measures of the environment, prey abundance, prey quality, and prey distribution to explain the observed distributions of three co-occurring predator species breeding on islands in the southeastern Bering Sea: black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla), thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia), and northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus). Predictions of statistical models were tested using movement patterns obtained from satellite-tracked individual animals. With the most commonly used measures to quantify prey distributions--areal biomass, density, and numerical abundance--we were unable to find a spatial relationship between predators and their prey. We instead found that habitat use by all three predators was predicted most strongly by prey patch characteristics such as depth and local density within spatial aggregations. Additional prey patch characteristics and physical habitat also contributed significantly to characterizing predator patterns. Our results indicate that the small-scale prey patch characteristics are critical to how predators perceive the quality of their food supply and the mechanisms they use to exploit it, regardless of time of day, sampling year, or source colony. The three focal predator species had different constraints and employed different foraging strategies--a shallow diver that makes trips of moderate distance (kittiwakes), a deep diver that makes trip of short distances (murres), and a deep diver that makes extensive trips (fur seals). However, all three were similarly linked by patchiness of prey rather than by the distribution of overall biomass. This supports the hypothesis that patchiness may be critical for understanding predator-prey relationships in pelagic marine systems more generally.
Kelly J Benoit-Bird
Full Text Available Spatial coherence between predators and prey has rarely been observed in pelagic marine ecosystems. We used measures of the environment, prey abundance, prey quality, and prey distribution to explain the observed distributions of three co-occurring predator species breeding on islands in the southeastern Bering Sea: black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla, thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia, and northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus. Predictions of statistical models were tested using movement patterns obtained from satellite-tracked individual animals. With the most commonly used measures to quantify prey distributions--areal biomass, density, and numerical abundance--we were unable to find a spatial relationship between predators and their prey. We instead found that habitat use by all three predators was predicted most strongly by prey patch characteristics such as depth and local density within spatial aggregations. Additional prey patch characteristics and physical habitat also contributed significantly to characterizing predator patterns. Our results indicate that the small-scale prey patch characteristics are critical to how predators perceive the quality of their food supply and the mechanisms they use to exploit it, regardless of time of day, sampling year, or source colony. The three focal predator species had different constraints and employed different foraging strategies--a shallow diver that makes trips of moderate distance (kittiwakes, a deep diver that makes trip of short distances (murres, and a deep diver that makes extensive trips (fur seals. However, all three were similarly linked by patchiness of prey rather than by the distribution of overall biomass. This supports the hypothesis that patchiness may be critical for understanding predator-prey relationships in pelagic marine systems more generally.
Hinck, Jo Ellen; Ingersoll, Christopher G.; Wang, Ning; Augspurger, Tom; Barnhart, M. Christopher; McMurray, Stephen E.; Roberts, Andrew D.; Schrader, Lynn
The Meramec River Basin in east-central Missouri is an important stronghold for native freshwater mussels (Order: Unionoida) in the United States. Whereas the basin supports more than 40 mussel species, previous studies indicate that the abundance and distribution of most species are declining. Therefore, resource managers have identified the need to prioritize threats to native mussel populations in the basin and to design a mussel monitoring program. The objective of this study was to identify threats of habitat and water-quality degradation to mussel diversity in the basin. Affected habitat parameters considered as the main threats to mussel conservation included excess sedimentation, altered stream geomorphology and flow, effects on riparian vegetation and condition, impoundments, and invasive non-native species. Evaluating water-quality parameters for conserving mussels was a main focus of this study. Mussel toxicity data for chemical contaminants were compared to national water quality criteria (NWQC) and Missouri water quality standards (MWQS). However, NWQC and MWQS have not been developed for many chemical contaminants and some MWQS may not be protective of native mussel populations. Toxicity data indicated that mussels are sensitive to ammonia, copper, temperature, certain pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products; these compounds were identified as the priority water-quality parameters for mussel conservation in the basin. Measures to conserve mussel diversity in the basin include expanding the species and life stages of mussels and the list of chemical contaminants that have been assessed, establishing a long term mussel monitoring program that measures physical and chemical parameters of high priority, conducting landscape scale modeling to predict mussel distributions, determining sublethal effects of primary contaminants of concern, deriving risk-based guidance values for mussel conservation, and assessing the effects of wastewater
Full Text Available Yunnan's biodiversity is under considerable pressure and subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests in this area have become increasingly fragmented through agriculture, logging, planting of economic plants, mining activities and changing environment. The aims of the study are to investigate climate change-induced changes of subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests in Yunnan and identify areas of current species richness centers for conservation preparation. Stacked species distribution models were created to generate ensemble forecasting of species distributions, alpha diversity and beta diversity for Yunnan's subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests in both current and future climate scenarios. Under stacked species distribution models in rapid climate changes scenarios, changes of water-energy dynamics may possibly reduce beta diversity and increase alpha diversity. This point provides insight for future conservation of evergreen broad-leaved forest in Yunnan, highlighting the need to fully consider the problem of vegetation homogenization caused by transformation of water-energy dynamics.
Full Text Available After extensive exploratory investigations into crenic habitats at the beginning of the 1990s, a number of springs were selected and long-term ecological research programmes independently initiated in the Berchtesgaden National Park (north-eastern Alps, Bavaria and the Adamello-Brenta Nature Park (south-eastern Alps, Trentino. Following more than a decade of standardized work, this paper presents a selection of results from both sides of the Alps, with a focus on zoobenthos in Bavaria and on pro- and eukaryotic algae in Trentino. In order to test the assumption that permanent springs are particularly suitable habitats for long-term ecological research, the following topics are addressed: (1 taxonomic diversity and relationships between diversity and spring typology; (2 transverse gradients in crenic habitats, hygrophilous terrestrial invertebrates and xerotolerant algae; (3 possibilities of documenting changes in species composition over decadal time scales ("medium-term" based on emergence traps, benthos, and benthic algae. The data obtained show that: (1 crenic habitats support particularly high biological diversity (but a thorough documentation of insect diversity is impossible without emergence studies; (2 helocrenes are the most species-rich habitats, for both invertebrates and diatoms; (3 dynamic (unstable and occasionally-impacted springs show identifiable signs of medium-term change, whilst particularly complex and stable crenic habitats seem to be controlled by internal processes. Our results suggest that: (1 the meiofauna is likely to react directly to environmental change, while emergers and the hygrophilous terrestrial fauna are indirectly affected, and (2 diatoms react both to direct effects of environmental change, e.g. discharge and hydrochemistry, and to indirect effects on the surroundings of the spring. Based on our results, long-term research strategies are discussed. For long-term studies, we propose a focus on meiofauna and
Rossman, Sam; Ostrom, Peggy H.; Stolen, Megan; Barros, Nélio B.; Gandhi, Hasand; Stricker, Craig A.; Wells, Randall S.
We examine individual specialization in foraging habits (foraging habitat and trophic level) of female bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) resident in Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA, by analyzing time series of stable isotope (δ15N and δ13C) values in sequential growth layer groups within teeth. The isotope data provide a chronology of foraging habits over the lifetime of the individual and allowed us to show that female bottlenose dolphins exhibit a high degree of individual specialization in both foraging habitat and trophic level. The foraging habits used by adult females are similar to those they used as calves and may be passed down from mother to calf through social learning. We also characterized the foraging habits and home range of each individual by constructing standard ellipses from isotope values and dolphin sightings data (latitude and longitude), respectively. These data show that Sarasota Bay bottlenose dolphins forage within a subset of the habitats in which they are observed. Moreover, females with similar observational standard ellipses often possessed different foraging specializations. Female bottlenose dolphins may demonstrate individual specialization in foraging habits because it reduces some of the cost of living in groups, such as competition for prey.
Seedorf, Henning; Griffin, Nicholas W; Ridaura, Vanessa K; Reyes, Alejandro; Cheng, Jiye; Rey, Federico E; Smith, Michelle I; Simon, Gabriel M; Scheffrahn, Rudolf H; Woebken, Dagmar; Spormann, Alfred M; Van Treuren, William; Ursell, Luke K; Pirrung, Megan; Robbins-Pianka, Adam; Cantarel, Brandi L; Lombard, Vincent; Henrissat, Bernard; Knight, Rob; Gordon, Jeffrey I
To study how microbes establish themselves in a mammalian gut environment, we colonized germ-free mice with microbial communities from human, zebrafish, and termite guts, human skin and tongue, soil, and estuarine microbial mats. Bacteria from these foreign environments colonized and persisted in the mouse gut; their capacity to metabolize dietary and host carbohydrates and bile acids correlated with colonization success. Cohousing mice harboring these xenomicrobiota or a mouse cecal microbiota, along with germ-free "bystanders," revealed the success of particular bacterial taxa in invading guts with established communities and empty gut habitats. Unanticipated patterns of ecological succession were observed; for example, a soil-derived bacterium dominated even in the presence of bacteria from other gut communities (zebrafish and termite), and human-derived bacteria colonized germ-free bystander mice before mouse-derived organisms. This approach can be generalized to address a variety of mechanistic questions about succession, including succession in the context of microbiota-directed therapeutics. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Airo, Alessandro; Schirmack, Janosch
The evolutionary adaptability of life to extreme environments is astounding given that all life on Earth is based on the same fundamental biochemistry. The range of some physicochemical parameters on Earth exceeds the ability of life to adapt, but stays within the limits of life for other parameters. Certain environmental conditions such as low water availability in hyperarid deserts on Earth seem to be close to the limit of biological activity. A much wider range of environmental parameters is observed on planetary bodies within our Solar System such as Mars or Titan, and presumably even larger outside of our Solar System. Here we review the adaptability of life as we know it, especially regarding temperature, pressure, and water activity. We use then this knowledge to outline the range of possible habitable environments for alien planets and moons and distinguish between a variety of planetary environment types. Some of these types are present in our Solar System, others are hypothetical. Our schematic categorization of alien habitats is limited to life as we know it, particularly regarding to the use of solvent (water) and energy source (light and chemical compounds).
Full Text Available The evolutionary adaptability of life to extreme environments is astounding given that all life on Earth is based on the same fundamental biochemistry. The range of some physicochemical parameters on Earth exceeds the ability of life to adapt, but stays within the limits of life for other parameters. Certain environmental conditions such as low water availability in hyperarid deserts on Earth seem to be close to the limit of biological activity. A much wider range of environmental parameters is observed on planetary bodies within our Solar System such as Mars or Titan, and presumably even larger outside of our Solar System. Here we review the adaptability of life as we know it, especially regarding temperature, pressure, and water activity. We use then this knowledge to outline the range of possible habitable environments for alien planets and moons and distinguish between a variety of planetary environment types. Some of these types are present in our Solar System, others are hypothetical. Our schematic categorization of alien habitats is limited to life as we know it, particularly regarding to the use of solvent (water and energy source (light and chemical compounds.
Samuel M. Jantz
Full Text Available All four chimpanzee sub-species populations are declining due to multiple factors including human-caused habitat loss. Effective conservation efforts are therefore needed to ensure their long-term survival. Habitat suitability models serve as useful tools for conservation planning by depicting relative environmental suitability in geographic space over time. Previous studies mapping chimpanzee habitat suitability have been limited to small regions or coarse spatial and temporal resolutions. Here, we used Random Forests regression to downscale a coarse resolution habitat suitability calibration dataset to estimate habitat suitability over the entire chimpanzee range at 30-m resolution. Our model predicted habitat suitability well with an r2 of 0.82 (±0.002 based on 50-fold cross validation where 75% of the data was used for model calibration and 25% for model testing; however, there was considerable variation in the predictive capability among the four sub-species modeled individually. We tested the influence of several variables derived from Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+ that included metrics of forest canopy and structure for four three-year time periods between 2000 and 2012. Elevation, Landsat ETM+ band 5 and Landsat derived canopy cover were the strongest predictors; highly suitable areas were associated with dense tree canopy cover for all but the Nigeria-Cameroon and Central Chimpanzee sub-species. Because the models were sensitive to such temporally based predictors, our results are the first to highlight the value of integrating continuously updated variables derived from satellite remote sensing into temporally dynamic habitat suitability models to support near real-time monitoring of habitat status and decision support systems.
Full Text Available Marijuana (Cannabis sativa L. cultivation has proliferated in northwestern California since at least the mid-1990s. The environmental impacts associated with marijuana cultivation appear substantial, yet have been difficult to quantify, in part because cultivation is clandestine and often occurs on private property. To evaluate the impacts of water diversions at a watershed scale, we interpreted high-resolution aerial imagery to estimate the number of marijuana plants being cultivated in four watersheds in northwestern California, USA. Low-altitude aircraft flights and search warrants executed with law enforcement at cultivation sites in the region helped to validate assumptions used in aerial imagery interpretation. We estimated the water demand of marijuana irrigation and the potential effects water diversions could have on stream flow in the study watersheds. Our results indicate that water demand for marijuana cultivation has the potential to divert substantial portions of streamflow in the study watersheds, with an estimated flow reduction of up to 23% of the annual seven-day low flow in the least impacted of the study watersheds. Estimates from the other study watersheds indicate that water demand for marijuana cultivation exceeds streamflow during the low-flow period. In the most impacted study watersheds, diminished streamflow is likely to have lethal or sub-lethal effects on state- and federally-listed salmon and steelhead trout and to cause further decline of sensitive amphibian species.
Comeau, André M.; Vincent, Warwick F.; Bernier, Louis; Lovejoy, Connie
In aquatic environments, fungal communities remain little studied despite their taxonomic and functional diversity. To extend the ecological coverage of this group, we conducted an in-depth analysis of fungal sequences within our collection of 3.6 million V4 18S rRNA pyrosequences originating from 319 individual marine (including sea-ice) and freshwater samples from libraries generated within diverse projects studying Arctic and temperate biomes in the past decade. Among the ~1.7 million post-filtered reads of highest taxonomic and phylogenetic quality, 23,263 fungal sequences were identified. The overall mean proportion was 1.35%, but with large variability; for example, from 0.01 to 59% of total sequences for Arctic seawater samples. Almost all sample types were dominated by Chytridiomycota-like sequences, followed by moderate-to-minor contributions of Ascomycota, Cryptomycota and Basidiomycota. Species and/or strain richness was high, with many novel sequences and high niche separation. The affinity of the most common reads to phytoplankton parasites suggests that aquatic fungi deserve renewed attention for their role in algal succession and carbon cycling.
Yost, Denise M; Wang, Li-Hsueh; Fan, Tung-Yung; Chen, Chii-Shiarng; Lee, Raymond W; Sogin, Emilia; Gates, Ruth D
Scleractinian corals vary in response to rapid shifts in the marine environment and changes in reef community structure post-disturbance reveal a clear relationship between coral performance and morphology. With exceptions, massive corals are thought to be more tolerant and branching corals more vulnerable to changing environmental conditions, notably thermal stress. The typical responses of massive and branching coral taxa, respectively, are well documented; however, the biological and functional characteristics that underpin this variation are not well understood. We address this gap by comparing multiple biological attributes that are correlated with skeletal architecture in two perforate (having porous skeletal matrices with intercalating tissues) and two imperforate coral species (Montipora aequituberculata, Porites lobata, Pocillopora damicornis, and Seriatopora hystrix) representing three morphotypes. Our results reveal inherent biological heterogeneity among corals and the potential for perforate skeletons to create complex, three-dimensional internal habitats that impact the dynamics of the symbiosis. Patterns of tissue thickness are correlated with the concentration of symbionts within narrow regions of tissue in imperforate corals versus broad distribution throughout the larger tissue area in perforate corals. Attributes of the perforate and environmentally tolerant P. lobata were notable, with tissues ∼5 times thicker than in the sensitive, imperforate species P. damicornis and S. hystrix. Additionally, P. lobata had the lowest baseline levels of superoxide and Symbiodinium that provisioned high levels of energy. Given our observations, we hypothesize that the complexity of the visually obscured internal environment has an impact on host-symbiont dynamics and ultimately on survival, warranting further scientific investigation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
Williams, Matthew R
Species richness is the most widely used measure of biodiversity, but the relationship between the observed and true numbers of species present in a study site is not always investigated. A field study at 27 habitat remnants was used to measure the effectiveness of a survey regimen for assessing species richness of butterflies and day-active moths in southwest Western Australia. Observed species richness was compared with known species richness and to statistical estimates of true species richness, and the bootstrap was found to be the best predictor of true richness. A regimen of 10-m-wide walk transects sampled on six occasions at 2-wk intervals during the austral spring (mid-September to mid-December) gave an almost complete inventory of resident species for each site (approximately 87% of the fauna detected), consistent with two previous studies that have assessed sample completeness in temperate areas. The abundance of diurnal lepidoptera showed large temporal variation over the flight season and varied to a lesser extent with time of day and temperature, but not with cloud cover or wind speed. Transect route and sampling frequency were the most important considerations in devising a survey regimen: transects placed off tracks detected both more species and more individuals per unit length. The fraction of the site area sampled was relatively unimportant, and even low sampling fractions of 1-2% may be adequate if the number and frequency of surveys is sufficient. The design of future surveys would be facilitated if sampling fraction was routinely reported and examined in relation to sample completeness.
Lasso, C A; Machado-Allison, A; Taphorn, D C
About 1000 freshwater fishes have been found so far in the Orinoco River Basin of Venezuela and Colombia. This high ichthyological diversity reflects the wide range of landscapes and aquatic ecosystems included in the basin. Mountain streams descend from the high Andes to become rapid-flowing foothill rivers that burst out upon vast savannah flatlands where they slowly make their way to the sea. These white-water rivers are heavily laden with sediments from the geologically young Andes. Because their sediment deposits have formed the richest soils of the basin, they have attracted the highest density of human populations, along with the greatest levels of deforestation, wildfires, agricultural biocides and fertilizers, sewage and all the other impacts associated with urban centres, agriculture and cattle ranching. In the southern portion of the basin, human populations are much smaller, where often the only inhabitants are indigenous peoples. The ancient rocks and sands of the Guiana Shield yield clear and black water streams of very different quality. Here, sediment loads are miniscule, pH is very acid and fish biomass is only a fraction of that observed in the rich Andean tributaries to the north. For each region of the basin, the current state of knowledge about fish diversity is assessed, fish sampling density evaluated, the presence of endemic species and economically important species (for human consumption or ornamental purposes) described and gaps in knowledge are pointed out. Current trends in the fishery for human consumption are analysed, noting that stocks of many species are in steep decline, and that current fishing practices are not sustainable. Finally, the major impacts and threats faced by the fishes and aquatic ecosystems of the Orinoco River Basin are summarized, and the creation of bi-national commissions to promote standardized fishing laws in both countries is recommended. © 2016 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.
Full Text Available Relationships of diversity, distribution and abundance of benthic decapods in intertidal and shallow subtidal waters to 10 m depth are explored based on data obtained using a standardized protocol of globally-distributed samples. Results indicate that decapod species richness overall is low within the nearshore, typically ranging from one to six taxa per site (mean = 4.5. Regionally the Gulf of Alaska decapod crustacean community structure was distinguishable by depth, multivariate analysis indicating increasing change with depth, where assemblages of the high and mid tide, low tide and 1 m, and 5 and 10 m strata formed three distinct groups. Univariate analysis showed species richness increasing from the high intertidal zone to 1 m subtidally, with distinct depth preferences among the 23 species. A similar depth trend but with peak richness at 5 m was observed when all global data were combined. Analysis of latitudinal trends, confined by data limitations, was equivocal on a global scale. While significant latitudinal differences existed in community structure among ecoregions, a semi-linear trend in changing community structure from the Arctic to lower latitudes did not hold when including tropical results. Among boreal regions the Canadian Atlantic was relatively species poor compared to the Gulf of Alaska, whereas the Caribbean and Sea of Japan appeared to be species hot spots. While species poor, samples from the Canadian Atlantic were the most diverse at the higher infraordinal level. Linking 11 environmental variables available for all sites to the best fit family-based biotic pattern showed a significant relationship, with the single best explanatory variable being the level of organic pollution and the best combination overall being organic pollution and primary productivity. While data limitations restrict conclusions in a global context, results are seen as a first-cut contribution useful in generating discussion and more in
Deborah K. Letourneau
Full Text Available Abstract California’s central coast differs from many agricultural areas in the U.S., which feature large tracts of monoculture production fields and relatively simple landscapes. Known as the nations salad bowl, and producing up to 90% of U.S. production of lettuces, broccoli and Brussels sprouts, this region is a mosaic of fresh vegetable fields, coastal meadow, chaparral shrubs, riparian and woodland habitat. We tested for relationships between the percent cover of crops, riparian and other natural landscape vegetation and the species richness of parasitic wasps and flies foraging in crops, such as broccoli, kale and cauliflower, and interpreted our results with respect to the decrease in natural habitat and increase in cropland cover prompted by a local microbial contamination event in 2006. Our key results are that: (1 as cropland cover in the landscape increased, fewer species of parasitoids were captured in the crop field, (2 parasitoid richness overall was positively associated with the amount of riparian and other natural vegetation in the surrounding 500m, (3 different groups of parasitoids were associated with unique types of natural vegetation, and (4 parasitism rates of sentinel cabbage aphid and cabbage looper pests were correlated with landscape vegetation features according to which parasitoids caused the mortality. Although individual species of parasitoids may thrive in landscapes that are predominantly short season crops, the robust associations found in this study across specialist and generalist parasitoids and different taxa (tachinid flies, ichneumon wasps, braconid wasps shows that recent food safety practices targeting removal of natural vegetation around vegetable fields in an attempt to eliminate wildlife may harm natural enemy communities and reduce ecosystem services. We argue that enhancing biological diversity is a key goal for transforming agroecosystems for future productivity, sustainability and public health.
Gradstein S. Rob
Full Text Available An inventory of the understory and canopy of 4 ha oflower montane cloud forest at Monteverde, Costa Rica, yielded 190 bryophyte species: 133 hepatics, 56 mosses and 1 homwort. Thick branches of the lower canopy were by far the richest habitat in terms of number of species (99, trunks from 1m upwards had 65 species, lianas, shrubs, saplings, or living leaves in the understory had about 36-46 species each, and 16 species were found on rotten logs. The figures are illustrative of the great diversification of microhabitats of bryophytes in a tropical montane cloud forest. About 36% ofthe species, including more than half ofthe corticolous ones, occurred exclusively in the canopy. It appeared thatthe percentage ofbryophyte species restricted to the canopy may be the same in lowland and montane rain forests, in spite of the great differences in species abundance and composition in the two kinds of forest. Ciento noventa especies de briofitas (133 hepáticas, 56 musgos, 1 antocerote fueron encontradas en un inventario hecho en 4 hectáreas del sotobosque y el dosel en el bosque nublado (1500 m de Monteverde, Costa Rica. Las ramas gruesas del dosel fueron la porción más rica en termino de numero de especies (99, en troncos había 65 especies, lianas, arbustos, árboles juveniles o hojas vivas en el sotobosque tenían entre 36-46 especies cada una, y 16 especies fueron encontradas en troncos en descomposición. Las cifras ilustran la gran diversidad de microhabitats de briofitas en el bosque nublado. Cerca de 36% de las especies, incluyendo mas de la mitad de los corticolos, se presentaron exclusivamente en el dosel. Parece que el porcentaje de especies de briofitas restringidas al dosel podría ser el mismo en bosques de tierras bajas y en bosques nublados, a pesar de la gran diferencia en abundancia y composición taxonómica de las briofitas en las dos clases de bosque.
Mollica, Michelle A; Kent, Erin E; Castro, Kathleen M; Ellis, Erin M; Ferrer, Rebecca A; Falisi, Angela L; Gaysynsky, Anna; Huang, Grace C; Palan, Martha A; Chou, Wen-Ying Sylvia
Palliative care (PC) is often misunderstood as exclusively pertaining to end-of-life care, which may be consequential for its delivery. There is little research on how PC is operationalized and delivered to cancer patients enrolled in clinical trials. We sought to understand the diverse perspectives of multidisciplinary oncology care providers caring for such patients in a teaching hospital. We conducted qualitative semistructured interviews with 19 key informants, including clinical trial principal investigators, oncology fellows, research nurses, inpatient and outpatient nurses, spiritual care providers, and PC fellows. Questions elicited information about the meaning providers assigned to the term "palliative care," as well as their experiences with the delivery of PC in the clinical trial context. Using grounded theory, a team-based coding method was employed to identify major themes. Four main themes emerged regarding the meaning of PC: (1) the holistic nature of PC, (2) the importance of symptom care, (3) conflict between PC and curative care, and (4) conflation between PC and end-of-life care. Three key themes emerged with regard to the delivery of PC: (1) dynamics among providers, (2) discussing PC with patients and family, and (3) the timing of PC delivery. There was great variability in personal meanings of PC, conflation with hospice/end-of-life care, and appropriateness of PC delivery and timing, particularly within cancer clinical trials. A standard and acceptable model for integrating PC concurrently with treatment in clinical trials is needed.
Cannon, Ethalinda K S; Birkett, Scott M; Braun, Bremen L; Kodavali, Sateesh; Jennewein, Douglas M; Yilmaz, Alper; Antonescu, Valentin; Antonescu, Corina; Harper, Lisa C; Gardiner, Jack M; Schaeffer, Mary L; Campbell, Darwin A; Andorf, Carson M; Andorf, Destri; Lisch, Damon; Koch, Karen E; McCarty, Donald R; Quackenbush, John; Grotewold, Erich; Lushbough, Carol M; Sen, Taner Z; Lawrence, Carolyn J
The purpose of the online resource presented here, POPcorn (Project Portal for corn), is to enhance accessibility of maize genetic and genomic resources for plant biologists. Currently, many online locations are difficult to find, some are best searched independently, and individual project websites often degrade over time-sometimes disappearing entirely. The POPcorn site makes available (1) a centralized, web-accessible resource to search and browse descriptions of ongoing maize genomics projects, (2) a single, stand-alone tool that uses web Services and minimal data warehousing to search for sequence matches in online resources of diverse offsite projects, and (3) a set of tools that enables researchers to migrate their data to the long-term model organism database for maize genetic and genomic information: MaizeGDB. Examples demonstrating POPcorn's utility are provided herein.
Full Text Available Background: Predicting habitats prone to favor disease transmission is challenging due to confounding information on habitats, reservoirs, and diseases. Comparative analysis, which aims at investigating ecological and evolutionary patterns among species, is a tool that may help. The emergence of zoonotic pathogens is a major health concern and is closely linked to habitat modifications by human activities. Risk assessment requires a better knowledge of the interactions between hosts, parasites, and the landscape. Methods: We used information from a field spatial study that investigated the distribution of murid rodents, in various habitats of three countries in Southeast Asia, in combination with their status of infection by 10 taxa of microparasites obtained from the literature. Microparasite species richness was calculated by rodent species on 20,272 rodents of 13 species. Regression tree models and generalized linear models were used to explain microparasite diversity by the average distance between the trapping site and five categories of land cover: forest, steep agriculture land, flat agriculture land, water, and built-up surfaces. Another variable taken into account was the slope. Results: We found that microparasite diversity was positively associated with flat agriculture land, in this context mainly rice fields, and negatively associated with slope. Microparasite diversity decreased sharply a 100 m or less from flat agriculture land. Conclusion: We conclude that there is high microparasite circulation in rodents of flooded farmlands, meaning possibly a higher risk of disease for human inhabitants.
van der Zee, Els M.; Tielens, Elske; Holthuijsen, Sander; Donadi, Serena; Eriksson, Britas Klemens; van der Veer, Henk W.; Piersma, Theunis; Olff, Han; van der Heide, Tjisse
In intertidal soft-bottom ecosystems, ecosystem engineers such as reef-building bivalves, can strongly affect the associated benthic community by providing structure and stabilizing the sediment. Although several engineering species have declined dramatically in the past centuries, the consequences
Human selection has reshaped crop genomes. Here we report an apple genome variation map generated through genome sequencing of 117 diverse accessions. A comprehensive model of apple speciation and domestication along the Silk Road was proposed based on evidence from diverse genomic analyses. Cultiva...
The vertebrate immune system produces a diverse antibody repertoire capable of responding to a vast array of antigens. This diversity is generated through a multifaceted process of gene segment recombination and somatic hypermutation or gene conversion. Recent advances in high-throughput sequencin...
Full Text Available River corridors, even if highly modified or degraded, still provide important habitats for numerous biological species, and carry high aesthetic and economic values. One of the keys to urban stream restoration is recovery and maintenance of ecological flows sufficient to sustain aquatic ecosystems. In this study, the Hongje Stream in the Seoul metropolitan area of Korea was selected for evaluating a physically-based habitat with and without habitat structures. The potential value of the aquatic habitat was evaluated by a weighted usable area (WUA using River2D, a two-dimensional hydraulic model. The habitat suitability for Zacco platypus in the Hongje Stream was simulated with and without habitat structures. The computed WUA values for the boulder, spur dike, and riffle increased by about 2%, 7%, and 131%, respectively, after their construction. Also, the three habitat structures, especially the riffle, can contribute to increasing hydraulic heterogeneity and enhancing habitat diversity.
Stewart, Shannon C. [Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), Portland, OR (United States)
The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is proposing to fund a canal-stream crossing and fish screen improvement project on Cooke Creek in Kittitas County, Washington. The project proposes to place the Ellensburg Water Company’s (EWC) main canal into a siphon passing underneath Cooke Creek, to build a fish screen on the EWC diversion on Cooke Creek, and to restore the Cooke Creek channel to a more natural state. The goal of this project is to improve fish habitat conditions in the Yakima River Basin and to protect ESA listed Mid-Columbia steelhead and bull trout. This project is part of the Yakima Tributary Access and Habitat Program, which works with landowners, water purveyors, and municipalities to restore fish passage to Yakima River tributaries that historically supported salmonids and to improve habitat in areas where access is restored.
Gomes-Pereira, José Nuno; Carmo, Vanda; Catarino, Diana; Jakobsen, Joachim; Alvarez, Helena; Aguilar, Ricardo; Hart, Justin; Giacomello, Eva; Menezes, Gui; Stefanni, Sergio; Colaço, Ana; Morato, Telmo; Santos, Ricardo S.; Tempera, Fernando; Porteiro, Filipe
Many fish species are well-known obligatory inhabitants of shallow-water tropical coral reefs but such associations are difficult to study in deep-water environments. We address the association between two deep-sea fish with low mobility and large sessile invertebrates using a compilation of 20 years of unpublished in situ observations. Data were collected on Northeast Atlantic (NEA) island slopes and seamounts, from the Azores to the Canary Islands, comprising 127 new records of the circalittoral Labridae Lappanella fasciata and 15 of the upper bathyal Ophiididae Benthocometes robustus. Observations by divers, remote operated vehicles (ROV SP, Luso, Victor, Falcon Seaeye), towed vehicles (Greenpeace) and manned submersibles (LULA, Nautile) validated the species association to cold water corals (CWC) and large hydrozoans. L. fasciata occurred from lower infralittoral (41 m) throughout the circalittoral, down to the upper bathyal at 398 m depth. Smaller fishes (invertebrates (> 10 cm) occurring at biological information and dietary information reinforcing the trophic linkage between the CWC habitat and this predator. Gathered evidence renders CWC and hydroid gardens as Essential Fish Habitats for both species, being therefore sensitive to environmental and anthropogenic impacts on these Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems. The Mediterranean distribution of L. fasciata is extended to NEA seamounts and island slopes and the amphi-Atlantic distribution of B. robustus is bridged with molecular data support. Both species are expected to occur throughout the Macaronesia and Mediterranean island slopes and shallow seamounts on habitats with large sessile invertebrates.
