Global Diversity (global + diversity)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

High local and global diversity of Flavobacteria in marine plankton

Cecilia Alonso
Summary Members of the phylum Bacteroidetes are among the most abundant microbes in coastal marine waters, but it is unclear to which extent the diversity within this phylum is covered by currently available 16S rRNA gene sequence information. We, thus, obtained a comprehensive collection of sequence types affiliated with Bacteroidetes in coastal North Sea surface waters and we compared this local diversity with the available sequences of marine planktonic and other aquatic Bacteroidetes. Approximately 15% of > 600 clones from two libraries (August 2000, June 2001) were related to Bacteroidetes, specifically to the Flavobacteria. Local diversity appeared to be almost exhaustively sampled. However, the diversity of the two libraries virtually did not overlap, indicating a pronounced temporal variability of the planktonic Flavobacteria assemblage. The majority of sequence types represented novel phylogenetic lineages, adding 6,7% to the currently known genera and species of Bacteroidetes in marine waters. Different diversity estimators suggested that so far only approximately half of the global diversity of planktonic marine Bacteroidetes has been described. The data set moreover indicated that cultivation-independent techniques and isolation approaches have recovered almost equally sized and virtually non-overlapping fractions of the currently known diversity within this phylum. Interestingly, only 15% of genera of Bacteroidetes from various aquatic environments appear to occur in more than one habitat type. [source]

Current issues with fish and fisheries: editor's overview and introduction

S. J. Ormerod
Summary 1.,By any measure, fishes are among the world's most important natural resources. Annual exploitation from wild populations exceeds 90 million tonnes, and fish supply over 15% of global protein needs as part of total annual trade exceeding $US 55 billion. Additionally, with over 25 000 known species, the biodiversity and ecological roles of fishes are being increasingly recognised in aquatic conservation, ecosystem management, restoration and aquatic environmental regulation. 2.,At the same time, substantial management problems now affect the production, exploitable stocks, global diversity, trophic structure, habitat quality and local composition of fish communities. 3.,In marine systems, key issues include the direct effects of exploitation on fish, habitats and other organisms, while habitat or water quality problems arise also from the atmospheric, terrestrial and coastal environments to which marine systems are linked. In freshwaters, flow regulation and obstruction by dams, fragmentation, catchment management, pollution, habitat alterations, exotic fish introductions and nursery-reared fish are widespread issues. 4.,Management responses to the problems of fish and fisheries include aquatic reserves in both marine and freshwater habitats, and their effectiveness is now being evaluated. Policies on marine exploitation increasingly emphasise fishes as integral components of aquatic ecosystems rather than individually exploitable stocks, but the rationalisation of fishing pressures presents many challenges. In Europe, North America and elsewhere, policies on freshwaters encourage habitat protection, integrated watershed management and restoration, but pressures on water resources will cause continued change. All these management approaches require development and evaluation, and will benefit from a perspective of ecological understanding with ecologists fully involved. 5.,Synthesis and applications. Although making a small contribution to the Journal of Applied Ecology in the past, leading work on aquatic problems and fish-related themes appear increasingly in this and other mainstream ecology journals. As this special profile of five papers shows, significant contributions arise on diverse issues that here include the benefit of aquatic reserves, river restoration for fish, the accumulation of contaminants, interactions with predators, and the fitness of salmonids from nurseries. This overview outlines the current context in which papers on the applied ecology of fish and fisheries are emerging, and it identifies scope for further contributions. [source]

Marine nematode deep-sea biodiversity , hyperdiverse or hype?

P. John D. Lambshead
Abstract Nematodes have been identified as a potentially hyperdiverse group and the deep sea as a potentially hyperdiverse environment (i.e. > 1 million species). A large-scale data set from the equatorial central Pacific is used to estimate regional diversity with results that challenge this view; regional diversity is higher in some coastal waters despite lower sample diversity in coastal waters than in the deep sea. The data suggests a paradigm where the deep sea has modest regional diversity, despite high local diversity through patch dynamics, because similar patches in a similar habitat are repeated for considerable distances. Disturbance in shallow water dominates over patch-dynamic mechanisms reducing local diversity but regional diversity is high because of the close packing of multiple habitats within a single region. The Pacific data are also used to demonstrate the pitfalls of extrapolating from local to global diversity. There is no reason to conclude that nematodes are less diverse than other benthic groups, indeed where direct comparison is possible the Nematoda appear to be as diverse as the Polychaeta, the most diverse macrofaunal taxon. This analysis is not consistent with the hypothesis that either marine nematodes or the deep-sea benthos are hyperdiverse raising the question whether any environment or metazoan taxon has more than a million species. [source]

