ResearchPad - biodiversity-conservation https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[A database of functional traits for spiders from native forests of the Iberian Peninsula and Macaronesia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N63d31772-8edc-4bfb-82df-69546f8dc392 There is an increasing demand for databases including species trait information for biodiversity and community ecology studies. The existence of trait databases is useful for comparative studies within taxa or geographical regions, but there is low availability of databases for certain organisms. Here we present an open access functional trait database for spiders from Macaronesia and the Iberian Peninsula, recording several morphological and ecological traits related to the species life histories, microhabitat and trophic preferences.New informationWe present a database that includes 12 biological traits for 506 spider species present in natural forests of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain) and three Macaronesian archipelagoes (Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands). The functional trait database consists of two sections:individual-level data for six morphological traits (total body size, prosoma length, prosoma width, prosoma height, tibia I length and fang length), based on direct measurements of 2844 specimens of all spider species; andspecies-level aggregate data for 12 traits (same 6 morphological traits as in the previous section plus dispersal ability, vertical stratification, circadian activity, foraging strategy, trophic specialization and colonization status), based on either the average of the direct measurements or bibliographic searches.This functional trait database will serve as a data standard for currently ongoing analyses that require trait and functional diversity statistics. ]]> <![CDATA[The InBIO Barcoding Initiative Database: DNA barcodes of Portuguese Diptera 01]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N3175e8cf-63a3-4462-af46-c6b7c10dda20
Abstract

Background

The InBIO Barcoding Initiative (IBI) Diptera 01 dataset contains records of 203 specimens of Diptera. All specimens have been morphologically identified to species level, and belong to 154 species in total. The species represented in this dataset correspond to about 10% of continental Portugal dipteran species diversity. All specimens were collected north of the Tagus river in Portugal. Sampling took place from 2014 to 2018, and specimens are deposited in the IBI collection at CIBIO, Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources.

New information

This dataset contributes to the knowledge on the DNA barcodes and distribution of 154 species of Diptera from Portugal and is the first of the planned IBI database public releases, which will make available genetic and distribution data for a series of taxa. All specimens have their DNA barcodes made publicly available in the Barcode of Life Data System (BOLD) online database and the distribution dataset can be freely accessed through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

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<![CDATA[Wildlife inventory from camera-trapping surveys in the Azores (Pico and Terceira islands)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N92aa942a-defd-4f90-82d8-bbe1ee0d4803
Abstract

Background

The present publication provides a dataset from five camera-trapping sampling campaigns on two islands of the Azorean archipelago (Pico and Terceira islands), between 2013-2018. This dataset was obtained as a by-product of campaigns designed for different purposes. The sampling campaigns were designed to: (i) study the ecology of introduced mammals; (ii) assess the impact of introduced mammals on native birds (Azores woodpigeon - Columba palumbus azorica and Cory's shearwater - Calonectris diomeda borealis), through nest predation; and (iii) obtain information about the impact of vertebrates on agricultural systems, particularly on Azorean traditional vineyards. A total of 258 sites and 47 nests were sampled using camera traps. These sampling campaigns provided a large data series that allowed the creation of a vertebrate wildlife inventory.

New information

We obtained a total of 102,095 camera-trap records, which allowed us to to identify 30 species of vertebrates: one amphibian, one reptile, 17 birds and ten mammal species. This represented 100% of the amphibians and terrestrial mammals, 58% of the breeding birds and 50% of the reptile species known for Pico and/or Terceira islands. Concerning the colonisation status of the species, we recorded 15 indigenous (native non-endemic or endemic) and three introduced bird species; all known terrestrial amphibians, reptiles and mammals in the Azores are introduced species. The data collected contribute to increasing knowledge on the distribution of vertebrate species on Pico and Terceira islands, where most existing records of some species were only available to Island level (e.g. mustelids and hedgehogs). None of the identified species was previously unknown to the study area.

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<![CDATA[Rapid Least Concern: towards automating Red List assessments]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ndbf7aafe-793c-495b-b62f-51261e0873ab
Abstract

Background

The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM (hereafter the Red List) is an important global resource for conservation that supports conservation planning, safeguarding critical habitat and monitoring biodiversity change (Rodrigues et al. 2006). However, a major shortcoming of the Red List is that most of the world's described species have not yet been assessed and published on the Red List (Bachman et al. 2019Eisenhauer et al. 2019). Conservation efforts can be better supported if the Red List is expanded to achieve greater coverage of mega-diverse groups of organisms such as plants, fungi and invertebrates. There is, therefore, an urgent need to speed up the Red List assessment and documentation workflow.