Letsch, Harald; Gottsberger, Brigitte; Ware, Jessica L
Ecological diversification of aquatic insects has long been suspected to have been driven by differences in freshwater habitats, which can be classified into flowing (lotic) waters and standing (lentic) waters. The contrasting characteristics of lotic and lentic freshwater systems imply different ecological constraints on their inhabitants. The ephemeral and discontinuous character of most lentic water bodies may encourage dispersal by lentic species in turn reducing geographical isolation among populations. Hence, speciation probability would be lower in lentic species. Here, we assess the impact of habitat use on diversification patterns in dragonflies (Anisoptera: Odonata). Based on the eight nuclear and mitochondrial genes, we inferred species diversification with a model-based evolutionary framework, to account for rate variation through time and among lineages and to estimate the impact of larval habitat on the potentially nonrandom diversification among anisopteran groups. Ancestral state reconstruction revealed lotic fresh water systems as their original primary habitat, while lentic waters have been colonized independently in Aeshnidae, Corduliidae and Libellulidae. Furthermore, our results indicate a positive correlation of speciation and lentic habitat colonization by dragonflies: speciation rates increased in lentic Aeshnidae and Libellulidae, whereas they remain mostly uniform among lotic groups. This contradicts the hypothesis of inherently lower speciation in lentic groups and suggests species with larger ranges are more likely to diversify, perhaps due to higher probability of larger areas being dissected by geographical barriers. Furthermore, larger range sizes may comprise more habitat types, which could also promote speciation by providing additional niches, allowing the coexistence of emerging species. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Full Text Available Many recent researches in island biogeography attempted to disentangle the effects of area per se and “habitat diversity” on species richness. However, the expression “habitat diversity” in this context should be avoided, because habitats can be only recognized by referring to the resources needed by a particular species. What is really measured in such researches is some form of “environmental heterogeneity”. Although habitat heterogeneity can be measured in various ways, most researches in island biogeography simply used the number of biotopes (typically classified as land cover categories. However, not all biotopes have the same surface. On the basis of the area occupied by each land cover category, it is possible to calculate indices of environmental diversity, evenness and dominance, as commonly done in community ecology research. These indices can be used to investigate the role of environmental diversity in determining species richness. We used the tenebrionid beetles inhabiting twenty-five small islands around Sicily (Central Mediterranean to illustrate these concepts. We found that both area per se and environmental heterogeneity contributed to determine species richness. Moreover, we found that the relationship between species richness and environmental homogeneity followed a power function model. This indicates that environmental homogenization may determine a rapid, non linear decline in species richness.
Ecologists have long been intrigued by the ways co-occurring species divide limiting resources, and have proposed that such resource partitioning, or niche differentiation, promotes species diversity by reducing competition. Although resource partitioning is an important determi...
Cariveau, Daniel P; Williams, Neal M; Benjamin, Faye E; Winfree, Rachael
More diverse biological communities may provide ecosystem services that are less variable over space or time. However, the mechanisms underlying this relationship are rarely investigated empirically in real-world ecosystems. Here, we investigate how a potentially important stabilising mechanism, response diversity, the differential response to environmental change among species, stabilises pollination services against land-use change. We measured crop pollination services provided by native bees across land-use gradients in three crop systems. We found that bee species responded differentially to increasing agricultural land cover in all three systems, demonstrating that response diversity occurs. Similarly, we found response diversity in pollination services in two of the systems. However, there was no evidence that response diversity, in general, stabilised ecosystem services. Our results suggest that either response diversity is not the primary stabilising mechanism in our system, or that new measures of response diversity are needed that better capture the stabilising effects it provides. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.
Full Text Available We investigated a causal chain of relationships between habitat specialization and parasite species richness in rodent communities in Southeast Asia, and the consequences for variation in immune investment (using spleen size, the degree of sexual competition (using testes and sexual size dimorphism (SSD. We used data gathered on rodents, their habitat specialization and their parasites (macro- and micro-parasites in Southeast Asian landscapes. The results supported the hypotheses that parasite diversity drives the evolution of host life-traits and sexual selection. Firstly host habitat specialization explained the variation in parasite species richness. Secondly high parasite species richness was linked to host immune investment, using the relative spleen size of rodents. Thirdly according to the potential costs associated with immune investment, the relative spleen size was found to be negatively correlated with the relative size of testes among rodents. Fourthly, a positive relationship between male-biased SSD and parasite species richness was observed supporting the role of parasitism in sexual selection. Finally, the variation in SSD was positively associated with the degree of habitat specialization. Highest values of female-biased SSD were associated with habitat specialization, whereas highest values of male-biased SSD concerned synanthropic or generalist rodent species. These results, also correlative, will help to facilitate selection of the species that should be thoroughly investigated at the population level to better understand the selective effects of parasites on rodent life-history and behavior.
Summerville, Keith S
1. The re-assembly of native animal communities in restored landscapes is a relatively unexplored phenomenon for many taxa. Specifically, ecologists lack the ability to generalize about how species traits, habitat size, habitat type (here, remnant prairie vs. restored grassland), and temporal variation interact to affect species diversity or species' persistence probabilities. 2. To investigate these relationships, moth communities from 10 prairie remnants and restorations were sampled over a 3-year interval and a combination of NMDS ordination, logistic regression, and repeated measures anova were used to test hypotheses regarding how life history variables and habitat characteristics determine the degree to which restored habitats develop a moth fauna similar to remnants. 3. Within sampling years, restored tallgrass prairies that were >or= 7 years old possessed lepidopteran species assemblages that were generally similar to those in prairie remnants. Community similarity, however, was driven by common moth species likely to also occur in the surrounding agricultural habitat. Species persistence was significantly influenced by a series of trait combinations identified using principal components analysis. Temporal variation independent of habitat type or patch size was the most significant determination of variation in species composition among sites. 4. These results suggest that lepidopteran persistence in restored landscapes is at least partially determined by species' life history attributes. The correlation between sampling year and species richness suggests that both weather effects on species voltinism and interannual differences in sampling bias may make it difficult for land managers to detect changes in species abundance following disturbance or habitat management. 5. Species may not necessarily possess specific life history traits that reduce extinction risk or enhance recolonization probabilities in the highly modified agricultural landscape of the
Cromsigt, Joris P. G. M.; Prins, Herbert H. T.; Olff, Han; Patterson, Bruce
Classic island biogeographical theory predicts that reserves have to be large to conserve high biodiversity. Recent literature, however, suggests that habitat heterogeneity can counterbalance the effect of small reserve size. For savanna ungulates, body mass is said to drive habitat selection and
Cromsigt, J.P.G.M.; Prins, H.H.T.; Olff, H.
Aim Classic island biogeographical theory predicts that reserves have to be large to conserve high biodiversity. Recent literature, however, suggests that habitat heterogeneity can counterbalance the effect of small reserve size. For savanna ungulates, body mass is said to drive habitat selection
Full Text Available Background The Balkans are a major worldwide biodiversity and endemism hotspot. Among the freshwater biota, amphipods are known for their high cryptic diversity. However, little is known about the temporal and paleogeographic aspects of their evolutionary history. We used paleogeography as a framework for understanding the onset of diversification in Gammarus roeselii: (1 we hypothesised that, given the high number of isolated waterbodies in the Balkans, the species is characterised by high level of cryptic diversity, even on a local scale; (2 the long geological history of the region might promote pre-Pleistocene divergence between lineages; (3 given that G. roeselii thrives both in lakes and rivers, its evolutionary history could be linked to the Balkan Neogene paleolake system; (4 we inspected whether the Pleistocene decline of hydrological networks could have any impact on the diversification of G. roeselii. Material and Methods DNA was extracted from 177 individuals collected from 26 sites all over Balkans. All individuals were amplified for ca. 650 bp long fragment of the mtDNA cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI. After defining molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTU based on COI, 50 individuals were amplified for ca. 900 bp long fragment of the nuclear 28S rDNA. Molecular diversity, divergence, differentiation and historical demography based on COI sequences were estimated for each MOTU. The relative frequency, geographic distribution and molecular divergence between COI haplotypes were presented as a median-joining network. COI was used also to reconstruct time-calibrated phylogeny with Bayesian inference. Probabilities of ancestors’ occurrence in riverine or lacustrine habitats, as well their possible geographic locations, were estimated with the Bayesian method. A Neighbour Joining tree was constructed to illustrate the phylogenetic relationships between 28S rDNA haplotypes. Results We revealed that G. roeselii includes at least
Oki, Delwyn S.; Wolff, Reuben H.; Perreault, Jeff A.
The perennial flow provided by Waihe‘e River, Waiehu Stream, ‘Īao Stream, and Waikapū Stream, collectively known as Nā Wai ‘Ehā (“The Four Streams”), made it possible for widespread agricultural activities to flourish in the eastern part of West Maui, Hawai‘i. The streams of the Nā Wai ‘Ehā area flow in their upper reaches even during extended dry-weather conditions because of persistent groundwater discharge to the streams. Overall, the lower reaches of these streams lose water, which may contribute to groundwater recharge. During climate years 1984–2007 (when complete streamflow records were available for Waihe‘e River and ‘Īao Stream), Waihe‘e River had the greatest median flow of the four streams upstream of the uppermost diversion on each stream. The median flows, in million gallons per day, during climate years 1984–2007 were: 34 for Waihe‘e River near an altitude of 605 feet; 25 for ‘Īao Stream near an altitude of 780 feet; and estimated to be 4.3 for Waikapū Stream near an altitude of 1,160 feet; 3.2 for North Waiehu Stream near an altitude of 880 feet; and 3.2 for South Waiehu Stream near an altitude of 870 feet. Existing stream diversions in the Nā Wai ‘Ehā area have a combined capacity exceeding at least 75 million gallons per day and are capable of diverting all or nearly all of the dry-weather flows of these streams, leaving some downstream reaches dry. Hourly photographs collected during 2006–2008 indicate that some stream reaches downstream of diversions are dry more than 50 percent of the time. Many of these reaches would be perennial or nearly perennial in the absence of diversions.
Bulkley, Katrina E.; Travers, Eva
Recent years have seen a growing push toward Portfolio Management Models that incorporate a variety of "providers" operating public schools. One rationale for this is that such organizations can offer distinct and innovative educational practices. This article describes the Diverse Provider Model implemented in Philadelphia from…
Wolfe, Benjamin E.; Button, Julie E.; Santarelli, Marcela; Dutton, Rachel J.
SUMMARY Tractable microbial communities are needed to bridge the gap between observations of patterns of microbial diversity and mechanisms that can explain these patterns. We developed cheese rinds as model microbial communities by characterizing in situ patterns of diversity and by developing an in vitro system for community reconstruction. Sequencing of 137 different rind communities across 10 countries revealed 24 widely distributed and culturable genera of bacteria and fungi as dominant community members. Reproducible community types formed independent of geographic location of production. Intensive temporal sampling demonstrated that assembly of these communities is highly reproducible. Patterns of community composition and succession observed in situ can be recapitulated in a simple in vitro system. Widespread positive and negative interactions were identified between bacterial and fungal community members. Cheese rind microbial communities represent an experimentally tractable system for defining mechanisms that influence microbial community assembly and function. PMID:25036636
U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — These data provide information on the relationship between California red-legged frogs and their habitat in a unique ecosystem to better conserve this threatened...
Angold, P G; Sadler, J P; Hill, M O; Pullin, A; Rushton, S; Austin, K; Small, E; Wood, B; Wadsworth, R; Sanderson, R; Thompson, K
We examined the biodiversity of urban habitats in Birmingham (England) using a combination of field surveys of plants and carabid beetles, genetic studies of four species of butterflies, modelling the anthropochorous nature of the floral communities and spatially explicit modelling of selected mammal species. The aim of the project was to: (i) understand the ecological characteristics of the biota of cities model, (ii) examine the effects of habitat fragment size and connectivity upon the ecological diversity and individual species distributions, (iii) predict biodiversity in cities, and (iv) analyse the extent to which the flora and fauna utilise the 'urban greenways' both as wildlife corridors and as habitats in their own right. The results suggest that cities provide habitats for rich and diverse range of plants and animals, which occur sometimes in unlikely recombinant communities. The studies on carabids and butterflies illustrated the relative importance of habitat quality on individual sites as opposed to site location within the conurbation. This suggests that dispersal for most of our urban species is not a limiting factor in population persistence, although elements of the woodland carabid fauna did appear to have some geographical structuring. Theoretical models suggested that dormice and water voles may depend on linear habitats for dispersal. The models also indicated that other groups, such as small and medium sized mammals, may use corridors, although field-based research did not provide any evidence to suggest that plants or invertebrates use urban greenways for dispersal. This finding indicates the importance of identifying a target species or group of species for urban greenways intended as dispersal routeways rather than as habitat in their own right. Their importance for most groups is rather that greenways provide a chain of different habitats permeating the urban environment. We suggest that planners can have a positive impact on urban
This thesis investigates the skills acquired through a Cross-Cultural Kid (CCK) -experience and contemplates if they can be useful in politics as well as in the representation and understanding of diversity. The main purposes of the thesis are: (1) to concur that the interviewees are indeed CCKs, (2) to describe what kind of CCK-related skills they may or may not have acquired, and (3) to discuss how and to what purposes these skills have been used in politics and in the representation of div...
Nazir, Rashid; Mazurier, Sylvie; Yang, Pu; Lemanceau, Philippe; van Elsas, Jan Dirk
Bacteria and fungi constitute important organisms in many ecosystems, in particular terrestrial ones. Both organismal groups contribute significantly to biogeochemical cycling processes. Ecological theory postulates that bacteria capable of receiving benefits from host fungi are likely to evolve efficient association strategies. The purpose of this review is to examine the mechanisms that underpin the bacterial interactions with fungi in soil and other systems, with special focus on the type III secretion system (T3SS). Starting with a brief description of the versatility of the T3SS as an interaction system with diverse eukaryotic hosts, we subsequently examine the recent advances made in our understanding of its contribution to interactions with soil fungi. The analysis used data sets ranging from circumstantial evidence to gene-knockout-based experimental data. The initial finding that the abundance of T3SSs in microbiomes is often enhanced in fungal-affected habitats like the mycosphere and the mycorrhizosphere is now substantiated with in-depth knowledge of the specific systems involved. Different fungal-interactive bacteria, in positive or negative associations with partner fungi, harbor and express T3SSs, with different ecological outcomes. In some particular cases, bacterial T3SSs have been shown to modulate the physiology of its fungal partner, affecting its ecological characteristics and consequently shaping its own habitat. Overall, the analyses of the collective data set revealed that diverse T3SSs have assumed diverse roles in the interactions of bacteria with host fungi, as driven by ecological and evolutionary niche requirements.
Choy, Eun Jung; An, Soonmo; Kang, Chang-Keun
The benthic macroinvertebrates of the Nakdong River estuary were sampled at three different habitats: two salt marsh ( Scirpus triqueter and Phragmites australis) beds and a bare intertidal flat. Fishes were sampled in the main channel. The trophic importance of marsh vascular plants, microphytobenthos, and riverine and channel particulate organic matter to macroinvertebrate and fish production was studied using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope tracers. There was a dramatic change in coverage of macrophytes (salt marshes and seagrass) after the construction of an estuarine barrage in 1987 in the Nakdong River estuary, with the S. triqueter bed increasing, the P. australis bed decreasing, and Zostera marina habitats being nearly lost. Although the invertebrate δ 13C were within a narrower range than those of the primary producers, the values varied considerably among consumers in these habitats. However, the isotope signatures of consumers showed similarities among different habitats. Cluster analysis based on their isotopic similarity suggested that the isotope variability among species was related more to functional feeding groups than to habitats or taxonomic groups. While δ 13C values of suspension feeders were close to that of the channel POM (mainly phytoplankton), other benthic feeders and predators had δ 13C similar to that of microphytobenthos. Isotopic mixing model estimates suggest that algal sources, including microphytobenthos and phytoplankton, play an important role in supporting the benthic food web. Despite the huge productivity of emergent salt marshes, the contribution of the marsh-derived organic matter to the estuarine food webs appears to be limited to some nutrition for some invertebrates just within marsh habitats, with little on the bare intertidal flats or in the channel fish communities. Isotope signatures of the channel fishes also confirm that algal sources are important in supporting fish nutrition. Our findings suggest that
Winter, Ara S.; Hathaway, Jennifer J. M.; Kimble, Jason C.; Buecher, Debbie C.; Valdez, Ernest W.; Porras-Alfaro, Andrea; Young, Jesse M.; Read, Kaitlyn J. H.; Northup, Diana E.
Microorganisms that reside on and in mammals, such as bats, have the potential to influence their host’s health and to provide defenses against invading pathogens. However, we have little understanding of the skin and fur bacterial microbiota on bats, or factors that influence the structure of these communities. The southwestern United States offers excellent sites for the study of external bat bacterial microbiota due to the diversity of bat species, the variety of abiotic and biotic factors that may govern bat bacterial microbiota communities, and the lack of the newly emergent fungal disease in bats, white-nose syndrome (WNS), in the southwest. To test these variables, we used 16S rRNA gene 454 pyrosequencing from swabs of external skin and fur surfaces from 163 bats from 13 species sampled from southeastern New Mexico to northwestern Arizona. Community similarity patterns, random forest models, and generalized linear mixed-effects models show that factors such as location (e.g., cave-caught versus surface-netted) and ecoregion are major contributors to the structure of bacterial communities on bats. Bats caught in caves had a distinct microbial community compared to those that were netted on the surface. Our results provide a first insight into the distribution of skin and fur bat bacteria in the WNS-free environment of New Mexico and Arizona. More importantly, it provides a baseline of bat external microbiota that can be explored for potential natural defenses against pathogens.
Hung, Keng-Lou James; Ascher, John S; Holway, David A
Despite a large number of ecological studies that document diversity loss resulting from anthropogenic disturbance, surprisingly few consider how disturbance affects temporal patterns of diversity that result from seasonal turnover of species. Temporal dynamics can play an important role in the structure and function of biological assemblages. Here, we investigate the temporal diversity patterns of bee faunas in Southern California coastal sage scrub ecosystems that have been extensively fragmented by urbanization. Using a two-year dataset of 235 bee species (n = 12,036 specimens), we compared 1-ha plots in scrub fragments and scrub reserves with respect to three components of temporal diversity: overall plot-level diversity pooled over time (temporal gamma diversity), diversity at discrete points in time (temporal alpha diversity), and seasonal turnover in assemblage composition (temporal beta diversity). Compared to reserves, fragments harbored bee assemblages with lower species richness and assemblage evenness both when summed across temporal samples (i.e., lower temporal gamma diversity) and at single points in time (i.e., lower temporal alpha diversity). Bee assemblages in fragments also exhibited reduced seasonal turnover (i.e., lower temporal beta diversity). While fragments and reserves did not differ in overall bee abundance, bee abundance in fragments peaked later in the season compared to that in reserves. Our results argue for an increased awareness of temporal diversity patterns, as information about the distinct components of temporal diversity is essential both for characterizing the assemblage dynamics of seasonal organisms and for identifying potential impacts of anthropogenic disturbance on ecosystem function through its effects on assemblage dynamics.
Gayle C McGhee
Full Text Available Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs comprise a family of short DNA repeat sequences that are separated by non repetitive spacer sequences and, in combination with a suite of Cas proteins, are thought to function as an adaptive immune system against invading DNA. The number of CRISPR arrays in a bacterial chromosome is variable, and the content of each array can differ in both repeat number and in the presence or absence of specific spacers. We utilized a comparative sequence analysis of CRISPR arrays of the plant pathogen Erwinia amylovora to uncover previously unknown genetic diversity in this species. A total of 85 E. amylovora strains varying in geographic isolation (North America, Europe, New Zealand, and the Middle East, host range, plasmid content, and streptomycin sensitivity/resistance were evaluated for CRISPR array number and spacer variability. From these strains, 588 unique spacers were identified in the three CRISPR arrays present in E. amylovora, and these arrays could be categorized into 20, 17, and 2 patterns types, respectively. Analysis of the relatedness of spacer content differentiated most apple and pear strains isolated in the eastern U.S. from western U.S. strains. In addition, we identified North American strains that shared CRISPR genotypes with strains isolated on other continents. E. amylovora strains from Rubus and Indian hawthorn contained mostly unique spacers compared to apple and pear strains, while strains from loquat shared 79% of spacers with apple and pear strains. Approximately 23% of the spacers matched known sequences, with 16% targeting plasmids and 5% targeting bacteriophage. The plasmid pEU30, isolated in E. amylovora strains from the western U.S., was targeted by 55 spacers. Lastly, we used spacer patterns and content to determine that streptomycin-resistant strains of E. amylovora from Michigan were low in diversity and matched corresponding streptomycin-sensitive strains
This policy statement serves to combine and update 2 previously independent but overlapping statements from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on culturally effective health care (CEHC) and workforce diversity. The AAP has long recognized that with the ever-increasing diversity of the pediatric population in the United States, the health of all children depends on the ability of all pediatricians to practice culturally effective care. CEHC can be defined as the delivery of care within the context of appropriate physician knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of all cultural distinctions, leading to optimal health outcomes. The AAP believes that CEHC is a critical social value and that the knowledge and skills necessary for providing CEHC can be taught and acquired through focused curricula across the spectrum of lifelong learning. This statement also addresses workforce diversity, health disparities, and affirmative action. The discussion of diversity is broadened to include not only race, ethnicity, and language but also cultural attributes such as gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and disability, which may affect the quality of health care. The AAP believes that efforts must be supported through health policy and advocacy initiatives to promote the delivery of CEHC and to overcome educational, organizational, and other barriers to improving workforce diversity.
Robert T. Brooks
The development and use of acoustic recording technology, surveys have revealed the composition, relative levels of activity, and preliminary habitat use of bat communities of various forest locations. However, detailed examinations of acoustic surveys results to investigate temporal patterns of bat activity are rare. Initial active acoustic surveys of bat activity on...
Nikolakopoulou, T.L.; Egan, S.; Overbeek, van L.S.; Guillaume, G.; Heuer, H.; Wellington, E.M.H.; Elsas, van J.D.; Collard, J.M.; Smalla, K.; Karagouni, A.D.
A range of European habitats was screened by PCR for detection of the oxytetracycline resistance genes otr(A) and otr(B), found in the oxytetracycline-producing strain Streptomyces rimosus. Primers were developed to detect these otr genes in tetracycline-resistant (TcR) streptomycete isolates from
Lecis, R; Tore, G; Scagliarini, A; Antuofermo, E; Dedola, C; Cacciotto, C; Dore, G M; Coradduzza, E; Gallina, L; Battilani, M; Anfossi, A G; Muzzeddu, M; Chessa, B; Pittau, M; Alberti, A
We detected a novel papillomavirus (EaPV1) from healthy skin and from sun associated cutaneous lesions of an Asinara (Sardinia, Italy) white donkey reared in captivity in a wildlife recovery centre. The entire genome of EaPV1 was cloned, sequenced, and characterised. Genome is 7467 bp long, and shows some characteristic elements of horse papillomaviruses, including a small untranslated region between the early and late regions and the lack of the retinoblastoma tumour suppressor binding domain LXCXE in E7. Additionally, a typical E6 ORF is missing. EaPV1 DNA was detected in low copies in normal skin of white and grey donkeys of the Asinara Island, and does not transform rodent fibroblasts in standard transformation assays. Pairwise nucleotide alignments and phylogenetic analyses based on concatenated E1-E2-L1 amino acid sequences revealed the highest similarity with the Equine papillomavirus type 1. The discovery of EaPV1, the prototype of a novel genus and the first papillomavirus isolated in donkeys, confirms a broad diversity in Equidae papillomaviruses. Taken together, data suggest that EaPV1 is a non-malignant papillomavirus adapted to healthy skin of donkeys. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Microbe-mediated biogeochemical cycles contribute to the global climate system and have sensitive responses and feedbacks to environmental stress caused by climate change. Yet, little is known about the effects of microbial biodiversity (i.e., taxonmic and functional diversity on biogeochemical cycles in ecosytems that are highly sensitive to climate change. One such sensitive ecosystem is Qinghai Lake, a high-elevation (3196 m saline (1.4% lake located on the Tibetan Plateau, China. This study provides baseline information on the microbial taxonomic and functional diversity as well as the associated stress response genes. Illumina metagenomic and metatranscriptomic datasets were generated from lake water samples collected at two sites (B and E. Autotrophic Cyanobacteria dominated the DNA samples, while heterotrophic Proteobacteria dominated the RNA samples at both sites. Photoheterotrophic Loktanella was also present at both sites. Photosystem II was the most active pathway at site B; while, oxidative phosphorylation was most active at site E. Organisms that expressed photosystem II or oxidative phosphorylation also expressed genes involved in photoprotection and oxidative stress, respectively. Assimilatory pathways associated with the nitrogen cycle were dominant at both sites. Results also indicate a positive relationship between functional diversity and the number of stress response genes. This study provides insight into the stress resilience of microbial metabolic pathways supported by greater taxonomic diversity, which may affect the microbial community response to climate change.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Estuaries are highly productive ecosystems that can export organic matter to coastal seas (the 'outwelling hypothesis'. However the role of this food resource subsidy on coastal ecosystem functioning has not been examined. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated the influence of estuarine primary production as a resource subsidy and the influence of estuaries on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in coastal mollusk-dominated sediment communities. Stable isotope values (δ(13C, δ(15N demonstrated that estuarine primary production was exported to the adjacent coast and contributed to secondary production up to 4 km from the estuary mouth. Further, isotope signatures of suspension feeding bivalves on the adjacent coast (Dosinia subrosea closely mirrored the isotope values of the dominant bivalves inside the estuaries (Austrovenus stutchburyi, indicating utilization of similar organic matter sources. However, the food subsidies varied between estuaries; with estuarine suspended particulate organic matter (SPOM dominant at Tairua estuary, while seagrass and fringing vegetation detritus was proportionately more important at Whangapoua estuary, with lesser contributions of estuarine SPOM. Distance from the estuary mouth and the size and density of large bivalves (Dosinia spp. had a significant influence on the composition of biological traits in the coastal macrobenthic communities, signaling the potential influence of these spatial subsidies on ecosystem functioning. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study demonstrated that the locations where ecosystem services like productivity are generated are not necessarily where the services are utilized. Further, we identified indirect positive effects of the nutrient subsidies on biodiversity (the estuarine subsidies influenced the bivalves, which in turn affected the diversity and functional trait composition of the coastal sediment macrofaunal communities. These findings highlight the
Castelli, Erick C.; Ramalho, Jaqueline; Porto, Iane O. P.; Lima, Thálitta H. A.; Felício, Leandro P.; Sabbagh, Audrey; Donadi, Eduardo A.; Mendes-Junior, Celso T.
Human leukocyte antigen G (HLA-G) belongs to the family of non-classical HLA class I genes, located within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). HLA-G has been the target of most recent research regarding the function of class I non-classical genes. The main features that distinguish HLA-G from classical class I genes are (a) limited protein variability, (b) alternative splicing generating several membrane bound and soluble isoforms, (c) short cytoplasmic tail, (d) modulation of immune response (immune tolerance), and (e) restricted expression to certain tissues. In the present work, we describe the HLA-G gene structure and address the HLA-G variability and haplotype diversity among several populations around the world, considering each of its major segments [promoter, coding, and 3′ untranslated region (UTR)]. For this purpose, we developed a pipeline to reevaluate the 1000Genomes data and recover miscalled or missing genotypes and haplotypes. It became clear that the overall structure of the HLA-G molecule has been maintained during the evolutionary process and that most of the variation sites found in the HLA-G coding region are either coding synonymous or intronic mutations. In addition, only a few frequent and divergent extended haplotypes are found when the promoter, coding, and 3′UTRs are evaluated together. The divergence is particularly evident for the regulatory regions. The population comparisons confirmed that most of the HLA-G variability has originated before human dispersion from Africa and that the allele and haplotype frequencies have probably been shaped by strong selective pressures. PMID:25339953
Erick C Castelli
Full Text Available Human Leucocyte Antigen G (HLA-G belongs to the family of nonclassical HLA class I genes, located within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC. HLA-G has been the target of most recent research regarding the function of class I nonclassical genes. The main features that distinguish HLA-G from classical class I genes are: a limited protein variability; b alternative splicing generating several membrane bound and soluble isoforms; c short cytoplasmic tail; d modulation of immune response (immune tolerance; e restricted expression to certain tissues. In the present work, we describe the HLA-G gene structure and address the HLA-G variability and haplotype diversity among several populations around the world, considering each of its major segments (promoter, coding and 3’untranslated regions. For this purpose, we developed a pipeline to reevaluate the 1000Genomes data and recover miscalled or missing genotypes and haplotypes. It became clear that the overall structure of the HLA-G molecule has been maintained during the evolutionary process and that most of the variation sites found in the HLA-G coding region are either coding synonymous or intronic mutations. In addition, only a few frequent and divergent extended haplotypes are found when the promoter, coding and 3’ untranslated regions are evaluated together. The divergence is particularly evident for the regulatory regions. The population comparisons confirmed that most of the HLA-G variability has originated before human dispersion from Africa and that the allele and haplotype frequencies have probably been shaped by strong selective pressures.
Savage, Candida; Thrush, Simon F; Lohrer, Andrew M; Hewitt, Judi E
Estuaries are highly productive ecosystems that can export organic matter to coastal seas (the 'outwelling hypothesis'). However the role of this food resource subsidy on coastal ecosystem functioning has not been examined. We investigated the influence of estuarine primary production as a resource subsidy and the influence of estuaries on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in coastal mollusk-dominated sediment communities. Stable isotope values (δ(13)C, δ(15)N) demonstrated that estuarine primary production was exported to the adjacent coast and contributed to secondary production up to 4 km from the estuary mouth. Further, isotope signatures of suspension feeding bivalves on the adjacent coast (Dosinia subrosea) closely mirrored the isotope values of the dominant bivalves inside the estuaries (Austrovenus stutchburyi), indicating utilization of similar organic matter sources. However, the food subsidies varied between estuaries; with estuarine suspended particulate organic matter (SPOM) dominant at Tairua estuary, while seagrass and fringing vegetation detritus was proportionately more important at Whangapoua estuary, with lesser contributions of estuarine SPOM. Distance from the estuary mouth and the size and density of large bivalves (Dosinia spp.) had a significant influence on the composition of biological traits in the coastal macrobenthic communities, signaling the potential influence of these spatial subsidies on ecosystem functioning. Our study demonstrated that the locations where ecosystem services like productivity are generated are not necessarily where the services are utilized. Further, we identified indirect positive effects of the nutrient subsidies on biodiversity (the estuarine subsidies influenced the bivalves, which in turn affected the diversity and functional trait composition of the coastal sediment macrofaunal communities). These findings highlight the importance of integrative ecosystem-based management that maintains the
József Geml; Gary A. Laursen; Ian C. Herriott; Jack M. McFarland; Michael G. Booth; Niall Lennon; H. Chad Nusbaum; D. Lee Taylor
Although critical for the functioning of ecosystems, fungi are poorly known in high-latitude regions. Here, we provide the first genetic diversity assessment of one of the most diverse and abundant ectomycorrhizal genera in Alaska: Russula. We analyzed internal transcribed spacer rDNA sequences from sporocarps and soil samples using phylogenetic...
By 2008, New York City's school governing regime contained two market-creation policies. Each reshaped principal incentives. One closed large high schools, replacing them with four-to-eight small schools. Another replaced uniform district-provided services with eleven School Support Organizations (SSOs). Both aimed to empower principals with new…
MONICA MEDRANO; CARLOS M. HERRERA
.... In this study an investigation is made of the levels and partitioning of genetic diversity in Narcissus longispathus, a narrow endemic of south-eastern Spanish mountains characterized by a naturally...
Dickey, Lore M; Singh, Anneliese A
This article explores some of the challenges faced by trans and gender diverse (TGD) individuals who not only are attempting to access trans-affirmative care, but who are also members of the very profession from which they are seeking services. The authors explore challenges related to finding supervision, accessing care for assessment services, and finding a provider for personal counseling. With each example, the authors unpack the challenges and also address the implications for training for all involved. Based on these challenges that TGD psychologists and trainees face in attempting to access care, the authors provide recommendations related to trans-affirmative training for psychologists. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Dirk, Schulze-Makuch; Irwin, Louis N.
There are four principal habitats in which life may exist - the surface of a planetary body, its subsurface, its atmosphere and space. From our own experience we know that life does exist on the surface of a planet, in its subsurface, and transiently at least in the atmosphere. Where it is present, it exists in a surprising diversity and in a variety of microhabitats, from deep caverns (Hose et al. 2000, Melim et al. 2001) to hydrothermal fluids and hot springs of various chemistries (Jannasch 1995, Rzonca and Schulze-Makuch 2002), to the frozen deserts of Antarctica (Friedmann 1982, Sun and Friedmann 1999). In this chapter we will elaborate on the principal habitats, the constraints they impose on life, and the possibilities they provide.