Global epidemiology of HIV,

Francine E. McCutchan
Abstract HIV is among the most generically variable of human pathogens. A comprehensive and detailed description of HIV strains in the pandemic is an important foundation for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. The current sequence database for HIV includes almost 800 complete genome sequences, documenting HIV-1 groups M, O, and N, and HIV-2. Among HIV-1 group M strains, responsible for the vast majority of HIV infections worldwide, 743 sequences represent 9 genetic subtypes, 16 circulating recombinant forms (CRF) that are spreading in populations, and a variety of unique recombinant forms (URF), identified so far only from a single individual. The global distribution of HIV is complex and dynamic with regional epidemics harboring only a subset of the global diversity. HIV strains differ enormously in terms of global prevalence. Six strains account for the majority of HIV infections: HIV-1 subtypes A, B, C, D, and two of the CRF, CRF01-AE and CRF02_AG, respectively. Many of the known subtypes and recombinant forms are currently rare in the epidemic, but could spread more widely if favorable conditions arise. HIV-2 is largely restricted to West Africa at relatively low prevalence there. Groups O and N of HIV-1 are very rare in the pandemic. The goal of universal coverage of HIV-1 strains by diagnostic tests can be met by minimizing false negative test rates for the six globally prevalent HIV-1 group M strains and HIV-2, and by evaluating systematically coverage of rare subtypes and recombinant forms. J. Med. Virol. 78:S7,S12, 2006. 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Unravelling causal components of the Ordovician Radiation: the Builth Inlier (central Wales) as a case study

LETHAIA, Issue 2 2008
Hypotheses about the causes of biodiversification during the Ordovician have been focused in three main areas: tectonic activity and nutrient supply, palaeogeography, and ecological escalation. There is as yet no consensus on mechanisms, and it is unclear whether it is better to study the patterns at local or regional scales. By applying ecological knowledge to the available palaeontological information, it can be shown that neither tectonic nor palaeogeographic effects could account for the permanence of the diversity rise, in the absence of elements of ecological escalation. However, it may be possible to identify trigger mechanisms resulting in enhanced speciation or reduced extinction. Areas of local diversity increase should be distinguished from speciation centres. An ongoing study of the Middle Ordovician Builth-Llandrindod Inlier of central Wales, conducted over 10 years, has identified elements of all three of the above categories of causal mechanisms affecting local diversity. This implies that the patterns of causal relationship and diversification are complex even at very local scales, and at this stage we should not anticipate a clear correlation of global diversity with any single factor. More data are needed from small-scale but intensive studies before we can generalize about the causal mechanisms of the Ordovician Radiation. [source]

Haploid chromosomes in molecular ecology: lessons from the human Y

Matthew E. Hurles
Abstract We review the potential use of haploid chromosomes in molecular ecology, using recent work on the human Y chromosome as a paradigm. Chromosomal sex-determination systems, and hence constitutively haploid chromosomes, which escape from recombination over much of their length, have evolved multiple times in the animal kingdom. In mammals, where males are the heterogametic sex, the patrilineal Y chromosome represents a paternal counterpart to mitochondrial DNA. Work on the human Y chromosome has shown it to contain the same range of polymorphic markers as the rest of the nuclear genome and these have rendered it the most informative haplotypic system in the human genome. Examples from research on the human Y chromosome are used to illustrate the common interests of anthropologists and ecologists in investigating the genetic impact of sex-specific behaviours and dispersals, as well as patterns of global diversity. We present some methodologies for extracting information from these uniquely informative yet under-utilized loci. [source]

Population-specific deviations of global human craniometric variation from a neutral model

John H. Relethford
Abstract Past studies have revealed that much of human craniometric variation follows a neutral model of population relationships. At the same time, there is evidence for the influence of natural selection in having shaped some global diversity in craniometrics. In order to partition these effects, and to explore other potential population-specific influences, this article analyzes residuals of craniometric distances from a geographically based neutral model of population structure. W.W. Howells' global craniometric data set was used for these analyses, consisting of 57 measurements for 22 populations around the world, excluding Polynesia and Micronesia because of the relatively recent settlement of these regions. Phenotypic and geographic distances were derived between all pairs of populations. Three-dimensional multidimensional scaling configurations were obtained for both distance matrices, and compared using a Procrustes rotation method to show which populations do not fit the geographic model. This analysis revealed three major deviations: the Buriat, Greenland Inuit, and Peru. The deviations of the Buriat and Greenland Inuit appear to be related to long-term adaptation to cold environments. The Peruvian sample is more similar to other New World populations than expected based on geographic distance alone. This deviation likely reflects the evolutionarily recent movement of human populations into South America, such that these populations are further from genetic equilibrium. This same pattern is seen in South American populations in a comparative analysis of classical genetic markers, but not in a comparative analysis of STR loci, perhaps reflecting the higher mutation rate for the latter. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2010. 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]