One reason for this lack of species coverage is that a manual and relatively time-consuming procedure is usually employed to assess and document species. A recent update of Red List documentation standards (IUCN 2013) reduced the data requirements for publishing non-threatened or 'Least Concern' species on the Red List. The majority of the required fields for Least Concern plant species can be found in existing open-access data sources or can be easily calculated. There is an opportunity to consolidate these data and analyses into a simple application to fast-track the publication of Least Concern assessments for plants. There could be as many as 250,000 species of plants (60%) likely to be categorised as Least Concern (Bachman et al. 2019), for which automatically generated assessments could considerably reduce the outlay of time and valuable resources for Red Listing, allowing attention and resources to be dedicated to the assessment of those species most likely to be threatened.

New information

We present a web application, Rapid Least Concern, that addresses the challenge of accelerating the generation and documentation of Least Concern Red List assessments. Rapid Least Concern utilises open-source datasets, such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and Plants of the World Online (POWO) through a simple web interface. Initially, the application is intended for use on plants, but it could be extended to other groups, depending on the availability of equivalent datasets for these groups.

Rapid Least Concern users can assess a single species or upload a list of species that are assessed in a batch operation. The batch operation can either utilise georeferenced occurrence data from GBIF or occurrence data provided by the user. The output includes a series of CSV files and a point map file that meet the minimum data requirements for a Least Concern Red List assessment (IUCN 2013). The CSV files are compliant with the IUCN Red List SIS Connect system that transfers the data files to the IUCN database and, pending quality control checks and review, publication on the Red List.

We outline the knowledge gap this application aims to fill and describe how the application works. We demonstrate a use-case for Rapid Least Concern as part of an ongoing initiative to complete a global Red List assessment of all native species for the United Kingdom Overseas Territory of Bermuda.

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<![CDATA[Documenting museum records of West African Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) in Benin and Senegal]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N02499eea-b34f-488b-8677-53efca82a253
Abstract

Background

This work provides a preliminary inventory of West African Coccinellidae.

This was based on the West African Coccinellidae (WAC) specimens in the holdings of insect collections at the Laboratoire de Zoologie des Invertébrés Terrestres at the Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire Cheikh Anta Diop (IFAN), Senegal and the Biodiversity Center at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITAB), Benin.

New information

A total of 129 species representing 11 tribes and 40 genera is reported, including one species of the subfamily Microweiseinae and 128 species of the subfamily Coccinellinae. The geographic distribution of collection localities is presented for these species. Cheilomenes lunata (Fabricius, 1775), Cheilomenes propinqua (Mulsant, 1850), Cheilomenes sulphurea (Olivier, 1791), Chnootriba elaterii (Rossi, 1794), Chnootriba similis (Thunberg, 1781), Exochomus laeviusculus Weise, 1909, Hyperaspis delicatula (Mulsant, 1850) and Hyperaspis pumila Mulsant, 1850 are the best represented species in these collections.

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<![CDATA[An updated checklist of the marine fish fauna of Redang Islands, Malaysia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne8fdfee4-e4fd-4785-9142-270c1088019f
Abstract

Background

Redang Islands Marine Park consists of nine islands in the state of Terengganu, Malaysia. Redang Island is one of the largest off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, which is famous for its crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches. The ichthyofauna of the Redang archipelago was surveyed by underwater visual observations between August 2016 and May 2018. Census data were compiled with existing records into the checklist of the marine fish of the Redang archipelago presented herein. A total of 314 species belonging to 51 families were recorded. The most speciose families (Pomacentridae, Labridae, Scaridae, Serranidae, Apogonidae, Carangidae, Gobiidae, Chaetodontidae, Lutjanidae, Nemipteridae and Siganidae) were also amongst the most speciose at the neighbouring Tioman archipelago (except Chaetodontidae). The coral fish diversity index value for the six families of coral reef fishes (Chaetodontidae, Pomacanthidae, Pomacentridae, Labridae, Scaridae and Acanthuridae) of the study sites was 132. We estimated that there were 427 coral reef fish species in the Redang archipelago. According to the IUCN Red List, eight species are Near Threatened (Carcharhinus melanopterus, Chaetodon trifascialis, Choerodon schoenleinii, Epinephelus fuscoguttatus, E. polyphekadion, Plectropomus leopardus, Taeniura lymma and Triaenodon obesus), eleven are Vulnerable (Bolbometopon muricatum, Chaetodon trifasciatus, Chlorurus sordidus, Dascyllus trimaculatus, Epinephelus fuscoguttatus, E. polyphekadion, Halichoeres marginatus, Heniochus acuminatus, Nebrius ferrugineus, Neopomacentrus cyanomos and Plectropomus areolatus) and three are Endangered (Amphiprion clarkia, Cheilinus undulatus and Scarus ghobban) in the Redang archipelago.