Denton, Carolyn A; Wexler, Jade; Vaughn, Sharon; Bryan, Deanna
This study investigated the effectiveness of a multicomponent reading intervention implemented with middle school students with severe reading difficulties, all of whom had received remedial and/or special education for several years with minimal response to intervention. Participants were 38 students in grades 6-8 who had severe deficits in word reading, reading fluency, and reading comprehension. Most were Spanish-speaking English language learners (ELLs) with identified disabilities. Nearly all demonstrated severely limited oral vocabularies in English and, for ELLs, in both English and Spanish. Students were randomly assigned to receive the research intervention (n = 20) or typical instruction provided in their school's remedial reading or special education classes (n = 18). Students in the treatment group received daily explicit and systematic small-group intervention for 40 minutes over 13 weeks, consisting of a modified version of a phonics-based remedial program augmented with English as a Second Language practices and instruction in vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension strategies. Results indicated that treatment students did not demonstrate significantly higher outcomes in word recognition, comprehension, or fluency than students who received the school's typical instruction and that neither group demonstrated significant growth over the course of the study. Significant correlations were found between scores on teachers' ratings of students' social skills and problem behaviors and posttest decoding and spelling scores, and between English oral vocabulary scores and scores in word identification and comprehension. The researchers hypothesize that middle school students with the most severe reading difficulties, particularly those who are ELLs and those with limited oral vocabularies, may require intervention of considerably greater intensity than that provided in this study. Further research directly addressing features of effective remediation for these
Henrik Toft Simonsen
Full Text Available Thapsia laciniata Rouy (Apiaceae produces irregular and regular sesquiterpenoids with thapsane and guaiene carbon skeletons, as found in other Apiaceae species. A transcriptomic analysis utilizing Illumina next-generation sequencing enabled the identification of novel genes involved in the biosynthesis of terpenoids in Thapsia. From 66.78 million HQ paired-end reads obtained from T. laciniata roots, 64.58 million were assembled into 76,565 contigs (N50: 1261 bp. Seventeen contigs were annotated as terpene synthases and five of these were predicted to be sesquiterpene synthases. Of the 67 contigs annotated as cytochromes P450, 18 of these are part of the CYP71 clade that primarily performs hydroxylations of specialized metabolites. Three contigs annotated as aldehyde dehydrogenases grouped phylogenetically with the characterized ALDH1 from Artemisia annua and three contigs annotated as alcohol dehydrogenases grouped with the recently described ADH1 from A. annua. ALDH1 and ADH1 were characterized as part of the artemisinin biosynthesis. We have produced a comprehensive EST dataset for T. laciniata roots, which contains a large sample of the T. laciniata transcriptome. These transcriptome data provide the foundation for future research into the molecular basis for terpenoid biosynthesis in Thapsia and on the evolution of terpenoids in Apiaceae.
Overzier, Evelyn; Pfister, Kurt; Thiel, Claudia; Herb, Ingrid; Mahling, Monia; Silaghi, Cornelia
In a previous study, our group investigated the Babesia spp. prevalence in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks from nine city parks in South Germany in the years 2009 and 2010. We showed predominant prevalence of B. venatorum (in previous literature also known as Babesia sp. EU1), especially in those parks in a more natural condition and with occurrence of large wild animals, such as roe deer. To obtain longitudinal data and to broaden the knowledge about this pathogen, further investigations were carried out in 2011 and 2012 in four of those city parks. Two additional habitat types were chosen for comparison of prevalence data and species analysis focusing on occurrence of potential reservoir hosts. A total of 10,303 questing I. ricinus were collected in four city parks, a pasture, and a natural area in Bavaria, and a representative number of samples were investigated for prevalence of DNA of Babesia spp. (n=4381) and Rickettsia spp. (n=2186) by PCR. In the natural and pasture area, a significantly higher Babesia spp. prevalence compared to the urban area was detected. The natural area revealed sequences of B. microti, B. venatorum, and B. capreoli. In the pasture and urban habitat, predominantly B. venatorum was found, whereas B. capreoli was less frequent and only one B. microti-infected tick was found. All B. microti sequences were 100% identical to the zoonotic Jena/Germany strain. For Rickettsia spp., the significantly highest prevalence was also detected in the natural and pasture areas, whereas lower prevalence was found in the urban area. Sequence analysis revealed R. helvetica (98%) and R. monacensis (2%). Prevalence rates and occurrence of Babesia spp. and Rickettsia spp. differed in urban, pasture and natural sites, most likely depending on the habitat structure (natural or cultivated) and therefore on the appearance and availability of reservoir hosts like roe deer or small mammals.
Melissa R. Price
Full Text Available Our ability to prevent extinction in declining populations often depends on effective management of habitats that are disturbed through wildfire, logging, agriculture, or development. In these disturbed landscapes, the juxtaposition of multiple habitat types can be especially important to fledglings and young birds, which may leave breeding grounds in human-altered habitat for different habitats nearby that provide increased foraging opportunities, reduced competition, and higher protection from predators. In this study, we evaluated the importance of three habitat types to two life stages of the critically endangered Bahama Oriole (Icterus northropi, a synanthropic songbird endemic to Andros, The Bahamas. First, we determined the avian species composition and relative abundance of I. northropi among three major vegetation types on Andros: Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea forest, coppice (broadleaf dry forest, and anthropogenic areas, dominated by nonnative vegetation (farmland and developed land. We then compared the foraging strategies and social interactions of two age classes of adult Bahama Orioles in relation to differential habitat use. Bird surveys late in the Bahama Oriole’s breeding season indicated the number of avian species and Bahama Oriole density were highest in coppice. Some bird species occurring in the coppice and pine forest were never observed in agricultural or residential areas, and may be at risk if human disturbance of pine forest and coppice increases, as is occurring at a rapid pace on Andros. During the breeding season, second-year (SY adult Bahama Orioles foraged in all vegetation types, whereas after-second-year (ASY adults were observed foraging only in anthropogenic areas, where the species nested largely in introduced coconut palms (Cocos nucifera. Additionally, SY adults foraging in anthropogenic areas were often observed with an ASY adult, suggesting divergent habitat use for younger, unpaired birds. Other
Full Text Available The Multicolored Asian ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas, native to Asia, is an invasive species in many European and American countries. Initially introduced as a biological control agent against aphids and coccids in greenhouses, this alien species rapidly invaded many habitats such as forests, meadows, wetlands, and agricultural crops. This paper reviews the habitats (forests, crops, herbs, gardens and orchards where H. axyridis has been observed, either during insect samplings or as part of Integrated Pest Management (IPM programs. Studies have referenced H. axyridis on 106 plant taxa (35 arboreal species, 21 crop species, 27 herbaceous species, 11 ornamental species, and 12 orchard species and have identified 89 plant-prey relationships (34 arboreal species, 16 crop species, 13 herbaceous species, 10 ornamental species, and 16 orchard species in different countries. Harmonia axyridis is more abundant in forest areas, principally on Acer, Salix, Tilia and Quercus, than in agroecosystems. Some plant species, such as Urtica dioica L., which surround crops, contain large numbers of H. axyridis and could constitute important reserves of this alien species in advance of aphid invasions into crops. This review highlights the polyphagy and eurytopic aspect of H. axyridis.
Graham, John H; Hughie, Hoyt H; Jones, Susan; Wrinn, Kerri; Krzysik, Anthony J; Duda, Jeffrey J; Freeman, D Carl; Emlen, John M; Zak, John C; Kovacic, David A; Chamberlin-Graham, Catherine; Balbach, Harold
We examined habitat disturbance, species richness, equitability, and abundance of ants in the Fall-Line Sandhills, at Fort Benning, Georgia. We collected ants with pitfall traps, sweep nets, and by searching tree trunks. Disturbed areas were used for military training; tracked and wheeled vehicles damaged vegetation and soils. Highly disturbed sites had fewer trees, diminished ground cover, warmer soils in the summer, and more compacted soils with a shallower A-horizon. We collected 48 species of ants, in 23 genera (141,468 individuals), over four years of sampling. Highly disturbed areas had fewer species, and greater numbers of ants than did moderately or lightly disturbed areas. The ant communities in disturbed areas were also less equitable, and were dominated by Dorymyrmex smithi.
Kannaujiya, Vinod K; Sinha, Rajeshwar P
The adaptability of cyanobacteria in diverse habitats is an important factor to withstand harsh conditions. In the present investigation, the impacts of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR; 400-700 nm), ultraviolet-B (UV-B; 280-315 nm), and PAR + UV-B radiations on two cyanobacteria viz., Nostoc sp. HKAR-2 and Nostoc sp. HKAR-11 inhabiting diverse habitats such as hot springs and rice fields, respectively, were studied. Cell viability was about 14 % in Nostoc sp. HKAR-2 and Nostoc sp. HKAR-11 after 48 h of UV-B exposure. PAR had negligible negative impact on the survival of both cyanobacteria. The continuous exposure of UV-B and PAR + UV-B showed rapid uncoupling, bleaching, fragmentation, and degradation in both phycocyanin (C-PC) and phycoerythrin (C-PE) subunits of phycobiliproteins (PBPs). Remarkable bleaching effect of C-PE and C-PC was not only observed with UV-B or PAR + UV-B radiation, but longer period (24-48 h) of exposure with PAR alone also showed noticeable negative impact. The C-PE and C-PC subunits of the rice field isolate Nostoc sp. HKAR-11 were severely damaged in comparison to the hot spring isolate Nostoc sp. HKAR-2 with rapid wavelength shifting toward shorter wavelengths denoting the bleaching of both the accessory light harvesting pigments. The results indicate that PBPs of the hot spring isolate Nostoc sp. HKAR-2 were more stable under various light regimes in comparison to the rice field isolate Nostoc sp. HKAR-11 that could serve as a good source of valuable pigments to be used in various biomedical and biotechnological applications.
Larsen, Sara; Hamilton, Stuart; Lucido, Jessica M.; Garner, Bradley D.; Young, Dwane
Shared, trusted, timely data are essential elements for the cooperation needed to optimize economic, ecologic, and public safety concerns related to water. The Open Water Data Initiative (OWDI) will provide a fully scalable platform that can support a wide variety of data from many diverse providers. Many of these will be larger, well-established, and trusted agencies with a history of providing well-documented, standardized, and archive-ready products. However, some potential partners may be smaller, distributed, and relatively unknown or untested as data providers. The data these partners will provide are valuable and can be used to fill in many data gaps, but can also be variable in quality or supplied in nonstandardized formats. They may also reflect the smaller partners' variable budgets and missions, be intermittent, or of unknown provenance. A challenge for the OWDI will be to convey the quality and the contextual “fitness” of data from providers other than the most trusted brands. This article reviews past and current methods for documenting data quality. Three case studies are provided that describe processes and pathways for effective data-sharing and publication initiatives. They also illustrate how partners may work together to find a metadata reporting threshold that encourages participation while maintaining high data integrity. And lastly, potential governance is proposed that may assist smaller partners with short- and long-term participation in the OWDI.
Rosell, Julieta A; Olson, Mark E; Aguirre-Hernández, Rebeca; Sánchez-Sesma, Francisco J
Organismal size and shape inseparably interact with tissue biomechanical properties. It is therefore essential to understand how size, shape, and biomechanics interact in ontogeny to produce morphological diversity. We estimated within species branch length-diameter allometries and reconstructed the rates of ontogenetic change along the stem in mechanical properties across the simaruba clade in the tropical tree genus Bursera, measuring 376 segments from 97 branches in nine species in neotropical dry to rain forest. In general, species with stiffer materials had longer, thinner branches, which became stiffer more quickly in ontogeny than their counterparts with more flexible materials. We found a trend from short stature and flexible tissues to tall statures and stiff tissues across an environmental gradient of increasing water availability, likely reflecting a water storage-mechanical support tradeoff. Ontogenetic variation in size, shape, and mechanics results in diversity of habits, for example, rapid length extension, sluggish diameter expansion, and flexible tissues results in a liana, as in Bursera instabilis. Even species of similar habit exhibited notable changes in tissue mechanical properties with increasing size, illustrating the inseparable relationship between organismal proportions and their tissue mechanics in the ontogeny and evolution of morphological diversity. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Pickles, Brian J; Gorzelak, Monika A; Green, D Scott; Egger, Keith N; Massicotte, Hugues B
Climatic and land use changes have significant consequences for the distribution of tree species, both through natural dispersal processes and following management prescriptions. Responses to these changes will be expressed most strongly in seedlings near current species range boundaries. In northern temperate forest ecosystems, where changes are already being observed, ectomycorrhizal fungi contribute significantly to successful tree establishment. We hypothesised that communities of fungal symbionts might therefore play a role in facilitating, or limiting, host seedling range expansion. To test this hypothesis, ectomycorrhizal communities of interior Douglas-fir and interior lodgepole pine seedlings were analysed in a common greenhouse environment following growth in five soils collected along an ecosystem gradient. Currently, Douglas-fir's natural distribution encompasses three of the five soils, whereas lodgepole pine's extends much further north. Host filtering was evident amongst the 29 fungal species encountered: 7 were shared, 9 exclusive to Douglas-fir and 13 exclusive to lodgepole pine. Seedlings of both host species formed symbioses with each soil fungal community, thus Douglas-fir did so even where those soils came from outside its current distribution. However, these latter communities displayed significant taxonomic and functional differences to those found within the host distribution, indicative of habitat filtering. In contrast, lodgepole pine fungal communities displayed high functional similarity across the soil gradient. Taxonomic and/or functional shifts in Douglas-fir fungal communities may prove ecologically significant during the predicted northward migration of this species; especially in combination with changes in climate and management operations, such as seed transfer across geographical regions for forestry purposes.
McQueen, H A; Shields, C; Finnegan, D J; Higham, J; Simmen, M W
We demonstrate that student engagement with PeerWise, an online tool that allows students to author and answer multiple-choice questions (MCQs), is associated with enhanced academic performance across diverse assessment types on a second year Genetics course. Benefits were consistent over three course deliveries, with differential benefits bestowed on groups of different prior ability. A rating scheme, to assess the educational quality of students' questions, is presented and demonstrates that our students are able intuitively to make such quality assessments, and that the process of authoring high quality questions alone does not explain the academic benefits. We further test the benefits of providing additional PeerWise support and conclude that PeerWise works efficiently with minimal intervention, and can be reliably assessed using automatically generated PeerWise scores. Copyright © 2014 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Full Text Available The classical environmental control model assumes that species diversity is primarily determined by environmental conditions (e.g., microclimate and soil on the local scale. This assumption has been challenged by the neutral theory that assumes that the maintenance of biodiversity mainly depends on the ecological drift and dispersal limitation. Understanding the mechanisms that maintain biodiversity depends on decomposing the variation of species diversity into the contributions from the various components that affect it. We investigated and partitioned the effects of the biotic component (productivity, forest spatial structure and the environmental component (topography and soil fertility on the distribution of tree species richness jointly (the combined effect of environment and biotic process and separately (the effect of environment or biotic process alone in 25 permanent plots of 600 m2 in a subtropical evergreen broadleaf secondary forest in southern China. The analysis was also completed for trees at different growth stages based on diameter breast height (young trees: 5 cm ≤ DBH < 10 cm, mature trees: 10 cm < DBH ≤ 20 cm, old trees: DBH > 20 cm within each plot. Our results indicated that (1 tree species richness had significant negative relationship with productivity and a unimodal relationship with its spatially structured distribution; (2 biotic and environmental factors both have significant influence on species richness and jointly explain ~60% of the variation for the overall tree assemblage, and the variation explained by the two components jointly increased across growth stages (34%, 44%, and 75%, respectively; (3 additive variation partitioning revealed that the tree species richness was dominantly controlled by environmental factors (32%, while the biotic component also independently contributed a non-negligible effect (16%; and (4 the dominant fraction changed from the biotic component to the environmental component across
Full Text Available The combination of GPS-Telemetry and resource selection functions is widely used to analyze animal habitat selection. Rapid large-scale assessment of vegetation structure allows bridging the requirements of habitat selection studies on grain size and extent, particularly in forest habitats. For roe deer, the cold period in winter forces individuals to optimize their trade off in searching for food and shelter. We analyzed the winter habitat selection of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus in a montane forest landscape combining estimates of vegetation cover in three different height strata, derived from high resolution airborne Laser-scanning (LiDAR, Light detection and ranging, and activity data from GPS telemetry. Specifically, we tested the influence of temperature, snow height, and wind speed on site selection, differentiating between active and resting animals using mixed-effects conditional logistic regression models in a case-control design. Site selection was best explained by temperature deviations from hourly means, snow height, and activity status of the animals. Roe deer tended to use forests of high canopy cover more frequently with decreasing temperature, and when snow height exceeded 0.6 m. Active animals preferred lower canopy cover, but higher understory cover. Our approach demonstrates the potential of LiDAR measures for studying fine scale habitat selection in complex three-dimensional habitats, such as forests.
Isa Catarina Ribeiro
Full Text Available The establishment of stress resilient sugar beets (Beta vulgaris spp. vulgaris is an important breeding goal since this cash crop is susceptible to drought and salinity. The genetic diversity in cultivated sugar beets is low and the beet wild relatives are useful genetic resources for tolerance traits. Three wild beet populations (Beta vulgaris spp. maritima from contrasting environments, Vaiamonte (VMT, dry inland hill, Comporta (CMP, marsh and Oeiras (OEI, coastland, and one commercial sugar beet (Isella variety, SB, are compared. At the genetic level, the use of six microsatellite allowed to detect a total of seventy six alleles. It was observed that CMP population has the highest value concerning the effective number of alleles and of expected heterozygosity. By contrast, sugar beet has the lowest values for all the parameters considered. Loci analysis with STRUCTURE allows defining three genetic clusters, the sea beet (OEI and CMP, the inland ruderal beet (VMT and the sugar beet (SB. A screening test for progressive drought and salinity effects demonstrated that: all populations were able to recover from severe stress; drought impact was higher than that from salinity; the impact on biomass (total, shoot, root was population specific. The distinct strategies were also visible at physiological level. We evaluated the physiological responses of the populations under drought and salt stress, namely at initial stress stages, late stress stages and early stress recovery. Multivariate analysis showed that the physiological performance can be used to discriminate between genotypes, with a strong contribution of leaf temperature and leaf osmotic adjustment. However, the separation achieved and the groups formed are dependent on the stress type, stress intensity and duration. Each of the wild beet populations evaluated is very rich in genetic terms (allelic richness and exhibited physiological plasticity, i.e. the capacity to physiologically adjust
Liu, R.; Bennett, S. N.; Thongsripong, P.; Chandler, J. S.
Mosquitoes have long been vectors for disease, and humans, birds, and other vertebrates have served their role as hosts in the transmission cycle of arthropod-borne viruses. In California, there are several mosquito species that act as vectors, transmitting such disease agents as Western equine and St. Louis encephalitis viruses, filarial nematodes, Plasmodium (which causes malaria), and West Nile virus (WNV). Last year (2012-2013), California had over 450 reported cases of West Nile Virus in humans (http://westnile.ca.gov/). To begin to understand mosquitoes and their role in the bay area as vectors of diseases, including West Nile Virus, we trapped mosquitoes from various sites and examined their microbiomes, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and eukaryotes. Study sites were in Marin, San Mateo, and San Francisco counties, in areas that represented, respectively, rural, suburban, and urban habitats. The mosquitoes were identified through morphological characteristics, and verified molecularly by sequencing of the cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene extracted from a leg. Most mosquitoes were collected from San Mateo and Mill Valley and were identified as Culiseta incidens. Data from traditional culture-based and next-generation 454 sequencing methods applied to mosquito whole bodies, representing their microbiomes, will be discussed, to determine how mosquito and microbial diversity varies across sites sampled in the San Francisco Bay area.
Lemckert, Francis; Hecnar, Stephen; Pilliod, David S.; Wilkinson, John W.; Heatwole, Harold
Amphibians live in a wide variety of habitats around the world, many of which have been modified or destroyed by human activities. Most species have unique life history characteristics adapted to specific climates, habitats (e.g., lentic, lotic, terrestrial, arboreal, fossorial, amphibious), and local conditions that provide suitable areas for reproduction, development and growth, shelter from environmental extremes, and predation, as well as connectivity to other populations or habitats. Although some species are entirely aquatic or terrestrial, most amphibians, as their name implies, lead a dual life and require a mosaic of habitats in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. With over 6 billion people on Earth, most species are now persisting in habitats that have been directly or indirectly influenced by human activities. Some species have disappeared where their habitats have been completely destroyed, reduced, or rendered unsuitable. Habitat loss and degradation are widely considered by most researchers as the most important causes of amphibian population decline globally (Barinaga 1990; Wake and Morowitz 1991; Alford and Richards 1999). In this chapter, a background on the diverse habitat requirements of amphibians is provided, followed by a discussion of the effects of urbanization, agriculture, livestock grazing, timber production and harvesting, fire and hazardous fuel management, and roads on amphibians and their habitats. Also briefly discussed is the influence on amphibian habitats of natural disturbances, such as extreme weather events and climate change, given the potential for human activities to impact climate in the longer term. For amphibians in general, microhabitats are of greater importance than for other vertebrates. As ectotherms with a skin that is permeable to water and with naked gelatinous eggs, amphibians are physiologically constrained to be active during environmental conditions that provide appropriate body temperatures and adequate
Christopher N.S. Poonian
Full Text Available All of the world’s seven species of marine turtle are threatened by a multitude of anthropogenic pressures across all stages of their life history. The Calamian Islands, Palawan, Philippines provide important foraging and nesting grounds for four species: green turtles (Chelonia mydas, hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata, loggerheads (Caretta caretta, and leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea. This work aimed to assess the relative importance of turtle nesting beaches and local threats using a combination of social science and ecological research approaches. Endangered green turtles and critically endangered hawksbills were found to nest in the Calamianes. The most important nesting sites were located on the islands off the west of Busuanga and Culion, particularly Pamalican and Galoc and along the north coast of Coron, particularly Linamodio Island. Opportunistic hunting and egg collection, conducted legally by indigenous communities, is the most significant threat to sea turtles in the area. Sites particularly vulnerable to hunting were found to be Galoc Island, Pamalican Island, and Panlaitan Island. Raising awareness, community engagement, and understanding of socio-cultural drivers of sea turtle exploitation, particularly among indigenous communities, are essential to gain support for any effective conservation program. Additionally, more effective enforcement of laws related to the trade in sea turtle products is required to close the commercial and export markets.
Amgarten, Deyvid; Martins, Layla Farage; Lombardi, Karen Cristina; Antunes, Luciana Principal; de Souza, Ana Paula Silva; Nicastro, Gianlucca Gonçalves; Kitajima, Elliott Watanabe; Quaggio, Ronaldo Bento; Upton, Chris; Setubal, João Carlos; da Silva, Aline Maria
Among viruses, bacteriophages are a group of special interest due to their capacity of infecting bacteria that are important for biotechnology and human health. Composting is a microbial-driven process in which complex organic matter is converted into humus-like substances. In thermophilic composting, the degradation activity is carried out primarily by bacteria and little is known about the presence and role of bacteriophages in this process. Using Pseudomonas aeruginosa as host, we isolated three new phages from a composting operation at the Sao Paulo Zoo Park (Brazil). One of the isolated phages is similar to Pseudomonas phage Ab18 and belongs to the Siphoviridae YuA-like viral genus. The other two isolated phages are similar to each other and present genomes sharing low similarity with phage genomes in public databases; we therefore hypothesize that they belong to a new genus in the Podoviridae family. Detailed genomic descriptions and comparisons of the three phages are presented, as well as two new clusters of phage genomes in the Viral Orthologous Clusters database of large DNA viruses. We found sequences encoding homing endonucleases that disrupt a putative ribonucleotide reductase gene and an RNA polymerase subunit 2 gene in two of the phages. These findings provide insights about the evolution of two-subunits RNA polymerases and the possible role of homing endonucleases in this process. Infection tests on 30 different strains of bacteria reveal a narrow host range for the three phages, restricted to P. aeruginosa PA14 and three other P. aeruginosa clinical isolates. Biofilm dissolution assays suggest that these phages could be promising antimicrobial agents against P. aeruginosa PA14 infections. Analyses on composting metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data indicate association between abundance variations in both phage and host populations in the environment. The results about the newly discovered and described phages contribute to the understanding of
Lee, Susan K; Sulaiman-Hill, Cheryl M R; Thompson, Sandra C
Preferences for topics and means of access to health information among newly arrived, culturally and linguistically diverse women in Perth, Western Australia, were explored. A mixed-methods approach was adopted. Qualitative material obtained from focus groups and interviews with 22 service providers and 26 migrant women was used to develop a questionnaire, which was then administered to 268 newly arrived migrant and refugee women from 50 countries. Participants' information and support priorities were ascertained from a ranking exercise conducted in a non-threatening context. Responses of migrant and refugee women were compared quantitatively. Women's top priorities for information and support included employment advice, as well as information regarding mental health issues, women's health, exercise and nutrition, family violence and alcohol and other drug issues. Their preferred methods for receiving information were interactive talks or presentations, with written material support. Audiovisual and Web-based material were also considered useful. There were differences between refugee women's and other migrants' preferences for means of receiving information and topics of most concern. The use of a non-threatening ranking process encouraged women to prioritise sensitive topics, such as family violence, and revealed a need for such topics to be incorporated within general health information presentations. Internet-based technologies are becoming increasingly important methods for disseminating information to migrant women. SO WHAT? Differences between migrant and refugee women's priority health issues and their preferred methods for receiving information highlight the desirability of tailoring information to particular groups. Although advice on employment pathways and mental health concerns were top priorities, the study revealed a need for more discussion on other sensitive topics, such as family violence and alcohol-related issues, and that ideally these should
Dietary variation and overlap in Central and Northwest European Stephanorhinus kirchbergensis and S. hemitoechus (Rhinocerotidae, Mammalia) influenced by habitat diversity. "You'll have to take pot luck!" (proverb)
van Asperen, Eline N.; Kahlke, Ralf-Dietrich
To trace the dietary evolution of the two abundant Middle to Late Pleistocene rhinoceros species Stephanorhinus kirchbergensis and Stephanorhinus hemitoechus in Europe over several climatic cycles, we examined comprehensive material of stratigraphically well-defined palaeopopulations from different regions and interglacials. Using morphometrics and mesowear analysis, these reconstructions of Stephanorhinus diets indicate that habitat diversity and interspecific competition with closely related rhinoceros species induced variation in feeding behaviour. Although anatomical features of both species suggest significantly higher dietary specializations compared to the Early to early Middle Pleistocene Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis, their mesowear signals are characteristic of a mixed feeder diet, similar to that of extant mammal species in relatively open habitats. Both species retained a degree of dietary flexibility, enabling them to survive in a range of environments. Although each of these rhinoceroses preferred different habitats, species identity alone is not sufficient to establish the real dietary traits of a Stephanorhinus palaeopopulation. As a consequence, their occurrence in a faunal assemblage alone cannot be taken to indicate a specific habitat. S. kirchbergensis and S. hemitoechus were embedded in a dynamic process of temporo-spatial replacements and interspecific differentiation of rhinoceroses in the western Palaearctic. However, dietary specialization in these Middle to Late Pleistocene European rhinoceroses was not the result of a directed time-transgressive evolution. Rather, within the range of each species' ecological tolerance, it was controlled by environmental parameters, with habitat variability as the main factor.
Marrotte, R R; Gonzalez, A; Millien, V
We evaluated the effect of habitat and landscape characteristics on the population genetic structure of the white-footed mouse. We develop a new approach that uses numerical optimization to define a model that combines site differences and landscape resistance to explain the genetic differentiation between mouse populations inhabiting forest patches in southern Québec. We used ecological distance computed from resistance surfaces with Circuitscape to infer the effect of the landscape matrix on gene flow. We calculated site differences using a site index of habitat characteristics. A model that combined site differences and resistance distances explained a high proportion of the variance in genetic differentiation and outperformed models that used geographical distance alone. Urban and agriculture-related land uses were, respectively, the most and the least resistant landscape features influencing gene flow. Our method detected the effect of rivers and highways as highly resistant linear barriers. The density of grass and shrubs on the ground best explained the variation in the site index of habitat characteristics. Our model indicates that movement of white-footed mouse in this region is constrained along routes of low resistance. Our approach can generate models that may improve predictions of future northward range expansion of this small mammal. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
.5%; 87.0%) and P was 55.2% (95% CI: -6.5%; 81.3%) Conclusions Rotarix™ vaccine demonstrated efficacy against severe gastroenteritis caused by diverse circulating rotavirus types. These data add to a growing body of evidence supporting heterotypic protection provided by Rotarix™. Trial registration number NCT00241644 PMID:22974466
.0% and P was 55.2% (95% CI: -6.5%; 81.3% Conclusions Rotarix™ vaccine demonstrated efficacy against severe gastroenteritis caused by diverse circulating rotavirus types. These data add to a growing body of evidence supporting heterotypic protection provided by Rotarix™. Trial registration number NCT00241644
Saleh, Mona; Barlow-Stewart, Kristine; Meiser, Bettina; Muchamore, Ian
This paper explores the perceived challenges facing clinical genetics practitioners in multicultural Australia. Focus groups conducted with 53 practitioners explored: 1) participants' experiences and definitions of cultural diversity; 2) their use of educational resources with clients; 3) their experiences with culturally diverse groups/individuals in practice; 4) their experiences working with interpreters; and 5) the impact culturally specific educational training and/or experiential learning had on their confidence or practice when dealing with culturally diverse clients. Participants viewed culture as extending beyond traditional definitions such as ethnicity, language and religion. Most respondents had experienced positive results working with health care interpreters, although at times, this was a challenge for the family as they preferred privacy and the use of family members as interpreters. Another commonly reported challenge was the limited availability of reliable, culturally appropriate translated resources. Some participants expressed concern that learning theories about specific cultures may lead to stereotypes and that opportunities for formal cultural competence training were limited. Recommendations for practice include the targeting of educational resources to meet the needs of a diverse community and placing cultural competence on the agenda for ongoing training and maintenance of professional standards for clinical genetics practitioners to avoid the current ad hoc approach.
McQueen, H. A.; Shields, C.; Finnegan, D. J.; Higham, J.; Simmen, M. W.
We demonstrate that student engagement with PeerWise, an online tool that allows students to author and answer multiple-choice questions (MCQs), is associated with enhanced academic performance across diverse assessment types on a second year Genetics course. Benefits were consistent over three course deliveries, with differential benefits…
Zupcic-Moore, J. R.; Ruiz-Cooley, R. I.; McCarthy, M. D.; Koch, P. L.
Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) have a strong social structure and females form sympatric clans that span thousands of kilometers and encompass thousands of whales. We investigated variability in foraging habitat and diet through the life history of ten female sperm whales from the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP), using coupled bulk and compound specific amino acid stable isotope measurements made on annual tooth growth layers. We identified three broad temporal patterns in annual records of bulk nitrogen (δ15N) and carbon (δ13C) isotope values in sub-groups of individuals: 1) constant, 2) increasing, and 3) decreasing isotopic values between ca.1930 and 1960. These different isotopic patterns suggest that whales sampled may belong to different clans. In addition, average bulk δ15N and δ13C values differed among individuals and appear to be group-specific. This suggests that whales from different sub-groups foraged in different habitats and/or had differing diets. To differentiate between these interpretations, we conducted compound specific amino acid isotope analysis on dentin samples from six whales. Amino acid proxies for baseline δ15N values indicate that bulk variability among whales is due to δ15N differences at the base of the food web, indicating different feeding areas. The δ13C values of essential amino acids, which are positively correlated to bulk δ13C values, support this conclusion. Together, the compound specific and bulk annual records suggest that whales with higher isotopic values likely foraged in regions closer to the coast throughout their lives, while whales with lower isotopic values likely foraged further offshore. Overall, our data suggest clear spatial segregation of clans within a similar ocean region. Since molecular analysis cannot yet distinguish genetic variability among whale clans, we suggest that stable isotope analysis can help to identify clans and their foraging ecology, based on habitat use.
Crowl, Andrew A; Myers, Cody; Cellinese, Nico
The Mediterranean Basin harbors a remarkable amount of biodiversity, a high proportion of which is endemic to this region. Here, we present an in-depth study of an angiosperm species complex, in which cryptic taxonomic diversity has been hypothesized. Specifically, we focus on four currently recognized species in the Roucela complex, a well-supported clade in the Campanulaceae/Campanuloideae: Campanula creutzburgii, C. drabifolia, C. erinus, and C. simulans. This study takes a phylogenomic approach, utilizing near-complete plastomes and 130 nuclear loci, to uncover cryptic diversity and test hypotheses regarding hybridization and polyploidy within this clade. Genome size estimates recovered tetraploid and octoploid lineages within the currently recognized, widespread species C. erinus, showing an east-west geographic pattern. Though genomic data clearly differentiate these two cytotypes, we failed to discern morphological differences. The formation of a cryptic octoploid lineage, distributed across the eastern Mediterranean, is hypothesized to be the result of an allopolyploid event in which one parental morphology is retained. The tetraploid C. erinus and C. creutzburgii (also a tetraploid) are implicated as parental lineages. Our results highlight the utility of target-enrichment approaches for obtaining genomic datasets for thorough assessments of species diversity and the importance of carefully considering gene-tree discordance within such datasets. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Christelová, Pavla; De Langhe, E.; Hřibová, Eva; Čížková, Jana; Sardos, J.; Hušáková, Markéta; Van den Houwe, I.; Sutanto, A.; Kepler, A.K.; Swennen, R.; Roux, N.; Doležel, Jaroslav
Roč. 26, č. 4 (2017), s. 801-824 ISSN 0960-3115 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1204; GA MŠk(CZ) LG12021; GA MŠk LG15017 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : genetic-linkage map * aab group * balbisiana colla * acuminata colla * black sigatoka * population-structure * marker analysis * flow-cytometry * plantain musa * aflp markers * Classification * Gene bank * Genetic diversity * ITC collection * Microsatellites * Musa Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.265, year: 2016
California Department of Resources — The immediate focus of this study is to identify, describe and map the extent and diversity of riparian habitats found along the main stem of the San Joaquin River,...
Michael D. Ulyshen; James L. Hanula; Robert L. Blinn; Gene. Kritsky
Understanding the habitat requirements of organisms associated with dead wood is important in order to conserve them in managed forests. Unfortunately, many of the less diverse saproxylic taxa, including Hemiptera, remain largely unstudied. An effort to rear insects from dead wood taken from two forest types (an upland pine-dominated and a bottomland mixed hardwood),...
Freda, Carmela; Atakan, Kuvvet; Cocco, Massimo
EPOS, the European Plate Observing System, is an ESFRI infrastructure serving the needs of the solid Earth science community as a whole. EPOS promotes the use of multidisciplinary solid Earth data to improve the understanding of physical and chemical processes controlling earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis as well as those driving tectonics and surface dynamics. The EPOS mission is to create a single, sustainable, and distributed infrastructure that integrates the diverse European research infrastructures for solid Earth science under a common framework with the final goal of delivering a suite of domain-specific and multidisciplinary data, products, and services in one single and integrated platform. Addressing ethics issues is a relevant challenge for any initiative, program or project dealing with scientific data and products provision, access to services for scientific purposes and communication with different stakeholders, including industry and society at large. In examining the role of EPOS on openly and freely delivering scientific data and products to diverse stakeholders including but not limited to scientists, we are looking at ethical issues associated with the use and re-use of these data and products possibly leading to a malevolent use and/or misuse of the data with implications on, for example, national security, environmental protection and risk communication. Moreover, EPOS is aware that the research promoted by the use of data delivered through its platform can have a profound influence on the environment, human health and wellbeing, economic development, and other facets of societies. We know there is nothing intrinsically bad about openly and freely delivering scientific data, as it serves as a tool for leveraging researches leading to solutions for a responsible management of Earth's resources and mitigation of natural hazards. However, we must evaluate the effects of such a data provision and feel the obligation to adopt a responsible
Manson, Abigail L.; Cohen, Keira A.; Abeel, Thomas; Desjardins, Christopher A.; Armstrong, Derek T.; Barry, Clifton E.; Brand, Jeannette; Chapman, Sinéad B.; Cho, Sang-Nae; Gabrielian, Andrei; Gomez, James; Jodals, Andreea M.; Joloba, Moses; Jureen, Pontus; Lee, Jong Seok; Malinga, Lesibana; Maiga, Mamoudou; Nordenberg, Dale; Noroc, Ecaterina; Romancenco, Elena; Salazar, Alex; Ssengooba, Willy; Velayati, A. A.; Winglee, Kathryn; Zalutskaya, Aksana; Via, Laura E.; Cassell, Gail H.; Dorman, Susan E.; Ellner, Jerrold; Farnia, Parissa; Galagan, James E.; Rosenthal, Alex; Crudu, Valeriu; Homorodean, Daniela; Hsueh, Po-Ren; Narayanan, Sujatha; Pym, Alexander S.; Skrahina, Alena; Swaminathan, Soumya; Van der Walt, Martie; Alland, David; Bishai, William R.; Cohen, Ted; Hoffner, Sven; Birren, Bruce W.; Earl, Ashlee M.
Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), caused by drug resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is an increasingly serious problem worldwide. In this study, we examined a dataset of 5,310 M. tuberculosis whole genome sequences from five continents. Despite great diversity with respect to geographic point of isolation, genetic background and drug resistance, patterns of drug resistance emergence were conserved globally. We have identified harbinger mutations that often precede MDR. In particular, the katG S315T mutation, conferring resistance to isoniazid, overwhelmingly arose before rifampicin resistance across all lineages, geographic regions, and time periods. Molecular diagnostics that include markers for rifampicin resistance alone will be insufficient to identify pre-MDR strains. Incorporating knowledge of pre-MDR polymorphisms, particularly katG S315, into molecular diagnostics will enable targeted treatment of patients with pre-MDR-TB to prevent further development of MDR-TB. PMID:28092681
Structural complexity at the land-water interface of lakes promotes interchange of water, nutrients and energy; and provides diverse habitat for aquatic and terrestrial organisms. Shoreline zones are hot-spots for both biological diversity and human activity. Lake level fluctuat...
Weisberg, Peter J.; Dilts, Thomas E.; Becker, Miles E.; Young, Jock S.; Wong-Kone, Diane C.; Newton, Wesley E.; Ammon, Elisabeth M.
Ecological niche theory implies that more heterogeneous habitats have the potential to support greater biodiversity. Positive heterogeneity-diversity relationships have been found for most studies investigating animal taxa, although negative relationships also occur and the scale dependence of heterogeneity-diversity relationships is little known. We investigated multi-scale, heterogeneity-diversity relationships for bird communities in a semi-arid riparian landscape, using airborne LiDAR data to derive key measures of structural habitat complexity. Habitat heterogeneity-diversity relationships were generally positive, although the overall strength of relationships varied across avian life history guilds (R2 range: 0.03-0.41). Best predicted were the species richness indices of cavity nesters, habitat generalists, woodland specialists, and foliage foragers. Heterogeneity-diversity relationships were also strongly scale-dependent, with strongest associations at the 200-m scale (4 ha) and weakest associations at the 50-m scale (0.25 ha). Our results underscore the value of LiDAR data for fine-grained quantification of habitat structure, as well as the need for biodiversity studies to incorporate variation among life-history guilds and to simultaneously consider multiple guild functional types (e.g. nesting, foraging, habitat). Results suggest that certain life-history guilds (foliage foragers, cavity nesters, woodland specialists) are more susceptible than others (ground foragers, ground nesters, low nesters) to experiencing declines in local species richness if functional elements of habitat heterogeneity are lost. Positive heterogeneity-diversity relationships imply that riparian conservation efforts need to not only provide high-quality riparian habitat locally, but also to provide habitat heterogeneity across multiple scales.
Full Text Available Analysis of human body microbial diversity is fundamental to understanding community structure, biology and ecology. The National Institutes of Health Human Microbiome Project (HMP has provided an unprecedented opportunity to examine microbial diversity within and across body habitats and individuals through pyrosequencing-based profiling of 16 S rRNA gene sequences (16 S from habits of the oral, skin, distal gut, and vaginal body regions from over 200 healthy individuals enabling the application of statistical techniques. In this study, two approaches were applied to elucidate the nature and extent of human microbiome diversity. First, bootstrap and parametric curve fitting techniques were evaluated to estimate the maximum number of unique taxa, S(max, and taxa discovery rate for habitats across individuals. Next, our results demonstrated that the variation of diversity within low abundant taxa across habitats and individuals was not sufficiently quantified with standard ecological diversity indices. This impact from low abundant taxa motivated us to introduce a novel rank-based diversity measure, the Tail statistic, ("τ", based on the standard deviation of the rank abundance curve if made symmetric by reflection around the most abundant taxon. Due to τ's greater sensitivity to low abundant taxa, its application to diversity estimation of taxonomic units using taxonomic dependent and independent methods revealed a greater range of values recovered between individuals versus body habitats, and different patterns of diversity within habitats. The greatest range of τ values within and across individuals was found in stool, which also exhibited the most undiscovered taxa. Oral and skin habitats revealed variable diversity patterns, while vaginal habitats were consistently the least diverse. Collectively, these results demonstrate the importance, and motivate the introduction, of several visualization and analysis methods tuned specifically for
Brown, Peter James; Bozek, Michael A.
Habitat use during early life history plays an important role in the ecology of smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu in north temperate lakes. The highest levels of mortality occur during the first year of life, and the habitat selected probably affects mortality. We used resource selection functions and abundance data from two northern Wisconsin lakes to determine the habitats that influence the survival of smallmouth bass. Coarse substrates were consistently important to both nesting locations and young-of-year smallmouth bass. Young smallmouth bass used woody structure after swimming from their nests but disassociated themselves from habitats with more complex woody structure by August. Nonwoody cobble areas offer protection for young-of-year smallmouth bass without attracting predators, as woody habitats do. The decline in the abundance of young-of-year smallmouth bass was best fit to an exponential decay function in woody habitats, but in rock habitats it was linear. Habitat selection by young-of-year smallmouth bass shifts over time, and the shift is linked to predation risk: woody habitats initially offer them an advantage with respect to spawning but eventually provide their predators greater opportunities for ambush. This shift underscores the importance of having a diversity of littoral habitats. This study provides the first quantifiable analyses describing the habitat features selected by young-of-year smallmouth bass and links these descriptions to population dynamics.
James H. Cane
Full Text Available Few studies directly address the consequences of habitat fragmentation for communities of pollinating insects, particularly for the key pollinator group, bees (Hymenoptera: Apiformes. Bees typically live in habitats where nesting substrates and bloom are patchily distributed and spatially dissociated. Bee studies have all defined habitat fragments as remnant patches of floral hosts or forests, overlooking the nesting needs of bees. Several authors conclude that habitat fragmentation is broadly deleterious, but their own data show that some native species proliferate in sampled fragments. Other studies report greater densities and comparable diversities of native bees at flowers in some fragment size classes relative to undisrupted habitats, but find dramatic shifts in species composition. Insightful studies of habitat fragmentation and bees will consider fragmentation, alteration, and loss of nesting habitats, not just patches of forage plants, as well as the permeability of the surrounding matrix to interpatch movement. Inasmuch as the floral associations and nesting habits of bees are often attributes of species or subgenera, ecological interpretations hinge on authoritative identifications. Study designs must accommodate statistical problems associated with bee community samples, especially non-normal data and frequent zero values. The spatial scale of fragmentation must be appreciated: bees of medium body size can regularly fly 1-2 km from nest site to forage patch. Overall, evidence for prolonged persistence of substantial diversity and abundances of native bee communities in habitat fragments of modest size promises practical solutions for maintaining bee populations. Provided that reserve selection, design, and management can address the foraging and nesting needs of bees, networks of even small reserves may hold hope for sustaining considerable pollinator diversity and the ecological services pollinators provide.
de Casas, Rafael Rubio; Mort, Mark E; Soltis, Douglas E
Organismal evolution tends to be closely associated with ecological conditions. However, the extent to which this association constrains adaptation or diversification into new habitats remains unclear. We studied habitat evolution in the hyper-diverse angiosperm clade Saxifragales. We used species-level phylogenies for approx. 950 species to analyse the evolution of habitat shifts as well as their influence on plant diversification. We combined habitat characterization based on floristic assignments and state-of-the art phylogenetic comparative methods to estimate within- and across-habitat diversification patterns. Our analyses showed that Saxifragales diversified into multiple habitats from a forest-inhabiting ancestor and that this diversification is governed by relatively rare habitat shifts. Lineages are likely to stay within inferred ancestral ecological conditions. Adaptation to some habitat types (e.g. aquatic, desert) may be canalizing events that lineages do not escape. Although associations between increased diversification rates and shifts in habitat preferences are occasionally observed, extreme macroevolutionary rates are closely associated with specific habitats. Lineages occurring in shrubland, and especially tundra and rock cliffs, exhibit comparatively high diversification, whereas forest, grassland, desert and aquatic habitats are associated with low diversification. The likelihood of occupation of new habitats appears to be asymmetric. Shifts to aquatic and desert habitats may be canalizing events. Other habitats, such as tundra, might act as evolutionary sources, while forests provide the only habitat seemingly colonized easily by lineages originating elsewhere. However, habitat shifts are very rare, and any major environmental alteration is expected to have dramatic evolutionary consequences. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.
Wang, Lei; Albert, Nick W; Zhang, Huaibi; Arathoon, Steve; Boase, Murray R; Ngo, Hanh; Schwinn, Kathy E; Davies, Kevin M; Lewis, David H
This study confirmed pigment profiles in different colour groups, isolated key anthocyanin biosynthetic genes and established a basis to examine the regulation of colour patterning in flowers of Cymbidium orchid. Cymbidium orchid (Cymbidium hybrida) has a range of flower colours, often classified into four colour groups; pink, white, yellow and green. In this study, the biochemical and molecular basis for the different colour types was investigated, and genes involved in flavonoid/anthocyanin synthesis were identified and characterised. Pigment analysis across selected cultivars confirmed cyanidin 3-O-rutinoside and peonidin 3-O-rutinoside as the major anthocyanins detected; the flavonols quercetin and kaempferol rutinoside and robinoside were also present in petal tissue. β-carotene was the major carotenoid in the yellow cultivars, whilst pheophytins were the major chlorophyll pigments in the green cultivars. Anthocyanin pigments were important across all eight cultivars because anthocyanin accumulated in the flower labellum, even if not in the other petals/sepals. Genes encoding the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway enzymes chalcone synthase, flavonol synthase, flavonoid 3' hydroxylase (F3'H), dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR) and anthocyanidin synthase (ANS) were isolated from petal tissue of a Cymbidium cultivar. Expression of these flavonoid genes was monitored across flower bud development in each cultivar, confirming that DFR and ANS were only expressed in tissues where anthocyanin accumulated. Phylogenetic analysis suggested a cytochrome P450 sequence as that of the Cymbidium F3'H, consistent with the accumulation of di-hydroxylated anthocyanins and flavonols in flower tissue. A separate polyketide synthase, identified as a bibenzyl synthase, was isolated from petal tissue but was not associated with pigment accumulation. Our analyses show the diversity in flower colour of Cymbidium orchid derives not from different individual pigments but from subtle
Full Text Available The scabies mite, Sarcoptes scabiei, is an obligate parasite of the skin that infects humans and other animal species, causing scabies, a contagious disease characterized by extreme itching. Scabies infections are a major health problem, particularly in remote Indigenous communities in Australia, where co-infection of epidermal scabies lesions by Group A Streptococci or Staphylococcus aureus is thought to be responsible for the high rate of rheumatic heart disease and chronic kidney disease. We collected and separately sequenced mite DNA from several pools of thousands of whole mites from a porcine model of scabies (S. scabiei var. suis and two human patients (S. scabiei var. hominis living in different regions of northern Australia. Our sequencing samples the mite and its metagenome, including the mite gut flora and the wound micro-environment. Here, we describe the mitochondrial genome of the scabies mite. We developed a new de novo assembly pipeline based on a bait-and-reassemble strategy, which produced a 14 kilobase mitochondrial genome sequence assembly. We also annotated 35 genes and have compared these to other Acari mites. We identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs and used these to infer the presence of six haplogroups in our samples, Remarkably, these fall into two closely-related clades with one clade including both human and pig varieties. This supports earlier findings that only limited genetic differences may separate some human and animal varieties, and raises the possibility of cross-host infections. Finally, we used these mitochondrial haplotypes to show that the genetic diversity of individual infections is typically small with 1-3 distinct haplotypes per infestation.
Qualitative interviews with 23 HIV-infected people who self-reported high-level adherence to antiretroviral therapy were used to examine the process by which they came to accept their HIV infection and engage in high-level adherence behaviors. A major theme that emerged during data analysis was the importance of the patient-provider relationship. The quality of the relationship between patient and provider emerged as an important component of working through early struggles with diagnosis and the on-going struggles of living with a chronic illness. A variety of factors impacting the patient-provider relationship emerged as subthemes. What can be taken from this study is the importance of the patient-provider relationship in the effective self-management of HIV infection. Additionally, several specific behaviors can enhance the patient-provider relationship and help assure movement toward patient acceptance of the illness and engagement in high-level adherence behaviors. Copyright © 2014 Association of Nurses in AIDS Care. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Nikolakopoulou, T; Egan, S; van Overbeek, L; Guillaume, G; Heuer, H; Wellington, EMH; van Elsas, JD; Collard, JM; Smalla, K; Karagouni, A
A range of European habitats was screened by PCR for detection of the oxytetracycline resistance genes otr(A) and otr(B), found in the oxytetracycline-producing strain Streptomyces rimosus. Primers were developed to detect these otr genes in tetracycline-resistant (Tc-R) streptomycete isolates from
Nath, I.V.A; LokaBharathi, P.A
Extremophiles occur in a diverse range of habitats, from the frigid waters of Antarctic to the superheated plumes of hydrothermal vents. Their in-depth study could provide important insights into the biochemical, ecological and evolutionary aspects...
Lyons, Suzi M; O'Keeffe, Frances M; Clarke, Anna T; Staines, Anthony
Ireland has seen an expansion of new migrant communities over the past decade and the country has struggled to cope with this new multi-culturalism, especially within the health services. The maternity services in particular have seen an increase in deliveries from ethnic minority women. Little research has been done exploring this issue with maternity service providers. Using a grounded theory approach, this study sought to explore the experiences, understanding and perspectives of maternity service providers when working with ethnic minority women in the Dublin maternity services during 2002 and 2003. Four themes emerged from the study: Communication difficulties, knowledge and use of services, cultural differences and 'Them and Us'. These encompassed a variety of issues including inadequacy of interpretation services, childcare issues, coping with labour, identification as different and racism. Ethnic minority women are expected to adapt to the system rather than the maternity services being responsive or adapting to the new multi-cultural population. These issues were relevant a decade ago internationally and are still pertinent today for not only Irish services but also for other European countries. There is an opportunity to improve the services for all women by learning from the experience of Dublin maternity service providers.
Pesin, Jimy; Faingersh, Anna; Waisman, Dan; Landesberg, Amir
Current practice of monitoring lung ventilation in neonatal intensive care units, utilizing endotracheal tube pressure and flow, end-tidal CO2, arterial O2 saturation from pulse oximetry, and hemodynamic indexes, fails to account for asymmetric pathologies and to allow for early detection of deteriorating ventilation. This study investigated the utility of bilateral measurements of chest wall dynamics and sounds, in providing early detection of changes in the mechanics and distribution of lung ventilation. Nine healthy New Zealand rabbits were ventilated at a constant pressure, while miniature accelerometers were attached to each side of the chest. Slowly progressing pneumothorax was induced by injecting 1 ml/min air into the pleural space on either side of the chest. The end of the experiment (tPTX) was defined when arterial O2 saturation from pulse oximetry dropped acoustics provide novel information that is sensitive to asymmetric changes in ventilation, enabling early detection and localization of pneumothorax. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.
Zhu, Yingjie; Xu, Jiang; Sun, Chao; Zhou, Shiguo; Xu, Haibin; Nelson, David R.; Qian, Jun; Song, Jingyuan; Luo, Hongmei; Xiang, Li; Li, Ying; Xu, Zhichao; Ji, Aijia; Wang, Lizhi; Lu, Shanfa; Hayward, Alice; Sun, Wei; Li, Xiwen; Schwartz, David C.; Wang, Yitao; Chen, Shilin
Fungi have evolved powerful genomic and chemical defense systems to protect themselves against genetic destabilization and other organisms. However, the precise molecular basis involved in fungal defense remain largely unknown in Basidiomycetes. Here the complete genome sequence, as well as DNA methylation patterns and small RNA transcriptomes, was analyzed to provide a holistic overview of secondary metabolism and defense processes in the model medicinal fungus, Ganoderma sinense. We reported the 48.96 Mb genome sequence of G. sinense, consisting of 12 chromosomes and encoding 15,688 genes. More than thirty gene clusters involved in the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, as well as a large array of genes responsible for their transport and regulation were highlighted. In addition, components of genome defense mechanisms, namely repeat-induced point mutation (RIP), DNA methylation and small RNA-mediated gene silencing, were revealed in G. sinense. Systematic bioinformatic investigation of the genome and methylome suggested that RIP and DNA methylation combinatorially maintain G. sinense genome stability by inactivating invasive genetic material and transposable elements. The elucidation of the G. sinense genome and epigenome provides an unparalleled opportunity to advance our understanding of secondary metabolism and fungal defense mechanisms. PMID:26046933
Kampa, Annette; Gagunashvili, Andrey N.; Gulder, Tobias A. M.; Morinaka, Brandon I.; Daolio, Cristina; Godejohann, Markus; Miao, Vivian P. W.; Piel, Jörn; Andrésson, Ólafur S.
Bacteria are a major source of natural products that provide rich opportunities for both chemical and biological investigation. Although the vast majority of known bacterial metabolites derive from free-living organisms, increasing evidence supports the widespread existence of chemically prolific bacteria living in symbioses. A strategy based on bioinformatic prediction, symbiont cultivation, isotopic enrichment, and advanced analytics was used to characterize a unique polyketide, nosperin, from a lichen-associated Nostoc sp. cyanobacterium. The biosynthetic gene cluster and the structure of nosperin, determined from 30 μg of compound, are related to those of the pederin group previously known only from nonphotosynthetic bacteria associated with beetles and marine sponges. The presence of this natural product family in such highly dissimilar associations suggests that some bacterial metabolites may be specific to symbioses with eukaryotes and encourages exploration of other symbioses for drug discovery and better understanding of ecological interactions mediated by complex bacterial metabolites. PMID:23898213
Shields, F. D.; Knight, S. S.; Cooper, C. M.
Channel incision is a widespread phenomenon that results in stream and riparian habitat degradation. Fishes and physical habitat variables were sampled at base flow from three incised stream channels and one reference stream in northwest Mississippi, USA, to quantify incision effects on fish habitat and provide a basis for habitat rehabilitation planning and design. Incised channels were sampled in spring and autumn; the reference channel was sampled only in the autumn. Incised channel habitat quality was inferior to the reference channel despite the presence of structures designed to restore channel stability. Incised channels had physical habitat diversity levels similar to a nonincised reference channel, but contained fewer types of habitat. At base flow, incised channels were dominated by shallow, sandy habitats, moderate to high mean local Froude numbers, and had relatively little organic debris in their beds. In contrast, the reference stream had greater mean water depth, contained more woody debris, and provided more deep pool habitat. Fish assemblages in incised channels were composed of smaller fishes representing fewer species relative to the reference site. Fish species richness was directly proportional to the mean local Froude number, an indicator of the availability of pool habitat.
Rozycki, Martin; Satterthwaite, Theodore D; Koutsouleris, Nikolaos; Erus, Guray; Doshi, Jimit; Wolf, Daniel H; Fan, Yong; Gur, Raquel E; Gur, Ruben C; Meisenzahl, Eva M; Zhuo, Chuanjun; Ying, Hong; Yan, Hao; Yue, Weihua; Zhang, Dai; Davatzikos, Christos
Past work on relatively small, single-site studies using regional volumetry, and more recently machine learning methods, has shown that widespread structural brain abnormalities are prominent in schizophrenia. However, to be clinically useful, structural imaging biomarkers must integrate high-dimensional data and provide reproducible results across clinical populations and on an individual person basis. Using advanced multi-variate analysis tools and pooled data from case-control imaging studies conducted at 5 sites (941 adult participants, including 440 patients with schizophrenia), a neuroanatomical signature of patients with schizophrenia was found, and its robustness and reproducibility across sites, populations, and scanners, was established for single-patient classification. Analyses were conducted at multiple scales, including regional volumes, voxelwise measures, and complex distributed patterns. Single-subject classification was tested for single-site, pooled-site, and leave-site-out generalizability. Regional and voxelwise analyses revealed a pattern of widespread reduced regional gray matter volume, particularly in the medial prefrontal, temporolimbic and peri-Sylvian cortex, along with ventricular and pallidum enlargement. Multivariate classification using pooled data achieved a cross-validated prediction accuracy of 76% (AUC = 0.84). Critically, the leave-site-out validation of the detected schizophrenia signature showed accuracy/AUC range of 72-77%/0.73-0.91, suggesting a robust generalizability across sites and patient cohorts. Finally, individualized patient classifications displayed significant correlations with clinical measures of negative, but not positive, symptoms. Taken together, these results emphasize the potential for structural neuroimaging data to provide a robust and reproducible imaging signature of schizophrenia. A web-accessible portal is offered to allow the community to obtain individualized classifications of magnetic resonance
Challacombe, Jean F; Petersen, Jeannine M; Gallegos-Graves, La Verne; Hodge, David; Pillai, Segaran; Kuske, Cheryl R
Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent zoonotic pathogen that causes tularemia and, because of weaponization efforts in past world wars, is considered a tier 1 biothreat agent. Detection and surveillance of F. tularensis may be confounded by the presence of uncharacterized, closely related organisms. Through DNA-based diagnostics and environmental surveys, novel clinical and environmental Francisella isolates have been obtained in recent years. Here we present 7 new Francisella genomes and a comparison of their characteristics to each other and to 24 publicly available genomes as well as a comparative analysis of 16S rRNA and sdhA genes from over 90 Francisella strains. Delineation of new species in bacteria is challenging, especially when isolates having very close genomic characteristics exhibit different physiological features-for example, when some are virulent pathogens in humans and animals while others are nonpathogenic or are opportunistic pathogens. Species resolution within Francisella varies with analyses of single genes, multiple gene or protein sets, or whole-genome comparisons of nucleic acid and amino acid sequences. Analyses focusing on single genes (16S rRNA, sdhA), multiple gene sets (virulence genes, lipopolysaccharide [LPS] biosynthesis genes, pathogenicity island), and whole-genome comparisons (nucleotide and protein) gave congruent results, but with different levels of discrimination confidence. We designate four new species within the genus; Francisella opportunistica sp. nov. (MA06-7296), Francisella salina sp. nov. (TX07-7308), Francisella uliginis sp. nov. (TX07-7310), and Francisella frigiditurris sp. nov. (CA97-1460). This study provides a robust comparative framework to discern species and virulence features of newly detected Francisella bacteria. DNA-based detection and sequencing methods have identified thousands of new bacteria in the human body and the environment. In most cases, there are no cultured isolates that correspond
Lemckert, Francis; Hecnar, Stephen; Pilliod, David S.
Amphibians live in a wide variety of habitats around the world, many of which have been modified or destroyed by human activities. Most species have unique life history characteristics adapted to specific climates, habitats (e.g., lentic, lotic, terrestrial, arboreal, fossorial, amphibious), and local conditions that provide suitable areas for reproduction, development and growth, shelter from environmental extremes, and predation, as well as connectivity to other populations or habitats. Although some species are entirely aquatic or terrestrial, most amphibians, as their name implies, lead a dual life and require a mosaic of habitats in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. With over 6 billion people on Earth, most species are now persisting in habitats that have been directly or indirectly influenced by human activities. Some species have disappeared where their habitats have been completely destroyed, reduced, or rendered unsuitable. Habitat loss and degradation are widely considered by most researchers as the most important causes of amphibian population decline globally (Barinaga 1990; Wake and Morowitz 1991; Alford and Richards 1999). In this chapter, a background on the diverse habitat requirements of amphibians is provided, followed by a discussion of the effects of urbanization, agriculture, livestock grazing, timber production and harvesting, fire and hazardous fuel management, and roads on amphibians and their habitats. Also briefly discussed is the influence on amphibian habitats of natural disturbances, such as extreme weather events and climate change, given the potential for human activities to impact climate in the longer term. For amphibians in general, microhabitats are of greater importance than for other vertebrates. As ectotherms with a skin that is permeable to water and with naked gelatinous eggs, amphibians are physiologically constrained to be active during environmental conditions that provide appropriate body temperatures and adequate
Nov 8, 1988 ... selection, although some of the species showed selection. The normally unfavourable edaphic habitat, the ... Habitat structure and diversity have been correlated with species diversity of birds (MacArthur & ..... Rodent taxa differ in habitat utilization and addition- ally in their degree of association with various ...
Apprill, Amy; Weber, Laura G; Santoro, Alyson E
The diverse prokaryotic communities associated with reef-building corals may provide important ecological advantages to their threatened hosts. The consistency of relationships between corals and specific prokaryotes, however, is debated, and the locations where microbially mediated processes occur in the host are not resolved. Here, we examined how the prokaryotic associates of five common Caribbean corals with different evolutionary and ecological traits differ across mucus and tissue habitats. We used physical and chemical separation of coral mucus and tissue and sequencing of partial small-subunit rRNA genes of bacteria and archaea from these samples to demonstrate that coral tissue and mucus harbor unique reservoirs of prokaryotes, with 23 to 49% and 31 to 56% of sequences exclusive to the tissue and mucus habitats, respectively. Across all coral species, we found that 46 tissue- and 22 mucus-specific microbial members consistently associated with the different habitats. Sequences classifying as "Candidatus Amoebophilus," Bacteroidetes-affiliated intracellular symbionts of amoebae, emerged as previously unrecognized tissue associates of three coral species. This study demonstrates how coral habitat differentiation enables highly resolved examination of ecological interactions between corals and their associated microorganisms and identifies previously unrecognized tissue and mucus associates of Caribbean corals for future targeted study. IMPORTANCE This study demonstrates that coral tissue or mucus habitats structure the microbiome of corals and that separation of these habitats facilitates identification of consistent microbial associates. Using this approach, we demonstrated that sequences related to "Candidatus Amoebophilus," recognized intracellular symbionts of amoebae, were highly associated with the tissues of Caribbean corals and possibly endosymbionts of a protistan host within corals, adding a further degree of intricacy to coral holobiont symbioses
Hill, Bruce; Bartomeus, Ignasi
Declines in pollinator abundance and diversity are not only a conservation issue, but also a threat to crop pollination. Maintained infrastructure corridors, such as those containing electricity transmission lines, are potentially important wild pollinator habitat. However, there is a lack of evidence comparing the abundance and diversity of wild pollinators in transmission corridors with other important pollinator habitats. We compared the diversity of a key pollinator group, bumblebees (Bombus spp.), between transmission corridors and the surrounding semi-natural and managed habitat types at 10 sites across Sweden's Uppland region. Our results show that transmission corridors have no impact on bumblebee diversity in the surrounding area. However, transmission corridors and other maintained habitats such as roadsides have a level of bumblebee abundance and diversity comparable to semi-natural grasslands and host species that are important for conservation and ecosystem service provision. Under the current management regime, transmission corridors already provide valuable bumblebee habitat, but given that host plant density is the main determinant of bumblebee abundance, these areas could potentially be enhanced by establishing and maintaining key host plants. We show that in northern temperate regions the maintenance of transmission corridors has the potential to contribute to bumblebee conservation and the ecosystem services they provide.