New information

Five species are new records for Malaysia (Ctenogobiops mitodes, Epibulus brevis, Halichoeres erdmanni, H. richmondi and Scarus caudofasciatus) and 25 species are newly recorded in the Redang archipelago.

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<![CDATA[DNA barcoding data release for Coleoptera from the Gunung Halimun canopy fogging workpackage of the Indonesian Biodiversity Information System (IndoBioSys) project]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5afb71d5eed0c48426001d
Abstract

We present the results of a DNA barcoding pipeline that was established as part of the German-Indonesian IndobioSys project - Indonesian Biodiversity Information System. Our data release provides the first large-scale diversity assessment of Indonesian coleoptera obtained by canopy fogging. The project combined extensive fieldwork with databasing, DNA barcode based species delineation and the release of results in collaboration with Indonesian counterparts, aimed at supporting further analyses of the data. Canopy fogging on 28 trees was undertaken at two different sites, Cikaniki and Gunung Botol, in the south-eastern area of the Gunung Halimun-Salak National Park in West Java, Indonesia. In total, 7,447 specimens of Coleoptera were processed, of which 3,836 specimens produced DNA barcode sequences that were longer than 300 bp. A total of 3,750 specimens were assigned a Barcode Index Number (BIN), including 2,013 specimens from Cikaniki and 1,737 specimens from Gunung Botol. The 747 BINs, that were obtained, represented 39 families of Coleoptera. The distribution of specimens with BINs per tree was quite heterogeneous in both sites even in terms of the abundance of specimens or diversity of BINs. The specimen distribution per taxon was heterogeneous as well. Some 416 specimens could not be identified to family level, corresponding to 72 BINs that lack a family level identification. The data have shown a large heterogeneity in terms of abundance and distribution of BINs between sites, trees and families of Coleoptera. From the total of 747 BINs that were recovered, 421 (56%) are exclusive from a single tree. Although the two study sites were in close proximity and separated by a distance of only about five kilometres, the number of shared BINs between sites is low, with 81 of the 747 BINs. With this data release, we expect to shed some light on the largely hidden diversity in the canopy of tropical forests in Indonesia and elsewhere.

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<![CDATA[Beta diversity patterns of fish and conservation implications in the Luoxiao Mountains, China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5afb68d5eed0c48425ff76
Abstract

The Luoxiao Mountains play an important role in maintaining and supplementing the fish diversity of the Yangtze River Basin, which is also a biodiversity hotspot in China. However, fish biodiversity has declined rapidly in this area as the result of human activities and the consequent environmental changes. Beta diversity was a key concept for understanding the ecosystem function and biodiversity conservation. Beta diversity patterns are evaluated and important information provided for protection and management of fish biodiversity in the Luoxiao Mountains. The results showed that the spatial turnover component was the main contributor to beta diversity of Hemiramphidae, Amblycipitidae, Catostomidae, Clariidae, Balitoridae and Percichthyidae in the Luoxiao Mountains, which indicated that a number of protected areas would be necessary to conserve fish biodiversity and that these families would need conservation measures. Most protected areas are currently limited to some regions; therefore, in order to protect fish diversity, conservation efforts must target an increase in the number of protected areas which should be spread across each of the regions.

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<![CDATA[Evidence of cryptic species in the blenniid Cirripectesalboapicalis species complex, with zoogeographic implications for the South Pacific]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c394877d5eed0c484a412c5
Abstract

Rapa Nui, commonly known as Easter Island (Chile), is one of the most isolated tropical islands of the Pacific Ocean. The island location of Rapa Nui makes it the easternmost point of the geographic ranges for many western Pacific fish species that are restricted to the subtropical islands south of 20°S latitude. The blenniid fish species Cirripectesalboapicalis has been thought to have one of the most extensive geographic distribution ranges among these southern subtropical fish species, extending from the southern Great Barrier Reef to Rapa Nui. A phylogenetic analysis was conducted to determine the taxonomic status of the species. The results provide genetic evidence that suggests that this formerly South Pacific-wide species comprises at least three cryptic species with allopatric geographic distributions. The analyses reveal the geographic distributions of these clades and their genetic relationships with each other, and with other species within the genus Cirripectes. The processes that culminated in the current geographic distribution of this species complex and the zoogeographic implications of this finding for the South Pacific region are discussed.