Guerra, M.; Hickmott, L.; van der Hoop, J.; Rayment, W.; Leunissen, E.; Slooten, E.; Moore, M.
The submarine canyon off Kaikōura (New Zealand) is an extremely productive deep-sea habitat, and an important foraging ground for male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus). We used high-resolution archival tags to study the diving behaviour of sperm whales, and used the echoes from their echolocation sounds to estimate their distance from the seafloor. Diving depths and distance above the seafloor were obtained for 28 dives from six individuals. Whales foraged at depths between 284 and 1433 m, targeting mesopelagic and demersal prey layers. The majority of foraging buzzes occurred within one of three vertical strata: within 50 m of the seafloor, mid-water at depths of 700-900 m, and mid-water at depths of 400-600 m. Sperm whales sampled during this study performed more demersal foraging than that reported in any previous studies - including at Kaikōura in further inshore waters. This suggests that the extreme benthic productivity of the Kaikōura Canyon is reflected in the trophic preferences of these massive top predators. We found some evidence for circadian patterns in the foraging behaviour of sperm whales, which might be related to vertical movements of their prey following the deep scattering layer. We explored the ecological implications of the whales' foraging preferences on their habitat use, highlighting the need for further research on how submarine canyons facilitate top predator hotspots.
Bracha Y. Schindler
Full Text Available Green roofs have potential for providing substantial habitat to plants, birds, and arthropod species that are not well supported by other urban habitats. Whereas the plants on a typical green roof are chosen and planted by people, the arthropods that colonize it can serve as an indicator of the ability of this novel habitat to support a diverse community of organisms. The goal of this observational study was to determine which physical characteristics of a roof or characteristics of its vegetation correlate with arthropod diversity on the roof. We intensively sampled the number of insect families on one roof with pitfall traps and also measured the soil arthropod species richness on six green roofs in the Boston, MA area. We found that the number of arthropod species in soil, and arthropod families in pitfall traps, was positively correlated with living vegetation cover. The number of arthropod species was not significantly correlated with plant diversity, green roof size, distance from the ground, or distance to the nearest vegetated habitat from the roof. Our results suggest that vegetation cover may be more important than vegetation diversity for roof arthropod diversity, at least for the first few years after establishment. Additionally, we found that even green roofs that are small and isolated can support a community of arthropods that include important functional groups of the soil food web.
Akasaka, Munemitsu; Takamura, Noriko
Connections between habitat patches can positively influence the number of species in respective patches, providing a basis for preferentially conserving interconnected patches. However, from a regional perspective, it is not known whether conserving multiple sets of interconnected habitat patches would include more species (i.e., show higher gamma diversity) than conserving multiple, unconnected, solitary patches. We studied aquatic macrophytes in 15 sets of unidirectionally interconnected ponds and 19 unconnected ponds and also tested whether alpha and beta diversity, expressed as the number of species and dissimilarity in species composition, respectively, differed between connected and unconnected ponds. We found that gamma diversity was higher in connected ponds than in unconnected ponds, even after controlling for surface area. This resulted from a higher alpha diversity in connected ponds, despite lower beta diversity. These results suggest that connections between habitat patches positively influence diversity at both local and regional scales. When the total surface area available for conservation is limited, interconnected habitat patches should be preferentially conserved.
Full Text Available Studies of deep-sea benthic communities have largely focused on particular (macro habitats in isolation, with few studies considering multiple habitats simultaneously in a comparable manner. Compared to mega-epifauna and macrofauna, much less is known about habitat-related variation in meiofaunal community attributes (abundance, diversity and community structure. Here, we investigated meiofaunal community attributes in slope, canyon, seamount, and seep habitats in two regions on the continental slope of New Zealand (Hikurangi Margin and Bay of Plenty at four water depths (700, 1,000, 1,200 and 1,500 m. We found that patterns were not the same for each community attribute. Significant differences in abundance were consistent across regions, habitats, water and sediment depths, while diversity and community structure only differed between sediment depths. Abundance was higher in canyon and seep habitats compared with other habitats, while between sediment layer, abundance and diversity were higher at the sediment surface. Our findings suggest that meiofaunal community attributes are affected by environmental factors that operate on micro- (cm to meso- (0.1–10 km, and regional scales (> 100 km. We also found a weak, but significant, correlation between trawling intensity and surface sediment diversity. Overall, our results indicate that variability in meiofaunal communities was greater at small scale than at habitat or regional scale. These findings provide new insights into the factors controlling meiofauna in these deep-sea habitats and their potential vulnerability to anthropogenic activities.
Kas Dumroese; Tara Luna; Bryce A. Richardson; Francis F. Kilkenny; Justin B. Runyon
In the western US, Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus Bonaparte [Phasianidae]) have become an indicator species of the overall health of the sagebrush (Artemisia L. [Asteraceae]) dominated communities that support a rich diversity of flora and fauna. This species has an integral association with sagebrush, its understory forbs and grasses, and the...
Full Text Available Scarlet (Solanum aethiopicum and gboma (S. macrocarpon eggplants are major vegetable crops in sub-Saharan Africa. Together with their respective wild ancestors (S. anguivi and S. dasyphyllum and intermediate cultivated-wild forms they constitute the so-called scarlet and gboma eggplant complexes. We used conventional descriptors and the high-throughput phenomics tool Tomato Analyzer for characterizing 63 accessions of the scarlet eggplant complex, including the four S. aethiopicum cultivar groups (Aculeatum, Gilo, Kumba, and Shum, Intermediate S. aethiopicum-S. anguivi forms, and S. anguivi, and 12 cultivated and wild accessions of the gboma eggplant complex. A large diversity was found between both complexes, showing that they are very well differentiated from each other. Within the scarlet eggplant complex, many significant differences were also found among cultivar groups, but more differences were found for fruit traits evaluated with Tomato Analyzer than with conventional descriptors. In particular, Tomato Analyzer phenomics characterization was useful for distinguishing small fruited groups (Shum, Intermediate, and S. anguivi, as well as groups for which few or no significant differences were observed for plant traits. Multivariate principal components analysis (PCA separated well all groups, except the Intermediate group which plotted between S. anguivi and small fruited S. aethiopicum accessions. For the gboma eggplant complex, S. dasyphyllum was clearly distinguished from S. macrocarpon and an important diversity was found in the latter. The results have shown that both complexes are hypervariable and have provided insight into their diversity and relationships. The information obtained has important implications for the conservation and management of genetic resources as well as for the selection and breeding of both scarlet and gboma eggplants.
Ashley, Paul R.
This Habitat Evaluation Procedure study was conducted to determine baseline habitat units (HUs) on the Scotch Creek, Mineral Hill, Pogue Mountain, Chesaw and Tunk Valley Habitat Areas (collectively known as the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area) in Okanogan County, Sagebrush Flat and the Dormaler property in Douglas County, and the Berg Brothers ranch located in Okanogan County within the Colville Reservation. A HEP team comprised of individuals from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (Appendix A) conducted baseline habitat surveys using the following HEP evaluation species: mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus), pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginiana), mink (Mustela vison), Canada goose (Branta canadensis), downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens), Lewis woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis), and Yellow warbler (Dendroica petechia). Results of the HEP analysis are listed below. General ratings (poor, marginal, fair, etc.,) are described in Appendix B. Mule deer habitat was marginal lacking diversity and quantify of suitable browse species. Sharp-tailed grouse habitat was marginal lacking residual nesting cover and suitable winter habitat Pygmy rabbit habitat was in fair condition except for the Dormaier property which was rated marginal due to excessive shrub canopy closure at some sites. This report is an analysis of baseline habitat conditions on mitigation project lands and provides estimated habitat units for mitigation crediting purposes. In addition, information from this document could be used by wildlife habitat managers to develop management strategies for specific project sites.
Prisco, Irene; Carboni, Marta; Acosta, Alicia T R
Coastal dunes worldwide harbor threatened habitats characterized by high diversity in terms of plant communities. In Italy, recent assessments have highlighted the insufficient state of conservation of these habitats as defined by the EU Habitats Directive. The effects of predicted climate change could have dramatic consequences for coastal environments in the near future. An assessment of the efficacy of protection measures under climate change is thus a priority. Here, we have developed environmental envelope models for the most widespread dune habitats in Italy, following two complementary approaches: an "indirect" plant-species-based one and a simple "direct" one. We analyzed how habitats distribution will be altered under the effects of two climate change scenarios and evaluated if the current Italian network of protected areas will be effective in the future after distribution shifts. While modeling dune habitats with the "direct" approach was unsatisfactory, "indirect" models had a good predictive performance, highlighting the importance of using species' responses to climate change for modeling these habitats. The results showed that habitats closer to the sea may even increase their geographical distribution in the near future. The transition dune habitat is projected to remain stable, although mobile and fixed dune habitats are projected to lose most of their actual geographical distribution, the latter being more sensitive to climate change effects. Gap analysis highlighted that the habitats' distribution is currently adequately covered by protected areas, achieving the conservation target. However, according to predictions, protection level for mobile and fixed dune habitats is predicted to drop drastically under the climate change scenarios which we examined. Our results provide useful insights for setting management priorities and better addressing conservation efforts to preserve these threatened habitats in future.
Full Text Available Coastal dunes worldwide harbor threatened habitats characterized by high diversity in terms of plant communities. In Italy, recent assessments have highlighted the insufficient state of conservation of these habitats as defined by the EU Habitats Directive. The effects of predicted climate change could have dramatic consequences for coastal environments in the near future. An assessment of the efficacy of protection measures under climate change is thus a priority. Here, we have developed environmental envelope models for the most widespread dune habitats in Italy, following two complementary approaches: an "indirect" plant-species-based one and a simple "direct" one. We analyzed how habitats distribution will be altered under the effects of two climate change scenarios and evaluated if the current Italian network of protected areas will be effective in the future after distribution shifts. While modeling dune habitats with the "direct" approach was unsatisfactory, "indirect" models had a good predictive performance, highlighting the importance of using species' responses to climate change for modeling these habitats. The results showed that habitats closer to the sea may even increase their geographical distribution in the near future. The transition dune habitat is projected to remain stable, although mobile and fixed dune habitats are projected to lose most of their actual geographical distribution, the latter being more sensitive to climate change effects. Gap analysis highlighted that the habitats' distribution is currently adequately covered by protected areas, achieving the conservation target. However, according to predictions, protection level for mobile and fixed dune habitats is predicted to drop drastically under the climate change scenarios which we examined. Our results provide useful insights for setting management priorities and better addressing conservation efforts to preserve these threatened habitats in future.
Laura K Reynolds
Full Text Available Disturbance and habitat destruction due to human activities is a pervasive problem in near-shore marine ecosystems, and restoration is often used to mitigate losses. A common metric used to evaluate the success of restoration is the return of ecosystem services. Previous research has shown that biodiversity, including genetic diversity, is positively associated with the provision of ecosystem services. We conducted a restoration experiment using sources, techniques, and sites similar to actual large-scale seagrass restoration projects and demonstrated that a small increase in genetic diversity enhanced ecosystem services (invertebrate habitat, increased primary productivity, and nutrient retention. In our experiment, plots with elevated genetic diversity had plants that survived longer, increased in density more quickly, and provided more ecosystem services (invertebrate habitat, increased primary productivity, and nutrient retention. We used the number of alleles per locus as a measure of genetic diversity, which, unlike clonal diversity used in earlier research, can be applied to any organism. Additionally, unlike previous studies where positive impacts of diversity occurred only after a large disturbance, this study assessed the importance of diversity in response to potential environmental stresses (high temperature, low light along a water-depth gradient. We found a positive impact of diversity along the entire depth gradient. Taken together, these results suggest that ecosystem restoration will significantly benefit from obtaining sources (transplants or seeds with high genetic diversity and from restoration techniques that can maintain that genetic diversity.
Reynolds, Laura K; McGlathery, Karen J; Waycott, Michelle
Disturbance and habitat destruction due to human activities is a pervasive problem in near-shore marine ecosystems, and restoration is often used to mitigate losses. A common metric used to evaluate the success of restoration is the return of ecosystem services. Previous research has shown that biodiversity, including genetic diversity, is positively associated with the provision of ecosystem services. We conducted a restoration experiment using sources, techniques, and sites similar to actual large-scale seagrass restoration projects and demonstrated that a small increase in genetic diversity enhanced ecosystem services (invertebrate habitat, increased primary productivity, and nutrient retention). In our experiment, plots with elevated genetic diversity had plants that survived longer, increased in density more quickly, and provided more ecosystem services (invertebrate habitat, increased primary productivity, and nutrient retention). We used the number of alleles per locus as a measure of genetic diversity, which, unlike clonal diversity used in earlier research, can be applied to any organism. Additionally, unlike previous studies where positive impacts of diversity occurred only after a large disturbance, this study assessed the importance of diversity in response to potential environmental stresses (high temperature, low light) along a water-depth gradient. We found a positive impact of diversity along the entire depth gradient. Taken together, these results suggest that ecosystem restoration will significantly benefit from obtaining sources (transplants or seeds) with high genetic diversity and from restoration techniques that can maintain that genetic diversity.
Weinstein, D. K.; Klaus, J. S.; Smith, T. B.
Modern reef sediments reflect the physical and chemical characteristics of the environment as well as the local reef fauna. Analysis of sedimentary reef facies can thus provide a powerful tool in interpreting ancient reef deposits. However, few studies have attempted to differentiate sedimentary facies in mesophotic coral ecosystems, low light habitats defined as residing 30-150 m below sea level. The low-angle shelf mesophotic coral ecosystem south of the northern U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) consists of reefs with different structural characteristics ideal for studying the relationship between habitat variability and sedimentary facies. Textural, compositional, and geochemical analyses of surface sediments were used to identify mesophotic reef subfacies associated with distinct benthic communities and structural habitats. Sediment grain composition and bulk geochemistry were found to broadly record the distribution and abundance of coral and macroalgae communities, foundational mesophotic reef benthic organisms. Overall, sediment composition was found to be a good indicator of specific reef environments in low-angle mesophotic reef habitats. Sedimentological analyses indicate that hydrodynamic forces do not transport a significant amount of allochthonous sediment or potentially harmful terrigenous material to USVI mesophotic reefs. Episodic, maximum current velocities prevented deposition of most silt-size grains and smaller, but biological processes were found to have a greater influence on subfacies partitioning than hydrodynamic processes. Results provide a new analog for studies of ancient mesophotic coral ecosystem geological history and document the relationship between mesophotic reef subfacies, structural complexity, and habitat heterogeneity. They also demonstrate how mesophotic reefs along the same shelf system do not always share similar sedimentary characteristics and thus record a diverse set of ecological and environmental conditions.
Background Australia is a culturally diverse nation with one in seven Australians born in a non-English speaking country. Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) populations are at a high risk of developing preventable chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, renal disease, and chronic respiratory disease, especially communities from the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, North Africa, the Indian subcontinent and China. Previous studies have shown that access to services may be a contributing factor. This study explores the experiences, attitudes and opinions of immigrants from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds and their health care providers with regard to chronic disease care. Methods Five focus groups were conducted comprising participants from an Arabic speaking background, or born in Sudan, China, Vietnam or Tonga. A total of 50 members participated. All focus groups were conducted in the participants’ language and facilitated by a trained multicultural health worker. In addition, 14 health care providers were interviewed by telephone. Interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed. All qualitative data were analysed with the assistance of QSR NVivo 8 software. Results Participants were generally positive about the quality and accessibility of health services, but the costs of health care and waiting times to receive treatment presented significant barriers. They expressed a need for greater access to interpreters and culturally appropriate communication and education. They mentioned experiencing racism and discriminatory practices. Health professionals recommended recruiting health workers from CALD communities to assist them to adequately elicit and address the needs of patients from CALD backgrounds. Conclusions CALD patients, carers and community members as well as health professionals all highlighted the need for establishing culturally tailored programs for chronic disease prevention and management
Full Text Available Abstract Background Australia is a culturally diverse nation with one in seven Australians born in a non-English speaking country. Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD populations are at a high risk of developing preventable chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, renal disease, and chronic respiratory disease, especially communities from the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, North Africa, the Indian subcontinent and China. Previous studies have shown that access to services may be a contributing factor. This study explores the experiences, attitudes and opinions of immigrants from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds and their health care providers with regard to chronic disease care. Methods Five focus groups were conducted comprising participants from an Arabic speaking background, or born in Sudan, China, Vietnam or Tonga. A total of 50 members participated. All focus groups were conducted in the participants’ language and facilitated by a trained multicultural health worker. In addition, 14 health care providers were interviewed by telephone. Interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed. All qualitative data were analysed with the assistance of QSR NVivo 8 software. Results Participants were generally positive about the quality and accessibility of health services, but the costs of health care and waiting times to receive treatment presented significant barriers. They expressed a need for greater access to interpreters and culturally appropriate communication and education. They mentioned experiencing racism and discriminatory practices. Health professionals recommended recruiting health workers from CALD communities to assist them to adequately elicit and address the needs of patients from CALD backgrounds. Conclusions CALD patients, carers and community members as well as health professionals all highlighted the need for establishing culturally tailored programs for chronic
José L. Rueda
Full Text Available The fauna of molluscs associated with deep subtidal Zostera marina beds (12-16 m in southern Spain (Alboran Sea has been characterised in terms of micro-habitat preference, feeding guilds and biogeographical affinity. The species list (162 taxa is based on sampling completed before the strong eelgrass decline experienced in 2005-2006, using different methods (small Agassiz trawl covering 222 m2 and quadrates covering 0.06 m2 and different temporal scales (months, day/night. Dominant epifaunal species are Jujubinus striatus, Rissoa spp. and Smaragdia viridis in the leaf stratum and Nassarius pygmaeus, Bittium reticulatum and Calliostoma planatum on the sediment. Nevertheless, the infauna dominated the epifauna in terms of number of individuals, including mainly bivalves (Tellina distorta, T. fabula, Dosinia lupinus. The epifauna of both the sediment and leaf strata included high numbers of species, probably due to the soft transition between vegetated and unvegetated areas. The dominant feeding guilds were deposit feeders, filter feeders and peryphiton grazers, but ectoparasites (eulimids, seagrass grazers (Smaragdia viridis and an egg feeder (Mitrella minor also occurred, unlike in other eelgrass beds of Europe. The molluscan fauna of these Z. marina beds is essentially derived from the local fauna, which includes many widely distributed species along European coasts, with a low representation of strictly Mediterranean or strictly Atlantic species. This fauna is richer than that found in other eelgrass beds of Europe, and deserves important attention for conservation.
Lewandowski, Mariusz; Skoracka, Anna; Szydło, Wiktoria; Kozak, Marcin; Druciarek, Tobiasz; Griffiths, Don A
Eriophyoid species belonging to the genus Trisetacus are economically important as pests of conifers. A narrow host specialization to conifers and some unique morphological characteristics have made these mites interesting subjects for scientific inquiry. In this study, we assessed morphological and genetic variation of seven Trisetacus species originating from six coniferous hosts in Poland by morphometric analysis and molecular sequencing of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene and the nuclear D2 region of 28S rDNA. The results confirmed the monophyly of the genus Trisetacus as well as the monophyly of five of the seven species studied. Both DNA sequences were effective in discriminating between six of the seven species tested. Host-dependent genetic and morphological variation in T. silvestris and T. relocatus, and habitat-dependent genetic and morphological variation in T. juniperinus were detected, suggesting the existence of races or even distinct species within these Trisetacus taxa. This is the first molecular phylogenetic analysis of the Trisetacus species. The findings presented here will stimulate further investigations on the evolutionary relationships of Trisetacus as well as the entire Phytoptidae family.
Sorenson, L; Santini, F; Alfaro, M E
Sharks occupy marine habitats ranging from shallow, inshore environments to pelagic, and deepwaters, and thus provide a model system for testing how gross habitat differences have shaped vertebrate macroevolution. Palaeontological studies have shown that onshore lineages diversify more quickly than offshore taxa. Among onshore habitats, coral reef-association has been shown to increase speciation rates in several groups of fishes and invertebrates. In this study, we investigated whether speciation rates are habitat dependent by generating the first comprehensive molecular timescale for shark divergence. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, we rejected the hypothesis that shelf (i.e. onshore) lineages have higher speciation rates compared to those occupying deepwater and oceanic (i.e. offshore) habitats. Our results, however, support the hypothesis of increased speciation rates in coral reef-associated lineages within the Carcharhinidae. Our new timetree suggests that the two major shark lineages leading to the extant shark diversity began diversifying mostly after the end-Permian mass extinction: the squalimorphs into deepwater and the galeomorphs into shelf habitats. We suggest that the breakdown of the onshore-offshore speciation rate pattern in sharks is mediated by success in deepwater environments through ecological partitioning, and in some cases, the evolution of morphological novelty. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge Forest Habitat Management Plan provides a long-term vision and specific guidance on managing habitats for the resources of...
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge Habitat Management Plan provides a long-term vision and specific guidance on managing habitats for the resources of concern at...
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Mandalay NWR Habitat Management Plan provides a long-term vision and specific guidance on managing habitats for the resources of concern at the Refuge, to...
The research required to develop a system that will provide for acceptable, nutritious, and safe diets for man during extended space missions is discussed. The development of a food technology system for space habitats capable of converting raw materials produced in the space habitats into acceptable food is examined.
Steffensen, John Fleng
document how relatively small changes in fin morphology has afforded some coral reef fish taxa with exceptional locomotor performance and energetic efficiency, and how this key attribute may have played a key role in the evolution and ecology of several diverse Indo-Pacific reef fish families. Using......-swept environment (up to 1 m s-1) whilst incurring a relatively low energetic cost of transport. Paddle-finned sister taxa, which have slightly more rounded fins and occupy sheltered habitats, displayed similar levels of energetic efficiency, but at swimming speeds less than half that of their wing......-finned counterparts. We discuss how such differences in locomotor efficiency are pivotal to the habitat-use of these fishes, and how eco-energetic models may be used to provide new insights into spatial variations in fish demography and ecology among coral reef habitat zones....
Rous, Andrew M.; Midwood, Jonathon D.; Gutowsky, Lee F. G.; Lapointe, Nicolas W. R.; Portiss, Rick; Sciscione, Thomas; Wells, Mathew G.; Doka, Susan E.; Cooke, Steven J.
Widespread human development has led to impairment of freshwater coastal wetlands and embayments, which provide critical and unique habitat for many freshwater fish species. This is particularly evident in the Laurentian Great Lakes, where such habitats have been severely altered over the last century as a result of industrial activities, urbanization, dredging and infilling. In Toronto Harbour, extensive restoration efforts have been directed towards improving the amount and quality of aquatic habitat, especially for fishes. To evaluate the effectiveness of this restoration work, use of the restored area by both target species and the fish community as a whole must be assessed. Individuals from four species (Common Carp, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike and Yellow Perch) were tagged and tracked continuously for 1 year using an acoustic telemetry array in Toronto Harbour area of Lake Ontario. Daily site fidelity was estimated using a mixed-effects logistic regression model. Daily site fidelity was influenced by habitat restoration and its interactions with species and body size, as well as season and its interactions with species and body size. Daily site fidelity was higher in restored sites compared to non-restored sites for Yellow Perch and Northern Pike, but lower for Largemouth Bass and Common Carp. For all species, daily site fidelity estimates were highest during the summer and lowest during autumn. The approach used here has merit for evaluating restoration success and informing future habitat management activities. Creating diverse habitats that serve multiple functions and species are more desirable than single-function-oriented or single-species-oriented designs.
Marco Antonio Desales-Lara
Full Text Available La construcción de ciudades constituye la transformación más drástica, fundamental e irreversible de los sistemas naturales, reemplazando todo componente biótico y abiótico original del lugar. Entre los artrópodos que han podido adaptarse a los ambientes urbanos se encuentran las arañas. Se encontraron 41 especies en el interior de 12 casas de 2 niveles de la ciudad de Toluca, ubicadas en 4 ambientes con diferente grado de urbanización, durante el periodo de septiembre del 2009 a agosto del 2010. Por primera vez se empleó un método sistematizado para recolecta de arañas en el interior de las viviendas. La diversidad de arañas fue diferente en cada uno de los ambientes muestreados; el índice de Shannon (H' mostró que la diversidad de arañas es mayor en las casas que presentan jardín en el ambiente urbano, por lo que no se apoya la hipótesis del disturbio intermedio. El número de arañas encontradas fue mayor en el primer nivel de las viviendas que en el segundo, por lo que se proponen 3 hipótesis para explicar esta diferencia. Se propone la prueba de Olmstead-Tukey para determinar los 4 niveles de sinantropismo (N. S., ya que la prueba engloba valores utilizados en los índices de densidad e infestación (ocupación.City-building is the most drastic, fundamental and irreversible transformation of natural environments, replacing all original biotic and abiotic components of the site. Spiders are among the arthropods that have become adapted to urban environments. We found 41 species within 12 two-story houses of the city of Toluca, located in 4 environments with different degrees of urbanization, during the period September 2009-August 2010. For the first time a systematic method was used to collect spiders inside houses with even collecting efforts. The diversity of spiders is different in each of the sampled environments, the Shannon index (H ' indicated that the diversity of spiders was higher in houses with gardens in the
Ventosa, Antonio; de la Haba, Rafael R; Sánchez-Porro, Cristina; Papke, R Thane
Recent studies based on metagenomics and other molecular techniques have permitted a detailed knowledge of the microbial diversity and metabolic activities of microorganisms in hypersaline environments. The current accepted model of community structure in hypersaline environments is that the square archaeon Haloquadratum waslbyi, the bacteroidete Salinibacter ruber and nanohaloarchaea are predominant members at higher salt concentrations, while more diverse archaeal and bacterial taxa are observed in habitats with intermediate salinities. Additionally, metagenomic studies may provide insight into the isolation and characterization of the principal microbes in these habitats, such as the recently described gammaproteobacterium Spiribacter salinus. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Hechinger, Ryan F.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.
Increasing species diversity typically increases biomass in experimental assemblages. But there is uncertainty concerning the mechanisms of diversity effects and whether experimental findings are relevant to ecological process in nature. Hosts for parasites provide natural, discrete replicates of parasite assemblages. We considered how diversity affects standing-stock biomass for a highly interactive parasite guild: trematode parasitic castrators in snails. In 185 naturally occurring habitat replicates (individual hosts), diverse parasite assemblages had greater biomass than single-species assemblages, including those of their most productive species. Additionally, positive diversity effects strengthened as species segregated along a secondary niche axis (space). The most subordinate species—also the most productive when alone—altered the general positive effect, and was associated with negative diversity effects on biomass. These findings, on a previously unstudied consumer class, extend previous research to illustrate that functional diversity and species identity may generally both explain how diversity influences biomass production in natural assemblages of competing species.
Hitchman, Sean M; Mather, Martha E; Smith, Joseph M; Fencl, Jane S
Conserving native biodiversity in the face of human- and climate-related impacts is a challenging and globally important ecological problem that requires an understanding of spatially connected, organismal-habitat relationships. Globally, a suite of disturbances (e.g., agriculture, urbanization, climate change) degrades habitats and threatens biodiversity. A mosaic approach (in which connected, interacting collections of juxtaposed habitat patches are examined) provides a scientific foundation for addressing many disturbance-related, ecologically based conservation problems. For example, if specific habitat types disproportionately increase biodiversity, these keystones should be incorporated into research and management plans. Our sampling of fish biodiversity and aquatic habitat along ten 3-km sites within the Upper Neosho River subdrainage, KS, from June-August 2013 yielded three generalizable ecological insights. First, specific types of mesohabitat patches (i.e., pool, riffle, run, and glide) were physically distinct and created unique mosaics of mesohabitats that varied across sites. Second, species richness was higher in riffle mesohabitats when mesohabitat size reflected field availability. Furthermore, habitat mosaics that included more riffles had greater habitat diversity and more fish species. Thus, riffles (scientific understanding of organismal-habitat relationships, maintain natural biodiversity, advance spatial ecology, and facilitate effective conservation of native biodiversity in human-altered ecosystems. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Katara, Jawahar Lal; Kaur, Sarvjeet; Kumari, Gouthami Krishna; Singh, Nagendra Kumar
Insecticidal cry and vip genes from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have been used for control of lepidopteran insects in transgenic crops. However, novel genes are required for gene pyramiding to delay evolution of resistance to the currently deployed genes. Two PCR-based techniques were employed for screening of cry2-type genes in 129 Bt isolates from diverse habitats in India and 27 known Bt strains. cry2Ab-type genes were more prevalent than cry2Aa- and cry2Ac-type genes. Correlation between source of isolates and abundance of cry2-type genes was not observed. Full-length cry2A-type genes were amplified by PCR from 9 Bt isolates and 4 Bt strains. The genes from Bt isolates SK-758 from Sorghum grain dust and SK-793 from Chilli seeds warehouse, Andhra Pradesh, were cloned and sequenced. The gene from SK-758 (NCBI GenBank accession No. GQ866915) was novel, while that from SK-793 (NCBI GenBank accession No. GQ866914) was identical to the cry2Ab1 gene. The Bacillus thuringiensis Nomenclature Committee ( http://www.lifesci.sussex.ac.uk/home/Neil_Crickmore/Bt/toxins2.html ) named these genes cry2Af2 and cry2Ab16, respectively. The cry2Af2 gene was expressed in Escherichia coli and found to be toxic towards Helicoverpa armigera. The cry2Af2 gene will be useful for pyramiding in transgenic crops.
Chapman, M G; Blockley, D J
Urbanization replaces natural shorelines with built infrastructure, seriously impacting species living on these "new" shores. Understanding the ecology of developed shorelines and reducing the consequences of urban development to fauna and flora cannot advance by simply documenting changes to diversity. It needs a robust experimental programme to develop ways in which biodiversity can be sustained in urbanized environments. There have, however, been few such experiments despite wholesale changes to shorelines in urbanized areas. Seawalls--the most extensive artificial infrastructure--are generally featureless, vertical habitats that support reduced levels of local biodiversity. Here, a mimic of an important habitat on natural rocky shores (rock-pools) was experimentally added to a seawall and its impact on diversity assessed. The mimics created shaded vertical substratum and pools that retained water during low tide. These novel habitats increased diversity of foliose algae and sessile and mobile animals, especially higher on the shore. Many species that are generally confined to lowshore levels, expanded their distribution over a greater tidal range. In fact, there were more species in the constructed pools than in natural pools of similar size on nearby shores. There was less effect on the abundances of mobile animals, which may be due to the limited time available for recruitment, or because these structures did not provide appropriate habitat. With increasing anthropogenic intrusion into natural areas and concomitant loss of species, it is essential to learn how to build urban infrastructure that can maintain or enhance biodiversity while meeting societal and engineering criteria. Success requires melding engineering skills and ecological understanding. This paper demonstrates one cost-effective way of addressing this important issue for urban infrastructure affecting nearshore habitats.
Brandl, Simon J; Casey, Jordan M; Knowlton, Nancy; Duffy, James Emmett
Anthropogenic habitats are increasingly prevalent in coastal marine environments. Previous research on sessile epifauna suggests that artificial habitats act as a refuge for nonindigenous species, which results in highly homogenous communities across locations. However, vertebrate assemblages that live in association with artificial habitats are poorly understood. Here, we quantify the biodiversity of small, cryptic (henceforth "cryptobenthic") fishes from marine dock pilings across six locations over 35° of latitude from Maine to Panama. We also compare assemblages from dock pilings to natural habitats in the two southernmost locations (Panama and Belize). Our results suggest that the biodiversity patterns of cryptobenthic fishes from dock pilings follow a Latitudinal Diversity Gradient (LDG), with average local and regional diversity declining sharply with increasing latitude. Furthermore, a strong correlation between community composition and spatial distance suggests distinct regional assemblages of cryptobenthic fishes. Cryptobenthic fish assemblages from dock pilings in Belize and Panama were less diverse and had lower densities than nearby reef habitats. However, dock pilings harbored almost exclusively native species, including two species of conservation concern absent from nearby natural habitats. Our results suggest that, in contrast to sessile epifaunal assemblages on artificial substrates, artificial marine habitats can harbor diverse, regionally characteristic assemblages of vertebrates that follow macroecological patterns that are well documented for natural habitats. We therefore posit that, although dock pilings cannot function as a replacement for natural habitats, dock pilings may provide cost-effective means to preserve native vertebrate biodiversity, and provide a habitat that can be relatively easily monitored to track the status and trends of fish biodiversity in highly urbanized coastal marine environments.
Sorokin, D.Y.; Berben, T.; Melton, E.D.; Overmars, L.; Vavourakis, C.D.; Muyzer, G.
Soda lakes contain high concentrations of sodium carbonates resulting in a stable elevated pH, which provide a unique habitat to a rich diversity of haloalkaliphilic bacteria and archaea. Both cultivation-dependent and -independent methods have aided the identification of key processes and genes in
M. B. Théodore Munyuli
Full Text Available The aim of this study was to collect information about the diversity of butterfly communities in the mixed coffee-banana mosaic (seminatural, agricultural landscapes of rural central Uganda. Data were collected for one year (2006 using fruit-bait traps, line transect walk-and-counts, and hand nets. A total of 56,315 individuals belonging to 331 species, 95 genera, and 6 families were sampled. The most abundant species was Bicyclus safitza (14.5% followed by Acraea acerata (6.3%, Catopsilia florella (6.5% and Junonia sophia (6.1%. Significant differences in abundance, species richness, and diversity of butterflies occurred between the 26 study sites. Farmland butterflies visited a variety of habitats within and around sites, but important habitats included woodlands, fallows, hedgerows, swampy habitats, abandoned gardens, and home gardens. The highest diversity and abundance of butterflies occurred in sites that contained forest remnants. Thus, forest reserves in the surrounding of fields increased the conservation values of coffee-banana agroforestry systems for butterflies. Their protection from degradation should be a priority for policy makers since they support a species-rich community of butterflies pollinating cultivated plants. Farmers are encouraged to protect and increase on-farm areas covered by complex traditional agroforests, linear, and nonlinear seminatural habitats to provide sufficient breeding sites and nectar resources for butterflies.
Cabrol, A.; Grin, E. A.; Hock, A.; Kiss, A.; Borics, G.; Kiss, K.; Acs, E.; Kovacs, G.; Chong, G.; Demergasso, C.
We present data and results from an ongoing project of astrobiological high-altitude expeditions investigating the highest and least explored perennial lakes on Earth in the Bolivian and Chilean Andes, including several volcanic crater lakes nearing and beyond 6,000 m in elevation. In the next five years, they will provide the first integrated long-term astrobiological characterization and monitoring of lacustrine environments and their biology for such altitude. These extreme lakes are natural laboratories. They provide the field data missing beyond 4,000 m to complete our understanding of terrestrial lakes and biota. Research on the effects of UV has been performed in lower altitude lakes and models of UV flux over time are being developed. Lakes showing a high content of dissolved organic material (DOM) shield organisms from UV. DOM acts as a natural sunscreen as it influences the water transparency, therefore is a determinant of photic zone depth. In sparsely vegetated alpine areas, lakes are clearer and offer less protection from UV to organisms living in the water. Transparent water and high UV irradiance may maximize the penetration and effect of UV radiation. Shallow-water communities in these lakes are particularly sensitive to UV radiation. The periphyton can live on various susbtrates. While on rocks, it includes immobile species that cannot seek low UV refuges unlike sediment-dwelling periphyton or alpine phytoflagellates which undergo vertical migration. Inhibition of algal photosynthesis by UV radiation has been documented in laboratory and showed that phytoplankton production is reduced by formation of nucleic acid lesions or production of peroxides and free oxygen radicals. of peroxides and free oxygen radicals. Our project is providing the field data that is missing from natural laboratories beyond 4,000 m and will complement the vision of the effects of UV on life and its adaptation modes (or lack thereof).
Full Text Available Mangrove habitats are under severe land use pressure throughout the world and Australia is no exception. Here we describe the heterogeneity of mangrove habitat and its relationship with mangrove bird diversity. We examined the role of mangrove habitat complexity in determining the richness of avian mangrove dependent species (MDS and interior species, overall bird species richness and density. High species richness (overall and MDS and density in the mangroves was associated with plant species richness, the density of the understory and food resource distribution. Furthermore, habitat heterogeneity rather than patch area per se was a more important predictor of species richness in the mangroves. These findings stress the importance of habitat diversity and quality to the diversity and density of birds in mangroves. Thus, habitat heterogeneity within mangroves is a crucial patch characteristic, independent of mangrove patch size, for maintaining diverse avian species assemblages.
Hamm, Michaela; Drossel, Barbara
Spatial heterogeneity is an inherent property of any living environment and is expected to favour biodiversity due to a broader niche space. Furthermore, edges between different habitats can provide additional possibilities for species coexistence. Using computer simulations, this study examines metacommunities consisting of several trophic levels in heterogeneous environments in order to explore the above hypotheses on a community level. We model heterogeneous landscapes by using two different sized resource pools and evaluate the combined effect of dispersal and heterogeneity on local and regional species diversity. This diversity is obtained by running population dynamics and evaluating the robustness (i.e., the fraction of surviving species). The main results for regional robustness are in agreement with the habitat heterogeneity hypothesis, as the largest robustness is found in heterogeneous systems with intermediate dispersal rates. This robustness is larger than in homogeneous systems with the same total amount of resources. We study the edge effect by arranging the two types of resources in two homogeneous blocks. Different edge responses in diversity are observed, depending on dispersal strength. Local robustness is highest for edge habitats that contain the smaller amount of resource in combination with intermediate dispersal. The results show that dispersal is relevant to correctly identify edge responses on community level. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Mona, S; Ray, N; Arenas, M; Excoffier, L
We investigate the effect of habitat fragmentation on the genetic diversity of a species experiencing a range expansion. These two evolutionary processes have not been studied yet, at the same time, owing to the difficulties of deriving analytic results for non-equilibrium models. Here we provide a description of their interaction by using extensive spatial and temporal coalescent simulations and we suggest guidelines for a proper genetic sampling to detect fragmentation. To model habitat fragmentation, we simulated a two-dimensional lattice of demes partitioned into groups (patches) by adding barriers to dispersal. After letting a population expand on this grid, we sampled lineages from the lattice at several scales and studied their coalescent history. We find that in order to detect fragmentation, one needs to extensively sample at a local level rather than at a landscape level. This is because the gene genealogy of a scattered sample is less sensitive to the presence of genetic barriers. Considering the effect of temporal changes of fragmentation intensities, we find that at least 10, but often >100, generations are needed to affect local genetic diversity and population structure. This result explains why recent habitat fragmentation does not always lead to detectable signatures in the genetic structure of populations. Finally, as expected, long-distance dispersal increases local genetic diversity and decreases levels of population differentiation, efficiently counteracting the effects of fragmentation.
Perry, M.C.; Majumdar, S.K.; Miller, E.W.; Brenner, Fred J.
The wetlands of Chesapeake Bay have provided the vital habitats that have sustained the impressive wildlife populations that have brought international fame to the Bay. As these wetland habitats decrease in quantity and quality we will continue to see the decline in the wildlife populations that started when European settlers first came to this continent. These declines have accelerated significantly in this century. As the human population continues to increase in the Bay watershed, one can expect that wetland habitats will continue to decline, resulting in declines in species diversity and population numbers. Although federal, state, and local governments are striving for 'no net loss' of wetlands, the results to date are not encouraging. It is unrealistic to believe that human populations and associated development can continue to increase and not adversely affect the wetland resources of the Bay. Restrictions on human population growth in the Chesapeake area is clearly the best way to protect wetland habitats and the wildlife that are dependent on these habitats. In addition, there should be more aggressive approaches to protect wetland habitats from continued perturbations from humans. More sanctuary areas should be created and there should be greater use of enhancement and management techniques that will benefit the full complement of species that potentially exist in these wetlands. The present trend in wetland loss can be expected to continue as human populations increase with resultant increases in roads, shopping malls, and housing developments. Creation of habitat for mitigation of these losses will not result in 'no net loss'. More innovative approaches should be employed to reverse the long-term trend in wetland loss by humans.
James, Scott Carlton; Schaub, Edward F.; Jepsen, Richard Alan; Roberts, Jesse Daniel
The waters of the Pecos River in New Mexico must be delivered to three primary users: (1) The Pecos River Compact: each year a percentage of water from natural river flow must be delivered to Texas; (2) Agriculture: Carlsbad Irrigation District has a storage and diversion right and Fort Sumner Irrigation District has a direct flow diversion right; and, (3) Endangered Species Act: an as yet unspecified amount of water is to support Pecos Bluntnose Shiner Minnow habitat within and along the Pecos River. Currently, the United States Department of Interior Bureau of Reclamation, the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, and the United States Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service are studying the Pecos Bluntnose Shiner Minnow habitat preference. Preliminary work by Fish and Wildlife personnel in the critical habitat suggest that water depth and water velocity are key parameters defining minnow habitat preference. However, river flows that provide adequate preferred habitat to support this species have yet to be determined. Because there is a limited amount of water in the Pecos River and its reservoirs, it is critical to allocate water efficiently such that habitat is maintained, while honoring commitments to agriculture and to the Pecos River Compact. This study identifies the relationship between Pecos River flow rates in cubic feet per second (cfs) and water depth and water velocity.
Farias Margaret E M
Full Text Available Abstract Background The avian disease system in Hawaii offers an ideal opportunity to investigate host-pathogen interactions in a natural setting. Previous studies have recognized only a single mitochondrial lineage of avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum in the Hawaiian Islands, but cloning and sequencing of nuclear genes suggest a higher degree of genetic diversity. Methods In order to evaluate genetic diversity of P. relictum at the population level and further understand host-parasite interactions, a modified single-base extension (SBE method was used to explore spatial and temporal distribution patterns of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs in the thrombospondin-related anonymous protein (trap gene of P. relictum infections from 121 hatch-year amakihi (Hemignathus virens on the east side of Hawaii Island. Results Rare alleles and mixed infections were documented at three of eight SNP loci; this is the first documentation of genetically diverse infections of P. relictum at the population level in Hawaii. Logistic regression revealed that the likelihood of infection with a rare allele increased at low-elevation, but decreased as mosquito capture rates increased. The inverse relationship between vector capture rates and probability of infection with a rare allele is unexpected given current theories of epidemiology developed in human malarias. Conclusions The results of this study suggest that pathogen diversity in Hawaii may be driven by a complex interaction of factors including transmission rates, host immune pressures, and parasite-parasite competition.
Farias, Margaret E.M.; Atkinson, Carter T.; LaPointe, Dennis A.; Jarvi, Susan I.
Background: The avian disease system in Hawaii offers an ideal opportunity to investigate host-pathogen interactions in a natural setting. Previous studies have recognized only a single mitochondrial lineage of avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) in the Hawaiian Islands, but cloning and sequencing of nuclear genes suggest a higher degree of genetic diversity. Methods: In order to evaluate genetic diversity of P. relictum at the population level and further understand host-parasite interactions, a modified single-base extension (SBE) method was used to explore spatial and temporal distribution patterns of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the thrombospondin-related anonymous protein (trap) gene of P. relictum infections from 121 hatch-year amakihi (Hemignathus virens) on the east side of Hawaii Island. Results: Rare alleles and mixed infections were documented at three of eight SNP loci; this is the first documentation of genetically diverse infections of P. relictum at the population level in Hawaii. Logistic regression revealed that the likelihood of infection with a rare allele increased at low-elevation, but decreased as mosquito capture rates increased. The inverse relationship between vector capture rates and probability of infection with a rare allele is unexpected given current theories of epidemiology developed in human malarias. Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that pathogen diversity in Hawaii may be driven by a complex interaction of factors including transmission rates, host immune pressures, and parasite-parasite competition.
Lewis, Rob; de Bello, Francesco; A Bennett, Jonathan
Linking diversity to biological processes is central for developing informed and effective conservation decisions. Unfortunately, observable patterns provide only a proportion of the information necessary for fully understanding the mechanisms and processes acting on a particular population...... or community. We suggest conservation managers use the often overlooked information relative to species absences and pay particular attention to dark diversity (i.e., a set of species that are absent from a site but that could disperse to and establish there, in other words, the absent portion of a habitat......). Furthermore, through a detailed understanding of the population, community, and functional dark diversity, the restoration potential of degraded habitats can be more rigorously assessed further and so to the likelihood of successful species invasions. We suggest the application of the dark-diversity concept...
Abella, Scott R.; Berry, Kristin H.
Habitat has changed unfavorably during the past 150 y for the desert tortoise Gopherus agassizii, a federally threatened species with declining populations in the Mojave Desert and western Sonoran Desert. To support recovery efforts, we synthesized published information on relationships of desert tortoises with three habitat features (cover sites, forage, and soil) and candidate management practices for improving these features for tortoises. In addition to their role in soil health and facilitating recruitment of annual forage plants, shrubs are used by desert tortoises for cover and as sites for burrows. Outplanting greenhouse-grown seedlings, protected from herbivory, has successfully restored (>50% survival) a variety of shrubs on disturbed desert soils. Additionally, salvaging and reapplying topsoil using effective techniques is among the more ecologically beneficial ways to initiate plant recovery after severe disturbance. Through differences in biochemical composition and digestibility, some plant species provide better-quality forage than others. Desert tortoises selectively forage on particular annual and herbaceous perennial species (e.g., legumes), and forage selection shifts during the year as different plants grow or mature. Nonnative grasses provide low-quality forage and contribute fuel to spreading wildfires, which damage or kill shrubs that tortoises use for cover. Maintaining a diverse “menu” of native annual forbs and decreasing nonnative grasses are priorities for restoring most desert tortoise habitats. Reducing herbivory by nonnative animals, carefully timing herbicide applications, and strategically augmenting annual forage plants via seeding show promise for improving tortoise forage quality. Roads, another disturbance, negatively affect habitat in numerous ways (e.g., compacting soil, altering hydrology). Techniques such as recontouring road berms to reestablish drainage patterns, vertical mulching (“planting” dead plant material
Patel, Salma I; Rodríguez, Patricia; Gonzales, Rayna J
Although the population of diverse applicants applying to medical school has increased over recent years (AAMC Diversity in Medical Education: Facts and Figures 2012); efforts persist to ensure the continuance of this increasing trend. Mentoring students at an early age may be an effective method by which to accomplish diversity within the applicant pool. Having a diverse physician population is more likely able to adequately address the healthcare needs of our diverse population. The purpose of this study is to initiate a pipeline program, called the Medical Student Mentorship Program (MSMP), designed to specifically target high school students from lower economic status, ethnic, or racial underrepresented populations. High school students were paired with medical students, who served as primary mentors to facilitate exposure to processes involved in preparing and training for careers in medicine and other healthcare-related fields as well as research. Mentors were solicited from first and second year medical students at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix (UACOM-P). Two separate cohorts of mentees were selected based on an application process from a local high school for the school years 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. Anonymous mentee and mentor surveys were used to evaluate the success of the MSMP. A total of 16 pairs of mentees and mentors in the 2010-2011 (Group 1) and 2011-2012 (Group 2) studies participated in MSMP. High school students reported that they were more likely to apply to medical school after participating in the program. Mentees also reported that they received a significant amount of support, helpful information, and guidance from their medical student mentors. Overall, feedback from mentees and mentors was positive and they reported that their participation was rewarding. Mentees were contacted 2 to 3 years post MSMP participation as sophomores or juniors in college, and all reported that they were on a pre-healthcare career track
Mercante, M A; Rodrigues, S C; Ross, J L S
The present study deals with the inter-relations in the relief which forms the Bacia do Alto Rio Paraguay (BAP) in mid-west Brazil. The overall aim is to discuss the relationship between relief forms and the biodiversity of the Pantanal. The BAP is a natural environmental system with contrasts in two of the compartments on which it is formed: the plateau, the most elevated compartment, highly transformed by human activities, and the plain which forms the Pantanal, which is more preserved and less transformed in relation to productive activities. The analysis was performed based on publications with a geomorphologic focus, examining the different relief units of the BAP and the dynamics of the revealing processes of landscape change which the Pantanal has undergone since the end of the Pleistocene.
McCauley, Lisa A.; Anteau, Michael J.; Post van der Burg, Max
Many waterbird species utilize a diversity of aquatic habitats; however, with increasing anthropogenic needs to manage water regimes there is global concern over impacts to waterbird populations. The federally threatened Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plovers) is a shorebird that breeds in three habitat types in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Canada: riverine sandbars; reservoir shorelines; and prairie wetlands. Water surface areas of these habitats fluctuate in response to wet-dry periods; decreasing water surface areas expose shorelines that plovers utilize for nesting. Climate varies across the region so when other habitats are unavailable for plover nesting because of flooding, prairie wetlands may periodically provide habitat. Over the last century, many of the wetlands used by plovers in the Prairie Pothole Region have been modified to receive water from consolidation drainage (drainage of smaller wetlands into another wetland), which could eliminate shoreline nesting habitat. We evaluated whether consolidation drainage and fuller wetlands have decreased plover presence in 32 wetlands historically used by plovers. We found that wetlands with more consolidation drainage in their catchment and wetlands that were fuller had a lower probability of plover presence. These results suggest that plovers could have historically used prairie wetlands during the breeding season but consolidation drainage and/or climate change have reduced available shoreline habitat for plovers through increased water levels. Prairie wetlands, outside of some alkali wetlands in the western portion of the region, are less studied as habitat for plovers when compared to river and reservoir shorelines. Our study suggests that these wetlands may have played a larger role in plover ecology than previously thought. Wetland restoration and conservation, through the restoration of natural hydrology, may be required to ensure that adequate habitat
Aguilar, Ramiro; Quesada, Mauricio; Ashworth, Lorena; Herrerias-Diego, Yvonne; Lobo, Jorge
Conservation of genetic diversity, one of the three main forms of biodiversity, is a fundamental concern in conservation biology as it provides the raw material for evolutionary change and thus the potential to adapt to changing environments. By means of meta-analyses, we tested the generality of the hypotheses that habitat fragmentation affects genetic diversity of plant populations and that certain life history and ecological traits of plants can determine differential susceptibility to genetic erosion in fragmented habitats. Additionally, we assessed whether certain methodological approaches used by authors influence the ability to detect fragmentation effects on plant genetic diversity. We found overall large and negative effects of fragmentation on genetic diversity and outcrossing rates but no effects on inbreeding coefficients. Significant increases in inbreeding coefficient in fragmented habitats were only observed in studies analyzing progenies. The mating system and the rarity status of plants explained the highest proportion of variation in the effect sizes among species. The age of the fragment was also decisive in explaining variability among effect sizes: the larger the number of generations elapsed in fragmentation conditions, the larger the negative magnitude of effect sizes on heterozygosity. Our results also suggest that fragmentation is shifting mating patterns towards increased selfing. We conclude that current conservation efforts in fragmented habitats should be focused on common or recently rare species and mainly outcrossing species and outline important issues that need to be addressed in future research on this area.
Sean M Murphy
Full Text Available Loss and fragmentation of natural habitats caused by human land uses have subdivided several formerly contiguous large carnivore populations into multiple small and often isolated subpopulations, which can reduce genetic variation and lead to precipitous population declines. Substantial habitat loss and fragmentation from urban development and agriculture expansion relegated the Highlands-Glades subpopulation (HGS of Florida, USA, black bears (Ursus americanus floridanus to prolonged isolation; increasing human land development is projected to cause ≥ 50% loss of remaining natural habitats occupied by the HGS in coming decades. We conducted a noninvasive genetic spatial capture-recapture study to quantitatively describe the degree of contemporary habitat fragmentation and investigate the consequences of habitat fragmentation on population density and genetics of the HGS. Remaining natural habitats sustaining the HGS were significantly more fragmented and patchier than those supporting Florida's largest black bear subpopulation. Genetic diversity was low (AR = 3.57; HE = 0.49 and effective population size was small (NE = 25 bears, both of which remained unchanged over a period spanning one bear generation despite evidence of some immigration. Subpopulation density (0.054 bear/km2 was among the lowest reported for black bears, was significantly female-biased, and corresponded to a subpopulation size of 98 bears in available habitat. Conserving remaining natural habitats in the area occupied by the small, genetically depauperate HGS, possibly through conservation easements and government land acquisition, is likely the most important immediate step to ensuring continued persistence of bears in this area. Our study also provides evidence that preferentially placing detectors (e.g., hair traps or cameras primarily in quality habitat across fragmented landscapes poses a challenge to estimating density-habitat covariate relationships using spatial
Murphy, Sean M; Augustine, Ben C; Ulrey, Wade A; Guthrie, Joseph M; Scheick, Brian K; McCown, J Walter; Cox, John J
Loss and fragmentation of natural habitats caused by human land uses have subdivided several formerly contiguous large carnivore populations into multiple small and often isolated subpopulations, which can reduce genetic variation and lead to precipitous population declines. Substantial habitat loss and fragmentation from urban development and agriculture expansion relegated the Highlands-Glades subpopulation (HGS) of Florida, USA, black bears (Ursus americanus floridanus) to prolonged isolation; increasing human land development is projected to cause ≥ 50% loss of remaining natural habitats occupied by the HGS in coming decades. We conducted a noninvasive genetic spatial capture-recapture study to quantitatively describe the degree of contemporary habitat fragmentation and investigate the consequences of habitat fragmentation on population density and genetics of the HGS. Remaining natural habitats sustaining the HGS were significantly more fragmented and patchier than those supporting Florida's largest black bear subpopulation. Genetic diversity was low (AR = 3.57; HE = 0.49) and effective population size was small (NE = 25 bears), both of which remained unchanged over a period spanning one bear generation despite evidence of some immigration. Subpopulation density (0.054 bear/km2) was among the lowest reported for black bears, was significantly female-biased, and corresponded to a subpopulation size of 98 bears in available habitat. Conserving remaining natural habitats in the area occupied by the small, genetically depauperate HGS, possibly through conservation easements and government land acquisition, is likely the most important immediate step to ensuring continued persistence of bears in this area. Our study also provides evidence that preferentially placing detectors (e.g., hair traps or cameras) primarily in quality habitat across fragmented landscapes poses a challenge to estimating density-habitat covariate relationships using spatial capture
Cruz-Angón, Andrea; Sillett, T Scott; Greenberg, Russell
Unique components of tropical habitats, such as abundant vascular epiphytes, influence the distribution of species and can contribute to the high diversity of many animal groups in the tropics. However, the role of such features in habitat selection and demography of individual species has not been established. Understanding the mechanisms of habitat selection requires both experimental manipulation of habitat structure and detailed estimation of the behavioral and demographic response of animals, e.g., changes in movement patterns and survival probabilities. Such studies have not been conducted in natural tropical forest, perhaps because of high habitat heterogeneity, high species diversity, and low abundances of potential target species. Agroforestry systems support a less diverse flora, with greater spatial homogeneity which, in turn, harbors lower overall species diversity with greater numerical dominance of common species, than natural forests. Furthermore, agroforestry systems are already extensively managed and lend themselves easily to larger scale habitat manipulations than protected natural forest. Thus, agroforestry systems provide a good model environment for beginning to understand processes underlying habitat selection in tropical forest animals. Here, we use multistate, capture-recapture models to investigate how the experimental removal of epiphytes affected monthly movement and survival probabilities of two resident bird species (Common Bush-Tanager [Chlorospingus ophthalmicus] and Golden-crowned Warbler [Basileuterus culicivorus]) in a Mexican shade coffee plantation. We established two paired plots of epiphyte removal and control. We found that Bush-Tanagers were at least five times more likely to emigrate from plots where epiphytes were removed compared to control plots. Habitat-specific movement patterns were not detected in the warbler. However, unlike the Golden-crowned Warbler, Common Bush-Tanagers depend upon epiphytes for nest sites and
Tappeiner, John; Poage, Nathan; Erickson, Janet L.
Background As part of the Northwest Forest Plan, large areas have been designated on many federal forests in western Oregon to provide critical habitat for plants and animals that are associated with old-growth habitat. Some of the structural characteristics often considered typical of old forests include large-diameter overstory trees, large standing and fallen dead trees, and one or more understory layers (Figure 1). However, not all of these areas are currently in old-growth conditions. Many of them contain young (regenerated after timber harvest. The original management goal for these stands was to produce high yields of timber and associated wood products. With implementation of the Northwest Forest Plan in 1994, the management objective shifted to accelerating development of old-growth characteristics by enhancing structural and biological diversity of these areas. A major challenge today is how to promote these structural characteristics in younger stands. Researchers have been asking if lessons can be learned from the development of our current old growth and applied to management of younger stands. Dr. John Tappeiner and his university and agency research partners are helping to answer this question by examining the differences in development between old-growth and young stands in western Oregon. Understanding how the structure of these old forests developed may provide a model for management of young stands, especially when the management goal is to provide habitat for species associated with older forests.
Life Support Systems are critical to sustain human habitation of space over long time periods. As orbiting space habitats become operational in the future, support systems such as atmo-sphere, food, water etc. will play a very pivotal role in sustaining life. To design a long-duration space habitat, it's important to consider the full gamut of human experience of the environment. Long-term viability depends on much more than just the structural or life support efficiency. A space habitat isn't just a machine; it's a life experience. To be viable, it needs to keep the inhabitants satisfied with their condition. This paper provides conceptual research on several key factors that influence the growth and sustainability of humans in a space habitat. Apart from the main life support system parameters, the architecture (both interior and exterior) of the habitat will play a crucial role in influencing the liveability in the space habitat. In order to ensure the best possible liveability for the inhabitants, a truncated (half cut) torus is proposed as the shape of the habitat. This structure rotating at an optimum rpm will en-sure 1g pseudo gravity to the inhabitants. The truncated torus design has several advantages over other proposed shapes such as a cylinder or a sphere. The design provides minimal grav-ity variation (delta g) in the living area, since its flat outer pole ensures a constant gravity. The design is superior in economy of structural and atmospheric mass. Interior architecture of the habitat addresses the total built environment, drawing from diverse disciplines includ-ing physiology, psychology, and sociology. Furthermore, factors such as line of sight, natural sunlight and overhead clearance have been discussed in the interior architecture. Substantial radiation shielding is also required in order to prevent harmful cosmic radiations and solar flares from causing damage to inhabitants. Regolith shielding of 10 tons per meter square is proposed for the
Ponisio, Lauren C; M'Gonigle, Leithen K; Kremen, Claire
To slow the rate of global species loss, it is imperative to understand how to restore and maintain native biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. Currently, agriculture is associated with lower spatial heterogeneity and turnover in community composition (β-diversity). While some techniques are known to enhance α-diversity, it is unclear whether habitat restoration can re-establish β-diversity. Using a long-term pollinator dataset, comprising ∼9,800 specimens collected from the intensively managed agricultural landscape of the Central Valley of California, we show that on-farm habitat restoration in the form of native plant 'hedgerows', when replicated across a landscape, can boost β-diversity by approximately 14% relative to unrestored field margins, to levels similar to some natural communities. Hedgerows restore β-diversity by promoting the assembly of phenotypically diverse communities. Intensively managed agriculture imposes a strong ecological filter that negatively affects several important dimensions of community trait diversity, distribution, and uniqueness. However, by helping to restore phenotypically diverse pollinator communities, small-scale restorations such as hedgerows provide a valuable tool for conserving biodiversity and promoting ecosystem services. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Sloat, Matthew R; Reeves, Gordon H; Christiansen, Kelly R
In rivers supporting Pacific salmon in southeast Alaska, USA, regional trends toward a warmer, wetter climate are predicted to increase mid- and late-21st-century mean annual flood size by 17% and 28%, respectively. Increased flood size could alter stream habitats used by Pacific salmon for reproduction, with negative consequences for the substantial economic, cultural, and ecosystem services these fish provide. We combined field measurements and model simulations to estimate the potential influence of future flood disturbance on geomorphic processes controlling the quality and extent of coho, chum, and pink salmon spawning habitat in over 800 southeast Alaska watersheds. Spawning habitat responses varied widely across watersheds and among salmon species. Little variation among watersheds in potential spawning habitat change was explained by predicted increases in mean annual flood size. Watershed response diversity was mediated primarily by topographic controls on stream channel confinement, reach-scale geomorphic associations with spawning habitat preferences, and complexity in the pace and mode of geomorphic channel responses to altered flood size. Potential spawning habitat loss was highest for coho salmon, which spawn over a wide range of geomorphic settings, including steeper, confined stream reaches that are more susceptible to streambed scour during high flows. We estimated that 9-10% and 13-16% of the spawning habitat for coho salmon could be lost by the 2040s and 2080s, respectively, with losses occurring primarily in confined, higher-gradient streams that provide only moderate-quality habitat. Estimated effects were lower for pink and chum salmon, which primarily spawn in unconfined floodplain streams. Our results illustrate the importance of accounting for valley and reach-scale geomorphic features in watershed assessments of climate vulnerability, especially in topographically complex regions. Failure to consider the geomorphic context of stream
Bookout, Paul S.; Smitherman, David
This project will develop, integrate, test, and evaluate Habitation Systems that will be utilized as technology testbeds and will advance NASA's understanding of alternative deep space mission architectures, requirements, and operations concepts. Rapid prototyping and existing hardware will be utilized to develop full-scale habitat demonstrators. FY 2014 focused on the development of a large volume Space Launch System (SLS) class habitat (Skylab Gen 2) based on the SLS hydrogen tank components. Similar to the original Skylab, a tank section of the SLS rocket can be outfitted with a deep space habitat configuration and launched as a payload on an SLS rocket. This concept can be used to support extended stay at the Lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit to support the Asteroid Retrieval Mission and provide a habitat suitable for human missions to Mars.
Dalleau, Mayeul; Andréfouët, Serge; Wabnitz, Colette C C; Payri, Claude; Wantiez, Laurent; Pichon, Michel; Friedman, Kim; Vigliola, Laurent; Benzoni, Francesca
Marine protected areas (MPAs) have been highlighted as a means toward effective conservation of coral reefs. New strategies are required to more effectively select MPA locations and increase the pace of their implementation. Many criteria exist to design MPA networks, but generally, it is recommended that networks conserve a diversity of species selected for, among other attributes, their representativeness, rarity, or endemicity. Because knowledge of species' spatial distribution remains scarce, efficient surrogates are urgently needed. We used five different levels of habitat maps and six spatial scales of analysis to identify under which circumstances habitat data used to design MPA networks for Wallis Island provided better representation of species than random choice alone. Protected-area site selections were derived from a rarity-complementarity algorithm. Habitat surrogacy was tested for commercial fish species, all fish species, commercially harvested invertebrates, corals, and algae species. Efficiency of habitat surrogacy varied by species group, type of habitat map, and spatial scale of analysis. Maps with the highest habitat thematic complexity provided better surrogates than simpler maps and were more robust to changes in spatial scales. Surrogates were most efficient for commercial fishes, corals, and algae but not for commercial invertebrates. Conversely, other measurements of species-habitat associations, such as richness congruence and composition similarities provided weak results. We provide, in part, a habitat-mapping methodology for designation of MPAs for Pacific Ocean islands that are characterized by habitat zonations similar to Wallis. Given the increasing availability and affordability of space-borne imagery to map habitats, our approach could appreciably facilitate and improve current approaches to coral reef conservation and enhance MPA implementation.
Jascieli Carla Bortolini
Full Text Available The alpha, beta, and gamma diversity are important tools for conservation studies, and the distribution of species in space and time is essential to provided insights regarding diversity patterns and processes that modify the ecosystem and the community responses to such changes. Thus, a long-term ecological date was used to evaluate in 12 biotopes the phytoplankton composition and diversity within selected habitats (alpha diversity, between habitats (beta diversity and across the upper Paraná River floodplain (gamma diversity. We evaluate the environmental variability of the hydrosedimentological cycles (limnophase and potamophase during 12 years, associated with the water level variability and with the environmental heterogeneity as drivers of the phytoplankton composition and diversity in the upper Paraná River floodplain. Remarkable gamma diversity was recorded especially in limnophase, however, years with intense flood presented high gamma diversity, and years with extreme drought presented low gamma diversity, although without significant differences. The alpha diversity was significantly different on spatial and temporal scales. The beta diversity showed high values, however with low temporal variability and without correlation with the hydrosedimentological regime of the Paraná River. Overall, these results indicate that the variability in the hydrosedimentological regime associated with the periodicity, duration, and amplitude of limnophase and potamophase, and the pattern of mosaic of habitats in this floodplain are essential for sustaining much of the diversity phytoplankton diversity and ecosystem integrity, and that this approach is relevant and proved be useful to understand floodplain systems and associated phytoplankton community.