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<![CDATA[Three new “caecate” earthworm species from Sulawesi, Indonesia (Oligochaeta, Megascolecidae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c2a795ed5eed0c48422e1d0
Abstract

Three new earthworm species are described from Sulawesi, Indonesia. Two belong to the genus Pithemera Sims & Easton, 1972, namely P.suwastikai Fahri, Amaliah & Atmowidi, sp. n. and P.tadulako Fahri, Amaliah & Atmowidi, sp. n. The new species, P.suwastikaisp. n. is distinguished by a medium size (135–165 mm long, 4.5–6.5 mm diameter), four pairs of spermathecal pores in 5/6/7/8/9, 7–12 setae between male pores, no genital markings, holandry, and simple intestinal caeca. Pithemeratadulakosp. n. is recognized by a large size (217–340 mm long, 13–15 mm diameter), two pairs of spermathecal pores in 7/8/9, no setae between male pores, no genital markings, holandry, and simple intestinal caeca. Another new species, Metaphirerusydii Fahri, Amaliah & Nguyen, sp. n., is diagnosed by its large size (250–280 mm long,12–16 mm diameter), two pairs of spermathecal pores in 7/8/9, no setae between male porophores, presence of genital markings in the male region, holandry, and complex intestinal caeca. Additionally, an identification key to “caecate” species is provided to the Sulawesi’s fauna.

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<![CDATA[Medinillatheresae (Melastomataceae), a new species from ultramafic soils in the Philippines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c2a795ad5eed0c48422e0ba
Abstract

A new species, Medinillatheresae Fernando, from ultramafic soils on Dinagat and Mindanao Islands, Philippines is described and illustrated. The species is characterized by its terrestrial erect habit, non-setose nodes, 3-plinerved, lanceolate and coriaceous leaves arranged in whorls, cauline or axillary and pendulous inflorescences, rounded flower buds, 4-merous flowers, and straight anthers. It is compared with other similar species in the Medinillapendula Merr. complex.

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<![CDATA[The indigenous vascular flora of the forest domain of Anela (Sardinia, Italy)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c2a795cd5eed0c48422e134
Abstract

The importance of mountains for plant diversity and richness is underestimated, particularly when transition zones between different bioclimates are present along altitudinal gradients. Here we present the first floristic data for a mountain area in the island of Sardinia (Italy), which exhibits Mediterranean bioclimates at the bottom and temperate bioclimate at the top. We discovered a very high floristic richness, despite the fact that the number of endemic taxa is not high and the number of exclusive taxa is very low. Many of the detected taxa are at their range periphery and/or ecological margin. We conclude that climate transition zones in Mediterranean mountains and especially on islands are key areas regarding plant biodiversity and should be better investigated and protected.

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<![CDATA[New data on the distribution, biology and ecology of the longhorn beetles from the area of South and East Kazakhstan (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c2a7965d5eed0c48422e3c4
Abstract

New data on the distribution, biology and ecology of the longhorn beetles occurring in southern and eastern regions of Kazakhstan are presented together with a list of 78 species that were collected during two entomological expeditions conducted in May and June 2017. New localities of some rare taxa endemic to this region of Asia, such as Psilotarsusbrachypterusbrachypterus (Gebler, 1830), Stenocorusminutus (Gebler, 1841) and Dorcadioncrassipescrassipes Ballion, 1878 are given. Exocentrusstierlini Ganglbauer, 1883 is recorded from Kazakhstan for the first time. Moreover, the occurrence of three species: Amarysiusduplicatus Tsherepanov, 1980, Rhopaloscelisunifasciatus Blessig, 1873 and Saperdaalberti Plavilstshikov, 1916, which were recently found in the country, is also confirmed. Furthermore, high-quality photographs of several unique taxa, i.e. Psilotarsusbrachypteruspubiventris (Semenov, 1900), Xylotrechusadspersus (Gebler, 1830), X.alakolensis Karpiński & Szczepański, 2018, Anoplistesgalusoi (Kostin, 1974), A.jacobsoni Baeckmann, 1904 and Obereakostini Danilevsky, 1988 along with images of their habitats and feeding galleries are also presented. New localities of species considered serious pests or invasive, such as Turaniumscabrum (Kraatz, 1882) and Trichoferuscampestris (Faldermann, 1835), respectively, are also given. A new synonymy is proposed: Cerambyxscalaris Linnaeus, 1758 = Cerambyxhieroglyphicus Pallas, 1773, syn. n.