Skorupa, D J; Reeb, V; Castenholz, R W; Bhattacharya, D; McDermott, T R
The Cyanidiales are unicellular red algae that are unique among phototrophs. They thrive in acidic, moderately high-temperature habitats typically associated with geothermally active regions, although much remains to be learned about their distribution and diversity within such extreme environments. We focused on Yellowstone National Park (YNP), using culture-dependent efforts in combination with a park-wide environmental polymerase chain reaction (PCR) survey to examine Cyanidiales diversity and distribution in aqueous (i.e. submerged), soil and endolithic environments. Phylogenetic reconstruction of Cyanidiales biodiversity demonstrated the presence of Cyanidioschyzon and Galdieria lineages exhibiting distinct habitat preferences. Cyanidioschyzon was the only phylotype detected in aqueous environments, but was also prominent in moist soil and endolithic habitats, environments where this genus was thought to be scarce. Galdieria was found in soil and endolithic samples, but absent in aqueous habitats. Interestingly, Cyanidium could not be found in the surveys, suggesting this genus may be absent or rare in YNP. Direct microscopic counts and viable counts from soil samples collected along a moisture gradient were positively correlated with moisture content, providing the first in situ evidence that gravimetric moisture is an important environmental parameter controlling distribution of these algae. © 2013 The Society for Applied Microbiology.
Mark A. Rumble
Unreclaimed surface mine impoundments provide poor fish and wildlife habitat. Recommendations given here for reclaiming "prelaw" impoundments and creating new impoundments could provide valuable fish and wildlife habitat if incorporated into existing laws and mine plans.
Anneville, Orlane; Lasne, Emilien; Guillard, Jean; Eckmann, Reiner; Stockwell, Jason D.; Gillet, Christian; Yule, Daniel
Fish species diversity can be lost through interacting stressors including habitat loss, stocking and overfishing. Although a multitude of stressors have played a role in the global decline of coregonid (Coregonus spp.) diversity, a number of contemporary studies have identified habitat loss stemming from eutrophication as the primary cause. Unfortunately, reconstructing the role of fishing and stocking practices can be difficult, because these records are incomplete or appear only in hard-to-access historic grey literature. Based on an illustrative set of historic and contemporary studies, we describe how fisheries management practices may have contributed to coregonid diversity loss in European and North American lakes. We provide case studies examining how fishing and stocking may reduce coregonid diversity through demographic decline and introgressive hybridization. In some lakes, fisheries management practices may have led to a loss of coregonid diversity well before issues with habitat degradation manifested. Our review suggests that fish conservation policies could beneficially consider the relative importance of all stressors, including management practices, as potential drivers of diversity loss.
Populations of wild salmon and steelhead in the Middle Fork of the Salmon River are at historical lows. Until passage and flow problems associated with Columbia River dams are corrected to reduce mortalities of migrating smolts, continuance of habitat enhancements that decrease sediment loads, increase vegetative cover, remove passage barriers, and provide habitat diversity is imperative to maintain surviving populations of these specially adapted fish. In 1987-1988, 4.3 miles of fence was constructed establishing a riparian livestock exclosure. One end-gap and two water-crossing corridors were constructed in 1989 to complete the fence system. Areas within the exclosure have been fertilized to promote tree and shrub root growth and meadow recovery. A stream crossing ford was stabilized with angular cobble. Streambank stabilization/habitat cover work was completed at three sites and three additional habitat structures were placed. Extensive inventories were completed to identify habitat available to anadromous fish. Streambank stabilization work was limited to extremely unstable banks, minimizing radical alterations to an active stream channel. Enhancement activities will improve spawning, incubation, and rearing habitat for wild populations of steelhead trout and chinook salmon. Anadromous species population increases resulting from these enhancement activities will provide partial compensation for downstream losses resulting from hydroelectric developments on the Columbia River system. 10 refs., 11 figs., 5 tabs.
Edwards, David P; Gilroy, James J; Thomas, Gavin H; Uribe, Claudia A Medina; Haugaasen, Torbjørn
The conversion of natural habitats to farmland is a major driver of the global extinction crisis. Two strategies are promoted to mitigate the impacts of agricultural expansion on biodiversity: land sharing integrates wildlife-friendly habitats within farmland landscapes, and land sparing intensifies farming to allow the offset of natural reserves. A key question is which strategy would protect the most phylogenetic diversity--the total evolutionary history shared across all species within a community. Conserving phylogenetic diversity decreases the chance of losing unique phenotypic and ecological traits and provides benefits for ecosystem function and stability. Focusing on birds in the threatened Chocó-Andes hotspot of endemism, we tested the relative benefits of each strategy for retaining phylogenetic diversity in tropical cloud forest landscapes threatened by cattle pastures. Using landscape simulations, we find that land sharing would protect lower community-level phylogenetic diversity than land sparing and that with increasing distance from forest (from 500 to >1,500 m), land sharing is increasingly inferior to land sparing. Isolation from forest also leads to the loss of more evolutionarily distinct species from communities within land-sharing landscapes, which can be avoided with effective land sparing. Land-sharing policies that promote the integration of small-scale wildlife-friendly habitats might be of limited benefit without the simultaneous protection of larger blocks of natural habitat, which is most likely to be achieved via land-sparing measures. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Distribución y diversidad de hábitats en el humedal de la Reserva Natural Presidente Sarmiento, San Juan, Argentina Distribution and habitats diversity on the wetland of President Sarmiento Natural Reserve, San Juan, Argentina
Daniel Germán Flores
Full Text Available En el Área Natural Protegida Presidente Sarmiento (APN, ubicada en la depresión intermontaña del valle de Zonda, región del centro-oeste de Argentina, se cartografiaron los factores relieve, consistencia y estado de humedad de los suelos y vegetación, con el fin de contribuir al manejo del humedal. Éste se ubica en la porción distal de un extenso abanico aluvial, en coincidencia con la zona de descarga de agua. Se efectuó un análisis multidisciplinar para establecer relaciones entre la diversidad de hábitats y relieves, la vegetación y los suelos. Se identificaron y clasificaron genéticamente 10 ambientes regionales en la cuenca, donde el ANP ocupa 2 de estos 10 ambientes. A escala local, con fotos aéreas y trabajo de campo, se identificaron 7 sitios con sus variaciones en consistencia de suelos y vegetación. Se clasificaron 37 especies agrupadas en 18 familias. Las Fabaceae y Asteraceae son predominantes. En la reserva, el tamarindo (Tamarix gallica resultó ser la especie exótica más adaptable; invade y desplaza a las especies nativas. La metodología de trabajo resultó ser muy útil, comenzando desde lo regional hasta el análisis del relieve local.In the Natural Area Protected President Sarmiento (APN, situated in an intermountain depression of an arid region of the Zonda valley, a multidisciplinary analysis was performed, to stablish a relationship between habitat diversity, relief, soils and vegetation. This wetland, Provincial Park Reserve President Sarmiento, is lies in a desertic area of central-western part of Argentina. Ten regional environment units within the basin, and 7 sites within the Park were identified and classified. The sites are located in the distal part of an extensive alluvial fan. The survey of the vegetation identified a total of 37 plant species grouped into 18 families. The Fabaceae and Asteraceae are dominants. The tamarindo (Tamarix gallica was the exotic flora most adaptable to this environment
Strickland, Bradley A.; Vilella, Francisco; Belant, Jerrold L.
Habitat selection is an active behavioral process that may vary across spatial and temporal scales. Animals choose an area of primary utilization (i.e., home range) then make decisions focused on resource needs within patches. Dominance may affect the spatial distribution of conspecifics and concomitant habitat selection. Size-dependent social dominance hierarchies have been documented in captive alligators, but evidence is lacking from wild populations. We studied habitat selection for adult male American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis; n = 17) on the Pearl River in central Mississippi, USA, to test whether habitat selection was scale-dependent and individual resource selectivity was a function of conspecific body size. We used K-select analysis to quantify selection at the home range scale and patches within the home range to determine selection congruency and important habitat variables. In addition, we used linear models to determine if body size was related to selection patterns and strengths. Our results indicated habitat selection of adult male alligators was a scale-dependent process. Alligators demonstrated greater overall selection for habitat variables at the patch level and less at the home range level, suggesting resources may not be limited when selecting a home range for animals in our study area. Further, diurnal habitat selection patterns may depend on thermoregulatory needs. There was no relationship between resource selection or home range size and body size, suggesting size-dependent dominance hierarchies may not have influenced alligator resource selection or space use in our sample. Though apparent habitat suitability and low alligator density did not manifest in an observed dominance hierarchy, we hypothesize that a change in either could increase intraspecific interactions, facilitating a dominance hierarchy. Due to the broad and diverse ecological roles of alligators, understanding the factors that influence their social dominance
Bradley A Strickland
Full Text Available Habitat selection is an active behavioral process that may vary across spatial and temporal scales. Animals choose an area of primary utilization (i.e., home range then make decisions focused on resource needs within patches. Dominance may affect the spatial distribution of conspecifics and concomitant habitat selection. Size-dependent social dominance hierarchies have been documented in captive alligators, but evidence is lacking from wild populations. We studied habitat selection for adult male American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis; n = 17 on the Pearl River in central Mississippi, USA, to test whether habitat selection was scale-dependent and individual resource selectivity was a function of conspecific body size. We used K-select analysis to quantify selection at the home range scale and patches within the home range to determine selection congruency and important habitat variables. In addition, we used linear models to determine if body size was related to selection patterns and strengths. Our results indicated habitat selection of adult male alligators was a scale-dependent process. Alligators demonstrated greater overall selection for habitat variables at the patch level and less at the home range level, suggesting resources may not be limited when selecting a home range for animals in our study area. Further, diurnal habitat selection patterns may depend on thermoregulatory needs. There was no relationship between resource selection or home range size and body size, suggesting size-dependent dominance hierarchies may not have influenced alligator resource selection or space use in our sample. Though apparent habitat suitability and low alligator density did not manifest in an observed dominance hierarchy, we hypothesize that a change in either could increase intraspecific interactions, facilitating a dominance hierarchy. Due to the broad and diverse ecological roles of alligators, understanding the factors that influence their
Brooker, R. M.; Munday, P. L.; Mcleod, I. M.; Jones, G. P.
Many animals preferentially select a habitat from a range of those potentially available. However, the consequences of these preferences for distribution and abundance, and the underlying basis of habitat preferences are often unknown. The present study, conducted at Great Keppel Island, Australia, examined how distribution and abundance of an obligate corallivorous filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris, relates to coral architecture and diversity. The main drivers of the distribution and abundance of O. longirostris among reefs were coral species richness and availability of branching coral. Feeding territories had a higher percentage of Acropora coral than surrounding habitat. In addition, feeding territories had a higher percentage of the structurally important branching coral, Acropora nobilis, and a primary prey species, Acropora millepora. A series of pair-wise choice experiments in which both structural complexity and coral tissue quality were independently manipulated showed that habitat choice was primarily based on structural complexity and shelter characteristics. In addition, the choice for the preferred coral ( A. nobilis) was stronger in the presence of a piscivorous fish. These results indicate that species-diverse coral habitats, which provide sufficient structural complexity along with nutritionally important prey, are essential for population persistence of this small, corallivorous reef fish.
Assessing the prevalence of autoimmune, endocrine, gynecologic, and psychiatric comorbidities in an ethnically diverse cohort of female fibromyalgia patients: does the time from hysterectomy provide a clue?
Full Text Available Larry Brooks,1 Joseph Hadi,2 Kyle T Amber,1 Michelle Weiner,3 Christopher L La Riche,4 Tamar Ference1 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, 2Anesco Interventional Pain Institute, Margate, 3Miami Pain and Diagnostics, Miami, 4Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Florida International University Wertheim College of Medicine, University Park, FL, USABackground: This retrospective chart review investigated differences in the prevalence of medical comorbidity between women with fibromyalgia (FM (n=219 and a control group women with chronic pain (CP without FM (n=116. The specific aims were to compare the prevalence of autoimmune, psychiatric, endocrine, gynecologic pathology, the relationship between timing of gynecologic surgery, and pain onset. We additionally sought to compare the number of comorbidities in an ethnically diverse cohort.Methods: This was a retrospective chart review of patients seen in FM or CP clinics at an academic medical center in 2009–2010.Results: Logistic regression modeling found that gynecologic, endocrine, and autoimmune diagnoses were independently associated with a diagnosis of FM. Detailed analyses showed that thyroid disease (P<0.01 and gynecologic surgery (P<0.05 were significantly more common in FM. Women with FM were more likely to have multiple autoimmune, endocrine, gynecologic, or psychiatric pathologies. A relationship was observed between the timing of gynecologic surgery and pain onset in FM, with more surgeries observed in the years just prior to pain onset or in the year after pain onset. A similar pattern was not found in the control group.Conclusion: This study demonstrates that autoimmune, endocrine, and gynecologic pathologies occur more commonly in women with FM than in those with CP, which is consistent with findings in less ethnically diverse samples. Moreover, a relationship was found between timing of pain onset and gynecologic
Poullet, Nausicaa; Braendle, Christian
Wild populations of the model organism C. elegans allow characterization of natural genetic variation underlying diverse phenotypic traits. Here we provide a simple protocol on how to sample and rapidly identify C. elegans wild isolates. We outline how to find suitable habitats and organic substrates, followed by describing isolation and identification of C. elegans live cultures based on easily recognizable morphological characteristics, molecular barcodes and/or mating tests. This protocol uses standard laboratory equipment and requires no prior knowledge of C. elegans biology.
This entry provides an overview of diversity management which, in the context of organizations, consists in the strategic process of harnessing the potential of all employees to create an inclusive environment and, at the same time, contribute to meeting organizational goals. The entry first...... describes the complex construct of diversity that has been variously conceptualized in the literature, embracing multiple social and informational diversity dimensions such as gender, age, culture, values, and workstyle. This is followed by illustration of the historical development of diversity-management...... discourse and practice, and possible overarching approaches guiding organizations. It goes on to elucidate elements linked to the implementation of diversity management: positive and negative outcomes, most spread practices including communication, and contingency factors shaping the understanding...
Gressel, Gregory M; Lundsberg, Lisbet S; Illuzzi, Jessica L; Danton, Cheryl M; Sheth, Sangini S; Xu, Xiao; Gariepy, Aileen
To explore patient and provider perspectives regarding a new Web-based contraceptive support tool. We conducted a qualitative study at an urban Medicaid-based clinic among sexually active women interested in starting a new contraceptive method, clinic providers and staff. All participants were given the opportunity to explore Bedsider, an online contraceptive support tool developed for sexually active women ages 18-29 by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and endorsed by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Focus groups were conducted separately among patient participants and clinic providers/staff using open-ended structured interview guides to identify specific themes and key concepts related to use of this tool in an urban clinic setting. Patient participants were very receptive to this online contraceptive support tool, describing it as trustworthy, accessible and empowering. In contrast, clinic providers and staff had concerns regarding the Website's legitimacy, accessibility, ability to empower patients and applicability, which limited their willingness to recommend its use to patients. Contrasting opinions regarding Bedsider may point to a potential disconnect between how providers and patients view contraception information tools. Further qualitative and quantitative studies are needed to explore women's perspectives on contraceptive education and counseling and providers' understanding of these perspectives. This study identifies a contrast between how patients and providers in an urban clinic setting perceive a Web-based contraceptive tool. Given a potential patient-provider discrepancy in preferred methods and approaches to contraceptive counseling, additional research is needed to enhance this important arena of women's health care. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
La Peyre, M.K.; Gossman, B.; Nyman, J.A.
A primary goal of many coastal restoration programs is to increase nekton habitat in terms of both quantity and quality. Using shallow water ponds rehabilitated with a technique called marsh terracing, we examined the quality of nekton habitat created, using and comparing several metrics including nekton density and diversity, functional group composition, and weight-length relationships as indirect measures of habitat quality. We examined three paired terraced and unterraced marsh ponds in southwest Louisiana. Nekton, submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), and soil and water quality variables were sampled bimonthly from April 2004 through April 2005 at four subtidal habitat types: terraced nearshore, terraced open water, unterraced nearshore, and unterraced open water. Results indicate that terraced ponds had increased the habitat value of degrading unterraced ponds over open water areas for estuarine nekton; nekton density and richness were similar between terraced and unterraced nearshore habitat types, but greater at all nearshore as compared to open water sites. Analysis of the distribution of nekton functional groups and weight:length ratios indicates the terraced and unterraced pond habitats were not functioning similarly: distribution of nekton functional groups differed significantly between habitat types with greater percentages of benthic-oriented species at unterraced open water habitats and higher percentage of open water species in terraced ponds as compared to unterraced ponds, and two of the six numerically dominant fish species had greater weight-length relationships in unterraced ponds as compared to terraced ponds. This lack of functional equivalency may be attributed to environmental differences between terraced and unterraced ponds such as water depth or SAV biomass, or the relatively young age of the terraces studied, which may not have allowed for the development of some critical habitat variables, such as soil organic matter that was found to
Coffman, R.R. [Oklahoma Univ., Tulsa, OK (United States). Dept. of Landscape Architecture
Green roofs represent restorative practices within human dominated ecosystems. They create habitat, increase local biodiversity, and restore ecosystem function. Cities are now promoting this technology as a part of mitigation for the loss of local habitat, making the green roof necessary in sustainable development. While most green roofs create some form of habitat for local and migratory fauna, some systems are designed to provide specific habitat for species of concern. Despite this, little is actually known about the wildlife communities inhabiting green roofs. Only a few studies have provided broad taxa descriptions across a range of green roof habitats, and none have attempted to measure the biodiversity across green roof class. Therefore, this study examined two different vegetated roof systems representative of North America. They were constructed under alternative priorities such as energy, stormwater and aesthetics. The wildlife community appears to be a result of the green roof's physical composition. Wildlife community composition and biodiversity is expected be different yet comparable between the two general types of green roofs, known as extensive and intensive. This study recorded the community composition found in the two classes of ecoroofs and assessed biodiversity and similarity at the community and group taxa levels of insects, spiders and birds. Renyi family of diversity indices were used to compare the communities. They were further described through indices and ratios such as Shannon's, Simpson's, Sorenson and Morsita's. In general, community biodiversity was found to be slightly higher in the intensive green roof than the extensive green roof. 26 refs., 4 tabs., 4 figs.
, and the allowance of normative processes such as fire occurrence. Implementation of these alternatives could generate an estimated minimum of 393 enhancement credits in 10 years. Longer-term benefits of protection and enhancement activities include increases in native species diversity and structural complexity in all cover types. While such benefits are not readily recognized by HEP models and reflected in the number of habitat units generated, they also provide dual benefits for fisheries resources. Implementation of the alternatives will require long-term commitments from managers to increase probabilities of success and meet the goals and objectives of the Northwest Power Planning Council's Fish and Wildlife Mitigation Program.
Serrano, A.; González-Irusta, J. M.; Punzón, A.; García-Alegre, A.; Lourido, A.; Ríos, P.; Blanco, M.; Gómez-Ballesteros, M.; Druet, M.; Cristobo, J.; Cartes, J. E.
This study presents the results of seafloor habitat identification and mapping of a NE Atlantic deep seamount. An ;assemble first, predict later; approach has been followed to identify and map the benthic habitats of the Galicia Bank (NW Iberian). Biotic patterns inferred from the survey data have been used to drive the definition of benthic assemblages using multivariate tools. Eight assemblages, four hard substrates and four sedimentary ones, have been described from a matrix of structural species. Distribution of these assemblages was correlated with environmental factors (multibeam and backscatter data) using binomial GAMs. Finally, the distribution model of each assemblage was applied to produce continuous maps and pooled in a final map with the distribution of the main benthic habitats. Depth and substrate type are key factors when determining soft bottom communities, whereas rocky habitat distribution is mainly explained by rock slope and orientation. Enrichment by northern water masses (LSW) arriving to GB and possible zooplankton biomass increase at vertical-steep walls by ;bottom trapping; can explain the higher diversity of habitat providing filter-feeders at slope rocky breaks. These results concerning vulnerable species and habitats, such as Lophelia and Madrepora communities and black and bamboo coral aggregations were the basis of the Spanish proposal of inclusion within the Natura 2000 network. The aim of the present study was to establish the scientific criteria needed for managing and protecting those environmental values.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires the Federal government to designate critical habitat, areas of habitat essential to the species' conservation, for ESA...
California Department of Resources — These Data identify (in general) the areas where critical habitat for the California Condor occur. Critical habitat for the species consists of the following 10...
Capps, Stephen; Lorandos, Jason; Akhidime, Eval; Bunch, Michael; Lund, Denise; Moore, Nathan; Murakawa, Kiosuke
The purpose of this study is to investigate comprehensive design requirements associated with designing habitats for humans in a partial gravity environment, then to apply them to a lunar base design. Other potential sites for application include planetary surfaces such as Mars, variable-gravity research facilities, and a rotating spacecraft. Design requirements for partial gravity environments include locomotion changes in less than normal earth gravity; facility design issues, such as interior configuration, module diameter, and geometry; and volumetric requirements based on the previous as well as psychological issues involved in prolonged isolation. For application to a lunar base, it is necessary to study the exterior architecture and configuration to insure optimum circulation patterns while providing dual egress; radiation protection issues are addressed to provide a safe and healthy environment for the crew; and finally, the overall site is studied to locate all associated facilities in context with the habitat. Mission planning is not the purpose of this study; therefore, a Lockheed scenario is used as an outline for the lunar base application, which is then modified to meet the project needs. The goal of this report is to formulate facts on human reactions to partial gravity environments, derive design requirements based on these facts, and apply the requirements to a partial gravity situation which, for this study, was a lunar base.
Stephen J. Livesley
Full Text Available Urban and peri-urban forests provide a variety of ecosystem service benefits for urban society. Recognising and understanding the many human–tree interactions that urban forests provide may be more complex but probably just as important to our urbanised society. This paper introduces four themes that link the studies from across the globe presented in this Special Issue: (1 human–tree interactions; (2 urban tree inequity; (3 carbon sequestration in our own neighbourhoods; and (4 biodiversity of urban forests themselves and the fauna they support. Urban forests can help tackle many of the “wicked problems” that confront our towns and cities and the people that live in them. For urban forests to be accepted as an effective element of any urban adaptation strategy, we need to improve the communication of these ecosystem services and disservices and provide evidence of the benefits provided to urban society and individuals, as well as the biodiversity with which we share our town and cities.
KNopf, Fritz L.; Samson, Fred B.
Conservation of riparian vegetation in western North America has, in part, emphasized providing habitats for a locally diverse avifauna. Site diversity, especially relative to the number of species present, is generally high within riparian avifaunas. Between-habitat diversity changes across a watershed, with riparian species assemblages differing most from upland assemblages at the highest and lowest elevations. This pattern can be attributed to enhanced avian movements within the riparian vegetation. The corridors for bird movements, in turn, facilitate faunal mixing on a broader scale, influencing regional diversity within landscapes. Riparian ecosystems are viewed as connectors of forests across fragmental landscapes. In western settings, however, they are highly linearized forests transecting watersheds between upland associations of high elevations and very different associations at lower elevations. Regionally, riparian vegetation represents linear islands that are internally both floristically and faunistically dynamic rather than mere bridges of homogeneous vegetation in landscape networks. The significance of riparian vegetation as habitat for western birds has been defined primarily at the local level. Conservation activities favoring site diversity are short-sighted, however, and could have severe consequences for unique elements of riparian avifaunas. Conservation actions must evaluate how local activities alter potential dispersal opportunities for ecological-generalist versus riparian-obligate species. Maintaining the character and integrity of riparian avifaunas requires planning from regional and continental perspectives.
Aleklett, Kristin; Kiers, E Toby; Ohlsson, Pelle; Shimizu, Thomas S; Caldas, Victor Ea; Hammer, Edith C
Soil is likely the most complex ecosystem on earth. Despite the global importance and extraordinary diversity of soils, they have been notoriously challenging to study. We show how pioneering microfluidic techniques provide new ways of studying soil microbial ecology by allowing simulation and manipulation of chemical conditions and physical structures at the microscale in soil model habitats.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 14 November 2017; doi:10.1038/ismej.2017.184.
Mel E. McGregor
Full Text Available The ecological impact of roads and traffic is now widely acknowledged, with a variety of mitigation strategies such as purpose designed fauna underpasses and overpasses commonly installed to facilitate animal movement. Despite often being designed for larger mammals, crossing structures appear to enable safe crossings for a range of smaller, ground dwelling species that exhibit high vulnerability to roads. Less attention has been paid to the extent to which fauna overpasses function as habitat in their own right, an issue particularly relevant to reptiles and amphibians. The Compton Road fauna array (Brisbane, Australia includes a vegetated fauna overpass which connects two urban forest reserves and traverses a major four lane arterial road. The aim of this study was to quantify the extent to which colonisation of the Compton Road fauna overpass by reptile and amphibian species living in adjacent forests occurred. Pitfall sampling at seven sampling sites occurred between June 2005 and February 2010, starting approximately six months after overpass construction, with additional observational detections throughout this period. The overpass yielded higher species diversity and capture rates compared with the forest areas. Species accumulation curves demonstrated a strong and consistent colonisation rate of the overpass throughout the six year monitoring period, while persistent occupation by species on the overpass throughout the six years suggests permanent colonisation of the vegetated structure as an extension of the natural forest habitat. These outcomes demonstrate that the fauna overpass at Compton Road provides suitable habitat for diverse local herpetofauna communities and suggest enhanced habitat connectivity across the road.
William C. Fischer; Anne F. Bradley
Provides information on fire as an ecological factor for forest habitat types in western Montana. Identifies Fire Groups of habitat types based on fire's role in forest succession. Describes forest fuels and suggests considerations for fire management.
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge Habitat Management Plan provides a long-term vision and specific guidance on managing habitats for the resources of...
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Habitat Management Plan provides a long-term vision and specific guidance on managing habitats for the resources of...
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge Grassland Habitat Management Plan provides vision and specific guidance on managing grassland habitats for resources of...
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Big Branch National Wildlife Refuge Habitat Management Plan provides a long-term vision and specific guidance on managing habitats for the resources of concern...
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge National Wildlife Refuge Habitat Management Plan provides a long-term vision and specific guidance on managing habitats for the...
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Forest habitat management provides the single greatest opportunity to improve habitat conditions for the endangered red-cockated woodpecker (RCW), migratory birds,...
Leduc, Daniel; Rowden, Ashley A.; Probert, P. Keith; Pilditch, Conrad A.; Nodder, Scott D.; Vanreusel, Ann; Duineveld, Gerard C. A.; Witbaard, Rob
The positive correlation between sediment particle-size diversity (a measure of habitat heterogeneity) and deep-sea macrofaunal diversity was first demonstrated two decades ago. The causality of this relationship was not elucidated because of the potential influence of macrofauna on sediment granulometry. Here we test the generality of this correlation using smaller organisms with limited mobility and limited ability to change the physical structure of sediments. Results of partial regressions accounting for the effect of water depth and food availability showed that nematode species and genus diversity were positively correlated with sediment particle-size diversity on the continental slope of New Zealand. Trophic diversity was not correlated with sediment particle-size diversity, however, which could suggest that the relationship between habitat heterogeneity and diversity was not the result of food partitioning between species/genera. Our findings provide support for the importance of small-scale habitat heterogeneity in the maintenance of local diversity in the deep sea, one of the few known environmental factors that may directly influence species co-existence in this biome.
MacDonald, Zachary G; Anderson, Iraleigh D; Acorn, John H; Nielsen, Scott E
Since the publication of the theory of island biogeography, ecologists have postulated that fragmentation of continuous habitat presents a prominent threat to species diversity. However, negative fragmentation effects may be artifacts; the result of species diversity declining with habitat loss, and habitat loss correlating positively with degree of fragmentation. In this study, we used butterfly assemblages on islands of Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Canada to decouple habitat fragmentation from habitat loss and test two competing hypotheses: (1) the island effect hypothesis, which predicts that decreasing fragment size and increasing fragment isolation reduces species diversity beyond the effects of habitat loss, and (2) the habitat amount hypothesis, which negates fragmentation effects and predicts that only total habitat area determines the diversity of species persisting on fragmented landscapes. Using eight independent size classes of islands (ranging from 0.1 to 8.0 ha) that varied in number of islands while holding total area constant, species diversity comparisons, species accumulation curves, and species-area relationship extrapolations demonstrated that smaller insular habitats contained at least as many butterfly species as continuous habitat. However, when highly mobile species occurring on islands without their larval food plants were excluded from analyses, island effects on potentially reproducing species became apparent. Similarily, generalized linear models suggested that effects of island isolation and vascular plant richness on insular butterfly richness were confounded by species of high mobility. We conclude that inter-fragment movements of highly mobile species may obscure important fragmentation effects on potentially reproducing populations, questioning support for the habitat amount hypothesis.
Booth, D. B.; Ligon, F. K.; Sloat, M. R.; Amerson, B.; Ralph, S. C.
The Copper River watershed is a critical resource for northeastern Pacific salmon, with annual escapements in the millions. The Tonsina River basin, a diverse 2100-km2 tributary to the Copper River that supports important salmonid populations, offers an opportunity to integrate watershed-scale channel network data with field reconnaissance of physical processes and observed distribution of salmonid species. Our long-term goals are to characterize habitats critical to different salmonid life stages, describe the geologic context and current geologic processes that support those habitats in key channel reaches, and predict their watershed-wide distribution. The overarching motivation for these goals is resource conservation, particularly in the face of increased human activity and long-term climate change. Channel geomorphology within the Tonsina River basin reflects inherited glacial topography. Combinations of drainage areas, slopes, channel confinement, and sediment-delivery processes are unique to this environment, giving rise to channel "types" that are recognizable but that do not occur in the same positions in the channel network as in nonglaciated landscapes. We also recognize certain channel forms providing fish habitat without analog in a nonglacial landscape, notably relict floodplain potholes from once-stranded and long-melted ice blocks. Salmonid species dominated different channel types within the watershed network. Sockeye salmon juveniles were abundant in the low-gradient, turbid mainstem; Chinook juveniles were also captured in the lower mainstem, with abundant evidence of spawning farther downstream. Coho juveniles were abundant in upper, relatively large tributaries, even those channels with cobble-boulder substrates and minimal woody debris that provide habitats more commonly utilized by Chinook in low-latitude systems. More detailed field sampling also revealed that patterns of species composition and abundance appeared related to small
Diehl, Robert H.
A preconception concerning habitat persists and has gone unrecognized since use of the term first entered the lexicon of ecological and evolutionary biology many decades ago. Specifically, land and water are considered habitats, while the airspace is not. This might at first seem a reasonable, if unintended, demarcation, since years of education and personal experience as well as limits to perception predispose a traditional view of habitat. Nevertheless, the airspace satisfies the definition and functional role of a habitat, and its recognition as habitat may have implications for policy where expanding anthropogenic development of airspace could impact the conservation of species and subject parts of the airspace to formalized legal protection.
Guillon, Erwan; Menot, Lénaïck; Decker, Carole; Krylova, Elena; Olu, Karine
The high biodiversity found at cold seeps, despite elevated concentrations of methane and hydrogen sulfide, is attributed to multiple sources of habitat heterogeneity. In addition to geological and geochemical processes, biogenic habitats formed by large symbiont-bearing taxa, such as bivalves and siboglinid tubeworms, or by microbial mats drive the biodiversity of small-sized fauna. However, because these habitat-forming species also depend on geochemical gradients, the respective influence of abiotic and biotic factors in structuring associated macrofaunal communities is often unresolved. The giant pockmark Regab located at 3200 m depth on the Congo margin is characterized by different fluid-flow regimes, providing a mosaic of the most common biogenic habitats encountered at seeps: microbial mats, mussel beds, and vesicomyid clam beds; the latter being distributed along a gradient of environmental conditions from the center to the periphery of the pockmark. Here, we examined the structure of macrofaunal communities in biogenic habitats formed in soft sediment to (1) determine the influence of the habitats on the associated macrofaunal communities (inter-habitat comparison), (2) describe how macrofaunal communities vary among vesicomyid clam beds (intra-habitat comparison) and (3) assess the inter-annual variation in vesicomyid beds based on repeated sampling at a three-year interval. The highest densities were found in the microbial mat communities in intermediate fluid-flow areas, but they had low diversity - also observed in the sediment close to mussel beds. In contrast, vesicomyid beds harbored the highest diversity. The vesicomyid beds did not show a homogeneous macrofaunal community across sampled areas; instead, density and composition of macrofauna varied according to the location of the beds inside the pockmark. The clam bed sampled in the most active, central part of the pockmark resembled bacterial mat communities by the presence of highly sulfide
Martínez, Alexandro; Palmero, A M; Brito, M C
A checklist of 77 taxa recorded from the anchialine sections of the Corona lava tube is provided, including information on habitats, faunal distribution within the cave, and main references. Of the nine major groups recorded, Crustacea shows the highest diversity with 31 species and the highest d...
Full Text Available Large-scale trials of a trapping system designed to collect silvatic Triatominae are reported. Live-baited adhesive traps were tested in various ecosystems and different triatomine habitats (arboreal and terrestrial. The trials were always successful, with a rate of positive habitats generally over 20% and reaching 48.4% for palm trees of the Amazon basin. Eleven species of Triatominae belonging to the three genera of public health importance (Triatoma, Rhodnius and Panstrongylus were captured. This trapping system provides an effective way to detect the presence of triatomines in terrestrial and arboreal silvatic habitats and represents a promising tool for ecological studies. Various lines of research are contemplated to improve the performance of this trapping system.
Ky, J M K; Gnoula, C; Zerbo, P; Simpore, J; Nikiema, J B; Canini, A; Millogo-Rasolodimby, J
The goal of this study is to contribute to a better knowledge of certain species providing Non Woody Forest Products (NWFP) in the Centre East of Burkina Faso. This study aims to determine the state of the resources in Vitellaria paradoxa, Balanites aegyptiaca, Tamarindus indica and Lannea microcarpa. For this purpose, an inventory of the vegetation was carried out in circular pieces of land of 1250 m2, as a sample of the zone of work, based on the chart of occupation of the grounds. We are identified 158 species comprising 90 genera and 47 families. Those species represent more than 90% of the trees from which various parts are used in food, traditional pharmacopeia and the craft industry. We also showed that because of the strong anthropisation of the zone, the bad pedoclimatic conditions and the permanent bush fires, the regeneration and growth of Vitellaria paradoxa, Balanites aegyptiaca, Tamarindus indica and Lannea microcarpa are disturbed.
Harvey, Sophie R; Porrini, Massimiliano; Tyler, Robert C; MacPhee, Cait E; Volkman, Brian F; Barran, Perdita E
Ion mobility mass spectrometry can be combined with data from top-down sequencing to discern adopted conformations of proteins in the absence of solvent. This multi-technique approach has particular applicability for conformationally dynamic systems. Previously, we demonstrated the use of drift tube ion mobility-mass spectrometry (DT IM-MS) and electron capture dissociation (ECD) to study the metamorphic protein lymphotactin (Ltn). Ltn exists in equilibrium between distinct monomeric (Ltn10) and dimeric (Ltn40) folds, both of which can be preserved and probed in the gas-phase. Here, we further test this mass spectrometric framework, by examining two site directed mutants of Ltn, designed to stabilise either distinct fold in solution, in addition to a truncated form consisting of a minimum model of structure for Ltn10. The truncated mutant has similar collision cross sections to the wild type (WT), for low charge states, and is resistant to ECD fragmentation. The monomer mutant (CC3) presents in similar conformational families as observed previously for the WT Ltn monomer. As with the WT, the CC3 mutant is resistant to ECD fragmentation at low charge states. The dimer mutant W55D is found here to exist as both a monomer and dimer. As a monomer W55D exhibits similar behaviour to the WT, but as a dimer presents a much larger charge state and collision cross section range than the WT dimer, suggesting a smaller interaction interface. In addition, ECD on the W55D mutant yields greater fragmentation than for the WT, suggesting a less stable β-sheet core. The results highlight the power of MS to provide insight into dynamic proteins, providing further information on each distinct fold of Ltn. In addition we observe differences in the fold stability following single or double point mutations. This approach, therefore, has potential to be a useful tool to screen for the structural effects of mutagenesis, even when sample is limited.
Ben M Fitzpatrick
Full Text Available The implications of shallow water impacts such as fishing and climate change on fish assemblages are generally considered in isolation from the distribution and abundance of these fish assemblages in adjacent deeper waters. We investigate the abundance and length of demersal fish assemblages across a section of tropical continental shelf at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia, to identify fish and fish habitat relationships across steep gradients in depth and in different benthic habitat types. The assemblage composition of demersal fish were assessed from baited remote underwater stereo-video samples (n = 304 collected from 16 depth and habitat combinations. Samples were collected across a depth range poorly represented in the literature from the fringing reef lagoon (1-10 m depth, down the fore reef slope to the reef base (10-30 m depth then across the adjacent continental shelf (30-110 m depth. Multivariate analyses showed that there were distinctive fish assemblages and different sized fish were associated with each habitat/depth category. Species richness, MaxN and diversity declined with depth, while average length and trophic level increased. The assemblage structure, diversity, size and trophic structure of demersal fishes changes from shallow inshore habitats to deeper water habitats. More habitat specialists (unique species per habitat/depth category were associated with the reef slope and reef base than other habitats, but offshore sponge-dominated habitats and inshore coral-dominated reef also supported unique species. This suggests that marine protected areas in shallow coral-dominated reef habitats may not adequately protect those species whose depth distribution extends beyond shallow habitats, or other significant elements of demersal fish biodiversity. The ontogenetic habitat partitioning which is characteristic of many species, suggests that to maintain entire species life histories it is necessary to protect corridors of
St-Hilaire, André; Mocq, Julien; Cunjak, Richard
Fish habitat models typically attempt to quantify the amount of available river habitat for a given fish species for various flow and hydraulic conditions. To achieve this, information on the preferred range of values of key physical habitat variables (e.g. water level, velocity, substrate diameter) for the targeted fishs pecies need to be modelled. In this context, we developed several habitat suitability indices sets for three Atlantic salmon life stages (young-of-the-year (YOY), parr, spawning adults) with the help of fuzzy logic modeling. Using the knowledge of twenty-seven experts, from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, we defined fuzzy sets of four variables (depth, substrate size, velocity and Habitat Suitability Index, or HSI) and associated fuzzy rules. When applied to the Romaine River (Canada), median curves of standardized Weighted Usable Area (WUA) were calculated and a confidence interval was obtained by bootstrap resampling. Despite the large range of WUA covered by the expert WUA curves, confidence intervals were relatively narrow: an average width of 0.095 (on a scale of 0 to 1) for spawning habitat, 0.155 for parr rearing habitat and 0.160 for YOY rearing habitat. When considering an environmental flow value corresponding to 90% of the maximum reached by WUA curve, results seem acceptable for the Romaine River. Generally, this proposed fuzzy logic method seems suitable to model habitat availability for the three life stages, while also providing an estimate of uncertainty in salmon preferences.
Full Text Available Species living in metapopulations depend on connected habitat networks for their survival. If habitat networks experience fast temporal dynamics, species conservation requires preventing habitat discontinuities that could lead to metapopulation extinctions. However, few institutional solutions exist for the maintenance of spatiotemporally dynamic habitat networks outside of protected areas. To explore this often neglected problem, we studied the institutional fit of false heath fritillary (Melitaea diamina conservation in Finland from the perspective of conservation institutions' ability to manage early successional habitat availability for this endangered species. We identified four institutional arrangements that enable effective conservation management of dynamic habitat networks: (1 acknowledgment of habitat dynamics, (2 monitoring of and responding to changes in the habitat network, (3 management of resources for fluctuating resource needs, and (4 scaling of activities through flexible collaborations. These arrangements provide the institutional flexibility needed for responding to temporal changes in habitat availability.
Beerens, James M.; Frederick, Peter C; Noonburg, Erik G; Gawlik, Dale E.
Determining habitat quality for wildlife populations requires relating a species' habitat to its survival and reproduction. Within a season, species occurrence and density can be disconnected from measures of habitat quality when resources are highly seasonal, unpredictable over time, and patchy. Here we establish an explicit link among dynamic selection of changing resources, spatio-temporal species distributions, and fitness for predictive abundance and occurrence models that are used for short-term water management and long-term restoration planning. We used the wading bird distribution and evaluation models (WADEM) that estimate (1) daily changes in selection across resource gradients, (2) landscape abundance of flocks and individuals, (3) conspecific foraging aggregation, and (4) resource unit occurrence (at fixed 400 m cells) to quantify habitat quality and its consequences on reproduction for wetland indicator species. We linked maximum annual numbers of nests detected across the study area and nesting success of Great Egrets (Ardea alba), White Ibises (Eudocimus albus), and Wood Storks (Mycteria americana) over a 20-year period to estimated daily dynamics of food resources produced by WADEM over a 7490 km2 area. For all species, increases in predicted species abundance in March and high abundance in April were strongly linked to breeding responses. Great Egret nesting effort and success were higher when birds also showed greater conspecific foraging aggregation. Synthesis and applications: This study provides the first empirical evidence that dynamic habitat selection processes and distributions of wading birds over environmental gradients are linked with reproductive measures over periods of decades. Further, predictor variables at a variety of temporal (daily-multiannual) resolutions and spatial (400 m to regional) scales effectively explained variation in ecological processes that change habitat quality. The process used here allows managers to develop
Preliminary analysis of data from two Kissimmee Valley, Florida wetland models operating continuously over the past four years suggest that increased diversity may be one of the major factors in the startling ability of certain wetland systems to retain high amounts of nutrients. According to preliminary analysis of total phosphorus, increasing the number of biotopes, or ecocomponents, in a flow sequence will increase the ability of systems to take up and retain a greater amount of nutrients than would a continuous, single ecosystem of the same size. Increasing the number of compartments is, to begin with, an increase in structural diversity, and any biotic diversity is extended by the presence of different ecosystems adjacent to each other in linear sequence, thus providing habitat diversity. The increased number of barriers between ecocomponents increases the possibility for diversity by providing physical traps for nutrients and greater spatial heterogeneity. It is important to note that barriers may be distinct physical impediments to the movement of water, sediments or organisms between ecocomponents, such as a dam, or may be more subtle biological impediments, such as a gently sloping benthic gradient, which create slight habitat differences (water depth, light, temperature, etc.) favoring one plant or animal over another. The increase of habitat and species diversity as a means of improving nutrient uptake may provide a number of practical applications to recreating wetlands in the Kissimmee Valley. Implications of the findings for improving socio-economic conditions in the region are discussed.
Wulff, Marissa L.; Brown, Larry R.; May, Jason
Collection of additional data on the Santa Ana Sucker (Catostomus santaanae) and the Arroyo Chub (Gila orcutti) has been identified as a needed task to support development of the upper Santa Ana River Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP; http://www.uppersarhcp.com/). The ability to monitor population abundance and understanding the habitats used by species are important when developing such plans. The Santa Ana Sucker (Catostomus santaanae) is listed as a threatened species under federal legislation and is considered a species of special concern in California by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Moyle 2002). The Arroyo Chub (Gila orcutti) is considered a species of special concern in California by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Moyle 2002). Both species are present in the Santa Ana River watershed in the area being evaluated for establishment of the upper Santa Ana River Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP; http://www.uppersarhcp.com/). The HCP is a collaborative effort involving the water resource agencies of the Santa Ana River Watershed, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and other government agencies and stakeholder organizations. The goals of the HCP are to: 1) enable the water resource agencies to provide a reliable water supply for human uses; 2) conserve and maintain natural rivers and streams that provide habitat for a diversity of unique and rare species; and 3) maintain recreational opportunities for activities such as hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing, provided by the protection of these habitats and the river systems they depend on. The HCP will specify how species and their habitats will be protected and managed in the future and will provide the incidental take permits needed by the water resource agencies under the federal and State endangered species acts to maintain, operate, and improve their water resource infrastructure. Although the Santa Ana Sucker has been the subject of
vegetation species, allowance of normative processes such as fire occurrence, and facilitating development of natural stable stream channels and associated floodplains. Implementation of habitat enhancement and restoration activities could generate an additional 1,850 habitat units in 10 years. Baseline and estimated future habitat units total 7,035.3 for the Rainwater Wildlife Area. Habitat protection, enhancement and restoration will require long-term commitments from managers to increase probabilities of success and meet the goals and objectives of the Northwest Power Planning Council's Fish and Wildlife Mitigation Program. Longer-term benefits of protection and enhancement activities include increases in native species diversity and plant community resiliency in all cover types. Watershed conditions, including floodplain/riparian, and instream habitat quality should improve as well providing multiple benefits for terrestrial and aquatic resources. While such benefits are not necessarily recognized by HEP models and reflected in the number of habitat units generated, they are consistent with the NPPC Fish and Wildlife Program.
Norwick, R.; Janvrin, J.; Zigler, S.; Kratt, R.
The Upper Mississippi River consists of 26 navigation pools that provide abundant habitat for a host of natural resources, such as fish, migratory waterfowl, non-game birds, deer, beaver, muskrats, snakes, reptiles, frogs, toads, salamanders, and many others. Of all the many different types of animals that depend on the river, fish are the most diverse with over 140 different species. The sport fishery is very diverse with at least 25 species commonly harvested. Fish species, such as walleyes, largemouth bass, bluegills, and crappies are favorites of sport anglers. Others such as common carp, buffalos, and channel catfish, are harvested by commercial anglers and end up on the tables of families all over the country. Still other fishes are important because they provide food for sport or commercial species. The fishery resources in these waters contribute millions of dollars to the economy annually. Overall, the estimate impact of anglers and other recreational users exceeds $1.2 billion on the Upper Mississippi River. The fisheries in the various reaches of the river of often are adversely affected by pollution, urbanization, non-native fishes, navigation, recreational boating, fishing, dredging, and siltation. However, state and federal agencies expend considerable effort and resources to manage fisheries and restore river habitats. This pamphlet was prepared to help you better understand what fishery resources exist, what the requirements of each pecies are, and how man-induced changes that are roposed or might occur could affect them.
Simonis, Joseph L; Ellis, Julie C
Metacommunity theory generally predicts that regional dispersal of organisms among local habitat patches should influence spatial patterns of species diversity. In particular, increased dispersal rates are generally expected to increase local (alpha) diversity, yet homogenize local communities across the region (decreasing beta-diversity), resulting in no change in regional (gamma) diversity. Although the effect of dispersal on alpha-diversity has garnered much experimental attention, the influence of dispersal rates on diversity at larger spatial scales (beta and gamma) is poorly understood. Furthermore, these theoretical predictions are not well tested in the field, where other environmental factors (e.g., habitat size, resource density) likely also influence species diversity. Here, we used a system of freshwater rock pools on Appledore Island, Maine, USA, to test the effects of dispersal rate on species diversity in metacommunities. The pools exist in clusters (metacommunities) that experience different levels of dispersal imposed by gulls (Larus spp.), which we show to be frequent passive dispersers of rock-pool invertebrates. Although previous research has suggested that waterbirds may disperse aquatic invertebrates, our study is the first to quantify the rate at which such dispersal occurs and determine its effects on species diversity. In accordance with theory, we found that metacommunities experiencing higher dispersal rates had significantly more homogeneous local communities (reduced beta-diversity) and that gamma-diversity was not influenced by dispersal rate. Contrary to theoretical predictions, however, alpha-diversity in the rock pools was not significantly influenced by dispersal. Rather, local diversity was significantly positively related to local habitat size, and both alpha- and gamma-diversity were influenced by the physicochemical environment of the pools. These results provide an important field test of metacommunity theory, highlighting how
Our universe seems strangely 'biophilic,' or hospitable to life. Is this providence or coincidence? According to Martin Rees, the answer depends on the answer to another question, the one posed by Einstein's famous remark: 'What interests me most is whether God could have made the world differently.' This highly engaging book centres on the fascinating consequences of the answer being 'yes'. Rees explores the notion that our universe is just part of a vast 'multiverse,' or ensemble of universes, in which most of the other universes are lifeless. What we call the laws of nature would then be local by laws, imposed in the aftermath of our own Big Bang. In this scenario, our cosmic habitat would be a special, possibly unique universe where the prevailing laws of physics allowed life to emerge.
The import of resources (food, nutrients) sustains biological production and food webs in resource-limited habitats. Resource export from donor habitats subsidizes production in recipient habitats, but the ecosystem-scale consequences of resource translocation are generally unknown. Here, I use a nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton model to show how dispersive connectivity between a shallow autotrophic habitat and a deep heterotrophic pelagic habitat can amplify overall system production in metazoan food webs. This result derives from the finite capacity of suspension feeders to capture and assimilate food particles: excess primary production in closed autotrophic habitats cannot be assimilated by consumers; however, if excess phytoplankton production is exported to food-limited heterotrophic habitats, it can be assimilated by zooplankton to support additional secondary production. Transport of regenerated nutrients from heterotrophic to autotrophic habitats sustains higher system primary production. These simulation results imply that the ecosystem-scale efficiency of nutrient transformation into metazoan biomass can be constrained by the rate of resource exchange across habitats and that it is optimized when the transport rate matches the growth rate of primary producers. Slower transport (i.e., reduced connectivity) leads to nutrient limitation of primary production in autotrophic habitats and food limitation of secondary production in heterotrophic habitats. Habitat fragmentation can therefore impose energetic constraints on the carrying capacity of aquatic ecosystems. The outcomes of ecosystem restoration through habitat creation will be determined by both functions provided by newly created aquatic habitats and the rates of hydraulic connectivity between them.
Thomas E. DeMeo; Mary M. Manning; Mary M. Rowland; Christina D. Vojta; Kevin S. McKelvey; C. Kenneth Brewer; Rebecca S.H. Kennedy; Paul A. Maus; Bethany Schulz; James A. Westfall; Timothy J. Mersmann
Vegetation composition and structure are key components of wildlife habitat (Mc- Comb et al. 2010, Morrison et al. 2006) and are, therefore, essential components of all wildlife habitat monitoring. The objectives of this chapter are to describe common habitat attributes derived from vegetation composition and structure and to provide guidance for obtaining and using...
Ashish Kumar; Bruce G. Marcot
We describe assumed tiger habitat characteristics and attempt to identify potential tiger habitats in the Garo Hills region of Meghalaya, North East India. Conserving large forest tracts and protected wildlife habitats provides an opportunity for restoring populations of wide-ranging wildlife such as tigers and elephants. Based on limited field observations coupled...
According to traditional image, human habitat constitution is the result of natural inter-relations, the fundamental premise of the existence of natural resources, the climate, and the access to more developed proximities for commercial trading. Human habitat represents a complex system, with environmental values, having live and natural components that are inter-related. The dwelling is the fundamental component of the habitat and by relationship with the other components determines the leve...
Full Text Available According to traditional image, human habitat constitution is the result of natural inter-relations, the fundamental premise of the existence of natural resources, the climate, and the access to more developed proximities for commercial trading. Human habitat represents a complex system, with environmental values, having live and natural components that are inter-related. The dwelling is the fundamental component of the habitat and by relationship with the other components determines the level of habitation.
Homel, Kristen M.; Gresswell, Robert E.; Kershner, Jeffrey L.
Over the last century, native trout have experienced dramatic population declines, particularly in larger river systems where habitats associated with different spawning life history forms have been lost through habitat degradation and fragmentation. The resulting decrease in life history diversity has affected the capacity of populations to respond to environmental variability and disturbance. Unfortunately, because few large rivers are intact enough to permit full expression of life history diversity, it is unclear what patterns of diversity should be a conservation target. In this study, radiotelemetry was used to identify spawning and migration patterns of Snake River Finespotted Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii behnkei in the upper Snake River. Individuals were implanted with radio tags in October 2007 and 2008, and monitored through October 2009. Radio-tagged cutthroat trout in the upper Snake River exhibited variation in spawning habitat type and location, migration distance, spawn timing, postspawning behavior, and susceptibility to mortality sources. Between May and July, Cutthroat Trout spawned in runoff-dominated tributaries, groundwater-dominated spring creeks, and side channels of the Snake River. Individuals migrated up to 101 km from tagging locations in the upper Snake River to access spawning habitats, indicating that the upper Snake River provided seasonal habitat for spawners originating throughout the watershed. Postspawning behavior also varied; by August each year, 28% of spring-creek spawners remained in their spawning location, compared with 0% of side-channel spawners and 7% of tributary spawners. These spawning and migration patterns reflect the connectivity, habitat diversity, and dynamic template of the Snake River. Ultimately, promoting life history diversity through restoration of complex habitats may provide the most opportunities for cutthroat trout persistence in an environment likely to experience increased variability from
Leonie K. Fischer
Full Text Available In face of a dramatic decline of wild bee species in many rural landscapes, potential conservation functions of urban areas gain importance. Yet effects of urbanization on pollinators, and in particular on wild bees, remain ambiguous and not comprehensively understood. This is especially true for amenity grassland and extensively managed wastelands within large-scale residential housing areas. Using Berlin as a study region, we aimed to investigate (a if these greenspaces are accepted by wild bee assemblages as foraging habitats; (b how assemblage structure of bees and individual bee species are affected by different habitat (e.g., management, flower density and urban matrix variables (e.g., isolation, urbanization; and (c to what extent grassland restoration can promote bees in urban environments. In summer 2012, we collected 62 bee species belonging to more than 20% of the taxa known for Berlin. Urbanization significantly affected species composition of bees; 18 species were affiliated to different levels of urbanization. Most bee species were not affected by any of the environmental variables tested, and urbanization had a negative effect only for one bee species. Further, we determined that restoration of diverse grasslands positively affected bee species richnesss in urban environments. We conclude that differently structured and managed greenspaces in large-scale housing areas can provide additional foraging habitats and refuges for pollinators. This supports approaches towards a biodiversity friendly management within urban regions and may be of particular importance given that anthropogenic pressure is increasing in many rural landscapes.
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — To provide the user with a general idea of areas where final critical habitat for Noel's amphipod occur. The geographic extent includes Chaves County, New Mexico.
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — These data identify, in general, the areas of FINAL critical habitat for Charadrius melodus (piping plover (wintering population)) based on descriptions provided in...
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Deep-sea corals, also known as cold water corals, create complex communities that provide habitat for a variety of invertebrate and fish species, such as grouper,...
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The purpose of this habitat management plan (HMP) is to provide a strategic plan for consistently and effectively protecting, acquiring, enhancing, restoring, and...
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Deep-sea corals, also known as cold water corals, create complex communities that provide habitat for a variety of invertebrate and fish species, such as grouper,...
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — To provide the user with a general idea of areas where final critical habitat for Koster's springsnail occur. The geographic extent includes Chaves County, New Mexico.
Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson
Habitat selection patterns of Merriamâs Turkeys were compared in hierarchical analyses of three levels of habitat stratification. Habitat descriptions in first-level analyses were based on dominant species of vegetation. Habitat descriptions in second-level analyses were based on dominant species of vegetation and overstory canopy cover. Habitat descriptions in third-...
Green, David M.; Weir, Linda A.; Casper, Gary S.; Lannoo, Michael
Some 300 species of amphibians inhabit North America. The past two decades have seen an enormous growth in interest about amphibians and an increased intensity of scientific research into their fascinating biology and continent-wide distribution.This atlas presents the spectacular diversity of North American amphibians in a geographic context. It covers all formally recognized amphibian species found in the United States and Canada, many of which are endangered or threatened with extinction. Illustrated with maps and photos, the species accounts provide current information about distribution, habitat, and conservation.Researchers, professional herpetologists, and anyone intrigued by amphibians will value North American Amphibians as a guide and reference.
Mammola, Stefano; Giachino, Pier Mauro; Piano, Elena; Jones, Alexandra; Barberis, Marcel; Badino, Giovanni; Isaia, Marco
The term Milieu Souterrain Superficiel (MSS) has been used since the early 1980s in subterranean biology to categorize an array of different hypogean habitats. In general terms, a MSS habitat represents the underground network of empty air-filled voids and cracks developing within multiple layers of rock fragments. Its origins can be diverse and is generally covered by topsoil. The MSS habitat is often connected both with the deep hypogean domain-caves and deep rock cracks-and the superficial soil horizon. A MSS is usually characterized by peculiar microclimatic conditions, and it can harbor specialized hypogean, endogean, and surface-dwelling species. In light of the many interpretations given by different authors, we reviewed 235 papers regarding the MSS in order to provide a state-of-the-art description of these habitats and facilitate their study. We have briefly described the different types of MSS mentioned in the scientific literature (alluvial, bedrock, colluvial, volcanic, and other types) and synthesized the advances in the study of the physical and ecological factors affecting this habitat-i.e., microclimate, energy flows, animal communities, and trophic interactions. We finally described and reviewed the available sampling methods used to investigate MSS fauna.
Jackson, Allyson K.; Evers, David C.; Adams, Evan M.; Cristol, Daniel A.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Edmonds, Samuel T.; Gray, Carrie E.; Hoskins, Bart; Lane, Oksana P.; Sauer, Amy; Tear, Timothy
Mercury (Hg) is a globally distributed environmental contaminant with a variety of deleterious effects in fish, wildlife, and humans. Breeding songbirds may be useful sentinels for Hg across diverse habitats because they can be effectively sampled, have well-defined and small territories, and can integrate pollutant exposure over time and space. We analyzed blood total Hg concentrations from 8,446 individuals of 102 species of songbirds, sampled on their breeding territories across 161 sites in eastern North America [geometric mean Hg concentration = 0.25 μg/g wet weight (ww), range effects modeling indicated that habitat, foraging guild, and age were important predictors of blood Hg concentrations across species and sites. Blood Hg concentrations in adult invertebrate-eating songbirds were consistently higher in wetland habitats (freshwater or estuarine) than upland forests. Generally, adults exhibited higher blood Hg concentrations than juveniles within each habitat type. We used model results to examine species-specific differences in blood Hg concentrations during this time period, identifying potential Hg sentinels in each region and habitat type. Our results present the most comprehensive assessment of blood Hg concentrations in eastern songbirds to date, and thereby provide a valuable framework for designing and evaluating risk assessment schemes using sentinel songbird species in the time after implementation of the new atmospheric Hg standards.
Jackson, Allyson K; Evers, David C; Adams, Evan M; Cristol, Daniel A; Eagles-Smith, Collin; Edmonds, Samuel T; Gray, Carrie E; Hoskins, Bart; Lane, Oksana P; Sauer, Amy; Tear, Timothy
Mercury (Hg) is a globally distributed environmental contaminant with a variety of deleterious effects in fish, wildlife, and humans. Breeding songbirds may be useful sentinels for Hg across diverse habitats because they can be effectively sampled, have well-defined and small territories, and can integrate pollutant exposure over time and space. We analyzed blood total Hg concentrations from 8,446 individuals of 102 species of songbirds, sampled on their breeding territories across 161 sites in eastern North America [geometric mean Hg concentration = 0.25 μg/g wet weight (ww), range Toxics Standards, which will reduce Hg emissions from coal-fired power plants by over 90 %. Mixed-effects modeling indicated that habitat, foraging guild, and age were important predictors of blood Hg concentrations across species and sites. Blood Hg concentrations in adult invertebrate-eating songbirds were consistently higher in wetland habitats (freshwater or estuarine) than upland forests. Generally, adults exhibited higher blood Hg concentrations than juveniles within each habitat type. We used model results to examine species-specific differences in blood Hg concentrations during this time period, identifying potential Hg sentinels in each region and habitat type. Our results present the most comprehensive assessment of blood Hg concentrations in eastern songbirds to date, and thereby provide a valuable framework for designing and evaluating risk assessment schemes using sentinel songbird species in the time after implementation of the new atmospheric Hg standards.
Mellin, Camille; Andréfouët, Serge; Kulbicki, Michel; Dalleau, Mayeul; Vigliola, Laurent
Understanding spatial variations in alpha, beta, and gamma coral reef fish diversity, as well as both local community and regional metacommunity structures, is critical for science and conservation of coral reef ecosystems. This quest implies that fish-habitat relationships are characterized across different spatial scales. Remote sensing allows now for a routine description of habitats from global-regional to detailed reef scales, thus theoretically offering access to hierarchical spatial analysis at multiple scales. To judge the progress in using remotely sensed habitat variables for reef fish study, existing peer-reviewed papers on the subject are reviewed. We tabulated the significant fish-habitat relationships given the different study sites, fish and habitat variables, statistical analysis, sampling efforts and scales. Studies generally do not corroborate each other. Instead, the exercise provides a diversity of thematic results from which lessons remain equivocal. It is thus justified to recommend more systematic and hierarchical remote-sensing based research in the future. We advocate the use of remote-sensing early in the design of the fish study, as part of a coherent conceptual scheme spanning all spatial scales.
Kirsten E Nicholson
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The dewlaps of Anolis lizards provide a classic example of a complex signaling system whose function and evolution is poorly understood. Dewlaps are flaps of skin beneath the chin that are extended and combined with head and body movements for visual signals and displays. They exhibit extensive morphological variation and are one of two cladistic features uniting anoles, yet little is known regarding their function and evolution. We quantified the diversity of anole dewlaps, investigated whether dewlap morphology was informative regarding phylogenetic relationships, and tested two separate hypotheses: (A similar Anolis habitat specialists possess similar dewlap configurations (Ecomorph Convergence hypothesis, and (B sympatric species differ in their dewlap morphologies to a greater extent than expected by chance (Species Recognition hypothesis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We found that dewlap configurations (sizes, patterns and colors exhibit substantial diversity, but that most are easily categorized into six patterns that incorporate one to three of 13 recognizable colors. Dewlap morphology is not phylogenetically informative and, like other features of anoles, exhibits convergence in configurations. We found no support for the Ecomorph Convergence hypothesis; species using the same structural habitat were no more similar in dewlap configuration than expected by chance. With one exception, all sympatric species in four communities differ in dewlap configuration. However, this provides only weak support for the Species Recognition hypothesis because, due to the great diversity in dewlap configurations observed across each island, few cases of sympatric species with identical dewlaps would be expected to co-occur by chance alone. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Despite previous thought, most dewlaps exhibit easily characterizable patterns and colorations. Nevertheless, dewlap variation is extensive and explanations for the origin and
Beth Hahn; Vicki Saab; Barbara Bentz; Rachel Loehman; Bob Keane
Wildlife biologists must balance a diverse array of ecological and social considerations in managing species and habitats. The challenges of managing species and habitats in dynamic landscapes are influenced by diverse factors, including natural disturbances, vegetation development, and anthropogenic-mediated changes, such as climate change, management activities, and...
Laura P. Ponce-Calderón Ponce-Calderón; Dante A. Rodríguez-Trejo; Beatriz C. Aguilar-Váldez; Elvia. López-Pérez
To assess the impact of different-severity wildfires on bird habitat, habitat quality was determined by analyzing the degree of richness association, abundance and diversity of bird species and vegetation structure (richness, abundance, diversity and coverage). These attributes were quantified with four sampling sites for birds and five for quadrant-centered points...
Andersen, Peter Bøgh; Brynskov, Martin
Digital habitats is a framework for designing and modeling environments for activities that involve mobile and embedded computing systems. This paper 1) introduces the basic concepts of the framework, i.e. activity, thematic role, and the three ‘dimensions’ of a habitat: physical, informational, ...
Richards, Stephanie E. (Compiler); Levine, Howard G.; Reed, David W.
The Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) hardware will be a large growth volume plant habitat, capable of hosting multigenerational studies, in which environmental variables (e.g., temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide level light intensity and spectral quality) can be tracked and controlled in support of whole plant physiological testing and Bio-regenerative Life Support System investigations.
Helen Y. Smith