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<![CDATA[Wet collections accession: a workflow based on a large stonefly (Insecta, Plecoptera) donation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c26b3a2d5eed0c484760a72
Abstract

This study details a workflow used to accession a large stonefly (Plecoptera) collection resulting from several donations. The eastern North American material of Kenneth W. Stewart (deceased, University of North Texas), the entire collection of Stanley W. Szczytko (deceased, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point), and a small portion of the Barry C. Poulton collection (active, United States Geological Survey, Columbia, Missouri) were donated to the Illinois Natural History Survey in 2013. These 5,767 vials of specimens were processed to help preserve the specimen legacy of these world renowned Plecoptera researchers. The workflow used an industrialized approach to organize the specimens taxonomically, image the specimens and labels, and place the specimens into new storage. Utilizing the images as a verbatim data source, we transcribed labels in iterative steps that yielded more information with each pass. The data were normalized, locations georeferenced, all specimen data formatted to meet Darwin Core Archive format for occurrence data, and a data set created using Pensoft's Integrated Publishing Toolkit. This is the first time that any of the specimen data has been made available electronically. We also provide two important electronic supplements that include the Bill P. Stark (active, Mississippi College) Oklahoma field notebook for 1971 and 1972 detailing locations for many coded stonefly specimens in the Stewart collection, and the coded locations of B. C. Poulton's Arkansas and Missouri study. Again, we have linked coded labels in vials to normalized and georefenced site data. We confirmed 243 stonefly species were contained within the collections, and the potential for many more species exists among the specimens identified to family and genus level. Twenty-one new state, province, and other significant stonefly records are reported herein with all identifications verified by the senior author, often through consultation with other stonefly taxonomists. Researchers are encouraged to utilize the specimen data, form collaborations with the authors, and borrow specimens for research.

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<![CDATA[Effect of agricultural practices on terrestrial isopods: a review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c22c850d5eed0c484aab1a5
Abstract

Terrestrial isopods (approximately 3700 known species in the world) are encountered in temperate and tropical regions, from the seashore to high altitudes and from floodplain forests to deserts. They are known to contribute to soil biodiversity. Environmental factors and anthropogenic actions, particularly land use changes such as primarily agricultural practices, and urbanization affect soil biodiversity and their functions. Human practices, such as soil tillage, pesticide application, chemical pollution, along with soil acidification adversely affect isopod abundance and diversity. It is thus important to recognise the vital contributions of soil biodiversity in support of environmental quality protection through maintaining soil functions and their significance to sustainable land use. This review will also deal with recent studies attempting to evaluate the impact of returning to an environmentally friendly agriculture by restoring refuge habitats such as grass strips, hedges, and woodlands for terrestrial isopods.

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<![CDATA[Terrestrial isopods associated with shallow underground of forested scree slopes in the Western Carpathians (Slovakia)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c22c859d5eed0c484aab514
Abstract

The shallow underground of forested scree slopes represents a little-studied subterranean biotope. In this paper, species diversity and depth distribution of terrestrial isopod communities studied in the depth profile (5–95 cm from the surface) of eight forested scree slopes in the Western Carpathians (Slovakia) is discussed. The southern edge of the Western Carpathians where the study sites are located represents the northernmost limit of distribution of obligate subterranean fauna in Europe. The sites differ from each other in type of bedrock, forest composition, slope aspect, and altitude. To sample isopods, a set of three subterranean pitfall traps consisting of a plastic cylinder (Ø 110 mm) and ten plastic cups was buried in each studied scree slope. In total, 252 isopods belonging to eleven species were sampled (1–5 species per site). Of the species found, the blind and depigmented Mesoniscusgraniger was the sole species closely associated with deeper parts of the depth profile and was present in most of the sites studied. Another ten species were represented by a small number of individuals and their occurrence deeper in the scree slope profile was rather accidental. A comparison between winter and summer periods indicates apparent differences in seasonal activities of isopods. Ethylene glycol seems to be more appropriate fixative solution for trapping isopods than formaldehyde.

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<![CDATA[Presence of a stridulatory apparatus in the manca stages of isopods (Crustacea, Isopoda, Oniscidea)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c22c84ad5eed0c484aaae7f
Abstract

Armadilloofficinalis Duméril, 1816 (Armadillidae) is a widespread terrestrial isopod species in the Mediterranean basin and on the western coasts of the Black Sea. The species is adapted to live in xeric environments and has mainly nocturnal habits. This species is capable of producing stridulations, which is nowadays recognized as a synapomorphy of the genus. In both sexes, these vibrations are produced by a line of scales on the propodus of pereopod 4 and 5. The main goals of this study are: to describe the manca stages of Armadilloofficinalis; to detect the presence of the stridulatory apparatus in the manca stages; to evaluate the differences of such apparatus in the various manca stages. The manca stages (I, II, III) of Armadilloofficinalis are described for the first time showing: i, the shortest duration (known in literature) of the manca stage I (approximately 30 minutes); ii, the presence of a rudimental stridulatory organ that may be of great importance in terms of evolutionary aspects and adaptation to terrestrial life. Notes on the reproductive biology are also reported. Furthermore, some considerations on future perspectives for A.officinalis as a model species in biotremology are also discussed.

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<![CDATA[Isopod distribution and climate change]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c22c853d5eed0c484aab2f6
Abstract

The unique properties of terrestrial isopods regarding responses to limiting factors such as drought and temperature have led to interesting distributional patterns along climatic and other environmental gradients at both species and community level. This paper will focus on the exploration of isopod distributions in evaluating climate change effects on biodiversity at different scales, geographical regions, and environments, in view of isopods’ tolerances to environmental factors, mostly humidity and temperature.

Isopod distribution is tightly connected to available habitats and habitat features at a fine spatial scale, even though different species may exhibit a variety of responses to environmental heterogeneity, reflecting the large interspecific variation within the group.

Furthermore, isopod distributions show some notable deviations from common global patterns, mainly as a result of their ecological features and evolutionary origins. Responses to human disturbance are not always traceable, but a trend towards community homogenisation is often found under strong global urbanisation processes.

In general, even though it is still not clear how predicted climate change will affect isopod distribution, there is evidence that mixed effects are to be expected, depending on the region under study.

We still lack robust and extensive analyses of isopod distributions at different scales and at different biomes, as well as applications of distribution models that might help evaluate future trends.

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<![CDATA[Biodiversity assessment among two Nebraska prairies: a comparison between traditional and phylogenetic diversity indices]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5aecce2c463d7e42bb0e941a
Abstract

Background

Conservation of the evolutionary diversity among organisms should be included in the selection of priority regions for preservation of Earth’s biodiversity. Traditionally, biodiversity has been determined from an assessment of species richness (S), abundance, evenness, rarity, etc. of organisms but not from variation in species’ evolutionary histories. Phylogenetic diversity (PD) measures evolutionary differences between taxa in a community and is gaining acceptance as a biodiversity assessment tool. However, with the increase in the number of ways to calculate PD, end-users and decision-makers are left wondering how metrics compare and what data are needed to calculate various metrics.

New information

In this study, we used massively parallel sequencing to generate over 65,000 DNA characters from three cellular compartments for over 60 species in the asterid clade of flowering plants. We estimated asterid phylogenies from character datasets of varying nucleotide quantities, and then assessed the effect of varying character datasets on resulting PD metric values. We also compared multiple PD metrics with traditional diversity indices (including S) among two endangered grassland prairies in Nebraska (U.S.A.). Our results revealed that PD metrics varied based on the quantity of genes used to infer the phylogenies; therefore, when comparing PD metrics between sites, it is vital to use comparable datasets. Additionally, various PD metrics and traditional diversity indices characterize biodiversity differently and should be chosen depending on the research question. Our study provides empirical results that reveal the value of measuring PD when considering sites for conservation, and it highlights the usefulness of using PD metrics in combination with other diversity indices when studying community assembly and ecosystem functioning. Ours is just one example of the types of investigations that need to be conducted across the tree of life and across varying ecosystems in order to build a database of phylogenetic diversity assessments that lead to a pool of results upon which a guide through the plethora of PD metrics may be prepared for use by ecologists and conservation planners.

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